When you experience trauma, it doesn’t take much for the memory of it to revisit you.
It’s called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Traditionally, it has been associated with people who experienced severe physical trauma, such as war, rape, severe car accidents, and even traumatic child birth. What you may not know is that PTSD also occurs in survivors of emotional trauma.
It results in flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, insomnia, severe anxiety, repeated re-living of the events in your mind, avoidance of situations and places that trigger memories of the event, and the list goes on and on.
It suddenly made sense to me why I felt so anxious whenever I stepped out of my front door. Everywhere I went, I saw reminders of what I’d been through, of the lies I’d been told and of the deceit that was worked on me. I wanted to run and hide. To move away, to never come back.
Thankfully, I had my group, my therapist and my online community to keep me anchored and to help me find ways of dealing with the symptoms and lessening the effects.
I gave myself permission to run and hide. To avoid the places that caused me the most pain. For over a year, I would not drive past the street where our family home had been. I did not visit the places that I most strongly associated with my “family life”.
I gave myself permission to feel angry. Each morning after a nightmare I would revisit the dream, examine it and understand where it came from. I realised I had every right to feel scared, because what I had been through was scary and painful. I “owned” my feelings. I let myself cry. I also placed the cause of my pain where it belonged.
With time, I was ready for step two. I was able to revisit the places that caused me pain. With some, I had no choice – I simply persevered and made them my own, so that the memory would be only of me and the boys. Others took more effort, more planning, but once done they were done. Our first road trip, our first holiday, our first visit to Scienceworks.
I was very ambivalent when I received an invitation from the Baker IDI Institute to attend a fundraising event at Cruden Farm. You see, we went there as a family around three years ago. It was nice at the time, but the memory of it was bitter…..
I decided to go, because it is such a beautiful place, it is close to home and I really wanted to have a day out with the boys. And you know what? We had a wonderful time…
You can read all about it in the next post. I hope you will come back, because I will also be giving away two copies of the CSIRO and Baker IDI “Diabetes Diet and Lifestyle Plan“. See you soon!