I realized this morning that I have been badly triggered for weeks and in denial of it. I saw that I was going back and forth between overwhelm and numb, but failed to get that that meant I never got into a self-regulated state. I only saw this as I was writing this morning.
From today’s journal:
So tired yesterday I could only do 3 rounds in Rivercrest with Dulany. I put out the light at 9:00, and woke up at 7:00. So I guess I was really tired. I think I did the old pattern of ignoring it.
I slept 10 hours. I never sleep that long. Reminded me of Erica saying when I got to Kendal I was “beyond the end of my resources.” The trouble is that ignoring my needs is an old old pattern from day one.
Grief group was wonderful. P told us, shaking and crying, of her apartment being invaded by people doing an “inspection.” She freaked out because being safe is so important to her. When she apologized for not being “succinct” I told her she was being real, she didn’t need to be succinct. I said something similar to C last week when she apologized for taking up so much time. I realize now that, for me, there’s something deeply reassuring about someone being real. V talked about not being able to cut her hair, and I said I found that comforting, because I’ve been having trouble doing something equally “trivial” and practical, namely repotting my plants.
This is the second time I’ve been to grief group in person since back in March. We had a weekly check-in by email, but it didn’t do it for me. That group has been an extremely important part of my life since last August. Finally being together physically again opened me up to a lot that’s been buried.
I’ve been giving myself a hard time because I haven’t taken a shower this week, what will my cleaning lady think when she comes to change the towels. I’m not worried that I’m dirty, I’m worried that I’m going to be judged. I realize this morning that showers are difficult when I’m triggered. I remember being dizzy and afraid I’d fall down when I undressed to take a shower during the Summer from Hell. I have no idea why this is a trigger.
Second cup of tea. Come back to the couch to find no Mocha. I have to see where she is, go into the bedroom, she’s in her crate. Of course I know she has to be in the apartment. I still have to check. I’m sure it goes back to infancy and Mom not being there.
I managed lunch, and to write a birthday note to Eleanor. Got it printed out, had to shut down the computer, got it in an envelope, stamped and addressed. Needed a break between each action. Finally went out with Mocha to go down to Reception to mail it. Alas, I was just too late to have it go out yesterday.
I often have to shut down the computer before the printer will accept that it’s plugged in and print the item. It’s just one more thing. Normally writing something, getting it in the envelope, and stamped and addressed can be done in one sequence. It’s when I’m triggered that I have to have breaks.
I see that my danger meter is in the red. Pandemic EMERGENCY! Climate EMERGENCY! Totalitarian takeover EMERGENCY!
No longer in denial of how badly triggered I am, I am seeing & feeling how badly triggered I am, which is paradoxically a sense of settling into something. I see that I’m able to drop all my expectations that I’m going to be able to “accomplish” anything. That’s a relief.