So what happens when my lurking PTSD comes smack up against that of another struggling friend? No joking matter, that. It's unexpectedly wrenching. In the midst of all the wonderful things that have been happening for me lately, I've had drama on the sidelines. And I've directed much more attention and worry toward it that I probably should have. I've added in my own little internal drama.
A very dear friend of mine is having a very
difficult time right now, dealing with this insidious illness. This
isn't anything new, but part of its manifestation this time has been to
turn on me, the angry rhetoric escalating, and then the grand gesture of officially and harshly discarding me as a
friend. We've never been anything but the most loving friends, always very
supportive of each other, personally and in all our artistic endeavors. So I was completely unprepared for this development, this turn.
Even more so, I've been startled by my own response to it. I've been extremely anxious all week. The queasy stomach, the feeling that "something bad" is going to happen. (I have to admit, the timing hasn't helped;
June 9th and 12th are the anniversaries of my dad's death and a car
accident that G and I were in, the same year, three days apart.) I know one of the commonest symptoms of PTSD is just that kind of anxiety. A gnawing panic and a compulsion to try and tightly control all the aspects of your life. Also anger, usually misplaced or misdirected. I
can tell myself over and over that my friend's rejection has absolutely
nothing to do with me or anything I've done, that it's only the
illness. But it still hurts.
And the hurt makes me mad, because it's hard for me to just accept the hurt. And
the mad doesn't conjure anything productive. Because you can't just
slap the crazy out of someone. (Though I can totally visualize that working - smack! and they come around - like they always do in the movies. And, of course, that's crazy.)
I can pretty much see from the other side of it,
understand a lot of the cock-eyed reasoning that's in play in my friend's mind, and have at
least a small degree of perspective on the situation. But the
unexpected rejection still really gets to me. An unearned
rejection. And one I can't fight, one I can't work my way back from with reasoning and support. This seems to be a very tender spot in my emotional make-up;
I guess it hasn't been entirely clear to me until now. Maybe in the "big picture" of my life that's why this has happened, why this kind of situation is playing out again. Because, happening this
time, it brings up all the times in the past when I couldn't protect
myself from the rejection, from being traumatized by the shock of it. I
suppose it happens to everyone. I'm sure everyone has found themselves
in that position, helpless. I don't know, but maybe it's a bit more difficult
for me to shake off than it is for most, considering my own struggles with PTSD. But after I've taken care of myself, worked the methods that help with my own over-reactions, when I can start to turn the corner from the upset and get back some light and perspective... it still hurts. And it
doesn't hurt any less when I know it's not my fault, and that it really
isn't the other person's fault. It just hurts, and I guess I'll have to find a way to
let that be.
Beauty At Any Age
4 hours ago