How Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse Have Changed Me… In a Good Way?

Obviously I don’t mean to say that it’s a good thing that I’ve survived sexual assault and witnessed domestic abuse, but I’ve been thinking lately about how it’s changed me in a good way. I’ve written about how sexual assault has changed me in the past, but here are a few new thought’s I’ve had about the subject: Continue reading How Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse Have Changed Me… In a Good Way?

I Ran into a Guy Who Sexually Assaulted Me…

Last fall, I saw sexually assaulted while swing dancing by a guy we’ll call L. He doesn’t dance much anymore, but it still shouldn’t have been a surprise when I ran into him yesterday. Luckily, I was able to keep my cool for the most part. I was shocked and uncomfortable when I first saw him. I even considered leaving. But why let him steal my joy? So I stayed and tried to stay on the opposite end of the room whenever possible. He seemed to be avoiding me as well. My first few dances after he arrived were detached and the smile I had on my face was very fake. I tried to stay in the moment, think happy thoughts (such as putting the image in my head of A on one knee) and remind myself that L can’t harm me anymore. I hope I don’t see him again ever… but at least it was bearable to run into him. I’m so thankful that my PTSD has been giving me a break these last couple months.

Subthreshold PTSD

I like to talk about mental illness on this blog and my personal struggles with mental health. But let’s be clear: I’m not technically mentally ill. I’m in a weird gray area, because I have symptoms of PTSD but it’s not serious enough for a diagnosis. Recently I found out that there’s an unofficial name for this: subthreshold PTSD. Continue reading Subthreshold PTSD

So This is What “Normal” Feels Like

I got so used to always having a low level of anxiety that it feels really weird (in a good way) to have that almost entirely gone. For the first time in months, I feel very “me” again. I’m relaxed. I’m taking joy in the little things. I’m overly excited about learning anything new. I’m laughing a lot. I don’t take as long to calm down. I’m not thinking about the past much anymore. I’m not getting triggered often or experiencing many intrusive thoughts… I wish this could last forever.  Continue reading So This is What “Normal” Feels Like

Trying Not to Suffer in Silence

Very few people know that I suffer from symptoms of PTSD. Even fewer people hear me talk about it on a regular basis. Recently I wrote a post in which I essentially said that I want to start talking about mental illness the way I would talk about any other illness, such as a migraine. I want to be more open about what I’m going through both for the added support and to fight mental health stigma. Today I took a baby step toward that goal. Continue reading Trying Not to Suffer in Silence

Let’s Talk about Mental Illness Like we Talk about Migraines

Let’s imagine for a moment that I posted a Facebook status saying
“I really hope this migraine goes away soon. It’s impossible to study for finals right now.”

Most people wouldn’t bat an eye at that. Having migraines, unfortunately, is super common. I would get sympathy and maybe even some advice.

Now, let’s imagine I posted this status on Facebook:
“I really hope this PTSD episode goes away soon. It’s impossible to study for finals right now.”

I feel like even in this day and age, even with so many people fighting mental illness stigma, it would still be a little strange and out of place if I posted the second status right now.  Continue reading Let’s Talk about Mental Illness Like we Talk about Migraines

Free Stuff Helped Me Snap Out of a PTSD Episode

There I was, just studying and trying to be a good student, when a PTSD episode decided to drop on my head out of nowhere. I got caught up in one of those spirals of negative thoughts related to sexual assault. It actually was much like the thought patterns I had during depression. Soon, I got so anxious that I couldn’t even concentrate on homework and I started getting flashbacks. I curled up on bed under a blanket and tried to calm down by breathing deeply… but this episode was really stubborn. I decided to go to bed early in hopes that I would wake up tomorrow feeling better. Continue reading Free Stuff Helped Me Snap Out of a PTSD Episode