Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Joys of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I could sit here and write in a million different ways why prostitution and pornography are so deeply damaging, and as such are grave evils to be overcome. But in truth, right now, I am just too shattered to do anything requiring such mental effort and articulation.

I am beyond tired.

Bone weary

The cause? My PTSD has gone into overdrive again. I'm simply overwhelmed by re-experiencing the trauma of the past. It's like I've been submerged in it and now there's no getting my head above the water.

So many images all chasing through my head! My body tenses and shakes, vomits and aches: headache, stomach ache, muscle ache, even old injuries ache. When I sleep, I have nightmares, and when I wake, I fight up from sleep into a panic attack. My heart beats faster, I find it hard to open my mouth to eat.

I've just begun to make inroads into talking through some of the worst of what happened to me in therapy, which I know to be necessary: this stuff eats away at me like a cancer and stands between me and a happy life at best. At worst, it risks me fucking myself up majorly over it: at times it's so unbearable to live with that it seems to me it might be better if I weren't here.

I get that old urge to self harm. When I'm detached, sometimes I feel as though I've got stuck outside of my body and I can't get back inside, which scares me. Everything seems unreal, starting with me. At those times, the thought of self harming suggests itself as a means to get back inside myself: I am real, I can feel pain, I bleed. At other times when the mental pain reaches such a pitch that I feel I just can't take it anymore, not another second, self harming suggests itself to me as a means to detach: feel the tension drain away with the blood in the sink, feel the calmness, the distance, flood in.

I'm either too detached or too in-body. I get scared of myself, of being alone with my head, and scared of other people because I don't want to be hurt anymore. I trust no one.

I need to talk to people, to tell them what's going on in my head, specifically. I'm a great one for generalising: 'I don't feel great', 'bit of a headfuck', 'past stuff'... All words meaning something and nothing. I guess I'm back at that jumping off place once again of daring to say what exactly I'm remembering and reliving. That feels like a lot of power to give to someone, even someone I trust. In the past my very survival has depended upon pleasing other people, not rocking the boat, keeping stumm about the abuse. Talking about what's in my head isn't going to be easy listening, and any negative reaction, or potential negative reaction, perceived or real, by the person I talk to triggers off massive fear, which I feel mentally and physically. I don't like the idea of sketching out the images in my head that fill me with shame and make me feel sick about myself into someone else's head in all their glorious technicolour.

So I am exhausted. I'm reliving some of the most horrific times of my life. My therapist said, you've been tortured. Have been, but I feel like I'm still being tortured and I guess realistically that's not going to pass quickly. We're only just beginning to tentatively look at this stuff. I guess I need to keep on keeping on. The tiredness and the sadness are part and parcel of moving on. But the pain? How those things make me feel? It defies description.


  1. You are so brave and courageous, I applaud your efforts and your tentative trust with your therapist.

    I learn so much from you about how to be better at what I do with people struggling with PTSD.

  2. I'm sorry you're going through all this. Hang in there for the better times.