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I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have to remember to breathe every time those words come, I don’t want to believe it. I still can’t believe it. I remember the first time my counselor looked at me and told me that my depression and anxiety might be something more. Great, I thought, What could possibly be worse than this?

Firstly, PTSD is not a disorder that only affects our war heroes, though that is what it’s commonly associated with. My own first thoughts were: “isn’t that a disorder for war veterans or someone who witnessed war first-hand?“ The truth is there are many causes for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, for example: witnessing or experiencing  incidents, such as mugging, rape, child abuse, drug abuse, illnesses, car accidents,  plane crashes, or natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes can all trigger PTSD.

However, not every person who survives a traumatic event develops PTSD, as we all cope differently to terrifying situations. Sometimes it can take a few months for symptoms to begin to show up or occasionally it can take years before signs of the disorder are apparent. Some people can recover within months, while others experience the symptoms for much longer.

The hardest part for me is accepting the fact that I was traumatized because I had banished any memories to the deepest parts of my mind. I do not want to remember. This was my coping mechanism, I simply pretended it didn’t exist and that it never happened. I remember repeatedly telling myself that it was just a nightmare and that I was being silly for thinking it even occurred.

This is not a good coping technique as I spent most of my time obsessing and telling myself that it was all in my head. That I was just overreacting to those constant nightmares and emotions that swirled around like leftover pudding. I felt as if I was floating all the time and in fact I was--I was floating on all the lies I had told myself. Even this very minute, as I write this, I’m pushing back those memories that resurface and stay on the edge of my mind like an oil spill.

I am constantly afraid for my life.

Daytime consists of me never being left alone, it doesn’t matter to if someone is a room away, I can not stand be alone. I need to have someone I trust close by and in the same room as me. Going out into public is one of my biggest fears, it’s where I relive what happened the most. Basically, I’m afraid of people. I also have a constant, nagging fear that something terrible will happen and so I mentally prepare for the worst possible scenario.

I trust everyone and I trust no one.


At night my symptoms become worse, I can not go anywhere without making sure there is light illuminating my path. I need to be able to see everything in front of me, I wake up groggy and as soon as I flip the light switch I become hyper-vigilante of every noise and movement. I become jumpy and literally sprint towards my destination, always making sure I can reach a weapon if necessary.

There are times when I hear a noise that I become deathly silent, straining to hear every possible movement, and will remain in the same spot for upwards of twenty minutes. Then I have to pick up the nearest object and hold it in a defensive stance, I’ll then carefully walk over to the door and open it all the way. I always look three times to make sure no one is hiding behind the door or around the corner.

I suffer from mild flashbacks and body memories of the events. In other words I can re-live the moment to the extreme; I can remember every tiny detail. I remember how hard my heart would pound, the subtle smells, the noises. Everything. Just thinking about it increases my heart rate and I start to shake, it's hard to discuss because it feels like a fresh wound.

High school was the worst for me and I am not talking about the cliques, mean girls and things like that. Those types of things did not bother me in the least bit, I could take a insult from someone and whisk it away faster than their mouth could move. On the outside I was strong but on the inside I was rotting into nothing. Though, at some point in ninth grade something in me snapped.

I became nervous and anxious all the time; I couldn’t enjoy anything I used to with out racing thoughts of all the horrible things that could happen. School became a burden because all my thoughts went to everything that could go wrong. When I say everything I mean everything. In school I used to worry about getting kidnapped as I waited for the bus or that if an intruder came into the school his target would be me because I always felt so helpless.

I almost didn’t graduate because of my PTSD (though I didn‘t know I had it at that time), from tenth grade to twelfth grade I pretty much didn’t attend school. My school guidance counselor was my savior, she arranged everything so that I could still pass all my classes and graduate. At one point I had a tutor because I plain refused to leave my house except for the mandatory once a week trip to my counselor.

I lived a nightmare. I survived it and I’m still here but it won’t let go. However, it is easier. Easier to cope, to tell myself that I am not alone and to make myself believe that someday I’ll be all right. Because, one day, it will be all right.

Main Entry: post–traumatic stress disorder

Function: noun

: a psychological reaction that occurs after experiencing a highly stressing event (as wartime combat, physical violence, or a natural disaster) outside the range of normal human experience and that is usually characterized by depression, anxiety, flashbacks, recurrent nightmares, and avoidance of reminders of the event

—abbreviation PTSD; called also delayed-stress disorder, delayed-stress syndrome, post-traumatic stress syndrome; —compare COMBAT FATIGUE


--dictionary.com



I've been up since 4:00AM for who knows why. At least my mother is awake and to keep me company.

After reading `TerrorCookie's deviation about OCD I felt compelled to write about my own disorder. I wanted to shed some light on how PTSD can still invade your life, even years after the event.

I want people to be aware of those who have it.

I know that cathartsis IV wanted some more submissions for their contest. I hope this qualifies. <3

Edit:// Added another paragraph.

Featured by =DailyLitDeviations!
Click here to see the article.

Edit:// Oh my goodness, a Daily Deviation? Thank you =AshenSoul for suggesting this, someone I've not yet had the pleasure of speaking with yet[which makes it all the more meaningful], and ^LadyLincoln, for being the marvelous woman that she is and humbling me yet again. And thank you to each person who has read, favorited and commented, you are all beautiful, wonderful people; thank you. :heart: Thank you, thank you, thank you. ♥
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Daily Deviation

Given 2010-05-17
I Have Hope by *IrrevocableFate. "We should all have hope because when there is no hope, there isn't anything left." ( Suggested by AshenSoul and Featured by LadyLincoln )
:iconmoltenkitty:
Moltenkitty Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2016  Student General Artist
:heart: I hope you're doing great now :hug:
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:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2016   Writer
:hug: I am. ♥
Reply
:iconmoltenkitty:
Moltenkitty Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2016  Student General Artist
Good to hear!:hug: :heart:
Reply
:iconsenoritablack:
SenoritaBlack Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2016
This is fantastic. Being honest is sometimes the bravest thing we ever do.
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:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2016   Writer
That is is.  ♥
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:icondraliceberkowitz:
draliceberkowitz Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2015
I am Glad to hear your story its really heart touching.
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:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016   Writer
:hug:
Reply
:iconharliequin:
harliequin Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Not to make light of it...well, ok, it's making light (not making fun, trust me)...

But the two paragraphs, beginning with "At night my symptoms become worse," and ending with "around the corner," this seems like me when I'm on drugs. Seriously :P
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:iconlindartz:
LindArtz Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That was much raw reading, there.  I sure hope things for you today are much better. :heart:
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2015   Writer
:hug: They are indeed much, much better. ♥
Reply
:iconlindartz:
LindArtz Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm very glad to hear that! :hug:
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:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2015   Writer
:heart:
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:iconserrara:
Serrara Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
*tears form* Oh, Stephany... :hug:

Whetever happened to you.... I cannot even imagine.

I have found another who has suffered, and another I will heal. :heart:

I'm not going to ask what exactly happened, don't worry. I know it's too stressful.
But please don't let it stop you.
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2015   Writer
:hug: Thank you for your words, they mean a lot to me. ♥ I wish you the very best.
Reply
:iconserrara:
Serrara Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I just wish my friends were here IRL... :hug:
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:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015   Writer
:hug:
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:iconserrara:
Serrara Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:huggle:
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:iconreidepenguin:
REIdepenguin Featured By Owner May 26, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
I think that after reading this I understand more about PTSD. It must've been hell for you but I'm also glad you're still here and the fact you wrote about this issue shows how far you came imo. Keep being awesome pal.
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015   Writer
:hug: I am glad to hear that, spreading awareness and information is key. Thank you, yes, I have come very far and I'm proud of myself. :heart:

Thank you. <3
Reply
:iconmaskedinsight:
maskedinsight Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2014
Hugs...PTSD is hard.  Living it, explaining it, understanding it..adjusting your life to avoid triggers and checking yourself  with how you respond (or don't respond) in situations..these all become part of daily life.  I wish you the best.
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014   Writer
:hug: Yes, it is difficult to do all of those things, but we do it, because we have strength. Though it doesn't always feel that way. Thank you, I wish you the best as well. <3
Reply
:iconvaleriejoylauria:
ValerieJoyLauria Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for sharing.  I am sure that your story will bring comfort and let people suffering that they are not alone, and it will be OK. I also suffer with similar symptoms, and know the anguish of trying to cope.  I applaud your bravery and strength.  If you could see me, I would be standing clapping for your work/heart.

You are NEVER alone...Handshake 
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014   Writer
:hug: Thank you and of course. I felt it needed to be shared. Yes, we are never, ever alone. Not truly. Thank you so much, and I am sorry to hear that you too suffer from similar symptoms. It's difficult, but we're in this together. ♥

Aw, and I would be clapping for you as well. :huggle:
Reply
:iconvaleriejoylauria:
ValerieJoyLauria Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
 Thank you so much!! Clap 
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:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014   Writer
:cuddle: <3
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:iconpsychosquatch:
psychosquatch Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014
Thank you infinitely for this. It stirs my mind a little but at least I'm not alone, and neither are you. Please stay strong, and always know that in your strength you have helped those with similar problems.
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014   Writer
:hug: Thank you. Yes, we are not alone, and we never are, there are always people who are willing to reach out to us, to remind us that our struggles are valid and that there are people who know the burdens you bear. Thank you, everyday is its own battle, but I stand strong. ♥
Reply
:iconpsychosquatch:
psychosquatch Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014
I just re read this and I almost puked, no offense it just shows that you can evoke such strong emotions. In fact I may have needed it, though I hate myself for
Admitting it.
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:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014   Writer
Eeep. Well I'm glad I can evoke strong emotions. ^^; Aw, I understand.
Reply
:iconpsychosquatch:
psychosquatch Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014
Maybe you do. Nice work. :)
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:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014   Writer
Thanks.
Reply
:icondiving-in-the-depths:
Thank you for sharing.. :)
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2014   Writer
:huggle: Thank you.
Reply
:iconwolfsoulphoenix:
WolfsoulPhoenix Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Very powerful. Thank you.
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014   Writer
:hug:
Reply
:icontommyboywood:
tommyboywood Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
With 41k views you have reached a lot of people with an important message.  We would love to hear though about what counseling/meds or etc that has helped you cope, if any.  Interestingly a character in my children's book: Winky, suffers from PTSD.  How he ultimately overcomes and heals is pretty cool.  Part of it comes from sharing his story, as you've done.  :)
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014   Writer
Sometimes I sit back in awe of that number. I am glad I have reached out to that many people, that I have, hopefully, touched many lives and reminded them they are not alone or informed them. I've been thinking about doing a companion piece to this, those would be great topics to cover. That does sound pretty cool. Yes, a big part of it is sharing your story. <3


Thank you. ♥
Reply
:iconbutter-lie:
Butter-Lie Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Student Writer
You are very brave to have shared and verbalised this...I hope that things have got easier for you over time. Much love...Hug 
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014   Writer
:hug: Thank you so much. It has gotten better since I wrote this, so thank you for checking up on me. Much love to you as well. <3
Reply
:iconirphotogirl:
IRphotogirl Featured By Owner Edited Sep 4, 2014  Student Photographer
This speaks to me... deeply.

I think it also speaks to many more people than one could imagine... This is very moving.
Thank you for bringing some more awareness and having had the courage to write "it" all down the paper :heart: :rose: :star:
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014   Writer
:heart: :hug:

I have learned that it does, and I hope that it brings them hope and comfort knowing they don't need to be alone. I am more than glad to share my experience if it will help others and raise awareness. ♥ :hug: Thank you.
Reply
:iconvanquishedeyes:
VanquishedEyes Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Student Writer
"The hardest part for me is accepting the fact that I was traumatized because I had banished any memories to the deepest parts of my mind."

- your not the only one out there, and for your complete honesty I believe you deserve true comfort and respect from anyone who further reads your deep posts. I'm there for you, and the public who've read this post too should come to your help anytime, if not they're just phantoms like bullies, or memories who haunt your presents.
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014   Writer
:hug:

No, I'm not, by far. That is sad, but it's helpful to know that you aren't alone in this. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. ♥
Reply
:iconvanquishedeyes:
VanquishedEyes Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Student Writer
It's ok to be afraid. What's not ok is letting it consume ya. We're here if ya need us deviantART Heart 
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014   Writer
Yes it is. :heart: Thank you so much. :hug:
Reply
:icon000skyarrow000:
000SkyArrow000 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I checked the date you did that one...and of course some wounds just can't be healed.....and I won't say anything....for don't have right to make even think about it.....but I would like to show you all the strong you have.....and all kindness you keep inside your heart....to be brave enough to post something so personal thinking how much could help others to show that......to share your own experience....we have our own demons that we need to face without people notice how hard it could be....sometimes people just think the way we act is the way we are.....and ignore our problems.....even us started face all like it was natural until reach our limit.......make me sad notice most delicate and nice people have something sad in their inside....in ther past that bring with them until the present......but the sincere love you spreads in others.....I really hope reflected in you during that years.....cause you really are sweet....and deserve feel loved in all seconds...big hug my friend
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:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014   Writer
:hug: No, but they can be mended and I can still be able to live with them. Thank you so much. Yes, we all have our own demons, but sometimes we forget other people have them too and in a way, we're all connected.

:hug: Yes, I've learned that love and kindness is what is needed the most and I aim to be as kind to everyone as possible. ♥

I am doing better, since I wrote this in 2008, but I still have a ways to go. ♥

Big hug right back to you. <3
Reply
:icon000skyarrow000:
000SkyArrow000 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I admire you for that idea a lot....is a positive and strong way to think....and you are so right about that part we all have our own demons....but sometimes forget other people have them too....but I most like for you said we are all connected...cause I admit is something that make me feel better for sure....notice for all sorrows I have....I am able to feel connect with others....make me feel special....for be connect with nice people...with really wondr hearts...a feeling hard to describe in words......cause for me is something more important than work....try earn more money......or just live that empty days.....cause like what happens here in DA.....be connected with good people here...is what make me feel really alive...and sometimes even special

I can feel it dear.....and I respect that a lot....I really admire that way you try so much reach people heart....touch me deep inside alwyas when I feel it....you really know the real mean of the world friend

Really hope that dear.....you are too kind to suffer.....I always feel how delicate and precious your heart are....and I see all people here feel the same about you....really hope people reach you here as much as you reach people feelings 
Reply
:iconhugqueen:
HugQueen Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014   Writer
Yes, I have learned that in order to be positive, you have to think it first, even if you don't believe it. Eventually you will and it'll just come like second nature. ♥ Yes, you are able to connect with others, and I'm so happy it makes you feel special, because you are. :heart: It is hard to describe, but you did well and you're very correct in that being connected with good people is what makes you feel alive and special. <3

:hug: Thank you so much, I am very sincere in everything I say. My father always taught me to mean what I say and that's what I do. Every word I mean it. <3

Yes, but it made me realize that I need to be kind, because terrible, horrible things happen. They do, they really do. ♥
Reply
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