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PTSD

It’s taken me a while to really connect with this sentence on more than a superficial level, and I think I’ve mentioned it in passing on that level, but lately, this has become apparent to the point of being ridiculous:

I have PTSD.

There’s no one source, no one event…it’s a culmination of how I was treated growing up by family and classmates/teachers, then treated by guys I dated and/or married (with a few exceptions), and all of it’s coming together with the stress of my current ailment (which relates, oddly enough, to my past relationships).  The situation is similar to that of someone who keeps getting re-deployed without having a chance to de-compress from the last tour.  I keep getting thrown into the same environments with the same bad treatment or circumstances without being able to process what happened, last time.  This relationship is a great one, but I don’t think I even really processed my divorce properly before being in it…I sometimes forget I was actually, legally married, and put “single” on forms instead of “divorced.”

I can’t go into detail…not yet, anyway.  I’ve put details  up in bits and pieces, here, but we’re dealing with about 24 years of stuff piling up, here, and as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve gotten stress-induced eczema over the past month or so, and it’s getting worse.  I have agoraphobia, but my natural inclination is to talk to people and be social in some way, so I’m at odds with myself, which is turning into this horrible internal struggle.  I have little panic attacks about whether I should show up as anything other than “away” or “do not disturb” on Skype.  That’s not a life-changing decision, yet my brain treats it like one.

I’m not streaming because I just don’t want people to see me, because I’m afraid they’ll see all that awfulness, or that I’ll get irrationally angry at some aspect of a game I’m playing, or at once of my viewers, and just lose my shit over nothing.  I’m a powder keg, right now, and my fuse is popping.

I’m going to my doctor Wednesday to talk about my eczema, discuss causes (might get an allergen test set up, just in case) and treatments…and to get a proper referral to a therapist of some sort.  I will likely begin the “medication dance” again, because I need something to ease this constant buzz of anxiety and panic and depression.

I can’t do this any more.

I just can’t.

It’s gotten to the point where I got REALLY upset on Thursday night about how Wasband is essentially the reason I stopped painting, and how I wanted to take it up again, and Forrest just left the room and started making macaroni and cheese for me because it was all he could think of to do to make me feel better – mac’n’cheese is one of my comfort foods.  There’s nothing wrong with his reaction – in fact, I prefer it to the people who want to fix everything – but we’re at a point where that’s our life.  I’m constantly stressed, he’s constantly worried.  We can’t live like this.

 

There are things about my marriage, past relationships, and even past experiences with counselors (I don’t have what one would call a “good” history with them) that I haven’t discussed with anyone, and there are aspects of my current relationship that are suffering from both those as well as my physical illness.  The physical illness is bad enough, but I’m working on that.  It’s time to deal with the emotional illness, as well.

 

There’s more that goes along with all of this, but I’m going to just kind of leave this here, for now, and update when I feel it’s appropriate.

6 comments to PTSD

  • Joseph

    You have been going through a truckload of stuff, all of it piled on top of other things. That is quite a bit to handle.

    Post when you feel like it. Don’t feel obligated. This is for you, not us.

    Take care of yourself first!

  • Paul

    By your logic, everyone has PTSD. There are none among us who haven’t had difficult child hoods, or less than fulfilling relationship, even downright abusive ones. Life is difficult. Post kindergarten, life doesn’t come with a cookie and nap break after every activity. We all have to get up and do the best we can, continue to be a productive member of society and move forward. If you start polling people in your age demographic, you won’t find hardly ANYONE that hasn’t survived some truly traumatic occurrence by now. Rape, incest, witnessing a death, molestation, physical abuse, extreme poverty – these things happen to more people than you can imagine.

    The best part of this post is what you said about needing therapy. Please don’t go into it with a ‘self educated’ perspective on what YOU think YOU need. Please get some help from someone who has actually spent years of their life becoming qualified to assist you and then follow through, even if you don’t like their diagnosis. You and your loved ones deserve it.

    • It’s not my logic, it’s my perspective. Also, I’m going into this knowing I need help, and will be treating it the same as my illness – listening to the doctor. It’s taken me a while to accept that course, but I think I’m ready, hence this post.

      Also, please don’t EVER tell someone their life is comparable to the majority when they’re depressed. You’re basically telling them “don’t bother trying – it’s not like you’re special or deserve happiness.” No matter your intent, that’s how it comes across. It makes you look like a dick. Don’t judge me – you have no idea what I’ve been through, and I’m not an idiot. Thanks for your comment.

  • I dunno if it helps but I’m pretty sure that there’s a distinct term for PTSD that’s from lots of smaller traumas over a long period as opposed to a single large one.

    It sticks in my head because the treatment regimens are completely different. Getting married to a specific term could make it a lot harder to treat.

    • Getting control of my anxiety so that I can address the issues is the first step. And the term you’re looking for still has “PTSD” in it – it just has the word “progressive” tacked to the front, which isn’t accepted in many circles, because the end result is the same, even though yes, you do deal with a single event differently than you do multiple events…but that’s the same, regardless of your diagnosis.

      Putting the separate label on it diminishes it as a situation requiring treatment, and instead denotes it as something that’s perhaps less urgent (“progressive,” to most people, means, “moving forward,” and it’s interpreted as having wiggle room before that person gets REALLY bad, like someone with “real” PTSD).

      I’m married to the term because that’s what it is. The cause isn’t “traditional,” (except that it is, people just like to say that I’m being dramatic because I haven’t been shot at or something, even though, for my life, what’s happened has been pretty damned terrible, especially when you factor in a natural tendency to just be anxious about everything, anyway), but the treatment’s not going to be much different, it’ll just be done at a different pace.

      Regardless, I’m getting help. In the end, that’s what matters, yes?