Male victims of Sexual Assault, while in the Military are suffering not only from the actual events, but also due to the ignorance of the public, the Veterans Administration and our Government. This is to help bring to light of their PTSD issues.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Taking Back Of A Life
I have been hearing a lot, regarding "Taking Back of a Life," and wonder all too often; what that could possibly mean. I guess the reason someone would ask such a simplistic question, the base of it is "Who's Life" are we talking about?
The lines of life and truth, as it pertains to myself (as a Survivor), and to who I should be often become not only blurred; but also sometimes disappears below the midst of clutter of life events and the events of others. I sort of liken it to a lawn, cluttered with autumn leaves where the leaves cover up the green grass; and the green grass has no way of getting life sustaining sunlight; thus, turning brown.
Taking the time to uncover the ground, to uncover the beautiful green grass only takes someone to use a rake, to wipe away the leaves and to peal back the seasons' blanket, to uncover the life that resides just below. Occasionally, the wind may let some of the leaves to be slightly brushed aside; but never quite enough to reveal what truly lives below.
PTSD, no matter the cause of someone's trauma, is much like the scene depicted above. Although the outside world takes for granted the grass and the foliage of the native ground is there; the reality of what is on the outside, often over-shadows all that lies below the shadows. Until the layers of leaves are removed, the state of what lies below withers and is slowly taken away to leave areas of bare, unrealized potentials of growth and life.
I suppose that the more trauma that one suffers through, and the different sorts of trauma, is like the leaves or ground cover, that has come to lie upon the ground; thus requiring different tools and different amounts of time to uncover what lies below the surface of which it sets.
IT often is upsetting to me, as a PTSD sufferer, that it seems the harder I try, the harder things seem to become; causing mounds of frustration and thoughts of not only giving up the fight towards uncovering who I am, but also at times questioning whether or not I should continue the fight.
There are good days, and there are bad days, in my battle to find out what lies below the surface. Always questioning myself, my motives, and whether or not my journey should continue at all. I think that because I realized early in my treatment for "Complex PTSD," To make what seems to be significant promises both to myself and to my therapist.
An Unspoken Promise:
Promises come and they go; some are just to get by with a single task, but others are made for life long fulfillment. One such promise, which is such a difficult one to keep; at times, is that I promised my therapist that I would not do anything derogatory to myself, in regards to my safety, without giving her an option and time to intervene.
I suppose that is one difficult promise, that anyone could ever make; as I know it has been for me. But one very important promise, which often is unspoken and often times over-looked in the "fulfilling" of promises is this;
I realize that lying or holding back from you, (both the Therapist, and yourself), I am lying and withholding from myself the potential to honestly look at cause and effect; to often over-look the lack of room for half truths or muddled grey lines of reasoning.
Personally, I believe that I have the most difficult time evaluating what I am deciding to share with my therapist; even to the point of opening negotiations as to lead myself down a path of half-truths, or half-hearted assertions, in order to leave myself a "Back-Door" of escape. Thankfully, I have been able to see it when these times appear, and when the negotiations begin, I have found myself just letting my therapist into the conversation and the negotiations; thus letting everything out which is pertinent, and removes the road-block; as I treat my conversation to my therapist and our conversations, as if she is in my mind as a partner to the negotiations. Believe me it has helped me.
Everyday, as a PTSD Patient/Sufferer, I have a what seems to be an issue with Trust. Now, I am not even going to say that I have conquered the "Trust" thing. IN fact, the opposite is true. I am chipping away at the "lime" build up of the trust issue, in my life, and since I am only a short time into my therapy and recovery, I know that the "lime scale" is deep and is hard, and will be for some time.
It can not be stated enough, even to the point where I am now in my treatment, where trust comes into question on a daily and sometimes in a moment by moment situation. I am not sure, but one would think everyone has this issue facing them regularly; however, with me as a PTSD sufferer it is most pronounced, most regulated and most questioned aspect of my life.
Admission to the fact that even though I have built up significant amounts of Trust, with my therapist and network participants, I often have times that I have to battle with not only who to trust; but also in what amounts of trust should I allow to be revealed. Even with my therapist, we cover areas where I have found myself questioning whether or not to trust her with subjects and feelings. I suppose it will be a battle for some time to come; for myself and I know will become the same with you.
Nothing can be stated enough, regarding the frustration that has come into my life, since seeking out therapy. I often have issues where my therapist will ask me a question, or assign me a task; and I will set out to work on answering her questions, my questions, and under-taking the tasks being asked of me to complete; only to have "Set-backs" and "Road-blocks" tossed in my way.
Fighting with finding the right medications; even when none are wanted
Fighting with internal voices of negative emotions, and negative influences.
Fighting with that second voice, which sometimes guides us in making decisions.
Fighting internally with the negative emotions of others whom we have to share our world with.
Fighting with others whom do not recognize that we have a true disability; which can be dangerous and debilitating.
and the list goes on,
Each battle or task towards recovery from MST and from PTSD, is bordered with doubts and questions. There is not anyone whom can share with you, the frustration levels which comes with treatment. (Lord knows, I face this daily.)
Sometimes I fail to realize that I am not the only one, suffering with the effects of PTSD. In other times, I feel that and know I am not alone, in dealing with aspects of PTSD, I often feel like I am coming up short on my recovery.
We al have a problem with trying to compare things to another. This is especially true
when we are looking at ourselves.
The problem is; We are all individuals and we are all unique in our various ways. (This is something I have a long standing problem realizing.)
The problem is that I have found that by comparing myself with what I perceive of others, I often am left feeling inadequate and more flawed, than I felt previous to my doing this frivolous exercise.
I often leave myself feeling less adequate and less of a person, because I am not measuring up. I am starting to realize that although other sufferers of PTSD are suffering, they may or may not be suffering in the same manner, I am. So many facets of the PTSD animal, is frustrating to see and to deal with because they are unique to each and every one of us.
Most likely my going through the next assertions, is going to seem frivolous and not even worthy of stating. However, Since each of us are unique, our pain and pain threshold is unique to our own perceptions, and past experiences. By minimizing another persons pain, is to also minimizing the truth of our own pain.
I wish to share something that I shared with my Nephew's Wife, who was distraught over some pain in her life. I had no idea of what that pain was, nor the level of her discomfort, but I could see she was hurting and feeling frustrated. Funny thing about the pain I saw and perceived she was going through, a thought came to mind; that I just had to share with her; I wish to share it with you as well.
"Although obstacles keep coming in our way, even when it seems that a mountain is too hard to climb, sometimes taking a step back and taking in what we have done, will give us a refreshed view of life;
Stop trying so hard, and being so much; and let the world and God show us how blessed you are, and you may realize that you are actually past those obstacles and on top of that mountain." (G.Brents 2014).
Now I did in fact just come up with that verse, on my own, and all by myself. I later came across a man, who was down and feeling all alone, sitting outside of my humble apartment. I took time to talk with him. By the time, we parted ways, I retreated to my home, got into bed and realized I had one more task to perform. I got up, got dressed, and went to the man's front door. I asked him for a moment of his time; then shared the verse to him. He seemed to stifle back his want to just let go; and he told me that what I had shared with him, was exactly what he needed to hear.. I hope it is also a little of what you need to hear and realize.. I know, it was and is for me.
I get frustrated, on a daily basis with my recovery, with my life and with my short-comings. And in reflection of what I shared with my Niece-in-law, I also found a message here for myself as well.
I only hope that this also helps all of my friends, whom have stayed to help me, all that have decided to move away from me and my recovery, and all of those who will come. I especially hope it bears some impact upon the frustration I am sure, my poor therapist feels with my progress.