Mother Who Knows
Date: December 07, 2017 04:22AM
My psychiatrist diagnosed me with PTSD, resulting from being tortured and beaten as a child by my school-bully older brother, and then getting married in the temple to a con-man, who beat me almost every day (for no reason), until I finally escaped and divorced him. Horrors, and nightmares!
Mormonism played a central role in all the abuse. The cult excused and condoned the spankings from my parents. My abusive brother and my husband both went on missions, and were both the darlings of our wards--and still are popular in their new wards. The cult's scriptures (mostly D&C 132) were used as ammunition, screamed at me, by my ex-husband, while he beat me. (Men yelling, and loud low noises are triggers.) These scriptures said I was my husband's "possession", and the temple said I was bound to obey my husband (not God) for all eternity. I felt like I was doomed to Hell, and there was no way out, not even death. On the brink of a suicide attempt, I was shocked into the realization that I wanted to live. Despite the teachings of my cult, there was a way out--divorce!
Mormonism and Mormons and their conversations, and their appearance are among the several triggers for me, too. I went to my grandchild's baptism, and became physically ill, and was sick for 4 days. It's not worth it to miss work. Another trigger is Tatum Channing, who looks exactly like my ex did. I walked out of that movie, and won't go to any of his movies. Problem solved. I won't be around anyone who reminds me of that creep.
Lorazepam helped me. I was not depressed (except on Sundays at the Mormon church), so it didn't make sense to take a pill every day. I took 1/2 mg Lorazepam to help me through the anxiety attacks, and sometimes to sleep at night. It's tricky, because, for me and a lot of people, the actual anxiety attack lasts about 20 minutes, anyway, and it takes almost that long for the drug to take effect. Still, it gave me a crutch. I could control my anxiety. I could calm down enough to think things through, recognize what my specific triggers were, and figure out how to deal with them in everyday life. I also became kinder to myself, and stopped forcing myself into anxiety-producing situations, such as performing on the piano and organ, in front of large crowds, in a church setting. I'm fine playing for the schools, though.
I can never give up working, so it's lucky that I love my job. I am in charge, and no one is in a position to bully me. I can choose who I work with. My office is large, with windows. Part of my job is to keep everyone honest, and that gives me power. Also, my work helps people, which gives me a sense of purpose. With the money I earn, I can pay for a psychiatrist, if I need one.
I also gave up caffeine, and chocolate, because it has caffeine in it. Now, if I eat anything with caffeine in it, I go through the roof--but I recognize that jittery feeling for what it is. Even knowing you aren't in any immediate danger, the anxious feeling is still very unpleasant.
Like cl2, going outside helps me, too! Day or night. If I can't get outside, I look out a window, and I always move away from where I am--go into another room, pace around the house. At a party, I go into a bathroom, and do yoga breathing.
I fear illness, because it makes me weaker and more helpless. My worst beatings happened when I was sick. When I was being beaten and strangled, I stopped breathing a few times, and thought I was dying, as I lost consciousness. I get triggered if I have difficulty breathing.
My ex beat me many times while we were in a locked car, and I couldn't get away from him. (Maybe that's why I need to go outside and walk around, when I'm anxious) I can't be alone in a car with a man I don't know very well. Beatings occurred before and/or after church, before going to the temple, and he injured my jaw very badly at the SLC visitor's center, when he threw me down on the hard floor, in front of the statue of Christ. It was just before closing, and no one was there. Church seemed to set him off. (No, I didn't commit any sins.)
I have no fear of crowds, snakes, heights, getting lost, the dark, horses, animals, speed, earthquakes, storms, water, spiders, needles, public speaking, or abandonment. I'm afraid only of strange men, nightmares, anxiety, and illness--and I probably always will be. It probably isn't a good idea to talk to strange men, anyway, much less get in a car or elevator or dark alley alone with them.
I don't take Lorazepam, anymore, except for surgery and flying. It is addictive, makes me sleepy, and impairs my memory. I need to be alert for work, and for driving, etc.
Knowledge is power! Identify your triggers, and trace them back to their origins. Then you can either avoid them altogether, or deal with them, one at a time. Yes, remembering can be unpleasant, but bringing them into the open makes them lose their power over you. The alternative is to continue suppressing them, and we know that hasn't ever worked.
Therapy definitely helps! What a blessing it is!