Breathe. It is now around the middle of July. Breathe. Memories are fading. Peace and calm are being restored. But this year has been tough. On the day…the very day…that marked six years since I was attacked, something happened. It might sound silly….but it caused a wave of panic and terror to wash over me.
A bottle of red wine smashed on the floor next to me and I had glass and red wine all over my feet and ankles. It brought back vivid recollections. I have already written about how smashing glass bottles has sometimes shaken me. So for now, I am going to copy and paste from a passage from a post I published a couple of years ago.
You know…you don’t have to read this stuff…I just find it helpful to have a little place to write about what is going on in my mind and heart. Well, in this case, what was happening to me two-three weeks ago. Right now…peace has returned. I am ok.
I remember saying goodbye to Milly and her husband when they dropped me off at the train station. Somebody had given me a gift. Two bottles of wine, one red and one white, I recall. As I walked towards the train, the gift bag gave way and the wine bottle smashed on the concrete floor. There were glass and wine everywhere.
My main concern was that glass was a hazard to other people. I searched for a member of staff asking if they had any cleaning equipment to clear the glass. I would have done it myself. I asked if they had a hazard sign or cone or tape, to warn other people. The station employee said just to leave it and they would sort it out. I was so anxious. It was my fault. It was my fault there was dangerous glass on the station floor. It was hazardous to other members of the public. I wanted to fix it. I stood rooted to the spot, determined to be a warning to other people that there was broken glass and they must be careful. I became unreasonably emotional and ended up in tears.
It wasn’t really the glass that was upsetting me. It was the situation in my personal life that was overwhelming and was completely taking all the joy out of life. The effects of tiredness and stress can accumulate. If you become isolated with a challenge and do not know who to trust you can become desperate in your thinking. Its as if you are cornered, they are coming at you from all directions, you want to escape. I wanted to fix it. I was ready to accept some responsibility for the situation between Jack and I. But the relationship between us was so strained back then…he would not speak to me.
So, when the wine bottles smashed, I just fell apart. You know the expression “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. I was in a flood of tears. I didn’t know what to do. A guy came over to ask if I was alright. When I explained I had dropped the bottles and now there was broken glass all over the floor, he responded by kicking the glass to the side of the wall (so it was less hazardous I suppose) and telling me not to worry, accidents happen.
The brain is powerful. The things that cause flashbacks are varied…the smell of grass, the smell of men, the warm weather, feeling dehydrated, feeling there are excessive demands on me.
When I was on my way home after work last Friday night there was a man walking towards me. He was carrying a grocery bag. As I neared him, his bag burst open and glass bottles of beer smashed onto the road and beer began running down the hill. It took my brain back to that night I dropped the wine bottles at the station just a few weeks before I was attacked.
I watched the guy. He shrugged and laughed and carried on walking.