The 23rd thing I wish people understood about PTSD

I am finishing 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. The last item is complex to describe.  I took my time going down the list to keep myself from getting overwhelmed.  One of the powerful coping techniques taught by my first counselor is to break up a project, overwhelming memory or anything else that is pushing me past my limits.  Took me all week but I arrived at # 23.

  • I was a different person once upon a time. To heal I will need to learn how to accept who I have become.

One of the things that kept me going in counseling was I was not born the way I was.  Events early in my life, changed/arrested my emotional development.  My focus growing up was survival.  Boundaries didn’t exist.  My understanding of humans was warped and distorted.  I had no memories of before trauma.  Living with nightmares is all I know.  The kindest thing that happened is most of my childhood memories are gone.  After remembering a few incidents I decided that staying forgotten is not a bad thing.  However, the thought that I was not born cringing, hysterical, terrified, dissociated, kept me coming back trying to learn what I should have learned as a child.  The first book my counselor had me read in a quest to find out the depth of damage in my life was Dave Pelzer’s book “A Child Called IT.” This book is a tough read.  I had no reaction to the abuse heaped upon one small boy.  I asked what my counselor expected me to learn from the book.  He replied he was watching my reaction.  I read more of Dave Pelzer’s books.  I read an article about him where someone asked him if he wished the things that happened to him, didn’t happen.  I can’t find the exact quote so this is an approximation.

I like the man who I am today and I would not be that man without the experiences that I had.  Dave Pelzer

This became my goal.  I wanted to be able to say, “I like the woman I am today and I would not be this woman without the experiences that I endured.”  I believe that now.  I like the woman I am today.  I am using my experiences to hopefully help others.  I cannot change my past but the future is for me to create.



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