#PTSDDaddy… Two sides of PTSD.
The thing about being sick is that you’re sick. I know that’s obvious but there are two ways that this is taken. You go out in the world and you say “I have PTSD!” and they say “sure you do, whatever!” OR you go out in the world and you say “I have PTSD!” and they say “whoa! watch out for that guy!” Between the people who don’t believe you, asking retarded questions and expecting you to feel the need to prove yourself, and those who believe you so much they constantly remind you that you have PTSD there is no good answer.
There is a very slippery trap to fall into here that I do not think that people realize. The point that you are told so often and so long what your problems are that you start to let the problems take control. You are told so often how it’s a lifetime sentence, there is no cure and you can’t help yourself. You start to let the PTSD take control. If there is something bad it’s the PTSD. There are times where I don’t even want to get out of bed, I’m exhausted because the world reminding me of my PTSD just makes me focus more on the PTSD and I’m worn out!
For years my back was killing me. I had some pretty bad issues with my back but the doctors kept checking me out and telling me it’s all in my head. X-rays showed nothing. Physical Therapy didn’t help. The chiropractor did not help at all. Deep needling helped for about 48 hours and then back to where it was. It wasn’t until one lady believed me that something was wrong and told me I needed to request an MRI. The doc told me I’d do physical therapy, and maybe chiropractor, and if nothing else was working we might consider pain management. Hours after receiving the MRI results the doc called me up and said “get in here we’re skipping the rest and sending you to pain management, your entire T-spine is messed up and there’s nothing else to do, and it will get worse.”
I was so happy and at the same time disturbed and depressed. I had doubted myself for years trying to “walk it off” and thinking the pain was all in my head. The fact is I did have something wrong with me but I was told for so long that I didn’t that I thought I was just being a wimp. It can happen the other way around too. You can be told so often that you have something wrong with you and reminded of limits that you stop trying.
What good is it to get better if the world around you keeps reminding you that you will never get better? Why fight it when those who are your support keep you in that point where there is no use trying? I think a lot of us with PTSD end up in this situation. People around us as well as their intentions and their want to protect us, they enable the PTSD to take control. All of the sudden we are no longer responsible for our actions it’s the PTSD. I can’t go to a party because it’s too much for my PTSD. I can’t drive because I have PTSD. I can’t work because I have PTSD. I can’t go outside my house because I have PTSD.
Then there is the other side of this where nobody believes the person who has PTSD. The person with PTSD doesn’t even believe they have PTSD. They are told so much of how big of an asshole they are yet nobody understand that the signs point to PTSD. I see a lot of spouses comments about how bad their man is, how they need to leave them, how verbally abusive they are, how they were never like this before they deployed, how they never want to go out anymore. All they do is bitch but none of them as “why?” I lucked out. My wife knew this wasn’t me, she knew that something was very different, and she refused to give up until she knew why, what happened, why am I different. Once she realized I had issues then it was another challenge to convince ME of the problems. I was in a community who very much looked down on PTSD it’s a weakness and even though we all knew we had it, we needed to “walk it off.” Denial and doubt create it’s own set of issues for PTSD.
I am pointing this out because I fall into the trap myself all the time. It’s not necessarily the ones around me I love but it’s also my OWN thoughts and feelings. There are times where I’m like “this is retarded just get over it and act like a man!” Then the other days when I feel “give it up, there’s no cure just accept it! Go ahead and sleep more, talk less, avoid everything, fuck everyone, and this is ok cuz I got PTSD so leave me the fuck alone.” Those who care for us need to understand this as well because we do go through cycles of acceptance and denial. Like my back injury, when I’m in pain for such a long time that I cannot remember what it felt like to not hurt, the brain plays tricks on me. I’m in so much pain that I do not realize I am in pain until I’m on the ground crippled. On the other hand I am so used to pain that I just accept that not moving makes the pain less so I should give up on any movement.
It’s hard when you are sick to know what’s up and what’s down.
Two sides of PTSD