PTSD

I can’t meditate, Samuel’s snow-blowing, which is loud. The back meadow beckons with its winter wonderland, snow iced trees, a tiny eye of sun peeping through grey clouds, a twitter of birds near the seed and in the distance… Pulling on snow clothes, boots, a scarf, and coat, I scape off the landing with the shovel near-by before going down the steps. Then a figure appears without a sound and I scream at the same time I realize its Samuel. Too late, my body has already gone into fight or flight, and he laughs.

Usually I laugh too, embarrassed that I jolt, scream and get so seemingly overly upset. But this time I lit into him, “Why do you fucking do that? You’ve lived with me all these years and you come up on me quiet?”

“I thought you heard me,” he says before I’ve finished my rant.

“How could I hear you, I was shoveling?” and I realize my protests are useless because his words are empty excuses.

I tear off into down the steps, “It’s not fucking funny. It’s abusive,” and I hope the neighbors on both sides aren’t home because they could hear every word if they were.

“You won’t even read my book because it might be hard to hear! What is that? I had to live it, and you can’t hear it? Read it and maybe you will learn something,” my words trail off as the exertion takes my breath, and it’s exhausting explaining anything to someone who won’t hear.

The deep snow takes work getting through it but down by the creek I sit awhile, catch my breath, and try to calm down. Once again, bickering.  I do four more laps, resting each time by the frozen water. For the first time, a realization, these innocuous scares from Samuel, or whoever, don’t just upset my entire nervous system for the moment, it activates a process that keeps me on high alert the rest of the day. It isn’t funny. And it isn’t fun. Even here in my safe home, I sometimes don’t feel safe.

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9 thoughts on “PTSD

  1. Oh I get it for sure. I hate that! And you know how pissed I get. 😉

    And for what it’s worth, Rob doesn’t read my stuff either. I’m not sure why … And I’m too tired and sick to ponder why. I’m sick of being sick. It totally triggers me. Triggers everywhere these days. I hate it but maybe that means change is in the air. Time for a shift I hope. Truly hope.

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  2. It’s hurtful that he won’t read your book, or begin to understand the reactions or what PTSD does on a daily basis. I’m sorry, because I can only imagine how that must feel. I’m not ready to share that much with hubby yet, but I never feel like he is ready to hear it either, and that hurts. I hope things start to change soon for you. Sending hugs and good thoughts. Xx

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    1. It strikes me odd too. Cory, my youngest son, walked me through the process, week to week, chapter by chapter; “Do you have another chapter Mom?”
      Yet I don’t talk about it with my eldest, or a couple of friends, and definitely not the three siblings who haven’t attacked me, but that is becoming intolerable as I cannot chop off parts of myself anymore to make others comfortable.
      I do think different psyche’s handle the cold hard facts better than others.
      If any of my siblings that I interact with, or my husband, or any friend wrote a book, I’d read it immediately. I’d want to know. I’d at least congratulate them for the tremendous feat of accomplishing such a task because it is a noteworthy one.

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      1. It’s an incredibly amazing feat to have written a book. And the book you wrote is extraordinary, as far as I am concerned. You wrote about hard things, about something no one in this society likes to think about, let alone talk about. You put a human face on an indescribable experience.

        To have done that, and feel that your words, your hard work is being rejected…..it has to be painful. I do agree that some people have a hard time facing ugly truths. But there is so much more in your book than details of abuse. It tells a story of what life is like after, the challenges and fears and the accomplishments and hard work you did to start to put yourself back together.

        I wonder if you could offer up a chapter like that to those people, saying, ‘here, I want you to know what life can be like for me, to know the things I have done to work towards healing. This is a part of my book that focuses on that. Could you read this, please?’ It would take an awful lot of vulnerability to do so, and in all truth, I’m not sure I could do it, so I feel a little bit bad suggesting this. But there it is, anyways.

        You are amazing and authentic and brave. I’m glad to know you.
        💟xx

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  3. Each time an incident like that happens to me I go through the painful process all over again of realizing that those closest to me will NEVER understand the horror, trauma, and sadness I live with on a daily basis. We talk about the abuse my parents and siblings subjected me to…and in that moment they seem to sympathize and appear to embrace me, my repression, my flashbacks, my PTSD, my night terrors, and my pain. But the moment passes and just as quickly they dismiss me and my trauma. I have spent years hiding from my stalking family and my children know this. They know I have changed my internet username many times and don’t dare open a blog. But last night my son called to wish me a happy birthday and as the call was ending he threw in a “oh by the way.” He’d gotten a connection request on his Linked In account from one of my sisters…a sister he has heard many stories of the way she abused and tormented me. In his upbeat voice he let me know he had agreed to her request. My husband didn’t understand why I was upset.

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  4. I understand what you are saying and hear you. There us an aunt here in London who I want to spend time with because I have few connections here but she goes on and on about my mother and how my mother misses me and I want to say to her ‘fuck the worry of the woman who continues to deny my truth’ it’s hard for people even those close to get it. I think you are right that we shouldn’t have to chop off parts of ourselves to make things more palatable for others. What was done to us was bloody unpalatable and it’s not our fault. I too feel your passion and anger in not wanting to shy away and hide away anymore.

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