Soooo… I posted yesterday that I would explain and here I am. I’m so grateful. Always. But since I shut off social media a week or so ago, I’ve had people reach out concerned for me. Because essentially I did disappear social-media-wise all of a sudden. And I know that’s not normal. I’m really not a normal person though and you should know that by now. If you’ve read half of one post. And yet people are still here. So it’s cool. Weird is good my people.
I’m writing this from my new bed. I’ve had it here for weeks and didn’t set it up. I don’t know why. I’m not normally a person who lets things sit. But since Denny died it’s hard to get the motivation to do some things. Not everything. But some things. I just get overwhelmed more easily I guess. But I did it. Yesterday. I built the whole bed. And I almost gave up a few times cause it was cheap and you know what that means… horrible instructions… But it’s done. I did it. And it hasn’t fallen apart yet so 👍.
I’m struggling. I’m being honest as I’ve always been. Before I’ve gone through bad days. But it seems to be like a few bad weeks right now. And there are reasons for that. There were several things that happened all at once and it just kinda broke me. But the worst was the police report.
I have been told it’s PTSD. When you think of PTSD you probably think of veterans or military. This is a great example. Think about someone who has served their country in active combat or around bombs. They can come home and be in their own bed and they hear a car backfire and are suddenly under the bed panicking and unable to breathe or move. Just one example of PTSD. It puts them back in that moment. They have a reaction that is totally irrational because the sound reminded them of a traumatic experience.
Now, I’ve never been in combat —-THANK YOU TO THOSE OF YOU WHO SERVE…truly heroes to me and I don’t know how you deal with the things you do—-but you can have PTSD from lots of things. From any sort of trauma you’ve dealt with. And different people can have different reactions to the same trauma so of course PTSD and anxiety looks different to everyone.
This is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about it:
“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.”
Click on “Mayo Clinic,” above and it will direct you to a page that explains all of the symptoms so well. And that last paragraph doesn’t mean I haven’t been taking care of myself, but despite everything I’ve worked through and all of the therapy I’ve been to, I still have some PTSD to work through.
When I received the police report and the autopsy, I was triggered. It wasn’t anything super new or eye opening. What it was is I was suddenly watching a movie in my head of what happened when he was found. What he looked like. Where he was. What was with him. Who found him. Who examined him. What they saw. There were a couple of details that were new. But mostly it was just such a vivid description.
You can read about a lot of this in my last post too. But it was like going through the first day all over again but now the shock is gone so there’s nothing there to buffer the feelings. It’s REAL. More real than ever. I know what it’s like to live without him now. I have done it for six months. All those fears that initially flooded my mind.. How am I going to do this? What was he thinking? How could he do that? Was he in pain? Did he suffer? What did I do wrong? What do I do now? What about the girls? How will we survive without him? Will this pain ever go away? How will my girls react? Will they remember him? Will I ever recover? Will I ever feel joy again?… I know the answer to a lot of these questions and the rest I’ve had to live without answers to. I KNOW how hard it is.
I started having panic attacks that day and I’ve had a few since then. But most of my days have been filled with anxiety. I can’t go certain places or see certain things without panicking. Everything is harder with this much anxiety. I worry about my kids more. I worry about Denny and the pain he felt and what he was thinking even more than before. I also cannot stop myself from thinking about it if I let it start. It’s like I start this downward spiral I can’t pull myself out of. And it’s terrifying when the only thing you can think about is that description in the police report.
It’s weird how this just set me off. I mean there are other outside influences. There are other people who have placed unnecessary and unfair things on me when I’m going through the hardest time in my life. So that’s a big part of it. But that’s for another day.
The question I keep getting asked: “Do you regret reading it?” The answer is no. I don’t. I’m glad I read it. I needed to. I was going to no matter what. I am someone who needs facts and evidence. I like doing research. I like understanding things. The first thing I did after my mom said she had lung cancer? I looked up the statistics of how long she had. I feel like that explains my way of dealing with things pretty well. So I never would have set it aside and not read it. That wasn’t an option. But I’m glad I have all of the information. There was even stuff redacted and I’m going through the process to get a report without anything redacted.
If you are in this situation or something similar? Don’t read it until you have a plan. Decide if you need to read that or not for your own healing. I did. Then come up with a plan with your therapist. Have support around you. I could have been much smarter about how I did it.
If you read about the box, I didn’t open it. Because I know I need to work through this stuff before I add to it. It is too much for my brain and heart to handle right now. But I will open it. Because I need that for my own healing. I will go through his stuff. I will look at the stupid instrument that my husband was able to use to take his life. I need to. But not right now. Right now I need to heal and take a breath. In the meantime, it’s in a safe spot waiting for me whenever I’m ready and have an actual plan set up for how to do it.
If you love someone who is in my situation or who is struggling with PTSD, ask them how you can help. Because everyone is different. Most of the time, I like to face things head on and get it over with. Things are different right now. I need distractions. When I think about it too much, it sends me in a tailspin. It’s not productive. It’s just irrational anxiety and stress. So right now I need distractions. There is a point in therapy where you are supposed to face your triggers. But right now I need to only allow a little in at a time. So distract me. Visit me. Send me funny memes. Idk. Be there. Be there for your person always. But ask them if distraction is what they need and if so, become a distraction.
Here’s one more little example: I’ve needed lots of breaks from my kids the last few months. Right now I need them around cause when they’re not is when I get thinking too much in an unhealthy way. So things change. Right now I need help in very different ways than I did even just two weeks ago.
But also… the reason I need a break from social media is because I get message after message about suicidal thoughts or feelings or so and so died or this person self harms or this person is struggling. Right now, that’s adding to my thinking about things. It’s not helpful to me and adding to my stress and triggers. So I have to have a break. And you KNOW I’ll be back at it as soon as I can be because it’s SO HEALING to help people in my own tiny way. And it’s therapeutic for me to write and talk to people about things. But right now I have to get through this part with as much sanity as possible. Or else I won’t be of any use to anyone. I’ll be back. In a few weeks. But thank you for your support, understanding, love, and prayers whether I’m posting or not. Whether I’m doing well or struggling. Thank you. I’m so so blessed to have the support I have.