Burleson: Help! I’m a lost little amoeba in this big PTSD ecosystem
Ever feel like you’re a lost little amoeba in the overwhelming day-to-day of life?
Alarm goes off on phone. Time to do this… Alarm goes off on phone. Time to do that… and so on and so forth almost every 30 minutes of my day starting at 6.30am with the last one usually around 8pm. Sometimes multiple reminders go off at the same time, which is a bit overkill. It’s busy being a mummy of two children under 10 years old – granted. It’s busy being a wife to a hospital doctor – granted. It’s busy in my head because I have ASD and CPTSD – lucky me.
With triggers going off around me most of the time it is a constant and exhausting battle to keep the show on the road… school run, washing, ironing, making beds, tidying, errands, cooking, clearing and tidying up. I’m sure I had to set an alarm to actually go to the loo once, HA! Sounds bonkers and rather intrusive, even a stressful way to get through the day, but it’s the only way I can get things done. If I don’t do this, I am in danger of becoming a non-responsive obsessed ASD zombie, e.g. sitting on the sofa watching movie trailer one after another and getting stuck in a repetitive cycle that soothes my brain… then nothing gets done and it’s hours later and time to pick up the kids.
It is easy to feel lost with ASD and CPTSD. It is mostly a lonely life. I am not ‘alone’, but my instinct is to always retreat into my sole-survivor, me against the world, self-sabotaging, self-punishing child inside. The greatest energy thrust upon me from a very young age was powerful and controlling through abuse. These are the voices I hear loudest and with the most clarity as an adult even if those voices are no longer physically around me. They’re still in my head, in my psyche. They groomed me, brainwashed me. Think scary and upsetting RSPCA infomercial if you can’t quite visualise it, then replace the puppy with a young angelic-looking little human girl, yep, floaty white blond hair and all.
My alarms on my phone give me a little vibrating jolt and a ding to bring me back to the present throughout the day. I decorate some of my alarms with cute emojis, especially for reminders to get ready to pick up the children from nursery or school, or if I meeting a friend for a coffee, or it’s date night with my husband. I’m connecting. I can hit the snooze, complete the task or just delete it. I’m in control and having a set routine is very important to prevent a meltdown.
I am demonstrating to myself that I am taking responsibility and having accountability for those I care for the most in my life. A life that I want to live. A happy life. This is the future. I’m on a big journey and I am making progress… (…note to self!)
Burleson: Help! I’m a lost little amoeba in this big PTSD ecosystem (c) 2019 Laura Devlin