Little ol’ me, with PTSD?

I’ve been living with terror & anxiety since September 5, 1974, the day my dad died. Helpless, I was 8 & had long watched him shrink, suffer & die from cancer. My #1 & he didn’t even warn me, or say goodbye?! I was in complete shock, sidled with the dread of when my mom would leave me too; as well as the opposite fear & responsibility  of being left alone to tend to her & myself. (She no doubt felt the same way). Mom had sleep apnea although there was no term for it back then. I just remember running downstairs to her bedroom in a panic to see if she was still alive, almost every night. When I did sleep, solitary on the second floor, I had nightmares of walking home from school to a boarded-up house. Once a ‘normal’ kid, my health & well-being were never the same.

At the time of loss, it’s all about survival (mental, emotional & physical). You know, when well-meaning adults say, “The children are so adaptable; I’m amazed at how resilient they are!”  That makes me upset. Duh. When we are a dependent child, what other choice do we have but to be resilient (at least temporarily)?! A lot of times the adults fall apart (openly or not, but kids are sponges, taking it all in) & there is a role reversal that occurs. Adults acting stoic doesn’t help. Strong (including tears), yes. Cold & stoic (denial), no. I felt I was such, for almost 40 years. Coping skills can usually only last so long & take us so far before something starts to unravel.

Some are lucky enough to have remarkable built-in resources &/or outward support of some kind, enabling them to press on, & on, rising up, & up, with remarkable success. Some are likely to become dependent & addicted on other sources in order to slog through. For most of us, our system protects us by allowing us to dissociate from certain traumas. Some are forced to confront deep healing, going through the gunk enough to come out on the other side. Some are not, or do not. The conditions of life are extreme & every soul acts/reacts/copes/thrives in a way as unique as their very fingerprints. Therefore it is best not to judge, under any circumstance. None of us is EVER privy to ALL the information (in regards to our own selves, let alone another)!

I’m glad I didn’t know what lay ahead. For us, a family of six in one house was quickly reduced down to just the two of us, my mom & I. As it is with life, a variety of things ensued for all. Most recently, dementia came for my mom & has been holding us hostage ever since. As much as humans tend to worry about the future & want to know how it’s going to go, I don’t think any of us would really benefit by knowing ahead of time what we will be required to face (even if it were a beautiful dream coming to fruition). In just a few short years life can change dramatically, for better or for worse.

It wasn’t until I got divorced at age 39, did I seek counseling for all the unbearable distress that seemed to surface out of nowhere.  The therapist even went so far as to call it, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (I didn’t believe her at first. After all, I’m not a war veteran, at least not externally speaking. Surprisingly I hadn’t read anything about it till just now, that short link above. Hmm, it fits). After ten years of re-associating, I have no doubt of her diagnosis.

From this experience, compassion, empathy & understanding have become my default mode; an automatic state of being which I can offer to myself, loved ones & clients. Though dealing with others & the world at large can still be overwhelming, I’m finally painfully aware & at least know what I’m dealing with. I’m supremely grateful to Dr. Metz for supporting me through this healing  journey with his gift of insight & special brand of energy medicine.

I know my momma isn’t long for this world now. She has yearned to reside beside the heavenly hosts (which now includes, siblings, friends, & offspring). I am getting older by the minute, too! …We shall see…We shall see…How will things transpire for she & me? I can’t help wanting & needing to know… After all, I’ve been waiting with terror & anxiety for 40 years…Who, what, when, where, why & how?!

As I often do, I humbly bow my head & calm my heart with prayer to let go & have faith.  “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom his love commits me here, ever this day be at my side to light & guard, to rule & to guide.  Amen.”

And, it never hurts to have a Teddy Bear to hug:

Betty Bear & Maggie Bear, courtesy of my dear friend, Sunshine. She lovingly knits bears which she donates to the Mother Bear Project, serving AIDS orphans in Africa. She made these in homage to my mom & I, using yarn that we had donated to her from clearing out my mom’s sewing room (in that ‘scary’ upstairs of my childhood!).
(Photo by Sunshine Psota)

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Valuing The Creative Force In All Its Expression: Arts & Culture, Personal Growth & Healing. Offering Advanced Energy Medicine: Tailored Sessions Honoring Each Uniquely Spirited Soul.
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6 Responses to Little ol’ me, with PTSD?

  1. contoveros says:

    Tears are welling up inside as I read your tale of woe. I too have suffered from PTSD. My wife suffered a traumatic brain injury and I had to place her in a nursing home when I could no longer care for her in our home.

    I too have found peace with my better angels. I find meditation allows me to enjoy my life more. I need less and I find that I love more freely. By the way, I forgot to tell you how much I love you.

    Oops. I was keeping that a secret until Valentine’s Day, but what the heck. it sounded like you could use a little hug and a kiss right about now!

    Michael J

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Michael J (same name & initials as my dad!). I know you are a war veteran, but I didn’t know about your wife. My heart really does go out to the both of you. It is SO hard losing someone you love & care about, as well as the sense of being helpless & hopeless.

      I like how you say ‘better angels’. I know what you mean.

      I’m working on my relationship with God along the way. Meditation, from my mind, hasn’t been going so well. I have a lot of anger inside. I’m a bhakti kind of gal, so my Godly meditation focus is there, & I do feel “cradled in Hell” (as I am want to call it). I don’t know what I’d do without feeling Divine support.

      I feel better knowing that you have made a connection too, & are feeling supported, especially after hearing your tale of woe. I haven’t been keeping up on my WP blogs, but I know you were absent for awhile.

      Thank you for your special Valentine’s xoxo’s. A big heart hug to you as well, my first blogging supporter & friend.

      Like

  2. Kathryn says:

    Maggie we love you very, very much and you always have our 100% support!!! You are not alone!! Love, Kathryn and Steven

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Renee Crevelli says:

    I’m sorry for the hurts and the struggles, Maggie. It does all seem to be a part of the human condition. You have ‘lost’ your parents in different ways – both have presented unique challenges for you.
    I think those little bears are precious! They are a symbol of love from one of your many friends 🙂
    Renee

    Like

    • Thank you, Renee for your caring. I am one of the many, I know. I hope that writing about my struggles is somehow comforting to others who have had similar experiences, or have loved ones that have. As you say, it is part of the human condition…how & when it strikes we never know. (That’s what can make it so unnerving).

      Upon reflection, I realized that my tender heart was cracked open at such a young age & it never closed & healed appropriately. I take too much in, to heart. A blessing & curse, somehow perfectly suited to my line of work now. It allows for much love & compassion, which is the biggest healer of all.

      I guess that is our lesson, no matter if, when & how we come to it. I know no one has it ‘easy” in this life, even in the West. Good thing there are all kinds of people with all kinds of gifts & strengths.

      Speaking of which.,.my dear friend Sunshine & her sweet bears…so wonderful! I’m glad you enjoyed cuddling them with your eyes & thereby infusing them with extra loving thoughts.

      My prayers are with you & your family as well, Renee.

      Like

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