The damage is done

my mind

It took a lot of courage to start a blog about my struggle (and as a result, my family’s struggle) with PTSD, and I’m not sure what I was thinking when I promptly told my real world that the blog existed… and as a bi-product, I told my world about my diagnosis. Not long after I posted the link, I began to deeply regret sharing; it’s that feeling of shame eating away at me. I’ve quickly become a part of this beautiful community of bloggers with a PTSD diagnosis; they all write under pseudonyms and if their family knows the blog exists, they have never read it. After nearly three weeks of my blogging, I can see why. I set out to make mental illness easier to talk about, but my posts on this blog have been careful; I cannot share so much of myself or I will just make myself more vulnerable than I already am.

But, the damage has been done so I may as well share. I am sharing because it has wreaked havoc on my family. I keep telling myself that we will come out stronger on the other side… but what if there is no other side? My therapist keeps telling me I need to learn to live with it, and learn to accept that I will always have these, at times, debilitating symptoms. Once I accept, then I can move forward with learning to manage.

It is embarrassing to admit to people I see every day that when my son runs and jumps on me from behind, instead of playing with him, I curl into a ball, cover my ears, close my eyes and cry. Or when my husband uses a certain tone, I hide- again, in a ball with my ears covered and eyes closed. I close my eyes so I don’t see the flashbacks, but they’re in my mind so I see it more readily. I cover my ears so I don’t hear my flashbacks, but they’re in my mind so I hear them more readily. I curl up so I don’t feel my flashbacks, but it makes no difference. My husband is afraid to listen to music in the car because he never knows when he’ll look over to see me dissociated because of a certain song. I never know when I will be triggered, and I may end up in my car in the parking lot at Target in tears because something as simple as the way someone was walking triggered me.

I am so busy surviving that it is a struggle to socialize or clean the house. It takes everything I have to meet my children’s needs.

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17 thoughts on “The damage is done

  1. I can really relate to the feelings you describe here in terms of the dissociation/flashbacks. I write under a pseudonym so I can only imagine what you are going through in having those close to you know about your blog. But, for what it’s worth, you have my full support in sharing your story and your truths and I hope it proves to be a healing process for you and for your family. I’m not sure I could be so brave, but you’re doing it and that is amazing. Much love to you xx

  2. Please know that I understand your feelings about sharing your story with people who are actually “real.” I, almost everyday, want to shut down my blog, regret using my real name. It IS the shame. My first post went onto FB. Truthfully, I was naive. I didn’t know it would lead people back to my blog! Duh!!! I just wanted to share something I wrote. Now, when i see I have 200 views, and not one person I know has ever told me they know about my blog, I want to curl up in a ball. SHAME (again.) The reality is that most people have their own secrets/shame. We may even give some of them strength to know they aren’t alone. I just wish everyone would tell me they’ve read it. Anyway. Just know you aren’t alone in this. I’m glad you’re putting it out there. At least for me 🙂

    • So glad I’m not the only one who thought it was a good idea to post on Facebook!! 🙂 I love reading your blog and if you get 200 hits, it sounds like others are drawing from it like I am. You’re right, it’s hard when you feel your openness is the elephant in the room!! Ugh. Breaking the cycle, one post at a time.

      • Oh perfect–that’s just what ya feel like sometimes, the elephant in the room, lol! Imagine if we stay strong and someone, one day, says “Your speaking out made a difference in my life.” I keep telling myself . . .Thank you–I really enjoy your blog, too 🙂

  3. I too, can relate to so much of what you have written. I react in the same way when triggers to flashbacks leave me cowering in the corner like a 5 year old – you are not alone. I also write under a pseudonym as i expect the majority of us do but i still live in absolute terror each time publish a blog of anyone out there in the real world, particularly my family, reading my naked self. Take care of yourself my dear. Hugs to you xxx

  4. I’ve had people tell me I’m brave and laughed at their absurdity. But, from here, I can see your bravery clear as day. I’m glad to have found your blog and I thank you for sharing your journey!

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