Safe Mode In The Tunnel

by Sherry Riter in Computer,PTSD

rollercoaster of emotions

I know I took the easy way out by posting a Gravatar blogging tutorial yesterday, but I needed a day to process all my emotions. Believe me, I ran a rollercoaster of emotions Sunday and Monday, but now I’m ready to fill you in with the details.

Live Security Platinum Virus

You may not remember, but I am still using the same computer that caused me all those problems so long ago. I’ve done all kinds of things to it and for it, so the computer is still running and I’ve been pretty happy with it. On Sunday, after being thrilled with Turtle’s accomplishment, I decided to sit down at the computer and surf a bit before I made a few business calls. Surfing frees my mind.

Since I will be moving and redecorating, I thought I would look at what’s going on in the interior design world. I typed “interior design” in my Google search, clicked the first three pages of sites and then waited for them to all populate. Yeah, I know that I can only look at one page at a time, but I like opening tons of sites at once.

Anyway, all of a sudden, Firefox shut down and a Live Security Platinum box popped up.

Live Security Platinum malicious files

I scanned down the box and then I read the wording in the bottom left corner: Get full real-time protection with Live Security Platinum.

I knew it was a virus, so I immediately disconnected my computer from the wall. I didn’t know if the virus was sucking information out of my computer to some unknown location, but I didn’t want to chance it. I moved the mouse over to click my security software icon, but there wasn’t an icon anymore. I tried clicking my cleaner icon, but nothing happened. I couldn’t click anything except the START button.

My heart sank.

Meanwhile the malicious Live Security Platinum virus kept flashing between two screens. One screen scrolled line after line of viruses that supposedly were on my computer and the other screen wanted my credit card number. Imagine that! (rolling my eyes)

Eventually, I took my computer into SAFE MODE.

Windows XP Safe Mode with Networking

Safe mode makes a bunch of stuff scroll and I felt like giving up before I had even started to get close to ridding my computer of this virus. All that scrolling stuff just looked like work to me and I was trying to relax!

Windows XP Safe Mode with Networking 2

I spent a total of nine hours finding a way to clean the virus, deleting the virus, restoring my computer to a previous date, defragmenting, cleaning the entire computer – all files and blank space, and then saving all my information on an external hard drive.

Nine hours.

NINE hours!

Moral of the story: Staying up-to-date on interior design is dangerous for Albert and a big waste of time for me!

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

When I connected with my new therapist who specializes in trauma, PTSD, loss and grief, I was afraid to be too hopeful. I’ve been suffering with my PTSD symptoms for over two years. It feels like a pointless battle to try and overcome my misery because I haven’t been able to find anyone that grasps the extent of my post traumatic stress disorder.

I’m not sure I want to broadcast the name of my therapist right now, so I’m just going to call her Dr. Jane. I can always insert her real name and brag about her for the rest of my life after this is all over.

When I first spoke to Dr. Jane last week, she didn’t have any appointment times available when I wasn’t working. I didn’t want to tell Dr. Jane that I felt desperate to see her, so I asked her what time she started in the morning and if she had any appointments during those time slots. Rather than just telling me her starting time, Dr. Jane asked me about my morning work schedule. It was agreed that I would meet her at 7:30 a.m.

At that moment, I knew several things about Dr. Jane without her telling me.

  1. Dr. Jane’s starting time is not normally 7:30 a.m.
  2. Dr. Jane was going to start work early JUST to help me.
  3. Dr. Jane doesn’t “work” just to make money…she cares.

By the time Monday rolled around, I was nervous and felt a bit like throwing up. I knew I would have to recount the tragic story and I didn’t want to feel that pain again. I asked Alyssa to drive me to my appointment and she wasn’t very thrilled because it was very early in the morning. Alyssa isn’t a morning person, but I’m not either, so I know just how she feels.

Anyway, we get to the building and right before I turned the doorknob to enter the office, something in my head said, “It is going to end soon.” I felt the hope that I had been suppressing well up inside of me. “Will I get a better version of the old me back?” I thought to myself as I opened the door and walked into the hallway leading to Dr. Jane’s office.

I immediately liked Dr. Jane. She has a gentle, calm and peaceful personality. Over the next hour, I was able to tell Dr. Jane the highlights of my horrible experience and then she told me a few things too. I have my next appointment on Monday at the same time. Together we are going to do battle with my PTSD.

Alyssa, I assumed, had taken a nap in the car while waiting for me to finish with my appointment. I was wrong. As I reached for the handle of the passenger side door of the car, I saw a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts laying on the seat. I know that my PTSD has been hard on Alyssa, but when I saw the doughnuts, I knew it was her way of supporting me. I also felt her love for me and I was flooded with emotion all over again.

Up until now, the future looked like a dark never ending tunnel that I would walk down alone and suffering for the rest of my life. Now, I’m in safe mode with Dr. Jane and there is light at the end of the tunnel where I hope to find a better version of my old self.


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.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stéfan July 18, 2012 at 2:12 am

Nice. Good luck and enjoy the Krispy Kremes!


2 The Redhead Riter July 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm

What Krispy Kremes? LOL We inhaled them in minutes!


3 Teresha July 18, 2012 at 7:56 am

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that you are getting professional help for your PTSD. It takes a woman of strength to face her problems head on (as opposed to burying her head in the sand). I am so proud of you. You are an inspiration to women everywhere!

p.s. sorry about the virus! I just want to ring the collective necks of every developer who thinks it’s cool to create worms, trojans and the like.


4 The Redhead Riter July 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I’ve been searching for a long time and knew that I couldn’t tackle this alone. Just “talking” about it with a therapist wasn’t getting me back to normal. {{{hugsss}}}


5 Skip_D July 18, 2012 at 8:05 am

Congratulations on getting your computer fixed & working again! …& more importantly, congratulations on finding Dr. Jane! It sounds like the end may finally be in sight!

{{{huggsssss}}} & donuts to you! 🙂


6 The Redhead Riter July 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Yes! Thank you.

Oh, Happy Birthday Skip!!!


7 Skip_D July 18, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Thanks!!! 😀


8 The Redhead Riter July 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm

You’re welcome!


9 Susanne July 18, 2012 at 8:53 am

Yay! Woo hoo! Clap clap. You felt a connection with Dr. Jane…that is great news! That glimmer of light you see now, is going to become a beacon. I just know it.

I hope you’re moving into your “dream” home. I have been reading interior design blogs constantly (latest obsession) for the past 6-8months. Now my computer needs a deep cleaning, or so I’ve told. Coincidence? or simply a sign that I need to heed my own advice.

Your life is writing a new chapter. Not an easy task. In fact sometimes daunting is the only word that may describe it. However, we are supposed to embrace change in whatever form it presents itself. I hope that you find the inner strength to do just that. Oh and see, Alyssa has been paying attention all along. Hugs!!


10 The Redhead Riter July 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm


No, I’m not moving into my dream home. I’m thinking of this as the step before the dream home, but my dream home isn’t like other people’s, remember? I just want a one BIG room house with a HUGE pantry and a place to grow a BIG garden! Surely that isn’t asking too much, ya know?

You said, “Now my computer needs a deep cleaning, or so I’ve told.” I will do a post about my cleaner! It’s great! Thanks for the idea!

“Your life is writing a new chapter. Not an easy task.” YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN!

“we are supposed to embrace change in whatever form it presents itself.” UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you! {{{hugssss}}}


11 Sue July 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I was thinking of you yesterday and glad to hear about the positive visit with Dr. Jane.


12 The Redhead Riter July 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Thank you, Sue! {{hugsss}}


13 Joan July 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm

This post was an absolutely gem! Your writing is so rich and strong. You are able to convey your emotions so clearly for all of us to understand. That is a gift and I can hardly wait until you write your book on PTSD. It is going to be a best seller and I know that it is going to help so many people who have PTSD and feel like they are suffering alone. They are not alone and your book will become a voice for them.

I am so sorry about the virus that you got on your computer. I marveled at how you knew what to do. I guess it pays to be a geek! 🙂


14 The Redhead Riter July 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Thank you so much for the encouragement, Joan!!! I can’t hardly wait to write the book either!

😉 Yes, being a geek can be fun! LOL


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