Why is PTSD a life sentence?

I’m so tired of having PTSD…in fact I am so tired of forgetting for a moment that I have it only to have it come back and smack me in the face. I hate acknowledging it’s presence because then I have to accept that it is never going away. No matter how hard I try, no matter how much work I do, PTSD will always be there. On some level I know it is about managing symptoms but tonight I just wish it would go away. I have been so diligent about trying to manage the symptoms yet just inside three months at my new job and I am jumping at the slightest touch from my partner. I am not sleeping or when I do I am dreaming. Either way I wake up exhausted. I’m eating everything in sight and I am quickly rebuilding that wall that exists between me and the rest of the world. I want to return to old ways of coping…anything to feel comfortable in my skin.
My partner is very patient but I am tired of her needing to be. I am tired of working so hard to do the right thing to only end up needing her help and support. Luckily the racing thoughts are not back as full force as they once were and I am still able to outrun them by a bit. I am tired of living each day wondering is today the day I wont be able to manage the symptoms. Is today the day I have the meltdown that let’s the whole world know about my struggles with PTSD? I do sometimes get to a point where life is good and I feel strong and in control of my symptoms. Today is not one of those days. I understand that the PTSD is the result of childhood sexual abuse that I endured for 9 years. I also understand that the sexual abuse was not my fault. What I don’t understand is why it came with a life sentence.

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About maggiejay64

I am a 51 year old woman, who lives in NY state. I received my MSW in May 2013. I have worked with people with developmental disabilities for most of my life. I love working with this population and have learned countless lessons from the people with whom I have been privileged to work. In Jan 2014 I received my LMSW and am currently working at a counselor in a Outpatient substance abuse facility. One of my greatest challenges in life is the fact that I lived through incest and the hell that followed. It took forty some years but today I can say I have come out on the other side..... mostly intact.
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6 Responses to Why is PTSD a life sentence?

  1. Beverlety Perth Western Australia. says:

    I was once told that child sexual abuse was worse than being murdered as a child. Didn’t make any sense to me then but it does now. Child sexual abuse came with a life sentence because that describes the severity of this kind of abuse.
    In my early recovery I had a vision of all of the abuse victims who did not make it.
    Apparently I am one of the strong ones who did make it.

    The victims I saw in my spirit were encouraging me to keep on and keep on working on what happened to me.
    If I was a physical victim my wounds would be visible.
    My wounds are now visible in my on going physical battle with my wounding, which unfortunately is minimised down to four letters of the alphabet.

    Post traumatic, stress disorder.
    What does that mean and how does it affect me now?.

    Other people get to glimpse over this when they see PTSD.
    But I have a crippling stress disorder, due to being severely traumatised when I was a child.
    I live in a world that minimises and justifies and rationalises what happened to me. So my first response is I do this to me too.
    I live in a stressful world, and people who do not have my stress disorder battle with their stress.
    All I can do is do life one day at a time. And continue to use the tools I have learnt to cope. And one of my precious tools is you and your blog. My heart feels for you when you cry out, Why did this become a life sentence? Who know why? And seeking answers does nothing to helping me deal with my stress disorder. Today I am dealing with it by staying in my pyjamas and doing nothing. Tomorrow will take care of itself. I am sending you a very large hug, love from another victim of an ongoing life sentence, Beverley Perth Western Australia.

    • maggiejay64 says:

      Thank you so much for your response. Some days I am grateful to be one of the strong ones like you. Strong enough to have survived when others were not so lucky. I feel like I have been doing this for so long but I still fall into that trap of thinking at some point I will be done with it. So thank you for sharing your struggle because if I do have to do this for life I feel privileged to travel this path with other survivors like you. Thanks again! Maggie

  2. You describe it well, the siege that most people don’t notice as it goes on in front of them. I don’t know much about PTSD, but it seems that all mental illnesses involve lots of trial and error. That nothing helps, yet, doesn’t equal hopeless. Keep trying new things until you’re satisfied with the results. There are folks out there rooting for you. Thanks for your work that helps everyone deal with these discussions better. It helps.

  3. karenbreckon says:

    Hi, just wanted to say I appreciate the openness in your posts. I have PTSD as a result of childhood sex abuse, and it does feel like a life sentance for sure. I really hit the wall with that realisation myself the last year or two. This year I turned it on it’s head, and told myelf that healing is the restoring of my relationship with myself. It’s good and it’s hard. That perspective hes helped me immensely. I still have the struggles etc, but dealing with them now feels like I am doing a good thing for me, rather than merely a grind against a negative. With empathy, Karen.

    • maggiejay64 says:

      Karen,
      Thanks for the support. I like the way you were able to turn it around for yourself. Sometimes I struggle with the definitions of certain words. The word acceptance is associated with what I was forced to accept when the abuse was happening…so I have to find different words as I work through this part of my journey. Thanks again!

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