Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; The storm after the storm.
I got PTSD from one of "The Safest Cities to Raise a Child"
At this time last year, I called my therapist on Zoom. I was supposed to tell her about the reason why my relationship was having problems, and why I was such a psychopath when I was in them.
Living with PTSD
Before I was diagnosed with PTSD, I only ever assumed that those that had been in wars suffered from it. It's the only time I've ever heard someone talk about it. I didn't for a second fathom that PTSD was something the wider population suffered from and it was only when I became friends with a Domestic Violence survivor and was then later diagnosed with it myself, did I really understand just how wrong I was.
PTSD Reclassification & Our Nation’s Heroes
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or ‘PTSD’ means many things to many people. Put simply, it is considered a disorder which occurs in persons who have witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. It often occurs in survivors of war, natural disasters, serious accidents, and other traumatic events. Symptoms range from person to person, but can include anxiety, nightmares, re-experiencing of trauma, and other symptoms. It is unfortunately a common occurrence amongst veterans of war, although statistics vary across different periods of wartime.
Crippled and Crazy
My name is Steven Crane Sr., and this story is about me, so if you are offended by the title, you have worse problems than I do. I had the honor of traveling as a professional musician for 30+ years, but I also had the honor of being a paramedic/firefighter for close to 30 years. I have seen things that most people should not have to ever experience. I also had a very serious auto accident in 2009, on the way to a medical call, that caused several medical conditions that now have me in a wheelchair full time as well as on oxygen 24/7. Therefore, the crippled part.
Patterdale terrier named Cooper was digging the ground with his front paws with the force of at least a spade in hands of a tiny woman.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Resulting from Workplace Violence
Introduction Workplace violence and mass shootings in the office environment can significantly impact the mental health of those directly or indirectly affiliated with the organization: the injured, survivors and witnesses, colleagues, family members, and in some cases, clients and customers of the organization. It is not uncommon for survivors of a violent attack or mass shooting to experience a variety of responses including depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder (Shultz, 8). Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is when a person experiences or is exposed to a traumatic event or events which may result in a variety of debilitating symptoms. In the book Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD is described as when “posttraumatic stress reactions persist for at least 1 month and interfere significantly with personal adjustment and functioning” (Ford et al., 7). When a victim of trauma experiences these symptoms or posttraumatic stress reactions for a prolonged period and it causes significant and negative changes to their way of life, then it is likely that they are struggling with PTSD.
I was diagnosed with PTSD back in 2002 due to a childhood full of abuse and relationships with domestic voilence. I have also cared for numerous patients who have this condition. I remember when I was a student nurse my first encounter with a patient who suffered PTSD was an old man in his 80's he had been a soldier in WW1 and WW2. This man came in to us with a urine infection that had been left untreated due to this he had become delirious and confused. I was in charge of this mans care, one day when I was doing my routine observations I heard a commotion within the bay this man was placed, he was on the floor sheilding his head and shouting. I tried to get close to him to see what was wrong but he started throwing items from his table and they came hurdling my way. He believed the nurses were German soldiers and would not let anyone close to him. I had to think fast as this man was in distress, I went and took my nurse uniform off and put on a plain hoody in the hope he would let me close to him and it worked, I crouched down beside him and asked what was wrong he told me he was in the war and the German soldiers were trying to take us captive, I reassured him and told him the war was now over and congratualted him on his service, I went on to tell him that he was now in the hospital and all the people he saw were nurses and doctors here to help him. I was able to coax him back into bed and gave him a sedative that he was prescribed for moments like this. PTSD can be debilitating for the people who live with it, I know first hand just how debilitating it can be. I remember my first flash back, I was a little girl again and I was back in that room with him, my eyes wide with fear I would try and back away from everything and everyone around me. These flash backs can be triggerred by smell, touch, words, a noise, tv show anything really. I was commenced on anti depressants that had a sedative effect and went for hypno therapy. Hypno therapy is expensive at £60 per session but worth it in my case anyway, I would reccomend it. Hypno therapy enabled me to cope with my memories better, taught me control and even erased some memories that were particularly traumatic. My partner is my god send during flash backs he knows what to do, he will tell me I am safe, where I am for exmaple if I am laying in bed or out and about. He will tell me the day, the time and just be there for me reassuring me constantly.
Many people have encountered gaslighting to varying degrees of severity and intentionality. By definition, these behaviors from others create an inaccurate picture of the world around us. Emotional abuse is highly dependent on this tactics to force the victim to want what the abuser wants, even when it destroys them. Those of us who endured it for years and escaped from its clutches slowly start to realize just how inaccurate everything they believed was, but depending on the duration it can be easy, even natural, to fall back into those patterns of thinking. It's difficult to accept that the truths your life may have literally or figuratively depended on for years aren't truths at all, especially when they developed subconsciously and you have to correct them consciously. As I uncover new ways that my PTSD impacts my life now, in particular how I manage difficulties in romantic relationships, I wanted to go through an article by Psychology Today that discusses the 11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting and recall a specific instance when my ex would use this tactic. I hope in writing this I will be able to revisit these when I notice myself falling into my former self-perceptions of failure and inadequacy. I also hope that maybe this can help other survivors break down where the lies they believe started and therefore actively combat them.
Shame is not the name of the game.
As the first month of 2021 comes to a close, I feel as if I'm no closer to my new years resolutions than I was two months ago. I can feel this year in my soul though, the deepest parts of it. 2021 will be a wonderful year! Not because I have spoken it into existence, not because I'm somehow owed a good year after a series of bad ones. This will be a wonderful year, because my soul feels it.
Practicing the Pause
January 2, 2121 was the first anniversary of my divorce. 32 years of marriage. I left my old life as a suburban housewife to live in a small apartment with minimal belongings and embracing healing. As a PTSD survivor, my non-epileptic seizures had subsided. I was finally sleeping and losing weight. All the joys of singlehood.
"But Post-Traumatic Stress is Just for Soldiers?"
TW: This article contains accounts of PTSD and cancer. Believe me, writing this was harder for me than it will be for you reading it for reasons that will be explained....
Demons & Angels
Even as a semi-professional medium, I’d never seen or believed in Demons. Sure, I believed in Angels and spirits. They appeared everywhere as flashes of light supporting someone who was in tears. Hugging a stranger who was hiding the pain inside of them.