PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I know that in its worst form it destroys lives. I have struggled to deal with anxiety issues throughout my life and a lot of them are much improved. It is only recently – last December actually – that I realized that my worst anxiety issues now are a result of a mild form of PTSD.

The month of December has been difficult for me since 1993. That is the year my father passed away on December 17th. I was very close to him and it broke my heart, which would be expected. But it was so much more than that. My father had been dealing with cancer of the sinuses for five years – it was a horrid ordeal. Despite working and raising three pre-teen to teenage children at the time, I did everything I could to help my parents through these years. I was the youngest of the family, I was living the closest to my parents, and much of my dad’s medical attention and treatment was done in Regina, where I live. I have five other siblings, all of who did everything they could for our parents, but a lot of it fell on me. It was incredibly hard.

But, there was so much more. I was married to my first husband at the time. The first eleven years of my first marriage were dysfunctional. The last seven years were violent, abusive and traumatizing for me and our children. There was seldom a day when there was not a violent or hateful outburst. To say that he was not supportive of what I was dealing with was an understatement. I had decided that I had to remove my children and myself from the situation a couple of weeks before my father’s diagnosis. After that, I felt compelled to stay until he was gone. My husband felt compelled to take advantage of the situation and make our lives a living hell.

Five months after my father passed away, I told my husband I was done. A few weeks later we moved out.

I was worn out. We moved into a small three bedroom basement apartment. I slept in our kitchen/livingroom so the kids could each have their own bedroom. I worked eighty hours a week and spent the rest of my working hours being a full-time home maker. It sounds rough, but we were really happy and starting to heal. Things got better, we got a better car, we moved to a nice little duplex. I met my current husband and my kids grew up, moved out and started their own families. Life still has its ups and downs but I am okay.

And then there is another December. The decorations go up, the carols start playing and my heart breaks. This week we had an incident at work. One of my co-workers had a violent outburst. He slammed through the shop, swearing, kicking things, having a man size tantrum. I have been shaking ever since.

The thing is, it’s okay. I get that my physical and emotional and mental reactions are about my past, not my present. I know I am in a safe place now. I also know I am stronger for having been through my past. In December, I have a really deep compassion for those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one or any of the other heartbreaks that are worse in December. When I see someone being a bully, having a man size tantrum, I am reminded how very fortunate I am to be with my with my current husband. I have the courage to stand up for those who are being bullied and I am proud that my sons and my daughter do as well.

As difficult as these episodes of PTSD are, I know they make me a better person. As long as good can come out of the worst times of my life, I am okay with that.

35 thoughts on “PTSD

  1. now I understand where your comment came from … sorry you all had to experience that!

    You are stronger for having survived it but the past scars are deep … pray you are getting professional help with your healing 🙂

    and please link your blog to your comments/avatar so we can find you … this took a while 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. oh I have been having big WP problems lately, hopefully it’s just part of that … but sorry if I’ve missed your comments before.
    Yes our past moulds us but it doesn’t define us 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. And in a lot of cases the women have tried to stop it before it got that far but law enforcement, child protection and the courts were on the sociopaths side because they are so good at being manipulative and ‘reasonable’. Especially if you are white and the abuser is well employed, living in a decent home, driving a new car. Looks too good on the surface. There are too many who think domestic violence is a poverty or a minority(?) Issue.

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  4. amen to that … one blogger asked me to read and comment on her blog about juvenile delinquency, I called her out as she claimed it was a poverty issue … please! The worst offenders usually come from well educated wealthy families … same for DV it’s across the board

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I knew that it was specific things (decorations, carols, etc) that were triggering my overwhelming grief and stress every December. Putting a name on it made it something real that I could deal with.
    I get what you mean about labeling students. My grandson had a lot of issues at school because he was so restless. The teachers were convinced he had ADHD. We knew it was chronic pain that was the issue but it took them sending him to their own experts before they finally got it.

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  6. It took for me being with a bad man to know what a good one was. Like you, I got a second chance, and am grateful every day. I admire your bravery in facing life and all the challenges you have faced!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you! I am sorry you went through a similar situation with a man but glad that you have found a good one and that you appreciate him all the more. Even bad experiences are worth it when we learn from them.

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  8. Great post, Anne Marie. I found your blog in Reader because I have PTSD. I was bullied in school for six long years and it didn’t stop until I changed schools during my senior year. I feel the way you do, that it’s made me a better and more compassionate person.
    Thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you, Cherie. I am so sorry you were bullied in school. Childhood/adolescence should not be miserable but far too often it is. I have found, especially as I get older, that people who have been traumatized when they were younger become stronger and better as they get older. You are destined for better things in life😊 while those that bullied you will never improve and never be worth anything. They will just keep trying to destroy others until they ultimately self destruct.

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  10. Thank you, Anne Marie! This means so much. I write and published a book two years ago, a chronological memoir about the bullying I suffered. Several old journals I kept back during that awful time were woven into the book.

    Though it was hard to write and publish, the book and blogging helped me to heal and get closure to what were the most painful years of my life.

    From time to time, I still run into some of my bullies even today and they’re much miserable people now. Many of them are angry and bitter and it’s sad.

    They see me and the evil glares I get are downright creepy. Since I’ve written the book, I’ve gotten a few nasty messages from a lot of my old classmates.

    But I don’t hate them. I can’t be angry with them and it doesn’t bother me like it used to. I can only feel sorry for them- or laugh.

    It’s sad when people still carry grudges and hate from HS after so many years.

    Liked by 1 person

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