Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What PTSD Has Done to My Brain

In yesterday's post I talked a little about the effects of PTSD on my mind, particularly when it comes to memory. I wanted to touch on that a bit more because of something that happened to me yesterday. 

My friend V has been living out of the country for a while. Exactly how long, I couldn't tell you because I have almost no concept of time anymore. But it's been a while. When she lived in the States, she owned a home that is close to where I work, so I contacted her to see if she was in need of a renter. 

She informed me that she sold the home two years ago. 

I was floored because I could have sworn that another friend of ours had just told me, like, yesterday that V still had her home for tax reasons but I was clearly wrong. 

This happens to me daily. I used to be very sharp, very quick, always on my toes. Now I feel like I'm half asleep or only half paying attention. I'll be in the middle of cooking a meal that I've made dozens of times before and stop because I can't remember what to do next. I'll stumble and stutter through sentences because I can't recall the word I want to use. For someone who takes pride in both her cooking ability and her lexicon, this is pretty damn awful for me. 

When it first started happening I talked to my counselor about it. I thought maybe I had adult ADD. We ran some tests and discovered that, no, it's because of the PTSD. It's a self protection mechanism of the brain to block out shit that causes trauma, which makes total sense, but it can spill over into other aspects of your mind as well. It's so very disheartening and quite embarrassing. 

But it also enrages me, because it's yet another thing that was taken from me. Another thing stolen from me by my rapists and abusive ex-husband. 

I worry that I'll never be able to write like I used to, that I'll never be able to communicate in the same way. What is a writer who can't write? 

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