Tuesday, February 12, 2013

96 Life Changing Minutes

PTSD is an anxiety disorder, mixed with justified fear and trembling, after significant traumatic events, this I know.

I shakily propagate plants, praying for emotional peace.

It's been close to two years since I've feared someone being murdered in their sleep by one, or two, or more, with severe mental health and/or behavior disorders.  That's no way to live, and it is why I'm now so bitter overall.

I will not participate in the adoption world until there is more help available, more safety for innocent family members, and more support versus the ugly condemnation that will fall upon your head for even trying to help a child.  I've been just a little too emotionally scarred, you can see it in my frightened bug-out eyes.

No door on my bedroom, so I hoped it'd be me killed, rather than a child, but I also knew that my kids might not likely emotionally survive the loss of me, their stubborn, hard-headed, strong and very dedicated caretaker.

But I also knew that the ones with no inner controls on their rages, well, I knew they knew they could really slay me twice by killing those I love.

Paranoid, much?

No, this is how we lived for way too long.

Greek traumat-, trauma wound - From Merriam-Webster.  A trauma is a wound, wounds need time to heal. Unseen psychic wounds possibly the most difficult to heal.

I was talking with several of my kids last night, all of us now very emotionally banged-up survivors, and I've pretty much been stunned ever since the major unrelenting traumas, unable to totally relax, or begin to trust in our safety.

Last night Lily'd fallen asleep in my room, as I read a book next to her when we heard a sudden roar.  She sat up startled, finding me looking out the windows into the dark.  "Was that thunder?" she asked me anxiously.

This is a fairly constant activity for several of us who are still recovering.  Trauma doesn't do a body good, not at all.  Back then my osteopathic physician offered to go to court with me, or write a letter to the judge detailing the damage this was doing to me.  Me?  Who cares?  What about my children?

Nowadays we sit at the table for dinner, as we tried to do back then, but there's no one prowling, menacing, picking up knives, and making guttural death threats at us, knocking over people, daring me to confront them, me knowing a confrontation would only escalate a bad situation, but knowing I had to do something - but nothing ever worked.  They weren't afraid of the deputies at all, which doubly traumatized the rest of the kids.

"I don't know how you ever felt safe enough to sleep," a professional told me last year, after taking care of one of the ones who constantly threatened, bullied, and attacked us.

I shudder, shake, and cringe at these memories.  I wish I could scrub my brain out, return me to my favored Pollyanna stance of old.

Yesterday we were allowed to happily celebrate Sabrina's birthday, since the potentially murderous ones are not living with us, instead are in care.

A rite of passage on one's 18th birthday here is going to the bank and taking my name off of their custodial bank account, giving them the freedom to manage their own money without an adult interference.  Some kids do well, some squander that which I'd been protecting for them.

After supper last night, as the rain poured outside, Martin, Jack, Nando, Jo-Jo, Allen, Chuy, Scotty and Tabby rode in-line skates, a rib-stick, a skateboard and scooter, down the halls, and through the big rooms, scooting on the hardwood floors that are holding up right well, laughing and carrying on, because they could.

In years past, a fight would've ensued because.  Just because.  That's how we then lived, so constantly on edge, and I cried bitter bucket loads over the fact that my kids were always terrorized by that one(s).  All birthdays ruined, dinners destroyed, and any single thing any one kid owned was always in jeopardy of being destroyed by those who didn't want anyone to have anything ever.

No wonder we are all badly traumatized.

We'd all learned to tiptoe around carefully and quietly, lest we upset that one who'd immediately retaliate for a perceived slight that never occurred because everyone was simply too scared, including me.

Most people who experience a traumatic event will have reactions that may include shock, anger, nervousness, fear, and even guilt. These reactions are common; and for most people, they go away over time. For a person with PTSD, however, these feelings continue and even increase, becoming so strong that they keep the person from living a normal life. People with PTSD have symptoms for longer than one month and cannot function as well as before the event occurred.

Symptoms of PTSD often are grouped into three main categories, including:

Reliving: People with PTSD repeatedly relive the ordeal through thoughts and memories of the trauma. These may include flashbacks, hallucinations, and nightmares. They also may feel great distress when certain things remind them of the trauma, such as the anniversary date of the event.

Avoiding: The person may avoid people, places, thoughts, or situations that may remind him or her of the trauma. This can lead to feelings of detachment and isolation from family and friends, as well as a loss of interest in activities that the person once enjoyed.

Increased arousal: These include excessive emotions; problems relating to others, including feeling or showing affection; difficulty falling or staying asleep; irritability; outbursts of anger; difficulty concentrating; and being "jumpy" or easily startled. The person may also suffer physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension, nausea, and diarrhea.

Young children with PTSD may suffer from delayed development in areas such as toilet training, motor skills, and language.

WebMD puts into words that which we've experienced, doubly so for my children who came here already with cases of PTSD, as did the one(s) who terrorized us.  A sad diagnosis on top of other mental health issues, creating a violent cauldron.

What's the answer?

Again, I don't know.  I don't know.  Three words I've been uttering in shock for a couple of decades.

The 14 of us living here are now doing our level best to try and heal, to learn to trust situations, people, and events.  It's just not easy to do.

There are five out of 39 who'd just as soon hurt us as look at us.  They may now not ever step foot on our property for our own safety.  My other kids deserve that level of insurance.

I allowed myself to sit on my butt for 96 minutes yesterday, while the kids were at school, and watch Forks Over Knives, learning how the endothelial cells can, and do,  rejuvenate themselves, listening to brilliant doctors explain that which fascinates me.

I wish I'd gone vegan 40 years ago when I went vegetarian.

I should be living proof of a meat-less existence, because my beat-to-Heck heart has somehow survived the Hell it's been put through.

96 minutes is all it takes, watch it ladies, you owe it to your grandchildren to be healthy and available for them.  At the very least you'll lose weight, have more energy, and just feel better.  Why wouldn't you wanna do so?