In case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t have too big a problem being open about certain aspects of my PTSD. I’m the sort of person who believes the lie that helping others is how you heal and so I always hope that my posts help others feel normal about the things they go through, instead of like a freak as we’re mostly treated.
My new psych does not agree with my assessment. She believes I get too caught up in trying to help everyone else and I never even try to help myself.
She’s not wrong.
Still, I cannot be silent in the face of the suffering so many go through, mostly alone, with their PTSD. And, maybe, there is a small part of me that still hopes to find a consistent group of people to go through this with myself (ah, to be able to trust again).
But, it is one thing to voluntarily write about it. It is one thing to bring it up at appropriate times in conversation. It is quite another to be forced to do it because you just have no choice.
Trauma victims have no choice. Their choices are stripped from them by their abusers, their rapists, their attempted murderers, etc. Everything was stolen from them, from their trust in other human beings, to every decision they make from that point on. And so, when people write about their trauma in blogs or post little snippets on Twitter, I applaud them, because they are making a choice for themselves at that instant.
But there are times when, again, that choice is stripped from us. Whether we have to give evidence, or we have to explain to our boss that we need to take personal time, or, in my case, we need to take a late drop in classes, the choice whether to tell our story, or not, is taken from us, and there is nothing we can do.
I wish I had some advice for how to deal with that. I spent the morning in a mad fury of story writing when I really need to just write the damn email and get ready to go to a weekend conference for work, but I’m at my desk, in my pj pants and a tshirt, sucking down Alta-Dena Egg Nog and eating pizza for breakfast.
Another choice taken, courtesy of a culture that turned a blind eye in the first place, but now feels it’s their right to know.
If I sound bitter…
Also, I need this mug: