Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Symptoms Are Really Harsh Right Now

Every day I'm getting hit with the same symptoms. Hyperarousal, hyperarousal. Dissociating, adrenalin surges, flashbacks, physical muscle memory of being raped. There's lots of sadness and a horrible feeling of being totally cheated out of a lot of happiness. My therapist says that the big extremes will continue for a while. Is he right or is he guranteeing long-term business?

It seems right now that there's a lot of talk in the news about pedophiles. You would think that in a way it's good to get this out in the open. But from a survivor's point of view, not always. Some people actually think that it's funny in some weird way to talk about this. Unless you've been abused you'll NEVER understand why this is NOT funny.

I'm scared to go to sleep. Will I have more nightmares? Will I jump out of bed screaming in the middle of the night because of hyperarousal? What do I do then?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A lot is happening

NOTE: This blog contains graphic references or "triggers" that might be uspsetting to PTSD survivors. If this bothers you, please stop reading now. Otherwise keep going and thanks for checking it out.

Long time no post, eh? Sorry for the long break. It's been busy with dealing with symptoms, looking for the new job and more.

I still have all the PTSD symptoms: hyperarousal, hyperarousal, dissociating, adrenalin surges and more. I do lots of holistic things (exercise, more sleep, no gluten, etc.). But I STILL get hammered with these EVERY DAY. Lately it takes most of the morning to fight my way out of the hyperarousal and feel like I'm "focusing" on what's going on around me. Imagine a music sample in your head that you can't turn off, no matter what you do. Then FINALLY when you feel awake, hypoarousal starts. Now at times there's horrible sadness and emptiness. My therapist says that this is the beginning of a new rough phase in dealing with 35 years of PTSD. I know I have things to do every day. But it takes A LOT of energy to get thru it.

The adrenalin surges strike at the worst times. I drive somewhere and try different ways to stay grounded. Then when I get out of my car I have to literally fight and focus. Otherwise the adrenalin surges are really bad. And then I feel like I have no sensation in my feet or legs. Imagine this happens EVERY time you get out of your car. Then the dissociating happens at the worswt times. At times I feel like I'm going to disappear. Morphing happens and you have to fight hard to focus so you don't vanish. What happens if I do disappear? Will I come back? If I do what happened? Can you imagine blacking out. Then someone's pissed off at you because of something that you said. And you have no idea what they're talking about.

The emptiness is vicious and sometimes I think, will this ever end? My therapist talks about some people who have this near death sadness for years. Will that happen to me? The anger at all the a******s who treated me like s**t is still there. With some there's stupid f*****g pride that gets in the way of them acting like human beings and apologizing. For some people that's a fate worse than death. Just go away with your weird ass symptoms and YOU fix it. You don't treat people like that. So that's their loss. Now I don't care if that pisses them off. Or if they think I'm the biggest a*****e in the world. You had your chance to listen and you chose not to. So that's your loss and you'll have to live with that.

When the dissociating is really nasty I wonder, will I always have this? Why can't I have just one day with no symptoms? Triggers are everywhere and a huge pain in the ass to deal with. They can be anything. A noise, a note, a word, a color, anything that you can think of. Right now I have to be really careful. If one hits you it sometimes takes hours to get past that. A stuck fight-or-flight mechanism is also a bitch. For others, a simple change of thoughts takes a second. For me, sometimes it takes literally hours to get past. How then do you deal with all of these symptoms and get on with the other things in life as well?

At times you think about life, your life and others' lives. Will you always have this? My therapist says no. But still being human you wonder. Sometimes the symptoms get so bad I just fall down and cry in frustration. Others don't have time or seem to care at all about this. In some f****d up disfunctional families we just don't talk about s**t like this. Ok, I'll go elsewhere.

I don't want to feel royally f****d over forever because of PTSD. Still, the symptoms get so bad that I just scream and punch out anything close by. I get in my car and punch out my dashboard. I get out of my car and EVERY m****rf*****g time I have to focus and fight HARD to not lose feeling in my legs. The physical flashbacks still hit hard and are a real bitch to fight. I know that I'm not really getting raped in the ass again. But the body doesn't realize that.

I really wish I could have just ONE day with no symptoms.

Monday, August 13, 2007

We're Not Just Stats

NOTE: This blog contains graphic language and "triggers" (things that may upset various PTSD survivors). If this bothers you please stop reading. If not, keep going and thanks for your support.

Happy Monday. Seems like the whole world is on vacation except me :). But also with Iraq and Afghanistan still going on, nobody's thinking about the overall picture. Over a million civilians killed, two million are in exile. And the horrible effects of PTSD are on an unimaginable scale.

You have to remember; when trauma happens to you ONLY once, it affects you forever. If you're a little kid it's even worse because their bodies and neural connections are still growing. I've had it for 35 years. And I wonder if I'll ever get past this.

The health care system in the States doesn't care about treating people with PTSD. Yes there are lots of other conditions that need treatment as well. But with PTSD, many doctors and therapists either don't have the proper training or they think it's a dodge. They can't be bothered with it.

What does that do for people who really need help? How would you feel if you treated as just a number that politicians use to win elections? Or the media uses as a sound bite? I find that most people can't be bothered with dealing with this. But then some say it's YOUR fault. So YOU fix it. How f****d up is that?

I wonder when people will wake up to this?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Time to Catch Up

NOTE: This blog contains graphic language and occasional PTSD "triggers"(things that could potentially trigger a survivor's symptoms). If this bothers you then please stop reading. Otherwise thanks and continue.

Sorry for the break. It's been busy with a lot of stuff. EMDR/cognitive session, looking for the new job. Dealing with brutal PTSD symptoms (hyper and hypoarousal, dissociating, physical flashbacks and more). And it's a rough cycle to deal with.

Lately hyperarousal is really nasty in the morning. I end up screaming and fighting to wake up and focus. After that hypoarousal and the other stuff kicks in. My therapist says that unfortunately it's going to get worse before it gets better. Big surprise :)? If I go out into a crowded place everything is magnified X100. Every sound, sight, phrase and noise makes me think, am I going to be jumped? What do I do? I'm really fighting dissociating hard because if I don't, I feel like I'm going to disappear. Time gets altered and you feel like you're watching outside your own body (common PTSD symptoms).

I still have A LOT OF ANGER at various people that treated me like s**t. The physical flashbacks of being raped again still come at the worst times. It's really scary when you're in a crowded place and this happens. You try to ground yourself and say, I'm safe. This isn't real. But sometimes no matter how hard you try this it doesn't work. And if there's no place to temporarily escape, what do you do then?

Hyper-sharp intuition is a common thing for survivors to have. My prediction percentage isn't perfect. But it has gotten better. Sometimes I listen to someone talk and it's like a movie with subititles. I hear words but emotionally it's different. And if somebody's trying to screw me over for whatever reason I have to fight the urge to say DON'T WASTE MY TIME WITH YOUR S**T!

Triggers are everywhere and I have to constantly edit everything so they don't mess the day up. I keep thinking, am I ALWAYS going to have this? Sometimes people ask me about the m****rf****r that raped me. What would you do if you saw him again?

I'd tie him up in a chair and bring in a gun (unloaded, but he doesn't know that). I'd make him f*****g beg for his life. I'd push him as far as possible. Then, when he thought that he was going to die I'd make him beg for his life. Then I'd say sorry and stick the gun in his mouth. Just for that split second of f*****g terror MAYBE he'd come close to feeling a LITTLE of the 35 years of s**t I've gone and continue to go thru.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Very Rough TIme

Today's been a REAL BATTLE. Got practically no sleep last night which made all my PTSD symptoms flare up. Then EVERYTHING took a HUGE amount of energy. my fight-or-flight response is still stuck and that really slows things down. A small action (like don't listen or do that) takes forever to get thru.

My fears are hard to handle at times. The PTSD was so bad that it royally f****d me out of a lot of important things that most people take for granted. Your senior prom. Lots of hot relationships. Not getting left behind others (in personal and business things). The PTSD makes you feel like you're watching your body from the outside. You know that something's wrong. But no matter how hard you try nobody listens to you and nobody cares. Then sometimes you think; will it always be like this? Am I always going to be cheated out of what's important to me and what makes me happy? Then if you try to share your concern with someone else the response is f**k off. Nobody gives a s**t about you. You see people (family, maybe some friends) that you think will be there for you. But it doesn't happen. And then you feel like, do I have a family at all? Am I a f*****g orphan in the world?

My therapist says that because your PTSD has been so severe, now you have the flip side of it. Sometimes the anger and stress is so bad I worry. Am I going to snap? It's like Jack Nicholsen walking down the street in "The Last Detail." F*************************K!!!!!!!!! Am I going to disappear and then one of my multiples (or maybe more than one?) will take over? I'm afraid to go to sleep at night. In the morning I scream and try to force myself to fight thru the hyperarousal. Then later when I finally feel awake the hypoarousal starts. And it's like an endless cycle. I still have the physical flashbacks of getting b**t f****d in the ass over and over. And nobody is there to help and nobody gives a s**t. What if I get raped AND killed? Would you THEN give a shit?

Am I always going to have to have multiple personality conference meetings? It helps but after a certain point you have to say enough. But in the meantime if you try to talk about it to others (family or a handful of friends) nobody has patience for it. It freaks me out. So just shut up. I'm f*****g dying here and have freaking horrible P**D! I need help! But nobody cares because it's YOUR fault. You f****d up. So goddamnit fix it! Don't expect any sympathy from me for your freaky pathetic s**t. I don't have the time or patience for it. So f**k off.

Sometimes I just sit and cry because I don't know what else to do.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Let's Talk About EMDR

Sorry to be away for a while. Busy with the new job search, dealing with PTSD symptoms and not letting my fears get to me. Hyper and hypoarousal are still big problems. I'm almost 3 weeks into the gluten free diet. It's helped some. But adrenalin surges are still a problem at the worst times.

But as promised a long time ago let's talk about EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). There's a lot of ignorance about this and lack of effort from those qualified to do this. So let's clear this up.

In basic terms, EMDR is a way to release trauma (energy) that is trapped in different parts of your brain and body. This can be misdiagnosed as many different things. Over many years I was labeled as having everything from Tourette's to MS to schitzophrenia and more. It can also cause problems because you can feel like you're losing control over your body. You literally can lose feeling in different parts and feel like you're body is disappearing. My therapist recently told me that he's amazed that despite my horrible PTSD and the symptoms I have I'm still here.

When EMDR is used the therapist uses a light strip (think a strip of runway lights) in stages to talk about different areas of your trauma. It's not a drug trip or sinister in any way. Instead your following the light patterns with your eyes can help to begin to release the trauma. Is it an instant cure? No. How long does EMDR therapy take? It depends on how severe the trauma is.

I've been using it and cognitive (talk) therapy for almost three months now. Has it helped? In some ways yes. I'm starting to have a better understanding of overall how horrible PTSD and being raped repeatedly was. But once you stop avoiding years of trauma and abuse then suddenly the opposite happens. Now it's terrifying to not feel like you want to punch out everyone you meet. Everyday it's hyperarousal, hypoarousal and constant fighting to not feel like you're losing control of your body. Will I ever get over this? At times I'm not sure.

It's really sad that there's still a big therapist bias against using EMDR in many places. In my area I had to go thru 5 or 6 different people before I finally found someone who's EMDR qualified AND who actually listens to you. The others don't have the certification and can't be bothered with insurance hassles. Meanwhile before I found my current therapist I was battling all this stuff every day. Here in the States the government and some therapists only connect PTSD with vets. While they have a real PTSD problem there are many others who have it too. One estimate says that up to 60% of the U.S. population has PTSD, but either doesn't know it or refuses to deal with it. Also, with all the holistic things I do for my health, I STILL can't get health insurance from the major carriers because of "pre-existing" conditions WHICH I NO LONGER HAVE. So I'm being punished for being pro-active in my health care. Which you WOULD think would help to save money and improve the system overall. But the opposite is true.

I'm scared to go to sleep at night. If I'm lucky to get any sleep at all the nightmares happen. The flashbacks of being raped again come back. And then the next day the cycle keeps on going.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What Comes From Having PTSD?

When you have any condition like PTSD, keep in mind a few things. Everyone is diagnosed at different times. Everyone heals at different rates and has their own unique problems to deal with.

Now the opposite. Is it possible to have anything positive come out of PTSD? Some people say that it can help you to have better empathy for others. Frankly I can think of better ways to develop it. But one interesting thing that happens is that many survivors find that they have a much sharper psychic ability.

Don't worry about labels like psychic, medium, etc. Instead keep in mind that this is a documented thing that happens to many people. Why does it happen? Some theories say that the shock to your system overall makes you more aware. Others say that everybody has basic psychic ability. And as a result of healing from PTSD this increased empathy makes your psychic ability stronger.

At times this has been a blessing and a burden. I find that at times I'm listening to someone talk and I'm tuned in to what they're really thinking. So if it's several people at the same time it's like trying to watch 3 or 4 TV channels at the same time. At that point you just have to stop and work on shutting it off. I'm getting a little better at it.

Again, I don't worry about why it happens. Instead it's another thing to try and live with.