When I gave birth to my daughter in 2007, it was a blessing; more of a blessing than I was willing to see at that time. I already had two boys and my daughter being born on Thanksgiving day, gave me lots to be grateful for. I now know that God sent her to me to assist me with my healing. She became and remains, my biggest trigger. With my boys, it was so different. I always had flashbacks and many symptoms of abuse, but they were manageable; I could always just ignore them and they would go away. I had accepted that this was going to be a part of my life, and I was okay with that. However, after my daughter’s birth, my symptoms began to get worse and increase with intensity.
I convinced myself that it was probably hormonal influences and that it would eventually get better; I was wrong. My symptoms grew and grew. One day when I was changing my daughters diaper, I made a comment regarding her genital area “looking so cute” and in that moment I would be changed forever. It was that moment where I was reminded that “abusers sometimes become abusers themselves”, so I cannot have the luxury of making such comments towards my daughter. It was the moment where I wondered how my grandfather could have looked at me and decided to “play with me” after bathing me. Maybe he touched me once by accident and “let it go”, and justified it to himself. It was the moment I wondered “how will I know, how will I know if I violated her”? My inability to answer that question made me promise to never make a comment about my daughter’s body again. It was the moment I became afraid; afraid of touching her, afraid of even looking at her with adoration. Afraid that someone would be “keeping an eye on me”. I literally became afraid of everything because I am her mother; I have to take care of her physically, mentally and emotionally. How was I going to do this and keep my own sanity?
For the next three years I tried my best to help myself. After all, I spend all my time giving advice to others as a Life Coach, surely I could help myself. It took a great deal of time for me to see that my way was not working. I was suffering in silence and developed high blood preasure that landed me in the ICU in critical condition. Things just began to go downhill but I refused to let this destroy me. I knew in my heart that my medical issues were somewhat connected to my abuse issues. So I began to seek help for myself and it took another two years before I was told that I was experiencing PTSD symptoms and another year before it was officially assessed by a psychiatrist, that I was diagnosed as having sever Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In my next post I will share what occurs when you have this dis-ease and how it affects your everyday life. But it will not be an easy thing to read because it’s not pretty. I am now having buried memories resurface, and the memories are now giving me answers to questions about myself that I have always wondered. So in a way I am getting to know “me” better; it just sucks that this is how it has to happen. I wish there were other ways to find myself but there isn’t. The only way to deal with this, is to learn what you can from it and face it head on. It also sucks when you have little support behind you. But I realize that no one knows what is happening and no one ever asks. So, I thought I would take the first step and see what happens.
……….to be continued