As defined by WEBMD:
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), once called shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome, is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. PTSD is a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster. Families of victims can also develop PTSD, as can emergency personnel and rescue workers.
Many people think that PTSD is an excuse. I would trade places with them in heartbeat if they would like to experience the effects of horrific events that led to my diagnosis.
I spent several years of my late teens being angry and making bad choices. The first traumatic event I can remember was a step father hitting me….and then a step father sexually abusing me….and then a step father emotionally and verbally terrorizing me. Some of these actions set me up for later choices in life.
I chose a man who beat me…this is when I would beg God for death. I couldn’t understand why I should still be here, but I was paralyzed for a time and couldn’t leave. The last time I can remember thinking this had to be it was when he punched me in the face and dropped me to the concrete at a local park. He helped me up and to the car. He would cry and beg me to forgive him. This was the last time…I knew that I wouldn’t last much longer if I stayed. The last time I heard his voice he threatened to put a bullet in my head because, the bullshit line, “If I can’t have you, no one can”. After that I became a shut in for about a year. The sound of a neighbor’s door slamming or the people at the end of the walk fighting would send me into blind fear. If I could only sleep the other four hours of the day away…then it would all be okay.
To this day I feel I can still feel the effects of that period in my life. If someone moves to quickly or if there is a loud noise. It may not affect me every time, but when I am deep in thought or preoccupied with something it hits me in waves. My soon to be ex husband once got in my face and I recoiled in fear which enraged him even more. He pointed his finger in my face and yelled “don’t act like you are afraid or that I have hit you” . I can think of this moment now and realize what kind of man, who claims love, could be so uncaring or inconsiderate of what someone has been through. That is neither here nor there now….but a moment like that sets me back years in my healing process.
Fast forward three months and here I am….
I do that sometimes……I shut myself away from a lot. I don’t want to burden the world with my troubles, let alone burden the ones I love. I am seeing daylight again…finally. I finally hired an attorney because we get no where and I am as tired as he is. I want to move forward and cant with that part of m life. I have many thoughts and opinions concerning this that will wait until everything is final because sometimes people like to try to dig into my life.
So I finally slept last night….more solid than I have in a very long time. My PTSD has heightened recently because I fear his anger. So here I am….I have been doing a lot of diving into the effects and ways to heal help heal myself. I know it will never fully go away but I also know there are times it will subside. I think many events over the last three months that I have held in contributed to my recent state of mind. Not a very healthy state at all….
So here’s to sunrises and new days. To healing the past and moving into the future. To forgiveness and loving someone wholly….scars and all. Never judging a book by its cover and being compassionate.
Happy Sunday….and everyday.