For a couple years of my life I unknowingly suffered from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know it had a name/diagnosis. I’ve been meaning to write about that more, and I’m sure one day I will get around to it ;) Part of PTSD is that things will “trigger” you and you will have flash backs to bad things from your past. I was abused as a teen and so my flashbacks were often pretty intense. At times I would literally be re-living in my mind some one screaming at me, or ridiculing me, publicly humiliating me and worse. Not a fun thing to live with obviously.
I went to counseling for almost a year and did EMDR therapy with my counselor. I could write a dozen blog posts about this experience and what a blessing it was to me! I hadn’t had a flashback in months!!!
Then, yesterday morning I had one. Something that I hadn’t thought of in ages. I had forgotten it even happened. I’m not even sure what triggered it, but something did & I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of church to work through it. A year ago, the smallest flashback could shut me down emotionally for days. I couldn’t handle it. but yesterday, I was able to go think through it, face what happened, pray about it and MOVE ON. Leave the bad memories in the past.
I don’t forget about them, I don’t pretend they never happen or the memories don’t exist. But I do acknowledge that they don’t have to affect me today. One man treating me like garbage doesn’t have any bearings on the woman I am today. His opinion of the girl I was, and the woman I would be does not matter. The memories can still hurt, they will never be pleasant to remember, but they also don’t run my life anymore. Remembering them doesn’t steal my joy. Remembering them doesn’t change who I am today and how I’m living my life. They are nothing but memories.
Amazing how God uses seemingly negative things to show His glory and grace so vividly. I’m so very thankful for the grace He has shown me in healing me from these things and allowing me to be free from them so I don’t hurt my family as a result of the hurst inflicted on me. Truly amazing. 2 years ago I would never have thought I could be at this place of healing, peace and joy. But here I am, only by God’s grace, and the wonderful support and love he showed me through my husband, my church and my counselor.
forever grateful. forever changed. <3
As I said above, I keep meaning to write more about my experiences with PTSD, depression, how it affected my marriage etc. but it’s hard sometimes to know where to begin. If you have experienced or are experiencing something similar please feel free to ask questions or make comments (even anonymously) and I will try to address your questions/comments in future posts. I would love it if my story could somehow be used to help and encourage you!!! There is light at the end of the tunnel, even when it all feels and looks hopeless! God can bring you out of the darkest places and give you peace and joy! I’m a living testimony of that!!!