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What's Underneath My Brave Facade as Someone With Complex PTSD

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I’m a well-known life coach with great reach in Brazil who walks around ostensively putting up a brave facade — but I live in fear.

I’m not scared of the monster in the closet or beneath my bed. I’m afraid of what I carry along with me, wherever I go.

I’m scared of my past and the scars I carry covered with great patches of self-confidence and resoluteness.

• What is PTSD?

I live in fear.

Most days I can’t look at myself in the mirror because I don’t like the image the mirror reflects back at me. I live in a constant battle between trying to feel better about myself and trying to accept my looks.

I live in fear.

I’m afraid of bedtime. I can’t sleep without medication to help keep my fears caged. If I don’t take my meds, they wake me up every single time I fall asleep, as if saying I have to stay alert to fight for myself, fend for myself, if need be.

And this is something I seem to do well most times. But upon a closer look, I fail. I take on more than I should, I don’t know my limits and I hate conflict or confrontation.

I also hate chaotic feelings. I was raised in chaos and I spent my entire childhood, adolescence and early adulthood years in anxiety and fear, pure and absolute fear.

But you can’t tell that by looking at me. You can’t notice it by my brave facade. You wouldn’t think so based on my accomplishments. I am a great, successful, self-made woman who also empowers others. I am all of that.

But I am also scared. I also need approval, physical touch, attention, admiration and love. I feel burdened a lot of times. I can’t do it all, though many times I think I can. I know so much and live in my mind because I feel safer there. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and sometimes I am carried on the arms of those who love me.

I’m all that other people think I am, and much more. I’m all of my flaws, fears and failures. I’m my neediness. I’m a fighter and a complainer. I want to evolve and bring others with me. I hate the intricacies of human relationships, but I love them too.

I’m a mess. An organized and intellectual mess.

Photo by Callie Gibson on Unsplash

Originally published: December 3, 2019
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