PTSD Distorts time

Harrison Ford may have gotten on the marquee ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ but the snake wranglers helped get him in and out of the Well of Souls safely. (Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM)

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People do not understand the mechanism of trauma, it’s abilty to bring a PTSD implicit memory back to life.

Sometimes a decades old memory can explode.

It feels like it just happened, strong emotions flow from our bodies.

Our fight or flight mechanism is likely activated.

Cortisol and adrenaline are secreted, bp, respiration and heart rate spike. Blood coagulants and opioids enter our system, preparing us for a lethal threat.

Tunnel vision, loss of fine motor skills and the inability to think clearly increase our fear and anxiety.

Fight, flight or freeze are the usual choices we face in the present moment. The cortisol and adrenaline are secreted and felt in present time.

For our adrenal stress mechanism to fire, we sense imminent danger.

I have had friends laugh at me when a trigger exploded. We do not control what our PTSD erupts over.

It happens without our permission, when it decides and where.

If they only knew, how pissed off that made me.

I digress.

Cognitively, I understood my triggers were not dangerous however my nervous system thought it spotted a lethal threat.

I thought the threat was about my ego being extinguished.

Our PTSD fear resembles the scariest thing we dread. “In Raiders of the Lost Ark” it was a floor full of snakes.

Expect people to say ignorant, hurtful things at times to you. They can not fathom the degree of suffering and terror that is involved.

My sister told me to just get over it. My other brothers and sisters deny my reality entirely. Lots of dysfunctional things happening within an abusive family.

The healing path can be lonely at times with us being criticized by family and friends.

These are challenges that few realize or talk about.

On my path, I had to ignore the noise of others on top of dealing with the constant intrusive thoughts.

No way I could explain the fear and anxiety, PTSD brings to our being.

Words are useless, experiencing a nervous system turned upside down, erupting 15 times a day, can not be known with a description.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. In my dreams when ptsd was at its apex, I would wake up drenched in sweat. Not a little, like I jumped in a swimming pool. I would be shaking startled awake after experiencing extreme violence and fear.

    One morning I thought I had killed someone in my sleep.

    I asked my wife if I had killed someone.

    Never had a dream come close to this one.

    My dreams were always violent, a product of constant beating as a kid.

    I mean, my wife must of thought I lost my mind.

    I was haunted by my ptsd demons

    Others belittling my reality or mocking me angered me

    Life has never been normal for me, whatever that is

    I have healed but my past is a war zone for me

  2. I have not healed yet completely and still experience the eruption 15 times a day some days. Sometimes I’m okay. Sometimes a door being open, such a small thing, can trigger me into feeling as though I have no protection and no way to put a barrier up. I know that I am safe, but the memories and the flashbacks are so strong that they take me somewhere else and sometimes I can’t even recall everything that I did while this is going on. I wake up drenched in sweat because I watched someone chop someone else up with a machete and feed them to a pig. No one can really get this. Instead, I am told I am being difficult. Even if I explain triggers and what is happening, it doesn’t help because they are in a different reality at that moment than where I am.

  3. It feels real

    I surrendered to these scary emotions while meditating

    We have to settle the nervous system first

    Took a while to integrate it

    Now the sting has left but the thoughts still have life

    It is a process

    Keep trying

  4. I can help you meditate with fewer thoughts interrupting your sits

    Start with three breaths, small and short duration

    Have fun with it

  5. Thank you Marty.

  6. Your welcome

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