really struggling tonight. How do you know if you have PTSD?

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  • Permission to fall apart for a little while please, captain? The little dark and twisty bit of me has exploded puffer fish style and i really, really, need to just let it for a little while, and that be ok. i'll be strong and awesome and all that again soon, just not tonight, tonight i need to allow that hurt out and cry and be so so so angry.

    self protection perhaps, i dunno, but tonights relativley benign events have caused a horrible response in me, and i wonder if i have some kind of PTSD because even i know the huge emotions that were stirred up were not a logical or rational response, (anger, hurt, pain, vulnerability, fight or flight) its happened before, i have 'triggers' that just cause me to descend right back into the trauma of my ex husbands descent into madness, the subsequent years of psychological manipulation and trauma and his eventual suicide. it diesnt take much from certain people and i am right back in the thick of it, sometimes its controllable, other times not.

    It makes me feel like a messed up freak.( i dotn see myself that way apart from at these times, im pretty happy with most of me:)) i think its the echoes of that whole experience thats making me feel that way, its like i see confirmation that i'm making more of it than i should even when its not there, i just dont know if this is normal considering the psychological torment of the whole sequence of events. this wasnt a quick thing, it was dragged out over years and a big part of it was a lot of manipulation of me, trying to make me feel like i was wrong, or just too emotional, or weak or that i was the one who was mentally ill or just a shitty human being really. so when it happens and i go back there i doubt my own validity, and am ridiculously hurt if i dont feel validated by other people close to me whilst im going through it. thats realisation came tonight and makes a lot of sense, if im mentally back years ago,no wonder i find it really hard that other people dont understand how huge it feels, or are shocked by how strongly i react, cos when it was all happeneing it was such a confused mess, and history repeats....

    We survived and im so proud of myself and my family for coming through it all but there was damage, it hasn't all gone away just because we dont talk about it much. there was sooo much talking about it, so much, trying to reason it all out and debrief it and make it make sense, and it helped a lot, it did, but there is a limit that was reached, the last and hardest bits, the bits that could not make sense because they were coloured by insanity, caused by insanity, they dug in and made a dark and twisty place inside me that makes me feel sick. i dont want to have to deal with any more fallout from that mans effects, i want it gone, i want to be free of it, i dont want any bit of my head left in which he won but i have no idea what could help, councelling i just dont believe will work, i cant help it, so much talking already, it cant change what happened, these arnt thoughts that are grabbing my by the metaphorical balls, they are instinctual feelings and they scare the crap out of me. methinks this is beyond me to heal myself, and giving it time is just not doing the trick.

    any ideas? urgh help.

    Turned on, tuned in, loved up, trippin out, freaky on the outside, shiny in the middle.

  • Hiya lovely :waves:. I'm so sorry you're feeling like this tonight. I'm afraid I don't have much insight into what you're going through, I only know as much as you've posted on here in the past. It's clear you've been through a hell of a time, and you've held yourself and your family together incredibly well through all of it. You can't be expected to be the strong one all the time though. You're allowed to take time out to feel your emotions and let it all out. Do you have anyone you can talk things through with tonight - someone close who knows what you've been through, or maybe someone completely unconnected (the Samaritans, for example. I've called them in the past when I was having a very bad time, and it really helped to calm me down)?

    Maybe some therapy or counselling might help you to get to the bottom of these feelings, and help you understand and maybe let go of some of them in time. You're a Buddhist, right? Is there anyone connected to that who you might be able to talk to? I'm sure you know more about meditation exercises and mindfulness than I do, but maybe there is something along those lines you could do tonight just to get yourself through it? Though sometimes it really helps just to cry and let it out.

    I wish there was something more helpful I could say. xxxxxx

  • Lots of healing hugs babe x
    It may take more time lovely but yoi have to hang on to the belief it will ease.
    These wobbles will become less frequent but with each one you survive you will be closer to being healed.
    O know, I have lived similar.
    Love to you Linz xxxx

  • PTSD does cause you to have strong emotional reactions to past events, brought on by triggers, making you feel the same emotions you felt as it first happened...reliving the trauma over and over and over like a scratched record... It helps to remind yourself that it is not happenening now, it's already happened and you survived, you made it through...and then remembering to breath...
    Have a google into PTSD symptoms and see if it resonates honey, also google PTSD self help... Official channels will likely refer to CBT which can give you coping strategies but for actual healing, look maybe at emotional freedom technique...someone did this on me by distance after the accident last week and it helped lots and am gonna have a phone call consultation with the lady when i can get some time to myself! i'll connect you with her tomorrow on fb. I've learnt recently that I'll always have post traumatic stress's not something that can be totally healed as i first thought, it's the way it fucks your brain chemistry about and rewires shit requires, on occasion, total and utter devotion just to remaining in the here and now, with breath, cos triggers can come out of nowhere when you least expect's how you react to them where the healing comes in...and its all in the breath. So whilst i think you are probably right, and that you have ended up with post traumatic stress disorder, it's hard to say if only events linked with andy will be triggers, or whether other events in your life will trigger similar emotional reactions, hardwired into your brain by the initial experience. I read a fascinating bit of study somewhere that suggested some of us are pre-destined to PTSD in adulthood because of a stressful event in our childhoods that traumatised a traumatic event in laterlife may actually be a fuck off great big trigger for what is already hot-wired by the brain in childhood? I can't say that charlies birth gave me PTSD...I was already predestined from early childhood...something that has helped me hugely is to really prod and poke my triggers...much before i became a mum, i was triggered by all sorts of things, none of which i ever understood as triggers because i was just "overly sensitive" :shrug: ...something made me that sensitive and when i found out what it was and was able to acknowledge the gut renching grief and let it go, my PTSD symptoms got alot better.... Last week was hard...48 hours of flashbacks of the accident, extreme head slidiness? Like your brain is sliding around all over the shop, memories firing all over the place and getting jumbled, anxiety and panic, linking all sorts of past unrelated hurts into one fuck off stare at the wall for a day trying to breath and work out what the fuck is actually real ( earth and source remaining solely constant and reliable when the shit hits the fan). Staying Present through your breath and allowing the fear to wash over with the mantra "this already happened and I survived, this is a memory and i am in control of my breath, my essence, my connection with the planet and the universe"
    doing activities to help you turn down the incessant chatter is a good one.... Doodling one of the best because it allows your hypothallmus to become more active and drop down into Theta brain wave activity whilst allowing you to express creatively those things which are beyond words...because they are raw emotional energy....i also found out the other day that during a panic attack, typing actually helps you to the brain something in the NOW to focus on you see... Love you hugely, tis all about staying present and breathing and affirming that you, ultimately, can control how you react to the allowing yourself just a moment to remember, that you are here right now and the memories hurt very very much but in time they will hurt less and less so. be gentle and kind on yourself lovely, you have coped with so very very much and it has taken its toll and that is makes you part of who you are Wise Woman :heart: infinite love and light xxxxx

  • thankyou guys,for being here for me.

    Sarah, spot feckin on mate, all of it. typing did help last night, wrote a load of stuff down in a blog, and just getting it on paper helped me see what was happening. i believe i will have an element of this forever, but i got to look into every way possible to reduce its effects cos its just horrible. thankyou for youer very wise words.xxxxxx

    Turned on, tuned in, loved up, trippin out, freaky on the outside, shiny in the middle.

  • *silly computer isnt working!*i was going to put a smiley hug here....*X*....and a smiley hug here*your not alone*im not good at writing words*sending you lots of sparkle*x*

  • thankyou guys,for being here for me.

    Sarah, spot feckin on mate, all of it. typing did help last night, wrote a load of stuff down in a blog, and just getting it on paper helped me see what was happening. i believe i will have an element of this forever, but i got to look into every way possible to reduce its effects cos its just horrible. thankyou for youer very wise words.xxxxxx

    Sending you big hugs and piskie magick from down here.
    Ahhh, writing ....

    "These power lines cut across the page
    I'm writing out of my thoughts of rage"

    "i believe i will have an element of this forever"
    I can relate to that feeling. For me, I've come to the point of having to accept living with my problem rather than fighting it, it doesn't mean to say I've rolled over and given in to it but over years have learned when is a good day and when is a bad day; when to fight the battles, when to let it win for now. I try to remind myself of that bit in Desiderata: be gentle with yourself.

  • Love lady. You have all been through so much these past few years if it didn't affect you, you would be a zombie. Hold tight and you will get through this, lean on people that is what they are there for. love ya. xx

  • I'm sorry to hear your suffering. I would have suggested looking into the Buddhism route, but as others have said, your already adept to that.I do try and practice Buddhism as much as I can through these traumatic times, but its often easier said than done! Its funny what triggers stress and traumer to sufface, often at the most unexpected times. These's a fantastic Buddhist book I read recently called "When Things Fall Apart" by Buddhist Nun Pema Chodron. I went through a lot of hurt and traumer over the last few years and her book helped to let go a little more; and also to recognise when we actually need the help that Buddhism/Meditation can bring at times of great suffering, is the time we're least likely to feel like applying it to the situation at hand.I exploded through huge amounts of life upset recently and I defintely struggled to apply any kind of loving-kindness and non-reactivity to the situation - but after it helped me to get over it. So yeah anyway please take a look at that book if you haven't already and its really well written and defintely makes you feel a little more hopeful and at peace. May you be free from suffering and the causes of suffering in your future xXx