I Should Probably be in Therapy
But why, when I can awkwardly blog about my issues to the internet?
I’m off to Nashville, but I’ve left you all this real gem of mental health specimen.
TRIGGER WARNING: PTSD and emotional abuse
Life is good, and I’m happy with where I’m at in this world. I’m buying a house, I’m happily in a relationship with an amazing man, I live where I’ve wanted to for years, I’ve made friends here, and for the most part, I stay busy.
The thing is, I’m not “over” my last relationship. Not as in, “I miss him,” or “I love him still.” Those things definitely don’t apply. But damn, I am angry. I think I’m mostly angry at myself, and it comes projecting out at him. If that’s the case, project it sure does.
I was diagnosed with PTSD after my breakup, and it rarely shows up in super explicit ways – though it has happened. Every once in a blue moon, I just get consumed by panic in a “familar” situation, leaving my boyfriend stunned at my inexplicable reactions to totally normal things. For example, I beat my boyfriend at go karting, and I was so happy about it. When we got in the car, I literally hyperventilated and burst into panicked tears. It was the first time I’d had this thing rear it’s ugly head. In that moment, I knew for sure he was going to lay into me, screaming at me while I was trapped in the car. After all, it’s what my ex would have done (and did, lots of times). He was stunned, but we worked through it, and I was fine in the end. Relearning the “familiar” has been really tough.
More commonly, innocuous Facebook posts by a mutual friend where my ex’s name show up trigger crazy, violent thoughts for me. I thought that I was insane (and I still feel that way about it, honestly). As it turns out, this is super common in abuse survivors with PTSD. If you don’t believe me, go read the research: Once we’re safe, we start to feel all of the emotions we weren’t allowed to for so long. End result? Literally dreaming about beating the crap out of your abuser (who I couldn’t beat up if you wanted to anyway), and waking up in a GOOD MOOD BECAUSE OF IT. I’ve told my ex I wish he was dead more times than I can count, and I’ve meant it more every time I’ve said it. I mean….what?
The dark corners of the human brain are sick, man.
All of this to say, I recognize a few things…
I probably shouldn’t have accidentally stumbled my way into a relationship as quickly as I did, and my boyfriend is a saint for dealing with the chaos I bring to the party sometimes. But I’m very happy with him, and I wouldn’t give him up for the world at this point.
I probably need to get back into therapy. I haven’t had a therapist since I left California, and it would probably save my relationship and my sanity to get back into an office with someone worth a damn. The problem is that to do that, you actually have to find one that’s good, and that part is so hard.
I am in a better place in my life than I’ve been in a very long time, but I can do better. For myself, for my boyfriend, for my career, and my sanity. Heck, for the two things I work the hardest for – my dog and my race car.
So….uh, happy friday?
Oh, and for the love of all that is holy….if you’re in a shitty abusive relationship, don’t be! Do what you have to do to move forward with your life. You don’t get to skip the suck, but it does get better.