New Here - Was Shot and Abusive Father

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New Here
Hi, I'm new here, I read through the FAQ the best I could. I used to be excellent with reading and comprehension but I'm afraid no matter how many books I try and read it gets worse.

I have a lot of questions, most of which will hopefully be answered by pre-existing threads. I hope to look through more of those later, however I felt it was important for me to at least tell my story before reading through everyone's stories.

I was in 1st grade waiting for the school bus with my mom in a small town at the time (7 miles long at it's longest point I believe) and this kid (14) was playing with his father's gun and shot my mom in the neck, another bullet grazed my chest and left a welt, and another bullet went into a neighbors window behind us.

I remember my mom telling me to run, but I could not because she was carrying me and running. I remember my dad pushing me out of the way as I was trying to hand her a paper towel because there was blood everywhere. I was taken on the ambulance, I guess I had a welt on my chest (to this day I only know that from what my mom tells me), and my mom was taken away, she needed multiple surgeries and still has a scar on her neck.

I went to school the same day, and the kid that did the shooting only got probation. I remember one of my friends asking why I was late and I told him that my parents took me out to breakfast and that was that. Why I even felt the need to lie about the situation I don't know. I don't remember if someone told me not to talk about it.

I never really thought about it either, my mom told me that for months after that I didn't want her to go outside, but I don't remember that. And I'm not sure if that's just due to age or the trauma, or both (if that is possible)?

I was always an advanced kid, the adminstrators wanted me to skip the 3rd grade (which my parents wouldn't allow), I took 3rd place at Tufts University during the Science Olympics, I competed at M.I.T. for the Future Problem Solvers, I was a Wordmaster, competed in the National Geographic Bee, and since Kindergarten I was taken out of my class every week and given a year long assignment to do. In Kindergarten the teachers would stand around and point to a state and I could tell them what state and capital, for reading day I brought my favorite volume of the encyclopedia. I was also in advanced art classes, through middle school I had no studies at all. As I got older I was accepted into an Agricultural High School made up of grades 9-12, and it only had 393 students. I was editor of the newspaper and ran on the cross-country running team, got my licence and paid for everything myself. From there college, I applied to only one local community college (my self-esteem running low, not that there's anything wrong with that school, but everyone expected better), I worked 2 jobs during that 1 year of college, and volunteered at my old elementary school teaching the kids Powerpoint.

During all this time I was crumbling. It sounds like I was headed to be a banner citizen. Starting around middle school I started to lose confidence in myself, still keeping the extra-curriculars but I was depressed a lot. My father started drinking and taking prescription pain pills together. He had done that when I was little but I don't remember much of it. I only remember this one time when my mom was trying to call 911 and pouring his pills down the toilet, this was before I even started school though and that's all I remember.

I never knew what he was going to be like when I would come home from school. One time he tried killing himself, I heard the .22 rifle being set up, and I locked my door and opened my window because when it went off I was going to jump (it was 1st floor so I would have been fine). He ended up not doing it, he knocked on my door and stupidly I answered it, he put a bullet on my tv stand and walked out. I don't know what that means to this day. He has sat in the basement and shot holes up through the floor, I have called the police on him multiple times, he has thrown hammers at my mom's head, frozen items, plates, etc. Really hasn't hit her, the one time he went to push her I called the cops. He is the typical drunk/addict I guess?

He's since been to rehab a few times, he is better I suppose, he slips up a lot but he's not as bad as what he used to be.

This being said, I don't think about all this stuff daily, so I'm having trouble understanding how this can affect me in such a profound way. The depression started in middle school, the high school it got worse, I kept thinking constantly (still do) about past conversations, stupid little things, I started having these terrible stomach pains (no antacid has helped, prescription stomach pills, Librax, Protonix, Prilosec, etc), I went for an Upper GI at the hospital and all they could find was bad acid reflux. From this my weight is always fluxuating a good 10lbs. I stopped eating certain foods because they upset my stomach more. I have trouble sleeping or I sleep too much, there usually isn't a happy medium. My thinking is also just out of control, to the point where I can't focus on reading long books (something I loved dearly). I can re-read pages over and over, out loud even and not tell you what I just read. That never happened before. Lately I can't account for periods of time. Mostly in the early morning, I make playlists of songs I don't remember doing, but the playlist has the time on it and when each song was last played. While driving is bad too, but my therapist says that is common with most people. I write and draw and don't remember, I can't account for certain periods of time, my mom says it's like I have ADD sometimes when she's trying to get me to pay attention. I went through a time in college when I passed out at home too, I'd be at the dinner table and just pass out. I also shake for no reason, I won't be thinking about anything stressful, I could be outside in the sun and start shaking, I'm far from cold or nervous.

My 1st year of college was my last, I haven't been back since. I went to a night school for Phlebotomy, I barely went to class but seemed to do very well. I graduated that. Then I just stayed a cashier at night for a local supermarket. Now I am on disability from the state, it all became too much. I was passing out, throwing up before work (something I used to do before school senior year of high school too) for no reason. Just absolutely sick, some days I can't stand up straight or even make it out of bed. I go to therapy every week, and a psychiatrist who has me on Risperdal and Lithium, recently cut the Valium (which I'm not too pleased about, considering I have panic attacks and that helped). I've been on so, so much though throughout the years, and many doctors.

I keep relapsing into drugs. I started with prescriptions that were around when I was in high school, opiates (Percocet, Vicodin, Oxy, Fentanyl, etc). Those are my drugs of choice, the only thing that really makes me feel "okay" so that I can go out and not feel self-concious, or worried, I feel "normal". I go back and forth with them, and I know that doesn't truly help the situation, but at the time it feels so worth it to have that escape.

I feel like now more than even I am seeking help and I feel as if I am getting worse. My friends don't understand. They ask me what's wrong I just say "I'm depressed", because it's easier for them to understand, because I've tried explaining PTSD to them. I've taken a few tests with the therapist about PTSD, all of them confirming that I have it. I hate that my friends don't understand. I try and distance myself lately, but then they don't understand that either, and still want me around.

I get put down about work all the time. How I'm lazy, I get paid to do nothing, blah, blah. It really hurts me. I wish my friends could understand that it's not that easy and I'm not having a good time with this. I try and explain, but they feel things are so easy for me because I don't have to work 50 hours a week to get the things I want. The state barely gives me a $100 a week, I'll never be able to move out of my parents house on that. I'm 20 years old and still live at home. I've had relationships, all have which end miserably, and I rather not even have one. I always get so used for money, my car (giving rides), just generally helping out.

My best friend is the strongest opponent of me being on disability and it kills me. It makes me want to cry just writing this. She is a bit older than me, and has known me since I was born, we go back as far as bathtime. It hurt that she thinks this about me. I try and make myself feel better and say "well, at least I can pay my bills and buy groceries" and she gets angry when I say that. I try and tell her, how else do you expect me to make ends meet right now. I try explaining I'm only 20 and I'm working on things, it needs time. I don't know how else to explain things to her. Or when I don't want to go out or I'm sleeping at 2PM, she sees it as lazy. I see it as I didn't sleep all night or for 2 days and I'm finally sleeping, and I have a problem with big crowds so of course I don't want to go out all the time. I don't want to seem like a "downer" either, so sometimes I don't go on purpose if I know I'm in one of those moods.

The therapist and psych think I'm bi-polar also, btw. So to try and explain this all to her and them seems impossible. I just don't want to lose my friends now too. It makes me teary to think about. She's such a hard worker, and maybe that's why she can't understand? I like to think I once was too, but even when I was working it was still laughable to her because of my 4 hours shifts. I felt that's all I could handle some weeks though.

I don't know, if anyone has any advice in how to inform loved ones, what you have been through, if you go through this too, that would be great to have people to relate to, that know my frustrations. This diagnosis is fairly new to me, I've always been labled "bi-polar" and at one point this one doc thought I was ADD too. Only recently has this set of psych and therapist said PTSD, the more I read through it the more it makes sense. They both still say bi-polar, but the PTSD does make sense for the symptoms that just aren't that of bi-polar.

Forgive me if I'm kind of ignorant to this all. Thank you for reading all of this also, this is much longer than I intended.


Hi, Broken_LCD...well done to write all that out, I know how hard it is :thumbs-up

Wish I had some great advice, but know that you are not alone. By the way, I too was in Future Problem Solving and did the advanced track on everything as well. I think it makes it harder to deal with PTSD because the comparison from then to now is so stark, as I was a *total* perfectionist overachiever. However, I have found much help, healing, support, and friendship within these forums...even learning to accept myself as I am...and hope you will too. Hang in there :Hug_emoticon:
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