Doesn’t help

I am a big believer in education key to understanding mental illness.  Unfortunately, Hollywood and other artists can add to the confusion more than they help.  Tonight I turned off the TV in disgust because a favorite show was portraying the horrible awful bad murderous villian as a schizophrenic triggered by PTSD.  Their script writer doesn’t know that PTSD does not cause schizophrenia.  Unfortunately, movie makers and script writers wish to entertain and make money so accuracy isn’t a priority.  Many people with PTSD are high functioning caring people that are trying to cope with too much already.  I also watched shows that portray those with PTSD symptoms as fakers and cheats.  Also making those with the real deal fighting an up hill battle to be believed.  I had no name for what tormented me until my late 40’s.  I complained to doctors that something was wrong since age 15.  My first symptoms showed up at age 5.  For 40 years, I was tormented by nightmares, suffered health problems, and struggled with living.  I didn’t know.  I am still tormented by nightmares, suffer health problems and struggle with living but now I know why.  There is a reason behind it.

I am always researching something.  I read about children adopted from 3rd world countries hoarding and stock piling food in their rooms.  I looked around my office, at the case of food and water stuffed under my desk.  Why did I behave like a child from a 3rd world country?  Now, I know that this is a reaction to going hungry as a child because my mother used food to control me.  I went with my husband to a marriage class trying to improve our marriage.  I came home frustrated and confused when they spent the whole evening discussing boundaries.  I yelled at my husband when we got home, “What are boundaries?”  He looked at me and said, “You know.”  In utter frustration, I yelled back, “No, I don’t.”  I felt like a child at a grown ups meeting with everyone being in the ‘know’ except me.  More and more pieces of my life didn’t make sense.  Finally, my husband and I went to marriage counseling that within months turned into counseling for me trying to piece together the puzzle of my life and make some sense out of it.

A majority of the information available about PTSD is through the military.  I appreciate these websites.  I learned more and more from them.  I appreciate others that are speaking up and sharing their PTSD experiences.  I especially appreciate a counselor that spent 7 years teaching me the skills I needed to learn as a child.  I was too busy surviving, I missed out on basic life skills training.  My children missed out on some of the same training because you can’t teach what you don’t know.  I am thankful my husband has stood by me through years of challenges and counseling.  I am continuing my education.  I have a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks.  This blog is me sharing what I learn.  Hopefully, those that read it will come away knowing a bit more about challenges of living with and thriving with PTSD.

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