I don’t look sick on the outside, but on the inside I am broken. There are wounds and scars on my body, but most of my injuries you cannot see. They are invisible. The invisible wounds of PTSD.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually perpetrated. It results from violation or victimization. It is a result of trauma. Traumas that are not to be compared. All trauma is valid. All pain is valid.
PTSD does not always consist of an exact reply of the traumatic event. Sometimes it is a reply of the emotions that we felt during the event; fear, helplessness, sadness.
Sufferers of PTSD can go from fine to falling apart quickly. In an instant our walls begin crumbling around us. We are vulnerable once more, our strength begins to disappear.
We become lost in limbo. Unable to remember the things we need to. Unable to forget the things we don’t want to remember. Memories stalk us forever. They sneak up on us when we least expect it. Smells haunt us, words remind us, fear remains.
Triggered into dissociation, we type slower, we think slower, we speak slower. Our head is fuzzy and our arms numb. Our fingers and toes hurt as pins and needles take over.
We forget where are. The here and now disappears. Voices, visions, confusion. We are back there. Back in that battlefield.
We are too scared to sleep, for the monsters return when we sleep. The torture and abuse continue as dreams turn into nightmares.
Insomnia hits. Being awake is better. For a little while at least. Until the flashbacks begin once more.
The battle begins to play out in front of us. Sometimes our eyes are closed. Sometimes they are open. But even if they are open, we are not here. We are watching the battle play out in front of us like an old home movie.
We are on high alert. We are extra sensitive. We feel everything we remember; every touch, every sound, every smell, every drop of blood. It is happening to us right now. We cannot breathe. We are frozen, unable to stop the monsters taking us once again.
Our hearts beat faster. Our palms are sweaty yet we are freezing cold. Our throats tighten and our mouths are dry. We struggle to catch a breath.
We scream for help but no sound comes out. No-one hears, no-one sees, no-one comes. The monsters return, over and over and over. Touching us, torturing us, tormenting us. We are frozen in time. Frozen on that battlefield.
Exhaustion hits. Lack of sleep takes its toll. Fighting the battle becomes harder. We are scared. We are alone. We are sad.
Depression rears its ugly head once more. We are not good enough. We do not deserve help. We should leave this world and free people from us, from the burden we are.
We are disconnected from this world as sadness rises within us. “Fine” we say, when people ask us how we are. Our eyes, our hearts, they tell a different story as our souls begin to weep. Look deep enough and you will see.
We don’t want to sleep. We don’t to wake up. For in both we are living a nightmare.
We feel empty. Sometimes, some of us, we draw with silver that turns to red. As the blood drops we are desperate to feel. We just need to feel. Something. Anything. Nothing.
Trapped on the battlefield. The battlefield of memories. We are sinking, drowning. Trauma. Pain. Sadness. Fear.
Then, somehow, from somewhere, we find a bit of strength. The strength we need to fight. To live. To battle.
It is a strength we have held within us for a long time, sometimes our whole lives. A strength that was built from pain and suffering. A strength that grew within us. That strength is called survival.
I am a survivor of more than you can ever imagine. A child on a battlefield that I should never have been placed on.
I survived because the fire that burns within me is greater than the fire that my abusers created around me. They try to put out my flames but with each flame they try to dampen, I become stronger, I burn brighter.
Out of suffering emerges the strongest souls. My past has not destroyed me or defeated me. It has not defined me. It has only strengthened me.
Every time I am forced to work through another traumatic memory, each time my heart is torn apart and pain entombs me yet again, I become better equipped to handle the next memory, the next battle that is thrown my way.
This is not easy. It will never be easy. It is the hardest battle I will ever fight. But I will fight.
I will slip. I will stumble. I will fall. There will be days, weeks, even months where my abusers pull me back to their side of the battlefield. To the side where I feel unworthy and unlovable. That is when I need my supporters most. That is when I need to be reminded of my worth and need help crossing that field back to the winning side. I will fall…but that will not make me weak, it will make me stronger than ever before because I will get back up. I will rise and I will fight once more.
I am a soldier, a warrior, who somehow finds the courage to battle on. I find the strength to live, to carry on fighting on this journey to recovery, because I know that somewhere there must be beauty that will come out of this ugliness I have been forced to live in.
I am a soldier. I am a warrior. A child on a battlefield.
I survived this battle once.
I will survive it again.
I am a child on a battlefield and this time I will win the war!
Thanks for reading.
** Image courtesy of Google Images **