Today has been an incredibly difficult and quite eventful day, all things considered. I feel completely drained. The result of today is that a mirror was smashed, my paintings destroyed, and I now have significantly shorter hair…. let me explain…
I’m trying to write because I think it’ll help me to but I’m so tired, so please excuse any incoherent ramble…
PTSD is a b***ch. That is my conclusion of the day. As is recovery. Progress hurts. Progress is messy. Bad days are clinically classed as good ones. Being numb and functioning is classed as bad. My world, for what feels like the millionth time, has turned upside down. I genuinely feel dizzy.
This morning in the bathroom I saw of my abusers in the mirror. I realise how crazy that sounds. It was an hallucination, of course, but the problem was I couldn’t rationalise. I genuinely thought it was real – there was an abuser in my house, somehow behind the mirror, and looking in at me. I saw her twisted face and I heard her taunting me, telling me I deserved to be dead, telling me how disgusting I was, etc etc. The poisonous emotional abuse that haunted me for years was back. I had just got a shower and was wrapped in just a towel. I felt vulnerable and exposed. I was terrified.
I screamed at her to shut up, and she didn’t. I heard her laughing. I punched the mirror but it didn’t help. By now I was sobbing. And shaking. I ran out of the room, trying to pull my hair out in clumps, trying to just make her shut up. I ran at a wall, several times, somehow hoping that if I smacked my head hard enough, she’d shut up. I was out of control. I ran into my room and picked up my scissors. Back in the bathroom I hacked at my hair, staring at the mirror, hoping that if I reduced myself to an ugly worthless mess, like she said I was, that she’d shut up. In hindsight how I have any ears left is a miracle. I wasn’t watching what I was doing and I was hysterical. I just grabbed chunks of my hair and chopped it off. When I realised this wasn’t working, I stopped, but by now my hair had gone from shoulder length to chin length, and was messy.
I ran out of the room again, screaming and crying, and ran downstairs, hoping I wouldn’t hear her if I was far away. But I could still hear her. I could hear her cruel laughter echoing in my head, I could hear her taunts, and I was just terrified. I saw my paintings, the ones I and other DID parts had done as part of recovery, and with my scissors I destroyed them. I cut them into tiny pieces. I hoped maybe if she saw me destroying parts of myself, then she’d leave me alone. I know she wanted me to physically hurt myself. I also knew that however frightened I was, I didn’t want to give her that. She has hurt my body enough, and I didn’t want my body to take anymore of her shit. She was already torturing my head again without my body getting involved.
By now I was just a terrified mess. I didn’t know what to do. I could still hear her. I grabbed a hammer from the kitchen, and ran upstairs. I would just have to break the mirror. Back in the bathroom, she was still there, staring at me with evil twisted eyes. She started spewing more emotional venom at me and I smacked the hammer against the mirror a few times. It dented it but didn’t break it, and she howled with laughter, now taunting me for my lack of strength. So I pulled at the mirror, which was screwed into the wall. I hooked the tool underneath it and pulled, and my nails under the other side and pulled. And screamed. Some shattered and I kept pulling. Eventually the mirror cracked in two, and half the mirror fell out into my arms. I was tempted to drop it and let it shatter, but some part of me registered I was still bare-legged and bare-footed, and if I dropped that size of mirror, I would be ripped to ribbons. As it was, I was just lucky…bits did fly at me as I pulled it off, and yet I came away with one very tiny scratch and nothing else.
She was silent now. Gone. I shook and sank to my knees, still holding the mirror, and howled. Howled and screamed, sobbed in terror…in anger…in despair. So much hurt from that woman came back, and the echoes of her words floated around my head for a bit. One of my alters got hold of my housemate and asked him to come home.
Later, I saw my therapist. I had a hat on to hide the nightmare that was my hair. She wasn’t alarmed by what had happened, but was more impressed than anything. She realised how utterly terrifying it was for me, not just to see her in the mirror but also to be so out of control. PTSD was ruling me and that frightens me. But she said its important I can express the emotion, that I met my distress…that there’s years of pain and it’s only right if I can start to meet it and feel it. I also didn’t go into ‘victim’ mode at seeing one of my abusers in the mirror…out of the fight or flight option, despite extreme terror, I went for fight. This shows that really, they aren’t as powerful as they once were. I don’t run, I defend myself. I don’t let them win. She terrified me but she didn’t overpower me. And I could cry for some of the harm she caused me. This is recovery – pain, feeling pain, embracing the damage (my therapists term) and coming out of it the other side. I’m still alive – I survived. I told her I felt like I was going crazy. She told me I was probably more sane for the fact I could feel. I have been through so much, of course I’ll have episodes of hysteria from time to time.
I still feel very shaken from this morning though. I went to the hairdresser with some story of a ‘friend’s child cutting my hair without me knowing’ (I ask you), and the hairdresser tried her hardest to fix my hair. It’s still a mess but it’s better than what it was. It’s much shorter, and the back is a mess, but it could have been worse. I wanted to make myself ugly and disgusting so that she stopped taunting me. Now I’m struggling because I don’t look like me anymore. Even despite actually being an hallucination, she still managed to impact on my identity. My hair is half-gone, my paintings destroyed.
I hate ptsd. I hate mental health.
I hate the abusers who did this to me.