“No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her own best interest.” Judith Herman

The quote above is from Judith’s book “Trauma and Recovery~ The Aftermath Of Violence”. I certainly feel like I’m in the aftermath of violence.  It was violent what my case management service did to me: first telling me they’re going to discharge me soon and then ripping away my mental health worker who I’ve been working with for years and trust. It was a different kind of violence. Not a physical kind of violence, but violence nonetheless. My psychotherapist tells me there’s many different kinds of violence, not just physical. There’s verbal, psychological e.g. defamation, financial, sexual, cultural, spiritual, and structural or institutional violence. Neglect is also considered a form of violence. Another type of violence I would add is sensory violence, such as motor bikes.

It has been several months since I lost my mental health worker, who was like a best friend to me. I still dream about him and the waves of grief keep coming. This morning I dreamt that he was still in my life, and woke up crying when I realised he’s not. Sometimes my distress is so bad it mirrors a medical emergency. One time, someone found me on the ground non-verbal and non-responsive and called an ambulance. One of the few things that help during these times is loving touch. Sometimes, all I need is to be held. No pills, no wizz bang therapies, just something very human.

Lately I’ve been just starting to find myself and what I like. I got back into photography. One of my favourite things about autumn is the mushrooms. I love anything bizarre and alien. I found some tiny blue ones in the forest the other day. I also met some other autistics. One of the girls I met is a fairy and is very spiritual, creative and different. I felt an instant connection with her and hope to keep in touch. I also signed up for a short course in consumer perspective work and feel this is what I want to do. I’ve been thinking of studying again (sociology). But most of the time I fall back into lethargy, pain, emptiness, and depression. I dread everything. I lose interest in things. Everything is just so difficult. I may always bear an injury from what the mental health system has done to me (and also the violence and longstanding emotional/social deprivation I grew up with). I am still, in many ways, a child living in an adult’s body but with the unfulfilled needs of a child. Maybe I will just have to live my life around the loss/trauma. A member of my Complex PTSD group likened this to the way mature trees find a way to grow around rocks/barriers:

“For me, these mature trees represent adult me, present day me, and the rocks represent the inner legacy of my very early childhood trauma that I now carry with me wherever I am and wherever I go, 24/7, constantly, day-in-day-out, every single moment…

My ‘trauma rocks’ sit awkwardly, heavily, uncomfortably and painfully within my being. My ‘trauma rocks’ are literally a burden on and an obstacle within my whole being… draining me psychologically, mentally, physically and spiritually of my finite life force. Exhausting me, overwhelming me and consuming me. And yet my ‘trunk’ and my ‘roots’  have found their own adaptable, awkward, uncomfortably, a bit off balance, a bit wobbly, yet nevertheless resourceful and resilient way to grow around my big, heavy, dense inner ‘trauma rocks’.”

tree growing around rock 2