People love to judge, we all do it on some level. We would be liars if we said we never judged anyone.
And people judge what they don’t understand the most. Particularly if it’s a taboo subject – like mental health illness. Or abuse.
I am aware people may think I am ‘all about me’. And you know, on some level that is correct. Because PTSD ‘forces’ me have to think about me – ALL the time.
I have to manage my symptoms, and when I don’t – my anxiety and stress can overload, and that’s not good. If I don’t constantly check myself – my symptoms increase and I can’t cope and this has led to me nearly needing to be hospitalized, which I want to avoid completely, for my family’s sake.
I have to have constant self awareness. That is how I manage my symptoms as well as I do. That is why I am not feeling suicidal and not having panic attacks now. Praise God!
PTSD requires constant self awareness, constant management, constant focus on self and have learned when I don’t do this, things get far worse.
And this is not something I am used to – self care, self love, focussing on me in healthy ways, is alien to me. I’m really bad at it. I’ve had to learn how to love myself enough to have positive self care. Which is all new to me.
Plus PTSD keeps me in the past – whether I like it or not. It is involuntary – completely.
I do not want intrusive memories and flashbacks of severe abuse playing in my head every day – I absolutely, 100% do not want this. But, I’ve got it and it’s like torture some days. I don’t want to wake up most nights having nightmares of abuse, waking to an anxiety attack and managing that then having the nightmare replaying in my head as well most of the day.
So, I think about my past a lot and I hate it. I try to be as mindful as possible, but it’s really hard and the intrusive memories come due to triggers, triggers I cannot avoid.
Plus I am in the deep stages of grieving so much loss. A massive amount of loss, that is painful and causes me much sadness. Coming to terms with the severity of my past, the damage it caused, the pain it caused, the loss it caused has been a huge process that is still continuing as I grieve relationships, as well as my stolen childhood and all the abuse.
So, am I self absorbed these days. Yes, I am. And I don’t like it, nor do I want it.
All of this, I have tried to avoid for 20 years.
I suppressed it, avoided it, minimized it at all costs. Sadly the cost of doing this, NOT being a victim, NOT being all about me, made my situation worse.
The longer trauma is left without being dealt with, the worse the chances for recovery are.
So choosing to not be a victim, choosing to be strong, having courage to live my life, never using my past as an excuse for anything bad in my life – was actually the wrong thing to do.
I should have been more selfish and dealt with it. I should have been more ‘all about me’ in the past.
Now, I have no choice. I have to think about me, all the time. I have to constantly be self aware and think about things, because processing the trauma, the past is what I need to do to heal. And I can’t just set aside an hour a day, PTSD doesn’t work like that. I wish it did.
It is not how I want to be and I work hard on mindfulness. I have also used the fact that I have no choice but to think about my abusers, for good. To understand their situation and have a level of understanding and compassion for their sad lives and wish it could have been different for them.
This takes courage and wisdom and a willingness to want to forgive. God gives is free will and I could choose to not forgive, making excuses and justifying this with so many reasons most people would understand.
But, I don’t. That is how unselfish I am. How not ‘all about me’ I am. How not a ‘victim’ I am.
This is how much I want God to change my heart and He is, I know it, I feel it. And that is all that truly matters.
I know many people will not have the emotional depth to understand this, simply choosing to see the posts, the Facebook Community page, this WordPress site, as me wanting, choosing to be ‘all about me’.
Which I will just ignore, as they have no idea how wrong they are and I have to accept, they just don’t have the ability and capacity to understand.
My heart is not to stay like this, I have no desire to stay stuck in this current situation. I want to heal as much as possible and use everything I have been through, to help others.
And when someone with this life threatening disorder feels so hurt because someone has suggested maybe they are being ‘all about me’, I can explain and understand how wrong and how hurtful this is, with true empathy and compassion they will need.
Everything I endure, can be used for good and it will.