Anger, it's an emotion many feel, yet many do not talk about. I'm sure we all know an "angry" person in our life, I'm sure there are times where you have felt anger within. We spent an hour talking about Anger a few Fridays ago, which was interesting. The key point I took away is that anger is a secondary emotion. What does this mean? You can't be angry before you feel another emotion, now whether or not you recognize that emotion is one thing, but it's there. Anger comes after another emotion, common ones include fear, shame, hurt, sadness and guilt. You will experience one of these emotions before you feel angry. Again, you may not recognize that you have felt that emotion but it is there, because anger is secondary. The key to dealing with anger is learning how to recognize the first feeling. Recognize when you feel hurt or sad and sit with that feeling. The more you are able to recognize and attend to the first feeling, the less the anger will boil over. It makes a lot of sense to me. I would say I haven't dealt with a lot of anger with Ty and Jacobs death, there have been moments I've wanted to throw glass plates into a wall or head to the shooting range, but more than angry, I felt hurt and sadness. I've been able to recognize those feelings before I let the anger boil. I wouldn't say I am angry that the boys died, I feel it was unfair and I am profoundly saddened by it, but angry is not the right emotion for those events. I do foster anger towards some of the doctors because they hurt me. I was not listened too, I was waived off, Jacob was waived off, Ty was ignored. That hurt me, thats where my anger lies. But I'm working on it, I'm learning to sit with those emotions and thoughts before my anger gets the best of me. When you really think about it, anger is truly a secondary emotion. You will always feel something else before anger, you just might not know or be aware so next time you feel angry, sit with your emotions and see what first emotion caused your anger. It's a lot easier to deal with when you can identify the true emotion.
Self disclosure, when we tell the world about our life. It was the topic of this weeks discussion and one that made me laugh a bit. We learned that people with ptsd either share everything or share nothing. I laugh because I feel like I'm the share everything person (which is the rarer of the two). I have this blog, I share a lot, I dont hide much, though I also don't share every single detail because some don't really matter to all my readers. But I do share and I do share a lot because I know how it feels and I remember how it feels to have that sense of being alone. The feeling that you are the only person going through tragedy, the only person to have ptsd and all these symptoms (which I developed a new symptom recently, we'll chat about that in the next paragraph) but I know that feeling and I share so someone else out there reading this can not feel so alone. If I could take the hurt and loneliness feeling away from someone, or even give someone hope, that is the purpose of this blog and I've done my part. It hurts to feel so alone, you feel isolated and weird. So I'm the share almost everything girl, when you meet me I generally do not hide much about my life, why? Because if I meet someone else walking a similar path and they feel so very alone, I want them to know they aren't. I want them to know they can talk to me and just feel some sense of togetherness. I wouldnt be able to provide that to people if I held everything in. But I also won't give all the juicy details of my life.
I've had ptsd since after Bee was born, or developed it shortly after. I wasn't diagnosed until Bee was 6 months old. Previous to that I had been labeled with anxiety and depression, which are different than ptsd. I've sat with ptsd for about 2 1/2 years now. I thought I knew it well enough to know all the symptoms and side effects, the constant nausea, the heartburn, the inability to focus, the inability to control my emotions, the forgetfulness, the intense physical reaction to remembering an event (pounding heart, sweating, muscle tension, nausea), flashbacks, avoidance from life, loss of interest in hobbies, feeling detached and numb, sense of a limited future, problems with sleep, problems with falling asleep, feeling jumpy or easily scared, physical aches and pains and those are only a few. I was aware of them all, or so I thought. A couple of month ago I began having flashes of bright lights, almost like the sun hits something shinny and it reflects in your eye or a light flickering. They didnt happen often at first and I've always had floaters so I didnt think anything of it until my mom mentioned something. I ended up at the eye doctors because apparently that can be a sign of retinal detachment. Thankfully, my eyes are perfectly healthy. But I was still having these flashes, sometimes seeing something out of the corner of my eye that wasn't really there. My next step was to my doctors for a neurological exam. She had no concerns, I've had a cat scan earlier in the year and she did a sinus xray (around the eyes) and nothing was found. I happened to mention the stress that it was causing to my counselor one day and she said it can also be a symptom of ptsd. Well knock my socks off, I'm sure thats what it is but I was not aware that these flashes of light, seeing things in the corner of my eye that weren't actually there could be from ptsd. She said with ptsd you can almost have hallucinations, seeing things that arent there, flashes of light etc. I still get them and I've been under a lot of stress so it's nice to know that it's probably just my ptsd.
Lastly (I'm hoping to share some more Friday finding gems with you all, they are so very helpful) please consider donating in memory of Ty and Jacob : Merrymount Fundraiser.