Thursday, August 22, 2013

PTSD and hurt feelings

I would never  begin to compare my own woes to that which this man and others like him suffered.

A couple of months ago I said something in a blog that did  not make the subject of what I said very happy with me. At least I would assume from her essential excommunication of me from her circles that it was the likely thing that happened. It could be that she simply grew tired of me. The few times I put links to my blog in the comments section of her blog, she deleted my comments, and once she wrote a blog about what causes posts to be deleted from her blog that  could easily hav been directed at me.

I was unaware that she read my blog at anytime unless I sent her a tweet with a link telling her specifically it was about her. Chances are that one of her minions read it and told her.  Regardlessof how she learned of the blog, there are consequences to our actions. If she read it, or if she even relied on a second - or third-hand summation from someone else, it may have hurt her feelings. That was never my intent. I never thought she'd see it. Again, she's never indicated reading my blog except when I've written blogs in praise of her.

The gist of the blog was the over-application of PTSD as a diagnosis. This oerson had a child born with a horrble condition that usually results in instand death of the baby immediately followig birth if not before. This baby was a real fighter, though, and beat the odds, and appears to be thriving at the age of three or maybe almost four by now. We heard she was over-achievingand no longer eligible for any special services, but then we heard again that she seemed to have some deficits, but then again we read that all was OK. Maybe it really wasn't , which was adding to the mother's angst. Maybe she liked to praise her chaildren as most goood parents like to do, but there were things going on behind the scenes about which the readers knew nothing.

Maybe, as a person who has a PTSD diagnosis -- maybe anyone with a PTSD diagnosis -- is the last person in the world to suggest that the cause of another person having it is a bit flimsy. Who am I to judge, really?  What the lady went through was traumatic but somewhere down the line, if a person's child lives and thrives, to me it seems like a good time to at least try to rid oneslf of PTSD rather than to continually embrace it, as in "I am the face of PTSD."

The woman has other problems in her life, including a marriage that broke up a year or so ago.  The non-insiders were never really privy to the details.  I have no clue, nor is it any of my business, if infidelity or something even more insidious, although I'm not sure what that might be, were involved. The lady alluded to things in her blog that some in the group apparently understood and were "in the know" in regard to, but the outsiders never knew what went wrong.

Anyway, she never responded in any way  to any comments that I left or to any tweets. I left one comment at some point that if she deleted that particular comment, I would understand that my comments were not wanted there. She deleted it. I'm a little slow  on the uptake, but that particular message I did get.

It's a teeny bit painful, as this lady unofficially adopted me as her niece at a time when seven out of my fifteen aunts had disowned me. Still, I wrote something that must have been hurtful to her, though I had no idea she'd see or hear of it. I have to accept responsibility for my actions.

On the other hand, I don't think this lady can continue to have it both ways for the rest of her life.  She can't have a little girl who is a superstar in every imaginable way, yet pull the PTSD card out whenever it is needed because of the circumstances surrounding the child's birth. For any parent who loses a child, I can't imagine that there is anything worse, and they probably epitomize  lifelong PTSD. The same may be true for the parent who gives borth to a child with a life-altering disability or incurs some injury latr on that causes a major disability.  if the child really is Super Three-Year-Old, my opinion is that somewhere down the road it's time to quite dwelling on PTSD and at least give a try at moving past it.

I'm sorry for any feelings I hurt, and I'm not a psychologist or a mental health professional, and my mother probably would have given birth to a beluga whale had she seen what I wrote.

Still, I'm someone who has a PTSD diagnosis. Five years or so down the road, I hope I will have put much of it behind me, although I may always be wary in terms of who follows me into public restrooms, I may continue to carry a slighly irrational fear of objects being projected through the windows of rooms in which I'm sleeping, and I may never totally be comfortable with smoke alarms and being inside smoky buildings. That last part, in itself, though, doesn't necessarily indicate the continued presence of PTSD. Smoke alarms , when they're functioning properly, and smoke-filled rooms, are a warning to get the hell out of a building, not to stay put and do Lamaze-style breathing while reciting "I'm in my happy place."  So it's not PTSD manifesting itself  when I'm in a hurry to leave a college dorm if its filled with smoke, even if it ends up it is only from someone burning popcorn in the microwave at 2:00 a.m.

Nevertheless, in spite of a little rotten luck as far as being the person whose paper the thug chose to plagiarize, which set off a chain of violent events,  or being in the home of relatives who neglected me to the extent that I was left in a semi-mobile state at best all by myself in a smoke-filled home with a raging infection on top of my inuries, PTSD never did, nor never will define who I am. It's a passing phase, which I hope I'm coming a little closer to passing all the way through and out of it each day.  If someone else chooses to cling to PTSD and to own it, it's none of my business.


  1. Relationships have to be a two way street. Personally, I don't think it serves anyone when they do the silent treatment/shunning thing. People who do that are basically sending the message that they have enough friends or loved ones and aren't interested in salvaging relationships. It's normal for people to have disagreements occasionally; in fact, surviving disagreements and "fights" is one way people learn to understand each other and relationships grow stronger.

    It sounds to me like the woman you've written about is a bit on the immature side and if she has decided to "delete" you from her life, you might be better off. Clearly she's been through a lot, but everyone has challenges in life. The victim game only works for so long before people start expecting you to help yourself.

    Sorry... I just think shunning is, at its heart, a very immature and arrogant thing to do. If you have a problem with someone and actually want them to modify their behavior, you have to talk to them about it. Most people aren't mind readers. Shunning sends a message, but it's usually a destructive and pointless thing to do... unless, of course, you're dealing with someone who is themselves toxic and destructive.

    I'm sorry your former friend feels that ignoring you and deleting your comments is an effective way to deal with her pain. If it works for her, so be it. But you obviously have other people in your life who value your presence. It's probably time to focus on them.

  2. I agree with knotty. The victim card is only viable for so long. If PTSD is controlling your thoughts and actions to the point where it's difficult for you to function, then you either could find a qualified psychologist/ psychiatrist, or could change to one who approaches PTSD/ adjustment disorder situations differently.

    There are ways of overcoming this stuff. And, from a personal standpoint, I can attest that it's not comfortable. Sometimes applying what you learn on the couch is difficult in real life. Then to add blogging on top of that, it creates a complicated situation. Especially when you're trying to paint a positive picture, and things feel as though they are far from positive. Blogging is very public, and there are some feelings/ details that you don't want to be public, so you make up for it by claiming everything is fine, when it really isn't.

    Sometimes the only person who can save you from metaphorical drowning is you. We can lend ourselves to people in need, push them when needed, but people really have to want to change.

  3. Knotty, i appreciate your perspective as a mentl health prfessional and totally hear everything you've said. I think you're totally on the mark.

    Becca, I don't know anyone our age who is as wise as you are. I have no idea if what you've been through has given you insight that people our age don't ordinarily have, or if you were just born that way, but you have a gift.

  4. How unexpected!! I'm so sorry this is the direction the relationship took. Just when I think I've got the hang of boundaries and expectations when it comes to the Internet World I find out I'm completely wrong again.
    Sending love.

  5. Thanks, Amelia. The cyberworld is perplexing. I hope you're doing well.

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