I have been on this Earth for 37 years, of most I spent trying to understand what my problem was mentally. I am not a therapist….YET! But I plan to be. I started showings signs of PTSD when I was 4, when I was being molested I remember the first moment of my life when I “detached” I floated above my body and watched what was happening as if I was watching a movie. I’ve battled with depersonalization (DP) since that moment…which mine stemmed from having PTSD. Even up until the beginning of January 2016 I dealt with it. I know I sound like a broken record, but “How to use your body to heal your mind” by Dr Henry Grayson was that “A Ha!!” Moment. I have been told by my skeptical Psychiatrist my PTSD symptoms were GONE! I have unlocked so much in my journey to understand and heal from PTSD. My desire is to become a Trauma Therapist to help others, no matter how long it takes!
I remember being in 1st grade and having my 1st panic attack in class. I got locked in the bathroom in my classroom. I started shaking, crying, screaming in pure panic. I remember the sound of the chairs screeching on the floor as others came to my rescue. In 2nd grade I had another panic attack. My Teacher had left the classroom, I went into full panic mode, crying, begging some one to bring me to the nurse because I didn’t understand what was happening. As I laid on the floor surrounded by classmates looking at me terrified my Teacher came back. I was so relieved!! But she stormed over to me…MAD!! I tried to get comfort from her, but she pushed me away and told me to sit down. She went to the front of the class and told EVERYONE the story of “a little boy that cried wolf”. I was already upset but realizing she thought I did it as a joke was humiliating and HURT. Half way through the story my mind drifted into “what I did was not normal” from THAT day forward I hid everything out of fear of being embarrassed. I didn’t officially get diagnosed with PTSD until 2014.
I SUFFERED in silence most of my life. When I got in to my 20’s it got almost unbearable. My brother D had took his own life. He was the ONLY person in my life that understood my mental struggles..cause he had them too. I ended up driving myself to a hospital and told the staff I was suicidal. They brought me into a Psych ward and I sat there in a padded room being videotaped. The Doctor said I had panic attacks, depression and OCD. I had gone to the Hospital cause going outside was terrifying. Several times I would sit down and hold onto the grass because I thought the Earth was going to flip, I would drive at night with the sun visor down to avoid seeing the moon. I told the Doctor this…they didn’t catch it. The Doctor gave me Paxil and sent me on my way, for years it was Doctors trying to peel back layers to see the cause. I was frustrated I was seeking help and nobody knew what to do with me. They just would medicate it away and hope for the best. ALL my symptoms I gave them ALL pointed clearly to PTSD, HOW could they miss that!!!!????!!
I had accepted it is what it is…I just figured I would just have to live like that. Until I had my oldest son in 2009. I was affecting me greatly, so I figured I’d give finding out the answer another shot. I sat in a Psychiatrist office with my husband feeling brave and hopeful. I came clean about my intrusive thoughts, triggers, flashbacks, nightmares..She NEVER mentioned for a single second that I might have PTSD. She looked at my husband and said I needed to go into a mental hospital for a few weeks. My husband and I up and left. The shame once again came back full force. Realizing there was something more I continued to dig for YEARS while I continued to battle every second of everyday. I researched mental disorders from A-Z. PTSD came up, I was almost quick to dismiss it because I thought PTSD was only Military related. But it was my last option, so I clicked the link. I was so relieved and started crying, I HAD my answer! I made an appointment with a therapist, I told the receptionist I thought I had PTSD. Went in therapy, the therapist confirmed my suspicion. I also had it verified by a Psychiatrist.
I started going to therapy EVERY week, I had my answer and wanted to be fixed! The therapist started doing CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) which I have heard over and over was the only form of treatment. But I got worse!! Even ending up in the mental hospital as mentioned on previous blog “Mental Hospital Madness” I was spiraling out of control FAST, Thinking the only way it would away was when I died, I did consider suicide. But I love my husband and 2 little boys too much to ever act on it. I continued to dig and dig and dig, I was NOT going down without a fight, I vowed I would search for how to be healed from PTSD until my last breath.
The top trauma specialist in the WORLD Bessel Van Der Kolk (google him!) states that CBT is not effective in PTSD patients because PTSD is NOT a cognitive issue. Why is CBT the first thing every therapist was suggesting? I didn’t want to talk about my trauma over and over again, have a bunch of pills thrown at me. I searched deeper I wanted treatment NOT a band aid. I wanted the PTSD to GO AWAY! I found in my research about EMDR, Biofeedback, EFT, Etc.. Actual TREATMENT! I am soo soo inspired to be a trauma therapist. My therapist is AMAZING, I want to be just like her. She’s real, she cares, she takes her time with each appointment no matter how long the session runs, she knows her stuff.
In the meantime I help others anyway I can with what I know. If I can overcome PTSD YOU CAN TOO!! Stay strong and feel free to contact me with any questions.