August 2015 – Where I Am

Since the beginning of this year I have been trying to find a route to take in my life. Exploring different avenues, understanding myself and hitting dead ends. This is a reoccurring cycle that I don’t see as a negative. Over the last eight years I haven’t been able to see a future.

One way I would describe my life at the moment is like a Rubik cube that isn’t solved. As one side seems to click into place the other sides seem out of sync. At the moment there doesn’t seem to be a week when this doesn’t happen. A big part of this is normal life; but it is also when the unpredictable and uncontrollable elements in my life happen. This affects me more than anything. I am now able to approach them in a new way by prioritising the present problems and not focusing on past events.

The main issues affecting me at present are the unanswered questions. In reality I know that I will never get answers to them. This is a normal reaction to the thoughts and emotions that have constantly stayed in all of our minds. I could keep trying to find the answers but I can’t. Otherwise it becomes a guessing game. I don’t believe it’s helpful or productive for anyone, let alone me, if I allow it to plague my mind and life anymore it will just become a constant cycle that is never broken. I am determined to live and enjoy life as it should be.

Recently the most bemusing remarks and beliefs that people have made, have been regarding my PTSD. These have made me question their angles and intentions. I feel that I am having to defend myself a lot at the moment. I feel this is unfair and unjustifiable. How can people who have never met me in person and don’t fully understand the levels of trauma I went through base a decision about a certain situation? I didn’t expect life to be like this and I never wanted to be hurt … but still the questions keep coming.

The perception is that when you have PTSD (or any other mental health condition) you are not of “sound mind”. I am switched on; I know what’s going on in world. I am no different to anyone else. The only difference is that I have been abused and I am still traumatized by the attacks that happened nearly ten years ago. It is not my choice to live like this!

I struggle to understand how people would come up with that thought process. Everyone is allowed to a have their own view and opinions but to have a perception about a situation when they don’t have any emotional or personal involvement is difficult to understand. Sometimes I can worry so much about what people think of me that I forget who I am. I think people underestimate the power of their comments and how it affects me.

There is a difference between people’s language and their actions. I never know where they stand and the lines are always moving. It feels very unstable and unsafe place to be. When people are honest, I am able to understand and to some degree accept their decision. I am then able to process, work through the problems and address them. The difference is when people aren’t open it puts up barriers, then I feel I have to react in a certain way and not get to emotionally involved in the situation. I am then constantly second guessing. I think this is a very unfair way of communicating. I never know where I stand and that sometimes is a worse situation than the telling me the truth.

It has come to a point in my life where I have reached a crossroads. I feel I have to have a say in what it looks like. I haven’t any expectations of how it will be. Life can change in an instance but when everyone starts closing doors, new ones always open. It can shape a new future where I thought it would never take me. I just have to believe that time will help heal the past but I need to be patient, this is difficult for me because just as things seem to settle, the past isn’t far behind. I cannot allow it to affect me now, but it does. I have no control when a flashback will happen, if I can feel it happening I am able to ground myself but when I am caught off guard it throws my life upside down. This is an element of my PTSD that I struggle to manage but I just have to keep going. I hope that one day the past will feel like a distance memory rather than in the fore front of my mind.

There are weeks where I feel I can do anything and then the realisation hits me. The more this happens, the more difficult it becomes. At this point in time I really don’t know what to do for the best. Everyone can suggest and help me make the decision but in the end it is my responsibility. I have to trust in myself and keep positive. If I believe I can do this, it is half the battle and other half is hard work. There is no time limit to get better but I am getting inpatient and I want to fully participate in life, instead of watching from the side lines. I am realistic but hopeful that I can begin to move on in my life. The first step is always the hardest.

 

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About Rosie Burnham

Twitter: @Rosie_Burnham Blog: rosieburnham.com Huffingpost Blog: www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/rosie-burnham Very Loose Women (ResonanceFM): http://bit.ly/2l02xw3 Women's Health Magazine (Strong Minds Issue): https://www.pressreader.com/uk/womens-health-uk/20171201/282948155497339