Fear in My Experience with PTSD

I spent six days at a facility which is supposed to help people get through crises and feel better, you know, so I could feel well enough to at least get through the day. Everyone there is automatically on suicide watch, regardless of their voluntary status or mental faculties. That means I was to be checked upon every fifteen minutes. Sometimes the staff would flip on the room light in the middle of the night, because they supposedly couldn’t see me. Other times, the door would slam shut. They also would shine a flashlight in my face.

Let me explain something about post-traumatic stress disorder: I am afraid. My fear isn’t tied into any particular train of thought or memory, but rather the patterns in my environment. I am controlled by this instinctive fear, from the reptilian part of the brain. Raw fear.

That means that every little sound: footsteps, chatter outside my door, doors being opened and closed, every single little sound and changes of light reminds me someone else is there—that people are volatile and potentially dangerous, and it keeps me awake at night.

I have been on all sorts of sleep medications and most of them either don’t work, send me into a panic, or only give me about 3 hours of solid sleep.

Over the six days I was there, I slept collectively 15 or 16 hours. I felt exhausted and often found myself thinking of ways to tell off the staff for keeping me awake all night. I was frustrated and I was sleep deprived.

During night three or four, I explained to the staff that sleep deprivation is a form of torture. It is actually classified as a torture by the government. And I asked how I was supposed to recover when I couldn’t rest.

Needless to say, the visit was unproductive in and of itself. In fact, I felt worse in some ways by the time I was released. However, on my way home, I was struck that the root cause of my problems is actually fear; intense, gut-wrenching, instinctual fear, because my home situation activates that response in me. It’s not even that the situation is unbearable; it’s the fear that was instilled in me coming back.

This intense fear pushes out all of my other feelings. I could easily endure the suffering if it was balanced with joy, but the capacity for joy seems unreachable. I have no place to go to call my own. I have no place I feel safe. I do my best to keep making healthy choices: to go outside, to go for walks, to avoid processed food, to spend more time with people I care about. I still feel so stuck. I’m tired. I can’t imagine spending another 30 years living like this.

I know this is temporary. Everything is just a blip in the grand scheme of things. I know that people are inherently good. I know the world is rich, beautiful, and vast. I just feel cut off from all of that. I feel cut off from others. That leads me to wanting to be alone with my thoughts.

I’ve mostly stopped talking to people. I don’t know what to say anymore. My personality is blah most of the time because I’m lost in thought.

I’m still changing things up in my life though. I want to give myself a chance at something more.

Basically, there are only a couple of interactions I’m interested in. Expanding Horizons and Playful Mode.

Expanding Horizons: Each person operates at their own frequency, in fact, every cell does and so every person is configured similarly but differently. In other words, each person has their own unique energy signature. Let’s call this energy a Horizon. Each person has their own Horizon, and interactions which involve authenticity and learning from one another’s perspective. This expands a person’s Horizon.

Playful Mode: This is where I adapt my humor to the person I’m interacting with. I get playful and tease sometimes. It’s like a game of creative reactivity.  This Mode is nearly always a success in a social situation. People would rather laugh than be serious.

Sometimes I just can’t get into whatever mode I need to be in for those interactions and I just need to be alone. Even sound and light bothers me when I feel this way. I have a strong desire to be away from everyone – at least, anyone who wants to interact with me.

I need to work on accepting the fear and living my life regardless of my fear.  And a nap would be nice.  Haha.

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