I decided to write about something today that is very private to me and to many it is a hush hush subject ... from the time I was very young I have had to deal with many hurdles in life, some of these hurdles caused long term PTSD. At a young age I dealt with abuse... (mental, verbal, physical and the unspeakable) by two different family members. I learned to “deal” with the issues over time but ultimately caused myself more harm by not getting help or telling anyone of the horrors I was dealing with. Many times I found myself hiding in my closet under clothes rocking myself (this was my make believe safe spot) I sometimes still do this when life gets me... it’s extremely hard for me to share this because it’s embarrassing that at 45 I still hide! At 17 I tried to take my own life because I couldn’t deal with everything in my life and all that I kept a secret! I am here today because my story isn't over yet and I believe God had plans for my life. I moved shortly after this to a new town and what I thought was yet another hurdle in life I was never going to live through BUT... I saw my 18th birthday, I got through my last year of high school, met scotty, got married at 19, and most of all, I got away from one of the biggest factors of my PTSD. I started new with the love of my life and I was set free. The hurdles that I wanted to end my life over, I was able to get past just a couple of short years later!
The next chapter of life gave me Taylor and then Hunter. Sometimes there were tough times from being young, starting a life, family careers and being broke here and there. I would pop in my closet from time to time when things got too “hard.” I would rock myself, give myself a good pep talk and emerge with my head on straight and all was good. This was how I dealt with anxiety and it worked for me on some levels. Fast forward to Hunters accident, that day is permanently burned into my brain. Every detail, smell, certain noises! They have all become triggers. When I would feel a trigger coming on I would run to the bath... I started to use water as my safe place. I would spend hours hiding in the bath tub! I figured no one would dare open the door if I was naked in the tub. That worked for awhile until I realized I “needed” my bath tub to cope. So after many many weeks of hours in the tub I decided to be a better human and use my pain as a tool to help myself and others... so I began writing. I wrote before but never shared my most precious, and at times crazy images/analogies and thoughts! Writing was my answer... it still is! It’s my tool to cope, my tool to get out what I can’t always understand when I leave my thoughts locked up inside. It has become an amazing tool to look back on things I wrote (most just for myself) and see how far I have come, how things are always changing, and, that at the times things I thought would be so hard to get past or such a BIG deal, are now so tiny and insignificant.
At this point your thinking “ok, where is she going with all this?”
Well here it is... I have been struggling HARD lately. Just a couple days after my birthday I had something happen that triggered me. It was a trigger with Hunters accident, a sound. That simple... just a sound that set me off! And for almost three weeks I have been silently hurting inside! The sound triggered my PTSD; the PTSD triggered anxiety; the anxiety triggered fear; fear turned into sadness; the sadness turned into depression. All this caused a chain reaction in EVERYTHING. I didn’t want to go to the gym, I didn’t want to get up early and start my day as I had before, I didn’t want to engage with others more than I needed, I put on a happy face when I needed to but inside I was sobbing and drowning in my pity party for 1.
I was tired, not eating well, ultimately I wasn’t ME. I was just a shell of myself feeling hollow and trapped in my head. I made a few excuses to Scotty and hoped he wouldn’t bug me about “what’s wrong.” Until finally I told myself, "enough!!" Tell him, tell him your hurting tell him your battle... he’s my safe place, he’s my rock, my best friend, my husband for 26+ years! He’s not going to judge me or love me less. If anything he’s going to love me more that I came to him to heal and share my battle within! Why did I decide to tell him?... Because I heard my moms voice repeating in my head from a few days prior “I love how he loves you! It blesses me that he loves you so much” (with tears in her eyes).
I told myself this over and over until he came home and I shared my secret with him!!
So here I am writing!! My therapy, my outlet, my calling to help myself and I hope, others!!
It’s ok to not be okay, and it’s okay to ask for help! Nobody wants to talk about mental health and struggling because it makes us look weak or that something is “wrong with you.” Well I want to talk about it, I want to help those who need a safe person to run to when things are so hard.
I want to know that if just one person reads this and changes direction in the thoughts and lies we tell ourselves. I want to be the one who helps one person realize when they look back, that this will be so small and insignificant, and how they overcame all that was thrown their way.
I am not a therapist or a Dr, however I know what works for me and I also know the signs to look for when someone is being triggered, depressed or suicidal... if you or someone you love it not acting like themselves, withdrawing, having really high and then really low days, giving things away, saying things like “maybe I shouldn’t be here anymore,” “why would anyone love me,” or similar verbage, check on them! Tell them your there for them, seek help if you don’t know what to do!! Be safe, not sorry you didn’t act!!! If you yourself feel like you need help reach out... to me, to family or call this number to talk to someone who cares!!!
800-273-8255 24 hours 7 days a week someone will answer! I promise you, YOU are LOVED more then you know, I promise everything your feeling is temporary. Don’t make a permanent choice for something that is temporary!
I know this from experience, I have walked through my highs and lows. I am not ashamed of who I am or what I have been through... I am actually proud of the fact I can write this and say I am a work in progress and working on myself everyday is ok. Being here is far better then hurting those who couldn’t fathom me not being here!
Xoxo Mel <3