Monday, March 2, 2015

Day 202: Experiencing Trauma Part 2 | Nervous Breakdown

Continuation from:

These blogs are based on the following Interview:

"Eventually my paranoia turned into sleep walking, where after an evening of sleeping over at a friends house, my friend would tell me the next morning that they were woken up in the middle of the night to noises coming from the kitchen. There lol they would find me unpacking their kitchen cupboards mumbling to myself. This sleep walking also happened at home where my mom and dad would often find me wandering up and down the passage way and often when they would go to bed they would find me sitting by their bedroom door. I would of course not remember any of this the next morning…"

Then In school I had a nervous breakdown: what happened was that a school bully turned his attentions onto me for months. Eventually my mind tried to cope with this experience and projected it outwards onto something else I could be afraid of. I mean if I look back at it now, a child who was relatively stable probably would have been ok, but my mind was very inverted, very unsure and it was as if my platform within my mind for being able to handle stress was simply not there or simply had no stable foundation. Therefore I started developing an intense fear of thunder storms - yes you heard me thunder storms. I remember one day my mom was late picking me up from school and when she did arrive hours later I was completely alone, no other child or car anywhere to be seen. I was standing on the side walk in front of the school sopping wet afraid that my mother was not going to pick me up. The fear of abandonment, of a parent going away was so fresh in my mind that this moment where my mother was late sent me into a new trauma which obviously my mind could not deal with. My mother finally arrived and off we went. On our way home due to all the rain and flooded roads our car broke down. Some people stopped and gave us a lift to their house where we waiting for my father to fetch us. My father took a very long time to come and fetch us (was probably only an hour but to me it felt very long) and I remember in my mind I was worried that he would not arrive or at least wondering 'why it was taking so long'. This whole dynamic really messed with my young mind - it was slowly unbalancing me.

The next day I wake up and it is cloudy outside. As I get up and prepare for school a weird kind of panic sets into my young mind and body and my mind starts explaining that I cannot go out into the rain. I told my mom but knew that she would not understand so also told her that I was not feeling well. The next day the same thing happened where I woke up and even though it was sunny I was completely paralysed with fear. My mother tried persuading me to go to school but I started crying hysterically mumbling about the weather and storms and that I just could not go out there. My mom and dad let me stay away from school for a few days and then realised they had a problem. Each morning they would try and coax me out of the house and I would literally grip onto the door frame and cry, begging them to not let me go 'out there where it might storm'. Eventually my parents saw a day when it was sunny and they convinced me probably with presents or something to get in the car so that they could take me to the doctor.

The doctor asked me some questions about what was going on in my life, in school and cleverly steered the conversation in the correct way to find out that a boy in my class had been bullying me for a few months. The school was contacted and the boy was removed to another class. Now the next step was to get me to the school 'councillor'. I don’t think this councillor was a councillor. It was simply the headmaster who stood as that role and pretended to know what a child needed. I am sure we all have some stories of people in the education or child care fields who really don’t know what they are doing and try and treat children according to their own frame of reference or some old school psychology method from the 1950's which would be found in the same textbooks as 'How to perform a Lobotomy'.

Anyway after speaking to me for a while and trying to tell me that everything was 'ok' he then said to me ok I am now going to say goodbye to my parents and go to my classroom. Of course complete fear overtook me and I immediately went and clung to my parents. Some how (cannot remember clearly) he gets me away from them and tells them to leave. Now I am in a complete state of panic and feel like my entire mind is collapsing in on itself. My parents start leaving and I remember just thinking of how to get to them, to not let them leave without me. I lie to the headmaster and tell him that I am ok but I just wanted to say bye to my parents properly. He agrees and I dash off crying like a mad thing, clinging like a monkey to my mom's dress. I am begging them not to leave me. At this stage my mother is crying because now she does not know what to do and the headmaster (realising he had been duped by a little kid) pulls me away from my mother picks me up and carries me in the opposite direction. As soon as my parents are out of sight he puts me down and tries to explain to me that I need to go to class. Shit I was completely beside myself. I beg and plead and I think at some stage I even threated him for 'taking him away from my parents' lol like he was some kidnapper. Anyways he was not going to be duped twice so he just said he is taking me to my class and there everything will be ok. He picked me up and threw me over his shoulder and off we go - me crying and begging and screaming for all the world to hear. We get to just outside the class room and he puts me down.

Now my hysteria has subsided to at least just a cry, because now I know my class mates are just inside and can hear me plus I am getting very tired. He opens the door slightly and asks for the teacher to come out and he explains to her what has happened and that she must please take me in and help me get settled. Shame I tried to explain to her my dilemma and that she please needs to let me go to my parents but she did not fall for it lol. Anyways she leads me into the classroom and even though I was still crying and felt completely constricted with panic - all that was stopping me now from complete hysteria was all of these faces starring at me. The teacher tactfully explains that I was not feeling well and that they must all please be nice to me and make me feel welcome. She explained that they were actually in the middle of a test, but that she would help me. So she sat next to me and would ask me the question and whether I would get them right or wrong she would fill in the correct answers and made sure I passed the test.

Looking back at that whole situation now I again cannot fathom why these people did not send me to a child psychologist. I remember for months I was still traumatised by the 'weather' and I remember I would over the weekends refuse to leave the house if the weather looked unstable. If I was sitting in class towards the end of the school day I would simply stare out the window at the clouds. Just watch the clouds like a monster that was slowly, painfully turning from its dark corner to pounce. I would just sit there 'praying' to the skies, to please not storm on my way home. I was petrified that a storm might break out as I was leaving the school and I had to go 'out there' where I had minimal cover while I waited for my buss.

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