Every day I live my life with the spectre of PTSD hanging over my head. Living probably isn't really the right word. More like existing. It is hard to live, really live, when hidden triggers are hiding behind every corner.
It becomes hard to leave my haven, my safe place. And sometimes even my safe place is overrun with triggers. I no longer watch the news. Every time I hear about some child who has been abused, or how some celebrity is actually a pedophile, or how a church covered up abuse, or one of a myriad of similar stories, I feel it. It is like a physical pain. My heart starts to race, adrenalin flows through my body, my stomach churns, I start to shake and twitch. If you are watching me you might notice me taking deep breaths and letting them out slowly, or me twirling a pen in my hands violently, or my leg bouncing up and down.
You won't see me ripping my hair out, or screaming, or rocking back and forth wailing.
I will hide my feelings, my reactions, as much as possible. I will protect those around me as much as I can, whilst my insides twist and turn and rip themselves to shreds. Years of hiding my fear and distaste from my abuser taught me how to look calm on the outside even when you are terrified.
Currently things are really hard. There has been a flood of media about child abuse, pedophilia and all the things associated with it. I don't watch the news, but sometimes other people in my house will and my ears will hear things. It has come to the point where as soon as I hear the opening bars of the news I stick my ipod on and drown out the sound. It is hard enough just having random attacks, without subjecting myself to known triggers.
And that is where it is really awful.
I will be sitting there, farming on Farmville, totally relaxed, calm and then BAM! Adrenalin floods my system and an anxiety attack ensues. Out of nowhere. Many people think the anxiety and panic attacks occur only due to triggers, like a stressful situation, but sometimes they happen when you least expect them, when there is nothing 'unsafe' going on. And that is the hell. Not only to you have to aware of triggers, but also you have to be aware that any time, night or day, you can descend into your own personal hell for no reason at all.
I am, frankly, quite sick of my personal hell.
I don't want to have PTSD.
I don't want to have depression.
I don't want to have anxiety and panic attacks.
I want to be able to walk down the street and not see the face of my abuser in every old man.
I want to be able to go to bed at night and fall asleep.
I want to be able to sleep without reliving the horrors of my abuse.
I want it all to not have happened.
I want to have been protected.
You don't always get what you want.