Wishing people understood….(cont.)

I am continuing down the list of things that I wished people knew about PTSD: http://medprecautions.com/23-things-i-wish-people-understood-about-ptsd/ I recommend following the link to the original post which shares their ideas on each one. So I continue down the list.

 

  • PTSD is paradoxical in how it makes me a bigger more confident person afraid of everything.

I haven’t phrased it quite this way.  I joked that I was a worm that grew a backbone.  Learning new ways to cope, challenging myself, looking for ways to make my life more positive helped me to grow and strengthen physically and emotionally.  Fears is still a big part of my life.  This week I had two triggers that I had to work through.  Not too subtle reminder that PTSD is not gone but it is more manageable.

  • PTSD is my injury not my identity.

I’m sometimes hesitant to tell people I have PTSD not because I am ashamed, I don’t want them to put me in the PTSD box and leave me there.  I believe that I am a person whose life challenge is PTSD.  It helped shape who I am today but I am not PTSD.  I agree with the author of the article:

It helps me when both the reality of my injury and “who I am” as an individual human being are acknowledged.

I am so much more than PTSD.

  • PTSD doesn’t define me, but I may not remember who I am temporarily. PTSD can involve a lost sense of self.

I was so lost I was fragmented.  However, I became furious when I was asked which one was real.  I am completely real, I don’t function like everyone else.  It is called a disorder but it is how I live.  I am thankful to my first counselor that helped me to connect with myself.  My sister and I have a saying, “Stopping lying, especially to yourself.”  PTSD is a huge influence in my life but it is not my life.  I have no memories of my life without PTSD.  From the age of 5 years old on….I had symptoms of PTSD.  My counselor encouraged me as I struggled through the growth process.  He knew I liked butterflies so paralleled my  progress to the emergence of a butterfly.  I pointed out that the existence of the butterfly is the end of the caterpillar.

 

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