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My life

by Jessica Jeter about a month ago in ptsd
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Living with PTSD

My life
Photo by Chau Luong on Unsplash

It's been five years since my last trauma in a 38-year lifespan of sexual traumas too numerous to count. My whole childhood has been wiped clean from my memory except when I sleep. I don't remember when the last time I truly was happy and not having to put on an act so no one would realize I was different. I've worn a mask for so long I don't know who the real Jessica is, sometimes I wonder do I do it for the world or because I am truly sick with myself. I can't even sleep in the same bed with the man who is the only person I believe I have ever loved. Love that is something I don't know how to do right because when I think of love I think of pain. I have never brought anyone into what truly goes on inside my head till now because it scares even me sometimes, most of the time I hope this gives people a better understanding of what it's really like.

I wake up early, well if you can call it that, because I never really sleep, not deep sleep at least. My sleep I'm still at the ready for something to happen. My body hurts all over, from where I have kicked all night from my night terrors. I very rarely even remember what I dreamed of from the night before my fiancé will tell me what little he could make out that I would say. It's funny how our minds will try to protect us by making sure we don't remember but not remembering makes a go even crazier because they can't process. My head hurts and my eyes are swollen that marks me knowing I have cried through the night, rather it was from remembering emotional or physical pain, I don't know and that is how I start most every day.

I then take my daily cocktail of antidepressants and Methadone; I have been in recovery for almost six years as I spent the last fifteen in a drug addled comatose state to keep my mind quiet. The only stint of clean time before this now was my time in the military and then I suffered through military sexual trauma in which a child was conceived. So, I take my medications and look to my fiancé, see he has slept on the couch with me in a recliner for the last three years to make sure that I do not leave throughout the night because of my sleep walking and night terrors, the last time we shared a bed together I tried to choke him in my sleep. I attempt to put on a good, happy face for the day I try to be as normal as I can, at least on the outside. I smile at my fiancé and say good morning all the while my mind running in all directions going over my checklist of things to do, the thing about PTSD is that your mind tries to keep your mind occupied with other things so that you don't try to relive the past or maybe our minds can only hold so much and when a person's mind blocks certain memories it won't even take the chance of a person remembering just to overwrite said memory. So, with that being said, I have no short- or long-term memory. I take a shower get dressed and usually have one or two meltdowns in the bathroom something triggers my mind into flight mode, whether it's a smell or a song playing on the radio while I'm getting dressed. On a good day I just zone out for a few seconds but on the bad days I huddle up in the shower or corner till my fiancé somehow is able to reach me in my childlike demeanor at the time. Those days I realize just how young I really was the first time I was victimized.

Normal people would head off to work but as for me the only job I can hold down is DoorDash, I cannot be around people male or female for any length of time anymore. My fiancé stays home with me now because he is dying himself from Liver disease, he is on the last leg of it and without insurance I know that one day soon I will wake up to him passed away. These are the thoughts continually running through my head, how I am the cause to the man I love to be on death's door, how I am nothing more than just a plaything for the world that this was why I was made, how when John passes away, I will be truly alone, and how the only thing I did right was sign my parental rights over so my kids could have a fighting chance. Usually by this time I have received my first Dash so on to whichever restaurant.

I get to the restaurant and as soon as I get out of my truck the sweating starts. I walk in and just keep my eyes on my phone because I know everyone in the restaurant is looking at me, even with my safety blanket, my headphones, I still feel all alone, I feel like everyone can tell that I am different. So, I just keep my head down and hope no one can see through my happy mask I try to keep when I leave my house. I speak if spoken to Have a nice day or thank you and if I can get out of there without a word my anxiety levels are fairly manageable. This is how every delivery goes and this is my human interaction every single day.

I go through every day in a constant sense of fear. I always know from the moment i walk into a room where the exits are. I have no truly authentic human interactions or connections with people. I forget to eat somedays and others I can't get full. I have fits of anger or depression that takes me to a place of total darkness. I start things but rarely finish whether it is because I forgot or because I believe I should always fail I don't know. Last but not least I am always exhausted. This is the day in the life of a trauma survivor, well the milder parts of it, the truly horrible parts deserve their own stories, which I do plan to write. So, the next time you see someone looking intently on their phone, little beads of sweat trickling take this story into consideration on just what war could be raging in their mind.


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Jessica Jeter

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