In the eyes of someone living it…me.
I recently did a post about this based on immediate reactions to my feelings, however, I was wrong and did not do it (or myself) any justice. I failed at accurately conveying exactly what it is like living with this because I am living with this.
So let me start again…
At a very young age I was diagnosed with PTSD and hyper-vigilance. At the time, I was so young I really had no understanding of what it meant…but apparently here I was with it. At a much older age I was told I have Complex PTSD, which to me says I am basically screwed. So. To me it was someone’s diagnoses for why I spent every night awake while others slept. Why I never ate or talked with people out of fear. Why I always knew everyone’s clothing, license plate numbers and what color and make of any vehicle within a five mile radius. Why I recognized another vehicle at more than one stop light. Why I could feel the slightest movement by recognizing goose bumps on my arms. Why my hair would tingle and almost retract when I felt as though something were wrong. Why I…well…
I call it living, because it is really all that I know.
So here is a typical day for me…I walk through life in an almost zombie-like state because I have been so terrified of sleeping that I have not. So when I get up I am more exhausted than when I went to bed, while remaining terrified because any moment I shut my eyes is another moment I am living another horrible memory. When I walk into a grocery store with my list, I have to leave with half because every time a person comes too close I freeze in fear of whether he or she will hurt me. My life is based on a conspiracy theory that I not only created, but also live. In my eyes everyone plans on hurting me.
Sometimes a smell is the same as something from my childhood and I am reliving that exact moment…over…and over…and over again. I hear voice and I freeze while every nerve in my body is tingling while remembering exactly what happened to it. A scream sends me down those same stairs, leaves me gasping for air. A single memory has me being locked in the same closet, feeling the same hits. Sometimes, I question whether this is reality or if I am still there. It is not a choice, it simply happens. I look at you, a hair style, a hair color or clothing or anything and my day becomes a nightmare. A simple sunset makes yours memorable while I enter an unknown or unrecognized hell. Our days…our days are very different. Mars v. Jupiter. You perceive moments in an entirely different way.
The terrifying difference is I wish you understood while I also wished I had yours.