I decided to take a chance and write a little about my past, and how it influenced who I was and who I am. I had no idea what the reaction would be, how it would be received. Ideally people would like it, maybe find some inspiration, and ultimately understand me better. But I was terrified, what if someone didn’t like it. What if someone had a negative reaction.. When I wrote that post I just wrote it, I didn’t proof read it, I didn’t have a plan. There was no rough draft, no second guessing. I just sat down, with a heavy heart, a racing mind, and I just wrote. I said so many things I have always wanted to say to people. It was therapeutic, I had so many different emotions while I was writing. I was hurt, I cried through some of it, I was angry. I felt all of the things I did years ago, and it sent me right into flashbacks.
Flashbacks are nothing like I imagined, there not like something you see on tv. I actually can’t even figure out how to describe them. I’m sure they are different for everyone. Here is what it’s like for me. I get overwhelmed by an emotion, suddenly, intensely. I feel hot, my mind races, I can’t focus. My hands might get a little shaky. I can’t tell if I want to cry or scream, my heart is racing, my chest is tight. But if you look at me, I look fine. Maybe a little flushed, but fine. If I’m busy doing something it takes me a minute to realize what is happening, and I kind of have to take a breath and center myself. Now that I have lived with PTSD for a few years I know how to handle these moments, maybe not extremely well but I can handle them. I know I need to take a minute to calm down, I need to dump whatever coffee I have because I can’t handle it anymore. I need to find some paper and write whatever comes out, because I obviously have something I need to address. Sometimes I can’t do this though, and I have to tell myself to shelf it. I will deal with it later, when I have time and can allow myself to fall apart. But I still need to dump that coffee…which always makes me a little sad..
Being able to do that, to handle that is huge for me. I didn’t used to be able to say, it can wait. I couldn’t recognize that I am having a flashback, that there is something lurking in my mind that I need to reflect on. All of my memories would flood me, I would become overwhelmed with emotion, but I couldn’t tell you what was wrong. I wouldn’t make any sense, because I had no idea what was happening. So, I would project whatever I was feeling into my present. One thing that is extremely hard is seeing my children grow makes me so happy, but can also be the thing that sends me into these moments.
My boys are my world. There are times I just stare at them and think about how much love they have brought me, how innocent they are, that I want to protect them from all pain. Occasionally in those times, I can’t help but get extremely sad because I don’t understand how my dad didn’t have that with me, for me. The worst pain I have ever endured is because of him. I am working through many different emotions regarding my past. As I said sometimes it’s a flood, sometimes it’s a trickle. Sometimes I can hold off the storm, but it took years..yes years to learn how to do this. I have worked really hard on myself. I had to want it, it had to be something I chose to do for myself.
I had tried therapy before, before my PTSD but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t make any progress. Once my PTSD came on, there wasn’t really an option to put it off. I became very dedicated, I worked every single day. But if you looked at me, I just looked a little crazy. My outward appearance was messy, disheveled, I looked tired. I would get up and write, every single day. I would write, sometimes cry, and I would pray. In the beginning, it took me hours to calm down, to get to a “starting point” so I could be okay enough to get through a day. I wasn’t really sure what the impending danger was, I just know I was genuinely scared I wouldn’t make it through the day. Was I suicidal? I don’t think so, I didn’t have a fear of hurting myself or anyone. But I did spend most of my day thinking my family and friends would be better off without me, especially my son. I spent a lot of time trying to convince myself that Nathan needed me, even though I felt like he deserved so much better. It was a constant cycle I went through. I was trying to get healthy so I could be a good mom, but I wasn’t eating because I felt like I was failing as a mom. I remember driving my car and thinking it would be easier if I had a car accident. Not because I wanted to die but because I wanted to be able to have visible wounds. And back to my younger self, when the abuse was happening I used to dream, yes DREAM of getting cancer or something. I would daydream about cancer, car accidents, terrible things that would result in physical bruises, broken bones, scars, anything that someone would be able to see. Visible wounds so that maybe someone would understand the pain I was in.
Looking back over this, It seems all over the place. And as I started to fix it, to delete things from this post..I changed my mind. Because this is how living with PTSD is. I can be having a normal day, and a song will come on that reminds me of my dad. Or a certain smell will remind me of him. My point is this post seems all over the place, but that’s just how my mind works. I have 3 different windows open with 27 different tabs, music is playing in the background, and I’m still trying to do a puzzle. It can be hard to concentrate, but I also don’t know how to function without some noise. I am ninja level multi-tasker.
I am just trying to put some of my story out there, in the hopes it may help someone. I really don’t know that it will, or who is going to keep reading my posts.
Thank you to anyone that read my last post, and is reading this one. I know there are probably errors, my writing is mediocre, and it doesn’t really flow..but I’m just writing like I do when I start my day. I’m just sitting down, writing, and pressing submit because if I read over it I will get nervous that I shouldn’t say this or that. So I just write it and send it..and then I don’t look at my computer again for hours, because after I hit send I feel sick. Because I’ve never opened up this much, or let anyone in..because it’s not pretty.
But this is real..raw..ugly..uncensored..unedited..whatever this is me, and I’m trying to bring something positive out of something negative. Welcome to the twisted mind of Nicole..dark and twisty like Meredith from Greys. The fun kind of crazy, right? Not the key your car kind of crazy, but like interesting crazy?