Stun and flash grenades and bullets

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
After 6 years of of us enduring multiple levels of child abuse, my stepfather pulled the gun off of his hip, aimed it at my sister's head and pulled the trigger. She was standing right next to me and I was 7 years old. She was not hit and it's hard to say with the mix of cocaine alcohol in his system if he had meant to miss or not.

It's been 33 years since that incident. My sister and I spent another 2.5 hellish years living with that man, and as a result, both of us have CPTSD.

In the last 11 days I have heard a lot of chaos in the streets of downtown Portland, Oregon. I live less than 1,000 feet from Pioneer Courthouse Square which is certainly Portland's #1 place for protests, but this is extreme. I've woken up to sirens, flash grenades, a helicopter, yelling, stun grenades and the like almost every night since the protests started. Last night, I woke up to silence at 11:00 p.m. It was weird. I thought maybe they went home early knowing that downtown isn't usually cleared until after 1:00 in the morning. But as if by magic, stun grenades started ringing out all over downtown within about two minute of me waking up. Not shocked, I stared at the ceiling wondering if this new normal affects many people the way it affects me.

I've just got this unpeaceful and uneasy feeling all day these days. I wake up thinking people are being shot. One early morning, the police loudspeaker was telling vandals to "get out" of downtown. For about 15 minutes, I thought he'd said "get down" in a warning that gunfire might break out and strike those few who actually reside in this area of town. I was woken up for the first time by the loudspeaker and was confused. I froze in bed in terror for 15 minutes, nonetheless.

I'm jumping at every noise, it seems - loud or not. Skateboards sound a lot like flash grenades when the wheels hit the pavement. Kids skateboard across the street all the time.

Anyway, this is how the protests are affecting me. Bless those folks who are out there. I believe in what they are doing or at least what most of them are doing. But it's hard. Our next move will be out of downtown for sure but we did just sign another year lease because now is a bad time for us to move.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Unfortunately, many of us are having a lot more stress and anxiety because of the combination of the pandemic and social unrest.

It may not help you to feel better, but you are not alone. I just got off the phone with my Dr and having meds sent out to help me deal with all I have going on.

I'm sorry for why this is so triggering for you. I can not imagine the feelings you had as a small child seeing what he tried to do to your sister. It is very understandable that you are feeling what you are.

Very important for us to utilize our self-care right now. More than ever before. Hope you have some routines or meditations or whatever you use to help you thru this very very stressful time. If you need medications looked at, then don't hesitate to contact your provider.

Proud of you for checking in. We can't do this alone, and we need to know others are having the same feelings and issues. It does help. Hope you get some rest soon. And that things move from where you are living.
 

Friday

Moderator
Where I’m supposed to be living right now, different city, is the block everything is kicking off and has been.... the sea of people blocks back. Just a f*cking swarm of sickness & anger, tear gas & flashbangs. CombatPTSD here, and I’ve worked riots with weapons fire and bombs of various kinds, on both sides; but the stepped down version we see in the states, puts me right back into that place. Mobs. Mobs can f*ck right off.

Is what I did, getting out of Dodge, a possibility for you?

Fair warning... I’m still varying degrees of touch&go, but at least I’m not on hot standby 24/7.
 
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Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
Hey, seriously glad you found us :)

Other than getting out of the area, is there something that helps you believe that:

A. You will survive (as I totally believe you will / that's a non-question, but YOUR answer to it to you is the more relevant one)

B. You will get through this intact

C. Distract yourself & Tune out all that flash bang noise movement nonsense?
 
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RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks everyone. I've actually been in this group before but it's been a couple of years ago.

I'm taking a lot of baths these days. It seems to help.

Typically, I listen to Marconi Union's Weightless at night to drown out the street noise but I stopped a couple of days ago feeling like I needed to know what was happening out there. If you are not aware, that song was engineered to reduce anxiety and it works well, too. They also have a 10-hour loop available for listening on YouTube but I think they recently stuck an ad in the middle of it which also had something to do with me not playing it the last couple of nights. I may have to stop being so cheap and pay for it.

I did have an appointment with a Psychiatrist on Friday - I was medicated very minimally but those days are coming to an end. I won't be able to get my pills until tomorrow, though. In the meantime, I have Valerian and some Clonazepam for when I need something.

Unfortunately, I don't think skipping town will work out. Actually, this county is still discouraging travel, not that it means anything anymore. I could be recalled to work any day - probably would have been already if I hadn't contacted my boss and asked him to wait as long as possible to call me back. There's also my husband and his life going on. Though I really love the idea and will likely think about it more if things don't start improving in the near future.

I've really been up and down a lot. I feel ok right now but I'm probably just relieved because I am back at my apartment after going for a walk ? It's a jungle out there and everyone is feeling it. I had to duck out of Whole Foods through the parking garage because there was a guy punching himself violently near the front door - some sort of Tourette's I imagine but it set my anxiety through the roof. Then I felt guilty and by the time I actually got outside I was wrecked - as if Whole Foods with traffic arrows wasn't enough to cause that.

Good grief.

I am able to keep myself occupied most of the time but part of why I am here is because 2.5 months of hubby and I alone in this 238 square foot apartment and my mental health is officially beginning to wear him down. What a trouper! I need to be working harder at reaching out to others more often instead of pouring my novels of incredible insight all over him all day long. I am also working to find a new therapist after an insurance change. Without work I'm pretty much alone. Also, my best friend is on her last week of college, so she has been out of touch.

Thanks for your input and concern. I'll play something tonight and try not to peak out the window. It's Simpson's time on Disney+ until then.
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
Where I’m supposed to be living right now, different city, is the block everything is kicking off and has been.... the sea of people blocks back. Just a f*cking swarm of sickness & anger, tear gas & flashbangs. CombatPTSD here, and I’ve worked riots with weapons fire and bombs of various kinds, on both sides; but the stepped down version we see in the states, puts me right back into that place. Mobs. Mobs can f*ck right off.

Is what I did, getting out of Dodge, a possibility for you?

Fair warning... I’m still varying degrees of touch&go, but at least I’m not on hot standby 24/7.

Wow. It's amazing to me that in all of my concern for myself and how I've been doing with all of this, it didn't occur to me that there are people with combat PTSD living in the middle of cities - even larger cities, too. What a mess.

Portland has had some big nights with 10,000 protesters and whatnot but it still seems like we've maintained peace a whole lot better than other places, as well. Some nights have been downright impressive in that regard but we keep descending back into some level of chaos.

I am sorry. I am glad you were able to get out. I hope you're able to have some peace where you are now.

Glad you are feeling better. Come back and lay all your insight on us and give hubby a break. We will listen. :laugh:

And glad you came back.

Oh thank you! Hubby thanks you, too! Poor guy. ???
He's a teacher - stable as they come in my opinion. He has no idea what to say to me half the time I start yammering about my struggles (though he clearly wishes he did) and I get frustrated because I feel abandoned, but really, he's got no training for all this. And I have failed to realize how much of my support has not traditionally come from him and how much of it currently is. He's keeping his head above water but I'm kind of a handful.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
We are here for you. At least here when we become a handful, others know what to say and how to say it to get us to be calmer, reframe our perceptions and thoughts and aren't judgemental. Not saying your sweet hubby is, but not knowing what to say takes its toll on our supporters.

Glad you are doing better!
 

Friday

Moderator
Wow. It's amazing to me that in all of my concern for myself and how I've been doing with all of this, it didn't occur to me that there are people with combat PTSD living in the middle of cities - even larger cities, too. What a mess.
<laughing> Saaaaaaame durn disorder, though! Same challenges. Chin up. Improvise, adapt, overcome.
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
I just had an appointment with a young doctor who is taking over for my regular primary care. He asked me how things were with my PTSD right now. I hadn't even gotten started before he started turning green and frantically told me that I had told him more than enough already. ? I didn't do it on purpose, either. Poor kid.

One thing that did come out of my mouth, though, that I think people without PTSD just don't get is that I hear a stun grenade and my brain hears a firearm - it's loud and plenty similar. Lots of things are like that. I don't get to talk myself out of it until my heart is pounding in my chest. The same is true if there are 10 in a row.

I think right now would be a fine time for a vacation. I wish I were in a better place to make that happen. I blared my music last night and slept really well. I hear it was a quiet night, anyway, but hey, sleep is sleep.
 
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