My last post about my mom was extremely raw, but I received more likes and more people read it over any other post. I am again going to be a bit raw and extremely truthful without writing something triggering.
One year ago today, I entered inpatient psychiatric treatment that was specifically trauma focused. The way I ended up there was not so great.
I had been talking to this place for a couple weeks, but they kept telling me I wasn’t severe enough to enter their program, despite the fact that it is all a voluntary admission. I have a tendency to make things look way more rosy than they actually are.
The night of October 16, 2017, I was trembling with horrible anxiety for what I realized was 21 days in a row. It was constant shaking and feeling like I was suffocating and dying for 3 weeks straight. I couldn’t eat or drink anything and made several trips to the ER for IV fluids for dehydration where the ER docs kept giving me Valium, but it didn’t help. Some pretty nasty things had happened with my family that day, and I decided I was completely done. I had access to a weapon, I was going to kill the people that hurt me, and then myself.
Obviously, I didn’t follow through with that plan. I ended up doing a whole lot of self talk that night that I am not a violent person (I don’t even kill spiders) and that maybe, just maybe there was a glimmer that life could improve? I called the local crisis line, and the lady spoke to me for over 3 hours and encouraged me to get to the trauma program the next morning. It was the longest and hardest night of my life that I ever had, especially with trying to keep myself alive as my plan was lethal, not just an overdose as I had tried several times previously.
The next morning, October 17, 2017, I called the trauma program at 8 am, as soon as they opened. I told them about my homicidal and suicidal urges. The lady told me to pack a couple things and start driving immediately. I threw some things together, said goodbye to my family, and got into my car, a shaking and terrified mess. It was about 5 hours away, but I had to stop several times along the interstate for air as I felt like I was going to suffocate in the car even with all the windows open.
I finally arrived at the trauma program. It is within a regular psychiatric hospital, so there was all of the indignities associated with being a psychiatric inpatient, but I was met with LOVE! So much love and validation that my shaking was normal and they were going to help. They promised, and they did!!
So happy anniversary to me for being more scared and feeling the lowest point in my life and creating a new beginning, instead of a horrible ending.
Did that program cure me or the subsequent residential care I transferred to? Absolutely not, but I listened well to what they told me. I met people who validated me as someone who had experienced horrible things, but best of all, I was absolutely believed and loved even more for being truthful. Life has certainly been difficult this year and horrible in so many ways, but all this darkness has allowed me to see light in certain circumstances that people who haven’t experienced tremendous pain will never see. Sometimes, I almost feel like I can see the world more in depth with more colors than before. I certainly have plenty of moments where I want to give up and life hurts more than I ever think I will get through, but I made a commitment to all aspects of me that I will persevere and live the best life I possibly can by doing things differently than before and being authentic.
Am I proud of myself? HELL YES!! This is one trauma anniversary I will celebrate every year. As I reflect back on my year, I realize it is MY hard work that has made this happen, of course with some pretty amazing support. That is what makes me most proud. I did something for ME and now I live a life worth living.
Please see that from the depths of extreme horror, hardship, anxiety, homicidality, suicidality, and all that other terrible stuff, a seed was planted that I could grow and blossom and become a person I want to be around and so do others.
I love you all. Keep going. If I could make such a change, I know anyone can. I believe in me, and I now believe in you too.
PS I apologize to people who know me not as a trauma survivor for not being truthful about what happened last year. I think you can understand why I don’t discuss certain things. I still love you all, and I hope you still love me too!