I have PTSD. Help
What was the outcome? PTSD from a car incident where the only thing that got hurt was the car?
Many years ago it was called shell shock for men and hysteria for women. Can you imagine? Hysteria was the best they could come up with. How does it interfere with my life? PTSD is a lot more serious than I thought. It is now one and a half years since the car incident and is as bad now as it was then, maybe worse.
I don’t have flashbacks or relive what happened, I don’t want to, ever. I’m not in a combat situation, I want to go shopping. I have lived in this city in Florida for thirty years. I am an excellent driver as everyone but one son will tell you and know every shortcut there is. But my mind gets stuck, my body gets numb and I shake all over. The fear starts before I leave the house.
I sit in the car and the shakes before I put my foot on the gas pedal. Where am I going? How do I get there? I can’t think, can’t picture where I want to go though I’ve driven it a thousand times. My forehead is wet and it drips down my back. The PTSD is trying to make me relive it. I will stay in this car and not let it defeat me. But I’m twitching, trapped, don’t know how to fix it.
Why? I am in a brand new car, not the one in the incident. I know my way. I am out of control. I need to be at the dentist’s office in fifteen minutes. My armpits are wet. Will the dentist smell it? This is crazy. I should be able to get there. If I start moving will I know how to go? I am sure I can drive. I sit there waiting for it to pass. It doesn’t. Twenty minutes have gone by with my foot on the floor and I have not moved an inch. I want to scream but that won’t help. I will not allow those memories to come into my head and stop me.
I sit and wait, a picture crosses my brow. A picture of the building where the dentist is. I am still shaking but not as badly. I know how to get to my appointment now. I put my foot on the pedal and begin to move, slowly. I get down the block and am in control again. I will make it on time.
But PTSD doesn’t go away. What will happen tomorrow when I need to go somewhere else? Is this now the norm for me? Where can I find help? There is none to find.