I Hesitate To Let You See This Much Of Me

by Sherry Riter in Health,PTSD,Self-Development  

There is no way that I would have ever guessed that the last year would change my life and outlook on life so drastically. Adjectives have not been created yet that would sufficiently describe the emotions that have taken over my head, heart and soul.

For a brief history, my daughter died in my arms and then came back to life. The fact that she was walking and talking should have been enough to reassure me that everything would be fine, however, it did not help me to feel better. Alyssa struggled with having an eight minute short term memory while I fought PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). We clung tightly to each other and for many months afterwards, found the most comfort from just being with each other.

PTSD has made working outside the home extremely difficult. My boss was less than understanding. Actually, I do not think he even cared that my daughter died, lived or suffered. I am sure that my trauma did not matter and rather than giving me the time off and directing me to people who could help me, he made my employment a nightmare.

I have found that people simply do not understand the full effect of this trauma induced disorder. The person suffering the devastating symptoms of PTSD not only doesn’t know how to help themselves, but also has no idea how to ask for help. The flashbacks of holding my daughter’s lifeless and gray skinned body flashed before my eyes every waking moment.

Every. Waking. Moment.

Needless to say, concentrating on current tasks was extremely difficult and remembering things I had experienced the day before was almost impossible.

PTSD and Depression
While deep in the agony of PTSD, my father passed away - died and left this earth because cancer ravaged his body. That unexpected life event added to my PTSD symptoms.

Shortly thereafter, Alyssa’s puppy had emergency surgery which threw Alyssa and I into a panic again. By this time, all my comforting skills had pretty much disappeared, so all I could do was hold her as only mothers can do.

My PTSD symptoms continued in full force, however, Alyssa started to get back her ability to remember. Then my mother’s back started hurting and the first thought was that she had a dreaded disease like cancer. The thought of losing my mother, took me deeper over the edge.

Of course, I can’t leave out that my car’s transmission decided to quit working and my computer runs properly maybe fifteen percent of the time. Electronic and mechanical problems will happen, but did they have to happen at this time of my life?

I also switched over to my own domain, bought my own hosting company and decided to build a better running blog. Since I am an intelligent woman, I thought that learning something would help calm my PTSD symptoms to a more manageable level. Plus, I would learn new skills and have a blog that was crawled by spiders in lightening speed while offering my readers a huge range of options.

The depression and symptoms of the debilitating disorder continued while I tried to find the energy and brain power to function.

It has been almost impossible and extremely painful.

Blogging helped me hang onto my intelligence…barely.

My belief that God would disapprove greatly if I committed suicide saved me from taking my own life…barely. I truly knew how my friend, Margaret, felt so long ago.

I have felt very alone.

In many ways I have been very, very alone to suffer with the PTSD demons that have sought to destroy me. The war has been constant, exhausting me of every ounce of strength.

This week the flashbacks have subsided to about three a day instead of over one thousand times a day. A mental, physical and emotional burden has been lifted helping me to have the power to think more normally now.

Is it all over? No, however, my mind has taken a huge healing step to put the trauma of these life events “away” where they belong.

Do I have further to go? Yes, but I actually see and feel light at the end of the black tunnel now. I can make it. I can do this and life can be happy again.

So I plan to put my energy into finishing my blog redesign this weekend and having someone help me move my blog maybe next weekend. I am excited to have such a dramatic change to a new format where I learned, made huge coding changes and accomplished it with a diminished capacity. I am also a bit trepidatious at having everyone see it. Is that too silly? I think I have lost a big chunk of my self-confidence that only time can bring back.

If you pray and believe in a living God, I ask that you pray for my continued healing and ability to cope with the symptoms that remain with the PTSD. I will NEVER be able to convey how your kind words in emails, tweets or comments on my blog, Facebook or community have helped me make it through one more minute of a hellish existence. I know that many of you have and do pray for me, so let me thank you sincerely from the bottom of my still raw and wounded heart.

I hesitate to let you see this much of me and my vulnerabilities, but if I can help anyone suffering from the same agony, then it is worth the transparencies of my soul.

 

The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sandra July 2, 2011 at 5:43 am

I think authenticity is far more appealing and will garner much more understanding and love than pretending all is well in your world. I give you so much credit Jen. You are strong. And I do know how stifflinf PTSD is (I too suffer from it) but I give you so much credit for speaking out. And of course only positive thoughts will be sent your way.

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2 Tamara Walker @MomRN July 2, 2011 at 5:48 am

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I'm glad you are starting to see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel, but I strongly recommend seeking some help, if you haven't already. Whether it be counseling or a combination of counseling and medication (if necessary), there is help out there and it sounds like you very much need it and there is no shame in that. You've experienced a lot of heartache and loss and need a safe place to process it all and work through the fear and anxiety and all the other emotions that accompany PTSD. If you are already getting help then kudos and keep taking care of yourself. I pray your willingness to be open and share here will help not only you, but others who may be suffering in silence, afraid to let anyone know. (((HUGS)))

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3 Anonymous July 2, 2011 at 6:17 am

I just want to let you know that you are not alone. the stress you ar experiencing is a normal response to an abnormal situation and reflects that you are a human being with a tremendous capacity for caring deeply about the human condition, and in your case motherhood. Hang in there and continue to seek help in processing you r circumstances. Cognitive therapy has been a literal lifesaver in our home,a has a process called EMDR.you can ask your counselor about it. Wishing you ask the best in your continued quest to enjoy life again.

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4 lilacsndreams July 2, 2011 at 6:32 am

I am sorry to hear of this, but know you are strong too. Everything you have been through, is hard for many, but having your condition I know has not helped you in many ways. My heart goes out to you….Hubby always said I had a big heart:-) I enjoy your blog very much, and enjoy all that you share with all of us here. I will be following you. Please, be strong, and take care of yourself. I hope that you are able to find someone who can maybe help you further with this. Know that you are not alone. There are others who deal with some of the same as you have done, but have not become strong enough to admit to it, or share it as you have done.

Hugs to you, and prays for you. I wish you well, and that your days will become better and stronger for you as you go along. Take care, and have a safe Holiday weekend as well.

* * * HUGS * * *

Lilacs

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5 YONKS July 2, 2011 at 7:12 am

You have bared your soul and now the true healing begins for you. The old adage " a problem shared" is very true. You have nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of and the wealth of warm wishes and love that will come your way as a result of your honesty is richly deserved. You have given us an insight into life's uncertainty. The fact that this could happen to any of us at any moment is frightening. I cannot believe what you went through, but that was not the hill you died on. Now you must allow yourself to heal. The past is the past. All is well for you and you are free to look forward. You will see your daughter walk down the aisle and see your daughter's daughter. Time to focus on the positive!
With warmest Welsh wishes for you and your baby girl.
Dianne
XOXO

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6 Pammy pam July 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm

ptsd stinnks but you are never alone. you will always have your blog friends to hold you up.

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7 Anonymous July 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm

You are not alone, prayers and positive thoughts your way. I too suffer from this, sometimes more than others last month was no walk in the park. But, I believe as you do Not To Ever Give Up and GOD will guide us and be with us through it all.

P.S. My browser is acting up with google so I am posting anonymous.

Madison
My Meddling Mind
All Around Autism

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8 Paula July 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Red, your vulnerability is your strength! I agree with Anonymous, PTSD stinks and it can be overcome. I was fortunate enough to receive a 5 months intense trauma therapy(35h per week) an blogged about it. Included are many exercises, tools and tips which worked for me plus all those which did not work for me! CBT, DBT and EMDR are wonderful to help you heal. In combination with visualisation (like safe palce, or trouble tresor) plus art therapy works wonders. From the bottom of my heart I encourage you to read:

http://versarcenciel.blogspot.com/2011/05/first-time.html

http://versarcenciel.blogspot.com/p/trauma-therapy.html

If my authenticity and pain,my trials, triggers and treasures on the way to overcome; helps to turn from a survivor into a thriver. Please digg into it. The content of my trauma therapy got and still gets observed from my trauma therapy center in Munich. I was selected patient for a study at the WHO and my way of overcoming is now part of how trauma patient gets treated plus I am a case study in a book. I do not expand to brag but trying to give you the feeling of safety for reading and maybe exercising. Much love. Paula

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9 boutmanblog.com July 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Hello, stumbled upon your moving words through twitter (@mamiof3kids). Yesterday it was the feast of my patron Saint, and i was inspired to w-rite a prayer for him. It came out as very powerful, as if he was holding my hand when writing it, i just had to w-rite, there was no stopping. I also believe that our name is not just a coincidence > "nomen est omen" , though it was chosen for us, it reached us through divine intervention, and i believe we have to be worthy of it and live up to it. I always advice people to explore the deeper meaning and origin of their name, kind of "diving into identity". So, i just sent you a message on facebook telling you i'm litting a 9day candle for you, while doing this, reciting the prayer i w-rote yesterday for my patron saint: Saint Rumbold (=Rombout in Dutch). You can find the prayer at my blog here:
http://boutmanblog.com/2011/07/01/rumbold-my-patron-saint/

My Heart & Soul are with you, be blessed,
Namaste, Ave, Pax Tibi,
Rombout X

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10 Teresha@Marlie and Me July 2, 2011 at 8:57 pm

You are the strongest woman I know (really and truly…I'm not just saying that). You have preserved through painful experiences that would have caused most people to pack it in. You've come a long way, babe and can only go up from here.

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11 ruthhill74 July 2, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Red,

I will continue to keep you in my prayers. You are an inspiration to me–I haven't even suffered half as much as you. It is only by the grace of God that you are this far, and He will continue to help you as the days go on!

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12 MusingMom6 July 2, 2011 at 11:16 pm

My heart goes out to you. I was going through a PTSD spell when all this was going on. It has so many levels. It is very difficult to explain to someone that doesn't understand. Your boss is a jerk.

Wow! You purchased your own hosting! That has to be very involved I'm excited to see your redesign soon. Have you checked my new digs since I moved to WP and upgraded to Genesis? I'm getting together some things to make amfew more changes as well.

Hang in. I just posted a picture of me for the first time on a blog forum. I've been terrified to open up even that much.

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13 Debbie July 3, 2011 at 3:00 am

Prayer said. God bless you, guide you, and wrap you in His loving, protecting arms!!!

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14 ArtMuseDog and Carol July 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Red ~ You are healing and will continue to heal ~ I am further away from my PTSD than you but have chosen recently to write about the loss of my 3 spouses as I felt there was still some 'residual' floating around ~ I found it a major healer and I will post the last part next week after the Fourth ~
Regarding your 'situation' ~ everything is temporary ~ may last for years ~ may last a moment~ Your soul is beautiful ~ and I treasure you as a friend ~ may you find peace, love and forgiveness within yourself and remember to 'let go' ~ Let it all fly ~ All any of us have is the Day ~ the now ~ lots of distant healing energy coming your way and hugs and love, Carol ~ (artmusedog)

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15 mimito5 July 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Dear One, I had not posted in a while because I'd been going through severe depression. I have not gone through what you have, but can understand how all those events in your life in such a short time would put you into a PTSD state. Yes, even in depression everything gets very dark at times…..have dealt with it a long time (off/on). I am on medication and hope you are or will seek outside help as well. My greatest source of strength and comfort is God's Word. You might read some of the Psalms, but in a translation that will make sense to you….like The New Living Bible or The Message. I love you and have never forgotten you or your daughter and what you went through. Will continue to lift you up :) God Bless

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16 Kindred Adventures July 4, 2011 at 2:53 am

What a moving story. What a strong woman you truly are. Your compassion, sensitivity and ability to connect with people make you a wonderful find in the large world of bloggers. Your genuineness comes through and is refreshing. You already know how I feel about you… now know this… to get through what you did means you are strong. Your bravery in this new adventure and the positive comments you will receive as you move forward to your new version of your blog will make you sooo proud of yourself. I can't wait to see what you have done and I continue to look forward to getting to know you better. -Laverne

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17 Joyce July 6, 2011 at 1:26 am

You are very brave to put yourself out there and ask for help and prayers. I'm so sorry that you're still going through such a hard time but happy that you're starting to see some light. I've heard that EMDR has great results in resolving PTSD. I'm thinking of doing it myself.
My prayers are always with you, Alyssa and your family. xoxoxo

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18 mergie July 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Check out a group called Emotions Anonymous. It's only a support group ,free, a step program & it might help.remember,When you walk to the edge of all the light you have & take that first step into the darkness of the unknown you must believe one of two things, There will be something solid for you to stand on, or,You will be taught to fly. Fly.

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19 KathyMorelli July 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm

I am so sorry to hear of your depression and flashbacks. PTSD is debilitating, and ppl are not so educated about mental health. So many ppl cant/dont grasp the full force of your experience. I hope you found some spiritual force to turn to, as that can be very helpful, I hope your guardian angels carry you. god bless you.

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20 GB Girl July 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I will absolutely pray for you. I'm so sorry you are suffering from PTSD. It is a horrible illness and it very misunderstood. Therapy works wonders and I hope you will consider that if you aren't in therapy already. If it's more comfortable for you, I'm sure there are online resources you can utilize on your own. I'll gladly send you some links if you want. Just let me know.

Thanks for allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable by posting this. It takes lot of courage to talk about it. I applaud you for that. :)

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21 Lisa March 14, 2013 at 3:00 am

Your website makes me laugh! =) I pretend everything is normal all week, that is why I need to sleep all day sunday! Omg, how delightful and clever you are!!! Bless!!

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22 Sherry Riter March 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I’m glad you are laughing! Thank you very much!

Make sure you take as much time resting as you need!!! That is good self-care!

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23 David but the real me is Davey April 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I am Soo Glad I found you
11 years sober and just getting a grip on the real demon ptsd and it cousins
Thanks I will Be Looking For You Again

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24 Sherry Riter April 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I’m glad you found me too David! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. {{{hug}}}

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