Oh, PTSD, you sneaky little bastard, you.
I'm going to apologize in advance because this post is really just going to be a little documentation of what's been happening in my head...
I haven't been to see my therapist since February, which is completely intentional on both her part and mine. We decided that I was truly in a good place for the first time in a long time and that it wouldn't be a good idea to press any issues further for the duration of this pregnancy. It was probably a really good idea considering that I have high anxiety levels naturally and stress totally screws with my body in bad ways as it is, even more so when I'm pregnant.
So I haven't gone.
For a while.
And I've been good. Really.
(As an aside, I honestly think that there is someone out there who should research the effect of pregnancy hormones on mental stability, particularly when pregnant with male fetuses...I have theories about a positive correlation, but am not independently wealthy and cannot finance my own scientific discoveries. Someone get on that.)
There have been some things that have happened since February, albeit less catastrophic than the things that had been happening that led me to therapy in the first place, that could have, should have, would have thrown me down the rabbit hole had it not been for that "good place" I'm in.
For the most part, I've dealt with them in the way that a normal non-PTSD affected person would. Meaning, the things happened, I coped, I moved on. They didn't weasel their way into the deepest recess of my mind, set up camp and start blowing shit up like they would have before.
Until this past week or so....
Some things have happened in the last week, not to me personally, but to people I love and care about, and they are things that aren't all that different than the things that happened to me back then...before I became a ticking time bomb.
Life changing things.
Things that have to do with disillusionment and lies, things that have to do with the forced acceptance of that which we'd never accept given any other option, painful roads walked that lead to even worse ones. That kind of stuff.
And while I'm still in that mostly good place, the shitty thing about PTSD is that it doesn't really ever go away entirely, I don't think. At least it doesn't seem like it does. You learn to cope better with triggers and such, but these things don't magically stop serving as triggers because you went through the process of learning how to deal with them.
I might not get sent reeling into a panic attack, end up crouched in a bathroom stall gasping for breath or anything, but I'm knocked off center at the moment.
I've mostly managed to sleep without nightmares or insomnia coming back these past few days, which is huge. I'm way more irritable than I normally am, which sucks for everyone else around me. My gut response would be to just avoid dealing with everyone, to retreat into my hole and refuse to interact with people until things were better.
The problem with my gut response is that it creates this swirling vortex that could potentially pull me down further instead of helping anything get better. I'm so good at stifling things, so good at internalizing them that I can mask it all, hide it all until it comes out at some point down the road much worse.
I know this about myself, so I do what sucks more. I talk about it.
I write about it.
I finally told my husband that I've got a trigger thing going on too.
Because I have to. I have to talk about it, I have to let it out, I have to confront it as it comes and it's absolutely essential for me to do it now, when it's fresh and new because there is a tiny human depending on me to keep my shit together right now.
If my stress levels go up, my blood sugar goes up, my blood pressure goes up. Neither of which are good for me or the baby.
This kid. He's keeping me honest and he's not even here yet.
Earning his nickname, he is.
Go, Little Asskicker, go.
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