I hate measurements.
How severe is your pain?
How many milligrams of that medicine do you take?
How long have you noticed this happening?
What is working for you?
What makes it worse?
If you have ever seen a doctor of any kind you have been asked these questions.
In matters of PTSD sometimes clients give answers just to make their doctor feel better or because they are tired of saying it is still the same.
If they could tell the truth it would be this:
Most days feel the same, I am amazed I am still alive. The pain is killing me slowly, not fast enough for relief but enough that I already feel dead. Sometimes I don’t take my medicine because I want to be normal and don’t want people to see me take it when the timer goes off. I don’t want them asking what it is for because it is not just a blood pressure pill and if I say it is for my anxiety I might get a flashback.
I try not to think sometimes because you told me my mind is my worst enemy but I was also told that I have to face the truth and then I was also told I have to rewire my brain so I try to do all those things but then I get overstimulated and have to dissociate again.
There are days that though I am in pain and empty I am amazewd because I acted completely normal and no one even knew how much I was hurting when I was laughing. I am glad I can still make that noise sometimes. I don’t give myself enough credit for what do because deep down I think there is something wrong with me and no matter how much I reach out for help I feel more pressure to be better…..people are scared of my pain.
But if I am walking around like this but I physically appear fine it makes me wonder what I am missing about someone else…..how many of us are pretending.
Most days I can’t feel my feet on the ground and although I honestly want to…..I also don’t want to. It is hard to be alone. And my head often feels like it is on backwards. I don’t know if I am taking a nap because I don’t want to deal with life anymore or because I actually need the sleep to help me heal. Someone ran into me at the grocery store yesterday and I smiled because it reminded me I am not a ghost.
When I say I am going to be myself for Halloween no one thinks I am funny. My sarcasm is a morbid defense, but I don’t want to call people crying anymore, and I truly want to be happy but I don’t know what steps to take to get there when I am doing everything you tell me to do. I have a job, pay my bills, eat three meals a day and talk to people so I am not isolated. I even journal.
I don’t want to be a victim anymore, I want to be a victor, I don’t want to be that client you talk about at seminars who wears their pain as a badge because it is their identity, but I also don’t want to hide it because sometimes it feels worse and like a monster, I want to validate it and integrate it, but somehow I keep rejecting myself and you keep saying it is a process but it has been over a year and I am starting to fade.
I think I am dissociated all the time and you keep telling me it is a good sign I am aware of it, but all the exercises you gave me to do just make it worse. Some days I take extra of my medicine and then I stop myself because something inside is still fighting to thrive not just survive and if I die I kill that chance.
I am tired of feeling pain or feeling empty I question God because I feel like he has the power to make me feel love and I keep begging for that. But then I am convinced there is a God because I am so confused and feel so awful yet I wake up and eat and work and have conversations. It is all so terribly draining.
I am always tired and when you say to take it one day at a time I really really want to punch you because today I am planning for tomorrow so I can survive and then make it to the next appointment to make you feel better and somehow because I know I want to, and I know the war in the past is over but the one I am fighting with myself is so much worse.
You keep saying this didn’t happen overnight so I won’t get better overnight. But really this did happen overnight it has just been trying to live after.
I hate measurements, I say this again because a lot of people understand this feeling with PTSD whether they suffer with it due to childhood trauma or being in the military. Some people may have experienced both, but to each is their own pain and I don’t think we can look at a vet and say…hey at least you weren’t raped by your sibling and I don’t think we can look at a child abuse survivor and say well at least you weren’t in the military.
People are under the impression one is worse than the other and usually whomever belongs to one of those groups they downplay their own PTSD at least I wasn’t …etc.
We all have hyper-vigilant vision and hearing…and trust no one including ourselves.
The measurement I hate the worst is take it one day at a time. WE rush away days to say we made it and because it hurts or because we don’t want to get so spaced out we can’t get home. We also want it to be over. We talk about it a lot and that makes it better and worse and worse and better and worse again. Sometimes people don’t heal in a linear fashion or circular…sometimes it is chaos after chaos. I think most of us truly do try to deal with it and heal from it but it is a hard battle to fight every moment.
With PTSD it is proof that life is a war,
and sometimes the biggest battle we win is that…
We choose over and over everyday….to wake up.