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Against the Current

*May Trigger*

My entire life I have felt like this picture. When I was young I did not “get” how to play with other kids. Fun was not part of my vocabulary. My toys had to be perfectly lined up, so much so, that my kids today can still play with them like they are brand new. Probably because I never could.

People around me moved forward and I seemed to stay in one place. Make-up, dating, college, friends: they were doing all of that. I was still in the same house being compared to two stillborn children, being hit and verbally abused.

Even today, when faced with a social situation I do not know what to do. My first instinct in to hide in a corner. All I hear in my mind in the message from childhood to not tell and to not over stay my welcome.

So, I wind up in a corner not talking to anyone. The only people who I seem to be able to relate to are those that I am in the hospital with. Those that have gone through hell and back and now are recounting their experiences.

I am also different in that I talk openly about my illness. PTSD is nothing to be ashamed of, nor is any other mental illness. I am a person with feelings like everyone else, yet I am not like everyone else. Other people do not check around them every two minutes waiting for something to happen, other people do not get thrown back into the moment from the past just because they see or smell something that reminds them of what they went through. Okay, not ony see, smell, but also feel, touch, taste, and basically be transported back in time.

Now I am getting a service dog. I realize that for those who knew me before my physical and mental illness it is hard to imagine why I would need such a luxury. I know not everyone with an illness has a service dog. I guess all those years of standing in the corner have caught up with me and I am a little low on friends at the time that would come and help.

I am getting a service dog to help me get up off of a chair. To help me up and down stairs. Help with retrieval and balance. At this point, I have had to crawl up the stairs more than once or stay where I am because I cannot get up and feel to week or dizzy to do so.

The service dog will give me the independence to go out into the world again. Hopefully that will mean starting small: going to the store by myself or going for a walk, to other greater goals such as returning to work.

So yes, I have gone against the current most of my life. Not by choice in many cases. It has led me to where I am today. Trying to turn around and even though I may still be different and unique, be able to function like everyone else!

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