I’m often razzed, chided or kidded about the amount of time I remain at home…alone. I used to get soooo upset and tripped over my own words trying to explain exactly why I was at home so much. I wanted to sound “normal” although I knew and still know that I am not normal nor was I ever normal. Of course, the definition of “normal” is like a moving target anyway, so who really cares if I’m fitting in with the majority or not?
Face it. I’ve been a redhead all my life. I am used to being different, not fitting in, picked on, sticking out, stared at, made fun of, criticized, bullied, ridiculed and ostracized. Since I have PTSD and have added another layer of “something different” to the mix of my personality, I’m just more special!
Anyway, I stay home in the peace and solitude because it is easier to concentrate and cope with my PTSD symptoms without the bustle of the rest of the world. When a person has PTSD, they feel and are out of control, however, at home I can be in control of most things.
While being alone with all this thinking and concentrating, I rehash portions of my life over and over again because…well, I guess I haven’t forgiven myself for stupid stuff. Some days are better than most, but when I get “foggy brain,” the depression associated with not being able to think fluidly brings about too much rehashing.
It is easy to recognize extreme rehashing of life’s mistakes because statements like, “If I had” or “I should have” start the sentences. This week I was pretty good at stopping myself because I know that I CAN’T GO BACK and do anything over again. Right now, I’m here. The person that I’ve become would be drastically different if any of my experiences were eliminated.
Rehashing experiences is a PTSD specialty especially because of the flashbacks. I’m over the flashbacks, but in order to heal, I have to often relinquish my view forward and instead look backwards. It is a bit of a drag, but this “work” will heal me. This weekend my healing kept me angry at everything, but mostly myself. Actually, I was unjustly angry at myself. My expectation for perfection is a goal I will always fall short of achieving because I am only a human being and humans are not perfect.
Over the past several years I’ve had to concentrate so much on recovering that I haven’t had time to look forward through any new doorways. Happiness has often been elusive. Just the regular experiences of life leave me exhausted and mourning the loss of the old, competent, on the ball, juggler of everything, superior achiever. But then I stop myself and say, “Wait just one darn minute, Sherry. YOU have come a long way! YOU have survived many major life events like divorce, job change, moving and PTSD.” I not only survived, I STILL kept moving forward in life.
It is okay to look at the closed door, but don’t get fixated on it. The past is over. What you once were or once had is gone. What you have now is life, opportunity and a future. That’s what I keep telling myself and deep down in my heart, I know that I’m right.