Living with P.T.S.D.

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It took a very long time for me to understand the above statement.  I was one of those who thought that something was wrong with me.  Through many counseling sessions, and Doctor visits, along with conversations with family and friends, I have now come to accept that it IS something that happened to me. I also accept that I DO have P.T.S.D.!

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I thought that P.T.S.D. was something that happened only to those in the military. Boy was I wrong!  Everyone, and I mean Everyone is susceptible to the Hell that is P.T.S.D., and it is a terrifying thing to live with.

As if the trauma that got you there is not enough, they throw in Flashbacks, anxiety, Depression, and a whole boatload of other things.  This is what you have to look forward to, AFTER, the trauma!

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Now, not all people (even those sharing the same traumatic experience) develop P.T.S.D.,  some people’s brains handle stress, violence,etc., different.  But there are those whose Hippocampus (learned that from my Doctor) and Amygdala don’t communicate well (my words, not the doctors…it’s what I took from the conversation).  You see…the Amygdala is the part of the brain in charge of Emotional Memory…and especially Fear related memories.  But, in cases of P.T.S.D., the persons Hippocampus (the portion in charge of placing memories in the correct order and placing it in a safe place), is suppressed.  And that…in simple terms is what causes the person with P.T.S.D., to have Flashbacks.  Those lovely things that put you right back in the midst of the situation that got you here…fun…right….NOT!!!!

Children suffer from P.T.S.D.

Children suffer from P.T.S.D.

That being said…again, anyone is subject to acquiring P.T.S.D., given the right (or should I say Wrong) circumstances.

Of course we know that Military personnel suffer the effects of being in war situations, and can develop P.T.S.D., but so can the people who see these things, those who are living in areas where war takes place.  Also, those who see live footage on T.V., could possibly acquire P.T.S.D., if what they see makes them afraid.

Victims of Bullying, Abuse, Shootings, Bombings….first responders who see the aftermath of violent or destructive events, are also prone to P.T.S.D..  Those who work in hospitals, who see traumatic things…you see…anyone and I mean ANYONE, is at risk.

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It took me a long time, as I said to admit that the Abuse I suffered could cause me to have P.T.S.D., I guess, I just thought it was anyone who was Brave, and withstood horrific things in war, that were ok to have it…. as if it were a badge of courage that they earned.  Not so…it is your own living Hell…with no escape.  You can’t wake up one day and it is gone.  There is no cure…much like some medical diseases.

You need to seek help if you have P.T.S.D., and here are some of the signs to look for…

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and this is some of the treatments used…wpid-screenshot_2015-10-06-22-01-21_1.jpg

If you have P.T.S.D., or know someone who does…HANG IN THERE!!!

It may not be curable, but there is hope to subdue some of the effects.

I was afraid to talk to anyone about my Abuse at first…I guess I thought that my abuser would somehow know that I was talking about it, and come back and follow through with the threats made against my life and the lives of those I Loved.

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I know that he is capable of following through, because he has in the past.  But I will never heal, if I don’t talk about them…The Nightmares will never stop, if I don’t talk them through and find a place for them.  Because my Hippocampus was suppressed and did not allow the amygdala to do its job.  You see…it’s something out of our control. The only way to get any relief, is to talk to those who have been trained to help, and the ones who know what you are going through.

does it really happen like this?

Does it really happen like this?

I know that therapy helps…I know I need to get back to it.  I have been away from it for some time, because I could not pay for it.  There are places though that help without you having to pay..you need to ask your Doctor…they have avenues you can use.

Let me tell you one of the ways I know that Therapy helps.  I have many recurring dreams, about things that happened…some are not real things, just something my brain makes up.  But they all seem very real, and I never fail to wake up in a sweat!

My counselor said that if we talked about them in our sessions, he felt they may subside…it’s that amygdala/hippocampus thing again…where your brain needs to process it, so it can be put in the proper place where it will not jump out and bug you again, and again.

So, he asked me to pick one of the worst dreams, and we would talk about it the next week.  Of course, I have a hard time talking about anything that happened, and dreams are no exception…I couldn’t bring myself to go into one of the worst…so I picked a “funny” one…of course it is in Quotations, because it is not really funny, but when I tell it you will understand.

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In my dream…I drive a bus full of school children, and my friend is driving a bus that is following me.  We drive down the street to the house where I lived when the abuse took place…now…I don’t know why I would be driving a bus load of school children to a house where an abuser lives, but the dream goes on.  I stop across the street from the driveway, and suprize…I get the children out of the bus…my friend comes up with her bus children and puts them on my bus.  I ask her to stay with the children (my bus kids) while I walk across the street.  Now…I don’t know why I’m even walking across the street…I don’t even want to be there.  When I get to the other side…all the sudden a huge tree comes crashing down, and falls on his Truck!

Not his truck...he did not even have a truck...don't know why it was in my dream.

Not his truck…he did not even have a truck…don’t know why it was in my dream.

Well…I start to laugh hysterically (those who know me know that if I’m afraid, I laugh) and then the hairs on the back of my neck stick up, I turn around and there he is…..That is when I wake up, sweating and laughing.

“So, Doc,” I say…”what does it mean?”

He then proceeds to discuss with me, that he thinks the bus children represent my own children, and that having my friend stay with them is my way of protecting them while I face something scary (not his word).  The fact that I crossed the street…he said indicates my willingness to confront some of the issues I’m having, even if it is hard…the tree falling, he said, may represent the Abuse and it hitting his truck could indicate that I want to smash his control over me.  Of course him being behind me after it happened, could indicate that I still fear him (of course) and always feel as if he is behind me no matter what I do.

Well…all of it seemed to make a little sense to me, but when I left the office that day, I was a little more than skeptical, as to whether it would make a difference in my dreams.

Wow…I did not have the dream that night…nor have I ever had it again!  So, I must say there is a method to his (my therapist) madness.  It did work…but unfortunately I have been unable to test the theory further, as it was the second to last visit I had with him….and we were making such good progress.

I know I need to get back to counseling, and to my Doctor for the pills I was taking to help reduce the stress (yes they were working…didn’t realize till I did not have them).  It all helps, and I know I need to find a way to get back to it.  Because my symptoms are increasing ten fold.

Things need to change, because it affects everyone in your life when you suffer with P.T.S.D., not just you.  So in my NON-PROFESSIONAL opinion…Get Help!  It really does Help!

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Just an F.Y.I.

Just an F.Y.I.

You can live with P.T.S.D., it may be a long hard road…and an ongoing battle. But I do see a light at the end of the tunnel…Maybe even living outside of my cave.

Good Luck to all of you living with P.T.S.D.!  Feel free to comment and share your experiences.

Thanks for listening!

Sincerely;

Bea Heard

DESPAIR

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I know that I use a lot of definitions in my posts, and this one is no exception.  The meaning of despair is very clear…not only in the above definition, but in pictures that need no words.

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Despair is all-encompassing. When you are in the depths of despair, it can seem never-ending, almost as if you were drowning with no hope of being saved.

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I know how despair feels, yet today, it is not my despair I’m writing about.  I am seeing some of the ones I love going through their own struggles with despair, and it hurts much worse than my own.  I think it is because when I see it in them, and I can do nothing to ease the pain…I wish it could be me instead.

I have been through a sleepless night, and I want so much to take them in my arms and let them know it will be ok…as when they were children, and you could hold them and comfort them, and make it better.

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But these are not things that can be so easily taken away.  I want to help, but don’t know where to start.  It is a very helpless feeling…that in itself is a form of despair.

It is something I wish with all my heart I could fix.  I want to be their beacon, and bring them safely home.

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fix mostly on their own.  I will though be there for them, and Pray for them, and hope that they will find their way out of the darkness.

I hope they know that I HEAR them!

Again, it is a time for this picture…Please do not get offended by it.  It is more for me than anyone else…I will pray that they know he is there for them too.

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Thanks for Hearing!

Sincerely;

Bea Heard

IT’S FINALLY TIME!!!

I know I have taken a break from writing…Silly, you say, as I have just recently started this Blog.

What… was I too exhausted from writing posts…the 4 or 5 I have posted (the mind is already forgetting)… or could it be that I am just afraid?  Yes you heard…that Fear of moving forward, of getting into things that have been hidden, or pushed down into a place that I do not know if I want to re-live.

Afraid to Move Forward, to Go Further!!!

I started this Blog, as I said, to be Heard…so why then do I continue to discuss, fun, innocent things?  When my intention was to delve deeper…Thus the warning to my readers, that this Blog was not for children, and Many people may not like the content.

I do though, want to write about everything I have inside, and some of that, though hidden from sight most of the time, is fun and innocent…though my innocence is long past!

I have been told by a number of people, that “I Need To Write My Story.”  I guess that they think I have a lot to offer on a certain subject.  But I, for one, think that there are Many more out there, going through similar situations, that have much more to offer, and could do it better.

But…I do want and Need to heal…and I know (from years of counseling) that I cannot Move Forward…without confronting the past…as hard as that may be to do!

Thus my need for this Blog…A way for me to be Heard, Move Forward, Get it out, and do it in a way that will be relatively safe, without giving away my identity…Those of you in similar situations, will fully understand the need to keep yourself silent to those who would do you harm!

So…….Finally…..Let me get a little brave, and show you a picture of my little world…Most of it anyway…this is where I spend most of my days…this is my view….

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There you have it….My view of the world!

That and the 4 walls I hide behind.  I sometimes get a view of the side of the house, from the outside, or the front porch, but usually in the Late, Late evening….well…Night…as most people are asleep…or the Wee hours of the morning, before the sun rises, and People wake for their days.  I get to see this, to water the plants I have in pots…None of which, are much further that a couple of steps from my Open door (It is locked most often)… open, so I am allowed to run back in, at the first sign of life.

True…I don’t go out much, not without the help of a little Valium.  All a symptom of….ok, I’m going to say it….Past Abuse.  There, it is out…my counselor should be proud of me, as I don’t say it much!

Some Doctors have called it PTSD, Others Agoraphobia, Depression, and others ALL Three! I say JUST PLAIN CRAZY!!!

Any way you slice it…I’m stuck…Stuck in my little world, with baggage no one should have to carry…least of all my Family and Friends…But they trudge along, like troopers, and deal with my baggage….I don’t deserve them!!!  They all care so much and deserve a better Me, to give to them!

This is very hard to deal with, not only myself, but as I said, my Family and Friends.  I feel so very Guilty for putting them through all they have had to go through with me.  I don’t think that feeling will ever go away…or the hurt I see in them.

I know this….I want to react one way….and my Body takes over and does whatever it pleases!!!

I have had Many, Many counseling sessions, and I have a Very Supportive group of Family and Friends, and you would think that I could just “Let it Go”, but that is Much Easier said than Done, as some of you may well know!!!

I truly envy those who have been through similar situations, and can still Brave it all and go out there Fear and All, still functioning, and contributing to society…Making it all look so easy.  And I know that it is not easy for them…I know that it is a daily struggle, just to wake up and put their clothes on…They still do it!   I Admire them!!!

So Why then, can’t I do the same?

Seeing others function like that, makes me feel like a failure…I have spoken at length about this with my counselor, who tries to comfort me by saying…” People handle things in different ways, and in different times…the mind lets you do what will keep you safe, and allows you to do things when you are ready.”

Well…Thats nice…..but…I want it to be different…I want to change….I want to be one of those people who actually goes out there every day, facing their fears, I don’t want to be one of the ones, stuck inside a place, afraid to answer the phone or the door, and sometimes not able to even open the blinds, and seeing the world from a limited view.  I WANT TO CHANGE!!!

My counselor said one of the ways to face things, would be to write about them….he is not a fan of the Blog, as he feels that it may cause me more harm than good…he said that not all people will give feedback that will be helpful.  I say, I’ve already been through Hell and back, so comments from people I don’t even know, and who don’t even know who I really am, somehow does not scare me.  Funny, Giving away all my deepest thoughts, feelings, and experiences to total strangers, does not scare me…but a Hug from a Family Member, who I know will never hurt me, does!!!!  Something is amiss, and I intend to fix it!

I understand this is going to, and has been a difficult process, because I don’t want to go back to my dark places, I don’t want to re-live the horrors of my past, I don’t want to go to places, I have pushed so far down, they are going to be hard to dig up…but I also know, that what I am doing now….is not getting me any further.

I am now willing to try anything, even if it is a Blog, pouring out my Heart and Soul to perfect strangers….Who knows, Maybe I will be able to help someone in the process, maybe I can even help myself!  We will see.

I hope what I have to say, will help, and I hope nothing hurts anyone in any way…that is not my intention.  I will be telling you my experiences, I will let you know what did and did not work for me….THAT IS NOT TO SAY THAT IT WILL BE THE SAME FOR YOU AND YOUR SITUATION, AND WHAT WORKS FOR ME, MAY OR MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU…WHAT I HAVE TO SAY IS IN “NO WAY” LEGAL ADVICE….I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY, NOR AM I A COUNSELOR!!!!

This is just my experiences, my situations…feel free to share yours, and I will try to post some of them…Be kind to each other..no matter who you are in life, where you are in life…we can all use a kind word or two, a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, a place to vent and not be condemned for….so take this journey with me (or not).

Remember, what works for me, or what works for you, may not work for everyone…you are the only one who truly knows what will work, or how much you can or cannot handle.  The most important part is that you keep yourself SAFE!

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART IS BEING AND STAYING SAFE!!!!  No matter what…If that means getting help, do that. If that means staying where you are and waiting for a plan to take shape, do that.  If it means just reading this blog, maybe sharing your experiences, do that too…but stay Safe…Only you know what that is!

Whatever it is….do something….Like me, Finally…. Because the views from the pictures above, along with the ones you may be seeing from your windows….are NOT the only ones we deserve!!!

I for one…am going to try very hard from this point on….to change….I deserve it, My Family and Friends deserve it, and SO DO YOU!!!!!

Have a Great Day!

Thanks for Hearing!

Yours Truly;

Bea Heard