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I Am Winning My Battle!!!

I thought when I first started suffering with the flashbacks was when my PTSD started.  I was wrong.  When my first traumatic experience started is when the PTSD started.  

I also thought all this time, that my first traumatic experience was about 8 years old, with the Uncle and the trash can.  I was wrong about that too.  I, within the past few months have started to have a huge fear of heights.  I have always had a fear of heights but now I've noticed that even watching Tv can trigger my fear of heights.  Any time now when I see things to do with height I notice that uncomfortable feeling, like if I am in that place on Tv.  I have to look away until that part is over.  I haven't written about this new experience yet.  I've thought about writing it, just haven't done it.  I'm sure I will soon.   Something happened to me to do with heights, I was even younger.  Just like the trash can incidence, I have always remembered the experience just didn't deal with the fear of it.  Not sure about my age.  I just know I lived in another house before my little brother was born so I must have been under 6 years.  Like I said, I'll write about this a little later.  

PTSD is a mental disorder.  It's when traumatic things happen to us, our brains deal with it the best way they can which is to swallow the fear, anger,sadness, whatever negative emotion the experience gave us.  I have always remembered each experience, I just would think about it and quickly make it go away.  I never even knew that I had a problem.  I just thought I was born nervous.  

With all the traumatic things that have happened in my life starting at such a young age, finally in my middle 40's something happened and it made it all come tumbling down.  I would notice at first it was little things.  Like for instance, every time my son would come home from the hospital, I would have a small breakdown.  They would last about two weeks.  In those two weeks, I would take my Xanax and things would be perfect.  I use to think Xanax was a miracle pill but of course, it isn't.  No drug can be.  It just sugar coats our problems.  After the two weeks, I would be Ok again.  I would taper off my Xanax again and be back to my old self.  As happy and content as I (thought) I could be.   It was when my husband had his first stroke that I eventually lost it.  I was by his side at the hospital.  After the third week in the hospital, he got moved to a different section, the rehab section.  It was in that part that I lost it.  I didn't like that room from the very beginning.  Something about it made me very uncomfortable.  The second night, I started to cry.  No matter how much Xanax I took, it didn't help.  I was an emotional wreck!!!  By the next morning I knew things were different.  I knew I could not stay with my husband.  That also killed me.  I wanted to stay by his side so bad.  I didn't want to leave him alone but I couldn't stay.  I called my brother to come and get me and he did. 

That was the beginning of the worst for me.  The next 6 months I laid in my bed in total fear.  I was in a different place, mentally, emotionally.  My greatest fear was that I would not be able to come back from the dark place that I was in mentally!!!  During those 6 months, the first (or what I thought was the first traumatic experience) traumatic experience was trying to come out but I was terrified and would push it back where it was hidden deep in my memory.  I kept thinking of that trash can and me in it.  Over and over, it kept playing in my mind.  I thought I was going insane and did not understand what was happening to me.  I was scared out of my mind.  Finally, I called my oldest sister, I did not want to be alone and I was.  I told her what was happening and right away she knew what was wrong and what it was called..........PTSD.  That was the first time I had ever heard of PTSD.  Not only is my oldest sister an RN but she also had PTSD many years earlier.  So she knew as soon as I told her what I was experiencing, what my problem was.  She talked to me and tried to get me to push myself out of that trash can.  You see, even though I knew who and where I was, in my mind, I was back at 8 years of age, in that old, dark, stinky, hot trash can that my Uncle put me in, put the lid on and sat on top of.  I was mentally still locked in there and I could NOT get out!!!  Finally, after all these years, those emotions that I hid away in the depths of my brain started coming out.  I could not make them go back in any longer....

That first flashback was by far the most horrible, most terrifying!!!  The next four years were also horrible.  I had flashbacks every single day.  Back then, they lasted for months at a time.  I had to FIGHT those old demons that were trying to take me and keep me down.  Fortunately for me, even though I didn't know GOD as well as I do now, I held on to GOD for dear life.  I was on a roller coaster ride from hell.  All I could do was hold on to GOD.  I knew without a doubt that he would NOT leave me where I was mentally.  HE didn't!!!

Now, it's been almost 8 years since the beginning of those horrifying, dark, constant flashbacks.  I still suffer from them BUT they use to last months at a time, then to weeks, then to days, now to hours or even minutes.  They are still scary, I handle them now without Xanax.  I haven't taken a Xanax in at least 2 years, maybe 3.  I stay strong with GOD.  I ask HIM to give me the strength, courage to help me through them.  I ask HIM to heal me from inside out.  I ask HIM to make me conquer those old demons that have haunted me for so long.  And so HE does....  I smile now every single day, when not so long ago, I couldn't even smile.....

One more thing,  I did start to see a therapist after the first flashback finally surfaced.  I saw her for about 7 or 8 months.  I stopped seeing her and later started seeing another one closer to my town.  I was fortunate enough that both of my therapists were firm believers in GOD.  They believed in GOD'S healing powers.  So did my oldest sister.  My sister introduced me to another women who also had PTSD and also believed in GOD'S healing powers.  For me to see these people that had PTSD and now they had normal lives gave me the strength to know that I also could do just as they did, which was to use GOD and eventually get better.......

I don't know yet if I will one day be totally free from PTSD, I just know that I am in a much better place than I was 8 years ago...

TexasLily TexasLily 56-60, F 8 Responses Feb 15, 2012

Your Response


I always hope the day will come and you will love yourself and believe you're a treasure on earth.

Hi MountainGrammy, thank you for your comments. My greatest challenge is to stop living in the past. Also to feel and concentrate on the love I have in my life NOW. Not what I didn't have growing up as a child. Also to love myself. That's a daily struggle. I can love anyone but cannot seem to love myself. I am also a very forgiving human, except when it comes to me. Something I ask and talk to GOD about all the time. I take baby steps to a better me, inside and out. One day at a time. I wish you the best...

Hello everyone,<br />
I have PTSD also and unfortunately was misdiagnosed for years. I was told I had everything from Schizophrenia to Bipolar Disorder until by the grace of God I found a therapist who set it all straight. I am in my 60's and have been suffering with it since the "first" incident at around age 8. Depression is one of the biggest factors in it and mood swings also. <br />
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I am now trying to look more deeply into the Buddhism philosophy and acceptance. Forgiveness is also a huge part of the healing. And a very difficult thing to accomplish. I have recently gotten a part time job and now find myself too depressed to do it. It seems so unfair to have to have a life of pain as a result of someone else's sickness. But life is not always fair. I am trying to 'accept' what is and again the Buddhist philosophy is helpful. Knowing that life contains suffering and the craving for something else is contributing to the suffering. Learning to accept what is and knowing that will lead to happiness and enlightenment is key. And again, very difficult to do. I appreciate this site and hope I will hear from some of you in response. It's helpful to have others that understand to relate to and talk to in this.

Thanks sweetie,God has made our paths to meet so we will be just fine....

Well, Im not a doctor to say Yes, you have PTSD. I am someone who does have it. To me and what you've just told me how you react to certain things, you do have it. Writing, journaling for me helped me tremendously. Ep, has also helped me. My buddies here also have helped. My husband, even though he caused some problems for me, is now sober and by my side. He helps me as best he can, like holding me when I'm having a flashback and so scared.<br />
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I'm so sorry you had to go through such traumatic things. You are a very strong person, know this and stay strong!!! They say GOD never gives us more than we can handle. Sometimes when I felt like it was getting to be too much, I would talk to GOD and say, "GOD, it's too much now, please help me!" He always would...:-) I have more peace in my life now than I ever have before and I do it without pills. I also hope you find that comfort, peace in your heart, mind and soul.....:-)

I read your story & I can relate to your feelings & emotions.I haven't been diagnosed as having ptsd but I bet I have had it. I was told I have a anxiety disorder.Too many issues of trumactic events in my life to pin on just one.The dr did try putting me on anti depressants but that didn't last long. Made me feel out of it like a heavy pressure pressing on my brain & still experienced the depression. I have had lots of reasons for my issues.Lost a infant son & my dad just 3 months apart,ex tried many tortures on me such as duct taping me to chairs,mouth bondage & left with out food & water.Imprisoned on my own property. No relatives allowed to know where I was.Just to name a few.Seems like we were caught up in some over load in our brains trying to not short circut. I also have a hubby who suffered a brain anerysem & had surgery & had to take care of him for a long time,work,take care of the family. You mentioned God. I have known him since being small. He has helped me & between him & my hubby talking to me & changing things here in my life I <br />
probably would not be here. Lifes good now for me but yet very challenging at times.<br />
My real issues right now is I flinch alot when someone moves their arms a certain way or body. I suffer from flash backs of getting hit or a fist to the head. So see other suffer also unfortunatley. I hope you find peace, I'm trying...

Ahhhhh, Pete, you did it again. You always manage to make me *SMILE*!!! It's nice to know someone always cares so deeply about what I write. It's funny that you say I inspire you, cause I feel that YOU inspire me. I always wonder what it would have been like to have such a caring person in my life growing up, such as you....:-)

I always love reading these stories because they show everyone Lily at her best. Her courage and compassion for others comes shining through and she just has a natural and honest way of expressing herself when she writes about her challenges with this difficult illness. Through it all she has managed to keep a sense of humor and deep faith. I wish I had the power to inspire others the way she inspires me.