No One Talks About PTSD
No one talks about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It makes sense really; it’s not a nice thing to talk about. I should warn you, some of the things you read below could make you feel uncomfortable. If you’ve experienced something traumatic, it could trigger flashbacks. So, if you’re not in a place to process things, go have a cup of tea and listen to your favourite music. This blog can wait for another day.
Post Traumatic—meaning right now in present day, I can be half-living in the past, reliving moments that have deeply traumatized me.
Stress Disorder—meaning, I’m feeling those same feelings, experiencing those same sensations, seeing those faces, thinking those same thoughts: “Survive, survive”. All the while trying to remember it’s over. I am safe. I am safe.
Everything in me says I should not write about it, what can seem a living hell when I suddenly flashback to that time when everything imploded at once. But, there’s a little flicker of light in me that I won’t let die—and that why I’m writing this now.
Depression lies to you. It tells me I don’t have a voice, but I know I do. Depression tells me life will always be like this, but I know this isn’t true. And that’s why I write. Because right now, I can’t speak—my body holds me locked. I can hardly control my responses, or lack there of. So I’m protesting that lack of control by choosing to write my story instead, I am finally ready.
My body might be in lockdown, but I wont let that little ember of light go out. If I do, there’s nothing to live for. So I nurture it and hold it close, and now I’m blowing on it, daring it to become a flame amidst these ashes and city ruins.
Depression prizes the mornings I wake up shaking, and the nights I dare not sleep for the horror that befalls my mind. It’s good friends with PTSD. They tell me they are a part of my make up, something engrained in my personality, a flaw in my character, a punishment for an unbeknownst sin. But neither tells the truth, neither is my friend.
And neither is me. I am not what I am experiencing. I am not what happened to me.
It is not my fault.
I didn’t ‘deserve’ it.
But it happened.
And now I must learn to live through this time of wounding and bleeding and scabbing and healing.
I have wound myself tightly in a cocoon, only letting a few in. I am not able to discern when someone is for me or against me, what is a blanket statement or a personal attack, or what is neither and simply everyday conversation about the weather.
My mind is so busy and weary trying to process these flashbacks and deep fears, that it cannot function how it normally does. I am so fragile that I must protect myself to heal, but I remind myself I must allow those in who can bring healing to my fractured heart.
Those who I can call in the middle of night when I flashback in terror.
Those who will sit with me and simply let me cry.
Those who will let me tell the story, when I’m ready, how I need to.
Those who validate my feelings and experience as something that was indeed sorrowful, but a testament to my character and resolve.
The beauty of humanity is that we have this deep resilience within our very souls that carries us through long periods of darkness. When I lay on my bed, trying to control my erratic breathing and relaxing my seizing muscles, I don’t really know why I keep making myself go through those calming exercises—except I know that if I don’t, I’m giving up. And I refuse to give up.
Somehow, someday, I will be able to live in the present again. The forgiveness I continue to pledge will feel real, and I will learn how to dream of the future once more. I can’t right now, but I’ll do everything I can to hold on until the sun rises.
I’ll see my counsellor, I’ll take my medication, I’ll cry on the bedroom floor, I’ll drink lots tea and light my candle. I’ll pray as I breathe, as I weep, as I shake and as I sleep. And I’ll be brutally honest with God—because if I’m not, how will I learn He loves me amidst my brokenness? How will I come to believe the truth that He never purposed these terrors to lay at rest on me?
I don’t have it all together right now, but I’ll make it. Just love me. Just be there for me. Don’t make assumptions—because you probably don’t know, just like I don’t know about your inner workings either.
I haven’t lost the plot—I’m just trying to make my life a story of hope once again. Send me a text letting me know you care. You don’t need to question me or give me answers; you just need to be here. Because by being here, you’re letting me know that you see me, the real me, despite the monsters that hide under my bed.
When I know you’re with me, I’m a little braver, a little stronger, becoming a bit more whole again. Won’t you help me rebuild what has been torn down?
There’s hope for us yet.