In light of the recent shooting in Texas, I feel I need to address this issue again, mainly thanks to the media. One reason I am so open and honest about my struggles not only in infant loss but PTSD as well is because I try to show the face of how it truly is. I want people to know and understand what kinds of things we go through and that for the majority of us we are still "normal" people.
As a PTSD suffer I m appalled by the accusations that "every single person with PTSD needs to be locked up for the safety of society". That was a comment left on one of the articles about the shooting and it goes to show how little people actually know about the mental illness. I live my life in two taboo to talk about subjects, infant loss and PTSD. I am adamant about raising awareness in regards to both issues but as of late, I feel I need to defend PTSD much more because of mass media.
Just to be clear, the majority (minus maybe a handful or two) of people with PTSD do not go around killing people, nor do we have the urges, nor do we plan to hurt others. It's not just PTSD that does that to someone, it's a lot more mentally than just PTSD. People seem to think every person with PTSD is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off and go on a shooting spree but most of us simply are not like that.
PTSD is not strictly limited to people in the line of duty, it can happen to anyone who experiences trauma of any sort. I still get flashbacks when I am driving in the rain due to having been in a car accident when it was raining out. Given, its not severe or to the extent that I have anxiety and flashbacks due to Ty and Jacob dying. Nor is my trauma experience the same as someone fighting in a war. Our experiences are different so our flashbacks and reactions to PTSD are different, however, most of us still aren't going around on killing sprees and if we do have an outburst, most of the time it doesn't end up with us committing a violent crime, most of the time it's self inflicted.
Speaking of mental health, I partially blame the government due to it's lack of resources available to those who need them. I'm the perfect example. I honestly believe one of my greatest challenges and biggest issue has been inconsistent care. Over the last 4 years I have seen 10 different people in regards to my grief/PTSD/GAD. 10......I'm not how many of you have been to see a specialist but it goes something like this. You make an appointment, go to that appointment and for the first 2-3 appointments they get all the background information they possibly can. You tell your story over and over, you don't really get anywhere. They all have the same agenda, they all seem to have been trained at the same school by the same teachers so you never really get anywhere. Though, on the off chance you do start getting somewhere that's usually when your resources are cut off and you are passed onto the next program.
I'm onto person 11 and it's only temporary until I can get into an adult trauma program, which by the sounds of it, I should have been in from the get go. There is no time limit in this program, they work with me as long as I need and I won't get passed around from person to person. Given, it will be the 12th person I see but hey, maybe lucky #12 will be the one!
After everything I have been through over the last 4 years, I can say that our government (Canadian) severely lacks in helping those with mental illness. Just walk down any street and you can see the evidence everywhere. I know first hand, I've seen it, I've experienced it. Luckily for me, I have great family and friend support and I'm with it enough to know I need help and seek out that help myself. Not many people are in the right state to do that, or they deny it. I have no shame in talking about it because, just like infant loss, there is a huge stigma around mental health. There are labels, there are whispers but there are people as well. People who have names and lives and need help. They don't need shame, they don't need to be told to get over things, they don't need to be told it's easy to not be anxious, or that using anxiety as an excuse to get out of something is getting old. It's not easy. I would never choose to feel this way. I don't like it, I've been feeling it for so long that is has taken a toll on me not only mentally, but physically as well. Of course, that just adds to the stress too.
But then, I can't say I'd choose a different path. I have met some amazing people a long the way and though I'm sure it goes without saying, I much rather Ty and Jacob have not died then be where I am, but I am thankful to have gotten to where I am. Yes I still battle everyday, I still struggle everyday, even on sunny days like today I can't get out of this funk. I just feel like crying and the anxiety is eating away at me (I think it literally is eating away at my stomach with all these issues I am having). I am thankful to my family and friends who have been by my side, I just wish they could understand that it's not in my head, that it's not as easy for me to face my fears, that it is not easy for me to change. I like pattern, I like prediction and I like control. It eases my anxiety and when all of that goes out the window, I recede.
Hoping the next few weeks brings some much needed answers (in our favour of course) and that we can get our feet back on the ground and running. Well, who am I kidding, walking, I don't run anymore.