I've given up on the tonic water and am back on unleaded coffee - I still haven't had supper, so I must get on with it. I tried to watch the X Factor, but even that tripe was difficult to concentrate on. So it's back to the kitchen, the fags and this blog. I've just re read some of what I've written - I don't, usually - and it reminded me of writing the diary after Carol died. We weren't told that she had committed suicide; we discovered that much later. Her parents told us she had fallen over in the bath and broken her neck, which was actually quite traumatic for us. I think we would have dealt with it better had we been told the truth, rather than a violent lie. In fact, I sometimes wonder if the dissonance caused by her parents maintaining that fiction was what pushed me over the edge - I can always tell when I'm being lied to. For whatever reason, I had my first breakdown. When I recovered, I couldn't find the diary, and discovered that my Mother had burnt it after having read it. I counted that as an enormous betrayal on her part. It was a slice of my life and I wanted to keep it. Carol's parents are still alive, but we're not in contact - that shrivelled out quite quickly. I think we reminded them too much of Carol.
I'm hoping against hope that I sleep tonight, and that I don't have nightmares. I don't think I've mentioned the nightmares yet - I'll write about them next. They are vile and date from an experience I had in the RAF which was traumatic. I also get flashbacks. My psychologist is referring me to another one who deals with trauma, so maybe that will help. She uses EMDR - eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. I'll look it up and let you know what it's all about, but basically, the therapist makes one follow her finger with one's eyes, whilst talking about the traumatic event. It sounds a bit wacky to me, but apparently there's a lot of evidence to support its use in trauma.
I have been looking at photos of me in uniform - doing that helps me to remember good things. I was very slim, compared to the size I am now - see blog on medication. I was also very fit; I played squash every day except when I was in London, and also belonged to quite a few sports teams. The surgeon who did my knee said that I had wrecked it by playing too much sport, so it was a two edged sword, keeping fit. I've also looked at the 50th birthday album my sister made up for me, with shots of me as a baby onwards. My 50th birthday party was a close thing - I had been in hospital for a long time, and didn't know whether I'd be up for it. However, I managed it, and it was a success, largely thanks to Dinah, my sister. Now I have a party every year for my birthday in the village pub.
I spent 16 years in the RAF defending the Free World , then got bunged out unceremoniously for being bipolar. I and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Funny old world, isn't it?