This morning around 4:30am I woke up in a complete panic attack. All the dogs in the neighborhood were barking, my Little was stirred from her sleep, and I was a mess with flashbacks. Out of a completely dead sleep, closing out a non-eventful day. This morning, exhausted and still a bit flustered I drug myself out of bed and headed to the gym. The anxiety was building, me trying to figure out what in the world could have triggered me, until I hopped on Facebook and saw the notification that it was my mom’s birthday. Then the fog started to lift and I remembered everything my brain was trying to repress and my anxiety subsided.
So much for memory repression. I’m fine now after catching myself and dealing with my emotions right there on the spot, and bringing myself back to the present, but I am frustrated. Not just frustrated but PISSED honestly how this all happened. It’s part of PTSD. It’s never going away, and I understand that, but it still irritates me. Especially since even when the events are the absolute last thing on my mind, my subconscious hijacks me and throws me back into it anyway. Seriously, I had no idea my mom’s birthday was today until Facebook told me. The only things I’m focusing on are preparing for the Open and taking my test Friday.
What happened on my mom’s birthday? Well kind of a plethora of events over four or five years, all with varying degrees of stress and emotional overwhelm associated with them. I got into a fight with a guy I was living with, which resulted in blows exchanged and police escorts to retrieve my things… I was in a relationship with a guy who decided my mom’s birthday was a great day to break up with me, I just happened to miscarry our third child together hours before he called, my house flooded, my bank account was over drafted from the flood repairs due to an insurance oversight, I was framed for theft at work and ended up quitting my job, couldn’t find work, my car and my house were repossessed… it was a mess there for quite a while and the worst of it all happened in February right on/around my mom’s birthday.
Then you have the fact that my mom was the primary source of abuse during my childhood, so remembering or celebrating it in any form or fashion never really occurs to me. Not that I’m upset or angry about the things that happened anymore, but I just dissociated so much from her roll in my life I simply just don’t care anymore. It’s a painful indifference that I’m trying to work through at the moment mostly for my Little’s sake.
At least pausing to remember all of these things has given me peace this year instead of throwing me headlong into depression as it used to. I just want so desperately to be at the place where they don’t bother me at all. Where I don’t wake up after some bizarre nightmare/flash back where my mom is fighting with this guy over a birthday present, leading into random weird flashback events from my childhood all culminating in a panic attack upon waking. I know I am capable of reaching a healthy level of detachment because I have with my mom, but I don’t know how to get there now or how I got there before.
This is why I pay my therapist good money, to guide me along this route. Eventually I’ll get there. Eventually I’ll get to the point where I’m no longer boxing with birthday memories. Eventually.