I don't think I'm going to be busting out a book on it anytime soon though. Friday was a difficult day for me. There were a lot of emotions and try as I might to distract myself and practice all of the various tools I've been learning in my skills group, I still struggled. Anxiety attacks in the early afternoon led to a dose of my anti-anxiety meds (which I take rarely, only got a refill since it had been a year since I had filled the last one even though I still had close to half the prescription left over). By ten that night I was feeling sick to my stomach and very much alone. Fortunately the next day I had an appointment with my therapist and that helped immensely. He apologized profusely for not anticipating my struggle and that was something though I know too that I have a tendency of putting on a brave front and thinking I'm going to be fine. For all the talk I have gotten from people in the past about how I "play the victim", the fact is is that more often than not, I try to deal with my problems on my own and THAT has led to more problems but I've learned the hard way that oftentimes, you are pretty much on your own.
So, it was a good session though difficult and we didn't even talk about what happened. I don't think I have actually told the story of the event in detail since the trials. I'm not even sure I can. I mean yeah, I can say I was there, I saw my dad shoot my brother-in-law but details? No. I try not to think of them. And yeah, I was disappointed in myself that it still had this much of an effect on me but was told that that was to be expected considering everything else behind it including the increase sensitivity I have to begin with along with the lack of support I had after the event both right after and as time went on. At any rate, some of the burden was lifted and I was able to admit to a few of the feelings I had kept inside for a long time, like how upset I was to have sort have been the forgotten one in the whole thing. I always felt that was kind of selfish of me though because I didn't lose my husband or my brother or my son. But I was there, had what amounted to front row seats to something extremely horrific and tragic. I had to deal with survivor's guilt because they were at my place because of me because my parents had worked me over so much I was freaking out. I had to deal with finding a new place, had to get through all of this without someone there to support me. John was in South Korea. My parents were in jail for the crime, and everyone else was dealing with their own problems. I had to find a new place to live (and not being married so having my maiden name which was splashed all over the news, that wasn't exactly easy), then move. I had to rehome a dog. I missed a month of work. There were hearings and various things to deal with and it was an extremely difficult time and not everyone around me was the most supportive. Plus, I also ended up being the one to take care of my little sister who was now a widow and halfway through her pregnancy and I'm only about five years older than she is.
So there's definitely a lot of emotions there, emotions that were never resolved, emotions that had to be shoved back in a cobwebby part of my mind so that I could do what needed to be done. I needed to get back to working, I needed to plan a wedding (well, I didn't really but it was about the only way I got through it--think Cristina Yang after the hospital shooting on Grey's Anatomy), I needed to get my sister ready for her senior year of freaking high school and plan for the arrival of her baby as well! It was insane and I had murder trials to deal with as well and all of those feelings and between the two trials, I had to put my dog down and I had had her since I was 13. Then I went back to school, then I got pregnant, then I had my firstborn and I had to deal with all of the trauma from that. There never really was a time to deal with what happened because there was always something else more immediate to deal with. And so I have shoved it away only dealing with it when something reminds me or the anniversary rolls around.
That I'm not any crazier than I am (and for the most part I am a functioning adult and the mother of two children, one of whom I am homeschooling) should be what amazes me but I tend to be harder on myself than that. I think that's because in the back of my mind, I'm afraid that this is only a facade, that really, it's just a matter of time before I crack up completely. Then too, I think it's hard for me to really know what is acceptable for me to feel and what is not having grown up in the kind of household I did where many of my feelings were not considered valid and were often ignored and scoffed at (and later on, medicated).
There are a lot of feelings to untangle, not just from the murder but from all the years before that, my whole childhood really. It's not just unlearning a lifetime of unhealthy behaviors and feelings but also relearning just what is healthy, what is valid, and how to deal with it appropriately. I'm working on it but there's still a lot I need to learn, that's for sure.