PTSD: A 6 Month Update

It’s been 6 months since Alvaro’s accident.

Six months since we were THISCLOSE from losing him.

Six months since I have counted every day a blessing and have been more grateful than ever to have this child in my life and care.

Interestingly enough, this 6-month mark is when I became aware I was suffering from PTSD.

The shock of the trauma from his accident began to wear off a few weeks after it happened. Unfortunately, a whole new series of stressful and discouraging events immediately followed. This prevented me from being able to stop and breath and slow down. Simply put, I was in survival mode, dealing with one draining situation after another.

Until one day I woke up and wondered how I had arrived at this place again? A place where I lacked self-care and rest. A place where I looked OK on the outside. I smiled and made jokes and told people I was hanging in there. But inside I was drained, dry, and depressed.

On more than one occasion, I would admit the truth. That my soul was weary. The relentless stress of one trial after another had worn me ragged. And I was so busy trying to survive it all, I didn’t really notice that the chinks in my armor were actually gaping sagging holes.

But I am no stranger to incredibly difficult circumstances. So, I was at least aware something deep was going on, even if I couldn’t tell what it was.

Two weeks ago began my journey into self discovery to get to the root of my weariness. I did some reflecting. I began to process. I allowed repressed tears and words and thoughts to the surface. And I made a plan. One that included rest and self-care. One that included speaking to a therapist and discussing my feelings and emotions. The waters of [my] emotions ran deep, and I wanted someone who knew how to navigate them to help direct me. 

Last Friday I spent the better part of 45 minutes spilling my heart out to a therapist. That’s when he told me that I was suffering from PTSD. He assured me I was moving in the right direction to process it, talk about, etc.

To be honest I was surprised. I thought maybe that was too extreme of a diagnosis. I mean I was just dealing with some unresolved grief, right?

But as I began reading about PTSD and its symptoms, the past weeks and months began to make sense. The unbidden flashbacks of Alvaro screaming in pain and clawing his head after his fall happened often. The guilt I felt for not removing his bunkbed weeks earlier was crushing. The shame I felt at having regained weight after his accident because I was numbing my feelings with food. The lack of grace and forgiveness I have yet to extend to myself became glaringly obvious. The sadness and depression that I kept shoving away and ignoring began to bubble up to the surface of my awareness.

So here I am. With a precious little boy who is thriving. And a Momma who is not.

I suppose it would be impossible to go through all we’ve been through this year and not experience some fallout. But it’s still not an easy thing to acknowledge, embrace, and work through.

But I will work through it. I have tools. I have great support. I have the will and desire to reclaim myself and heal from the damages of this season.

Luckily Alvaro isn’t the only one with a great capacity for resilience. That’s certainly an inherited trait.

So, there you have it. Six months later- and I’m still a mess. But I am moving forward with hope and a plan to work though this season the best way I can.  With some assistance and guidance, and hopefully a lot less Nutella.

Even as I write this – words from Disney’s Finding Nemo jumps to mind.  “When life gets you down, do you know what you’ve gotta do? Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming. “And that’s precisely what I’m going to do. 



Comments

  1. I'm glad that you are brave enough to share and also that Alvaro is doing good. Glad to hear that you are doing what you can to feel better.�� little by little it will all work out.

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  2. Blessings, Xiomara. It is not easy but you are an overcomer. Acknowledging the pain and frustration is a good beginning. Finding help is essential. Talking about it is therapeutic. I love you and admire your openness.

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