I am sitting here now thinking back over it all. They say awareness is the first step and now I see it. I can see it all so clearly that I wonder why I couldn’t see it before. Perspective. Everything really is all about changing perspective.
I decided a long time ago that I couldn’t live with people. I couldn’t live with my father, my brother, my mother…I couldn’t live with my ex-husband. I decided I couldn’t live with anyone. I had wanted to be a hermit my whole life. After realizing I couldn’t live with anyone, I decided I was destined to be a hermit. Another thing that made my father hate me. And now…I see it.
I was living with trauma and then PTSD. They were triggering me, inducing the episodes, creating the trauma and I was barely hanging on. But they didn’t see it. They only saw me “over reacting.” I can smile now. Over reacting. Hyperarousal. It is a symptom of trauma. It’s when your extincts to survive are awakened—think Heart of Darkness—Apocalypse Now—Lord of the Flies. *I smile as I write this* I didn’t see it before, but Lord of the Flies is one of my favorite books. Apocalypse Now…one of my favorite war movies. Now…I know why. I could relate too easily to their chaos and wars. Their instincts. I lived Lord of the Flies then Apocalypse Now. I lived it.
Trauma awakens the survival instinct that society has forced us to quell. It’s true, we don’t need it here anymore in our cities and suburban lawns during those weekend barbecues. But trauma survivors…we need it.
The instinct awakens and suddenly you hear, smell, see, and feel things others can’t. My hearing is sharp. Sharp. I can hear most anything. The clock ticking two rooms away. Every creak of the floor. My eyes and scent of smell were damaged. So my hearing and skin are hyper sensitive to my surroundings. As a result, certain sounds evoke memories of the events and they take me back for me to relive it. Over and over…Dog’s barking. Shouting. Loud men. Babies crying…babies crying. They sound like animals screaming. Animals screaming. Rabbits scream. Did you know? May you never hear that sound.
These sounds launch me into war mode fast and suddenly I’m John Rambo. My skin and sixth sense developed to detect danger in the most acute places. It developed as a means to protect me. I can feel all emotions even when the carrier doesn’t speak them. This is Hyperarousal. I appear “jumpy” and others think I “startle” easy. No. They triggered me. I am a trauma survivor. I have PTSD. In my mind, I’m armed and ready to kill.
This is what my parents and siblings saw and they called “drama queen.” They had no idea they were staring straight at my PTSD.
Still think I’m crazy? Read this.