When you come from deep deep trauma, your past never really falls away. There’s no way to escape it, sugar coat it, or change the ending. Most days, I’m at peace with that but sometimes my past, nipping at my heels, gets a leg up on me. Sometimes, it happens when I’m sick or when my anxiety or depression is a little stronger than usual. Sometimes, when I’m under-slept or just feeling off. Most of the rime, it takes a combination of all the above factors plus a triggering event (like a flashback or nightmare) to leave me vulnerable.
Then, suddenly, it feels like I’m running for my life and I’m playing catch up. The triggers increase, the anxiety, the memories, the sadness, all of it. And then my past seeps into my current and that’s the worst part. I see my dad’s shadow in my own home, in the voice of my husband. The sounds of football on the TV (which my dad used to watch) fill me with so much dread and anxiety that I feel like I could explode. My kids disregulate me and any kind of stress, big or small, sends me over the edge.
Usually, this only last for a few hours sometimes a few days. It’s called PTSD but it feels so much different than anyone could imagine.
It takes everything in me to come down back from one of these episodes. I pray constantly, I mediate as much as possible. I use all of my dozens of tools that I’ve learned over the years. Sometimes, I get scared. I feel 20 feet underwater…like I’m sinking farther and farther away from my family. I can’t feel or see or hear all the things that normally keep me feeling safe and grounded.
Over the years, I’ve gotten much better at navigating these episodes and I thank God I have a husband and family that is patient and loving with me as I navigate through the tough times.