I have ptsd, at least I presume I do. No one gives enough of a shit to offer me an evaluation, and I will be absolutely honest here, I will not touch antidepressants ever again – they really don’t do anything but make me worse, and I have no interest in valium or xanax or whatever else they are currently sedating people with, so what is the point anyway? Besides, I am not crazy, I am traumatized.
Being chased for a block and a half by a man who threatened to beat my son with his shoe, for the crime of being Asian-looking, threatened to push me into the road, and made movements to do both these things, has set it off badly. I am struggling to control my breathing, my heart thumps at every sound, I flinch at my own clothes rubbing against my back. It is not much fun. I flinch because I was tortured for years. I flinch because before that I was abused as a child, and then life was not much fun after I ran away from home. Every time I have run from trauma, there seems to be another trauma waiting to haul me into the undertow. I fought. I got off the streets, and into college, I got a degree. I got out of addiction, got a good job and taught in Japan. I got out of Japan….you get the idea…
So when I try and admit to being more shaken up than your average human being at this monster chasing us and trying to hurt us, I get “Don’t be triggered. Don’t let it define you.” For fucks sake, people! Listen to yourselves.
Being “triggered” is not some woman throwing a privileged temper tantrum in a shop because she doesn’t want to wear a mask over her face. Being triggered is not baulking over someone’s opinion that you don’t like: being triggered is a deep body memory of past abuses, a psychic scar that won’t ever heal. So fucking what if you consider this response crazy? I would say I would be a pretty odd person to not be scarred by trauma!
But then again, lets face it, people do like to look down on crazy. I mean, I do it too. The guy that attacked us, I dismiss him as crazy, because who in their right mind would do that, and he clearly had got into some very powerful drugs of the stimulant kind. Crazy, man. It’s crazy. Crazy is used so nonchalantly it has lost all meaning.
Crazy gets levelled at women, triggered is the new “hysterical”. Don’t get hysterical (root, of course being womb, the word insinuating that the crazy is linked to the biology). Conflating someone’s reaction to extreme trauma with a privileged temper tantrum, usually thrown by racist anti masking right wingers is just a little bit insulting and simplistic, don’t you think?
I know we are meant to be ashamed of having any kind of damage, that is to our souls or minds, I know we are meant to accept the stigma of mental health issues, and just accept that it is our fault we struggle with things others don’t, except I don’t much feel like taking it and not saying anything, any longer. I refused to be shamed. I won’t stand by and let other’s be shamed by the ignorant and self-proclaimed superior, either.
We need to talk, to not stigmatize mental health issues. I have been accused of having “bipolar disorder” by a fellow blogger, in a truly awful example of both remote diagnosis not by a professional, and of using mental health conditions as a way to put me down. Horrible stuff. It upset me terribly. Bipolar – which incidentally I do not have – is not something to be swung as a baseball bat of an insult, it is a life altering condition. Yesterday I was accused of having “T___p delusion syndrome”. Nice. Again, made out as crazy because I don’t agree and really don’t care to argue the point.
If you struggle with your mental health, I am on your side, I am here for you. Let’s talk about it, and bring it out into the open. You are a survivor, a fighter, a warrior. If you are into putting people down, and using the same old boring clichés, that denigrate people’s suffering and struggles, perhaps you should look at yourself and why you do that. Maybe your own mental health needs some attention.