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I have lived with PTSD, as a result of traumatic events in my life, for decades. The journey continues here. This is what it is like to have PTSD and fight for a healthy, fulfilling - and long - life! I will add articles chronicling my thoughts on this page weekly.

I have lived with PTSD, as a result of traumatic events in my life, for decades. The journey continues here.

Live your life

March 18, 2023

My husband and I were out shopping and at our last stop I decided to wait in the car. He was just going to run in and get a couple of things. It was dark at this time. A big truck pulled in front of our car and left the headlights on shining into our car. I immediately felt threatened. Were they trying to intimidate me? Were they seeing if they could start an altercation? Was this a random and unpredicted act of violence where my husband would come back out to the car after only being gone for a few minutes and find me dead having been shot in the head and the murderer having already left the scene?

These are irrational thoughts but not unusual for those that suffer from PTSD. I have them often and most typically are associated with a gun. I was raped several times as a teen and a gun was frequently involved to coerce me to relent. I have never been shot but when I am in a situation where I begin to feel fearful it is a gun that most frequently enters my mind.

Perhaps having survived so many of these attacks, I have realized how fortunate I was and that at some point that fortune will take back what it is owed. My life. I know this is PTSD talking to me – not reality.

I have lived several decades since those events, but this is how PTSD works. I know enough through the work that I have done on this that I am not in danger. We hear about many acts of random violence with guns – which does not help my PTSD flair-ups – so I am always aware of my surroundings; but, generally speaking do not have cause for these thoughts to so frequently be with me other than PTSD.

I remind myself that it is good to be cautious of unknown situations but that it is more unrealistic than realistic that I would be purposefully targeted for a violent act. I remind myself that I have had many successes and accomplishments since those tangled and desperate years of my youth. I remind myself that I am alive.

I also remind myself that to live with unreasonable fear every day diminishes my rights to a good life and empowers abusers and violators everywhere. I fought hard to stay alive and gave up a lot at that time. I deserve the good things I have now. They were not given to me. I have pushed myself to let go of the PTSD symptoms that are as much a part of my makeup now as any organic part of my body and soul with which I was born. It is a daily practice. I recognize that they will always be part of my life, but I do not have to let them control me or hold me back from the moments of pure joy that await me with my family and friends.

If you have PTSD, the most important thing to remember is to live your life and live it fully. Death is the most final ending of a life but holding yourself back from opportunities and relationships, whether family or friend, is a sacrifice that does not have to be made.

Live your life.

The urge

to hide

March 25, 2023

Hiding. I just want to hide. Maybe I could just fade into the wall and be unnoticed by anyone walking by. Or maybe I could sink into my own mind and find some semblance of peace from the raging noise in my brain. Just find that place that is quiet, serene, and filled with nothingness.

Maybe that was some of the motivation that pushed me when I was a teen to runaway so often. Is running away a form of hiding? Possibly in a different sense of the word. I hid myself from those around me that knew me perhaps better than I wanted. Certainly they knew more about me than I cared for them to ever know.

No. This desire is for a different type of hiding. I want to hide not just from those around me but also from myself. Someplace safe where I won’t say the wrong thing, give myself away, or be confused by social stigmas and mores. Somewhere I don’t have to meet expectations of others just so I can peaceably exist without angst.

In the end, the scariest thing is that you cannot runaway from yourself. You can try but deep within your conscientiousness is still there – waiting to resurface. What to do then? Facing yourself, after everything then, is the only place that peace will exist. It is not their expectancies – it is your own.

The hardest task of all but the only path to peace. I will still have the urge to hide. I can allow myself those reprieves. And then begin the task again.

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