I’ve debating how much personal stuff to share on here. I feel on one hand, it’s heavy and I am a more private person, but on the other, I’m not being very authentic if I don’t share the good with the bad and the ugly.
It’s taken me a few weeks to decide to share this, and taken me close to a year to find words for this.
I am a veteran. I have PTSD.
There. Not so bad, right? Wrong, I’m scared to death of those words. The vast majority of people do not understand what that means. Ah, you’ve seen trauma so you have nightmares and stuff. Yes, I have nightmares. But I also have day-mares, see people that aren’t there, panic if I get stuff on or under a bridge, panic if I am around a lot of people, and any sudden movements or noises freak the crap out of me. A balloon popped near me a few weeks ago and reduced me to tears. My eyes were dilated the other day, and I ended up having a huge meltdown panic attack because I couldn’t. read. my. watch.
Silly, right? I mean my EYES WERE DILATED AND I KNEW I WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO SEE IT.
But that’s just what it is- you feel like a prisoner to your own mind.
It’s a very real, very scary, and extremely isolating thing. You feel no one can understand what you’re seeing and going through- and to an extent, that’s true. My close friends can’t understand, and the majority of my family can’t either. The Gentleman couldn’t as well, and ended our relationship right after our anniversary trip together. He was the closest thing I had to my brotherhood that I lost when I got out of that job.
It is a very isolating environment you find yourself in. It’s terrifying and deafening. So please, if you know a veteran, reach out to him or her- let them know that maybe you don’t know what they’re going through, but you’re there just the same to listen and hold them if they need it.
Thank you for reading this if you’ve gotten to this point. I know that is some really heavy stuff, and it is not shared lightly. I want to be authentic to my soul (by lovin’ vintage!!) and by being honest with myself and others about my struggles. If you are interested in how to reach out, please contact your local Vet Center or VA, they will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
PS- And yes, once I was honest with myself (took far too damn long) I reached out and am getting the help I need. I am no stranger to battle. I fight to win. And I will.