quitting opiates cold turkey- on day 3 - Part 31

By smith9666 · Dec 1, 2014 · ·
  1. LG,

    It definately went in slow motion. I actually just recently watched it on DVR. Its hard to imagine that it really was only about 10 minutes because it felt like an hour at the time. Its crazy how many things go through your mind as it happens though.

    I have a copy of the police report and all of that but I have not looked at his name or asked any further questions. I'm not sure why. I also do not know what his motivation was other then he just wanted the money. I guess to some people that is a lot of money.

    I think I have processed it well but my therapist would disagree with that. He says and continues to say that I haven't fully realized that I could have died that day. It hasn't hit me yet I guess. I'm not sure because I feel a lot better about it.

    And yes, it is the same boss. We are both at a different store then where the incident happened but we were moved at the same time to the same store. I think they figured we may be able to talk to each other about it. I have known him since I first started with the company and we are pretty close so Im glad that they kept us together. They transfer us a lot so I hadn't worked with him for a few years prior to last october but he's a great boss. Very supportive.


  1. Jungledog
    Ok Smith. I have been wondering when you would be ready to share. I believe all drug use relates to medicating emotions. Yes, for us with chronic pain the use began legitimately, but the abuse started to numb up emotional stuff. It is also my hope that sharing this hurt with others who have experienced similar horrors will help us heal. Yes therapists are good and even though I have told mine most of the shit I have suffered through he has no fucking clue what this shit means other than what they taught him in school.

    I am sorry it happened to you. I know when I was raped it felt like fucking time stood still. My memories are so clear it is like it happened yesterday not 30 years ago. I remember how I felt, what I thought, what I smelled. My guess is this is the same for you. Then you start to questioning the whys. Why did this guy do this? Why did he not shoot me? Why did he raise his gun to the cops? Worst part is the questions go unanswered so you can't fully process things.

    People who commit crimes such as this are desperate. He thought he needed the money for something...drugs?? But what stands out in my mind is this. He raised his gun to a wall full of cops. That is classic "death by cop" suicide. Meaning he didn't want the money. He wanted to die and this was a way to accomplish this without having to pull the trigger himself. I have unfortunately tried to resuscitate quite a few of these people. A normal person faced with that would have given up.

    Anyhow, pretty much all people who live through trauma have mild PTSD and this presents as anxiety, rumination about events then attempts to completely repress it, insomnia, easily startled, and hyper arousal. The symptoms might persist but you do learn to manage them.

    When I worked in the ER, I experienced more than one assault. It is a very dangerous place to work. One night at 4 am I was working triage. The men I worked with were all busy in the back and the triage room was really far from them. I let a guy in and I knew immediately that he was high on some stimulant. I made the mistake of allowing him to get between me and the door. Long story short is he attacked me. Held me by my neck off the floor and began to strangle me. The code button was on the wall and I frantically hit it. All the men came running thinking I had a patient down. He heard them as they got close and dropped me. They got him and one guy I work with literally beat the shit out of him until the others stopped him. Why do I bring this up?

    Because the symptoms from all my unfortunate assaults resulted in the same response. I suppressed it. I mean I have always been able to talk about the events but I never really processed the emotional fall out. It is difficult to live life after shit like this. I too am hyper aware of my environment. On some level I live my life scanning for the next assault. Not healthy but wondering if on some level you feel this way too? If you are willing, I would love to work through some of this emotional nightmare with you. I guess I would like to talk with someone who understands what this shit feels like.

    It is weird but the ER staff was very, very close. We literally survived some serious stuff together and it led to a closeness beyond family. I think that is what is happening here. I knew you were holding something back and I knew you were just deciding if you were ready to share. It sounds like you probably have not talked about what this event did to you emotionally. I urge you to take your time but please try to share how this made you FEEL. Maybe together we can process this stuff?

    My attacks left me with a sense that the world is inherently dangerous. It left me feeling vulnerable, scared, confused, angry, fearful, sad, hurt, and hopeless. I have processed some of these things but sometimes something will suddenly take me back and it is like I am right there in the moment. Does this happen to you too?

    Smith, I love you girl and I am sorry you had to go through this. It makes me sad and angry. I am so very proud though that you had the strength to share it here. That is a big step.
  2. lostlygirl
    Its interesting what you say, JD, Smith, because I feel exactly the same way. I feel the exactly as if the world not a safe place. I haven't as yet talked about the stuff that happened after my mothers death yet, but what you were describing, how time stood still, how you can remember every smell, what it tastes like, what fear tastes like, how you can recall every second of the event in laser sharp focus. The last year of my mothers life, when she was in the hospital, after she died, I was homeless for a while. All thoughts turn to survival. That's it. You can't process shit because all you are doing in that moment is surviving. That's what trauma truly is about. It's about getting through that second, to the next, and so forth. That becomes your focus.

    (I also saw the beginnings of my sisters stranger attack. I was 11, she was 13, we were riding our scooters on the street at 8:00 am on a Saturday morning. Our house was right on a corner of a busy street, cars were driving all over. We were on the less busy street and a man turned the corner. He was completely naked. I saw him and ran home as fast as I could. I thought my sister was following but she had not seen him. He came up behind her and dragged her into a lane just behind our house and began to rape her. Luckily, the milk man saw what was happening and stopped it. The continued police questioning is what I remember the most.) It's funny that I can talk about this, but I can't talk about what it was like to be homeless. To be really, really hungry. To not have a home to go home to. I couldn't process that all 3 of my caregivers were dead, I was too busy figuring out who would let me stay with them for the night, or what I was going to do it I couldn't find anyone, or looking for penny's to buy food.

    Something changes in the core of who you are. There is an internal shift that makes you strong. You can almost feel the moment that it happens. The moment when you decide you are taking control of the situation, the moment you are no longer the victim. The moment where you chose to make it out of this or die trying. The flight response is gone and in an instant the fight response overwhelmingly kicks in. In that second you have processed all you need to process and the decision is made. (I would imagine but am not sure, that for Smith it was when you refused to get on the floor, for JD when you frantically pressed the button) And, then you become strong. Because it's either that or be beaten. There is no other choice. It's live or die. That's it. That's what shit like this teaches you. You can't process it because you are too busy just getting so very strong that it doesn't happen again. Besides, it was all processed in the second you refused to be a victim. When you decided to make it out alive. What's is there to process? You either survived or you didn't. End of story.

    For whatever reason there has been a bond between the three of us, something unspeakable that just exists. It's a strength in survival, that other people are not going to take us down. That we will not be victims in a very unsafe world. It creates a drive in you that other people just don't understand, and, at times it can be a lonely place. For me it helps put life into perspective. I rarely, if ever, sweat the small stuff.

    And, this is how I know that we will make it. That we will be a part of the 5% club. We will be a part of the 5% club because in reality, compared to all other shit, this is a walk in the park. (Maybe a walk in the park on a very wet, dreary, miserable day....:) )

    All three of us feel like we have processed our trauma, all the of us have counselors that disagree, and all three of us abused our pain meds. I am sensing a theme! Between all three of our threads are woven the stories that make up three individual lives, and yet, if you were to only read one of the threads you would miss out on the whole story. There is something beautiful in that.

    Hugs, xxoo
  3. Jungledog
    LG and Smith,

    I am sitting on the phone suffering through a fucking 4 hour long faculty meeting and it is still going strong...so fuck it, I am done. This thread is way more interesting than talking about academic shit.

    Firstly, I really don't place a shit ton of faith in therapists (sorry if your handsome, well-dressed therapist is reading this). Why? Well, I have taken plenty of graduate level psychology courses and even a family therapy course that focused on domestic violence and child abuse. I know what the books say. Yes, I think talk therapy is helpful for processing emotions and traumatic events but really I don't care how much time you spend talking about this shit...it remains in your head. I did a presentation about PTSD once. The most interesting part is that the newer research shows that the trauma literally causes physically changes to the amygdala which results in the memory literally being burned into your brain in a way that the "tape" will replay forever. So physical and emotional trauma results in physical changes to the memory center of the brain which results in persistent "reliving" and experience of the event. Talking about it does not alter the amygdala. I also feel that if you are going to offer insight into my experience you better damn well have lived this shit too. If not, what exactly are you offering me? What you learned in school? Really??? It's kind of like childless people offering you parenting advice. You haven't lived trauma...well then I don't value your take on it.

    On this same note, I DO value what the two of you have to offer...or anybody else here who has lived the nightmare. I do think there is a bond between us and themes for sure. I am going to boldly make another statement. I don't think I will go back to abusing my meds. I had lived 27 years past my first rape and through ugly, ugly other shit in the trenches of the ER (assaults...I have been bitten, punched, strangled, kicked, spit at, head butted and I have seen the UGLIEST violence...old ladies raped, children sexually assaulted and infants burned with cigarettes or put in pots of boiling hot water...hell one lady came in with a grilling fork through her calf because her boyfriend was unhappy with his steak so he stabbed her). Through all this crap...I never abused drugs or alcohol. I processed it. I exercised like a mad woman and I shared it with my husband. When I lost my partner, I lost my support and outlet for letting things go. Then I turned to the numbness of oxycodone. I lost my focus. My focus is back...as is my most important support structure.

    And yes, I think when you survive shit like assaults or homelessness you turn into a hyper-focused, workaholic adult who over-achieves. You ARE stronger and more determined than the average person. You turned your hurt to productivity. This is a coping skill. I think talking about our experiences here is very therapeutic and helpful. I will value any insight you two provide.

    Yes, the trauma changed the core of who we are and yes, it makes us strong. Yes, we all stumbled when the going was tough. Smith, yours was right after the event. LG and I stumbled years after burying the events. But if we can really be aware and honest about WHY we used the drugs, then we can stop using them too. At least this is what I believe. I have 239 hydrocodone pills sitting in my bathroom (yes, I decided not to flush them...I needed to know if I could trust myself). I have had ONE in two months for legitimate pain. For me, I needed to know in my head that I could be trusted...that I could stay the path and oddly being able to keep my hands out of the cookie jar makes me strong. Maybe it is false hope and I am an idiot but I think I am on the right track.

    Finally, yes our threads combined paint a very, very interesting story! Hugs to you both!
  4. lostlygirl
    Yes, yes, yes to everything said. JD, your comments on trauma are absolutely fascinating. I can see how traumatic events can be carved into your memory and be replayed over and over.

    My ex has a Masters in counseling and I wrote most of his papers for him. While I found the whole degree very interesting, there are so many theories that you can literally find any theory to fit whatever any counselor wants. That kinda made me jaded. There are so many bad counselors out there it's not even funny, and I have been to my fair share of them. (My favorite was the one that spent 5 minutes of the session asking questions, didn't listen to any of the responses, and then spent the next 50 min lecturing me on everything I was doing wrong..... Yeah, there's an hour I'll never get back)

    My counselor now has experienced his fair share of pain which is why he works so well for me. By the time I found him I was so jaded with counselors that I wasn't going to share my life with any of them. He was our marriage counselor who I also began seeing individually. In our first individual session I asked him to tell me why I should trust him, what made him different from all the rest, and he told me his story. His story broke my heart. Our relationship works because he lets me in. He innately knows I won't trust anyone with my life story who isn't willing to trust me with theirs.

    I don't think I will go back to abusing pain meds either. I can tell I am just done with them. All three of us are.

    Who the FUCK burns their kids???? There are NO WORDS that describe how angry that makes me. I hope they get everything they deserve in jail. I have no tolerance for any kind of abuse, but there is a special place in hell for those who abuse animals and kids.

    JD, Just out of curiosity, have you come across Dr's and nurses who treat scum like that (if they happen to be needing treatment in the ER) by letting them wait longer, or by giving them little less pain meds, or being a little more tough/rough on them?

    Smith, how are you doing today? How did your visit with your counselor go?

    Hugs, xxoo
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