What Spills? #PTSD


I read an interesting article today about character. The article said, whatever is in your cup is what is going to spill out when life shakes you up. Although I agree with that statement initially, I believe overtime your cup can be shaken so much that eventually it is emptied. Once your cup is empty, what comes out of it is the despair of hopelessness. 

Just as a battered wife can be beaten down into submission by an abusive husband; so can a person be beaten down by the traumas of life. To say that one can continuously refill their cup and keep up with the abuse and trauma of life is simply not true. I speak from experience. I speak as one who has been abused, who has been traumatized by life multiple times in rapid succession. 

It feels like a you’re drowning victim. You’re in the pool. You’re going under. You know the water surface is right there but you just can’t get to it. You just can’t get up there to grab another breath of air. You just can’t keep yourself afloat. You know you’re going to die. You know this is your last breath, so you let go and you die.

There’s a thing called accumulative PTSD that hits victims who have experienced trauma after trauma. These victims simply cannot just refill their cup so they can easily handle what is going to be dealt to them each day. PTSD victims do good to simply take a breath each day. Trauma causes them to not be able to properly function. The body is now at a heightened alert, waiting for the next thing to hit. It’s waiting, protecting, guarding and doing everything that trauma has trained to it do simply because it knows something else is about hit. ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! DANGER! MUST PROTECT!
I’m just like that drowning victim finally giving up and almost letting myself die. When a hand reaches in and grabs me, pulls me to safety. We (especially PTSD victims) all need a hand to reach in, grab us and a pull us to safety. There are times when we cannot see how to help ourselves. There are times when we can see where we want to go but we just can’t get there. We need someone to come along beside us and pull us to safety, keep us from drowning and to show us how to take that next breath. 

Yes, my cup was once full. It was so full that when I got bumped into whatever was inside of it with spilled out. My cup is full of joy, and I’d get bumped into and joy with spill all over. Kindness, and kindness would spill all over. Compassion, and compassion would spill. Love, and love would spill. And so on it would spill until finally, the last drops spilled out and the cup cracked from so much bumping.

Today . . .

I am like the drowning victim who has been plucked out of the water. I’ve been laid on the shore. The water is being pushed out of my lungs and I’m gasping for air. My body is still on heightened alert. But I’m beginning to see that I’m safe. My eyes are open and I see where I have been. I am beginning to understand what I’ve been through. But I am not breathing on my own yet. I’ll be in ICU for many months as I learn how to live again. That is what PTSD does to its victims. 

My old cup is broken. I’ve been given a sippy cup. One with the long straw. Doesn’t have anything in it yet but soon it will be filled again with love, compassion, kindness, joy and other goodness. And this time the lid will hold the contents safely inside when it gets bumped. Life will go on. I’ll eventually remove the lid and a little will spill out. I can replace the lid if I need to. I may even get a breakable cup again someday. 

Thoughts for consideration: be the hand that reaches out and saves a life. There is help and healing for PTSD.


Depression is NOT a Choice

Depression is not a choice. Do you hear me !!! Depression is not a choice.

You don’t just wake up one morning depressed. Depression creeps up on you slowly, little by little. It is mixed with highs that make you think you are ok. Highs that allow you to make others think you are ok. When reality is you are caught in a tornado that is spiraling out of control to the the point of no return. 

Depression pushes everyone away and isolates. Depression sets everything up for failure while you lie to yourself hoping and believing it will be ok. Depression is a slow killer worse than any cancer. There is no radiation, chemo or magic pill that will cure it. 
Depression is the one disease that is culturally unacceptable. That is why it is so hidden. That is why we are so shocked when friends kill themselves because of it. 
The question is what do we do when we find ourselves sunk into a depression?
I recently told one of my friends I was battling depression and the response I got was, to be exact, “well that’s your choice.” It has has only made me more depressed. Feel more alone. Be more isolated. 
Every moment I have to choose life. Every moment I have to choose to keep living. Every moment I have to choose to wake up. Every moment I have to choose to keep breathing. These are the real choices of of a depression. Depression is not a choice.

No Help to Be Found.

imageToday I decided to get up and get dressed and go into town to talk to my pastor. I have been attending that church since December and I am yet to learn his name but I really enjoy the church and the worship.

I have been struggling really bad and question if my existence will continue. So I finally did it. I went to the church and went in and ask the receptionist if I could speak to the pastor. She looks up at me and tells me today is his day off. His day off, but she can give me a 1-800 number if I needed it. For real? Today I finally get up enough nerve to tell someone that I am NOT ok and she she wants to give me a 1-800 number. I told her no thanks and left.

I go I to the neighboring town where I serve on various boards to inquire about something or another and end up volunteering at a health fair working a booth.

No one knows the truth about me. I am a master at hiding my pain. I was chatting (in person no less) with a person who lives in the neighborhood I used to live in and he was holding information on a nonprofit group that does free counseling.

He went on to explain how after getting out of the military service he sought counseling and it really has helped him. Now being unemployed and without health insurance I thought this may be an option for me. So I go to the booth and inquire about the free counseling only to learn it is for moms with young children and I don’t qualify. Ok I accept that.

I decide to go visit another friend from the same old neighborhood but she was not home and I left. I had to take a different route home than I regularly travel. It is rush hour and traffic is bad even for a small town.

I pull into my little town entering from the opposite end a bit preoccupied about my failure to get any help when all of a sudden there are red flashing lights in my rear view mirror. Could my life get any worst? I pull over a bit confused because I thought I was following the traffic laws carefully. I had my license and proof of car insurance out and my hands firmly planted on the steering wheel at 11 and 1 o’clock as he arrived at the car window.

I asked him what I’d done wrong.

He shifts on one foot and in his cocky little voice says we will have to discuss just what I did wrong.

So I waited as he took my info checked my car tags and inspection stickers being a dominant male. And I am still confused.

Finally he says, “did you see that stop sign back there?”

I respond yes and he proceeds to inform me I rolled through it. What? I am sure I didn’t?

But before I could say anything he asks, “what were you thinking about?” So I told him exactly what I was thinking, “I am widowed and I need help”

He tells me I should pay attention and be careful because I am all alone. Then he gives me a citation. I am dumb founded and just corporate with him because if I do anything I am sure I am going to burst into a full fledge widow anguished wail that will have familiar pig snorts as I gasp for breath crying.

I very carefully drive on home. Sit in the car in the garage for what must have been over a half hour completely unable to move or think. Thankfully the car was turned off or you would be missing out on the account of my day.

I finally drag myself out of my car check the mail only to learn that my house has been reappraised and the my property taxes have substantially increased.

Yep I guess things could get worse. Life just need lol roll with it . . .


I am so alone. It is hard to believe. After all these years, alone.

All I ever dreamt of was to have a family. A family and to grow old with the one I love with all my heart.

But here I am totally alone. Totally alone.

How I longed to have old friends to get together with and grow old with. But here I am old and alone. So very alone.

I absolutely hate being alone. Why am I this way you may ask? Because my husband died. He, the one I chose to love and grow old with, the one I had a family with, the one I had a career with, died.

I built my world totally around him and his desires and his friends and everything was about him and for him and with him. And now he is dead and they did not want me to be in their lives so they cast me aside. I am left with no one. Totally alone. A word to the wise never build your life totally around someone else, be true to yourself!

No job. No friends. No one. Alone. Totally alone.

I simply cannot bare this aloneness any longer. I simply cannot be so alone, so totally alone.

About to change

Life as you know it is about to change.

I heard those words as plain as day one year before my world fell apart. Little did I know just what that meant. I tried to ignore it. I tried to not acknowledge it but it was. How could that warning have helped me with if I had of acknowledged it. What difference could it of made. I don’t think any but it could have softened the blow of it all if I had of know how to react.

What good is a warning with out knowledge of how to handle it.

OMG I am so angry. I am so sad. I can’t handle me right now.

What was I? Who was I? Why? Why? Why?

I feel so rejected. I feel so lost. I feel so empty. I feel so ugly.

I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t want this life anymore.

Somehow it must stop. Somehow it must end. Somehow. . .

I can’t . . .

Life of a loser

I must really be a loser or something.

I went to my insurance agent to get a quote on a policy. The agent is always so happy to see me. However it seems like she is always having a bad or stressful day when I am there. She works long hours and is often sick.

After several minutes getting the quote and talking she told me that she is always so glad to see me. She told me I am a reminder that her life is not so bad after all. A reminder that things are going pretty good for her. And I didn’t even discuss anything about my life with her I just listened to her discuss her life. Needless to say I left there with my heart dragging the ground. And now I am here so sad and grief stricken thinking what is there even to live for anymore. I am friendless, jobless and family less.

I used to think things would work out. I used to think any employer would be lucky to have me as an employee. I know I am over qualified for a lot of jobs but I never cared, but the employers do.

I used to think I could easily find someone to date then reality hit and no one is even remotely interested in me except creepy people.

I used to be a confident and secure person who would help anyone and everyone. Now I just want to crawl into a cave and die. I used to live life now I just want to evaporate.

What is the use anymore anyway.

It is so discouraging when I needed help doing stuff I would ask but not find anyone to help. When ones would see what I have accomplished by my self they’d say you should have asked for help but I did and no one helped.

But over and over those same people are now asking me for free help I just want to say where we’re you when I was struggling so? Where were you when I took my life in my own hands lifting extremely heavy stuff over my head into the attic when I should not have been? Where were you when . . . And now you dare ask me to help you . . .

I know what will happen when my funds run out, there will be no around again. I know I will be the one that they say, I am so encouraged by you because you show me my life is not so bad after all.

Today I had a man complaining because he was having to do the work of two people and I told him that there are so many people out there looking who need jobs. He should consider hiring someone to help. His response and I quote: “You use the word looking loosely. Pretty much those not working aren’t worth beep n on the take. If there worth hiring, they already have a good job! Very sad…”

I had absolutely nothing to say to that because I am one of those people out of work. I am one of those people looking for a job not worth a beep n on the take. Me! I worked to same job for over 25 years with my late husband faithfully and only lost my job because he died and the church directors did not want me a woman and voted me out while I was on bereavement leave. Hit me when I was down they did. I should have let myself just die . . . I should have just gone ahead and died that dreadful day. Well actually I DID die that day. All my hopes and dreams died. All my reasons for living died that day. . .

All I can say is I must really be a loser or something.

I Lost Everything


It is funny Peter is saying that they have LEFT (Mark 19:28) everything to follow Christ but I lost everything because I followed Christ. Makes my heart break. What a great price we pay to be followers of Christ more than anyone in the world realizes. It is a serious matter when someone decides to become a Christian because the cost is very great. It is no small thing to make a commitment such as this.

I found that now I live a very lonely and sad existence even though I try extremely hard to be happy. I know happiness cannot be found in anything but Christ but I can’t believe He wants us to live like this when he gives us personalities such as I have that are very outgoing. The emptiness and void I now feel is so difficult to comprehend.

Then again it was at the hand of man that I am in the spot I am in. I don’t believe it is God’s doing or in God’s will that I am in the place I currently find myself. I have always been able to separate the actions of man and the actions of God. This was the hand of man that has all but destroyed me to my very core.

I am having a tremendously difficult time overcoming all that has happened to me since my husband’s death. Depression knocks at my door daily sometimes hourly and even moment by moment. I battle and war against it but I am so battle weary and it is getting much harder to stay the faith.