I am not my PTSD.
It makes it harder to be me, though, to participate in the ‘real world.’
There is no back button to avoid the trigger, no fast-forward button to make time go faster, no play button when I feel stuck.
There is no pause button in real life to easily push when you’re triggered at work, playing with your pets or niblings, at home, during sex.
I cannot tell my niece to stop everything. I cannot tell my pets to stop needing me. I cannot tell work that I need to binge on Netflix comedies instead of being stuck in a seven am meeting with several doctors.
There are times I can’t be as close with my niece, because she is the spitting image of my sister at that age. Sometimes watching her be silly and have fun and be safe reminds me of the things I couldn’t do to help me sister not be beaten, assaulted, put down every day of her life.
There are times when I can’t even let my husband touch me, times when him brushing his hand against my arm isn’t just painful from my fibromyalgia but causes a remembrance of an assault.
There’s no pause button in real life, no way to go back and say I need a moment. We all want explanations. Explanations are great, but don’t make the person explaining feel any better.
My PTSD is the thing that is probably the worst in my life. I never know when it is going to hit and there are few coping mechanisms that I can use to combat it. Sure, I can pull up Netflix and watch The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt at work when I have time. I shouldn’t, but I can. There are times when listening to music is helpful, getting out raw emotion or making me just want to dance.
There are times when being held by my husband, playing with our pets, talking with my sister, playing with my niblings… where these all do more harm than good. No one should have to live that way.
By the way…