June is PTSD Awareness Month.
Break the stigma.
Dear people who don’t believe PTSD is real,
I wish you were right. Because then we wouldn’t have to live and fight like this. If PTSD didn’t exist, we wouldn’t have to battle our own minds and thoughts every day. I could say: ‘Try to live a day inside my head’, but I know you would not be able to handle that. Some of us don’t even make it. PTSD kills.
Besides, what we are going through, we don’t wish for anyone. Except maybe the people who did this to us. It would be a fitting punishment, one that lasts a lifetime. Some of you say things like: ‘Just get over it, I have been through things as well.’ Or: ‘You just have to stop thinking about the past and move on.’
Great advise, thank you very much. But don’t you think that if that was a possibility, we would gladly do it right away? Do you really believe we like feeling like this?
You probably mean well, at least I choose to believe that. But if you say things like that, you are not helping us. It makes us feel worse. It makes us want to say sorry for having PTSD. It makes us want to stop sharing anything with you.
And never ever say that PTSD only happens when you are weak. We are warriors, we fight a war every freaking day. You can’t even begin to imagine what we are up against. You don’t have a clue what we went through.
PTSD is not a choice, we didn’t wake up one day and decided: ‘Hey! Let’s have nightmares and flashbacks for the rest of our lives! Let’s panic because of triggers or become numb because we can’t handle the pain anymore.’
PTSD is something that happened to us. And you know what? It can happen to you too. Just as easy. All it takes is a horrific, life changing trauma that haunts you every day.
We don’t ask you to understand us, because we know that is impossible. You can’t understand something like PTSD if you don’t have it. All we ask for is a little respect, some compassion and a dash of kindness.
That’s not too much, is it? And it won’t even cost you a damn thing!
So, dear people who don’t think that PTSD is real, please educate yourself before throwing your opinion in our face. Living with it is hard enough without having to fight stigma as well, trust me.
Read about it, ask about it and stop judging what you don’t understand.