PTSD – It’s Not Anonymous
When I write about my PTSD, I’m always anonymous, but the condition is not. Everyone, close to me has experienced the symptoms of my PTSD and the after effects.
I learned to accept the condition many years ago and find a way to have a great life. But unfortunately, I am not healed and the rare flare ups effect my loved ones too. And when it does, I need to remind myself that my PTSD is not anonymous.
For those who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I want to say, from my own experience, it gets better…much better.
Change The Name Of It.
I also want to say that I hate the name Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as much as I dislike the problem and symptoms. Personally, I think it is about time that we changed the part of the name from disorder to injury, I feel that is much more accurate. Plus, removing the term disorder and replacing it with something else, like injury may help do away with the stigma that prevents so many from getting help. So, for the purpose of this piece, I am calling it P.T.S.I.
Why Am I Choosing To Remain Anonymous?
There are many reasons why I am anonymous when I write about my P.T.S.I., however shame is not one of those reasons. Many years ago, I used to be ashamed about the affliction, but all that changed when I began to meet countless other Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders and Military Veterans that had it too. One of the most important lessons I learned is that I’m not alone, I’m not unique and I’m not a freak. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of those people had the exact same symptoms and feelings as me. I was no longer a freak, because I had found my own tribe. I claimed my spot with a huge number of people just like me.
So, why do I remain anonymous when write about my P.T.S.I.?
The Answer Is Very Simple….. My Family.
If I were to use my name, my family members would be included too. No, I wouldn’t use their names, but some people would begin to figure out who they are from my name. They are entitled to the same privacy as everyone else. I didn’t ask to develop P.T.S.I. and neither did my family. And yet, when those very rare flare ups occur, they can’t help but have to deal with it too. It’s not fair to them, I don’t like it, but it is a fact for all of us.
It Is Treatable And Manageable.
Over the years I have been taught how to manage and mitigate the P.T.S.I. to the point where it no longer controls or dictates my life. Yes, there are things that I avoid. I know that many Therapists and Treatment professionals don’t like the concept of avoidance, but I’ve found it necessary to keep a healthy, centered and balanced state of mind.
Because of the P.T.S.I. I have had to make many difficult decisions in life that my loved ones don’t understand, especially my adult children. Those decisions affected them especially in regards to where I chose to live. At times they still don’t understand why, but have accepted the need for those decisions. Plus, people’s preconceived ideas about P.T.S.I. could lead to many difficult questions and uncomfortable memories for them. They are part of the reason why I remain anonymous.
The P.T.S.I. was a major factor in the destruction of my first marriage. No matter how hard we both tried, the P.T.S.I. and my inability to deal with it better at the time, negatively effected that relationship. My ex-wife is part of the reason why I remain anonymous.
Lately, I’ve seen reports from researchers that claim that childhood abuse might play a major factor in the later development of P.T.S.I. Personally, I think that is an attempt to mitigate responsibility away from local and federal government agencies and transfer it to parents. But, what the heck do I know? My parents did the best they could with what they had at the time, and I could not ask for more than that. They were good parents and I try my best to be a good parent too. My siblings didn’t develop P.T.S.I. but then again, they weren’t first responders either. My surviving parent is part of the reason why I remain anonymous.
When the symptoms flare up, which as I said is very rare, there is one person that has to deal with it and that person is my Spouse. I’ve been married again now for almost 2 decades and when I struggle, the therapists, peer supports and friends aren’t there. It’s just the two of us and we don’t wear the P.T.S.I. on our sleeves for everyone to see. My Wife is a big part of the reason why I remain anonymous.
Stay Plugged Into Life
At times I don’t want to be part of the world, I want to give up on marriage and isolate, because I’m tired of affecting those that I love. But I don’t. I choose to live as full a life as possible. failing to do so would only be allowing those events from my past police life to dictate my life today. As did almost everyone that I know, I gave too much of my life to that department and jurisdiction and refuse to give them any of the rest of my days.
I see you and I understand your P.T.S.I. even if I don’t put my name on the pieces that I write for Law Enforcement Today. In the words of the character Dr. Spock in Star Trek, “live long and prosper”.
Your anonymous Brother in Blue.
If you or someone you know is struggling with P.T.S.D. other co-occurring mental health disorders and, or, substance abuse issues please contact Transformations Treatment Center. Call (888) 991-9725 online at www.transformationstreatment.center
Transformations Treatment Center provides a comprehensive range of treatments for addiction, substance abuse, co-occurring mental health disorders, and PTSD. In addition to multiple rehabilitation and holistic treatments for all those suffering from substance abuse problems.
Transformations Treatment center has a nationally acclaimed Veterans and First Responders Treatment program. Where law enforcement, firefighters, veterans and all first responders receive the separate and highly specialized treatment. Their program features first responders and veterans helping first responders and veterans.
Call (888) 991-9725 online at transformations treatment.center. Get more details about their First Responder – Veteran program here.