I was on my way to work this morning, thinking about Treun….again.
All of a sudden I started thinking that pretty soon, he’s going to want to be with me everyday and if he isn’t then he’s going to want to know where I am or what I’m doing and I’m not ready to answer to anyone because that means my total loss of freedom and I’m not ready to answer to someone and what was I thinking when I started seeing him exclusively and are we really in a relationship even though I refuse to define it and how do I extricate myself from this before I get hurt and how could I think of not seeing him again and I’d miss him and I feel the walls closing in on me which is kinda funny because I’m outside walking across the parking lot and I don’t think I can breathe very easily anymore and fuck it all here comes the panic!
I could clearly see that soon this man would want ownership papers of me. Hello PTSD! It’s been a week since your last visit!
All those thoughts plus more were tumbling through my head. It really annoys me when my thoughts don’t use correct punctuation. It just spiraled downhill into my insides feeling like they wanted to be my outsides. I was worried that I was going to throw up because I was feeling that panicky feeling taking over. I got into work at 7:30 and opened my emergency soda that I have hidden in my desk drawer. I know that this particular brand of soda will always make me feel better. It just took a little bit of time today because I wasn’t concentrating on just getting over the panic: I had to do actual work. I couldn’t devote much head space to working through this garbage because I had stuff to get done!
Once I got the panicky feelings to back off, I started shaking. My legs practically vibrate. I realized that my panic attacks follow a definite pattern. I have the initial PTSD reaction – something triggers it, then the panicky feelings start, my mind races (when I first left Bubba it totally shut down so I count this as an improvement), and I feel like I’m going to throw up. Then the shaking starts. I used to tell Liz that I was convinced that one of these days I was going to just vibrate into another dimension. My legs bounce a mile a minute. This is something that I used to do constantly. I worked hard to stop shaking like that. It now only happens when I’m profoundly stressed or in the middle of a PTSD episode.
Once that passed, I just felt like I wanted to cry. I was sitting at my desk, fighting off tears, trying to get control of my emotions. It was during this time that I realized that this follows a definite pattern; something that I’d never paid attention to before this. With each new email or fax that came to me, I could feel myself feeling overwhelmed and wanting to just sob at the amount of work I had to do.
During all of these stages, I was trying to do as much self-talk as I could. Treun isn’t like that. Treun is a good man. Treun doesn’t want to control me – he’s proved that time and time again. Treun is NOT Bubba. Treun sees me as a human being and wants to care for me and does care for me. Over and over I told myself these things. I stated my reality again and again.
Then I knew what stage would happen next. I just hoped it would wait for a bit. The sheer emotional and physical exhaustion phase. After one of the PTSD inspired panic attacks, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck and just want to collapse. Thankfully, I was so busy at work and then running errands after work that this didn’t hit until I sat down to write. I’m typing and can feel myself dozing off.
I knew, in theory, that getting involved with a man would bring things up that I hadn’t dealt with before. I knew it would be triggery. I knew that new memories would surface. I knew that new experiences would remind me of the past because it would be vastly different than the past. Knowing something in theory and experiencing them are two different things.
Where I was having these attacks once every month or two, this is the second one I’ve had in a week. Last week it was triggered by the thoughts of seeing Bubba again after four months of not having to see him. This week it is because of my blossoming relationship with Treun. I’m not going to delude myself into thinking that I won’t have to worry about another one for a month or two. I don’t know when the next one will strike but I’m prepared. I’m taking more soda to work with me to hide in my desk. I have my self-talk scripts ready and I’m practicing them.
PTSD will NOT win. The past won’t win. I will win. That is just the way it is. I’m still battling the demons. I might always be battling them. I just refuse to give up or give in. I will win.
Anything less than total victory is simply unacceptable.