PTSD symptoms vary. One of the ones I didn’t show at first was crying. Many survivors talk about the flood of tears that just kept coming. At one point I didn’t think I had any depression because I didn’t cry. I finally checked out a book from the library about depression and realized I had every symptom accept crying. I was methodically/brutally trained to not cry. If tears dared to leak out of my eyes I hid the evidence or myself. So when someone else blogged about crying I read it completely through and all the comments. LifeBegins45 graciously agreed to let me share her post. This is the link https://lifebegins45.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/laugh-and-the-world-laughs-with-you-cry-and-you-cry-alone/
We each commented and this is the comment that again brought tears of relief it is OK to cry.
What I’ve found that is probably the hardest thing (or at least, one of the hardest), is that I, at times, finally feel as though I have conquered whatever triggers there were, or at least have made it “out” enough to never have to revisit… only to be blind sided by some reminder that I wasn’t ready for, or a personal attack from someone at a very vulnerable time, and I fall back into the pit, for a short time. I like to remember (maybe “like” isn’t the right word, here..), that even though I was vulnerable to attack today-knocking me back a bit, I’m not where I was then. Just because we learn to combat the triggers, and get stronger in our lives, it doesn’t mean that the same conditioned triggers won’t rear their ugly heads once in a while. You aren’t defeated on those days… it’s just a speed-bump 😀
I had to learn (still learning, by the way) to not be ashamed of my tears. Of course, I try to hide them from others, but sometimes it still happens that someone sees.. I just stopped apologizing for it. What should we apologize for? Harming another, whether intentionally or unintentionally… hurting someone’s feelings, or just when it’s the right thing to do, right? I like to think of a guideline, to help me keep from apologizing too much.. Did I directly affect someone else’s life in a bad way, by my choice, action or personal tears? Or did that person just happen to walk in and see? If it didn’t actually affect them, and only embarrassed myself, I have nothing to apologize for. Hence, I don’t apologize 1/2 as much as I used to. Life happens, sometimes, and it’s not our fault. We shouldn’t carry the weight for someone else, if it isn’t ours to carry. So many times, we wrongfully shoulder blame, as if we had something to do with what life caused for someone else.
I like to think of those tears as our “hug”.. why would we apologize for receiving a hug?
Why indeed? Why do abusers ridicule their victims emotions? I learned that stripping away a persons emotional connection leaves them more vulnerable to manipulation and abuse. No outrage from how I was treated. No tears of hurt to warn me of the harm I was experiencing. No fear to get me away from terrifying people. I pretended I wasn’t afraid of my abuser so he could do anything he wanted and I took it because I was a big girl and didn’t cry. I wept many tears during counseling to release all the tears dammed up behind a wall of terror that I lived in. I’m still learning. Thanks LifeBegins45 for teaching me.