What It's Like to Have PTSD
Most can't fathom the depths of its terror.
Having PTSD is beyond scary. Most can't fathom the depths of its terror. It is like there is a deep dark sadness and it engulfs you, crushing your lungs until it seeps into you. It wraps itself around your organs and bones so you feel this sadness throughout your whole being. It begins to define you. It even seeps into your brain where it wreaks havoc. It drags you kicking and screaming into the past with nightmares and flashbacks over and over again. It makes the horrors of the past real and present dangers. There is no getting away from them. You can't outrun them. You can't reason with them. They are all there to stay for good.
All the while people look at you and wonder why you can't just move on and get over it? You go through all this completely and utterly alone.
You find yourself trapped in this dark abyss with no way out because it is all in your head and your body. Some days you wish you could just claw your skin off, reach inside and release your spirit to the great beyond and be free of this agony.
You try to find something, anything that feels normal but normal is a thing of the past. Normal is long gone. This is your new normal; fear, isolation, and sadness. There is nothing you can do to break free of this. You can't think your way out as hard as you try, you will always be dragged back to the darkness. There are no words that will make it all go away as if words helped at all. You can't even pray it away. The darkness of PTSD wins. It always wins. Fighting it only makes you more hopeless.
As you descend further and further into the depths you lose more and more people in your life as they perceive you to be a monster when really it's not you at all. They fear you because of your outbursts and odd behavior. They don't see you. The monster, PTSD is holding you hostage and the real you is stuck screaming for help but the monster drowns out your screams. So you are helpless as you are forced to watch your loved ones turn their backs on you when beneath the darkness you have a heart full of love for them.
Eventually, you start to believe this monster and see it as a friend and protector. You see it as something to keep you safe. So you listen to it. It tells you things like:
"Stay away from people! They are dangerous! Remember all the times when they hurt you?"
"You feel happy? It won't last. Don't trust it. Joy always turns to sadness. Remember all those times when it was true?"
"Don't forget to look for an exit in case you have to escape."
"Don't let that person in your life. They're going to leave you like everyone else."
"Don't get your hopes up. Remeber last time you got hurt?"
This monster is a liar but does it really know any better? Maybe it is trying to protect and help you but at what cost? Just your sanity.
A presence. A silent presence to sit with us in our darkness would ease the burden but there are no souls brave enough to enter into this bottomless cavern. There is no one who has the strength or courage to lament with us about our sufferings.
So we sit here alone in this deep darkness trying to survive the best we can while the rest of the world sits in judgment.