***Strong Triggers in post**
I listen to a song today and it reminds me of how often I need to just breathe. Why this is so hard I do know, yet I still indulge in the moments of suspended animation. Trying to hold on to the moment to make things just stop. Just please stop. All this accomplishes is to cause a pounding in my head making my TBI injury location hurt with blinding pain. My chest constricts and my heart is pounding in my ribs so hard. All I've done is to make my adrenaline kick in. Now panic sets in as I fully feel as if I can't breathe, can't catch my breath. Its burns to breathe. Something so natural for anyone else is so difficult for me in this moment.
There are days I feel I just fail astoundingly at handling myself. My attempts to continually control the uncontrollable is just far too much. It's actually...well it's terribly frightening, almost a trigger in itself. That moment as I finally get, I finally understand, is not singular to me. That long slow trigger pull where everything stops. I didn't even realize I had been doing this for so long. Things stop, I stop breathing, the whole world just stops. For this moment it is ALL under control.
It's an almost delicious feeling. One I wish I could hold onto. It never happens though. My blood starts pounding and my body flushes, the heat overcomes me. My breathing becomes so ragged. I flashback in that moment and I realize this is NOT healthy to me anymore. It triggers my wonderfully clear visual memory, my body memory, smell memories. Pain beyond anything I've experienced, even in giving birth 3 times. Pain so cleverly applied so that it is neverending and seems to last for days. Pain that I cannot get away from. Pain that when I remember it I start to cry, tears streaking my face.
Then there is the remembered sick smell of blood. Blood, so unique this smell. This smell in and of itself is a major trigger for me. Not just the smell as much as the taste of it in my own mouth triggers panic. So many visuals inside my mind, burned there, ones I cannot get away from. Sensations, pain, smells, and that horrible scent of something burning like burnt meat...my own tissues burning, bleeding....
There is always that "why" moment. I know now. I didn't then. I do now. I can become consumed in the "why" moment although in the end there are answers, there are also none.
It's taken months(approaching a year) of help to get to this place of understanding what I am doing. Something I was totally in denial of doing. I really thought I had been coping. I hadn't been. I'd been trying to control and defeat something which will not be defeated. In this, in this is where I can feel as if I will never win. I'll never get past this. Now, tentatively I explore it, I write about it. I talk out loud to myself about it when no one is home to hear. I talk to my dog who functions as my PTSD companion dog. So I talk to her too. She holds all my secrets. The ones I still can't say out loud to my therapist I can to her.
This process, it's slow. It's got days where it's a 6 steps forward win to only be knocked back 8 and then move forward again 2 more. There are days I can't leave my house,can't leave the couch, but I know now, only now that does NOT mean tomorrow will be the same. This is a moment. Just like that was 'only' a moment. Life moves forward, in spite of me it keeps moving forward and my responsibility is to move with it. I will, I can and I do. I won't stop.
I'm not giving up on me.