A Journey from Victim to Survivor…to Living Freely


on January 12, 2016

I’m trying to live my life…except (there always seems to be an “except”) there are landmines wherever I turn.  I step quietly, alert of changes in my breath, in the breeze, in the way the ground moves under my foot…again and again…


I know areas to stay away from…subdivisions I lived as a child-although the names and faces of those I knew don’t live there, houses I lived in-although other people fill those rooms, the area that surrounds where the rapist lived 3.5 years ago-the court tells me he no longer lives there…Physical places I can stay sway from.  I know that no matter how lightly I tread, there would be explosion upon explosion…too many places not to step.


With PTSD though, it’s landmines in our own minds…making it impossible to move about without causing explosions.  A scent, a sound, a sight, a touch, a taste…they can all cause the “DANGER!” alert in our minds and bodies, making us react.


Like the physical places I choose to stay away from, I also stay away from those triggers that my senses tell me are dangerous…and work at remembering to breathe, that having my body and mind scream “DANGER” doesn’t always mean I am in danger.  I work at building a kit of items to comfort when every cell of my body is screaming.


I work, each moment of every single day, to categorize  what is dangerous/safe, what is wise/unwise…accepting that this is the life I live.  Because although PTSD is active right now, I remember times…moments, hours, days(??) where I didn’t have to be hyperalert and hyperaware…I could live.  I’d like to get there again.  I loved that place I could carve out for me.


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