It is hard to find people in this world who will try to understand just what PTSD is, let alone how it impacts your life. Even people who love you are apt to know more about the president’s dog than PTSD. Even if they read up on it, they may not understand it in an empathetic way since it is not something they experience. There are days that I feel more understood by the cat than a dear friend. (Of course, this is anthropomorphism — but heh, whatever gets me through the day… 😉 ) But, here at WordPress, I can find others who walk my path — who “get it” — because they are walking it too. It may not be PTSD, but instead depression, anxiety, OCD, DID, bi-polar disorder, or any number of mental and emotional health challenges. But, we can understand each other because we have shared experiences. Some days, we write a post and feel heard when we see a “like” on it. We press “like” when we find a post we can relate to. Sometimes we even comment on each others blogs and share a thought or two. We see others on the path sharing our journey. The loneliness abates. Other people’s ignorance is easier to bear. There are others who understand and whom we understand and this is a very good thing.
“Because of all I have gone and am going through, there may be times when I feel like I have little or no energy. During these times, I will be gentle with myself. I have been through a lot. I need time to recover. I will remember that having an abuser removed is major surgery of the soul. I need time to heal, and I need rest. It is okay for me to let myself take it easy.”
I just found this WordPress blog. I found the poems very moving. The author writes of her experiences with sexual abuse as a child, but I felt like it could be my own. These poems could be triggering so proceed with caution.
If you are looking for some honest feedback from me you will have to request it passionately. As someone who has had enough criticism to last a lifetime from my mother and first husband, I don’t like to dole it out to others. I understand that healthy criticism can be helpful; but, its been rare that I have been on the receiving end of this type. I think healthy criticism should include comments about what someone did right, along with remarks about what could have been better. A spirit of humility should also be present. After all, it is just one fallible human’s opinion.
But how do you withstand criticism from those that are hyper-critical? Those that consistently tear others down rather than build them up? Some you can kick to the curb and get on with your life. But others are a permanent fixture in your life. I think it helps to recognize that the criticism says more about them than you. They have issues. Probably, they do not feel very good about themselves or were subject to a lot of criticism growing up.
But, how do you handle it? Can a certain response decrease the amount of negative feedback you get from the critical ones? I am looking for ideas on how to cope and respond to this dilemma. Please share your ideas if you have any.
I am going through a time where my spirit resembles that of the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. I fear the future and I fear the present. I fear that there is no god. But I will pray this prayer nevertheless and hope.
Okay, that is me that the last post spoke so lovingly of. It’s an odd anniversary. One year ago I tried to take my life. I took an overdose of valium. Then, I thought better of it, and called 911. I still feel shame over it. Because my son found out. I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for allowing my darkness to enter his world. You see, I hid it successfully for over seventeen years. He was about five years old when I started having flashbacks and started feeling like I was losing my mind. I would hide in the bathroom and run my fingers up and down the lines on the wallpaper till the worst of the anxiety would pass. His favorite movies would play as I grappled with my sanity. Years of refusing medication because I thought to tough it out and get better faster. Till I didn’t. I grew worse and finally cried uncle and said “give me the pills”. The medication helped a great deal. I no longer felt as if I was holding on to my sanity by a thread. But, all along, I was working hard to improve my life. I got a divorce, went to college, got training and worked hard. Despite some hardships, I felt my life getting better. I felt that the bad times, and the decades of abuse, were behind me. Then, I met a kind man and we married and within a year he got a terminal illness and he died seven years later. And that is when I lost it. Lost the hope that I could have a decent life. I did manage to keep on keeping on for a time but then a dark day came and I took the pills. I am lucky that a part of me wasn’t ready to give in and dialed that phone.
I don’t have any words of wisdom. When you feel that bad — that you try to take your life — it seems you are beyond words. A darkness encompasses you and you just want to flee it. My medication was changed during my subsequent hospitalization. Perhaps, that is why I have not attempted suicide again. Or perhaps, I have found a glimmer of hope that my life could get better. It is ever so small this glimmer but for now it is enough.