Sometimes when I talk about having PTSD the response I get is “You’re too normal.” First off, normal is a setting on a drier. Yes, I am high functioning because I worked hard at it. People seeing me now don’t know about the 3 years in bed, the 7 years towards recovery layered on with another 10 years of counseling. Do the math, about $90 a week for 10 years. That is a very high price for reaching normal. They also don’t watch me pace at 1 AM because I am too agitated to sleep or the trembling melt down I had two days ago because someone asked me about a decision our boss made. The question was way above my pay grade. I didn’t “owe” her an explanation for our boss’ decision but I was so upset that evening I couldn’t attend my karate class. They don’t drive with me to work where I talk myself out of turning around and going home. They miss the nightmares that wake me up 2 or 3 times almost every night. It is not obvious and I hide many of the symptoms. When I am having a really bad day I call in sick, just like if they had the flu they would call in sick. PTSD impacts almost every aspect of my life, however, I work hard at it not defining who I am. What symptoms the other person sees does not determine whether or not I have PTSD. Now they are coming up with the term CPTSD when is complex PTSD. Only difference is how long did the trauma last….mine lasted for years. Another person also wrote about being told that they were too high functioning to have PTSD
Another important thing to remember is PTSD is on a spectrum and some days are better than others.