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PTSD Has Stolen My Words

On December 4th I started a new part-time job.

I took it on because I love my day job and this was an opportunity to do much of the same thing for another organization – while having flexibility in my schedule to work from home some of the time and go to appointments and such.

I was very, very excited.

To prepare for my work hours more than doubling, I did some adjusting of my schedule and shelved plans to make a printed planner for 2018. I also decided it was best to not run the Grateful Hearts Circle while transitioning through such a major change. I refunded enrollments and tucked all the info/plans away for the future. I also did some batch cooking to ensure we’d still be eating whole food dinners during the transition.

I was ready.

Then I began…

…and immediately (as in the very first day) things got weird and uncomfortable and, frankly, a little bit creepy.

As I drove home that first day I hoped like hell I was misreading things.

Sadly, I wasn’t.

On December 18th, after completing only my fourth full regular working day there, I drove home shaking and collapsed into tears which turned into sobs.

Went my husband got home and asked how my day went I dissolved back into tears as all the moments that shouldn’t have happened came cascading out of my mouth. He said all the right things and recognized the different ways this was affecting me and assured me I didn’t have to ever go back there.

All I knew at that moment was that I was scared and shaken – I didn’t know how to find my equilibrium or inner peace to make a decision from. I decided not to go in the next day and, instead, spent the afternoon in prayer and meditation about it. I wrote out everything that had happened and read it over. I decided not to return.

Now here I sit, nearly three weeks later, typing this up and I still have no words to really explain what happened.

Hell, I’ve been struggling with a lack of words in every respect for weeks now. I still haven’t completed the Self-Care Guide for Winter – it was in late draft form when I began the job and I’ve made only minuscule progress since then. My texting and email, Facebook messaging and posting have all become very strained. Even speaking is challenging at times right now – my words… where have they gone?

This brush with promised trauma, this experience of boundary violation and being (again) treated like an object instead of a subject, has wounded me deeply.

Living with PTSD often presents me with little moments of triggered memory, of sensations I didn’t want to feel the first time, of fears that are truly irrational and yet still haunting.

Living with my PTSD so sharply triggered has silenced me – I am on high alert, not sleeping correctly, either not eating or eating too much in a mostly unconscious drive to stuff down the feelings.

I find myself, after years of doing better, feeling afraid nearly every minute of every day. I wish I had words to make this better, I wish had words to make it heal.

I haven’t even written poetry … so lost are my words I cannot release them in prose.

And so this weekend I’ve begun trying to call my words back – I posted about accepting submissions for Fall In-Love w/ Yourself, I’ve typed up the draft of the guide, I even wrote in my journal a bit last night.

Writing this post in an attempt to call my words out of hiding.

I want to finish the Self-Care Guide for Winter.

I want to get at least two posts for this year’s Fall In-Love w/ Yourself February drafted out.

I want to be able to explain what is going on for me to my husband who has been kept outside and in the dark over the depth of discomfort and triggered terror I’ve found myself living inside of.

Tomorrow I plan to sit in a coffee shop with my notebook and pen instead of keyboard and screen… Maybe my words need a gentler touch to feel safe enough to return.

I know I sure feel a need for gentler, softer, quieter touches right now.

If you have PTSD or trauma wounds, can you please share in the comments below ways that you nurture yourself when triggered this strongly… I’m needing all the suggestions I can get right now.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I’m going to suggest that if something in your brain isn’t ready to flow yet, that you start with your body. They are more interconnected than we usually give them credit for, and our bodies retain trauma just as surely as our minds.
    Nurture and nourish your body. I don’t know if it’s yoga or hot baths or sweaty workouts or tea. Maybe it’s a massage or a soft sweater or a good round of sex. Maybe all of the above. But my gut tells me that if you can help your body get its flow that the mind–and the words–will follow.

    1. Thanks Jenni,
      I am finding myself called to movement a lot this past month for sure. The other night I even shooed the teenagers out of the living room so I could hoop for a while!
      Today I’m sitting down with a good old fashioned composition book and a favorite pen to see if the action of handwriting will help.
      Thanks again.

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