Society is a strange and confusing idea to deal with in our daily lives; the acceptable and unacceptable parameters are often less symmetrical that if we just took our chances without the rules or laws that are meant to guide us. Community rules may differ in as a little space as simply walking across a driveway. We can never be too sure as to whether we are or are not breaking a law or an ordinance, so we’re finding it increasingly less comfortable to deal in society.
Memories can be clouded in our current state of unease. Sometimes we wonder where all of the “good old days” niceties have gone away to, as we see less of a familiar landscape in our views. But when we go into the honest evaluation of historical experiences, we often find less of a desire to go backward, truth can be a dismantling and destructive realization for a person.
I am a sufferer of PTSD. I don’t have the vocabulary to explain how it affects me at any given moment, I can tell anyone that it is frightening at times, confusing at times, mysteriously unknowable at times and all of these identities can exist, simultaneously!
I offer one thing when I speak about this condition, and that would be honesty. So, in honesty, I have to admit that I do not know the answers on how to ease the symptoms, based on my belief that no one can know everything, and also because persons differ in their reactions to any input, it is not a uniform event in any case. Place a group of people in a cold pool and some will immediately begin to shiver, while some will feel perfectly comfortable. This is the way with ANYTHING!
Currently, there is an atmosphere of confusion about PTSD, because most people only think about the idea that a combat soldier can even be afflicted with this condition. As wrong as that assumption is in reality, it is a very real belief in the minds of those who accept that it is this way. The last thing that an organized society wants is to deal with citizens who need to be assisted, this seems to place fears of the eventuality that there will be more in need, and less to provide. At least many governments use this formula as it calculates the probability factors that will have an impact on its future effectiveness.
On an individual scale, an individual may be initially confused when they are forced to deal with an odd situation of some kind. A family member may suddenly become less sociable or even might have closed themselves off in a room and not want to be bothered. The changes can be subtle, or they can be eruptive and stunningly frightening. This possibility is concomitant in the cases of any of the persons who may be involved in the incident. Even the person who suffers from the condition can be taken off-guard by an episode of intrusion.
When an infinite set of possibilities occur at one converging intersection, the damage can be exponentially multiplied, this, is how I see PTSD at times, a collision of possibly massive destruction.
No, I do not offer to promote myself as an expert on how this intervenes into anyone’s life other than that of my own, but I do know that the effects can be emotionally unsettling to the point of dissuading one from participating in daily life activities. This is abuse, magnified!
Stepping away from the origin of one’s abuse is not necessarily the end of the trauma. I cannot expect of anyone that they can simply “forget” that they have been violated, or torn apart by physical mechanisms of some sort.
- Domestic violence
- Natural disasters
- Severe illness or injury
- The death of a loved one
- Witnessing an act of violence
Viewing the numerous causes I have listed above (and there are any number of others I have not) one is allowed to see that there is underlying reasons for understanding in regards to any person who has been diagnosed or is simply showing the signs that they may have this condition. It can be lonely for a person who feels that there is something wrong but cannot explain it, nor can they identify what or why it is even an issue.
I can say that I had a difficult time in believing that there could be something wrong with me. Over a number of years, I hurt myself, and people who loved me because I pulled away, I stepped into an emotional background for myself, I tried to create a zone of safety, to impress the feeling of my being in charge, because I felt like everything was out of my control.
Friends are often unable to find a comfort zone with a person who has been diagnosed and does not hide the fact from them. A number of people will attempt to “joke away” from the subject; feeling like the laughter will keep you happy and focused on something other than the problem you may be having at this point in time.
Emotional responses are usually under a deal of self-control to a point. This can be subverted in the presence of factors which diminish the abilities we have to successfully complete this step, and then, breakdowns occur in the areas of psychological needs. With any system, integrity is necessary for the performance to happen as it is designed to, less than optimal structural integrity, a building, is in danger of falling down. This is true with our emotional building as well, it must be sound in order to function properly.
Long term, one might be prone to unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and headaches or nausea. In and of itself, any one of these could be dismissed as “just another” of whatever it may be. But when the symptoms are stacked, and even falling domino-like in their interactions, we will eventually notice that there is something more with which one is dealing.
I look for solutions, and so far, none have arrived. I feel strangely uncomfortable with many of the suggested treatments. The drugs frighten me, if you watch the many commercials and then research, it can seem like having a certain condition, may be much safer than taking the drugs that are offered in the cause of treating or curing it.
I panic in certain situations. I am uncomfortable in stores, church, any area where there is a crowd of people who are close enough to reach out and touch me. I find shopping to be anathema, I hate the idea of going into a store. The process gets in the way of feeling safe, and comfortable.
What I feel about the addition of PTSD into my psychological portfolio is not easily put into words with which most would be comfortable. I see it as the adversary of adversaries, to say that I dislike it is too soft, and to say that I hate it, is even more, self-abuse. Hatred takes up too much energy.
I don’t like PTSD, it gets in the way of living a decent life, as far as for me. But the one thing I can say to the positive about it is that has introduced me to some very remarkable people. Here, and on the chat.
We’re together with this condition, and I believe that it will be defeated, with all of us, as a group working together.
Peace, to everyone.