I wish that they made a medication or a treatment that would make all of the memories go away. They are always there, always a part of my past. There are the days that I can use my coping skills and diminish the effects of a memory or flashback. There are other days when even the best coping skills do not work.
Sometimes I wish that I knew more about my family history. That people were more honest about what they went through and if it still bothered them. Maybe it would help me to understand why I have PTSD and others do not.
I was once told by a treatment provider that everyone does does not get PTSD. There could be 40 people in a space when a traumatic event happens and only a small percentage would have the symptoms associated with PTSD.
I think of it like a switch. The switch can be turned off for years. Then, something happens, and that switch gets turned on. Why can’t the doctors figure out what that is and make a medication or therapy that treats that switch.
Instead, those memories take the form of flashbacks and nightmares. They are a part of me. A part that some people cannot accept and others think that they will catch.
One day, with advocacy and education, more people will understand mental illness and be open to accepting those who have it. Those in medical school will be interested in researching trauma and there will be more students who choose to go into the field. That is my hope!
I have loved dance ever since I can remember. The smell of the studio and the leotards and tights. The barre exercises and combinations going across the floor.
At almost 40, I decided to pursue a dream of getting a dance degree. This first semester has not been easy and has tested my emotional and physical strength more than once. The fibromyalgia and the wave of exhaustion it brings on have been a challenge.
I am being considered as an instructor for a rec council next year. Right now, I am assisting with their recital. It is so energizing to see the young dancers and the joy in their face as they move. That is what dance always was . A way to be free. While backstage with them last night, their excitement was palpable.
Can I teach? Can I choreograph? Will I do a good job? These are questions that I will never know the answer to unless I try. If I am offered a position, I think I may take it. It would be a way for me to share what I love with students. Not bad for a part-time job!!
I began this blog for myself. I did not know if anyone would ever read it or be interested in what I had to say. Maybe the writings would be to much, tell or emote to much.
Today, blogging has become a way of life. A way to connect with others here and around the world. For me, there is more than just PTSD. Kids, trauma, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, divorce, and other topics fill the page.
To those of you who read the posts, thank you so much. The support is amazing. Your comments are great. The fact that you have taken the time to read and write to me is more meaningful then I could ever put into words.
This morning I am going to tell my story. Speaking not only allows me to tell my story, yet gives me a voice for others. For all of us who live with a mental illness or an invisible struggle.
I do not remember what class it was in high school, I only know that it was a math class. There was a problem about digging a hole. The problem went something like the person dug three feet and two feet would get filled back in. How long would it take to dig 10 ft. That is how trauma work feels right now.
The only problem is that the hole gets filled completely in or there is a mountain on top of the hill. Spring is supposed to be a good time. The weather is warmer, summer break is around the corner, and my husband even booked a wonderful vacation for us to a spot that I love.
Memories. The memory of being told that I should have died, the memory of having to just get over everything while my mother talked for hours and days about her two stillborn children, the memory of being molested. Other memories of being bullied or wearing long sleeves in 80 degree weather to cover up bruises on my arms.
Right now the past sucks and the present does not feel much better. True, there are some things that I do have control of. Then there are those things that I do not have control of. My ex wanting more child support. My body feeling to weak to be able to dance, yet pushing through.
This has all led to thoughts of suicide and self-harm. I have been trying to get “better” for 12 years now. There are days when there are glimmers of hope. This time of year those days are few or do not exist at all.
How do I explain this to the people around me. If I had a stomach bug or the flu others would understand. People cannot be inside my head. They do not know the flashback and the exhaustion that comes along with all of this. Most people do not want to hear about negative things.
Where does that leave me? Feeling very alone and frustrated. Anger has built up inside me. I feel like screaming that I just need a break. There is no break from my mind. I cannot turn it off.
Therapy was of little help today. I showed my therapist my artwork and he asked one question.
My psychiatrist would have elaborated more. She would have taken all my feelings of anger and frustration and the thoughts of self-harm and suicide and put me inpatient to deal with them.
Instead I got told to hang in there and let my therapist know if I need to go inpatient. I am so tired of each day being such a struggle.
I am going to go home and veg out in front of the tv. Maybe work on my paper for class. Think about my kids and how they need their mom. They keep me going at this point. They keep me from doing something I will regret.
Right now, I need to figure things out for myself. I need to examine my life and where it is going. I need to be patient and be able to wait for answers that will come in the next few weeks.
I have therapy today. There is so much going on. I wish therapy lasted longer. There are so many issues that are affecting me.
Today, I have to focus on myself. I have had entries in my journal that have sat for weeks that need to be addressed. Then there is the one piece of art work that I was able to complete and needs to be discussed.
Luckily, I have been able to get out some of the stress through dance. I have also been able to journal. Maybe I will write a follow-up to this today after therapy to see if I met my goal.
I am almost at the end of my semester!! I checked my grades the other day and realized that I had a C on one of my assignments. I did not understand. I had completed the projects according to the guidelines.
I emialed the professor because I could not let it go. I am glad I did! I received an email back that the grade was a mistake in the computer. That makes a huge difference. Now I realize that I am going to have to keep close track of my grades so another does not get messed up.
Then there is my ex and the entire issue of child support. I hate that I have to have the stress of getting an attorney again. He just never stops! Today I am calling to get a referral and some help with the correct calculations.
Then, there is school. I have to do this for me. I am going in and giving 100%, even though the professors seem to think that I am weak and not able to keep up. They can think anything they want.
I need to worry about me this time. I cannot just do what other people want. We shall see how that works out😊
A little background. I have 3 kids who I am the non-custodial parent of and who I have been paying child support for for years.
Now, my ex wants more money every month. He is making at least 20,000 more than he was at the time of the original calculation. He calculated the new amount and somehow I owe him $100 more a month. I stated that there most likely needs to be an expert involved that knows what they are doing.
This really worries me. If the calculations are correct, then I do not know how I am going to afford to even see the kids. My expenses for medication and doctor’s are so high. It is a catch 22. I need my meds and my treatment to stay out of the hospital. They cost money. If I go into the hospital then I do not see my kids and he can take me back to court to try to get them away from me again.
I guess that I will be contacting an attorney. I do not know where I am going to get the money for that. The retainer fees are insane.
Just when I thought that I was getting the kids back and we were doing ok. It is never enough for my ex. He is not going to let anything rest.
Having PTSD and the anxiety that goes along with it affects my mood. My temper seems to be so short. Today I have to see my ex. The same person who tried to take my kids away from me permanently. The same person who has no problem with money when I struggle to put gas in my car.
Most people have friends. My issues with trust have left me alone most of the time. I want to be “normal”, yet nothing is normal and I am frustrated. Even though I have started to work through my traumas, I have a long way to go!
My temper feels out of control. I struggle to control my anger and it boiled over this morning. Another thing my ex can use against me. I need to work on the anger. I cannot go on always feeling on edge.
Tomorrow is opening day for my boys baseball teams. Unlike, a lot of people I know, I am not a sports person. They like playing, so I will support them.
Going to games is not my problem. Even the fact that they live an hour away is not the worst thing. Tomorrow is going to be hectic and there are going to be so many people. The crowds and noise are a problem for me. Somehow, I will need to get through it for the kids.
I want to be there, yet I know that all of the noise and people will take its toll. I will be tired when I get home and will most likely want to just sleep and have the house quiet. Luckily at the age my kids are, they are into their electronics.
Weekend visits are going to be very different for the next few months. All of this starts on opening day!!