the rack and the screw

PTSD

Posted in mental health/madness, sexual violence by bellareve on February 23, 2009

A few months after being raped at 18, I was hospitalized for PTSD. 

It took a few months because the symptoms came slowly at first. Intense anxiety, fear, vulnerability. Being always alert and on edge. Then sadness. Then howling rage. It all culminated in some episodes of suicidal thoughts, at which point I checked myself in.

For the next five years, therapy, medication, and the support of various friends, family, and partners kept me alive. And not only alive, they kept my symptoms, for the most part, under control. To the point where I was highly functional, safe with myself, and occasionally even happy. (Part of this had to do with discarding incompetent counselors/doctors who weren’t helping me, and experimental meds that made things worse…no easy task as many know)

But now the damn thing is back.

I realized this is probably what provoked me to start this blog, subconsciously. Because I’m having such a hard time and writing calms me down. In any case, my current therapist, the one who I like the most, suggested this. Apparently PTSD can in a way be “dormant” in one’s nervous system/mind,  similar to a virus, “activating” years later due to some type of trigger.

It came flooding back, not gradual this time, but tough and black and all consuming like tar. The same longing to self-destruct, the same difficulty getting air into my lungs, the same terrors at nighttime. The trigger, I’m certain, was the recent end of a serious relationship. The symptoms came almost immediately, eerily familiar, and just as unbearable.

I’m trying to survive but it goes against the instinct to disappear.

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