ptsd

All posts tagged ptsd

Published June 20, 2018 by Chloe Madison

Today as I was trying to brush off reliving a few experiences, I remembered something I read. The author was a Vietnam vet who was writing a snippet about his experience. He said something like, “if you see a warrior staring off in the distance, quietly move away.”

Immediately, I knew he was referring to PTSD. But I wouldn’t tell people to move away. I’d tell them to quietly, gently interrupt and thereby redirect our thoughts.

I did quite a bit of staring off and reliving things today. I’m not quite sure why.

It’s one thing I can’t control. I guess it’s more accurate to say there are many things I can’t control. My flashbacks are just one.

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Published June 1, 2018 by Chloe Madison

“The unknown distance to the great beyond

Stares back at my grieving frame”

My God, I have been struck by massive headaches lately. Some have been full on migraines, others just close to migraines. Today, yesterday, the day before, the day before that, it goes on and on.

I even left the house to run an errand, thinking if I got up and moving, my headache would subside. It got so much worse, that I had to turn around and go back home. Ridiculous.

I don’t know what’s causing this- perhaps the stress of moving? Other than that and dealing with the young girl who was raped and continuing to deal with my own stupid stuff, that’s the only stress I have at the moment.

I’m in for a big life change with this move. It will turn my budget upside down and a lot of things are going to change. But I’m so ready for change- any kind of change. If I could literally go to the moon, I would. It wouldn’t be far enough away from this place. So as stressful as the move might be, I’m actually really looking forward to it. It’s a ton more money and a lot less pretty and a lot smaller, but I’m ok with that. I truly feel it’s in a safe place and I really, really need that.

I dreamed last night that my rapist who lives here was at my front door. I freaked out and ran around the house, closing blinds and locking things down and cowering down in an anxiety ridden mess. It was terrible…but honestly, this dream wasn’t nearly as bad as others. I think it shows how vulnerable I feel- that I don’t feel safe and that I feel anyone can do me harm and intrude upon where I live. Everyone has a right- a basic human right- to feel safe where they live.

I often wonder how long this crap will last. I am so sick of this. I remember when I was healed and thought I could handle anything life threw at me with God, my Father, on my side. And now…

Now…

Ugh. I just don’t know anymore. I don’t trust him and tears stream down my face as I write this. I feel so guilty about saying that. But it’s the truth of where I am.

I struggle with this every day, practically all day and all night long. I talk to God and pray…but I doubt him and his intentions. I doubt his goodness. I doubt his trustworthiness. And I doubt my own ability to carry on.

My church is doing this thing where they want to “hear people’s stories” and for a second, I thought it would be a great place for me to share. But they’re doing it so others can learn and be inspired by peoples’ successes and how God has moved in their lives. So that cuts me out. That isn’t the place for me to share. I’m not a success and I’m struggling so much with God that no one would be “inspired.” And that’s ok. I know I’m in a tough place with God. I hope he doesn’t give up on me like everyone else has. ๐Ÿ˜“

My church and my job are the only things not about to change in my life. Actually, my job just did change. A full-time position is called a 1.0. So if you’re 0.8 or less, you work part time. Since I was hired there, I worked a 1.2, which is a full time position and then some. For the last 2 years, I worked a 1.4. That’s practically unheard of. I think I was only able to do it because I have no family, no friends, and no social life here. I needed that 1.4 with this move. It was such good extra money and I needed it so badly to pay down debt. I was told a few weeks ago that I would be down to a 1.2 again. Argh!!! I really need that money. This is part of what will make my budget super tight in the future. So I guess even my job is changing…I will have less work. And honestly, I don’t think that’s a good thing. Being able to busy myself with my job has been important to keep my mind occupied.

Ok. So I guess my church will be the only thing not changing for me. And this is good because my church is amaze balls. Even though I shy away from talking to people there, I absolutely love the people there. And I have a phenomenal pastor who is so gifted at preaching- it’s unreal.

I just don’t know how long I can hang in with this shit swirling in my head. I’m trying to focus on others- on being an encouragement to other people. I’ve been talking a lot with the young girl whose uncle molested and raped her and with her friend, who was raped a few weeks ago. I’m checking in on both of them and encouraging both of them and letting them know I’m cheerleading for them and believe in them. I’ve got their back. I know I would have loved to hear that. So I’m trying to focus on being a positive force in peoples’ lives…but even then, I feel like a failure.

I think often – every single day- of my friends who abandoned me. I wonder what it was about me that they didn’t like. Was I too needy? Not nice enough? Not caring or loving or supportive enough? It makes me so, so scared to lose more friends. I mean, I barely have any to begin with. I wish people could be more understanding. Why throw me away? Why not talk to me? It makes me feel like trash that is discarded. And I already felt that way from the men in my life who used me and cast me aside.

I feel…and I worry…that I’m too needy. I need people. I need support. And everyone has quit on me. Every. Single. Person. It’s not their fault…it’s mine. And this is part of what makes me so angry at God. And here come the tears again. Will I be this much of a mess forever? I feel like this is not my fault. I didn’t ask for my father to sexually abuse me. I didn’t ask to get raped and molested by others. I didn’t ask for my mother and grandmother to cover up everything and protect my abuser. I didn’t ask for a fiancรฉ who degraded me and cheated on me. It’s not my fault that I’m so fucked up. But this is what tires people and chases them away. I guess I can see that people can only deal with so much- they have their own lives and their own issues. And this is why I stand here alone. I’ve always said that and it’s because it’s true. No one is strong enough to stand by your side forever.

So it brings me right back to the same question- how long will this fucking shit last?? I can’t take this forever. I’m hanging in by a thread, carrying on as if I were normal…and I can barely do it. I absolutely cannot take this for much longer. I can’t be this fucked up forever. There is no way in hell I can do this much longer. I’ve got to get better. I cannot go through the rest of life like this. I just can’t. I don’t have the strength or the energy.

“I feel my faded mind begin to roam”

Published May 9, 2018 by Chloe Madison

This screenshot is from the movie, “Speak.” That’s the guy who raped her leaning over her. She didn’t tell anyone about the rape- hence the name, “Speak” as she tries to find her voice.

This is how I feel every time I’m near where he lives. It makes me want to throw up. I wish he wasn’t here.

Published April 23, 2018 by Chloe Madison

Couldn’t sleep last night. Went to church, but I couldn’t tell you right now what the sermon was about. My mind is whirling with the precarious situation at work. Please, please pray for that situation to work out as well as possible.

I was shocked today- had a little tiny bit of a start on my monthly visitor. Haven’t had it since I was in the hospital- that’s six months now! I’m still super confused as to why it stopped and now, why it’s starting again. I always thought it was a side effect of the medicine, but with the recent increase in dosage, it would make more sense if it continued in ceasing, no? Part of me thinks it’s just a side effect, part of me worries about what the doc thought (that I was premenopausal), part of me thinks it stopped from the massive and overwhelming stress of being hospitalized, part of me worries there’s something else wrong. That’s why the med doc tried to get me to see the vajayjay doctor. I just can’t though. I can’t handle any other stressor at this point. As much as I don’t want to deal with it, it gave me a little glimmer of hope of possibly having children in the future. I don’t see how that’s even remotely possible…but I can always dream. Right? Worse case scenario- I get disappointed. Been there, done that.

I’m watching this TV show called “Long Lost Family” that reunites people with their birth parents who had given them up for adoption. It reminds me of the time I set out to find out who my real grandfather was. I’d always been told my dad was adopted. My grandmother who betrayed me and my uncle was their real mother, but my dad’s father wasn’t in the picture. I found the family, but I was too late- my real grandfather had already passed away. And then I think of my own children who I aborted.

My God, I had such a hard time even typing that word. I will never forgive myself for never giving them a chance. The first time it wasn’t my choice- I wanted to keep my baby. My mom refused to let me. It was devastating. But I was a teenager and didn’t know how to fight back with my own mother. For that matter, I still don’t know how to stand up for myself and fight for what’s right. The second time, I was raped. And alone. And he was of a different race. And I thought my baby would look like him and I’d be looking into my rapist’s face every time I looked at my child. And I had this irrational fear he’d want visitation rights so I thought I’d have to see him all the time. And I questioned myself- what do I tell my child about their father? Do I lie and make something up? Do I tell the truth and tell them their father is a rapist?

And look at me. My father was a sexual predator and look how fucked up I am. I would never want to do that to a child. Never. Never. Never. It’s not fair. What if they’re like my uncle and myself and they never recover from it? What if they can’t handle it?

I’m watching these people on this show reuniting with their grown children and I realize I should have given my children that opportunity. But I didn’t. I’ve done a lot of fucked up things in this lifetime, but that stands as the worst. I can never forgive myself for that. And I understand God doesn’t want to either.

I’m certain that’s why he won’t give me children now. He already gave me my chance with children. I did the worst possible thing you can do- and God doesn’t trust me now. I wouldn’t trust me either.

I see these people in the show cry and meet up and get through things. They’re forgiving and generous and kind. And I wonder what’s wrong with me- why can’t I be as healthy? It makes me see that there’s something wrong with me- that I can’t accept my dad was a sexual predator, that I can’t move on from that, that I’m alone and will probably be forever because I just cannot trust a man and know there are so few men who are actually safe, that I’m not meant to have children or a family…and tears fill my eyes and stream down my face as I write this.

This is my life.

And it’s not worth living. I’ve fucked up beyond repair, beyond the reach of God’s forgiveness and grace- not that he can’t, but he won’t. He’s mad and has every right to be.

I’ve messed up in life, I’ve messed up in work- and that was the only thing I had where I felt needed and used by God. The only thing. It gave me a tiny sense of purpose. And I’ve messed it all up.

Published March 23, 2018 by Chloe Madison

I have actually slept super well for the last 3 nights in a row! I’ve slept long and deeply. I woke up only about 4 times each night- that’s a world record for this past year and a half.

I am so grateful. I’m still so, so exhausted that I came home from work yesterday and crashed- took a nap and then still slept through the night. I’ve only got a year and a half of sleep to catch up on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lots of dreaming, but very few nightmares. So that’s good. My therapist and I decided not to do EMDR again because she thinks I’m still processing with all the nightmares I previously had. Next week is spring break- so maybe the idea of vacation time is helping me to relax as well. (?) I don’t know.

My therapist said she thought I was doing too much to keep my mind occupied. The studying, the chase, and the hiking every weekend…she thought maybe I’m not giving my brain enough down time to process and that’s why I was still processing things through nightmares.

We talked a lot about my friend who relapsed. She thinks I have issues of my own that came up when things with him started happening. I guess him being mean or rude to his wife brought up my past with my ex who was pretty abusive psychologically, emotionally, and verbally. Only rarely did it turn into physical abuse. Catching him cheat on me was just the cherry on top. I do still have a lot of hurt and anger from that. I know that every time my ex was enraged with me, it was never my fault and it was never justified. I guess that’s why my friend being mean to his wife is ruffling my feathers so much now. I love the guy and care deeply for both him and his wife…but I cannot, cannot, absolutely canNOT handle a man mistreating a woman. I just can’t do it anymore. I’ve seen it my whole life and I hate it. I’m sick to my stomach about him doing it- I guess because I’d looked at him as a good, Christian guy. I’m not saying he isn’t. But it’s just a huge let down. He and his wife took good care of my little dog for me when I was in the hospital. I’m so appreciative of that and grateful for them welcoming me with open arms and zero judgment. I need to extend the same to him.

I have a friend coming in town to visit tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m super scared. Either I hide who I am and all the terrible things I’m dealing with- or I’m open and honest. Obviously, he could reject me as crazy or needy or any number of things I’m scared people will judge me as. I have quite a bit of hesitation with seeing him- but at the same time, he’ll occupy about a third of my spring break- so that’s great. I don’t think I need to be alone. That’s never good. Not recently, anyway.

And the sanctuary, the shelter that I’ve been envisioning…I’d love to be able to open a Christian camp in the remote mountains. I was thinking part of it could be a place that church groups could go to for retreats- youth groups or men’s or women’s groups. The other part of it though- that’s what I’m focusing in on- the other part would be a safe haven for victims of human trafficking and/ or sex trafficking. It would be a safe place that’s remote so they have no fear of anyone they escaped from finding them and where they’d feel confident walking around outside, enjoying nature. I envision having group meetings and even counseling/ therapy for them. Maybe have a full-time therapist on staff? That would be awesome. I’d like to give a beautiful, safe place to people who need it- who need some where to go for months or even a year- to recover, to learn to live again, to learn to feel safe again. I was thinking of offering training in some kind of trade as well- so they could sustain themselves and make a living on their own.

I don’t know- it’s just a dream. I keep envisioning it in this peaceful river valley that I’ve been driving through these last few weekends.

So…there’s that.

Please pray for my friend and his wife.

Published March 18, 2018 by Chloe Madison

Oph. Nightmares have been unreal. And unrelenting. Last night I had several. The most notable was when a friend killed me. The killer’s face in my dream actually kept switching back and forth between two different people, both friends of mine. At one point, my friend/ the killer was threatening my life. I retorted with the fact that he should go ahead- he’d be doing me a favor. Smh.

I’m not quite sure why the last 2 days have been so difficult. My sleep has been so interrupted and when I do sleep, it’s nothing but nightmares. I’ve been overly emotional these last few days as well. When I was hiking this weekend, I kept breaking down crying. Hiking and crying doesn’t mix. I’m not gonna lie. I thought of ***** and ***** quite a bit out there.

These last two weeks have actually been GOOD. I was beginning to get hopeful that I was on my way out of this dark mire. But now I’m not so sure. I keep wanting to stay away from people and keep them away from me. I just want to be left alone and yet I absolutely despise it. I actually hate, hate, hate being alone. It’s just a safe place to recoil to.

Up on the mountain, I was begging God to be with me. He wasn’t. I asked out loud over and over throughout the hours, “God, are you there?” I tried to humor myself by replying to my own question with a sound effect of lightning striking. I thought I was funny. But that didn’t change the fact that I was alone up there.

I don’t know why I cried so much. Both today- during church again- and all day yesterday.

The only thing I can think of is that I’m wrestling with how I view people- and men, in particular.

I know my abusers have been men. Throughout my life, I tried to be normal and be in relationships, but my two most serious relationships ended because I was being cheated on. So I haven’t had the best men in my life- obviously including my own father. And I even think of my grandfather who was a verbally abusive a-hole.

I’ve tried to counteract this and combat it by looking to good men in my life. I think of a teacher I had in high school who I fantasized would marry my mom and be my dad. He was gay and and I chuckle, knowing even back then that my little fantasy would never happen. But I wonder if him being gay is what made him feel so safe. He would never hurt me. Beyond that, he was a gentle, sweet old man. And I love that about him. I was crushed when I ran into him a decade later and he didn’t remember me.

I fondly remember my youth pastors and how awesome they were. They were great examples of Christian men and they were fun and loving and just plain awesome. Then, after my teenage years, I ran into a void of good men. I stopped going to church and didn’t exactly surround myself with the best people. I was involved in the music/ rock scene and saw every single guy use women nonstop for sex. It was unreal. There was even one band I know who have special backstage passes made for girls called “Chicken Head” passes. It’s a lewd reference to girls giving oral sex. I mean, how much more degrading can you get?! And I’d see guys laugh about that.

Then, I started coming back to church. And I came into contact with my former pastor. He’s an amazing man. I love the guy to pieces. He told me he thinks of me as one of his daughters and I loved that. I miss him a lot. He’s the one who said my dad was a monster. But he was a pillar of strength to me and a source of encouragement through long, daily emails for years and years. Both he and his wife are phenomenal people.

And then I moved out of state. It took me several years to find a good church. And almost immediately, I found a guy at that church who was a great, trustworthy person. He’s my 911 friend. I love how he interacts with people and how he cares for and loves his wife and family- and everyone else, for that matter. He’s the most recent person I’ve tried to use as someone to look to as a good example of what a good, Christian man should be like.

My 911 friend kept pushing me to stay with another couple. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I didn’t trust the guy. There were stories of him being violent towards his wife when he used to use drugs and I could never fully let that go. It’s disturbing and highly alarming to me if any person has the potential to hurt another when not in self defense. That’s not ok. It never will be. I kept trying to tell myself that this guy is no longer a drug user, that it’s in his past, it’s not who he is anymore. But I still felt threatened. And now, in the last two weeks, I’ve seen him relapse. It’s not his relapse that’s so disturbing. It’s his mistreatment of his wife while he was actually sober. He treated her like dirt and continues to- even when he’s not high. THAT is what I’m struggling with. Of course, I’m worried for his relapse and don’t want him going down that road. But I can’t believe- I’m actually shocked- that his verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse of his wife is coming when he’s sober. I don’t know what to make of that. Part of me feels justified in how I never fully trusted him and this IS EXACTLY why. But part of me feels guilty…that I should be forgiving. He’s not remorseful though. He doesn’t see anything wrong with how he mistreats and “punishes” his wife. And that makes me question why she stays with him. If it were me, I’d dip out in a second. But hey, maybe that’s why I’m not in a relationship. I absolutely cannot handle a man being cruel or abusive in any way, shape, or form. I just can’t do it.

And we…women…shouldn’t have to! Why do women put up with this? Because they love the guy? Because they’re stuck in a marriage and they don’t want to dishonor God by divorcing? Smh. This pisses me off.

And frankly, seeing all this unravel with this guy and his wife has made me lose HUGE amounts of hope in humanity and in men, in general.

And I think that’s part of what’s bothering me so much. It was him in my dream who was killing me. Him and someone else.

And then I have compassion. And I see his demons and how they’re fighting to take over his life. And I know we have the same demons. We’ve both been sexually abused, among other things. I see him relapse and I see that there’s no way out for people like us. There’s no hope for us. We claw and crawl our way up out of the pit, only to be drug right back down again in an instant. This is weighing so heavily on me. We are not in control. Satan is. You can’t fight that. There’s no winning. If God wanted us to get away, he would have done that already. But he hasn’t.

Published March 4, 2018 by Chloe Madison

I don’t know where to start. Yesterday was disturbing. For one reason only- my apathy toward being lost in the wilderness and possibly losing my ****. Actually, I’d say that I’m not lucky enough to actually **** ** ****- the only thing that bothered me yesterday was the thought of having to spend a very uncomfortable and very cold night out in the wild.

I drove about 3 hours out into the mountains and went hiking in a remote area. I saw one other person the entire day. I had hiked up to the crest of a ridge and saw a guy hiking below on the dirt road. I don’t know why I felt so threatened. I hid from him. Even though he was far below me, I still felt the need to duck and hide. So I did.

And I had already left the dirt road and went off to that ridge. I hiked back down and went up a different ridge. My curiosity got the better of me and I kept thinking, ‘I want to see what’s beyond the next ridge.’ So I kept going and going. I must have ventured about 4-5 miles off the dirt road. I got lost. Thank God I have an amazing sense of direction. I used the sun to navigate in the general direction I thought my car was in. I finally found the dirt road, but it was down a steep, rocky incline. I went down it and finally reached the road, only to realize I had gone so far- this was not the same dirt road I had begun walking on. I had set off on a dirt road that was closed to motorized vehicles until June 15. My dirt road had two sets of tire tracks on it…this dirt road had none.

There were a couple of times I started to panic, but overall, I couldn’t care less if I met my *** out there. But I knew it was too warm for me to *** overnight. The temps would dip below freezing, but that won’t **** you. The sun was setting, I had no cell service…and truthfully, I hadn’t even planned on hiking. I had no pack, no food, NO WATER. I felt like a dumb ass for doing that, but I also didn’t really care. I had (and still have) huge blisters on both feet. Converse aren’t the best hiking shoes.

I started to panic again when I reached multiple intersections of dirt roads. I couldn’t tell which dirt road was the original one I had come in on. None of them had the tire tracks I was looking for. So I kept heading down the road that wound around in the general direction of my car, according to the setting sun. Finally, I reached another intersection of dirt roads that had tire tracks. Thank God. Darkness met me, but God gave me a full moon. ๐Ÿ˜ I made it back to my car and even made the 3 hour drive home. I thanked God as I was able to sleep in my own bed last night. I came so close to hunkering down for the night out there. I’d even found multiple rock outcroppings I could use as a shelter from the cold winds. But God brought me home. My bed never felt so good.

Surprisingly, as tired and sore as I was, I did not sleep well at all- even with sleeping pills. Something is wrong. I don’t know what.

This morning, before I even got out of bed, I was crying- weeping, really. Just sadness and death. It makes me cry. I almost didn’t go to church. But I did. Church was ok. I didn’t cry there- but I had a helluva time listening and concentrating. At this point, I don’t even recall what was talked about. I talked to God so much yesterday. I found multiple crosses in nature before I got lost.

I found these sticks like that. I didn’t set it up and I don’t think anyone else did either. I was so far away from civilization.

This rock caught my attention from far away.

I’m disturbed by the fact that I didn’t care if I got lost out there. It’s not surprising…so why is it disturbing me? I have no clue. I thought of my dog. I know he needs to be taken care of.

I think of the kids I’m working with. I strongly feel God has put them in my path. And yet I feel so useless. I give God my life…but it’s nothing. There’s nothing to give. It’s not like its a sacrifice- when you give someone junk, it’s not worth anything.

I feel like God won’t want it. I feel like he’s mad at me for pulling away from him. I feel like he’s mad because I don’t trust him.

I absolutely despise where I am in life. I hate this. Fear and anxiety and loneliness dominates. I’ve lost so many friends. I feel so alone. I want people to love me, but what can they do anyway? No one can fix this mess. So maybe it doesn’t matter.