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Tag Archives: PTSD

Clenched Fists

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I think anyone that knew me would be shocked to know how angry I am. All the time. I can feel it inside me.

I don’t even know what to do with it. I feel like it is compressed into this tight ball of pure, raw emotion. It’s boiling inside me.

I don’t act angry. I don’t seem angry. I am kind. I try to be thoughtful and considerate.

I like to think I keep it tightly wrapped up. It is usually under control. It is just another part of my personality that I hide. But lately it is feeling dangerous. Like I am walking around with an unstable nuclear reactor in me. I don’t want to lose control of it.

I am afraid I am going to hurt someone. I am afraid of my angry desires sometimes. My punching bag used to help. And yoga. And meditation. But hitting things has lost it’s appeal.

The thing about anger and nuclear reactors is that they are hard to control. And being out of control is the scariest thing ever to me.

So, ideally I need to stop being angry. I WANT to stop being angry. It’s exhausting. But I also don’t know how to let it go.

My fist has been clenched so tightly for so long. My whole life really. Holding on to that anger feels like I am holding on to my entire life. I literally do not know how to let it go. I can’t figure out how to unclench my fist.

I have been talking to my therapist about it. She says the key to working through it is finding out where it stems from. Finding out what emotions are behind it. Generally fear and sadness. And I so get that.

I know why I am mad, sad, and afraid. The injustice of my life has made me feel that way. And I know that.

But I am also weirdly afraid to go down that road. I am afraid to really examine the injustices of my life. So the real issue is, am I afraid of the examination process (which is unusual for me)? Or am I afraid of losing my anger?

In one way, I don’t know why I would be. I hate it! I am actually angry about how angry I am.

But in another way, I get it. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t angry. Sometimes, I am afraid of who I will be at the end of all this.

I know these changes are good and healthy. But trying to figure out who I am is so scary sometimes. Knowing who I am, even the bad things I don’t like, is at least a known entity.

What if my anger is what fuels my passion? My strength? My fierceness? What if without it I become some wishy-washy pushover? What if I stop liking who I become? That’s a scary, intolerable thought.

What if I do all this hard painful work and the anger is still there? What if I try and fail? What if my anger is such a facet of myself at my very core that I wind up not letting it go? What if I suffer and work for nothing?

Those things are all possibilities. And that’s a lot of fear to be carrying around in one clenched fist. But, in the other hand, I hold hope. Hope of having a life without a nuclear reactor core of anger inside me. Hope of not having to keep tolerating this intolerable anger.

And just writing about this thing that I have been so afraid to talk about has made me feel a little better.

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Anxiety

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I don’t know why I am suddenly feeling so anxious all the time. I never had anxiety issues before. Or maybe I did but didn’t realize it because of all my other issues.

I know it is mostly the PTSD, but lately I have been having mini panic attacks. It feels so stupid to be feeling this way. I am actually ashamed of myself for not being able to handle things.

I look back on all I have been through and I think: I went through all that and now I am afraid to answer my door? Or go grocery shopping at night? Or talk to another human being?

It feels idiotic and paranoid and silly. So silly.

I know I am just being hard on myself. The truth is, I’ve always felt this way. It’s just that now I have resolved so many issues, this is one of the last few left. It seems to stand out.

I am embarrassed to mention it to my therapist. I am afraid she thinks I am making all this up. I am afraid she will think I am just trying to get medication. I am afraid that she thinks I am self diagnosing myself. I don’t want medication. I just want to stop feeling so anxious.

It has been so bad a few times that I can’t sleep all night. Every noise has me jumping. Exaggerated response and all that. I have been sleeping with my baseball bat again.

I’m not sure where it is coming from. Except, that is a lie. I do know.

One year ago this month I was battling my ex in court. Getting a restraining order. It was difficult and scary. The things he said and did…

And I have recently ended a casual relationship with a man. I am worried he will take it poorly. I am worried he will retaliate. I am worried that every relationship I end from now on will be a trigger. I am worried I will never truly know someone or truly trust ever again.

I am so tired of having so many problems. Some days I just want to wallow in self pity and wonder why it all happened to me. But that is pretty useless. It doesn’t help me. And it never makes me feel better.

Forget

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It’s weird the sort of short term memory loss that seems to come in an abusive relationship. When things are good with him it can be hard to remember how bad they were. It’s hard to believe the man I am with now is the same person that was abusive to me.

It doesn’t help that this is part of his plan. He tells me it was a mistake. Just an accident. A one time thing. He got carried away. Because he was mad. Because I made him mad.

It’s so easy to believe it will never happen again. It is easy to forget. Because I want to forget.

I don’t want to dwell on negative things. I want to believe him. I want the past to stay in the past. I don’t want him to think I’ll hold a grudge forever. Besides, he said he was sorry.

Or did he? He said he was sorry IF he hurt me. When he know damn well he did. And that type of apology really isn’t the same thing. He says “Why can’t you just get over it? Why can’t you ever let things go? It’s over and in the past.”

And technically it IS in the past. Even if it happened 10 minutes ago. That’s the past. Maybe I should just get over it.

Except it’s never the last time. In fact, it seems like he gets progressively worse. But that makes me cling even more tightly to the times he acts sweet and caring. And it’s not like I want to cause problems with him when he is being nice by bringing up something that will upset him. That will only start a fight. A fight which he will then blame on me.

And I want to believe him. He says he loves me and I want to believe he does. I don’t want to have to end things. I don’t want to admit I was wrong. Again.

But I am wrong again. And eventually I can’t keep choosing to forget. I have to remember. I have to keep catalog of everything he does. I have to stop forgetting. Because that is the only way to get the strength to leave.

But, once I leave, there is an more insidious type of forgetting. The forgetting once the relationship is over. My mind starts to forget why I left. It starts to remember only the good things. I start looking through old pictures where we are smiling and look happy.

I know we weren’t happy. I remember that picture. But there were plenty of times where we were happy. There were plenty of good times.

Every month that I am alone gets harder. I know he’d take me back. And I wonder if I will ever find someone that loves me. I wonder if I will ever believe I deserve to find someone that loves me.

Corporal Punishment

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I have told a few stories now about my father. But I felt like I really wasn’t painting a complete picture here because my mother was also involved in a lot of these stories. So here is another one:

My parents were both big believers in corporal punishment. Unfortunately, I just read a whole wiki article on child abuse that I probably shouldn’t have. But I wanted to get the terminology right.

I don’t want to get too political here and I know I don’t have children, but I don’t support the idea of causing physical pain to a child intentionally. And even if I did, I don’t know where the line is drawn between punishment and abuse.

Neither one of my parents particularly cared about responding to an offense in an appropriate or rational way. I certainly misbehaved on occasion, though not often. The punishment was always too severe to be worth it for me.

My mother was generally the one that ‘punished’ us. It just occurred to me that she may have been protecting us from my father’s wrath in doing so. But her punishments always crossed the boundary.

She would slap us in the face, even from a very young age, if we said something she didn’t like. Especially if we hurt her feelings. She would force our heads under running water and wash our mouths out with soap if we said something offensive. She was vicious and inconsistent in these areas. One day she didn’t care if I cursed and the next she was dragging me by my hair into the bathroom.

She was big on hitting us with things. Her hand was only satisfying if she was hitting our face. And not always even then. I think she wanted more leverage than her arm could give her.

At dinner she would hit the backs of our hands with wooden spoons for something like playing with our food. Or not wanting to eat something (which with my pickiness was all the time). When we didn’t want to take a bath she would hit us with a yardstick. I actually remember she had to replace several old wooden ones that she had broken on us. The new ones had a metal spine that would cut our bare skin.

Once we got a little bit older, she stopped hitting us with things and starting throwing things at us. I can’t tell you how many glass coffee pots my siblings and I have had broken over us. Dozens.

She would get so angry at us. Or in general. That she would pick the nearest object and throw it as us. Or hit us with it. Sometimes, if I was quick, I could avoid it. But other times, she would catch me off guard. Or my back would be turned.

She suffers from severe depression and that probably actually helped us. Some days she was too depressed to get out of bed. Or care what we were saying or doing. Or hurt us.

There was never any real rhyme or reason to her violence. That was one of the scary things about it. My father was almost always angry, always volatile. But my mother would seemingly choose random things to lash out at us.

There was always a catalyst. A minor argument, saying the wrong word, laughing at the wrong time. I think she always intended to be violent and abusive, she just like to have an excuse. And if we hadn’t done anything wrong lately, she would find an excuse.

I think this casual, ongoing violence in my home is one of the reasons why I have touch issues. Even to this day, if I am arguing with someone and they move their hands or move towards me, I flinch. I am mentally and emotionally preparing for them to hit me, or find something to hit me with. I don’t know if those instincts will ever disappear.

Depression

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I don’t know if anyone has noticed that I haven’t been around as much lately. I have been extremely depressed. I know everyone’s depression is different. We all experience it differently.

Mine has been so bad. And when I am in the middle of a depressive spell, I can’t tell anyone. I don’t even recognize it as depression. I think that I am just awful and miserable because my life is terrible and I have no friends. I think I just suddenly hate my job and myself. I think that everyone would be better off if I wasn’t around.

I have had a really bad two weeks. I keep thinking that this blog is pointless and that my life is pointless. And that I really shouldn’t even be alive anymore. I don’t want to kill myself, but if I could just stop breathing or stop living, I would.

I have been doing so well for so long, I almost forgot what it looked like to be in the middle of a depressive spell. And the forgetting, made it so bad. I couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy.

My life is actually going really well. Which made it even more confusing. Why was I thinking about killing myself when I had finally met someone I liked? Why was I wanting to call out sick and sit at home alone all day? Why wasn’t I writing?

And I haven’t been sleeping. Which makes me feel terrible physically too. I’ve been having horrible anxiety at night. I’ve been sitting awake in my bed with a baseball bat for hours instead of sleeping.

Last night, I kept jumping at every noise. I thought there was someone in my apartment (even though I logically knew there wasn’t). And this next part I feel ashamed to admit. But it’s the truth and this is all anonymous anyway.

I thought someone was whispering in my ear. A man’s voice was saying something. It was rhyming words over and over. They were nonsense sounds. Like ooh, boo, woo, too. That has never happened to me before. It really upset me and freaked me out. I also felt like something was crawling up my back. Like a hand sliding over me. But I was alone. That has also never happened before.

Maybe I was dreaming and just thought it was happening. Sometimes my dreams really like to mess with my mind. But if I wasn’t…

I don’t know what it means. It might sound funny or silly. But it really upset me. Am I having auditory hallucinations? I never have before. What does it means? I don’t know.

There is no need for anyone to worry at this point. The very fact that I can write about it is proof that I am feeling better. And I’ll be back to my cheerful self in no time.

Life and Death

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As you know, I have suicidal ideation. I think this gives me a different perspective on suicide and depression. I know many of my readers also struggle with this issue. And I have a few friends in real life that do as well.

One such friend, was recently going through a difficult time in his life. His relationship had ended. He was going through a vicious custody battle. He suffers from depression. And he had once been hospitalized for previously attempting suicide.

We all know that nobody kills themselves just because they are sad. Or because something bad happens in their life. The story is never so simple.

This friend confided in me that he was starting to think about suicide. That it was on his mind all the time. That it seemed like a reasonable response to what was happening in his life.

I was glad he told me. He is the first person that I have ever talked about my own suicidal ideation with. I was a relief to hear him tell me all these feelings that I myself have felt. And to know that I could speak to him from experience.

I was very concerned for his well being. He asked me to promise to not call anyone. He did not want to be Baker Acted. I made the promise. But he doesn’t know how close I came to breaking it.

I felt that being hospitalized would only make him more apt to kill himself. That does happen sometimes. But I was determined to help him.

I called him every day, multiple times a day. I let him talk for hours. I stayed up till late into the night and early morning, listening, giving him advice, sympathizing.

He came close several times. Maybe even closer than I know. Once he called me in the hopes that I could talk him out of it.

But I am happy to say that he is still with us. And he has since told me, that him being hospitalized would have been the worst thing for him. And that knowing I was available to talk any time helped. That knowing that I was there, listening, letting him feel his feelings, was more help than any doctor could have given.

I know he is not out of danger. People with suicidal ideation will always be in danger of acting upon it. I have tried to get him to go to therapy. But he has resisted.

I urge anyone that is feeling these feelings to tell someone. Talk to someone you can trust. Get help if you can. But talk if you can’t. Sometimes our feelings really are a matter of life and death.

Versatile Blogger Award

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So, Avalanche of the Soul nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I would highly argue with this nomination. But I’ll take all the love I can get. So, thank you for that.

I guess I am supposed to tell 7 random facts about me. I don’t even know what to say here:

1. I have many many things wrong with me, but I am beginning to think they are all just a component of my PTSD. Which is exciting because it means I may actually be able to work through all of it.

2. I am obsessed with “fringe science.” Tarot cards, palmistry, crystal healing. I don’t even really believe in any of it. I just love it!

3. I have another blog that is actually pretty funny. I mean, I think it is, anyway.

4. I was married for 6 months.

5. The first time I tried Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Peppermint Crunch, I ate the entire pint in one sitting.

6. I am a huge nerd in every sense of the word.

7. I hate telling random facts about myself. I don’t want to share too much or too little.

And now I am supposed to nominate 7 people. But the pressure is so much! I love everyone I follow. Just read everyone that comments on anything I ever write. They are all amazing, lovely people.