Eight inspiring people

The writing prompt from Nablopomo today is “freedom”, which is rather lovely from a survivor’s perspective, but not what I want to talk about today, sorry kids. Perhaps I’ll return to this next time the folks at Nablopomo offer me  “poetry”. 😛

I had Group again tonight, so I want to talk about that.

Our topic this week was “coping when you just can’t”, which I thought would be practical and easy and interesting. It was interesting, and in some ways practical, but it certainly wasn’t easy.

We started off having to think about a time when we couldn’t cope; when coping seemed utterly impossible… and then we had to think about the ways we got through; all the ways we had coped. We got to do some creative work, making a kind of collage of things to represent our coping mechanisms. That was all ok, and the collage was fun (though I ran out of time and had to rush in the end), but when it came time to talk about it, I just fell apart, even though I’d picked a time I thought would be safe for me.

I thought about the time around 18 months ago when my life fell apart. Everything just seemed to slip through my fingers… my career, my sanity, my health… it all seemed to evaporate in the blink of an eye. And the harder I held on, the faster it seemed to slip away. I was doing a lot of trauma processing work with the Wonder Therapist at the time and I was overwhelmed – flooded by memories, flashbacks and nightmares. So anxious I could barely leave the house some days. I really couldn’t cope.

I tried to talk about taking time out – about escaping to my safe haven, and the healing power of the ocean. But I was overwhelmed, I could barely speak. Great big tears just rolling uncontrollably down my cheeks. I hate doing that, especially in front of others. Ugh.

There are eight of us in the group and we each got to talk about our collage and about when coping seemed impossible, and the ways we got through. Listening to others describe times in their lives and how they fought the darkness just made me worse.

And then listening to the Pregnant One talk about her childhood and how she used to hide in the dog’s kennel to try to escape … it brought up all this other stuff for me about my own childhood.

So there I was again, totally overwhelmed, feeling completely unable to cope. Thankfully the facilitators are on the lookout for such moments and one of them spent a bit of time with me afterwards to let me talk it out and make sure I was ok. I am ok; I just have all this messy emotional garbage stirred up. Damned emotions, they sneak up and whack you just when you least need or expect it. Talk about elastic bands. Bleuch.

In talking to the facilitator, she said something that was like a baseball bat to the head, but in a good way:

Facilitator: “I bet you see seven inspiring people in that room, right?”

Me: Nodding

Facilitator: “Well, I see eight.”

Thank you, V, that is pure gold.

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5 thoughts on “Eight inspiring people

  1. {{{Kerro}}}

    Sounds very difficult but great at the same time. Know what I mean? That you were able to do it – that you could cry in front of a group of like minded people. That you had support. What a step.

    I’m thinking of doing EMDR. Makes me nervous. Not sure how much buried stuff will spew forth and how it will make me feel.

    Take care,
    OLJ

  2. Just wanted to agree with OLJ – what a huge step and accomplishment to not only share but to be so present with the rest of the Group. Definitely on the healing path, Kerro. You’re braving the way for the rest of us!

  3. I can see how that would be a very tough topic. And sticking with it would be tougher yet. I’m glad that you have facilitators that look out for you. What she said…that is pure gold.

  4. @ OLJ – Thank you. It was difficult. Unexpectedly so. But I believe that’s one of the joys of PTSD… things just sneak up on you and whack you over the head. Nasty. But, yes, I’m hoping it was good at the same time. The Group is very good at “holding” each other in times of distress. Good luck with EMDR, I’m sure your nerves are normal. Please let us know how you go with it.

    @ Sanity – I’m not sure I was entirely “present” for much of the session, but I was physically there at least. Fingers crossed it was positive even if in a yucky way.

    @ Lost in a Maze – I thought that was gold too. Glad you like it! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Reflections on 2010 « Kerro's Korner

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