I like to consider myself a relatively closed off person. It was only after ten years of marriage that I truly began to divulge some of the most personal and painful parts of my life with my husband. This is great! Unfortunately this led him to a lot of speculation about the things in my past life. With the traumatic car accident more than 9 months ago, I have begun to experience a part of my life that I never imagined before. Added with my mother’s diagnosis of dementia and I have started to feel like someone has been constricting my breath on a daily basis. My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) came about when I and our four children were in a car accident. I won’t go into much about the reasons why I developed PTSD right now because while this matters, it is the “here and now” that I fight with on a daily basis.
What it is like to live with such a diagnosis?
I have never felt such a sense of anger towards people. The other day a lady ran a stop sign, stopping mid intersection because she was distracted by a conversation on her cell phone. I was more than angry. I was more than livid with this woman that I actually imagined myself putting my hands on her. I have little patience with people, and this was never really a problem with me before. I can even become short tempered with my own children.
The accident happened in a crucial time in my life. I knew something was not right with my mother’s health. Then BOOM! Someone ran a stop sign and it was like all the pieces of my life were thrown into the air. I am not even sure all the pieces have even landed yet. I think I am strong, but know that more often than not, I am weak. This is not a knock on me, calling myself weak. This means that I need to learn to ask for help, and accepting certain truths is the path towards strength.
Am I coming or going?
Depression is more than just feeling sad. I have a great faith in God. It is the driving force in my life, but the depression has been so intense that joy seems difficult to come by. Shake it off and be happy is not a reality for me. I pray. I don’t pray. I pray and tell God that He is the only one who can help, but my core refuses to believe this. While I would love to relate to everyone, but my personal truth is that I know that I have to give up my fears and worries to God. I have been failing to properly do this. However, I also know that depression and anxiety has truly affected my mind and body.
I have been changed.
My husband helped me to see, I am worthy of a PTSD diagnosis, which was difficult for me to come to terms with. He is an Army veteran. This matters because I always felt that I should “suck it up”. I was not a soldier in combat. What did I have to stress about?
Back to my reasoning, I am a mother of four children. All four of my children were in the vehicle the day of our accident. I am no fool and know that the only reason they (we all) walked away was because of a miracle. Still, the thought of loosing one or all of my children haunts me to this day. My son had a friend he lost to an auto accident just last month. I made the mistake of seeing his 12 year old body, resting in the casket. I think about his mother and feel a hole in my soul, the thought of loosing what is most precious to me tears me to the core.
The accident, I do not believe was an act of God, but a human’s poor judgement and neglect in following the proper rules of the road. I believe that God knew I needed to be around for my mother. I also believe that God protected my children because loosing anyone of them would have rendered me useless for my mother. All of this is a massive weight on my shoulders. All of this creates a struggle in me on a daily basis, and I remain a work in progress. I am sad, I am angry, I am fearful, I am worrisome on a daily basis. I feel angry when I do not have control (the at fault driver, my mom’s illness, my schooling), but I am human. That is the point. I am human.