I think I watched the movie “Gross Pointe Blank” – of which above clip is taken – several times in sequence, that’s how much I enjoyed it! To me, it perfectly describes the absurdity and superficial quality of High School reunions and all the embarassing moments the latter keep in store. The movie ramps up the absurd quality of these situation to the max by John Cusack’s character or rather: His character’s way of earning a living. (I say no more so as to not spoiler in case you haven’t seen the movie).
The above clip is taken from a scene in the movie when John Cusack’s character has more or less just arrived and tries to find his way around town, trying to identify what’s still the same or what has changed and (re-) acquainting himself with the “lay of the land” in a manner of speaking (and a friend takes him on a ride around town to help with the latter). In particular I chose to start this blog entry with said clip because of the time span. It’s been my “ten years anniversary” of knowing about (C-) PTSD and consequently learning that I had been living with it for all my life. (53 years to be exact, minus two weeks into my life as an infant).
I am a solution-driven person – or at least that is how I think I functioned until about ten years ago. What happened? Well. Probably “nothing”. I just felt that the severity of my symptoms had surpassed a point, where I could no longer be sure I’d be able to have some sort of “control” over my visceral responses of my body to mundane day-to-day situations. It is grace to the process of educating myself (next to other sources) that I now know these are called “triggers”. The aspect that makes these triggers such a heinous threat to one’s wellbeing is: They might or might not kick in. You never know. You can’t know. Because you can’t navigate life by foreseeing everything. (although some people claim they can. Uhm… that would be subject for a very different debate…)
I’ve talked about these things and their implications on this blog. I set out to journal my story of healing – or so I thought coming from the – granted! – rather naive place of believing that I’d be given the opportunity to _get rid of the symptoms once and for all_! Well, by and large, my overly optimistic assumption doesn’t seem to be that naive. Prior to learning of Rachel’s (his-) story I had reluctantly begun to settle into the idea that I was damaged from almost day one and that I’d have to deal with the outcomes to the day I’ll take my last breath. Well – maybe not? Or too?
After ten years of trying very, very hard to get proper treatment and taking on an insane uphill battle with regulations and legislation in my country – and in the process becoming impoverished, having some of my legal rights taken off of me and becoming socially isolated for long stretches of the way, it’s beginning to look as if I had exhausted my options. I don’t believe in conventional trauma therapy (that I only have access to via inpatient therapy which is a retraumatizing situation altogether…) – and for good reasons so, I’d like to add and add here again amongst others – and so far I have not been accepted in a phase 3 trial with MAPS.org – who look more and more like my last option.
So…. I think I’m on the brink of concluding this journey (at least the blogging part). What have I gleaned from my trip into the abyss of my being? Well… things that come to mind easily are: I haven’t “imagined” this, I’m not a hypochondriac. Next: I’m by far not alone with these experiences and their outcomes. Third: (C-) PTSD is a debilitating condition. It is nowhere near being too “touchy-feely”, it is NOT a personal choice we make at some point in our lives (when almost everything else is, b.t.w.). It’s the outcome of other people’s actions and we’re left to deal with them. On the brighter side: There will always be cold people and good-hearted ones. Some of them choose their walk of life in the realms of helping others who are subject to a very difficult trajectory in life. In short: I’ve met people equipped with empathy – and in some cases with lots of knowledge and wisdom to support it – and … the other kind. It seems that the other kind is at the helm of things in this world. In short: There is no room for being less than 150% productive, no matter the reason or circumstance. I had that insight down at age … 14.
Now what? I have no idea.