“Looking back to 3 years ago, I didn’t know my life would have turned out this way. Back then I was wanting to plan a wedding, wanted to try for a baby and be with the person I thought was the love of my life. Sadly, life gets in the way and people change and I had to give it all up.
Being as insightful as I am, I knew what goes up, must come down. The trauma I had just gone through with my ex hadn’t mentally caught up to me yet and I knew it was coming.
In September 2016, I was on a bus to work when the voices in my head first came back, ‘You should just cut yourself.’ It startled me, and I knew my psychosis symptoms were coming back. I had voices for the next few days telling me to do horrible things to myself because I was worthless. I didn’t listen to them and simply tried to ignore the voices the best I could but then the nightmares started, and I became jumpy at every little noise, I knew my mental illness was back and I was relapsing.
A few weeks went by and I met my psychologist, a male. In our first appointment, like most of my previous first meetings with new psychologists, we went through the timeline of my life. Pretty much I explain where I came from, my family, their history, how school was, I answer lots of questions about my previous battles with mental illness etc. So, for the 30th something time, yes, I have seen over 30 psychologists by this point, I told him my story.
I recounted the times I was at my lowest and feared for my safety. I told him about all the times I’d lock myself in my bathroom from people I trusted as they screamed and threatened me. I told him about how I was neglected by people I thought would always be there and support me during my life but instead forgot about me. I cried to him about the times I was scared as a person I knew would touch me in ways they weren’t allowed to, and I didn’t willingly consent to and had to listen to others that thought they had a say in what happened to my body.
‘K，我认为我们需要停止，很明显您有很多创伤。I can’t believe you’re still here after all the trauma you have gone through!’ He said when we had only gotten to 2013, I still had 3 more years of my story left and he was shocked by what I had encountered so far. He didn’t let me continue then because he was worried of my mental state and recommended I see a psychiatrist for a diagnosis. He suspected I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and had gone undiagnosed for years.
Sure enough, I was later diagnosed with PTSD and it changed my whole life. As I learnt more about my illness, the more everything made sense. I understood why I was having constant nightmares, what a panic attack really was and why I was fainting a lot, I learnt what a flashback was and why I felt like I was always reliving my traumatic experiences. I realized how avoidant I was to situations that reminded me of my trauma, I was constantly paranoid of something, anything happening, I never felt safe. I became so exhausted from the lack of sleep and being so tense all the time, my eating patterns changed, I stopped walking everywhere and would wait for someone to come with me to do my shopping. Always looking over my back, I was terrified constantly.
心理学家不久后离开了，我得到了一位女性心理学家，他意识到我最大的触发因素实际上是男性，我被告知我在准备好之前不要与任何人一起工作。It was like someone finally picked up on all the things I was in constant fear of but felt so ashamed in myself that I just pushed through it until she said ‘K, it is okay to be afraid of these things, it is okay.’ I finally started to accept my mental illness, its symptoms and the triggers, I was finally able to start my recovery.
我想为C-PTSD提高认识and mental health in general because it is so important to talk about and to help those who experience it and also educate those who don’t know or understand it. We need to be there for each other, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the support of others, it is super important to have people around you. I now help raise awareness on my Instagram and have created a safe place for everyone to share their stories and keep the conversation around mental illness open.”
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