I know you probably have a hard time understanding, but if you are at least listening, then it is worth my writing this post.
When I opened my eyes on Saturday morning, I knew that something had healed a bit in my brain while I slept because my memory had disappeared. That’s what happens when I have a significant change or healing in my poor little brain. I couldn’t remember anything I had done all week long or what I had planned to do over the weekend. Instead, I had an unusual desire to watch movies. I say it was unusual because for the past two years I haven’t wanted to watch television or watch movies. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD for short, took the desire for a lot of stimuli out of my life.
Anyway, I figured I would try watching a movie. Well, I had no problem watching a movie and I thoroughly enjoyed it, however, I was exhausted. So after watching the movie, I went sound to sleep. When I woke up, I watched another movie which made me very hungry. So I made a nice lunch for myself and then watched another movie. When the third movie was over, I once again drifted off to sleep. That scenario repeated itself all day long and I honestly can’t tell you how many movies I watched or what the names of them were, but…
THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART
I watched movies AND enjoyed it!
FINALLY after all these years, I finally enjoyed a movie again.
What I Expect
I don’t expect you or my family to “understand” what is going on in my head or why I do the things I do. It is impossible for you to know how I feel if you haven’t ever had PTSD and have your child die in your arms. I do, however, have an expectation of my family and friends. I expect to feel your compassion, love, acceptance and willingness to be there for me the way I have or would be there for you.
Expectation of Reciprocation
So often we hear that we shouldn’t have expectations because it sets us up for disappointment. But what I want to say to you now is that without having an expectation of a reciprocation of compassion, love, acceptance and willingness to be there for me the way I have or would be there for you, we WON’T have a relationship with each other.
Love means BEING THERE in the way that the person needs you to be there and it isn’t always going to be at a convenient time or on a convenient day. Love is sacrifice. Love is giving unselfishly. Maybe you don’t think that those things are requirements for love, but that is a requirement for me.
By the way, people with PTSD are not usually leading exciting lives and don’t have much to say, but they still need to be loved and have people care enough to just be there with them. Believe me, just being there with us helps. We don’t have to be doing anything or saying anything. As long as your presence is there, we don’t feel so alone.
Unfortunately, I’m not really good at reciprocating right now, but I know that everything will return in due time. At least, I hope that most returns so that I can give wholeheartedly again.
Sunday was a bit different than Saturday.
I spent most of Sunday watching motivational and inspirational shows and movies. I drifted off watching them and took naps like Saturday, but I would wake up feeling peaceful. Not only did I feel more peaceful with my life, but also with the circumstances of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
I’m going to use the things I’ve learned and am still learning because of this experience to not only mold me into a better person, but also to help other people. You don’t have to have PTSD in order to benefit from what I’ve been through, but you do have to be open to learning. You can’t be one of the ignorant fools that don’t believe there is any such thing as PTSD. I simply don’t have time for people like that any more.
If you think that PTSD won’t ever touch your life, you are sadly mistaken. The chances are high that you or someone you know will have PTSD. There isn’t a “cure” for PTSD. You can’t exercise it away. You can’t swallow pills to make it go away. You can’t run from it. You can’t hide from it. You can’t ignore it. Some things work for some people and other things work for other people. There isn’t any ONE thing that works for everyone. PTSD manifests itself differently in everyone and yet there is still that underlying same feeling of loss of self that all people feel when plagued by this disorder.
So Sunday was a day of reflections.
Unfortunately, I still get hung up on the people who were not or are not there for me. I’ll be glad when I am able to just let that go. I also have a hard time with people who put unrealistic expectations on me now. Just because I don’t complain that I still jump at nothing because my startle reflex is wonky or can’t remember many things or get tired more quickly or…or…or….it doesn’t mean that I’m FINE. I would be more fine if you had been there for me in the beginning. If you had called and just listened to me not say much. If you had popped in with a meal or to help me do my laundry or just held me. Yes, I think I would have healed faster. But I’m healing even though you didn’t do those things to help me. Some day I’m going to be over the most of this and be so much stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m looking forward to that time.
Until then…I’m going to be honest with you because I think it will help you to be a better human being and me to heal. So, if you have read this whole post, let me just say sincerely, thank you. If you didn’t read the whole post, well, it was your loss.
A redhead that refuses to be defeated
(Don’t clap. Just throw money or bring me chocolate.)
By the way, the colorful reflections were caused as the setting sun shined brightly through the window and bounced off a candle holder. Pretty, huh?