I am continuing down the list of things that I wished people knew about PTSD:
I recommend following the link to the original post which shares their ideas on each one.
- I relate to Time differently than I did before.
I was 5 years old when the trauma started….and continued for several years. I had zero concept of time. One of the most disappointing things about counseling, I still don’t understand time. I look at the clock and the seconds barely click by….other times I wonder where the hours went. My counselor informed me that understanding time varies from person to person with or without trauma. My counselor’s goal for me was to stop losing time. I would go to sleep on Monday, wake up on Wednesday and wonder what the hell happened to Tuesday and why an I in trouble for it. I now experience every day….no more huge gaps of where was I and what was I doing? I joke that I am time challenged.
- There are extreme, moment to moment, ups and downs.
I went through phases. When I started counseling I mostly experienced gray…..lots of gray. Depression, sadness, mostly downs and more downs. It sucked. It was why I went to counseling in the first place. My counselor encouraged me to reconnect with my emotions. That awakening and rebooting my emotional life put me on a wild ride that made the Whipper feel slow. Took me quite a while of living with emotions and many hours of counseling before I started to feel like I wouldn’t get emotional whiplash on a daily basis.
- PTSD is designed in some ways to get worse.
PTSD untreated sucked me know into an unending torment. It took actively fighting back on a day to day and sometimes a minute by minute basis. Anyone that tells you that it will get better with ‘time’ without actively doing something about it is conning you. I believe that ignoring PTSD is like ignoring cancer it can get a lot worse….and I do mean a LOT. I didn’t know what it was. I ended up in bed for 3 years unable to care for my family. I could stand for 20 minutes a day. I was in a living nightmare that I dragged my half dead carcass from one day to the next. Wondering how I could still be a live. This is when I learned I can survive anything for 5 minutes. I lived a long time 5 minutes at a time. My turn around and decision to fight back is another story. I did start to fight back. My first counselor called himself my coach. I had to do the work but he taught me what I need to do to learn to live.
- Time does not heal all wounds.
Ask anyone that had a cut get infected from neglect if all wounds heal on their own. Many wounds do heal up over time without much work. Other wounds from toxic abusers family or battle enemy adds poison and filthy material in the wound that causes festering and inflammation. Emotional wounds get infected much like a cut in the skin. My counselor reopened old wounds to clear out the infection and expose it to proper healing instead of hiding from my hurt. Slow painful process but healing does occur. I’m thankful for the years of counseling that allowed me to clean out old wounds and learn the healing process so that new wounds are also treated. Counseling made a huge difference for me.