living with PTSD
June 12, 2014 § Leave a comment
I am now 58 years old and I have been living with post traumatic stress disorder since I was a young child. I wasn’t diagnosed with PTSD until I was in my mid-40s when I sought therapy for escalating anxiety. I have been trying to get my family to talk about our shared history since I came into recovery for alcohol and drug abuse in 1996. Although everyone in my family has some form of alcohol, drug, anxiety, depression or obsessive compulsive disorder, it has been almost impossible to get any of them to talk honestly about their current condition or the circumstances that contributed to it. All my life I have questioned my own state of mind because there was no affirmation or validation of my experience. Everyday I have to work to remember that I am not crazy, that there are good reasons that I have this condition, and that my family’s collective denial of problems does not mean that problems do not exist. Because I was open about my problems, I became the problem in my family system. So, to save myself and my sanity, I have had to put distance between my hard won but fragile sanity, and the casual cruelty of insanity that pervades my family of origin. It is not so difficult to live with post traumatic stress disorder. It is impossible to live with people who deny the legitimacy of living with the condition.