As promised, here is the first Guest Post from our mystery blogger
The other side of the glass: How does it feel?
I happened to come across the Comfortably Numb blog and I immediately contacted Beth. I wanted to give her some hope. You see, I have a unique perspective on all of this.
I was the one with PTSD. I was the one feeling numb.
Over the next few posts, I hope to give you some insights into what Beth’s husband is going through. I’ve also privately offered some suggestions to Beth, as my only hope is for her husband to feel once again.
I am by no means an expert, I’m just a survivor. If you are going through this yourself, talk to someone. Anyone. You can overcome the symptoms of PTSD and live a very normal and productive life just like I have. The treatments available today are much more advanced than when I had to deal with PTSD nearly ten years ago.
If you have a friend or loved one experiencing any of the symptoms, please encourage them to get help. Be there to listen and try to be as understanding as possible.
Without giving too much information, I dealt with female on male domestic abuse. An ex-wife abused me mentally, emotionally, and even physically over the course of our marriage. After dealing with this for many years, I was worn out emotionally. The marriage was loveless and arguments occurred daily. (This is a very simplified explanation of a very complicated situation. I’m just attempting to give a little back-story on how the PTSD came about.)
After an exceptionally difficult verbal fight that lasted twelve hours, I went to bed.
After sleeping a short three hours, I woke up the next morning in a fog. It was as if I was awake, but I was still dreaming. I had tunnel vision and nothing felt real. I could barely feel even physical touching, and when it occurred, it didn’t make sense to me.
I will never forget the look a young girl gave me when I went into a restaurant to eat. It was as if she could see the emptiness of my soul. She looked into my eyes and gave me the most…touching look. It was as if she was reaching out to me, through her eyes, to comfort me, because she immediately noticed the pain I was in.
I assumed I was experiencing all of this due to the lack of sleep. I assumed it was just a bad day and the evil feeling would be gone the next day. I was wrong.
Waking up the next day was stranger than the first. The fog had lifted from my brain, but The Void* was definitely there. I was emotionless.
What is The Void? The Void is what I call that feeling you have when you suffer with PTSD.
This is how I’ve tried to explain it over the years. Imagine that your beating heart is confined to a glass box that is in the same room you are in. You can see it. You know it is there, but you cannot touch it and you cannot feel anything from it. It functions physically but everything else is disconnected from it.
Imagine waking up and not being able to “feel” anything. No happiness, no sadness, no frustration, no sorrow, no joy, no elation, no anything. In my situation, the one emotion I could feel was anger, and quite often rage. Other than that, I felt absolutely nothing. You could have told me that my mother had just passed away and I would not have shed a tear.
The Void is pure emptiness in your soul. It is a suffocating nothingness. I used to talk long walks at night, because it was one of the few places I now felt comfortable. It was the one place the dark, cold, emptiness inside of me matched the dark, cold, emptiness on the outside.
The Void had moved in and it would take several years for it to move out. Thankfully, I made many changes and once I left that abusive relationship I started to heal. Other PTSD sufferers have a much more difficult road ahead of them. Their trauma is deeper or more hidden and their wounds more severe. However, my message is one of hope, and when The Void takes over your soul, you will grasp onto any hope that you can.
The feeling is wicked and evil. You don’t want to feel blank. You don’t want to feel empty. You don’t want to be nothing. You want to laugh and smile and cry and giggle…but it is gone. It is a very unnatural feeling and even though you know you are broken, you can’t just snap your fingers and fix it. So you learn to live with it.
What is it like to live without emotions?
That topic will be discussed in my next blog post. Until then, hug your PTSD sufferers. Hold their hands and kiss their cheeks. You will not get much, if anything, in return, but the person…the real person that is stuck behind The Void will appreciate it more than you will ever know.
* Every PTSD sufferer may not have the same level of emotion that they personally “feel”. Each trauma, person, and situation is unique. I’m just trying to give you my perspective to help you relate.
- Trauma Rocks Your World. (faithandmeow.wordpress.com)
- June is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) month (kingstontherapist.wordpress.com)
- Living with PTSD (yogacarechallenge.com)
- Really now? (paperflower77.wordpress.com)