Major PTSD symptom rears its ugly head

No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, I have severe — and I do mean severe — anxiety around paperwork. I’m fine with basic financial things and am good at managing money, but don’t give me a piece of paper and expect me to keep track of it. I simply can’t do it.

If I lose or misplace a piece of paper, ANY piece of paper, I feel like I’m going to faint. I go into a panic, which is happening right now because I need to locate a letter we sent to a bank about a year ago.

It stems from mind games my ex-husband used to play with me all the time. He’d “lose” an important piece of paper and accuse me of misplacing it. I’d search the entire house, top to bottom, looking for it. And then it would magically appear — “Oh, I found it,” he’d say.

But while I was looking for it, he’d be screaming, cursing, calling me names I can’t even write here because they’re so horrible. He’d hover over me, waving his arms around, put his face in my face.

I can’t deal with this anxiety right now over misplacing this letter to the bank.

I have to stop typing this post and go outside for air.


Take action to help a woman in prison

Anyone, in any state in the U.S., can help women in Calif. prisons (it’s a start, at least) who have killed their abusers. They would be able to share their stories in court and also have expert testimony given on their behalf, so they have a chance at being judged fairly. Please consider doing this. Thank you.

Why I blew my top

Yesterday I did something I can’t ever remember doing before.

I yelled at someone in the office. Actually, at two people.

Why did I do it?

Because they did something that was so disrespectful, I couldn’t stop my anger. I blew my top. And because it wasn’t the first time they had done something like this to me; it was only the most egregious incident.

Am I proud that I raised my voice at them? No. Am I sorry I did it? No. I do wish that I had walked away, instead, but the situation didn’t really allow for that.

When we sat down and talked about what happened, I admitted making a mistake — not intentionally, and not a terrible one by any stretch of the imagination — but they could not, would not, accept responsibility for treating me in an unprofessional, non-collegial way. We work in the same office and we’re supposed to be part of a team. We’re supposed to respect each other. But out of all the people I work with, these two do not understand what that means.

Ironically, they’re the two who complain the loudest about our office lacking teamwork.

(What’s really sad is, I heard later that a couple of people were cheering me on, silently.)

Yes, I have wondered if my reaction was related to my symptoms of PTSD. I’ve asked myself a hundred times since yesterday, “Was my anger justified?” I’ve concluded that yes, it was. I can tolerate a lot of things, and I can even tolerate disrespect (even though I shouldn’t). But when that disrespect gets taken to this level — more than I have ever seen, anywhere I’ve worked — even I have a breaking point.

Someone else’s words

Here is a beautifully written piece about what it’s like to be a rape victim. For me, the most poignant part is this:

“When you are a young woman and your body becomes a reminder of tragedy, how can you ever come to love it?” I wrote in that secluded cabin in Banff. “You yourself become a crime scene — a place of mourning you carry with you every day. Something tolerated, hated or, most commonly, ignored. I am happy for those people who see the body as a tool of empowerment, a vessel for pleasure and strength, but I’ve had to unlearn mine as a site of violence out of necessity.”

Please click on this link and read the article (it’s not very long), by Stacey May Fowles.