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Making Room for Hope When Living With PTSD

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Fright. The panic that overwhelms you when you feel the soft brush of someone passing you.

Terror. The nagging little inkling in the back of your head that the people near you desire to destroy you.

Impulse. The scrambling to feel the rush of adrenaline you felt when someone violated you.

Anger. The outrage you feel as you blame, degrade and punish yourself for what someone did to you.

Trauma haunts you. It follows you like a ghost taunting you. It forces you to do the unthinkable. It corners you, immobilizing you with fear until your reality is so distorted that you sink to the floor and wail for the agony to end. As you struggle to escape the emotions trapping you in a room filled with dark thoughts, you watch slowly as your candle of hope burns away. Trauma whispers in your ear that there is no escaping.

• What is PTSD?

That’s the lie. The dread in your heart is an illusion. You can gain freedom. It’s a miserable journey crammed with discomfort, loneliness and coming to terms with unsettling thoughts. The days drag by as you slowly crawl across the floor.

Even a little hope is still hope. Don’t let it burn out before you escape.

You are not what happened to you. You’re worth more. You deserve happiness. What happened to you was a crime, but you aren’t the criminal. Stop punishing yourself.

You don’t have to give others the ability to take advantage of you anymore. You don’t have to keep penalizing yourself because of what someone else did to you. You don’t have to be docile and make everyone happy. You have the right to be angry. Walk right up to your anger and embrace it. Be outraged at the person who violated you. Be infuriated at the people who stood silently by watching you retreat into your room of trauma. Feel the fury running through your veins.

Enjoy that rush of adrenaline. Let the power flush out the dark thoughts fastened to every wall of your mind. Dare to believe that you are phenomenal. You’re the survivor. Slowly peel those twisted self-perceptions off the walls. The bare walls might be startling, drab and leave you with an empty feeling in your gut. Breathe. That sensation will only last so long.

When you stop giving air to those notions in your head and let them die away you see the world in amazement. You see the world in rose-colored glasses. You start to see the beauty of the small things for the first time. You crave happiness, you stand fierce and allow no one to control you. You transform into someone who refuses to allow anyone to put a blemish on your joy.

It’s possible. You can rebuild your home. You can take a stroll down to the pier and hear the ocean breeze. You can put your toes in the water and feel a warm hand in yours. The world is yours to take. Peace can be yours if you just venture to thrive.

Will you dare to dream with me?

Image via contributor

Originally published: November 9, 2020
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