Dealing With PTSD After Trauma

When I think of PTSD I don’t think of grief. At least I didn’t used to. I’m sure most people would agree with me, unless you are one of the unfortunate few that are currently nodding your head. For those of you that have experienced PTSD from a traumatic incident involving grief, I want to first tell you that this is actually very normal. I hate how I always feel like I must be crazy with some of my emotions. Then I suddenly post it on my Instagram and the comments and messages come flooding in telling me that’s exactly what they are experiencing but either did not know how to put it into words OR they thought they must be crazy so wouldn’t dare say it out loud.

Well guess what, if you experienced seeing a loved one die in front of you, you experienced taking care of them and it was hard on you, you experienced seeing your loved one suffer, you experienced getting a terrible phone call, and a million other ways you see someone you care for deeply pass away, you probably have experienced a very traumatic event which now probably causes you a bit or a lot of PTSD.

So, to go into detail on my specific experience and what I experience. Insert deep breathes…

James was chatting about history one moment and the next moment he was on the ground. There are little moments about that night that I do not remember and really don’t feel like remembering. So, thanks brain for not bringing that back up with me. I remember thinking he must have fainted and started to shake him. I remember medics coming in and suddenly finding it hard to breathe and thinking this is the worlds shittiest dream. And to skip ahead a few hours, I remember the doctor telling me my husband wouldn’t make it as I was kneeling beside James holding his hand.

Little things about my night just come to me. I’ll be walking and SMACK (that wasn’t a door hitting me, although I think it would actually feel better) I remember seeing the monitor and noticing for the first time he had no heartbeat. Things that I hate that make me think of random things about that night…

  • Ambulances
  • Seeing any emergency hospital sign
  • Anyone telling me they had the worst day ever and it is not hard AT ALL.
  • Any kind of surprise good or bad. I’m surprised out, thanks.

A lot more, however those ones seem to be reoccurring and those damn ambulances never seem to go away.

I’m really not writing this blog to give you any kind of advice. Just deep breathes. Although I’m never a fan of time heals all, I really do think these kinds of things decline as time goes on and you simply learn how to deal with them. For example, with an ambulance I just sit there and literally hold my breathe and then you suddenly stop hearing the sirens and then I count to three quickly in my mind slowly and then I’m okay again. Those 25 seconds seem to go on forward, but if you asked me about ambulances 1 year ago I would say I f*cking hate them and they always put me in the worst mood. PROGRESS!

So no, you are not crazy. You have experienced something your brain had a hard time comprehending and it still struggles from time to time.

Have you experienced this? Has it gotten easier over time? Feel free to comment below or send me a message on Instagram (click here).

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2 Comments

  1. Courtney says:

    I didn’t lose a spouse and I cannot imagine. My brother died by suicide and the phone call that I received from my mom replays in my mind all the time. He used a rifle. It was gruesome. When I got there, they were wheeling him out in a body bag. My parents wouldn’t leave (it was at their house), so my husband and I were planning his funeral at the table which was really close to the room. Serv pro had to completely gut the room. Just so many memories. Very traumatic. He and I were always close until the last year. And at that point he was gone already. It has been 8 years yet it feels like yesterday!

    Like

  2. Amanda says:

    My husband died in December, I came home from work on Friday evening that we had planned to go out and celebrate finally getting our IVF embryo after 5 years and I found him laying on the living room floor. My dogs were laying by his side and they wouldn’t move. I rolled him over, I called 911. I did CPR until they arrived counting with them on speaker phone to the rhythm of my own voice screaming “no… no…. no!” I knew he was gone before they told me, but the paramedics hooked him up to a machine and I heard it from the other room trying to pump his heart. The littlest things set me off. Certain sounds remind me of that machine, light flashing remind me of the ambulance lights flooding through my window. Driving in a car sometimes I’ll look over and expect to see him there and it hits me like a wave all over again that my whole life changed in an instant. It took the medical examiner 90 days to issue a cause of death. Combined drug toxicity, accidental overdose. He had a reaction to the combination of his prescription drugs and the alcohol he drank at a work Christmas party that afternoon. It’s been six months and there are moments that pass that it just seems like it can’t be real. I’m a 34 year old widow of a husband I spent 15 years loving. The only man I’d loved in my adult life. And in a heartbeat he was gone.

    Like

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