Thursday, November 10, 2011

On shutting down

I had a 2/3 of a good day. Well kinda. 2 out of 3 appointments went well and as expected. The last one went as I'd thought and not as I'd hoped which, to be honest, made me shut down. Almost completely. I was so shut down that I went to bed at 6:30. I woke up at 9:15 and am writing this post before heading back to bed.
The thing about this not going as hoped doesn't mean that I'm being petty or pouting. Its that I really feel like in my heart there is something that I can do, but I can't find anyone to help me. It's hard to tell a stranger that something "small" is so huge and to have that stranger truly not understand what you are saying. Or trying to say, anyway. I also didn't say the one thing that was on the tip of my tongue: "Would you tell a man, with PTSD, to lock his emotional experience in a  box and put it on a shelf? Because I don't really think you would. Or at least I HOPE that you would not.". That is how a lot of problems start. People boxing up emotions and dealing with them in ways that aren't healthy.
It's hard to be shut down when you are opening yourself up to being vulnerable. I let myself get my hopes up and shouldn't have. I went in saying I wouldn't be emotional and I was. So emotional that that was one of the concerns this doctor had for me.
I will tell you that I strongly disagree on the point of putting emotion in a box. I say there is a time for grieving and a time for letting go but you have to get through the grief to get there. I'm not there. YET. Boxing up my emotions would only lead to trouble down the line. I know that it is better for me to work through this crud, no matter how cruddy it is, now than in 10 years. And yes, 11 months in therapy is a long time, but everyone is different. Some people look at what happened to me and if it'd happened to them they'd be thrilled to be alive and well and would take advantage of everything life has to offer. Then there are the people like me who need more time to process what really happened to me and to my family. I know in my heart there is nothing wrong with that. I wish I could vocalize it when I need to.
Maybe in a few years I can revisit this issue. I'm frustrated that the one thing that is a constant trigger will be sticking around for the long haul but maybe "getting over it" is the only way I'll move forward. I think it is going to take a lot longer than people think but I guess that's next on my list of things to try. Just get over it.


  1. I'm not sure what exactly you were looking to have done with your scars, but mine didn't heal well (hypertrophic) and caused me a lot of discomfort. I finally stumbled upon Scaraway silicone sheets. They were originally used for people with open heart surgery scars, but now you can just buy them. Anyway, they weren't total magic, but they did help a lot more than I thought they would. They really decreased the swelling and pain, and they're drug free. Not sure if that sort of thing would help here, but thought I'd mention it just in case.

  2. the doctor told you to box up your feelings and put them on a shelf? that seems like such odd advice coming from a medical professional... can you see someone else or was this your second opinion doctor?

  3. This was the second opinion. But he did admit to not knowing me very well so I'll give him that.

  4. Thanks Asia. I was hoping for "gone" but I don't fit the "gone" profile so it's a no go.