So. You’ve stumbled upon my blog. This may be the threads of fortune dragging you into my web so that I can steal and re-purpose your sanity, or it might just be a thing you’re reading on the internet. Either way, here are some definite facts (if you believe in definite facts):
My name is Elizabeth Brico. Some people call me Betty. Lately, I’ve taken to Ellie.
I am, in fact, a mother.
I earned this qualification by birthing three whole humans out of my body. You’ll learn more about them later. I also have PTSD. That’s basically what this blog (and my life) is about. There are some other things about me that may come into play, like that I am a freelance writer with an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, or that I am a recovering multi-substance addict.
Or that I am bisexual but was in denial about it for a long time because of my abuse.
But what really affects me the most every single moment of every single day are: 1.) Being a mom, and 2.) Having PTSD
I already explained the mom thing.
So what exactly is PTSD?
Quite literally, PTSD is an acronym for “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
To be less of a little shit*, PTSD is a mental health disorder that occurs after a person has experienced or witnessed a life-threatening or sexual trauma. It is characterized by a fun constellation of symptoms which the DSM-V (published by the American Psychiatric Association) lists as :
Category I: Re-experiencing the trauma in at least one of the following ways:
-Intrusive thoughts related to the trauma
-Trauma flashbacks (these are especially horrific)
-Emotional reactivity (basically overreacting on hyperdrive)
-Reactivity (like jumping like a maniac when a guy turns a corner near you in a normal, non-startling way)
Category II: Avoiding the trauma in at least one of the following ways:
-Thoughts and feelings related to the trauma
-Physical reminders of the trauma (like places, smells, people, etc)
Category III: Experiencing at least two of these types of negative thoughts or feelings:
-Difficulty remembering key aspects of the trauma
-Poor self-esteem and/or negativity regarding the world as a whole
-Blaming oneself or uninvolved others for the trauma
-Loss or decreased interest in formerly enjoyed activities
-A feeling of isolation
-An inability to show happiness or positivity, even when experiencing positive feelings
Category IV: Experiencing at least two of the following:
-Aggression or aggressive anxiety
-Exaggerated startle reflex
-Problems with concentration
There are some other criterion, like that all of your symptoms can’t be caused by drugs. The DSM-V, which came out after I was diagnosed, also added a dissociative specification that I didn’t have to meet to get my diagnosis, but which I unfortunately do meet. If you think you have PTSD, and you can’t see a therapist because your insurance has been eaten by Donald Trump, you can spend way too much money on a DSM-V or you can visit a website like www.ptsd.va.gov or one of the many others that comes up in a Google search on PTSD to get more detailed info.
Basically, though, having PTSD really sucks.
There are a lot of ways you can get it, but I got it from being physically, sexually, emotionally, and verbally abused by this tweaked out, adult scumbag I fell ridiculously in love with when I was a teenager. I won’t get into all those details right here. Going into all those details makes me crazy (see above description of avoidance behaviors) and anyway, it will come up in the blog itself. But, to give you a general idea of the situation, he was an adult male, and I looked like this:
Why a blog about being a mom while having PTSD? What is this about?
This is a blog about despair. This is a blog about triumph. This is a blog about holistic defeat. This is a blog about falling rock bottom head-first and then finding and piecing back my spattered brains on the way back up. This is a blog about absurd hope. This is a blog about poetry by someone who doesn’t write it except when she wants to win a contest. This is a blog about an ego both shattered and inflated. This is a blog about language. This is a blog about responsibility. This is a blog about avoidance. This is a blog about empathy. This is a blog about reaching out. This is a blog about joy. This is a blog about finding my voice. This is a blog about being a mirror so you too can find yours. This is a blog about the beauty of the strange, the forgotten, the derailed, deferred, perturbed, despised, ignored. This is a blog about compassion. This is a blog about petulance in the face of demands for adulthood. This is a blog about growing up without guidance. This is a blog about being a guide anyway. This is a blog about me, and darlins, I am the only ‘me’ around.
Check out my links page to see more of my writing, or check out my Fiction Fridays archive to read my fiction. Some of them are complete and some are drafts, but feedback is always welcome. This one is my favorite.
*If you are going to read this blog, you need to be comfortable-or gain speedy comfort-with profanity. I use it. A lot. I have the lips of a goddess, the tongue of a drunk, and the mind of a disturbed, female curmudgeon…with kids. Get it now?
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