Sunday, June 29, 2014
I often struggle with the events of my assault in ways that I can not even describe. From Flashbacks, to Anxiety, Depression, to being disenfranchised from the human race, and let us not forget not feeling like anyone cares and that if they knew; they would treat you like you are infected with the plague; then laugh as they walk away.
Letting go of things, and connections with people becomes easier as time passes; but on the back side, you long for personal connection with someone besides your service dog or service animal. Even at times, my service dog gets on my nerves; even when I know he is ultimately here to help me survive daily events and set-backs.
Waking in the mornings, is a chore at best. The pain from the beatings I endured from my assault, plague me daily. I can not sleep in an elevated bed; so I sleep at night on the floor; atop of a mat to cushion the hard cold floor. So, when I get up I roll off the mat onto an often cold floor; racked with pain in my back, hips, shoulders, legs and neck. Every morning is like waking up on a medieval rack, used to stretch out the human body to the point of being torn apart.
when I do wake up; I go into the Head (the restroom) and if I look into the mirror; I see a monster looking back at me; not the person who is supposed to be looking back at me. You have heard the saying that waking up with that person in the morning, becomes ugly and un-kept and that ogre looking person stares back? Well, imagine that along with the distorted look of a twisted and blurred out demon; staring at you from inside the mirror.
Now, even after seeking out and being in therapy for four months; my therapist says she is seeing progress. I have to take her word for it, and keep struggling on until hopefully one day that monster and the pain will subside and the monster I see in the mornings; as well as the pain, will subside.
Trust! Hmmm. well, since I have not had a sense of trust or personal connection for over 30 years; Trust comes hard, very hard to say the least. I mean I am just beginning to trust my therapist; Lord knows I put her through her paces. The people she has placed on my side; well, I am starting to feel like because of my therapist; I am trying to trust but verify everything they are claiming to be doing on my behalf; but there are not one connection so far. (I am not one who relies on hope; but working on this one as well.)
Well, My therapist tells me that I need to fulfill my basic needs; which by the way are supposed to be basic needs of any healthy human being; I am being told. you know; housing, security, companionship, and something else. this list is short, but resides in something called "Maslins hierarchy of needs" Since issues of these called needs; keeps rearing up into my therapy sessions and distracting from my recovery; my therapists decided that we need to stabilize my life. Okay; let's give it a chance, and try to trust in the processes.
Well, I have been told that I have accomplished more in three or four weeks than most folks are able to do in one or two years. with the help of my therapist and connections; we have started my claim process with the help of an attorney, to go after my VA benefits. We have found a place for me to call home, we have secured other much needed assistance to help me maintain and to give me a stepping stone to move forward.
Now, I have found that even with all this going on; everyone around me is excited for me. I should be as well. I have a seemingly terrific support network with the agencies and the attorneys who are working with me to build and take control of my life; and lest me forget the most important of that network; my Therapist who has been awesome to say the least. She has been my "Rock" when all the ground around me has seemingly been filled with quick-sand. I also have to give special recognition to people who have unselfishly allowed me access to utilize them as a personal support network; who are friends from my childhood, whom have crossed paths with me from time to time up to this point in my life. For them I am very Blessed.
A lot of the things I am in process of building the stepping stones, towards a productive and rewarding life; something I have never known. A stable home, which I have not known in over 33 years; since my assault. Everyone who knows what has been going on, in my life is excited and thrilled about what is going on, in my life and what I have accomplished thus far. However, with all that has happened; I have learned not to trust in anything or any process or progression to last. Therefore I do not and can not attach myself emotionally to anyone, or anything. This remains to this day; but I am trying to re-learn. I am trying so hard, and often end up frustrated with myself.
The reasoning for my sharing of this is to show those who love people, whom have suffered with PTSD, and Chronically Severe PTSD from MST, can understand a bit more of what sufferers are going through. To help you understand the processes of which suffers like me deal with daily, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, etc... I think the point can be inferred here.
Now, the above is an actual account of what my life is like. However, as a Family Member, Care Giver of, Friend of someone who is suffering from PTSD derived from MST, you might be able to better see where your loved one's mind may be resting or living. This is meant to allow you a window of the daily turmoil that your loved one is going through. Although their habits may be difficult, for you to deal with at times; please take a deep breathe and focus on the fact that what you are going through; is intensified over 100x's with the sufferer you love.
I hope at minimum, This gives you insight enough for you to appreciate the reasons for their sometimes and sometimes often sense of disconnect; lack of emotions, lack of trust, lack of personal connections, lack of appreciation for accomplishments they achieved. It's not that they do not appreciate all that is given, or all that is shared, or all that is gained materially and gained ground in their lives.
I just want to give insight at what seemingly helps me the most, in my struggles. It sometimes goes further than medications, and allows me to focus on what is "here and now." Which helps with the flashbacks and the anxieties.
This is a Biggie: Just re-assure your loved one, that they are safe and away from the place where their trauma occurred. Let them know you love and care about them, and do not come into direct contact with them; at the onset of any episode.
Let them know that no matter what they say; or how disorganized their ranting is; get them to slow their breathing and to focus on something in the room that allows them to see what is happening now.
Here is another Biggie! Just listen and don't judge them for what may spew out; no matter how much it may lead them to say things that are attacking of you or others you care about; just realize they are venting and frustrated. In most cases, what is flowing is not based on a personal attack upon you; but just something to get the flow of the venting stages towards getting the deeper issues out; so they can be processed. In other words, go into this with "thick Skin" if possible and don't let their seemingly harsh attack; set you into a conflict of words based on your feeling like you have to protect yourself.
In the end; and with practice with both of you, a deeper bond will develop with you and your loved one who is suffering.
I hope this helps you, help your loved one; who suffers from PTSD and especially a PTSD sufferer from MST.
Be Blessed, I know I am.