Like a Trick Knee

I wish there was a way to relay what it’s like living with Complex PTSD. I am sure it’s super confusing and frustrating for those around me.

I swear I’m not being dramatic. I’m not being petty. I just instantly go into self-destruct mode, and want to not exist.

Imagine a soft-hearted, empathic little boy who is criticized and nitpicked for every action and assumed motive. But he loves the one who resents his existence, and takes every word to heart, trying to be better, and always failing. In fact, the only relief is to resign to absolute worthlessness. Make that a daily reality, not just 22 years, but the very first 22 years of existence, so that you know nothing else.

It’s been 19 years since that was a constant experience but still, little things can instantly take me back to that space where it feels like I lose touch with any better reality, and my only option for relief is to admit I’m a failure and waste of space and probably shouldn’t be here. In those moments I still logically know that’s not true, but the reassuring and hopeful voice is locked away in a closet somewhere and I can’t hear it very well. All I want to do is apologize for existence and go disappear.

I fear sharing what my actual experience is because I don’t want to scare away my friends or make people think I’m helpless and incompetent.

A terrifying thought is that it’s actually way better I’ve been single all these years because it wouldn’t be worth it for a woman to have to endure my dark moments.

I feel mixed sharing all this, but I do share in hopes that someone else will feel seen and understood. I am an absolute freaking warrior who has done so much deep work and intense healing over two decades. But like the trick knee that is never quite the same, I have invisible wounds that can take me down in an instant to some really deep hells. But that is not who I am, and this reality is not the only one I have experienced or will.

And you too are not your darkest moments. This can and will get brighter. Breathe, and hold on.

PC: Krista Aline

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