Alvord: The Battle for Harmony When Living With PTSD
Anger wants a voice…
Anyone with a worried mind could never forgive the sight
Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified
I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die.
– ‘Harmony Hall’ by Vampire Weekend
This weekend I had a CPTSD relapse.
It took me by surprise. Suddenly I was a little girl again in a situation I couldn’t control. A situation I couldn’t stop. A situation I wouldn’t have consented to if I could speak for myself in my adult post-EMDR mindset, but when you’re back in the mind of a young child, you don’t have the words or the POWER.
Why does living with CPTSD have to be either living in harmony (a state of being in agreement or concord) or living in horror (an intense feeling of fear, shock or disgust)?
What threw me was that I thought I was ready. I thought I could handle it. I was hearing strength in others like me and thought, ‘hey, I can be that person too, of course I can, I’m going to be that person, I’m not going to bottle it, I’ve dealt with it haven’t I?’
…dealing with it isn’t just applying the ‘EMDR Elastoplast’ and thinking you never have to look at your wounds again.
With hindsight, I can see now, of course, I was on a post-EMDR high, a confidence boost, feeling good in my new adult state of mind, experiencing what life is like being a grown up woman as a mother and a wife.
You know that moment in a horror movie or thriller when you know something absolutely terrifying and nasty is about to happen to a character, but the character is just not aware at all, and all the while is walking into evil’s trap?
That’s what happened to me Sunday night.
I was that character. The tipping point was when I realised what was happening when I could no longer hold onto the present and could no longer resist the pull of dissociation, lost all power, and I regressed, going into autopilot and the very act I had been trying to heal on my journey, became my nemesis.
So far I’m on night 4 of flashbacks, nightmares and lack of sleep; daytime nightmares infiltrating without warning through the course of my parallel waking hours.
I feel shaken to have become this version of me again. I need to get back to Nicci v2.0. I’ve gone back to my safe place, where I can hide away for now. I’m ashamed and sad. I’ve let down all those younger selfs that I rescued over the course of months of EMDR.
I now need to work with my therapist to adjust my battle plan.
The wolves are stronger and cleverer than I imagined.
O glorious St. Agnes, you served God in humility and confidence on earth and are now in the enjoyment of
His beatific Vision in heaven because you persevered till death and gained the crown of eternal life.
Remember now the dangers that surround me in the vale of tears, and intercede for me in my needs and troubles.
Alvord: The Battle for Harmony When Living With PTSD (c) 2019 Laura Devlin