Tag Archive | ptsd

In the night

PTSD is a bitch. One hour of sleep, or perhaps if I am lucky I get two or three.

But sleep is not something I can take for granted, so the usual routine is to be up at late hours, make a cup of tea or hot chocolate and turn the computer on again, sit and take little sips of my mug and have another look at Facebook.

And think, is the world ever going to be a better place to be?

Is it better to join the majority of sheep, and go blissfully nowhere, or is it to be the lost sheep who suffers in silence, or to be the one that bugs them all with my thoughts and opinions, to be The One Who Annoys The World With Truth?

Well, I have always been the Black Sheep anyway, so nothing has really changed In Adoptionland either. So many times I feel I stand alone with my view of adoption.

But I know that we are millions out there who want changes, mothers and adoptees alike. And for that I am so happy, and I feel that there is hope for the future.

But here and now, with a mug in my hand, and my cat at my feet, here and now at least I feel loved for who and what I am. I am The One Who Spoils Her With Treats In The Night, and she does not mind at all.

She and I are a pair, a Grumpy Cat and a Grumpy Woman with PTSD, have found each other across the borders of race and species.

Namasté 🙂

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Amygdala

Amygdala: A pair of organs in the brain that, among other things, act as a thermostat. In the head of a person with PTSD, the needle is stuck in the high anxiety position. We relive the trauma over and over again, through nightmares, and through avoiding anything that we know may trigger the memory and the emotions. When we don’t have nightmares, it’s because we have trouble sleeping, because we can’t stop thinking about the trauma. We re-experience the fear and anger we went through during those events in our lives.The amygdala works overtime in people who have PTSD. We lose interest in things that we used to enjoy, and have difficulty trusting others. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Among the more common things are suicidal thoughts, aggression and irritability, avoiding places and anniversaries related to the incidents. Flashbacks, triggered by smells, sounds or emotions. Dizziness, chest pains, headaches and gastrointestinal distress. Some people carry these things around their entire lives.

This is me in a nutshell, basically, and it makes me so tired and emotionally worn out. But at last the various aspects of my health, both emotionally and physically, are coming together like pieces of a puzzle, and I now know what I’m dealing with: PTSD. What’s crucial now is to have goals to work towards, big ones or small. Right now I want to find something I can enjoy, learn and really feel that ‘I can do this’.

It takes so little to trigger the feelings. A while ago I saw a little girl who was picking flowers in a field, as we were driving by. It instantly brought me to tears, because it reminded me of my Inner Child who loved to pick flowers. I remember how I proudly offered to my adoptive parents those neatly arranged little bouquets from my tiny hands. But they weren’t good enough. To them they were garbage, and they simply threw them away.

I remember feeling happy when I picked those wild flowers in the field, my heart bounding with joy when my friend blew dandelion seeds at me, and how we blew on dandelions together and made wishes when the seeds flew away on the wind. Two girls from two different worlds; she was as light as the day, while I was as dark as the night. But we became soulmates, and still are today. It’s strange how tiny things can stir the feelings so that they become huge waves from the soul in an ocean of sore and raw emotions, that can send you instantly back in time to earlier stages of your life, making you relive all those horrible moments of fear and anxiety as, in my case, a little child.

I remember how I used to hide, so I wouldn’t be a burden or remind my adoptive parents more than I had to, that I needed food, clothes, even clean ones now and then, or perhaps a chocolate too, if they weren’t too drunk or too angry at me. I remember loud, angry voices, yelling, the sound of doors slamming, swearing, ugly, evil words at me or at my adoptive mother. How I used to lie in my bed at nights, look at the moon and wish that I could run away and never come back. I remember the feeling of having been beaten, how hurt I was, though mostly on the inside.

I was afraid of my adoptive parents, who really ought to have been my protectors. They caused me so many issues that are still with me as an adult. So my brain is always on high alert, afraid that something bad may happen at any time, and I’m constantly exhausted by it. My common sense knows that I should be able to turn the anxiety off, but my emotions, my instincts and my inner child don’t, so my body is working overtime. PTSD is all about what happened to me, not what’s wrong with me.

Signing off for tonight.

~ Khara

PTSD and being burned out

Many nights I have problems sleeping. At certain times of the year I get particularly restless in relation to the deaths of my natural parents. I have severe anxiety due to that loss, and the separation from my family. There are flashbacks in the form of dreams that come from deeply rooted memories. I’ve always been burdened with sadness and depression, having great difficulty concentrating in school and now with things in my adult life, inability to trust others, and a seemingly never ending feeling that my life isn’t ever going to be any better than this. I exist detached from other people, struggling with close physical contact, such as hugs, feeling uncomfortable in social settings, crowded places and queues, and feeling this emotional numbness whilst at the same time my heart seems hard and sore.

I’ve been told that if my PTSD is not treated, things will only continue to get worse. This is no good, so I do whatever I can do: seeking help, writing down my feelings in this blog, trying to help myself heal this way. I read every book I come across on the subject of adoption issues, and really, really try to do this because it’ll hopefully help me find the inner peace that I’m seeking.

The key word is abandonment, a feeling that keeps gnawing in the back of my head. Although I try not to think about it, it’s always there, this vague echo of an unfathomable loss at a young age, ringing with a series of countless traumatic experiences, and a frightened little girl’s efforts to try to adapt to it all.

I had a very abusive childhood, which has resulted in a complex PTSD, making every day of my life a test and a struggle, I’m exhausted by stressful situations, I don’t handle things as well as before, and my mood is turning all the time.

So now I’ve reached a point in life when I feel that I’m running on autopilot. I burned out my batteries when I was little, when I had to grow up fast and take on responsibilities that no child should have to. I annihilated myself just to try to please the world. To survive I became a quiet, easily manageable child who took care of things that my adoptive parents should have handled themselves, just to be accepted. I feel burned out, with no energy left, and some days I wonder how I’ll make it through the day. I feel very tired and sad, and often feel like crying all day, or lay in bed and just sleep to escape from the world. Even writing in my blog seems so hard at times. I never thought that working with my inner child would be so tough.

And it’s not easy being labeled for my mental condition either, but it’s better to know why my life is this way. It’s part of being true to myself, and has allowed me to make many important discoveries in this emotional Pandora’s Box of mine, since I’ve had all these symptoms for as long as I can remember, without knowing it was PTSD.

Much of my recent progress is thanks to a very special person who has helped me a great deal, the only one who has said “I’m proud of you,” which made me cry. And yet this person is a stranger, but also a friend who reached out for me in a Facebook group. How can I ever repay you? I wish to express the greatest gratitude from the bottom of my heart.

~ Khara