Part three of my previous post, How Being Pissed Off Saved My Life & Career:
How I Overcame My Fear Of Writing About PTSD
When I first went public with my PTSD in 2016 on my old blog it was one of the most freeing things I had ever done! The responses I received exceeded my expectations. More importantly some confided in me that they, too, suffered from PTSD nightmares like I have. What led up to my sharing it was the realization that it wasn’t a shameful secret and that acknowledging I have PTSD isn’t an admission of weakness of character! For some of us it’s a big part of our lives and not because we are weak or wish to define ourselves by our problems.
Yet, over time, despite wanting to write more about it here I haven’t, for the following reasons I told myself:
They’ll roll their eyes.
And if some do, this hurts me how?
They’ll think you’re whining.
So let them whine about my “whining”.
It’ll give hate-readers a target for snarking.
This has happened. I had someone leave a since deleted book review (I didn’t nor could I delete it) that had nothing to do with my book. Instead they called me a crazy woman because I have PTSD so that my judgement couldn’t be trusted. Not all readers are here because they like me. I decided I didn’t want to deal with that kind of trolling and stopped talking about it.
But here’s the thing. Silencing myself is trolling myself!
Sometimes those petty villains in positions of authority aren’t without but manifest as self-defeating thoughts that I think are there to keep me “safe”. Writing about PTSD publicly, not in a raw journal format but in a thoughtful manner that’s respectful of my privacy is my way of telling Hypervigilance, my constant MO to FO, but with kindness. Hypervigilance kept me alive and is why I survived but it can impede living my life the way I wish. I’m a writer and I don’t wish to write in a closet, so to speak. I have been called to share my experiences to help others, this I know. There is only one Judge that matters to me.
Coming soon: A multiple-part series on why this city girl traded hanging out in the Lower East Side of the late 70s and early to mid 80s for a slow life drinking beer in the Maine woods with a Jon Bon Jovi look-alike.