I used to really struggle with anxiety, depression, and PTSD, but 2 summers ago I just broke in a way that allows me to function pretty consistently without meds or severe downswings in my functioning. Disassociation.
One day two summers ago when I was fighting a horrible legal battle with an abusive ex, which I really don't intend to write much about in this blog- I saw a man face down in the street on the corner of Powell and 39th. I stopped my car and got out to help him (back in the day I was an EMT and my default has always been to Good Samaritan-up in these sitches.)
The man had a knife and was clearly delusional. As he came after me, I did everything wrong and it was dumb luck that I wasn't stabbed. I've never dealt with it--- I can't. It's in there somewhere, in The Coping Void. At the time, my life was so stressful and traumatic- I almost thought this horrific event was funny. When I told the DA what I was dealing with in my life, he didn't press me to testify but entered in my plea to the judge that the man get some psychiatric help- not merely jail time, because it felt to me that he struggled to NOT attack me in that moment where he totally could have, and I felt so grateful for that. Today- I can't remember whether or not my son was in the car. It's the kind of thing I should remember- so the distortions surrounding the event in my memory clue me into the level of trauma I experienced, but I can't really feel it.
And I don't really feel a lot of things, and this is how I function. I was in a counseling session before we moved out of state, and she said I had pronounced disassociation, really common in people struggling post-trauma. I think that little slight of hand/brain, is how I plod ahead most days.
I'm there. I think I'm slowly improving-- but not quite enough to really function normally. I'm not quite all there. I've also been diagnosed with ADD, and a low dose of those meds does help me focus, but I think the root and cause of my otherwhereness, is this coping void my brain goes into so that I can be on every day without major interruptions in my ability to single parent my child.
I was on some meds that worked for me, then I lost my insurance and had to rapid taper off of them, because the Lexapro was so damned expensive- and I swore I'd never go on another medication that could do that to me, again. I wanted to die I was so miserable and sick through the withdrawal, and it seemed to trigger a subsequent health crisis that took almost a year to dig out of, all originating from that Lexapro withdrawal.
So while I want to unfuck my life and be whole- I don't want to disrupt my ability to function at the level where I'm at now. I worry I have so much trauma and damage inside of me, that if I go back to therapy and really work on it, these walls are going to come down and I am going to feel- all of it, and I'm not going to be able to cope with it, and I'm not going to be able to shut down, and I'm going to have a psychiatric crisis that will threaten my ability to solo parent my child, or make it easier for his father's family to swoop in and take him from me, something I think they'd love to do if I show any ineptness at this job that I do 12/14 days, 24/7.
This post has been in that void but it just popped into my mind, when I thought I had nothing to write about tonight. It's clearly a key thing I have to figure out.