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Sufferer We don't know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have. childhood trauma.

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It's funny in a not so funny way that I first stumbled upon this site on May 5th, and I am now just posting this on May 29th, Memorial Day.

I started writing an "introduction or greeting" or whatever you call it that day or night and then told myself I'd finish it the next day. In case you guys hadn't noticed, I haven't looked at my introduction or greeting until today which is why there wasn't one for me.

Like most people who have dealt with denial and fear know, it's hard to open to a bunch of strangers. So I started making excuses to myself as to why I never finished this. I told myself that it wasn't a good idea because if I do this I would become obsessed with this website and would care to grow for people and get too emotionally involved as I have a bad habit of doing. It's something I'm good at, helping other's with their problems so I don't have to think or deal with my own.

The honest truth, though, is that I am scared.

It took me being diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia to admit that my anxiety and depression might not just be normal anxiety and depression. When I was able to admit that to myself and my psychiatrist I asked him what I have. Mind you, it took him a few years to figure it out himself since I used to be really great at pretending everything was fine. A little too good. He told me he believed I have PTSD. I was confused at first because in college my therapist told me she thought I had borderline personality disorder which he discarded after the first year of meeting me and confessing that to him. He later on told me that he hated labels because he felt some therapists are too quick to label you with something and a lot of conditions are just too complex to label.

I thought that PTSD was caused by one huge trauma and I knew for a fact that I had several. I also mistakenly thought that the type of trauma had to be related to being in a war like soldiers were. My psychiatrist explained that you can have PTSD as a result of several traumas, like in my case and that not all traumas mean that you have PTSD.

It still didn't make sense to me so I went on the government website and one way they defined PTSD was suppressed or intentionally forgotten memories due to a trauma. They said that most people could only suppress it for so long, 4-6 years. In my case, I have traumatic memories that I "forgot or suppressed" since the age of 3.

It became my coping mechanism. I don't think I would be alive today if I didn't have the ability back then to keep on suppressing "unpleasant" things that had happened to me in my life. I finished college with honors and went on to law school for a year before things started going downhill.

When I accepted that I needed to get treatment for PTSD neither I nor my psychiatrist realized that I had suppressed so many unpleasant memories or that I had so many traumas. That's why he compares my PTSD to having opened Pandora's Box, hence the name I will use on this site.

It turns out that some traumatic events I had completely removed to another part of my brain where it remained "forgotten or repressed" and other traumatic events I had only allowed myself to remember parts of. Before, those traumatic events to me were like watching a black and white film with no sound or subtitles. Now, not only do I get to re-live them repeatedly, but I cannot escape the emotions that I had also apparently suppressed along with them.

My triggers, depending on the memory, can be caused by touch, words, certain scenarios, too many people in a room (stranger danger bullcrap). Some memories have even taken to coming back to me in my sleep. This morning I woke up at 7am screaming and crying. Thank God that this time I don't remember the memory that went along with that because hearing myself scream and cry not only in my head, but waking up doing that is quite unpleasant.

What prompted me to come to this site was a search to see if PTSD can cause short term memory loss and if so if it was permanent. I also wanted to see if it affected other areas such as speech, spelling and grammar. I used to be a wonderful writer, I didn't have a choice at my old profession. Now, I sometimes have trouble with words and I have to quadruple check my spelling and grammar.

I spoke to a few doctors about it and they seem to think that it is most likely a result of all the medications I take for everything I have. I know, as if PTSD and idiopathic hypersomnia weren't enough, I have other things I need to deal with.

So tomorrow I get the results of my neuropsychological exam and despite what the doctors have told me I am scared. I am scared for myself and my loved ones. Loved ones refer to my elderly parents who I now have to live with at the age of 31, and my puppy who I am training to be a service dog. He turned 20 weeks yesterday. His name is Louis and he is a pain in the butt and sometimes a son of his biological mother, but I love him. My goal is to cure myself and travel around with Louis and to help others who have PTSD.

I am scared that the diagnosis tomorrow might mean being stuck in this awful town and backwards county that I loathe with all my heart. I am scared that that means I will have no say when it comes to my parents living will, power of attorney, and will executor. I know it sounds awful, but I don't trust my brothers to take care of my parents or fight for them the way I would. They don't have the knowledge that I have and they have proved to be unreliable.

They think that my mental and physical conditions are just a cry for attention and that I should get over it and get a job. They think that I'm "crazy," because they are the type of backwards people who still believe that a person that sees a psychiatrist must be crazy. I can't even call them ignorant because in reality they are willfully ignorant or in complete and total denial since they can both ask a medical profession about everything that I have (which they haven't bothered to inform themselves of) or do a google search. But it's more convenient and easier for them to just label me as crazy.

I know that I am not crazy. I know that I am not just a survivor, but a warrior as well because most people would not have withstood the traumas I have gone through and am now getting the lucky chance of reliving.

Most people would have taken their lives after their traumas or even at the thought of having to re-live it. I would know. My ex-boyfriend, my first love at the age of 28 because he convinced me that he would never hurt me like other men had done in the past and I believed him, somebody whom I had plans to marry as per our conversations and plans, committed suicide on September 12, 2014. All the signs were apparently there, but it took me to acknowledge I have PTSD and opening "Pandora's Box," to realize that two years too late. I forgive him and myself because he was too far gone at that point for me to help him and I didn't know he was suicidal. I'm pretty sure he didn't realize he had PTSD. His ex-wife, may karma make her life a living hell, I do not forgive because she was the cause of his trauma and she triggered his PTSD to get him to that point by using their three-year-old son as her weapon. So yeah, I guess I am still a little angry, but it's okay because it's the only emotion that I don't mind feeling.

My ex-boyfriend, may he Rest In Peace, had PTSD and didn't even realize it. Not knowing and getting treatment for it, he became suicidal and ended up taking his life. I wish he had thought about his son, at the very least, before giving up on life, but as most people who have ever felt suicidal, myself included, when you're at that point you don't reason. I was fortunately lucky and managed to self-sabotage my attempts since I guess there was a part of me that refused to give up.

So here I am like Humpty Dumpty, trying to put all the pieces back together again. I hope that together we can all help one another.

~Pandora's Box
Welcome,glad you found us..... a great healing community to be a part of ... hope you find support and kindness here....
Thank you for your kind welcome. I have to admit that I'm still scared, but I've learned that living my life in fear is no life at all.
Hi @Pandora's Box. Glad you found us but very sorry for your pain and loss.
I'm sure you will find the support you need here.
My bf is a combat vet and his memory is getting worse as time goes by. I'm not sure if anything can be done about it either. We use alot of post it notes around here.

As for family, mine is a little more educated about PTSD then his is and very supportive of us. His family on the other hand is oblivious to J's struggle. And it makes me a little angry sometimes..... Just last weekend his Mom was over in the morning ( some mornings really suck around here) and it was not a pleasant morning and J was stressed and a little angry. He leaves the room and she asks me "how long has he been raging?" (is she serious?) This makes me a bit pissed and I tell her "he's had combat PTSD for almost 20 years, Google it!!!!). Like I said, oblivious!! We have our small group of close friends and family who actually "get it" and we love them to pieces for understanding and educating themselves.

We're all in the same boat and this place is very understanding and supportive.

Best of luck on your journey!!
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