I was watching this incredible video this morning and it reminded me that repeat exposure to the traumatic event is the only way to get a handle on the ptsd. Something I am only so recently trusting to be true. It was so refreshing to hear, especially it coming from the mouth of a such an inspiring woman and story. Daily, hourly in fact, reminders is what it takes to get through this it feels. Reminders from those who have been there, felt that, done that, seen that, heard that. Reminders that what you’re doing is the right thing. That you can get through this. That you’re not alone. That despite the pain, sometimes you need to choose the tougher route because it will come good in the end. Repeated exposure through the writing of or painting/drawing of, was at first so scary. And to be honest still is. For some events it’s softened but for others it still runs strong. Hence the fact some subjects or events have only been written about a few times by me. But now, provided I feel it’s right, and sometimes even when it’s not, to write out the deadliest memory I’m thinking of, never ceases to help. Even if just a touch. Even if it’s just in the sharing with myself. If I can think the memory and hold it in my mind, I can handle writing about it too, right? Right.
We all can.
I was having a little nap this afternoon when I had a flashback. This often happens – have asleep half awake. Half in the moment of reality, half drifting into dream sleep. And then it happens, whatever it is. The thought or memory and its physical effect. I so badly wanted to snooze – I was so darn tired, that I grit my teeth and didn’t do anything about it. About the flashback. Normally I’d write it out or I’d drop a dose of rescue remedy and work it out. But I didn’t do that.
So instead I slept dodgy, woke startled and shaking, and confused as I couldn’t remember for the life of me, what it was that had triggered this, dammit.
Moral of the story – no matter how exhausted, wiped or over this trauma shiz I am, it really does take effort and time to help it soften and to stop it happening.
Can I remember what the flashback was? Nope.
Now I’m knackered and still in bed at 2pm on a sunny afternoon, but in these moments, the trauma shows itself as shock. Shock leaves you wiped, empty, debilitated, quiet, fragile and nervous. What I’ve learnt is to listen to this. Fight or flight style trauma leaves me desperate to burn it off, so despite the anxiety or nervousness, I try my best to hop on my bike and get that breeze in my face to remind me what life’s about.
But this afternoon, I’ve decided to write. So that is what I’m going to do.
What do you do when you’re feeling the shock, the shaking, the flashbacks, the trauma beginning to surface? Some days I wish to shove the sucker away, but on days like today I see, to honour it and expose it is the only way forward.
Enjoy the afternoon, folks. x