It is with an astonished mind that I continue the saga from my earlier post… After all the therapy and personal growth I have completed, I really believed I had fully recovered from my military sexual trauma (MST) and early childhood traumas.
What I did not understand is that throughout my adult life, my drug of choice was over work and overwhelm. When I intentionally made arrangements to decrease the demands on my time, which coincided with my fabulous release of unnecessary fat accumulated like body armour to save me from the US Navy, I began having panic attacks and the most unbearable chronic and free-floating anxiety I can imagine.
When I was young, I was too afraid to be afraid and did not even KNOW I was fearful. As an adult in therapy I got in touch with that. Now I am fully engaged in an intensive outpatient program for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that earlier in my life I would deny having at all.
My wife is also going through PTSD and sadly we trigger each other quite a bit, so I am applying to participate in a 7.5 week inpatient program in Salem VA to heal from all of this sooner than later.
To add to my stress, the medication I am on to help with depression and anxiety causes my mind to be much duller, and my ability to focus and complete things is seriously diminished. It has been alarming that I have started pouring water into a vessel in the sink and walked off only to find it still running hours later, and leaving on the stove eyes after cooking until returning to the kitchen to find the element “ON”. Since I am an entrepreneur, that is jeopardizing my livelihood. I could not have ever imagined this would happen in my life, especially now.
In therapy I learned that this dynamic is extremely common, especially with veterans. When the Viet Nam vets began to retire, this same phenomenon jumped all over them in the thousands. The decrease in constant business allows us to begin to really FEEL what is locked inside our muscular and cellular memory that we have not allowed ourselves to face.
As a former Licensed Professional Counselor, I specialized in helping women recover from trauma, and thought I understood what they experienced because of my own traumas. Now I know there is an entirely different and horrifying level of PTSD that is debilitating, and I have so much compassion for anyone who suffers with this.
Being on this side of the therapeutic couch is also an interesting experience… I am TRULY in the client space and desperately needing help. My own extensive training and experience are virtually worthless to me now, only distant memories of another time in my life.
On the up side of this process, the inpatient program I will be participating in has EQUINE THERAPY!!!! This is a dream come true for me! I have long wanted to learn HOW to help others using the benefits of our equine friends who are super intuitive and very present in order to survive as prey animals. At least I can participate in Equine Therapy as a client and maybe progress to learning out to help others also.
Another wonderful event has recently occurred! I was a chapter author and participated in the book launch for a collaborative effort creatively visualized and manifest by Dr. Anne Sourbeer Morris called, “Futures Inspired Unexpected Pathways: The Journeys of Women in the Workforce“
If you are looking to be inspired, please consider getting a copy and reading the amazing stories of so many women faced with adversity and overcoming the challenges to become successful. I will be delighted to personally inscribe a copy for you if you let me know you bought one!
My new mantra is “This too shall pass” and I know it will. I am so excited to see what is on the other side of all this fear so I can begin to truly live the full, amazing and joyous life I envision for myself over the next 60 years! Namaste’