Monday, July 23, 2012

Why I "Left"

Please note, this blog is not meant to be used for blame. It is not an excuse for everything that has happened. It is an epiphany, nothing more, nothing less!!

This has been weighing heavily on my mind of late. I've been wondering if I should say anything or let my mind clarify what has been bothering me first. Well....as of tonight, my mind is clear, but my heart still isn't. People will take from this what they choose. Some people will take from this the opportunity to blame. Others will realize that there is no blame being placed by what I have to say, only me relieving my heart of a burden I can't carry alone.

I remember why I left. I don't remember how or the events immediately leading up to and during my disappearance, but the stress behind the fugue is something I truly believe I understand.

I don't believe I ever made the conscious decision to leave, but I do know that the mind can only handle so much stress before it just shuts down. Some people just need a "day off" from the world. Some people hide in books, movies, or television, temporarily escaping from the stresses of every day life. None of that was enough for me. When that's not enough, some people suffer from a nervous breakdown, but others box off their life and go into a fugue state to escape what they can no longer process. This is what my subconscious did to survive.

I was drowning. Oh, not literally, obviously, but drowning in stress and the feeling of complete and utter failure looming on the horizon. I had been told by different people since my childhood that I was a nobody, a nothing, not worth listening to or believing, and definitely not worth the mud on the bottom of certain people's boots. I was still being told that by one person in particular every time that person would get angry about something they construed as insulting or threatening to their reputation or well-being. Being told you're worthless and a failure wears on you after a while. The feelings those words inspire get to the point where they are always inside you. You are so sure that they are correct that you start to self-sabotage to make it true.

Never was that more true that what happened April 9, 2011, for me anyway.

I felt like life was too much. I was exhausted, but determined to keep wading through the quicksand. I refused to give up. I thought this meant that I was a strong person. That this would prove to everyone once and for all that those naysayers were wrong. That I was worthwhile, but all I was doing was setting myself up for the biggest fall yet. I piled on more and more stress, but through it all I continued to allow myself to be verbally attacked and continued to make excuses for those attacks instead of defending myself and talking about my problems with people who would have gotten me the help I needed.

That day, I failed to turn in a school assignment that was due by noon. That was it. That was the last straw, I guess. I felt like I couldn't breath when I realized what I'd done. I was exactly what they had said I was. A failure. That was when I decided to step out, run to the store, get some ice cream, take a breathe, and start again later after I'd calmed down. (That's the missing piece to the puzzle. That's why I gave in to the urge to grab a snack. That is what I wasn't ready to remember. It's so small a thing in retrospect, but at the time it was the end of everything I was trying to build for myself...by myself.)

That didn't happen, though. Something else happened. I don't know what, but I am extra glad I am not that same person. Yes, there are a couple of people left out there that my reactions to are controlled completely by my subconscious. Those people who have ingrained fear into my reactions to them so deeply that I can't think about them without feeling it and an immediate need to protect myself the only way they would let me in the past, just obey. However, overall I am a much healthier person now than I was in my "past life."

Before, I would talk some about what bothered me, but then I wouldn't talk it through fully and would continue to worry about it, wallowing in my fear and eventual self-loathing. Today, I don't let stress rule my world. There is always someone who will listen. A friend, a family member, or my blog followers. No stress stays locked up inside. No decision remains unmade. No situation is allowed to fester. Apparently, when I was reset, my brain learned healthy ways to deal with the daily stresses that come with being human.

I've been told by two psychiatrists and a psychiatric nurse (in the hospital in Joliet), that I have less of a chance of ever experiencing another dissociative fugue than someone that has never experienced one in their life, and the chance drops even further if I can figure out why it happened and deal with the problems. Well, apparently my mind already knew the problem and started dealing with it before it let my conscious mind discover the truth. I am thankful to know that my friends and family will never have to experience what they did for those 3+ weeks that I was missing (with a 99.999% certainty anyway.)

If any of you are in a situation where you don't feel like you can talk to others about your stress, but you are drowning in your troubles, please find someone to help you before it's too late. Don't let what happened to me happen to you, or something different and just as bad. Please remember that there are people who care. I care. I may not know you personally, but I still care.

2 comments:

  1. Dawn Hoffius-MillerJuly 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    You're doing great Amber! I love hearing your progress and updates!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dawn. The encouragement is greatly appreciated.

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