Fear, for me is an emotion that lives under my skin, daily, in some ways since the attacks, this emotion has grown with me over time. It feels like a wave crashing over me, but I know that it will pass. My mind settles awaiting for another wave to come. My hope is that the waves will become less frequent over time.
The raw fear, which those individuals have encased in my body, is tormenting. When my mind races at a millions miles an hour and I have to ground myself, by putting me feet on the floor, breath and tell myself that I am safe. When the intrusive images come into my mind, they encompass every element of my brain. In these moments I lose all of me. I become a scared thirteen year old girl again. Unable to process my own thoughts and memories.
My body “freezes” I am unable to move or talk for between five minutes to sometimes an hour. I can deal with aspect of my PTSD but I cannot cope with the intense flashback, I still have but not as often as last year. I have no control when a flashback will happen, it is like the shutters come down, and I disappear. I cannot hear anyone or anything. I have no concept of time or where I am. In that moment, I go back to the abuse. I feel every touch, I feel the carpet on my back, I hear the music, their voices and in my body I feel every unpleasant and degrading thing they did. After my flashback I have bruises on back, I feel worn and lost in this continuous fight to stay present.
There are many normal aspects of daily life that “trigger” me, such as flashing lights, loud noise, certain colours, showering and the list continues…..
I am still processing and in a sense re training my brain, to know that the past is the past and that these feelings and thoughts are just memories, but it takes time and lucky I have that on my side. For me, time is a healer, still now I struggle daily, every minute, every day but this invisible strength inside me, telling me to keep going. I just have to believe that things will get better and that the past doesn’t define me, the individuals do not control or have a hold on me anymore, but that is easier said than done.
This blog is just a small insight to how my PTSD effects still know after ten years but I have a voice and I believe it needs to be heard. It is time to lift the silence and talk, because the silence is my worst enemy. It is time to let go.
© Rosie Burnham