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View Diary: It's about time this culture had a serious discussion about PTSD (202 comments)

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  •  PTSD and me.. (29+ / 0-)

    Mine stems from an abusive ex-husband who is still a stalker. I don't have an 'anniversary' per se, because the abuse went on over a period of years, but I have several triggers. Some stem from the time we were together, and some stem from him tormenting/harassing/stalking me after I left. When it comes to books and film, I don't generally read or watch things with spousal abuse because the trigger risk is too high.

     There have been a few notable exceptions, when the story line was about the woman getting away from the abuse successfully that I managed it (Rose Madder by Stephen King was one of those), but I read it AFTER my other half did so he was ready to deal with anything that popped up.  

    For me PTSD ranges from hyper vigilance and paranoia to hiding in closets to not being able to tolerate anything touching my throat, to a fear of being locked into or out of spaces (yes I know, seems odd with the hiding in closets but that's the way it works) to Ozzy Osborne music. It took me years to not have my house keys physically attached to my body 24/7 and I still panic if I don't know where they are (though I don't always carry them any more). My ex used to beat me up then throw me outside in the snow and lock me out.. in my pjs and barefoot. If I didn't have my keys I couldn't get back in when he finally fell asleep. He also used to lock me into things, bathrooms, walk in freezers when we worked at the same place, etc. He thought it was funny.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:21:45 AM PDT

    •  sorry about your situation (14+ / 0-)

      my daughter has an ex-fiance who is not a stalker and seems to have wandered off since her husband adopted the kids but she still experiences the PTSD every day of her life with extreme paranoia such as locking all the doors and calling me and her husband if she sees the same car pass the house twice.  This is every day

    •  You must be a helluva a strong woman to have (17+ / 0-)

      survived all of that including the PTSD after.

      One thing that helped me was to start writing down triggers.

      For a long time I didn't realize that Alarm Clocks were one. Someone mentioned that and I thought--hmmm. No wonder I wake up pissed off and anxious.

      We now have a clock that starts off soft and incrementally gets louder instead of the instant jangle your nerves FYI the world is on fire sound!

      Slowly I was able to recognize my triggers and either avoid them or deal with them.

      Because I was stalked and harassed over years, I understand about the anniversary being amorphous. You can have more than one.

      I suspect for many women, it is like this. It takes years to get to the bottom of them all.

      Glad you survived FloridaSNMOM and are here to share this with us.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:31:29 AM PDT

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      •  I wrote down triggers a long time ago (11+ / 0-)

        the first time I was in therapy, though I've discovered more along the way. I was in therapy twice, once in a private sliding scale fee place, and in a rape crisis/domestic violence shelter later on. The big problem I had the second time was my autistic son setting off some of my attacks. As I couldn't do a whole lot to change his behavior I went back into therapy to get mine under control.

        We once had a car horn turn itself on and get stuck in the middle of the night (it was an OLD car), and it took my other half several hours to get me to go outside, even after the police came and disabled it and told me it was clear. Because my ex isn't a 'get in your face' stalker, he's sneaky, does things that can't be tied directly to him legally, but knows will bug the hell out of me.

        For example, after I left him my folks took me down to Florida for a vacation (to get away from his crap). While we were gone, he broke into my parents house. He didn't take anything or leave any prints, except he left the cellar door wide open and put 'our song' on top of the record player where I'd be sure to see it. Nothing for the cops to legally tie to him, but enough that we knew it was him. My aunt found the house like that. We think he was trying to get us to come home early, but it didn't work.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:48:45 AM PDT

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      •  Yes!!! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, CenPhx, GreenMother

        I never realized what some of my triggers were for years. Especially since some of them seem so ridiculously benign. It took a while before my husband believed me when I told him certain things actually triggered me. When I finally discovered some of my triggers, I developed a plan for dealing with them, especially the ones I encounter daily. It was such a relief to finally gain some control over myself.

        Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

        by moviemeister76 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:34:53 PM PDT

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        •  I remember when I had that moment. It was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM

          profound. When I got out of the service, I didn't realize that I had PTSD. I knew I was afraid of some things, but I didn't realize how deeply into my life this would reach and, how it could just shake me like a pitbull with a chew toy.

          For the longest time I didn't even have the words to describe it. I didn't know what a trigger was at all. I had vague understanding that at certain times of the year I got weird, but no label, no depth of comprehension.

          When you know, it's like being able to break an evil spell. It's almost magical. Suddenly you are there looking at these insignificant things directly and just that act of acknowledgement deprives them of the power they hold over you. Or some of that power.

          It doesn't stop everything but it sure helps.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:34:59 AM PDT

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    •  I am so sorry for what is happening with you. (11+ / 0-)

      "Just when you think you've lost everything, you find out you can lose a little more." Bob Dylan

      by weezilgirl on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:48:17 AM PDT

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    •  Oh my gosh. (8+ / 0-)

      I have tears reading this. I'm so sorry for what you went through. Good for you for getting away. I trust/hope you had a good support system ready to jump in when you were ready?

      Tell Warner Brothers Pictures that Rooney Mara is #NotYourTigerLily.

      by ExpatGirl on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:59:17 AM PDT

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      •  My parents were there for me and my friends (8+ / 0-)

        So yes, compared to a lot of women I had an excellent support system. I've been through counseling twice, and I've never ended up in that situation again (and when one relationship looked like it was heading in that direction I bailed). The scars are there still, but they only open occasionally at this point. I do things keeping the stalker in mind, I don't have utilities or anything traceable to my current address in my name, for example. I don't have a facebook page or a twitter account. My emails aren't registered to my real name or address. There are of course ways for him to hunt me down, but he'd have to pay out money for it, and he's always been cheap LOL. It was easier before the days of social media and the internet.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:07:20 AM PDT

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