Silent suffering; my PTSD story.
I want to start by saying that I absolutely hate labels so this is going to be a challenging post to write and publish. I have PTSD..a mental illness that affects over three million people every year. It’s exhausting to deal with and those closest to you won’t understand what your going through or even what to do during an “episode”. I have gone years without acknowledging it because in my head PTSD was a mental disorder that affected veterans and older adults. I knew that it wasn’t the case but I didn’t want to think that along with having depression and anxiety at 23..I have a mental disorder that might continue to affect me for the rest of my life. It consumes me during sex or any form of intimacy. At any time I can just have a flashback and lay there paralyzed and completely absent-minded. I also don’t like to talk about it so every time I hear that “are you okay” I automatically say yes even though inside I just want to scream out for help. I usually can’t move, don’t talk and feel empty. As if my soul were floating right outside of my body and its so random that I can’t even figure out what triggers it exactly.
It feels like a deep little hole in the back of your mind that you crawl in when you’re in trouble.
I was abused a lot growing up and this was my “safe space”. I would often make myself block out the abuse and just wait in this absent stage until it was over. I remember laying in my mom’s bed under the covers waiting for her to come back from her night class and my dad hovering over my bed yelling at me and forcing me to call her. I felt no pain even though he was physically grabbing me and throwing me off the bed until I did what he said. His hands left marks that burned to the touch and my back was always red and tender after every class. I was asked several times about the bruises at school but I always denied any type of abuse because I didn’t want my mom to get taken away from me. I would often stay quiet even during the worst nights. My mom worked all day and went to school at night so that she could earn more money to take care of my brother and I. One of the strongest people I know and I haven’t heard her complain once so I thought if she could live through it, so could I.
I guess that’s where it could have started but continued on through adolescence where I was molested and raped on a few different counts.
I am thankful for discovering the peace and self-love that comes with Yoga. I’ve been taking time out to do 30 min of yoga every night and its helped so much. I also enjoy practicing at the beach right after a long day of work. The fresh air and the sun shining on your mat while you connect with the earth is such an incredible feeling. During flashbacks, you have no control of your body but yoga forces you to be present and grounded allowing you to gain awareness of your body and its strength. I feel calm and in control of my thoughts while practicing which is something that is difficult to do when you’re dealing with PTSD.
I was debating on whether or not I should post this because honestly its a very personal thing to go talk about but I trust that you all can respect my decision and stay respectful and supportive throughout my healing journey. Next step is to figure out if I can see a new therapist or maybe even get connected with a support group or something..idk yet but I know everything will be just fine.
Till next time,