Confused with PTSD

My therapist confirmed that I was exhibiting classic symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) during the “Radical Forgiveness” workshop I attended.  I guess I put myself too far out on a limb and was dangling by a twig.  I had no way to protect my mind from the onslaught of feelings that got stirred up and I resorted to what I know, to disassociate and shut down.  I told Lynn I can’t remember what I said.  What others said.  What I was supposed to say.  I can’t remember the names of anyone (including the leader) although I said their names many times in the workshop.  href=””>

Radical anything should have been a red flag,” said Lynn.  “Yes,” I agreed.  “But I wanted to practice mindfulness and be aware of my negative thoughts toward myself in order to move on.”

Lynn told me, “You know what your problem is.”

Hmm?  I am wondering what  a person does if they know what the issue is –poor self-image, self-protectiveness skills in abundance and a facade that no one sees through.

I am trying too hard to fix my psyche. I think I know what I need to do.  Share my issues with safe people, open up to my feelings, get healthy in mind and spirit through exercise and meditation.  I’m doing all of that but the acronym PTSD keeps popping up in my thoughts and scaring me.  I fear my own feelings.  I shut down with my own thoughts.  My coping skills are to not deal with raw emotions.  I dissociate. I also drink to escape.

Sometimes, I am strong and can deal with this vision of my life.  Since my medications were increased I was doing well but then I saw my therapist.  She spoke words that I haven’t heard in years. Back 25 years ago, when I was working on sexual abuse issues, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I thought that was in the past.

I wonder what Lynn thinks of me now that she recognizes the depth of my issues.  PTSD is not small potatoes.  It’s overwhelming and I don’t quite know where I stand right now.

There is this general feeling that my whole life is a fake out.  Every “intellectual” interaction is blocking my true self.

Of course, that can’t be true.  My mind is playing evil tricks on me.  It’s those stories my narrative self has taught me along the way.  I blame myself rather than seeing things as they are.

Since I saw my therapist, I have not been able to meditate.  I feel no peace.   I have been preaching about mindfulness but I’m unable to find that stillness in my brain.

I will stay focused on the goal, which is to accept all of me and see that my thoughts are not me they are stories I’ve told myself.

But, again, I must ask, what do I do when the stories take over and feel so real? 

♥ Daylily, who apologizes for this unedited post.  I know it’s all over the place and I sound mixed-up.  To try and intellectualize my feelings would be one more attempt at a fake out.  This blog is the real me and right now I do feel confused. ♥

5 responses to “Confused with PTSD

  1. Daylily, you’re not all over the place. You make perfect sense to me. This is the painful process of healing, of integrating all the ‘old stuff’ (thinking patterns, storytelling, numbing behaviors, etc) with the new stuff. It takes time, lots of time, more time than we calculate and expect to heal from trauma. I was diagnosed PTSD almost 7 years ago and I still get triggered sometimes ( and often lately with my mom’s brain cancer diagnosis), but when I feel all messed up and out of whack or like I’m going backwards in my recovery, you know what happens? Precious people like YOU remind me that it’s all part of the journey. I’m reminded that suffering is part of life and it won’t kill me. I’m told that I did those other numbing behaviors to stay alive, and now I’m going back to tell that little girl I used to be that she’s ok and I’ll get through it. There’s more to life than suffering and we have to fight our old patterns for it. But it’s there…

    I hear your pain and I want to remind you that you are stronger than before. You’re incredibly self aware and impeccably honest about your thoughts. PTSD or not, you’re more healthy than the average person who never went through the sh$! you did. Sorry to cuss, but it’s true. Be proud of yourself. Like my counselor told me when I was having uncontrollable panic attacks, when you find yourself wanting to numb your feeling, put yourself in front of the mirror and say, ” this is just old stuff. I’m just moving on, that’s all.”

    Keep going. Keep writing. And I’ll keep cheering you on!

  2. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Bless you, Daylily, being so honest. Only way to go.

    I agree that ‘radical’ anything is a red flag, and yes, you are trying too hard. Please relax. I swear to God, a sauna and spa are healers…. can you get to one?

    • I wrote an entire reply and it was wiped out- never to be seen again. Don’t you hate that?!

      Last weekend the family traveled out of town and I got into a jacuzzi with my two boys, soon to be 12 and 15 years. It felt wonderful but I worried that the heat would effect their long-term sperm production and I warned them not to stay in the hot water too long. The 15 year old asked why and I explained the reason his testicles hang out of his body is to keep them cooler than 98.6 degrees. My younger son stayed away from the conversation (and the jacuzzi) but my older one carefully regulated his time in the hot tub. Anyway, you are right I am trying hard. Too hard. I need to find some time to relax in my life. Most of what I am doing these days is focused on improving upon myself. Perfectionism and control are my enemies but I can’t give them up. Sigh.
      Thanks for your response. I think you do understand some of my struggles and that makes me not feel so alone in this life of mine. –Daylily

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