For a number of reasons I feel compelled to repost this interview with Rachel Hope, which was an eye-opening, “home bringing”, all-revealing experience for me as her story resembles my own in so many ways, even down to some minute details. But that’s not the point I’m making today.
I think, I’m reposting this for mainly two reasons:
1. Advocacy and raising awareness for the incredible difficulties that people suffering from (complex) post traumatic stress are dealing with on a constant ongoing basis (I’ll get back to that in a moment)
2. The realization that despite struggling with the enormity of symptoms that Rachel so aptly calls a prison on the inside – and one that’s largely invisible to others, because we must make it invisible! – I’ve never really succeeded in getting included in the mainstream of society – at least not in the long run. Apparently the symptoms always let on and they must have appeared in such a way that other, non-affected people would ultimately seek distance from me (I can only speculate as to why that is as we usually and at large aren’t interacting on terms of – brutal – honesty with each other, no?).
So, in coming back to 1. and elaborating on some of the things Rachel so eloquently and vividly describes about her own past suffering, I’m asking you – the hopefully non-affected reader having landed here – to picture this: “Living” with (C-) PTSD means finding yourself in survival mode – all the time, pretty much every minute and hour of your waking day and even into the night. Let this sink in: You’re (silently, invisibly) fixing to run from a lethal threat all the time! (even if it doesn’t exist now, but from your body remembering and technically speaking it means that your autonomous nervous system is flooded with the brain chemicals that trigger these survival reflexes – with a stress on reflex! – in the first place.)
Can you see it? Feel it? Let’s say you’re getting attacked by a dog. If you ever have or if you were damn near in a car accident or anything along those lines, chances are you know the incredible amounts of discomfort and stress that this experience brought about from first hand experience. If not, try picturing yourself in an unknown, lethally threatening environment day in, day out. Like e.g. war (but it doesn’t necessarily take a battlefield to cause post-traumatic stress). Do you feel it? What we’re talking about is living in a way, where there is no safe place anywhere and you don’t ever get a break from this stress! Not even, when sleeping! Can you feel it?
This – in short – is the “normal” mode of operation for anyone living with this debilitating thing. And yet “we” as in: those of us who survived, somehow managed. The problem is: It doesn’t get much better than just “managing” – ever. It’s not living at all. It’s just that: Survival. Any experience that most of you take for granted and many of those experiences that make life worthwhile in the first place – we never get there. Not really, not fully. As soon as you come on closer terms with a person, this brokenness – a term I’ve first heard from Tim and The Adversity Within – gets in the way.
So, with this being said: Don’t you think anything that alleviates this condition should be allowed for those suffering from it? Not only alleviate it, but cure people from such an agonizing way of “living”?
If you agree, consider finding and possibly supporting MAPS.org, who have been in the process of testing these mind-altering substances in a safe, clinical setting and to the ends of making them into safe and efficient treatments for those who have and are going through nothing less but hell – on a daily, hourly, ongoing basis. Thank you.