Evie: Originally written July 2013. Updates included in parenthesis. Today is a recovery day. The past about 5-6 days have been kicking my ass with minor episodes of the following topic. I am okay though.
And it just keeps going and going and going….
One of the harder parts of PTSD, is the effect that it has on family and friends. Many simply can’t understand what’s wrong. Many won’t understand, no matter how many links you give them, times you tell them or occasions that you warn them to back off when they are pushing issues they shouldn’t be. Take my parents for example. There is a tendency for her to think that it’s going to be okay, it’s going to away and that it’s my faith to blame for it still being around. She’s Seventh Day Adventist and I’m a Witch these days. You do the math on how those conversations go and how long they last. Hint: I end them before they can begin.
She doesn’t understand it and she probably won’t. One of the problems within that faith she’s in is that it’s always the victims fault because we are humans and sinful and shit. Bull. Fucking. Shit. It. Is. Never. The victims fault. The true victims anyways. There are people who are accused of rape, that never did it because the “victim” got angry with them for some reason be it because the person rejected their advances or didn’t do something the “victim” wanted them to do. Whose the real victim then? (UPDATE 12/14: WHOA! Okay it was a little spooky seeing where I had written that almost a year and a half ago, and then the Rolling Stone Fiasco happens…. the more things change, the more they stay the same huh?)
There are other family members like my little sister who use it as an excuse and something to blame it on when I don’t approve of her new boyfriend. (UPDATE 12/14: The current one seems okay…. for now.)
My dad… he just kinda gets this look on his face when I start slipping if there’s too many people. He never saw combat, but something somewhere gave him the knowledge to recognize that body language and behavior. I haven’t asked what it was. Not planning on it either. In less than nine weeks, I leave Indiana to start the next chapter of my life and it’s scares me a bit. It’s a huge city, LA is and I’m going there with only one man as my support network for the time being. (UPDATE 12/14: At this point, we’ve been happily living together. Yes there’s been sink holes. “Don’t you mean potholes?” Er…no, these have been sink holes. However we’re doing well enough that we can’t complain too much…outside of the weather not staying winter-like.)
Yeah, just him. I have pushed a lot of people away. Because just being around them causes flashbacks. Something as simple as the cigarettes they smoke are triggers. And they don’t understand what kind of pain they cause me. I just seem different, cold and distant. I have to be. How do you explain that?
There are a few friends that have stuck like crazy glue that I’ve known for a long time and dear Gods of the Underworld and Heaven, if anyone fucks with them… those folks are going to find out quickly what kind of hell I raise. And there’s been some new ones… that I absolutely adore. It’s almost easier, with the newer friends because they and I are building trust, but they weren’t around for the events. The older friends… some of them couldn’t cope and some of them… I just couldn’t summon patience to deal with anymore.
Someone asked me the other day if it was safe even for me to carry. Um…yes. Because while I hated that I have that bullshit happen to me… I have learned valuable lessons for the future. I understand things that I hope to pass the lessons on of, without that person getting dealt the blows I have. Only a few folks will ever need that I think. The rest, just keep swimming along.
Then there’s the crochet. I zone out into crocheting or knitting like I used to do with reading, but I can’t read like I used too. (UPDATE12/14: I’m able to read more again, though it’s still limited to a few books a month, usually something young adult or non-fiction related. Those are the easiest to read right now, and quite frankly I’m just glad I’m reading again.) PTSD makes your depression triggers a bit more sensitive. Anything that causes your emotions to warble, can really fuck with you. Call it a reminder. I’ve said it in the past I believe and will again. The yarn crafts. The crafts in general. I can weave, make baskets, candles, traps, garden… anything that can be seen as domestic or making life around a campsite a little bit easier, I can do.
There’s prepping. Now that’s appealing because of the fact you working to increase your survival chances in any given situation. You are working to become a survivor. Many of those yokels you see on the shows on TV… they don’t know what it means to survive. Most of them will become victims of the coyote packs. Why? Because they aren’t already survivors. You have to survive bullshit from other humans now, before you can even come close to being able to call yourself a survivor then. Every fight you make it through without losing your cool.
Every day when you advance a skill you know. Every day when you say no to something that doesn’t make you stronger and just weakens you. Every day, that you ignore the glares and filth that comes out of peoples mouth when they glimpse your pentacle. Every scar. Every painful lesson learned from someone’s actions, pushes you one step closer to being miles ahead of probably over 75% of the rest of the society.
See, people are afraid of those who are damaged… like I am in some ways. Because we know how to survive. We do it every day, and under the best circumstances you could ask for in some cases. I survived myself with the help of a brother and two sisters. That’s how close some of my friends are after the last three years. They are family.
Family that get it.
(UPDATE 12/14: And that family has gotten much bigger since this article first hit the net waves back in 2013 over on BlogSpot. Not much bigger, just about a dozen and half folks, but still.)