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.