Diary entries

My Story – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Sharp inhale.

Deep exhale.

The Wildflower Diaries has been a space for me over the past 2 years to share my thoughts, heart & poetry – in part so that I myself can read what I’ve needed to hear and to connect with you the reader, on the chance that you also may be able to relate.

There have been times when I’ve held back, curating my words so that their lightness overpowers a post that could otherwise be judged as being “far too deep”, but that’s just an outdated storyline – a really old & stale one.

I find people the most beautiful when they share a slab of their soul; whether it be through words, creativity, their heart centred products, their ability to follow their unique path to leave this world in a better way than they arrived and how they’ve taken struggles in their life and have been courageous enough to fully embrace them as lessons, not failures. 

Playing small doesn’t work for me anymore, so that’s why today’s diary entry is the biggest and most vulnerable one I’ve done to date.

I hope that in some area of your life, it might inspire you to do the same – be big, brave & beautiful, knowing that “your people” will find you along the way.

And now…we begin.

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Google will give you this blanket term…

noun

MEDICINE
  1. a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.

 …but if I was to place it in my own words, I’d instead describe it as this:

      1. one who relives a past trauma in the present tense, with the mind and body stuck in the ‘fight or flight’ response, preparing you for battle at any given time – your safety depends on it. Symptoms include triggers by aspects of the experience, flashbacks, stress & anxiety and even depression. Carries a heavy weight of shame, blame & guilt. Easily startled, jumpy, unable to concentrate. Varying levels and degrees – can be debilitating.

You’ll hear of PTSD commonly associated with people like war veterans who have witnessed horrific events, returning home forever changed, their mind not recognising that they’re now out of harms way, or devastating natural disasters that take lives and livelihoods – but you won’t often hear about it from your neighbour Mary who once watched her youngest fall ill and admitted to hospital, terrified that it could happen again at any moment, or from the elderly gentleman who was once robbed at the ATM and now does a 360 degree check every time he leaves his vehicle to go into a public place. You might not hear about it from the model who was relentlessly bullied through social media but whose Instagram life looks like something you could only dream about, nor from the big, burly security guard who had a gun pulled on him 10 years ago – what we perceive, can deceive, and many either don’t realise the cause of their constant sweaty palms and shaky hands or feel far too embarrassed to even mention their minefield of triggers, trying to dismiss their feelings because:

Someone else has had it much worse than me.

Ahhh, but what they (and possibly even you) must realise is that you don’t get to downsize your personal experiences in comparison to another – they’re yours and valid in every way imaginable. I’ve been there too.

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 I was 6 or 7. She was my best friend, my next door neighbour. He was a ‘new adult friend’ with unhealthy intentions.

We didn’t know better.

But he did.

Yet that experience wasn’t my trigger – we weren’t physically harmed, there were no bruises to show and in that sense luck was on our side.

However, two weeks later standing in line with my mother at the chemist, I turned around and there he was, giving me a big sickly smile. I knew now that this was a “bad man”. Panic set in. Unable to fully communicate through the heavy dose of terror, we went back to the car.

Lock the doors. Was he coming too?

We followed him while calling the police once more.

Thanks, we’ll add it to the file.

He disappeared and I never saw him again.

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That was almost twenty years ago and a lot happens in people’s lives in that time. In the following years after the incident, I went through more and more life experiences – one of which you can read here – each adding a layer on top of that scared young girl and each one reaffirming the fear I had felt then.

But within struggle, there is so much strength. I know now that my soul purpose is to reach out to others, striving for joy and putting my heart onto paper and into pictures – it’s what lights me up. It won’t be for everyone and that’s okay, but I’d much rather live a life that is rich in depth and connection, rather than just exist on the surface.

Which brings me to one of my most adored quotes:

“Like a wildflower; she spent her days allowing herself to grow; not many knew of her struggle, but eventually all knew of her light”

– Nikki Rowe 

Wildflower, wherever you are at in your journey, I hope you know that you will always be able to find a space filled with soul, heart, and vulnerability here. To say I love you being here is a massive understatement.

So much love and light to you,

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If this resonated with you, I’d love to hear in the comments below. xxx

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