A few months ago, I purchased a weighted blanket. This blanket is specifically designed to help with the symptoms of PTSD.
At times, it seems very comforting. But some of the time, it triggers memories.
At the age of 15, after being sexually abused by an Uncle for over two years, I knew that something was wrong. I tried to reason with him that this wasn’t normal, and that none of my friends were doing this. (I was always taking responsibility).
At that point, he became very angry. He felt threatened that he could not manipulate me anymore. Every time I discussed the idea of someone finding out or stopping the abuse myself, he would threaten me and say that no one WILL find out. Some of the times, he would suffocate me with a pillow.
Since having the weighted blanket, I was reminded of that feeling of not being able to catch my breath. Obviously It’s not the blankets fault (LOL) but more of a memory that I never talked about or dealt with.
The feeling of someone being in my breathing space has always been a problem. Hugging can be a problem.
The weird thing about PTSD is that normal things can trigger an over the top response that doesn’t seem appropriate for the situation.
If I overhear someone disciplining their child in what I consider to be mean or inappropriate, I immediately go into dissociation. I cannot feel or think that a parent is being mean to a child. It just devastates me.
One night at church, I parked in a spot that apparently was reserved for someone. (No sign, I was just supposed to know). A man came out and asked me to move my car, but sort of talked down to me like I was supposed to know. I immediately felt like I was the smallest, most unintelligent person in the world. I went into church in tears. After 15 or 20 minutes into the service, I was sobbing and had to leave. I was so embarrassed. I went to my car and literally fell apart. I had to sit there and compose myself before even being able to drive. Then I was overwhelmed with guilt and shame. Not to mention the headaches and crying hangover the next day.
Why do insignificant things trigger such over the top responses? It makes you feel so out of control and so abnormal.
I’m working on trying to be more aware of the things that trigger me and how I respond. It takes retraining and removing old labels that I have put on myself since I was 5 years old.
When I’m in therapy, I’m reminded of my negative labels and given suggestions or what to replace them with. I have such a hard time with positive self-talk and always expect more of myself. I’m always letting me down. I’m always feeling like I can try harder or do more.
Giving myself a break or receiving compliments, etc. is my new goal. Trusting that I’m a good person and I am ok seems so far away. One day, I will believe that I am the person that God has created me to be. And that I’m okay.
Until next time – I am being MJ every day.