Okay, I understand now.

I did NOTHING on the cards today. I spent all day, busily doing other things, but even that wasn’t much. wtf?

It’s the end of the day and I’m feeling sort of brain dead, and can’t figure out what happened? Then it struck me. . . someone from my family called yesterday. My family are toxic to me. It’s like a cue ball hitting a billiard ball. I’m going in x direction. I interact with my family and ZING! I’m off in a completely different direction.

Am I excusing myself? Well, no I’m not. I should have done the cards anyway. I meant to. I picked them up, carried them around, thought about it, etc. but other than finishing up the hour from Thursday’s card early this a.m. I didn’t do any of it. I kept thinking, “I’ll do it after I do X.” and then I’d “forget.”

I’ve got PTSD and although I can and do overcome it most of the time, there are things that just do me in. My family is one. If you think because I know that I should be able to compensate? Well, I can, a little, but no — I can’t to a greater extent. For people who think I should just “get over it,” or “think strong,” forget it.If/when I can talk to/deal with someone in my family without it throwing me for a loop, I’ll consider myself as healthy as I’m ever likely to get.

A customer of mine was a ‘Nam vet and he told me the story I use to illustrate what having PTSD is like for people who don’t understand. He’d just returned from ‘Nam and was back in the States, walking down a sidewalk in the state capital where he grew up. Someone flicked a cigarette into the gutter.

He dove for the deck. Halfway down, he thought, “I bet that’s a cigarette.” He hit the ground and sure enough, that’s just what it was.

A PTSD reaction happens faster than you think. If you can’t understand the story above, think of it like blinking. If something is going to hit you in the eye, you just blink — automatically. That’s what PTSD is like. The reactions are a protective mechanism and they happen FASTER than thought, it isn’t rational, you can’t “decide” to not react that way.

Because the phone call was friendly and pretty inane, I didn’t think about it. But inside I was still reacting.

Well, the numb, nonproductive, do nothing, wanting to be busy, busy, busy! all day — avoiding what I planned? That’s a typical reaction for me. Also, the clutter is mostly camouflage from my family, so I’m not really surprised that the phone call would stop my de-cluttering efforts.

Tomorrow? Well, if I’m lucky, and I can, I’ll get mad. Mad works for me like nothing else. If I can get myself mad enough about the phone call stopping me, I’ll have a really productive day tomorrow!

J

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2 responses to “Okay, I understand now.

  1. You’re right… getting mad is a survival strategy! Wow… I hadn’t thought about it as such until this post. Thanks for the insight.

  2. Arta, You’re welcome! It’s one of my best moves.1)I had a huge amount of rage to deal with and had to find something to do with it that was productive rather than destructive, to me or anyone else. and 2)I can make myself do quantum leaps of growth when I’m really angry. Riding the anger as a positive move is an old tactic of mine. It’s the reason the last 2 paragraphs in the last piece you read were written that way.

    Thanks for the comment and glad I could give an insight!
    J

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