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    Pandemic Spring Break PTSD: Teachers & Students...and others

    If this sounds jumbled, it's because it's still jumbled in my mind, but I still wanted to reach some people......Please bear with me.

    This post is for all the teachers who have taught during the pandemic…

    You might not know it, but you may struggle with PTSD & triggers related to your job….this includes the ones who are still currently teaching.

    To the 2019-2020 teachers……are you suddenly feeling very anxious & emotional and you don’t know why?

    How about your students (more than “normal” spring break behavior & acting out...which was never actually "normal," but alarming to begin with)?

    It could be that spring break is a trauma anniversary for you, as well as for your students…(and other human beings). Spring break is the time where we lost contact with our students due to covid shutdowns. Sure, we may have been there online with them, but that wasn’t normal/the same….to them or to us.

    Some of us are overfunctioners during chaos…while others are underfunctioners. I was definitely an underfunctioner….and being the team leader, I was very grateful to my grade level team for stepping in and doing the necessary work for virtual learning.

    In addition to work, I was dealing with other traumas going on at the same time and I struggled to function at all….it was all too much for me and I felt like I was drowning…..not only for myself, but for my students…I knew they needed so much…way more than I had to give, or for that matter, they needed way more than anyone could give. I was not the teacher that I wanted to be….and I battle with that a lot. However, I am learning to forgive myself…..I know I was doing the best I could do at the time.

    At home, I was stuck in an abusive relationship that affected my whole psyche….and I know that I wasn’t the only one…..domestic violence rates have been higher than ever than before during this pandemic (my state of Oklahoma being #1 ).

    Did you know that domestic abuse affects children as well? I began to see the trauma-responses play out upon our physical return to school in August 2020…..which made me see my childhood trauma through them. To put this into actual words is hard because it is so complex. But I also felt that no one else could see what I saw as a teacher (even other teachers/faculty)….I was hypervigilant & felt alone in my thoughts & worries….I stayed to myself as much as I could at work & in my personal life. It was rough.

    Summer 2021, I was actually diagnosed with PTSD (which is actually CPTSD)----this was both a relief, a shock, & a grieving process. Not only that, but I began to see how the actual PTSD was playing out in my life….and how hard it is to “get back to normal.” I also saw it in my past.

    With March around the corner, I am finding myself in this same internal panic and shame. I am no longer a teacher, but that doesn’t make it go away. I have learned that trauma anniversaries are very real, even if you try to avoid thinking about them. Your body always remembers them…..be it sensory triggers: the feel of the weather, the blossoms on a tree, the smell of spring weather, etc, physical reminder triggers: the world declaring the covid anniversary, picture memories that pop up on your phone via iphone, social media, timehop, etc….or internal triggers.

    There’s this big misconception that flashbacks always have a visual component. Many times they don’t….many times it’s a feeling, a sensation, a sense of panic or urgency.

    I write this so that if any of you teachers out there (past & present), are struggling right now, know that you are not alone.

    Our students are still struggling as well. In fact, the CDC confirms this…..although most teachers knew this already since we’ve witnessed it in the classroom. Children are struggling with anxiety, depression, suicide, self-harm, substance abuse, avoidance, distraction, procrastination in higher rates than ever. I do not know the answer to these issues, but I know the first step is acknowledging that there is a problem. I believe we have a growing amount of students, teachers, parents, adults with PTSD…..but the world simply doesn’t understand the signs of & complexities of PTSD. The world needs education on PTSD now more than ever….and I hope they can see this sooner rather than later.

    This post can apply to any other person regarding Pandemic-related PTSD….not just teachers & students. Know that if you are suddenly feeling on edge this month of March, you are not alone….March is a triggering month, a trauma anniversary for many people. Please know that you are not alone.

    #PTSD #CPTSD #pandemic #Springbreak #COVID19 #mentalhealthepidemic #astrugglinggeneration #ptsdeducation #triggers #March #march2020 #DomesticAbuse #Students #Teachers #Parents #Poverty

    10 reactions 3 comments

    Insomnia? Or, bad habits.

    I have been in a pattern, of going out to do errands, via walking and public transportation, ignoring the weather, as we continued to get too-cold weather and precip.
    Then, zoning out in my apt afterwards, recuperating, from that, and the interpersonal and environmental stresses of the errands, themselves (differences, and problems).
    Was up in the middle of the night, as I still had to do the dishes, and my teetWhat if it's the stress of these errands, and the conditions, causing the burnout?
    Could I afford to (and wait for), delivery for some of these thiUvdud have problems with some of my deliveries (why I didn't want to do that).
    Can I fix that?
    And I need to be here, to clean up my apt from mess.
    It is better here than it was, but there's still a ways to go.
    I wanted to put this down, so it's cohesive, and I can work on it.
    Glad for this website, and the opportunity to do that.
    #Decluttering , Up All Night group, #Fibromyalgia /accidents, # osteoporosis, #varicose veins w/leg ulcer, #Trauma & separation issues, #Poverty , #Anxiety , #aging



    I almost died fighting 7 years just to receive my SSI benefits. now that I'm a survivor, SSA doesn't give me much to survive off of. I'm forced into a life of poverty which isn't fair. Yet, the government continues to give more funding to other groups of people, whom are not chronically ill. Please visit my website upliftthedisabled.org, to learn more about my story. #HealthCare #Disabled #myasthenia Gravis #social security #Poverty




    it's not that I don't think life is worth living, but I'm not sure my life is, where im under-employed and mentally-ill and trauma fucked, living in my abusive parent's wreck if a house with 8 other people including my fiancee after we had to move back because she had to go on partial disability this year because of a sudden onset of a not otherwise specified psychotic disorder. we've used all our savings and racked up debt and every week is more terrible things. truly, weekly. a foot sprain, a violent stomach bug, the flu, brochitis, a shelf collapsed on me and I have nerve damage in a couple fingers, yesterday we found out our cars transmission is going and we have no way to replace it. when it goes we are 100% fucked. I don't know if my fiancee will ever be able to work or be herself again and I have no one to talk to about it because SHE was my peeson. my health insurance was suspended, I work in schools and they're closed two weeks for covid-19, which means lost pay. I have no resiliency anymore. a lightbulb goes out and I lose my mind. I've started self harming again and binge drinking. it genuinely feels like it helps because I'm not feeling all of this all the time, I can't do it. after I hurt myself I'm calmer and can clean my room, if I'm drunk I'm usually easily distracted enough to not spiral. I have a therapist and a case worker and a trauma support group, but the support group gets cancelled from lack of participation and my therapist works in schools and has a limited schedule and my case worker hasn't started yet because I'm waiting for her to finish when current case load. it's not enough, not for how fast it's all falling on me. I have no family who can help me, all of my friends are so removed from these kinds of lives; they're engineers and work in pharmaceuticals and are real people. I feel disgusting and embarrassed next to them, I don't want to talk about my life. we are from two different worlds, I just want them to stop looking at me. I don't want to acknowledge my life in front of them. I just want to die. I don't know what I'm going to do!!! I know there are options with my county aid MAYBE and places to call and things to do but I've wasted my time on so many options and lost so much time on missed phone calls and from answering machines and not getting calls back and from the wrong paperwork. it takes so long and I am so empty. I feel crushed by how many things keep going bad. and I know like. life is random and I might have just gotten a fucking shit one. if I had didn't have to take care of my fiance right now I don't even know what I'd do. #Desperate #Trauma #help #suicidal ideation #Depression #PTSD #Poverty #Support #scared I honestly don't understand the hash tags, haha.

    1 comment

    Without a Car... Again

    I got in an accident and totaled my car last week. It was my fault and I only had liability insurance so I won't be getting help from insurance. I'm feeling ok. At first I was stiff and sore but I feel better now. The main problem is that I can't afford to replace my car, because I'm on disability. I've been relying on the bus, and it isn't that good. The bus that comes near my apartment only runs until about 6 pm and comes about once an hour. I'm looking to move somewhere near the main bus routes and a more walkable neighborhood. I'll be spending at least $100 more on rent to live in those locations, but I'll save more than that by not having a car.

    Some of my friends have said I've been acting manic since the accident. I have bipolar disorder. It was traumatic, so that's probably why. I haven't been sleeping as well and have been having racing thoughts. I see my counselor tomorrow for the first time since it happened. I will talk to her about this. I also have a doctor appointment tomorrow. I had it scheduled before the accident. I'm doing the best I can. #Trauma #Poverty


    How do you fight with no resources? #ChronicIllness #Poverty

    I can't work- can't walk most of the time- can't think the other half of the time. I have no money- no insurance- no benefactor. Family is unsupportive. I'm new to the area and friends are in short supply. New friends I wouldn't burden with my pain. They are new and don't deserve to have this disaster thrown into their lives. I'm not their responsibility. I-Me-Alone am responsible. #EhlersDanlosSyndrome  #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #CCI #ChronicPain


    I am scared that I might need dentures or “work towards” no teeth? I am scared

    What do you do when you have the most minimal dental coverage but need much much more #scared #Poverty #Fear }#BiliaryAtresia #IfYouFeelHopeless #DistractMe #BiliaryAtresia Is #helplessness

    1 comment

    The paralysis.

    The paralysis of having a functional life. Overwhelmed. Upset. Very little support and understanding.
    I don’t get out of bed. I can’t sometimes.
    Buried in paperwork I don’t comprehend.,important. Medicaid. SSDI. SSI. Legal/custody stuff. Taxes .
    I’m constantly failing. I get in a funk. Never know how to get out. No home, a shared room with my daughter. No car. No city buses. No money for transportation. Food stamps. I had big dreams in the fall. To start a new plan with my mate.
    He has pretty much destroyed it all due to addiction. I m silenced, dont know how to get through bearing the load. #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #EatingDisorders #MajorDepressiveDisorder #ADHD #Anxiety #Poverty #Addiction #Selfharm


    Inequity of #Poverty in #EDS

    Today was a hard day. I went to the geneticist to formalize my “provisional clinical diagnosis” of EDS. It didn’t really work out like I’d spent the last four months hoping.

    I come from “humble beginnings.” We always had medical insurance from the state, my mom was disabled but I didn’t know why as a kid and turns out she didn’t really know why for a long time. People don’t realize that sort of upbringing means fighting hard for appointments, treatments, diagnosises. You don’t get surgeries or new clinical trial treatments. You get whatever that doctor, who is so bogged down with patients, has the time to tell you.

    My mom for years struggled with health problems. I did as a child too. So did my brother and little sister. Doctors wrote us all off. Except my mom had things that would show up on scans, like degenerating discs. She was always in pain. She didn’t get diagnosed with hEDS until she was almost 40. No one ever told her she needed a formal diagnosis from a geneticist, though no one really questioned hers.

    Today, I found that coming from poverty means, for someone like me who needs to show “positive family history,” there’s a huge hurdle. My doctors don’t believe my mom or brother have it because I don’t have proof other than them telling me they were diagnosed.

    I guess though, since she was diagnosed before the changed the criteria, her diagnosis doesn’t count as positive family history even if I had a paper saying she had it. She doesn’t have the ability or resources to seek out a new evaluation for me.

    I brought my provisional diagnosis based on the new criteria, diagnosed by my rheumatologist. The geneticist started out telling me I might not really have EDS. She then did the exam and said my skin wasn’t stretchy enough, but I was Hypermobile so I was “on the border.” She said I needed to give her proof. My brother was diagnosed with hEDS last year, but he didn’t have any paperwork to give me. He said no one ever questioned his diagnosis, but his skin doesn’t lie. And today, my hands were puffy and swollen so my skin didn’t stretch.

    My brother said he’ll get it for me. But until then this woman stripped away the only answer I had, an answer that’s taken years to obtain, an answer I got only a few short months ago from a doctor whom I respected and thought was very intelligent.

    I never even knew I was Hypermobile. I thought since my mom was more I was not. But the pain, the joint problems, the fact I can hardly use my hands or do things like my hair and makeup... the migraines the left sided abdominal pain that no one can explain to me. These things didn’t matter to her. She just took away the diagnosis.

    I’ll bring her the proof when my brother provides it. Til then I’ll twiddle my thumbs. She suggested seeking pain management but if no one believes I have pain how can I do that? I feel defeated. But I won’t give up, no matter the hurdle.

    #EDS #Hypermobility #Pain #Diagnosis #frustrating


    Persistent Poverty. COLA doesn't matter.

    Social Security Disability went up this year and I’m STILL 12 dollars a month BELOW the poverty level. :(
    SSD is based on your income while employed and because my health has always been a mess in some way or another, during the couple decades I did work I pretty much never had a paid income above the poverty level.

    And that small COLA doesn't matter, makes no real difference, because the poverty level threshold went up & retail prices for various goods, services, foods, also went up.
    Income to price relationships are still the same, it's just that the numerals are now all a couple percentage points bigger.

    "HHS Poverty Guidelines for 2019
    The 2019 poverty guidelines are in effect as of January 11, 2019."

    "Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Information for 2019          Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 67 million Americans will increase 2.8 percent in 2019.
                The 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2018. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits.)"

    #Disability #Poverty #Autism #ChronicIllness