I don’t know about you, but I am so sick of bloody video calls now. I cannot take much more Zoom Doom, Skype Shite, FaceCrime, or WhatsCrap. Sure, technology has been helpful and without it I wouldn’t be able to work right now, but I am starving for real human connection (and that’s not just from a therapy perspective – I need my wife back!!). My world is backlit in blue light and my brain is completely done in. I feel overstimulated and overwhelmed and I am sure this is, in part, down to the amount of time I spend staring at screens (it’s not lost on me that I am at my laptop typing this – but writing is helpful so…!!).
It’s been two weeks- so far- in isolation but honestly it feels like months. My wife contracting COVID has turned our world completely upside-down. To say that I am going slightly (a lot) crazy is an understatement. It’s been a long, hard, scary slog these last few weeks and at times I have felt like I was drowning in overwhelm.
I can usually switch myself into gear for work but this week I have been staring at the screen, knowing I need to start the call, and a voice inside has been crying ‘I just can’t’. I like my students, we have a good laugh, but it’s just felt like the part of me that is funny, and capable, and light-hearted just isn’t available. Of course, I somehow find a way to be the right version of myself in the moment – frankly there’s no choice, we need to eat and right now it’s only me who is earning anything but it’s taking everything I have got to function as I need to. It’s been a shocking week for internet glitches – one session Zoom booted my student out 5 times!
Juggling home-schooling for both my children, trying to do my job competently, looking after everyone 24/7, and trying to not freak out about my wife who has been hit really hard with COVID has been a struggle. When everything feels unsafe and insecure in my day-to-day it’s not very long until the wheels fall of internally. I have been hanging on by a thread and by bedtime I am on the verge of tears (and I am not really a crier). The internal feeling juddering is horrific and I feel like I have electric pulsing through my feet. I really need to see K and get a nervous system reset! God, I wish!
My sleep has been appalling, lately. I rarely fall asleep until after 1am. Then I wake up again at 3am, toss and turn and stress and then drift off again, and that’s when the anxiety serves me up textbook nightmares. It’s happened every single fucking night for weeks: plane crashes, streets of burning houses, being chased… my poor system is just terrified. I’ve had dreams with my lovely dead friend, my dead dad, I mean it’s just been utterly heart-breaking and scary. Several nights I have woken up with my heart racing and in floods of tears. I think it’s fair to say that I’m not doing brilliantly.
And because we’re in isolation it’s felt like everything that I have been facing I have been facing alone. I know I am not alone, not really; I call my wife on FaceTime and I have spoken to Anita but life has become pretty much a non-contact sport. I am so grateful that I have my kids but hugging them is very different from receiving a hug from another adult. It’s me holding my kids and not them holding me (which is as it should be) but the fall out of not being allowed to touch my wife or see Anita face-to-face is that I feel like the baby I was in the incubator all those years ago. No touch, no regulation, just stuck in a box scared and alone.
What I really need is a big containing long holding ‘it’s all going to be ok’ hug. I need to be back in my own bed next to my wife. I need my team mate back on the field because being a woman down is not easy!
I need to be able to leave the boundary of my property and go for a walk. I need some time on my own away from my children – I love them dearly but it’s been intense essentially being a single parent these last few weeks as well as their teacher!
I need to know where we are at with regard to my wide’s job. I need to know if we are going to be facing the possibility of a redundancy next week. I need stability but failing that, I just want to know what we are dealing with.
And yes… I need to see Anita. In person. I need to let the child parts out and let them get some kind of holding and reassurance. I need the energy in a room with her. The body language. Eye contact. Just all of it. A’s been so accommodating to me this week (but then isn’t she always?!). It’s all been kicking off inside for me but yesterday my daughter was losing her shit over something she’d been asked to do by her teacher and was in tears over it. This lockdown is really affecting the kids much more than last year. They desperately need their friends and routine and stability. Schools are asking a lot of children this time around and I really feel sorry for them (this is not just my young kids but all the students I teach 11-18 from many schools).
Anyway, I was just about to have my call with A and was sitting in the living room when I heard sobbing coming from my daughter’s room. My phone started ringing as I was walking down the corridor to her room. I picked up and explained that I couldn’t talk because I needed to sort out my little one. Anita was fine about it and said she was free all morning and just to call when I was free and to take my time and do what I needed.
We were scheduled to talk for half an hour (because of my fucking lack of money!) but it ended up being an hour (I didn’t realise – the time just went because there has been so much to hold this week) and Anita said to just pay her for half an hour. I was so grateful to her. We spoke about how hard it is to get things squeezed in and she suggested moving my Friday morning session to after the kids are in bed so I can talk freely and not be up against it. She is really so kind and I absolutely can’t believe how lucky I am to have found her after Em.
This year has been so tough in so many different ways but I know for certain that I would have been in a far worse state had I still been working with Em. At least the attachment stuff and the agony of it hasn’t been too bad with Anita and if it has got triggered, I have been able to tell her!
What else?…aside from the immediate life crisis, it’s been a weird few weeks internally, too. It’s been a year since the stuff with Em ending. The 3rd February was our termination session. And whilst I am in no way desperate to see Em or go back to that hell I am still reeling from how it ended. Currently, if anything, I seem to be enveloped in a protective rage about it all and just want to let her know exactly what I think of her!
So….that’s just a moan and a ‘this is where I am at’…I’m sincerely hoping for my wife to get a negative test result, and to go get tested myself so that I can perhaps get back to Anita on Tuesday evening.
Love to you all and big thanks to those of you have emailed to check in and offer your support. It means a lot xx