PTSD is hard enough to live with when the memories just live in your soul, whether the memories are of a gun battle in Iraq or of a family member crawling into your bed every night of your entire childhood and raping you the screams are just as loud, the terror is just as debilitating and the life it steals is just as gone, completely utterly gone. So why does holly wood, and television think it is great fodder for scripts?
Every night I awake screaming a dozen times, and I also have a type of seizures that are caused by the flashbacks and nightmares. So whether I shake with fear from flashbacks, or in full blown seizure it tears life down just the same.
So when I finally awake in the morning everything is in a cloud, and I try to keep my mind full. No corners, no hollows, no empty spaces because the moment there is the freak show that is my demon takes the space and on the terror goes. Most days I try to fill those holes with television, meditation, movies and writing and it used to work, until now
This week 9 out of the 10 cop and drama shows I usually enjoy were on the topic of serial pedophiles, and they showed graphic encounters with small children and the terror in their eyes, in their body language was just too damn real.
The trouble is you don’t know until you see the first scene that your worst nightmare that plays like the script writers know your darkest secrets is about to roll in front of your eyes. You don’t need to see the whole thing,just one or two disgustingly familiar scenes and you’re screwed. Today the scene started with a grown man sexily walking his fingertips on a young boys shoulder and I was gone, it wasn’t 2014 new York it was 1972 Adelaide Australia and I was hiding in the hall cupboard hoping this one time he would walk past and not hear my sobbing. He didn’t walk past, he did hear me and the sobs turned to screams then whimpers then if I was lucky I passed out, I rarely did.
What sick fuck in a room full of sick fucks looked at this script treatment and said “winner, that’s entertainment”? If you want to write these stories they should come with a warning, they didn’t and it took two hours for me to travel back to current day time and place.
Every person who lives with PTSD has their own personal trigger, my brother-in-law is a Vietnam veteran his is simply hearing the language. I once saw him change from a proud firemen, a father of two on his way to a wedding suddenly change to a soldier in-country screaming in Vietnamese and making gun shapes with his fingers and reaching for a dagger that wasn’t there. It all happenned just because a Vietnamese driver pushed in in front of him in the gas line and flipped him the bird and swore in vietnamese, we were scared, they were terrified it was sad and it was scary but not until that moment did I have the smallest micron of understanding of what he must have seen.
Another friend who also served in nam used to dive behind walls and garbage cans, every time a car would back fire.It was too much for him, he committed suicide and his not said life was just too much.
When your PTSD is from rape or molestation the triggers are from TV or vision of any kind like I described. Mine ,my lowest point that made me look for therapy was the hanging scene in a movie called “once we were warriors” that movie is now 29 years old and I still cannot watch it past that scene, the first time had me hospitalized and I knew then that for life to continue. I, we all of us living in the dark with our memories had to become warriors, we had to fight on ,fight the demons , fight the monsters and no matter how many hours in front of a stranger or cuddles of a service dog we have to fight we had to be warriors there are just a lot of days when putting on the armor and picking up the sword is so damn hard.
Next time your friend, your brother, your lover your sister, your son or daughter seems to be mentally in another place don’t scream at them to come back into the room just be there with love and compassion when they return hug them don’t say you understand hopefully you never will.
Let your love be their sword and armor and your silent understanding be the ammunition they need to make it write notes to them of love so they never reach a place of leaving that one last note for you.
We want to make it we really do just some days are harder than others, let the networks know you don’t find molestation amusing, you don’t think serial pedophiles make good ratings, let them know the beautiful mind and soul of your child needs to stay unpolluted so stop making these shows like the topic is so much light hearted fluff it’s not it is in fact soul destroying garbage.