Being an abuse survivor means I learned to live in fear. Fear of attracting attention. Fear of being wrong. Fear of being right at the wrong time. Fear of failing. Fear of succeeding. Fear of not being enough. Fear of being found out. Fear of never being what God intended. Fear of... well, everything.
Every day, I deal with C-PTSD. That's Complex as opposed to Combat PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Most abuse survivors suffer from PTSD in one way or another. For some, it is managed quickly. For others, like me, it is a life-long sentence compliments of my abusers. Yes, sometimes I'm bitter about it, but I know the only one it hurts is me. So, I endeavor to manage my life with kindness and patience.
February is my most difficult month of the year. I've survived the holidays and all the triggers. I start to relax, and all the triggers slam into me. It's taken me years to figure out this happens. In fact, this year is the first time I've been completely honest about it. Then add a few extra surprises, and I'm dished a recipe for disaster.
My thinking is disjointed. Flashbacks... I hate flashbacks. Sleep is iffy. Eating deteriorates to junk food. Exercise is hit and miss. Accomplishing much of anything is a major "atta girl."
The good news: I'm aware. I know I'm not crazy. When I'm able to return to healthy eating, exercising, and sleeping habits, I know I'm through the worst. It's the 24th of February, and I'm on the healthy path again.
Other things are happening in the world over which I have no control and add to the anxiety I live with every day. Increased stress does not help PTSD.
My constant prayer is "God, help my unbelief."
Sometimes, all I need is the reminder "Child, you're not alone."