05/09/2017 by syrbal-labrys
Yes, I love Stephen Colbert. But no, this post is not about him.
I’ve been struggling since mid-April after a PTSD trigger was hit hard. I’ve dealt with PTSD, not from military service, but since a childhood fraught with abuse, neglect, and terrors. Hypervigilance is good for something; I usually have a pretty good handle on my triggers, can see them shaping before me and put a stop to it. Not the one in April. And it took me down all the way. Into that place of feeling worthless, powerless, and beyond redemption. To that place where you don’t even care about redemption or life.
So, my other blog, Steel Kachinas, is shuttered away private. This was the best I could do – I wanted to do some wholesale deleting of blogs and journals. That is what I do, you see, instead of deleting myself. I’ve dealt with suicidal ideation since I was a bit over ten years old. I’ve fought it with obligations I create for myself and the duty to keep those obligations. Since my own father’s suicide, I’ve fought it harder; swearing to myself that I will not put that trauma, guilt, confusion, and sense of hopelessness upon those who would be my survivors. Both of my sons deal with PTSD and bouts of depression; what kind of message would it send if their mother gave up after all these years?
That is all well and good when I am in control. It works when I can still listen to the rational side of myself; when I can’t hear anything however? When I went, in mid-April, into that peculiar tunnel of almost no sound and a narrowed field of vision and highly directed action until the crisis was immediately handled and damage control done? Not so sure about my control in those times. In the immediate aftermath of that triggering, I took four big shots of vodka in 15 minutes to very literally paralyze my body into inaction. Because the next choice of actions before my traumatized self would have been very much worse.
So now, I am climbing for the illusive peak known as “normal” again.
Nothing has felt quite normal since last November anyhow. And personal life has been rather fraught for the last decade. So it is a much bigger struggle than usual. I’m attempting to blog more often here, with a sadly failing readership – doubtless due to me not writing anything interesting or original enough, let alone often enough. I don’t know if I will succeed it finding somewhere that feels normal and functional. It is apparent by now that it certainly won’t be a rapid process.
This isn’t to apologize for whatever I may post. Trust me, I believe in the value of posting truths, pleasant or not. All my “core beliefs” that my counselor goes on about are still there – I still live them daily. But they don’t make me feel any better, which boggles the counselor. He makes the common mistake of thinking feeling you are doing right makes you happy! It makes me exhausted. It makes me feel alien to my world. It makes me feel like the freak who apparently doesn’t get the joke that is modern life.
We say, in this house, that it is “The house of too many things, but where everyone is allowed to live out loud.” It is a crowded, but tidy house. A house with five veterans. A house where adults from dysfunctional families don’t have to hide or lie about their pain. So, I will live out loud here, too. Perhaps it will keep me from deleting the blog entirely if I invest more of myself in it?