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When PTSD Gets Real: My Experience!

What is PTSD? Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that is triggered by a traumatic event. The event can either be experienced firsthand or watched from the sidelines. Events can include but are not limited to rape, violent assault, terroristic acts, natural disasters, serious accidents, and war. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, loneliness, guilt, fear, emotional detachment, irritability, social isolation, self-destructive behavior, hypervigilance, hostility and loss of interest.

I have experienced many different traumatic events that have are the cause of my PTSD. It is not something to play with and a person can become extremely violent during an episode. Therefore, it is important to watch how you treat people. If you trigger someone with PTSD they may attack, and the attack may be so bad that you are unable to recover from it. If you don’t like someone, don’t be around them. There is no reason for you to tell them and cause a scene. Most people such as myself, do not care who likes them. If I’m not bothered, everything will be cool.

This is what happens When PTSD Gets Real:

1. Flashbacks

I DO NOT like when I want to leave a situation and I am unable to. My mind starts racing and I think back to a time where I tried to leave but was forced to stay which made me feel like my back was against a wall. In turn, I either fought my way out or shut down. I can become severely violent when triggered which is why I tend to shut down instead. Now, when I am constantly being egged on, that’s when I black out and attack. Another issue that I have is when I am in a car and I hear a loud bang, I think I’m about to die. Car accidents will do that to ya.

2. Nightmares

Sometimes, I dream that I am fighting in my sleep because I am trying to protect myself. I will literally start punching in real life which is what makes me wake up. One day my punching woke me up and I saw myself hitting the damn dog who just stared at me. I felt so bad that I had to give her a hug and apologize. Somehow me fighting in my dream became a reality.

3. Insomnia

There are times when I am unable to sleep because I am up thinking about everything under the sun. The most common thought is how to avoid certain people and situations. I will literally lay in the bed and stare at the tv but won’t be paying attention to anything that is going on.

4. Loneliness

This is something that I don’t have an issue with. I could be alone for months and I still wouldn’t feel lonely. In fact, I usually tell people to leave me alone.

5. Guilt

There are times when I may feel like every traumatic event that I have experienced is somehow my fault. I tell myself that I could’ve avoided it by staying home or locking myself in my room or kept to myself in general. The crazy part is that I spent a lot of my childhood in my room and I still experienced a lot of things that I should not have. I sometimes blame myself for not being able to protect myself in my own space knowing full well that it was never my choice.

6. Fear

There are a bunch of activities that I avoid due to fear. I have only driven a handful of times over the past year because I am too afraid that people are out to hit me and kill me. I sometimes, stay away from men because I sometimes fear that they are all rapists. It may sound irrational, but you never know who will do what. The closest person to you can become your abuser at any time.

7. Emotional Detachment

It is very hard for me to become angry. If something starts to bother me, I will say something about it but then I’ll eventually shut down and stop caring about it when there is no solution being made. At times, I am unable to be affectionate as well due to me shutting down. Sometimes, I just shut down without warning and I won’t even realize it until I am about to blow up because I’m being called out.

8. Irritability

I am easily irritated. Sometimes, I can be irritated for no reason at all. If someone talks to me, I become irritated solely because they are talking to me. I just don’t understand why people love talking to me when I’m in quiet mode. The way someone laughs can also add to my irritability. The smallest thing can affect me.

9. Social Isolation

I find comfort in being alone. It is what makes me feel happy and safe. There have been times where I have spent months in my room and would become irritable if anyone tried to disturb me. I would gather everything I needed such as food, drinks, laptop, remote controls, books and anything else that I needed so that I could put it on a corner of my bed. This way I would not have to leave my room for anything except to go to the bathroom. By the way, master bedrooms with a private full bathroom are enablers.

10. Self-destructive Behavior

There was a point in my life where I was out to hurt men at all costs. I felt that they were terrible creatures who needed a taste of their own medicine. By doing this, I put myself in situations where I could have gotten seriously hurt because I was emotionally scarring men. Before you talk about how horrible of a person I was, I will say that I used to seek out those who needed to be hurt because they were terrible people. I never messed with the good ones.

11. Hypervigilance

For the most part, I am always paying attention to my surroundings. I may look around for exits and try to sit far enough that I can see everything that comes in and out without being noticeable and close enough to escape should anything happen. I also overanalyze situations and overreact when it is completely unnecessary. For example, if I am placed in a noisy or crowded area, I will remain on high alert. Another issue is that I can feel people’s emotions. For example, if I sense hostile energy, I will prepare myself to take action against them should I feel the need to protect myself.

12. Hostility

I can become severely hostile when someone does something that I do not like or if I feel threatened. It can be something as little as chewing loudly or breathing loudly. You can look at me the wrong way and I will feel like I need to watch you because you seem sneaky to me. It may not bother most people, but it is a serious trigger for me.

13. Loss Of Interest

There are periods of time where I have 0 interest in doing anything that I would normally love to do. All I want to do is lay under a cover, in my bed, with the blinds closed. Sometimes, I don’t even want to talk. I will use hand jesters or just be off in space, ignoring everything that is being said to me. These are the times where I have to find something new to do.

When PTSD gets real it may get dangerous. It is best to seek counseling when you are diagnosed with PTSD. This is so that you will learn how to control your moods a little better. Don’t get me wrong, some of us may have a flashback and totally be in a trance where we believe the flashback is real. At that point, we are unreachable and should be handled with care. July is Minority Mental Health Month. I encourage you to contact a therapist if you are suffering from any mental health condition. To learn about what some of my flashbacks consist of, check out my Sexual Assault Experience post. To learn about another mental health condition that I live with, check out my Living With Major Depressive Disorder post.

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Jalika Cherie

JC Morgan is what some may call a Rebel or Eccentric. She doesn't fit in and she doesn't try to. She has piercings, tattoos, and stretched ears. She talks, walks, looks, and thinks differently than most Christians. People tend to stare at her without hiding it and the boldness is real because they will not say anything. But you know what? God still loves her and he loves you too. Whether you look different or act different, you still have a place in God's Kingdom. You may be a loner in your environment but let me tell you, you are not alone. Not only is God always there, but there are also other people who are just like you. Different in every way and they wear it as a badge of honor. She likes to say that we are THEE Cool Kids. We're the underdogs that pack a mean punch. We just need to let the Lord use us. With him, we can build mountains and tear down walls that try to stop us. Do you know how all of this can be possible? By restoring your personal relationship with God and practicing Soul Care. That is her area of expertise and that is what she is here to help Women do.

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