Journal Entry Type #53: Triggers, Trauma, and Signs

I wasn’t going to write anything today except post a few blogs I was working on, but then I saw a sign that triggered something within me or more made me think of something I felt the need to write about, and that is the affects of trauma and how it relates to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Most people think of it when a soldier comes back from war or in any kind of situation where you constantly have to be on alert and ready to battle at a split second notice. It would do things to soldiers because it’s common sense. Unless you’re born without feelings, you will have triggers, memories, and signs of when things aren’t going so well. The same goes for people who are raised in violent (abusive) and what I like to call fucked up families where the bad present giving never stops giving. So, what was this sign I saw? It was the below. I also understand we don’t all agree with any of the following statements, no matter where we live, and especially in the U.S. I’m sure everyone has heard about the constant battle among U.S. residents who believe masks are the next best thing to a vaccine or are a form of control. I truly get it (well sort of), but in all honesty, I get it more than not. We live in a really screwed up time right now in many ways, but this too will eventually go into the history books and more important pass the test of time.

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I assure you students will be reading about the year 2020 in classes, whether they are sitting on hard metal chairs listening to the teacher or reading it on their iPad or whatever tablet they might have on their lap, because when you combine Coronavirus, the economic fallout of it, the U.S. election, let alone all the other world issues happening, well it’s ripe for the documentation. This sign has triggered positive, negative, and neutral thoughts. Individuality is a lesson we all need to be reminded of but so is cohesiveness. The genius of living in a world with so many different views and people is that humans are really the only living creature with so much control and power in the general sense. We are the only living creatures to really exacerbate the situation unnecessarily. Someone once told me she doesn’t get offended unless someone’s taking a physical swing at her head. It’s a good point but this doesn’t mean you can’t get pissed off at something. You shouldn’t internalize your feelings and then make it worse where it comes out in an explosive rage. As the parts of what makes the world run efficiently are not at their best, I find myself focusing on me. In other words, I have other fish to fry (where I got this saying, I’m not sure) when the day comes. If I can’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of others or be civil enough to hang with (although people say I’m more treat than medicine to be around). These are personal fish.

I’ve been having more bad dreams based on past things needing resolving. It isn’t anyone’s fault per se and I’m not going to get into the whole psychological concepts of dreams except to say the brain is a powerful thing. People that have traumatic experiences are more apt to replay bad memories in their heads, more prone to flashbacks, have suicidal ideations and cutting, and the run the whole gamut of emotions from fear to anger to sadness to guilt and the ever popular feeling numb all around. It truly changes how you see yourself and the world around you. While I never outright blamed myself for what happened, I fully did for not understand what was happening at the time and it really messed me up in that respect. I could write pages of how it affected me, but for everyone’s sake reading this, I will not. You can put two and two together on your own. I spent a lot of time trying to prove my worth so I guess in a way in a roundabout kind of way I did blame myself for what happened. Surprisingly, I don’t startle easily and I can easily forget to lock the front door (done that many times). I’ve left the keys in the door too. Hey, stranger, why not come in and have a peek? Maybe kill me along the way? The chances of this is pretty slim to none, but you hear about those rare cases of stranger on stranger murders.

To relate this to what the current climate is, political and everything else, I suppose I’m trying to say perspective is key while also honoring yourself by not minimizing your views and opinions. For the U.S. we are very much tied to “freedom of speech” and while the U.S. is far from being the best country, I would rather preserve the freedoms we currently have. The Woody Show used to have a segment (not sure if they still do this as I haven’t listened to it in a long time) where they would guess how long it would take for any random post to become political. Time and time again, it didn’t take too long. I understand the need to get along, also realizing that phrase “get along” means different things to different people. Any person can pick something or someone apart. It’s quite easy to react. Any person can also grow from whatever it is that is bothering them whether it be trauma from long ago or a more recent experience. The thing is most of us are capable of change and I’m not talking about changing political sides but changing yourself mentally/physically/emotionally so instead of going backwards, you are you going forward. You basically grow up a little more and stop sucking the same juice from the same container. You’re eyes are little bit wider. I used to think I would want money over anything else such as great health or forgetting past memories/situations or righting my wrongs. Now it’s a combination of both. I would definitely want the money, but I’d take less of it in order to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally especially when I have tough days. The phrase of “no pain, no gain” has merit and which I’ve been told I have done plenty to get where I am today. It also isn’t true in other cases. PTSD can keep people in a vicious loop and yes, that is me going down the stairs on my way to pick up the empty trash can.

While I will never get to the point of not reacting unless someone is physically trying to hurt me, I am willing to let things go quicker and somewhat easier if something happens in my day (a stumbling roadblock). I’m currently working on a scrapbook of pictures that elicit better thoughts than the dark ones entering into my head at night or tapping on the back of my head during the day. I believe this is the current most aggravating effect of the past. We all heal at different times and in some ways I’m the typical tortured artist/writer, but in other ways I’m also not the same creative person I used to be. I no longer want to go out of life in a blaze of anonymity with a cigarette in one hand and a journal in the other. My worst days are truly over, but damn, I sure am ready for some better ones than 2020 has provided. Yes, I am looking forward to 2021 and getting more to the bleeding heart of the BS. I don’t think of myself as a contradiction anymore but recognizer of many things where my well runs deep.

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