When I was 14 the tests were done, pages and pages, in small corner offices.
The murmurs were PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder the diagnosis, the explanation. When I was 18 they added Repressed Memories to that lot. Those terms defined how I was treated. By people, by teachers, guidance counsellor, family and therapists. Explained how I acted. But they stopped there. Even when I tried to talk to doctors and counsellors about anxiety and panic attacks, they either kicked me out of their office assuming I was looking for meds, or sent me home with photocopied Coping Skills hand outs. But never really treated, not medically. Those terms, they explained things, but didn’t do anything to help, outside of excuse and create sensitivities, understandings, pathways. I don’t even know if those terms relate to who I am now. I can tell you this. I’m past it. This is a new life and I mean to live it at it’s best terms.
We all wonder at some point, how much of life defines who we are, our nurturing and socialization, or lack of those things. But how much of who we are is in our nature regardless? Or with regard perhaps. Who we are decides how we deal with what life throws at us, who throws life at us.
But on occasion, do you ever just contemplate that maybe it isn’t the diagnosis? Maybe there is just something wrong with me anyway? Maybe there are things about me that were planted there by the seeds of my parents before I was even born, to be mixed into the beaten batter of life as I knew it. But I will tell you this…put a person with PTSD into a situation of equal trauma and she will regress to all manner of behaviours and defense mechanisms. But set her free, free of triggers and free of Post anything, and ooooo baby she will fly! And I intend to find out just how free!