Archive for August 4th, 2008

I recently returned to my hometown, where I experienced most of my child abuse. I do not recommend doing this unless you have a really good reason to put yourself through it. I had such a difficult time on this past trip that I have decided not to return to my hometown again. I will probably return to my hometown for my grandmother’s funeral (she is in her nineties), and I will consider returning for my next high school reunion (not due for a few years). Other than that, I have decided to love myself enough not to put myself through the trauma I experience each time I return to my hometown.

My symptoms begin about a week before the trip. I start struggling with insomnia. I put off going to bed because I do not want to face the nightmares. I toss and turn until I finally drop off to sleep. I awaken in the middle of the night, pouring sweat in terror, and it takes me a good hour to fall back to sleep again (assuming I can even manage to fall back to sleep). I feel physically lousy from lack of sleep.

I also start binge eating again or at least emotionally overeating. I put on several pounds because I need the food. I also find myself drinking a lot more beer than I typically do. (I am only talking about one beer a night, but still…)

I become very edgy, which my family picks up on and reacts to. So, in addition to feeling awful myself, I wind up having multiple arguments with my husband and child. I find myself coming unglued over the smallest things. I can see myself overreacting to what is going on around me, but I feel helpless to stop it.

I also find myself battling waves of urges to self-injure and even a peppering of suicidal urges. I made a life decision a long time ago never to give in to suicidal urges, but it is still awful to have to feel them. I feel the undercurrents of despair that intensify as the day to return to my hometown approaches.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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