Sunday, November 6, 2011

Like Sensitive Teeth

It finally hit me what I hate most about this whole PTSD mess.
I'm ridiculously sensitive to EVERYTHING.
It's like having a sweet tooth and sensitive teeth at the same time- you don't want to separate yourself from this world you just want to surround yourself with, but you can't help but be in horrible pain with nearly every little interaction.
I have spent the vast majority of my life cultivating the tough girl image. I'm heavily tattooed, tall and "thick". I'm not fragile looking, and, when surrounded by "the guys", I've always stood my ground, and managed, often enough to be known for it, to be able to respond to their dirty or shock-value jokes with something that none of them would have thought of. I'm a smart-ass. I've worked very hard to be the queen of comebacks and snide remarks. I pill poke, push or play-hit more guys I know than ones I would hug when I run into them. It's this person I've worked so hard to become- and now she's crumbling right in front of me.
And there's nothing I can do about it.
I know I take everything too personally lately. I feel like everything is somehow a reflection of me, and I know that I way oversimplify and, at the same time, over-think everything. If it wasn't obviously my fault, I will think about it and think about it until I can see how it "obviously" is my fault. And I will feel bad or guilty about it, no matter how long it took me to "see" that it "was my fault". It's a ridiculous game I play, really, and I can't possibly win it, either.
If my boyfriend isn't in a good mood, I take it to heart, and think about how difficult I've been lately. If I can't keep the dogs from overwhelming me, I find myself having trouble with my anxiety, but, of course, it's still my fault- I haven't trained them well enough. In my world, everything centers on me, but only when it's bad. In my world, that's the only thing I do, is mess things up for myself and everyone else.
I'm so tired of being miserable all the frigging time. I have gotten better about catching myself and fighting myself as I try to go down that all-too-familiar path, but I have a long way to go before I feel like I'm in any way in control of my emotions.
I make a huge point of holding on to that tough girl image at work- and now I've found myself crying- CRYING!- there, falling apart every time I deal with certain people that generally are more than a little willing to throw people (especially me) under the proverbial bus. People have seen me cry, AT WORK! For the love of God, this is not who I want to be.
Truth is, under the tough girl exterior, I've always been very sensitive to other's emotions, and a very compassionate person. It never bothered me too much until people started seeing it when I didn't want them to. In the military world, a sensitive woman- hell, even your average woman- is a risk, a problem. Women aren't seen as allies or possible strengths, and they aren't seen for their strengths. We're seen as the weakest links in the fence, physically and emotionally.
I have found myself having very generalized emotions lately, not triggered by anything in particular, but things I wake up with, and have the most trouble shaking. The blanket anxiety I felt last week was followed by blanket anger yesterday. I was just pissed off from the moment I woke up, and it took me well into the evening to really be rid of the majority of it.
I suppose someone will read this and know that this is "all part of the healing process" or some such cliche, but right now, I can't see how any of this can possibly be something anyone else has survived or understands.

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