Been struggling a little bit this last week with something other than nanowrimo. The anxiety seems to be welling from a source that ought to cause joy: The one year anniversary of my current relationship.
I really suck at special occasions. That might be a personal anomaly, but I suspect most people with trauma related disorders have a similar hang-up. I love everyday, normal routines, while important holidays makes me want to hide under the bed. I don’t know if it’s just fear that makes everything wonky, but-
In the last week I’ve tried to sabotage stuff six ways to Tuesday. Almost like- in my head I don’t think we’ll make it to a year or something, or I’m too anxious to face disappointment on that day so I keep looking for ways to minimize risk. It’s messed, and not conscious, either, but I wish my brain would stop that. We’ve been doin’ really good- maybe that’s the other part: Feelings get intense, and then I feel pretty vulnerable.
My S.O. in these situations has been about as kind and steady as anyone could possibly be. He’s the one who recognized that these troubles seem to be arising in direct correlation to the upcoming anniversary. He works with troubled families, so there’s some context and background he can call on to understand what rationally makes no sense.
We talk now and then about ‘a middle part’. I don’t have middle parts, historically, when it comes to romance. I have falling deep in love, and then the destruction part where things go terrible. I’m not sure what a middle part feels like, or if I’m capable of it, and I’m sort of afraid that I’m not.
So- it’s a little scary, yeah. A year. In the ptsd mind, there’s so much fear associated with intimacy, that it can feel like a ledge, a little bit. There’s a million ways to go plunging into that angry, victimized state of mind.
There is a single image, a visualization that seems to help me feel optimistic: The sensation of surfing. I’ve never actually stood on a surf board, but I can feel that balance, my feet on the board, the ocean, the roar that surrounds you so you feel like a part of the sound. Surfing is the improbable balance of so many elements coming together in harmony. If you try too hard, if you get tense, you get thrown.
But you still have to be present enough to stand up, to try. You’re there, but not. It’s the act of letting the elements guide your benevolent will. You step onto the board and let it happen. It looks impossible, but it’s a miracle that’s been repeated a thousand times. People find their improbable balance.
That physical representation of a miracle is what I go to in my head, each time I’m drowning in the state of my own mind. We’re staying afloat, so here’s my daily dose of optimism: Happy Anniversary to Us.