Feelings of worthlessness. Social anxiety. Telephonophobia. A sense of foreshortened life. Cherophobia. Agoraphobia. Nightmares that feel like a portal to hell. Physical numbing. Emotional numbing. Suicidal ideation. Suicidal intent. Low self-esteem. Poor sense of danger. Hypervigilance. Rage. Body aches. Depression. Fatigue. Susceptibility to chemical dependency and addiction. Inability to trust others. Inability to show affection. Inability to receive affection. Extreme isolation. Hallucinations. Fear for loved ones. Tendency to push loved ones away. Expectations of loss. Expectations of harm. Self-harm. Derealization. Depersonalization. Personality dissociation. Flashbacks. Panic attacks. Generalized anxiety. Aggression. Inability to work. Obsession with loss. Fear.
These are just some of the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. While not everyone lives with all of these symptoms, many of us live with a lot of them. If you don’t have PTSD, imagine living with just one or two, all the time. Those of us living in the aftermath of trauma have to battle debilitating symptoms on a constant basis. It can’t easily be done alone. We rely on our supports to function. So what happens when all of our supports–or even just a great majority of our supports–fail to come through? That is what has happened to me this past month, so I’m at a great vantage point to talk about it.