How Broken is Broke?

Take 2 plates. Take one of the plates and throw it to the ground. Pick up the broken pieces and put it back together. Does it look the same as the other plate?

You never truly understand broken until you’ve experienced it deeply.

In college I studied biochemistry, quantum chemistry, analytical chemistry, forensic science, and sociology.  I wanted to go to school and become a doctor.

This was my dream growing up. Since the 3rd grade I declared I would become a doctor.

I applied to college and got accepted. About two years later I was accepted into the School of Science. I was going to get a bachelor degree in chemistry and a minor in sociology.

But my heart wasn’t in it. I could sleep through a chemistry class and squeak through with a C without studying. It didn’t capture my mind.

I soon left the School of Science for Liberal Arts. I changed my major from chemistry to sociology. Despite being only 4 classes away from my chemistry degree I went for sociology.  I decided on a minor in chemistry instead.

I had different friends on campus. I was a part of several clubs and in the student body counsel. Through those clubs and counsels I met more friends.

It just so happened a few of them were Veterans. They had come to school with their Vet benefits. I became someone they could talk to.

There were times I would run across campus just to sit with someone and listen to them talk. There were times I grabbed someone and reminded him where he was. It was my first experience with PTSD. Well not truly my father had PTSD but I was limited to his experiences. He hid it from me. But the first time I grabbed a friend and walked him through where we were. That no he wasn’t in a war zone. He wasn’t there being shot at. That was my true exposure to PTSD.

I became trusted. I honored that. I could help many Vets on campus if they needed it. I was someone they could turn to.

With my unique interest in sociology and how I was studying humanistic behavior it gave me a new out look on PTSD. 

Whether it was 10pm at night sitting outside University College having a conversation to help a friend having a flashback. Or noticing when someone had a trigger and I went running to help. I did this for them, and not for me.

I wanted to get my Masters in Sociology. I actually wanted to study sexual deviance. More specifically Transgender people, leaning more towards MTF (Male to Female) transitioning. And gender confusion (raise a child and let them pick their sexual orientation).

Years later when I decided to pursue my passion in photography I held onto pieces of what I was taught. It helped understanding people.

Despite the people I helped, the research I did. That did not prepare me when I began experiencing my PTSD.

When I first began to shut down I turned to Lego mini figures. I decided to lean towards my creative side of my brain. Which is harder to do with PTSD. But those Lego figures helped me. I could take my mind off what was happening to me by creating a story for them.

What I found the most frustrating of this whole experience was therapy for my PTSD. 

I could teach what they were saying. I could give play by play details of what should be said and done. I’ve done each thing that they wanted me to do with someone else I had helped through PTSD. And most importantly I had done it to myself.

I have a magical way to calm my breathing down. Thank you yoga!! I can lower my heart rate and calm myself. Now this isn’t a magical cure but it does help.

Quickly after the event I developed a phobia of people touching me. I actually carried hand sanitizer and would clean any part they touched of me. Even to this day I still have this phobia. When I’m in a crowd I began to freak if people get too close. It can easily trigger me.

I found out quickly what my triggers were. Loud noises startle me, and throws me off. So I’m not happy with fireworks or gun shots. I couldn’t tell you the state of panic I was in when the Seahawks won to go to the Super Bowl. I didn’t watch. But the fireworks made me jump. The 9mm that went off had me curled up in a ball crying. My husband was on duty and I couldn’t get a hold of him. I had to make a decision.

There are certain medicines I take. And certain medicines I am to stay away from. Those medicines can either set me off or make me dependent on them. But I had to reach for a valium. I needed that escape.

Because even though I’m put back together I’m like the plate. There are still cracks. It doesn’t look perfect.

I wish I could say I’m almost there.

A year is approaching. And each day I get stronger. But there isn’t an exact date of this is when my PTSD will stop. That this is when the nightmares will stop. No more flashbacks. No more picturing what happened in my head.

I don’t look broken. I look like myself. But inside I feel broken. I feel broken due to PTSD.  And I don’t know when I’ll be fixed.

In the beginning I used to beg to be fixed. Scream when this would all be over.

The saying “if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger” makes me want to scream.
The saying “G-d will not give you anything more than you can handle” made me question Him. For how could He do this to me.

Thanks for reading my blog.  Thanks for reading my outlet. Thanks for letting me share my story of PTSD.

I will be expanding on a few things mentioned in this post.

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