Since this blog is about recovery specifically recovery from complex PTSD and workplace abuse and since I keep alluding to my amazing recovery, I need to go back to that place in space and time. The place where recovery began. The place where the rubber met the road.
A place of intense pain, confusion and questioning. Questioning about everything especially about my worth and my value. Pain which didn't quit. Which was with me every day, every waking moment. Confusion. Why did this happen to me? What did I do wrong?
I find that trying to even start writing about this period of time from late 2004 to late September 2006 is like trying to pull a very obstinate cork, tightly wedged cork out of a bottle. It just doesn't want to go.
Once I do get it out, then what? Are the contents going to come out placidly? Or are they going to spew all over the place?
You see, I had two back-to-back workplace bullying experiences. Both very different. Both very devastating. Because of the therapy and recovery that had taken place and also, perhaps, because this one last much longer than the previous experience, I was able to identify the second abusive situation while I was going through it and try unsuccessfully to get it stopped.
The first workplace bullying situation, though, took me years to recognize for what it was. I just thought it was a "bad work situation". My counsellor at that time (not the same one I have now - but that's its own separate part of the story) called it a "personality conflict".
I almost never speak about that first experience any more. When it was happening, I tried. Oh, how I tried. But I was consistently cut off. People just didn't want to hear about my pain. They wanted to fix it. Not walk with me through it.
As a traumatized person, I have discovered that I relive the traumatic experience when I recount it. It's like I'm right there. Physically there. In that place. In that circumstance. In that trauma.
As I've recounted various things in the last week, I've found that it's very draining. You wouldn't think of sitting at a computer, typing up a blog as physically demanding, but it is. In the sense that it's been emotionally draining. And when the emotions are drained, so is the body.
I've experienced the re-emergence of physical repercussions in the last week such as headaches, exhaustion, increased itchiness. Repercussions which have sucked my strength and tied me again and again to my bed. Too tired, too weak to move.
The challenge, for me, is to tell this part as a story. Without the commentary - as much as possible. The commentary will come later as I explore the different paths recovery has taken. As I relate what I learned after the experience had ended which has enabled me to survive a second, far worse abusive situation in the workplace.
For now it's the story that's important.
As I relate this almost two year period of time, it will be divided into three separate strands: the first abusive workplace situation; the 18 months following it in which no healing happened; and the final straw which broke the camel's back and left me in a world of hurt - or should I say a world of more hurt piled upon hurt?
In the following posts, I will be baring myself to you, the reader. sharing with you one the darkest periods of my life.
I ask you to walk gently with me.
In the meantime, have a good weekend wherever you are in this beautiful wide world of ours. I will return on Monday with a new series entitled "My Story".
See you then.
P.S. - I've had no response about a possible picture for this blog from yesterday's posting. Anyone out there willing to speak up?