Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maintain Your Balance

This blog is one person's daily battle against PTSD from repeated rape. Sometimes I use "triggers"(sights, sounds and more) to get points across. If these bother you, stop reading now. Otherwise, continue and thanks for the support.

It's Wednesday. And did YOU get your bailout yet? At this point, I don't know. Isn't it a little bizarre when you call your financial advisor? And after 3 minutes you're thinking, I know about this stuff than he does. And then you find out he's on parole after doing time for insider trading. Can it get any weirder?

How are you coping these days? One key for me is no more regular TV. I haven't watched any in 3 days now. If it's a movie or ESPN, that's different. But even if you do that, you have to edit for triggers all the time. Because when you least expect it something comes out of nowhere. And then it takes hours to fight your way out of dissociating and then feel like you have some balance again.

Not always, but at times I feel like I'm going to literally snap in two. If I go out, I still have to plan it all out. Where am I going? Is it safe? How many triggers are there? What if there's no place to hide? What do I do then?

You go into some crowded store, and everything is dangerous. Every sight and sound is magnified to the Nth degree. Every person is a potential threat. How do I stop them? My intuition is very sharp. I feel like I'm aware of everything within 6 feet of me. If somebody comes up from behind, what do I do? Are they going to grab me? What's my nearest weapon? How do I stop them? Where do I strike first? Imagine you go into a store and you have to fight your way thru all of this. Nobody's actually going to kill you with a AK-47. But your multiples and little kid say, they're a threat. So you HAVE to fight back. We are not going to get raped ever again.

You go to the checkout line. And you feel like beating the s**t out of the checkout person. You get the usual questions. Did you find everything ok? Actually, no. I'm having really bad dissociating right now and I want to beat your ass into the ground. Do they know what PTSD is? Probably. Are they a trauma survivor? Who knows.

You get back to your car and go back home. But even with that there's still that feeling at times that the world says, you don't exist. If it's a woman rape survivor, that's sad but "normal." If it's a guy, you freak us out. Go away. You try not to dwell on the standard trauma survivor crap that people put out. On the other hand you do all the positive things to keep a balance. And despite all that nobody will ever stoop so low and admit that yes, you are their worst nightmare. And we don't like you.

Will the world end if you do? Since I got raped, NOBODY has EVER touched me and said, I'm sorry you were raped. Nobody's ever acknowledged me face to face, ever. Why is that? Can't they spare 3 freaking minutes in their "busy" day? Is some basic human decency so incredibly difficult to do? But no. It's like a large AA meeting. When it's done everybody's gone. Which leaves you standing there thinking, why did I drive a hour to come here, talk about this. And now it's a complete waste of time?

Flashbacks and lucid dreams still happen too. It's like you really have to focus hard to not lose sense of what's real and what's not. Imagine on a really bad day having to deal with that AND everything else. But remember, nobody will say anything to you. Under no circumstances will anybody ever admit that you're there. Because the bottom line is, the world sucks. So just carry on, mate.

Newsflash. People are not light switches. You can't turn your emotions on and off just like that so as not to inconvenience others. I've been banned from two support sites just because I'm a guy survivor. So where do I go for help? No disrespect to women survivors. But if you're a vet, what happens? You get a Congressional hearing, some soundbites, and some attention.

When was the last time you saw a Congressional hearing for guy rape survivors (vets or civilians)?

If I appeared before one, would anything come out of it? Would C-SPAN run it really late at night (when they know that only the hardcore C-SPAN junkies are watching)? I've done one radio interview that went well. Instead of the normal 15 to 20 calls for women survivors, they only had 2. Which means that people stopped in their tracks and actually had to face reality for an hour?

The good news? Despite all the s**t that's happened, I'm still here.

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