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7 Jul

PTSD... I Kind of Hate You

So, this weekend I was “camping” with my family, meaning we parked our RV in my parent’s driveway and pretended like we were camping. It’s 3 something am on Friday, July 3rd and Stella (my Yorkie) starts whining to go outside. So, I get up and put her leash on. I don’t put my shoes or glasses or anything on and open the door to the camper. When I open the door, all I can see if a big black blurb charging after me and my dog and I kid you not I screamed like someone was murdering me. I couldn’t see anything because I didn’t have my glasses, so I had no idea what was happening. Everyone in the camper starts screaming, my dad is trying to get to me and breaks a door off in the camper, I pull Stella into the camper and slam the door. At this point I’m hyperventilating trying to explain to my family what just happened. Basically, I thought a coyote was charging after me and Stella to attack us. Turns out it was only a raccoon (LOL). Everyone finally calms down and we all lay back down to go to sleep, except now I can’t sleep because my PTSD brain has kicked in.

Any time I get startled or scared from anything, I get flashbacks. I think this happens because during my trauma I was startled awake and terrified of what I found happening to me. Typically, if I’m just slightly startled, I might have a flashback that comes and goes and I’m on with my day. But because this scare was such a big one, I was having flashback after flashback and my brain was telling me that someone was coming to get me. So of course, I couldn’t sleep. I laid in the camper bed for at least an hour with a racing heart and racing thoughts before I woke my sister up and told her I wasn’t doing well. She laid in this tiny ass camper bed with me until I finally fell asleep. Thank you, Ashley!

Looking back on this story it’s kind of funny now that I know it was a raccoon, however, I’m still having bad flashbacks and not being able to sleep at night. PTSD really sucks sometimes, but I know with time this setback will pass and my flashbacks will slow down and I will be able to sleep again. In the meantime, I have to remind myself that this will pass and that I’m safe at home and no one is out to get me.

I told my friend Breeyn about this story and what’s been going on with me and she came up with a really great idea. She asked me if I have ever taken self-defense classes. She thought it might be a good way for me to feel safer knowing that I can defend myself. I have, but it was a long time ago. I also used to take karate, but again, too long ago for me to really remember. So, I did a little research and found some Krav Maga classes that are currently being offered virtually and I am going to try that out and see how it goes. I’m hoping it makes me feel more confident and give me some stress relief, and maybe even boost my self-esteem. I will keep you posted on how that goes.


Anna Forcier

Anna Forcier loves elephants, unicorns, sunshine, and rainbows!