One thing I have struggled with ongoing is PTSD & Panic/Anxiety attacks. These symptoms were really bad when I was still married to the abuser, but I didn’t know I was having symptoms at the time. Even after I left the abuser and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) got really bad it still took me a while to figure out what I was going through.
When I first left my abuser I remember feeling extremely unsafe. I kept all my blinds closed, my garage closed and always kept my doors locked. The feelings came at went, ranging from feeling pretty okay to feeling like I was losing my mind. Of course, my abusive ex-husband had told me plenty of times, in one way or another, that I was crazy. So when you symptoms and out of control like this it kind of makes you feel crazy too.
I had to remind myself that the situation was pretty crazy and I think my reaction was pretty normal to an abnormal situation. I still have these feelings that hit me that are triggered by my ex-husband or a stressful situation that triggers memories.
When these PTSD/Anxiety/Panic attack feelings come, I have to remind myself to breathe, relax and remind myself I am safe and okay. My doctor thinks I may have to always manage these feelings for the rest of my life. They are not as constant or powerful as they were so many years ago. I guess that is a sign of improvement.
Writing in this blog really helps because it gives me the ability to release these emotions rather than internalize them. Occasionally I receive a email or comment from a reader, who says they can identify with my experience or symptoms and that helps me know I am not alone.
I have to remember that I have spent a great number of years of my life under extreme amounts of stress. At times I think that use to feel pretty normal. Today, I do not like being stressed and I know I can often create my own stress. The good new is, now I recognize unhealthy situations and choose to remove myself from them rather than endure them.
Life is simply too short to remain in unhealthy, toxic and abusive relationships.