I am terrified as I write this. Literally feeling sick to my stomach from stress. My spouse lays next to me having no idea of the meltdown going on in my head, and I don’t say a word because I don’t want to appear crazy.
The evening started out uneventful. After we got the kids to bed, my spouse asked again if we could finally watch the movie “Sully.” I had been nixing that idea for the past couple of weeks when we were deciding what to watch.
I learned during 9/11 I have an unusual experience with my PTSD. I found when I was watching the nonstop coverage of 9/11, my own PTSD became activated at such a level as if I were actually involved in the incidents. The lines became very blurry, and my PTSD symptoms were extremely high.
I can still remember driving through downtown Atlanta on my way home from work and sweating as I looked up at the high rises above me. I was absolutely certain one was going to come tumbling down on me from a terrorist attack.
Since 9/11, I became very attuned to the fact that if I had witnessed a car accident, which is not uncommon in Atlanta, I would replay the scene and the sounds and the stress of it over and over in my head as if it had happened to me.
I have learned to avoid a lot of things since I became aware of how these things were affecting me. I try not to even watch the news anymore. Thus, I knew I should avoid a movie replaying a traumatic event, but I didn’t want to look crazy to my spouse who really wanted to see this movie.
As we watched the movie, I had moments where I could barely breathe, and other moments where I felt panic and wanted to cry. I was crying on the inside. It didn’t seem to matter that I knew what was going to happen in the story. I seem to always over-relate to someone else’s experience of trauma.
Now, my brain is spinning and I am hearing what sounds like a passenger plane flying low around my home. The plane noise won’t go away. My spouse doesn’t hear anything, so I know it is me going crazy.
I know it isn’t real, but the noise won’t stop. I am filled with anxiety. I am telling myself the noise isn’t real, but the sound of the impending airplane is so loud and continuous I can’t ignore it.
I have medication that would help in this situation, but I have worked so hard to not take medication for the betterment of my health.
I am hoping somehow writing about this will calm my symptoms down.
Why doesn’t it help to know this is just my PTSD?
I am so angry at myself for having this twisted brain that reacts to other people’s trauma like this. The anger, fear, and shame now have me feeling suicidal.
You would think with the self-awareness I have about my PTSD, and how this continuous noise is not real, it would make me be ok. It doesn’t.
I am irrationally terrified over a stupid movie. My self-loathing is kicking in. My belief that I don’t want to live life with this kind of terror in my head is kicking in.
Make the noise stop.
Will I forever be this tortured soul who can’t seem to get rid of this trauma brain?
I still hold hope one day I will be free. Until then, I work to survive the imprint left on my brain.