Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD is a psychological condition which has been caused by a frightening event. Although my trauma occurred mostly when I was very young, I still suffer with the memories which are triggered by everyday events in my life now.
PTSD is not easy to overcome. Much of my adult life has been spent working through early traumatic memories. I have learned to recognise that the worst trauma occurred in my childhood when I was unable to fend for myself, but as an adult I have the power to prevent these situations. I face the irrational nature of these memories and bring myself back to the present moment to bring relief.
I can now recognise the signs earlier and keep myself together despite how my body reacts to a trigger. Most people have no idea that in certain situations I am easily alarmed, defensive, suffer from tension, struggle to sleep or concentrate. I work hard to restrain my emotions. The guilt and shame from these memories can be consuming and my eating disorder may return.
What I have learned over the years is that despite the anxiety, the memories, and the physical reactions there is a place within me which is always completely at peace. We all have this place. The problem is we do not recognise it and we do not know it exists.
Activities like meditation are a great way to still the mind, but for me not enough to still the thoughts and emotions of my PTSD. The first step is to remove myself from the triggering situation, then find a space where my focus can move from my inner turmoil. Walking in nature, the beach, gardening, gentle music or focussing on someone I love (usually my greyhound) are all calming spaces for me. This is more than distraction; I engage in this place by feeling and sensing my surrounds. When the turmoil has gone, I can then return to myself and experience my own inner peace. Here I find all the love and joy that life can give. It is a good place!
Do you suffer from trauma? You are not alone if you do, and you can still live a happy and healthy life. If you want to chat, please contact me.
In love, Jenny