‘PTSD & me’

#FeelingSafeIsABasicNeed

someone walks into the room quietly and i jump
the startle reflex is the dominant symptom of the day
that was yesterday
today
i hyperventilate as i drive back home
i saw a man walking in the dark around our doors
I am triggered by this, i am tired, i have not slept
i am trying to put fear back on the shelf
understanding is far and i am just a complaint
my body hurts, i have struggled with chores
while trying to take care of my health
if i try to explain how i have felt
it is always and never
go back to your happy place self
the throw away is imminently dealt
the rejection, the judgment because i am myself
could i just not be me
i struggle with accepting me the way i are
i am scarred
i am scarred
i may even be broken but
most of the time i am just angry
about the battle days with fear
gripping me tight choking out safe light
i must fight to let it go
i must tell my mind that this is not then
and it is not happening again like before
so many befores’
so many befores’
sometimes they come rushing out the doors of my soul
in a second
a simple moment
i could lose control
i could stumble down the dark hole of ptsd
hypervigilance, easily startled, just fucking afraid of everything
it affects my breathing, my being
at least after therapy
i know what is happening to me
i can use my breath to regain free
i can breathe to release my body from this memory
my soul reminds me of who i am and the awesome power to live is me
in a single moment
i breath
shutting the door to the past
accepting me
even if no one else gets it
i still must love and live with myself
my superpower is the unconditional love that resides in me
fear is not really a factor
God lives in me
bring it on fear
i only need to breathe
to be free
by mozayik ‘the souls’ poet’
4.9.2019 716a

Letting It Out (more room out than in)

Whew! today has been loooong. I feel like I need to shake it off, shake off all the energy that is not mine. So much has happened today. So much has changed I have been in deep thought about a lot of things. I have questioned my own motives for doing a thing. I know that great struggle will produce enormous growth. So I count it all Joy.

My therapist is leaving the YWCA. I am happy for her. I am happy that she is doing what will serve her highest good. I trust her. She has supported me through some pretty rough terrain since I moved back to St. Louis. One of the main reasons I moved back home was because I could not, no matter what I did, get any kind of therapy at all.

They said my income was too high. Really, umph, anyway, I went all that time without any therapy. Yeah, I was fine for the most part, but I had some struggles with anxiety. I was not depressed because I had a strong relationship with God. I had sunshine and the tools I learned in therapy. I had processed all of the trauma that was causing the depression. I know how to keep my joy.

Please let me say that I don’t regret anything. I needed what Phoenix taught but I knew it was time to come home. Even if no one else understood. There were many reasons that God led me back to St Louis. Me and God we good like that, I know and trust God to lead me. Wherever I am God is.

I learned so much from the therapy I had already had, but there were some missing pieces. Healing is a process. Like going to school, you graduate to different levels based on your understanding of the Curriculum.

Coming home and working with her has taken my understanding to the next level. I needed to understand why I have continued to have certain challenges.

She said I get it. I tackle a problem head-on. I don’t live in denial but choose to make the changes necessary to be at peace. I am not a whiner and if I complain about something, I am willing to be the change. After a few therapists, I realized what worked for me. Talking is good for some but in addition to that, I need something practical to do. I tell therapists that when I first meet them now.

I am rambling, I know, but I am a writer that spills her thoughts and feelings onto the page where it can make sense. I have learned the hard way that there is more room out than in. That was one of my grandmothers’ favorite sayings, “There is more room out than in.” but she was talking about farting. But it applies to our emotions as well. Holding things in will literally kill you.

So, thanks for listening y’all

I am breathing better now.

If none of this makes sense, please chalk it up to venting. Thanks for letting me be myself again.

mozayik

 

breathe

being alone sucks when the clouds start to turn gray

and the memory of abuse is alive and well

the memories laugh and taunt

the breath though saves me

between the inhale and exhale

is where God restores my soul

I remember just like the last breath I took

this feeling of lonely will pass

I remember I am love

love is my super power

the next inhale comes to straighten my spine

the exhale releases all the indecision and doubt

the between the exhale and inhale

reminds me of my purpose

all my tears are stored

in between the inhale, the exhale,

the space where I release the energy that has

clogged my spiritual pores

in between the inhale and exhale

the space where my soul speaks

a language only God understands

by mozayik ‘the soul’ poet’

8.21.18

pray don’t worry “compartmentalize”

I pray so I don’t have to worry.

At 50 years old I learned in therapy  the tools needed to cope. I essentially grew up. My family of origin was dysfunctional, so I was not aware of the pathology in my thinking that showed up in my behavior.

Therapy for me was  examining behaviors that don’t serve me well, like catastrophizing. The understanding of why I do something helped me love myself unconditionally. I then had the confidence that I could  reprogram and resetting my default to healthy thinking which fueled the change in how I respond to life’s challenges.
We say knowledge is power but it can only be powerful when we use what we have learned to change.
I had been known to freak out. To not be able to handle stress was my legacy. My family would deliberately keep things from me. They felt they had to protect me or I would collapse under the pressure.
After therapy I use the tool my therapist and I  practiced, “compartmentalizing”.
It is inline with my now favorite motto or chant.

If you are going to pray, don’t worry and if you are going to worry don’t pray.

I had a situation come up yesterday that in the past would have sent me reeling straight into anger and then depression and the cycle would start. Depression, pain, and anger from feeling out control.

That is FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

The truth is we have a choice to make moment to moment. We cant be happy and sad at the same exact moment. The brain does not work that way. And thank God because we would loose our choice or ability to be the miraculous human beings we are.

Our mindset is a choice. Our power lies in the fact we can create. We can think a thing, speak the thing and manifest a thing. It really is that simple.
I have changed. When things crop up and I don’t have the resources to solve the problem I am okay with allowing God to lead me to the solution.

Yesterday, I prayed and enjoyed the rest of my evening because there was nothing I could do about it at the time.  I have learned to be present in the moment by compartmentalizing. I slept well last night.  When I  rose I went about  my usual morning rituals. When I sat down and I allowed myself to think about it again, the problem was not as bad as I had initially thought.

No matter what I know I can trust God so I pray.  Praying is giving it to God. But I don’t take it back by worrying about it. Breathing a sigh of relief, and smiling from the reassurance that it will all work out because I am in Gods will. Being happy moment to moment is the choice I make . Being present and Being grateful are the main keys to my happiness.

I am happy because I am grateful.

Catastrophizing

How to compartmentalize.

Triggered, but my soul reminded me, I am Queen. “I am the soul’s poet.”

This is why I am the souls’ poet. I thought my computer was broken because I dropped it on the floor and it was giving me an error message to call Dell. I started freaking out because I was already stressing about having so much to do but still having a lot of pain. I began to cry and want to go home to St. Louis. I questioned myself about why I am here in Phoenix.
Pain is my biggest trigger. Pain leaves me feeling defeated. It makes me want to fight. That is what I am, at my core I am a fighter.
Maybe the Universe wants me to allow and surrender instead of fighting.
I have found ways to manage my pain and thought the days of tears from pain were over.  I would say however, that about 80% of my chronic pain is gone due to lifestyle changes I have made that included therapy, quitting smoking 7 years ago, losing weight, moving to a warmer climate and becoming more active.
I have been able to function without any pain medication for months but the training for my work at home job left me depleted and after going home to bury my mother in September my pain has increased.  I have been slowly getting back to myself.  Maybe I just need to be still for a while.
I am going to go see a pain specialist for the remaining pain in my neck, shoulder, upper back, my arm, hand, wrist and fingers. This doctor does not automatically write a prescription but treats the specific area first before prescribing a pill. Chronic pain wears on you like an obnoxious noise that becomes too much to bear, leaving you with a feeling of needing to escape. This feeling of needing to flee is the trigger.
Thank God for therapy and I know that “This is now and not then.” I guess I will always have to deal with triggers but now after therapy I have knowledge and I have tools to get back to feeling safe again.
 
To say I was feeling like giving up is putting it mildly, I felt devastated. I was worrying about how I was going to get my business up and running. All I think about lately is GirlGetYouSomeHelp.com. Now that I have a launch date I feel the pressure of being productive everyday.
 
I sat down and prayed, turned on the computer and it was working properly.
My soul reminded me of who I be. These words came out of me like water. I promise you that my soul wrote this to let me know just how powerful I am. I don’t have to stress or freak out because something feels a certain way. I am not my feelings. God is still in control.

Shine
I have been made in the fire,
laid out in the sun to become ashes
that fall upon my body and burn away the pain,
I know if I make through this,
after what I already made it through
a 100 facet diamond will have nothing on my glow,
my shine so bright that all night flees in the wake of me,
the powerful one able to look at the sun,
the one that gives life from the womb,
the one who holds up the moon and shoots stars around mars and can be the diamond that all diamonds aspire to be,
you cant see me because I be in your soul,
want to find me,
you want to be a kind like me,
but you will never be
because it is only your own shine
that will nurture you soul and make you whole.

by mozayik “the souls’ poet”

11.15.17

A letter to survivors (originally posted 4/2014)

If you had told me that I would I be living this free two years ago, I would not have believed you. Two years ago, events happened that triggered my healing. I have post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a result of surviving childhood sexual abuse, abandonment, neglect, and rape before the age of five. Five is the age of the first rape memory at the hands of my mothers’ boyfriend.

Writing saved my life. Words were my saviors. This is why I am compelled to tell my story. I do not tell it to gain pity or fame. I tell it because I was born to tell it. So I tell. Everywhere I go I tell.

I want to tell my story of PTSD because most of us do not know what that looks like on an African American girl or woman. The number is many but until we start talking about it, most will suffer in silence, and ignorance. The majority will be miss-diagnosed with a mental illness or written off as just an angry black woman.

Be clear that PTSD is not a mental illness. It is how I respond to stressors in life after some trauma. My brain is wired differently, when it comes to how my body and mind react to stress. Knowledge about this disorder has been the single most important piece of my healing outside of my willingness to heal and therapy. I was able to function in society but the evidence showed up as “angry black woman”. I married, had children, went to school, worked, and to some had a pretty good life but PTSD affected everything. I will talk more about it in my book.

The story was telling me. I was angry and spiteful. Guarded was the aura I wore. I had to wear a mask that made you want to stay away from me. It served me well as a child but, as an adult, it robbed me of everything good. As a child, it kept me safe. If I came across as angry and hard then you could not interact with me. You just left me alone and that was how I controlled my environment. Of course, all of what I know about how I used to be is the result of a lot of therapy and my soul’s persistence to heal itself. I say used to because I have worked hard to change. I am not that woman any longer.

I am who I always knew I could be. I did not have the tools to let her live but I always knew there was a beautiful sweet woman inside of me.

I want to tell you, whoever may be reading this and experienced similar trauma that you can make it. You are a survivor and you will thrive. I know you feel like you will never be happy. I know you feel the weight of all that has happened to you. You get tired of trying to be happy. I know you are tired of people telling you to “get over it”. I know you want to be over it so badly it hurts.

You may have even learned, as I did, to give the appearance that you are okay. Believe me I know that feeling of being two different people. You have the functional face and energy that has served to get you through until this day. However, you also have that little child inside that needs nurturing. She needs rescuing and you know you are the only one to save her but you feel like you don’t have enough to even save yourself. I am telling you that you can and will heal.

It really does get better. Like I say in my poem “survivor” whatever it took to get you through until this day, it will take you further. You are not what you are feeling. You are strong and courageous. If you are reading these words that means you survived and now you can choose to do the work and start to thrive. https://thesoulspoet.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/survivor/

I know it f***ing sucks that you have to heal yourself. You did not do this shit to yourself. I look at it like this I had two choices. I could stay in pain or I could heal. Either way, I am in pain. So, I told myself if others said they made it over to the other side of healing then I am going to try it. It is true that the day will come when healing is the only choice you really have because the alternative has become unbearable. Trust that your body and mind know when the time is right. If you are suffering, it is time.

The most loving thing I have ever done for myself is do my work in therapy. I swear there have been days when the fear of healing took my breath away. My mind hid those things away to protect me until I could fully comprehend what happened and go through the healing process.

It has really become a spiritual journey for me because I know that my personality is only the tool my soul uses to heal itself and everything that has happened to me was for the elevation of my soul. Looking at it in this manner does not lessen the pain it just helps me to accept it as a necessary part of my journey. I hope my words have helped. My purpose is to use my words to help.

Mozayik “the souls’ poet”