This is a face of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
It’s not what I expected either, but here we are.
I didn’t even know I suffered from it until I walked into my counsellor's office just over 3 years ago. I waltzed in there feeling uninspired thinking that I would get some answers on “what I should do with my life” and I’d be on my merry way.
Man, was I wrong.
I had taken a leave of absence from my work, something wasn’t right. I felt unfulfilled, drifting through life, like one day I would just wake up and it would all be over and I hadn’t achieved anything. Talk about terrifying...
Well, I sat there and talked about surface-level shit, why I was there and then my counsellor asked about my history and I literally said, “oh I was sexually abused as a child but it wasn’t that bad and it made me the person I am today....”
I have been telling myself for almost 30 years the same story, the same narrative about how “it wasn’t that bad”, “I’m stronger for my experiences” etc. It took me almost a year of counselling before I was even ready to look at my trauma. At first, I didn’t believe that it was affecting me at all, and then I had to come to terms with the fact that it was only affecting me mentally but physically and emotionally as well.
I distinctly remember the day that my counsellor initially told me that I suffered from PTSD. I nearly fell out of my chair. I questioned her, how is that possible? I didn’t go to war, I don’t have a job where I see traumatic things... how could I suffer from PTSD, I felt like an imposter. I felt like I didn’t deserve to have that diagnosis.
But here I am 3 years later, and I have worked damn hard to be here. I had a storyline that was woven through every fibre of my body, that was so ingrained in me that I didn’t even know the full extent of it and it’s a daily practice to undo it.
But this isn’t actually about me, well I guess it is, though it’s not the reason I’m sharing this. There are so many people in this world who also suffer from PTSD and they don’t all look the same. I am just one of the many faces of PTSD.
They/You/We are not alone. We all have different experiences but we are all humans,
we all breathe air, blood pumps through our veins and eventually we all die. Before that happens though, I want to help others just like me. So now I have found my purpose, and I can thank my journey for bringing it to me.
If you want to connect and learn about my journey or just want to chat I’m here for you, for reals!!
If you would like more information on PTSD here is just a few websites dedicated to it:
Photo Credit: Taylor Bartram