Last week I had a break and enter at my home. Not much was taken (I'm grateful that I obviously have nothing of any real value!) but my bedroom was ransacked. I walked in to see most of my clothes strewn across the floor and I suddenly realised that I couldn’t touch them. I couldn’t physically touch them! (How weird is that?) I figured I would be able to do it the next day...nope. Then the next and the next...nope, nope, nope. OK I was just going to have to wait until I was able to speak to my counsellor at Catholic Family Services. I came home from that appointment a few days later and was finally able to clear up my clothes ... my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from Domestic Violence had been triggered but once I was able to see that clearly I was able to move on.
I used to write posts about the seemingly constant state of crisis I was in. I also wrote about how I was coping, what worked and what didn’t (I still drink a lot of tea !) I realise that I am now in a different place in my life but even though I am not constantly stressed and lurching from one crisis to the next I am still hyper vigilant and left with rather profound PTSD. Anybody else out there like this?
I know this isn’t a particularly profound post, it isn’t even very well written but this is me talking to you. I don’t know who you are or what your story is, I don’t even know if anyone will read this but the important thing for me is that I am trying to connect. If you are reading this then maybe you are trying to connect too. Domestic Violence and everything that goes with it can really cause isolation. I left my abusive marriage five years ago. I took my two little children and entered a women’s shelter. I had left twice before but returned for two basic reasons 1) the apologies and assurances that he would get help and 2) because I didn’t know that I was dealing with Domestic Violence. My husband never hit me so how was it that I was so terrified of him?
I didn’t understand what was happening in my relationship and because of that I thought that if I could just be loyal and patient etc etc etc that things would eventually get better. I loved him and we had a family together. It didn’t get better.
I’m writing today because I believe that it is important for all of us to know that we are not alone. I have felt alone many, many times...that break in sent me for a rea l loop and I really struggled to feel ok...but we can support each other and help each other to connect with the stuff in our community that can really help...help us to learn about DV, to learn about how we can help ourselves and our children as well as how to connect with and help each other.
If you would like to be part of this I would love to hear from you: [email protected]by