Let me start by saying that I get it! I understand now that living with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a continuous daily challenge. Nothing but an uphill battle, and I have struggled with it my entire life. What I am about to confess are things that no one else knows, so secret is out now I suppose. Everyone that I surround myself with all assumed that I had no real issues. My mother even told me at one point that I handle myself very well all things considered. However, they don’t know what demons I have to battle on a daily basis underneath the surface. But is that not always the case? No one ever really asks what is going on… and if they do… do they ever really care?
Finally, I sought out help and was diagnosed with PTSD/Depression/Anxiety at the ripe old age of twenty-eight. However, for the longest time, I thought that I could do things on my own without therapy or other help. But let’s be honest; no one can do it on their own. Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time or someone to talk to.
My PTSD was first triggered by a childhood sprinkled with sexual abuse as well as neglect and abandonment. Then in my teens, I was relentlessly tortured in school to the point where suicide seemed like the only way out. The bullies were out of control and I had no one to turn to. Then, in my early adulthood, I lost my boyfriend to a drug overdose. Actually, I found him on the bathroom floor. Then I was attacked with a knife as well as a gun and raped. I thought my life was going to end. There was nowhere for me to go and nowhere for me to turn. I couldn’t go to the police so I just ran to another state.
I thought that if I ran my problems would just disappear, but guess what, they didn’t. I declined help for years until around my uncle’s suicide. That was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.
For the longest time, I would close my eyes and still see my ex-boyfriend’s body on the bathroom floor or the men that attacked me. Even to this day loud noises still get to me. And I still obsessively check the door and window locks every night, which is perfectly fine and normal because people heal at their own pace… and that is something I learned. Apparently, I am healing at the speed of a turtle, but at least now it is happening. I still have to force myself to leave my house and when I go somewhere I always know where the exits are because sometimes my mind wanders to a dark place and sometimes you just need an escape route—which, again, is perfectly normal.
PTSD is treatable and with therapy, I finally feel safe and somewhat normal. I urge anyone going through anything to seek out help. I can’t say that you will be cured but it will help you somewhat heal. I can’t say I won’t ever stop looking over my shoulder, but I feel like I can finally breathe somewhat. No longer am I being smothered.
Once again I see a light… There is hope!
Even if there might be days where even something as simple as climbing out of bed seems like such a daunting task. Which I am sure that I am not the only one who has days like that...days where the thoughts that drag you down just won't leave your head and they make so hard to smile. Days where it even feels hard to breathe because your chest is so heavy; each breath feels laboured.
Just remember that no matter the colour or your skin, or gender, or your sexual orientation, you matter and you are a person. No one should make you feel any less than and you are not alone in your struggles. Don't ever feel as though you are.
There is hope for you as well!