I am just a regular person. I feel, I love, I laugh, I hurt. I am a wife and mother, an average soul with different life experiences. I am like you; an advocate, supporter, leader and volunteer. I am a private fighter, a trooper, a veteran of challenges, a champion of pain and a warrior in disguise. I am who I am, and I am not a true war hero. I didn’t serve my country, but I served and still serve, and I suffered and I survived. I am not military, I am a civilian with PTSD.
Being diagnosed with PTSD as a civilian made me feel less than. I knew I had the reputation as being a strong and fierce woman, yet loving caring person, and I liked that. I felt that the label, PTSD, somehow wiped out the distinguished warrior character description, and I did not like that. But I knew, for a long time, I had PTSD, but didn’t know which of my life experiences was the trigger. So I had to go back to the front lines, and inside to the trenches of my soul, shake the hands with the enemy and make peace with my story.
Many of us are challenged, pushed to the limit with difficult times in life and all heard, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. Blah. Blah. Blah. No one with PTSD wants to hear it. Because sometimes we don’t just don’t feel stronger, better or more than. We feel like fools, masters disguising our vulnerabilities and weakness from the wounds. We must remember though, as hard as we try, we cannot fool our authentic self, our soul, the template for our being, because eventually the pushed down, beaten down Spirit, will rise up with the white flag in hand, and call for internal peace and tranquility. We will surrender but we won’t forget the battle, we will remember the fear and instantly recall, the sounds, smells and suffering. We will live in the aftermath of trauma, and it will wreak stress on day to day experiences, and life will be in disorder and cause disorder.
I have had some significant challenges and some good warrior stories to tell. We all do. We must recognize that our infantry division consists of our mind, our heart and our soul. All of our parts need attention, direction and care. The traumatic experience or experiences don’t change us, they change our perspective. Our reality is distorted and quite often we go back to the defense mechanisms that we think will protect our mind, heart and soul. A person with PTSD, knows the feeling of instantaneous anxiety, that jolt of supersonic, displaced energy in every spec of our existence. Our senses are on overload, and about to explode. We feel intensely, our ears ring with that warning siren of impending doom. The power of PTSD is massive, as is the immediate unrelenting prediction of possible disaster and the urgency to prevent, protect and avert catastrophe. And then we blink, and we are back.
People with PTSD are a united front. We get each other, we understand each other because we can hear the warning, and sense the approaching pain, and panic to avoid an impending crisis. The panic is not about the recall as much as it is about the possibility because those with PTSD are just not ready; physically, emotionally or soulfully for another war. The reality is, PTSD is real, it does not discriminate between military or civilian. Those of us who have suffered an experience that caused PTSD are all wounded, we are all warriors and we all know and understand. Whether we fought in true combat on a battle field, or experienced a life trauma on the home front, we are all at times tired and weak and the memory can make us vulnerable.
All of us, need to remember to suit up in the uniform of our soul, take pride in our history and take comfort in our future. We must remember to let go and grow and allow ourselves to be just who we were intended to be. We must not become our experience but become of our experience. When the vulnerability sets in, take the time, find the power, find love that is within and search for the light of your soul and the joy in your future.
Here are some things those of us with PTSD need to know and remember:
1. Know you don’t have to reach first for the anti anxiety meds to quiet the mind or the cocktail to still the tremors. Chose to Meditate and find the peace and experience the tranquility that resides in the soul.
2. Know the panic will return, and remind oneself that the possibility will not become a probability. Know to breathe back into the moment and become quiet and present.
3. Know when the enemy of the memory creeps up and gives a tap on the shoulder, to shake hands and make peace.
4. Know that PTSD is not a “lonely” experience. We are many and we all have painful moments that we must remember to embrace by pausing, discerning and passing on the panic.
5. Know to honor the memory and fear not its potential. Embrace the past and prepare for a soulful future.
6. Know the wounds of a warrior are not defining, they are inspiring.
“When pain and sorrow weigh us down, be near to us, O Lord,
forgive the weakness of our faith, and bear us up within your peaceful word”
As you see in the blogs, I have added new conversations in addition to cancer. Over the last couple years I have been taking time, meditating and learning. I now practice Life Force Energy Healing under Master Healer, Deborah King. This has been more than a blessing and I encourage all who read to get the book Truth Heals, by Deborah King. It changed my life. Things have changed in the world and also in many of us. Our decisions and life experiences sometimes leave us wondering how we got to where we are and have an uncertainty about future. I was searching to find my true self and was able to find a way to live in peace, authentically. The answers to our problems, are always right infront of us. We just have to look, take the time and heal ourselves with light and love and knowledge. Thank you for reading the blogs.
With gratitude, Cathy