I follow several PTSD pages on Facebook. I am struggling lately with some of the attitudes I am encountering. I think they bother me most because I struggle with the same thing. They moan and groan that they want to be accepted for themselves in spite of their PTSD and actions. (I do separate PTSD and how people choose to act.) Then they rave how much they hate PTSD. How can myself or anyone else expect others to accept what we hate in ourselves?
My first counselor pointed this out to me. We share similar religious beliefs and he knew I responded to scriptures and Christ, so we often used this in our counseling sessions. He pointed out the Christ commanded us to Love our neighbor as our selves.
Mark 12:31 – And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
He pointed out that it did not say love my neighbor and hate myself. It did not say love my neighbor in spite of myself. It says, “as thyself.” He then proposed the possibility that as long as I hated myself, I could not love others. I felt devastated that session. (Did I mention that counseling is rough? Take note, counseling can push buttons you didn’t know existed.) I pondered on this for a long time. I felt I failed in so many ways. I joked that I was run by a committee that hated each other. This one conversation was a turning point for me. If I wanted to show my love to my husband and children, I needed to love myself, PTSD and all. Acceptance begins with me. How could I love me when I was so screwed up? How could I believe that others love me if I hate myself?