Everything has changed

***** TW talk of suicide ******

Things continue to be incredibly difficult. I’ve been searching for how to buy cyanide online and how quickly it kills, not for now but to be prepared. To make matters worse Nina is really struggling – she has gone from someone who reports ‘feeling happy at least 95% of the time’ to feeling flat and hopeless and experiencing huge outbursts of rage. I’ve told her it’s amazing she’s never felt this way before, but of course it means she has no resilience to it and no sense that it will pass. So I am trying to hold myself and all the freaking out parts, but also her. I had been feeling as though parents of young kids would be struggling so much more than the parent of a teen, but at least they love parental attention and are possible to entertain, it’s just hard work and monotonous for the parent. With a teen they just want their friends and however hard I try I cannot be enough. Plus she has a sense of time and knows we are in this for the long haul. She is being sent work from school this week which will hopefully help, but then it is 2 and a half weeks Easter holidays and after that who knows how long of this strange new life we all find ourselves living.

Because there are so many selfish shits in this country totally ignoring government guidance we are going to end up in lockdown soon. This will mean Nina can’t spend some of the time with her Granddad and we will be together 24/7 probably till September at the earliest. At the best of times this would be a very tough proposition but whilst in mental health crisis this feels like something I just cannot handle. I will not even have time on my own in the house to fall apart and put myself back together again, as I’ve relied upon ever since I became a parent. It will all be holding it together and holding someone else together too. It feels absolutely impossible to cope with, especially without my weekly escape and sanctuary with K, where I can breathe and let it all go.

There are so many memes about how to make the best of this time and loads of advice for parents who ‘suddenly find themselves home schooling’. It is such bullshit and clearly not written by people with shredded nervous systems who will also be trying to work full time at home. I honestly don’t know how I am going to manage when I go back to work from this sick leave on Monday. My whole system feels totally broken and hyper-sensitive and I don’t know how I will cope without time in the house by myself, with a teenage daughter who goes to bed later than me and is going to be struggling with such a huge change and loss herself. She was swimming 10 hours a week and just getting her independence with her friends, so to have all that taken away overnight, I’m not surprised she is struggling so much. It doesn’t help that most of her friends’ parents haven’t got the memo about social distancing saving lives and are letting their children have sleepovers and get togethers. Hopefully this will stop soon.

K and I will be working by phone this afternoon but an hour just doesn’t feel enough to connect and settle this storm. In addition my neighbours are clearly spending their first day ‘working from home’ having a massive party and have music on really loud and I find it impossible to focus on anything when noise is intruding on my space, but particularly when I feel this way. It’s just incredible that so much has changed so fast. It is two weeks since I thought K was over-reacting by making me sit further away, but she really wasn’t. Already our NHS in London is overwhelmed, 30 and 40 year olds waiting to be treated in intensive care, facing death because there are not enough ventilators. I am trying to hold on to this being temporary, trying to believe people who tell me we’ll get through this as a country and things will go back to normal, that weekly face-to-face sessions with K will resume, but I don’t really believe it, not because I am catastrophising but because our economy will be in tatters and the climate crisis was already threatening collapse.

I keep getting these huge waves of panic and grief and despair. I don’t know how to survive this – I scan every development to try and work out what it means for my therapy, for my recovery, my ability to survive this. Half the country is freaking out and the other half have no clue because they don’t read the news. Both of these are problematic responses to live alongside. I worry for the physical and mental well-being of all those who are confined and separated from those they love and rely upon. Reading what is happening in Italy helps me keep things in perspective and remember that this really is a life or death situation, and that I want K to stay safe even if it means we don’t meet for a year and so I will do my part in that. It is really f*cking tough though, and if one more person tells me ‘therapy isn’t stopping’ or asks ‘can you contact your therapist by phone instead?’ I will kill them.

A light in the darkness has been the NHS local crisis support line I was given – after I rang the first time I was given a number I can call 24/7 but also can keep contacting their line 6pm-midnight each evening. The woman I first spoke to has been incredible – she understands DID and attachment trauma and the importance of the therapy relationship, she is compassionate and kind, reassuring but also full of practical advice and makes sure I don’t try and be too positive or fall into total negative thinking. I’ve spoken to her twice, on Thursday and Friday evenings, and she texted with a young part on Friday and Saturday evenings too and helped us to go to bed. It is so unusual to find someone who ‘gets it’ so this has been such a blessing. She says the other people on the helpline are lovely too, but she wasn’t sure on their knowledge of DID. She is working this evening so says if I’m triggered after speaking with K I can call again. It really helps us all feel less alone and I wish it was available elsewhere in the country too. I haven’t been able to ring as often as I’ve needed to because Nina has been here, but knowing they are there is a real lifeline.

18 thoughts on “Everything has changed”

  1. I’m so glad the helpline is there and that there is this woman available… I hope, though don’t know the feasibility, that it settles into a routine and as it does it becomes more manageable. And that your garden gets a bit quieter…
    Sending virtual hugs and dolphins…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you lovely. I think it might settle into a routine, but the phone sessions feel VERY far apart right now (Monday and Friday), even with some support in between via text and email. I also got completely triggered by the woman on the crisis line this eve so won’t be calling it again which is a shame. I hope you are doing okay. Hugs xx

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  2. Glad you are taking the health measures of distancing seriously for yourself and your daughter, despite how difficult this is in your situation. I remember when my son was younger how much I needed breaks from him and so I feel for you! The crisis support sounds really great…Take care

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Yes, I keep thinking if I can not see K other people can bloody well stay at home and stop going to gatherings and parties!! It is so hard having the prospect of no breaks, I think isolating alone would be so much easier (though I’d miss her of course!). Take care too x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally hear you, I have my 3 at home, this whole therapy thing is the thing that’s breaking me, I don’t know how it will/can work via telephone. Can you please keep reaching out if you need to. Sending much love and light to you and Nina xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so sorry you have this experience too. It is so scary when there is a threat to our therapy pattern. I can’t explain to people that it is the disruption to therapy and what it triggers in me that makes me totally unable to cope with the rest of what this virus is throwing at us all (or I try to explain this, but they don’t get it…). If my sessions were carrying on as normal I wouldn’t be triggered and then I could handle the extreme stress that we are all under. I’m here if you need anything – I feel like you always give so much support to others on here and I would like to provide that for you if it would help xx

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      1. Well done for even trying to be positive. I need to get to that point! It’s so nice knowing there are people out there who really understand what this therapy stuff does to our coping abilities xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe, it’s a line just for people in my area… I hope it’s not your friend though as she completely triggered me last night and I won’t be calling again!!

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      1. Omg. Hugs if wanted. That’s so awful after having some positive experiences 😦

        No, it isn’t her, she has DID herself and is very careful plus good at her work. And I asked and she said it’s likely not her because of some NHS issues going on in her local area ❤❤

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I hear you. The waves of grief and panic are soooo real for me too- like breaking down into cries unexpectedly. I legit find myself thinking “is this real?”. It is indeed. I hope you stick around for this life – whatever it looks like after all this is over. ❤️

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    1. Thanks for thinking of me. I *think* I’m a little better today – turned out Nina has a kidney infection so a trip to the hospital has forced me into the present moment which is no bad thing. How are you doing? Are you going to try phone sessions? Xx

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      1. Oh my gosh, poor Nina, so glad you were able to get the help you needed. It’s been a relief that school have been sending work to distract my two boys, my daughter’s only four so that’s been the hardest part keeping her distracted. I have a session booked with my T at 5pm. I’m going to give it a go despite anxiety of privacy and fear that it will not be connecting and become more like a chat. Do you think i’m crazy to ask her to take a photo from where I usually sit? We once had a nine week break whilst she battled a dreadful illness with little contact, I don’t think i’d survive something like that again. We’ve been working together for 10 years and I would hate not having her in my life in some way. How about you, you said you feel a bit more in the present, such a crazy world right now. Do reach out when you need to, sending love and light xx

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      2. Oh wow, ten years is such a long time. I can totally see why you are so worried – it’s like when we know how awful something has been in the past it’s worse, because we know how hard it will be to cope. Hopefully nothing like that will happen this time and you can sustain contact and connection via phone. It must be so hard with the 4 year old if you need privacy – are the older ones able to watch her and make sure you’re not disturbed or are they not that old? Nina knows my sessions are important so I have a grown up to talk to about grown up worries, but I still think she’d be nosy and try and hear what I was saying!! I really hope the phone session goes ok and alleviates some concerns.

        Nina is doing better and weirdly having to take her to the hospital last night has actually grounded me quite a bit and brought me into the present/adult – hope it lasts. Here if you need after your session. Love and light to you xx

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