It seems like so long ago. But it still feels like yesterday.
Some things have gotten better, some have gotten worse, and still some have stayed the same. I was thinking about it one night and I have been giving myself the “you’ll heal with time” speech for a really long time now. So I decided maybe I need to figure out exactly how long it usually takes PTSD to “go away”. Because by now I should be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at least, right?
Well…….it would seem as though it doesn’t just “go away”. My brain is actually physically different now than what it was 7 years ago. Can you comprehend that? An adult brain can actually change (contrary to what we were always taught in school) and the physical nature can be changed through continuous trauma. It took me awhile to ponder over that. I don’t have a laundry list of symptoms that will just magically get better with time. I have a list that I have to live with and figure out how best to live with them and keep them from affecting my life so much.
What’s gotten better? The frequency of severe panic attacks. The fear of falling back into the “victim role” as it applies to “him”, of feeling like he could take back control of my head with just minutes alone with him. A lot of the unhealthy coping mechanisms. The way I see myself as a person with value and worth and most of all, a whole lot of strength and determination.
What’s gotten worse? The depression. The overall inability to handle even the smallest crisis. The tolerance I have for the self destructive thoughts that I used to be able to talk myself through because I knew they’d pass. The inability to think clearly when faced with difficult decisions. The desire for isolation. The uncontrollable detachment from myself and inability to “snap out of it”. Dissociation.
What’s stayed the same? The startle response. The fear of him returning or wanting to see his children. The inability to be in crowded places. The feeling of being a chastised child or feeling talked down to when it’s probably in my own head. The feeling that he was right whenever my ability to be a mother falls short of his expectations. The feeling that I will never again be “happy”.
PTSD can be made better or worse depending on the support system that holds you together. That explains everything when it comes to me. I have very little and I wish I was just “being dramatic” as i was always told. However, it’s a fact. I have had to develop the mentality of doing it all myself. If I come to depend on someone for assistance with anything, there is no back up plan. (simple example, I sent my son to a school where he doesn’t have a bus option and his friends mother was all too overjoyed to take him and pick him up everyday. Until her child started getting sick and her only reason to leave was to have to get my kid.) And then mine got sick and I apparently texted her after she had left her house. What I got felt too much like being “fussed at”, and it’s not worth feeling that way. But that’s just a simple example, even when you can’t do it all perfectly, you still have to do it perfectly.
So fuck it, I’ll continue climbing this mountain alone.