Saturday, July 7, 2012

Are You Talking To ME?

I can be strong.  I can be independent.  I can be resourceful.  I can be tenacious.  I can be convincing.  I can be two places at once.(oops, got carried away)  I can be  stubborn and unrelenting.

That being said, there are times when I draw a line in the proverbial sand, lock my knees, put steel in my spine and hold myself so tight one might wonder if I'm breathing.  What could cause this phenonmenon, one might ask?  What could cause this woman who chooses to yield to her husband to balk?  Is it a rule?  No.  A circumstance they couldn't agree on?  No.  A decision I didn't agree with?  No. 

Through no fault of this wonderful man I married and believed and trust as my HOH, I occasionally suffer from symptoms of PTSD.  One used to be diagnosed with PTSD, but they have now changed the criteria to actively experiencing symptoms.  Having dealt with this for most of my life, had therapy, learned coping techiniques, I can tell ya, it sure FEELS like I HAVE it with me all the time.  Kinda like asthma or diabetes.  As long as it's under control, life is cool.  It's when there are "flare ups"  that you "experience symptoms."  I have to say, much like asthma, those words are a really poor description for what you are feeling with those "symptoms." 

Recently, I found myself in a situation that blind sided me.  Part of learning to deal with PTSD without medication for me (and I  would never say people shouldn't use medicine, it's just not something I wanted to do) was learning to identify "triggers".  Once  you have identified said triggers, you AVOID them when you can, or have ample time to prepare myself for what's coming.  Unless, of course you can't.  That is why it's called a surprise, or blindside, or sneak attack, or ambush, you get the idea.  Well, I didn't have time to prepare, or avoid or even remove myself from the situation without losing professional face.  Hence the current "flare up."

For those not familiar, this is how this plays out for me.  Until last night, I haven't slept for more than two hours at a time for 10 days.  I have this crushing feeling of impending doom.  You know that thing your heart does when someone scares you?  That fight or flight feeling that goes away after you the initial fright?  Well that stays with me.  I wake up feeling like I can't breathe.  So, one might could understand why The Man is concerned. 

Now, I have worked hard and he understands the quirks (well as good as anyone can).  More to the point, he wants to understand them.  I find myself in the position of all the coping skills that normally work, haven't.  So... the conversation went like this:

The Man:  "So, what would you do if it were a client and  you were talking to them?"

                              LONG PERIOD OF SILENCE

Me:  "But, I'm not a client."

The Man (rational, no nonsense):  "Answer my question, Please."

Me:  Please don't make me go talk to someone, you just have no idea.

The Man:  "I'm not saying you have to, yet, but you can't go on like this."

So, I dodged the bullet.  You see, it feels like failure when I have to go back.  I should be able to reapply those coping skills, afterall I have like a cosmic pair of "big girl panties" right?  I'm a professional... blah, blah, blah...  It amounts to, I'm afraid.  I'm afraid there is something in there that I don't remember.  I saw a sign once, "Its only fear that makes you run."  So, I knew the jig was up when a friend at work said, "What would you tell a client..."  Ah, you see the pattern.   So, The Man made me promise to go the natural health store and inquire as to what would be effective for anxiety.  I forgot yesterday.  In his gentle way, he let me know, that well that's not going to go well for me today.

One might ask how TTWD works with the complication of PTSD.  It works quite well.  You see, what I need more than anything is to feel safe, and well he does that for me.  I am able to sleep through the night most days.  I am learning to run to him instead of from him when I am afraid.  I am learning that just because I have a "flare up" doesn't mean I'm a failure or that I'm not all of the above things that I feel good about.  It also allows me to NOT be all those things, and just be his helpmate and his wife.

5 comments:

  1. awww hun. how did u come by PTSD? sorry if thats to personal and tell me to get lost lol. TBH anything that big is going to take alot to handle. me hubby gets night terrors which cause so much sleep loss and fear, so dont be to hard on your self. well done for going to him, just remember, he only wants whats best for you, hugs xx

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    1. It's okay.. I used to hide it alot.. It's not something I talk about or share in my circle, but here, it's okay. I was sexually abused as a child and ended up in a very abusive first marriage.

      I have done alot of really, REALLY hard work. It's just so discouraging when I feel like I'm going backwards. I'm a positive person and want to only move forward.

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  2. Dana - have been trying to post here for 2 days but my darlin' internet connection is not cooperating - keeps going up and down and can't get a repairman here until Thursday Grrrrr.

    Anyway, I do know how you feel, was in an extremely abusive relationship many years ago and can still trigger once in a while. DD actually helped me feel so much safer. Did you know dear that lack of sleep can actually cause you to trigger more?

    Have to love "The Man", he knows you well. :) If you trigger or need someone to talk to and he is unavailable, call me - I will be more than happy to help. Will send you an email with my number.

    BTW: If you like hot tea, you might try chamomile. It is supposed to be calming.

    Take care of yourself and know that you are doing great!

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    1. Cat, you are awesome. Thank you so much. Things are getting better. It takes time.

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  3. Thanks for the kind words Dana.

    Here's one for you about time:
    Did you know I can eat an entire elephant?
    "How?" you ask.
    One bite at a time... ;)

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