Monday, February 6, 2012
PTSD A Recurring Suck fest of Fun.
I have to face a sad fact tonight. I am not the brave chick I thought I was. I have not been the smartest cookie in the box of Nilla wafers. I have coped with my issues as best I could, but I have lied to myself to save face, to keep trudging. Tonight I attened a womens group for Domestic Violence. I have shared my story many times in public and in theraputic settings. I rarely cry about it, because it is the past and not much can be done about it. Its done. Whining doesnt fix it. Learning about why I do the things I do is what I try to focus on. Solutions not problems.
I think I am fairly brave and strong. When I am standing in front of a crowd telling my story, or at an art show, selling my Jewelry, I have no problem. I traveled the world alone in my previous career as a cruise agent.
Sail to Southampton on the Queen Elizabeth II and take the Orient Express to London, Chunnel over to Paris and Jet home on the Concorde with 30 customers? No problem! Cruise the Greek Isles and Turkey? Wandering the streets of Istanbul, exploring the Aga Sofia and the Blue Mosque? Piece a cake. Flying standby in countries where I could not speak the language? easypeasy. I even slept through a crash during take off with a flock of gulls which took out an engine and we had to emergency land in Franfurt. ( Ok that worried me a bit)
But this residual PTSD from my past assaults has me stumped! I have gone through therapy off and on for 14 years. Been under a doctors care for most of that, medicated often, suicide attempts four times for the real serious ones, hospital trips, and countless nights of trying to sleep with the lights and tv on.
Tonight I sat with women who have been through what I have been. I listened to their stories, my story, from their mouths. And I began to cry. For the woman whose daddy blackmailed her, or for the one who is still hurting or the ones from the shelter in town. the ones who just got away, the ones with fresh marks. The one who was lifting me up while she was still in pain. I felt God tonight in the healing, sharing simple words of these women. I shared what I had learned about my long journey and how scared I still am. I dont need to be brave in front of them.
They understand. I understand the words of anger, the self hatred, the confusion, the fear of ever trusting myself again.
PTSD is not something everyone gets apparently. Some soldiers or firemen or witnesses of accidents or crimes can get it, based on what their personal make up and histories are. Symptoms include, jumpiness, exagerrated startle response, depressions, anger, rage, nervousness, flashbacks at times based on triggers and that sort of thing. ( can be a scent of Irish Spring for me and I ll start trembling and crying)
One Dr told me once, that I had a severe case of it and I dismissed him. Not me. I m super woman. I can handle my life Dr Man...
Bad thing about denial is you dont know you are in it while you are in it! I have tried for years to be just like everyone else. Refusing to believe that some cretinous man could take away any part of my soul, my brain. He already took a piece of my body, I would be damned if I was going to give him one more minute of my life. I stuffed it away in a box and shoved it into the recesses of the basement of my soul, never to see the light of day. ( I planned)
Unfortunately, If one doesnt deal with big issues like rape, molestation, abuse, or any other trauma from earlier times, one WILL be facing it. The brain saves us for so long, but when it says its time, your body is safe, or "I cant take it no more" Ka Boom! Out explodes every oozy creepy nasty thought and memory you thought you successfully and neatly evaded.
After talking with these women, hugging them, and hearing their walks, battles and fears, I am surprised at how easily I was able to admit my fears and my anger when I couldnt get that far in months of a therapist's office! Maybe this group can help me move past this hatred of mankind, myself and my choices of my past. (I know I didnt choose what happened when I was 6, but the adult mind, tries to blame me. ) And apparently I am not alone. I am not alone.