Trauma. In my personal experience trauma should be a four letter word. My trauma has strengthened my faith & it has shown me how strong I truly am. But it has also brought me to my knees, it has brought me irrational fears & it has made me go through the past ten years just surviving & not living. Recently something has triggered my trauma. I’ve been having irrational thoughts about dying & causing my own death. When it starts to get dark outside I go into complete survival mode. My chest tightens & I feel I’m on the edge of a panic attack. It’s now gotten to a point where I cry. I start crying because I just want it to be morning. I cry because I just want to survive the night. I cry because I don’t want to be like this. I know this response is caused from trauma. I also know these thoughts are irrational but that doesn’t make them feel any less real. I also know this response is strengthened when I keep my thoughts secret. But it’s hard to admit to these “secrets” when you are a 33yr old woman who cries when it gets dark. How do you tell someone that at 33years old you cry because you want it to be morning? How would that not cause shame? Wouldn’t you hesitate when thinking of talking about this out loud? It seems only right to keep these thoughts secret.. right? No it doesn’t.
This current battle I am battling does not make me “weird” or “weak” like the thoughts in my head try to tell me. This current battle is unfortunately completely normal for someone living with PTSD. I know there are others out there who experience irrational fears & thoughts that are brought on by their trauma. It’s hard for me to write this but I know I’m not alone. But at the same time it’s not hard at all for me to write/confess this secret because what do I have to lose? Nothing.
I’ve learned over the past 10 years while recovering from a traumatic brain injury that the most important thing for us to be as humans is vulnerable. It’s in our vulnerability that we reach others & we can offer community. If we kept our secrets or our “shame” hidden then we would all feel alone. We would all end up feeling like the only “weirdo” or person who has ever dealt with struggles, irrational thoughts/fears & well that’s just simply not true. We all have our struggles & hardships. And it’s in these times that we quietly try to reach out or mention what we are dealing with while not completely outing ourselves because we are scared if others heard or saw how “broken” or not okay we are they would judge us. But that’s not true. When we show others our strength by being vulnerable they will respond in kind. It’s in these times that we find & build a community. If you are currently struggling or battling through hardships know you are not alone. Today is the day to open up to someone & start building your community.