A little about me…
My name is Patty.
I am a writer from Holland who suffers from severe PTSD.
After I got diagnosed, I started to study about PTSD and any related subjects, so I would be able to help myself and others.
Just below, you will find a short story about me and how I got PTSD.
*Warning, this story may contain triggers concerning sexual harassment, bullying and grief*
One Day In April…
She had a great childhood.
Loving parents, awesome siblings and lots of fun things to do.
She had a couple of nightmares because of a man jumping in front of a train before her eyes and the man of her aunt harassing and threatening her family for about 2 years, but other than that, she had the life every child dreamed of.
Blessed with intelligence and creativity, there were no problems with school either. Sure, she was easily distracted. But she made up for that with the will to succeed.
Yes, she was a bit strange and always would go her own way, but she was loved and respected.
But that changed when she went to high school. The kids there didn’t like someone who was ‘different’ or stood out. So the bullying started. She didn’t really care, she was strong enough to do what she wanted to do anyway and she didn’t backed down either. Besides, there still was a lot of joy besides school. It wasn’t fun to be bullied, don’t get me wrong, but it was manageable. She was tough enough.
Until one day in April…
Her older brother, who she loved and looked up to so much, who stayed with her to protect her after her family got attacked by this crazy man of her aunt, who would always be there for her… got shot to death.
This turned her whole life around. Because from that day in April, everything seemed to go wrong…
Her family was devastated. Especially when only a few months later, her beloved grandfather died before their eyes. She saw him grasp for his last breath and the silence afterwards was deafening. Of course, her grandfather was already old. But losing someone when you hadn’t had the time to grief the one you lost before, makes it very hard.
The bulling got more and more severe at the same time. She got beaten up, locked up and touched places they had no right to touch her, every damn day. They overpowered her. Pinned her down. Humiliated her. Almost drowned her. Touched her. Grabbed her. Abused her.
She didn’t tell anyone. How could she? Her family was already broken by the loss of two people in such a short period of time. She refused to lay any more burdens on their shoulders.
Besides, she was too darn proud to reach out for help. She was tough enough…
So she fought. She fought every day.
Nobody noticed her bruises or injuries. She had always been a playful, wild child who climbed trees, so a couple of bruises wasn’t anything new.
When she got home with a concussion, she just said she fell out of a tree. And when she got home with severely bruised ribs, she told everyone she fell of her bike. She wasn’t much of a liar, but to protect her family, she could do it. She felt like she had to do it. Because if you are bullied and abused this bad, you must have done something to deserve it, right? Besides, she was tough enough…
Meanwhile, the deaths in her family continued. Her little niece, just 2 years old, died suddenly a couple of days after her 15th birthday. Her uncle followed shortly after. And after that, her best friend as well.
She began to think that everyone she cared about died. And she could do nothing to save them. If a soul get bruised enough, if a heart gets broken enough, the mind will start to think crazy things.
She became guarded and defensive. Didn’t want let anyone get close, because they would leave or die anyway. A lot of people thought of her as a cold hearted bitch. But deep inside, she was just lost.
And all this time, the bullying continued. Got even worse. And she kept fighting, never backed down. Not once. Maybe it would have been better if she would have. Maybe if she would showed her true feelings only once, they would have left her alone.
But that’s just not in her nature. She was tough enough.
After she beat up a couple of her attackers pretty bad, the bullying stopped and they left her alone for a while.
The other kids even got a bit scared of her. But instead of backing down herself, she started to challenge the bullies. Looked them up.
It seems like a strange thing to do, but after she noticed that the bullies were targeting other victims, kids that didn’t fight like she did, she just couldn’t let them do to others what they did to her.
As long as they concentrated on her, no other would get harmed. Stupid maybe, but protecting others is also in her nature. Besides, she was tough enough.
By the time she left high school, she was tough as a rock. She had learned to shut her feelings out and live a pretty normal life because of that numbness. Aggression kept people from getting close. A stone heart kept them out.
The only way that she could release some of her true feelings buried deep inside, was by writing. She met a guy that made her feel safe. He was the only bright thing in her life at that time.
But it wasn’t over yet.
Her best friend at that time tried to jump in front of a train. She was just in time to tackle her and stop her from committing suicide. Finally, she was able to save someone she loved! A couple of weeks later, when she was not around, her friend jumped of the balcony…
And so it continued. Her older sister broke with the family. People kept dying. She became more and more guarded. Pushed everyone away, including people she loved. She began to have suicidal thoughts and she needed to protect those people from her.
Until she met the love of her life when she was 16. He saved her because he refused to let himself get pushed away. And trust me, she tried!
Because of his love and her eventual choice to let him in, she became happy again. Although the darkness of the past would still haunt her.
Wouldn’t it be great if this story would end with: And they lived happily ever after?
Yea, it would. But it doesn’t….
O, they were happy with each other, still are in fact. But Life had a few more surprises.
Of course people kept dying, everyone does eventually. She got in a car crash in which she got injured pretty bad. And she got sick.
She already had PTSD after all that happened above, (and a couple of things that are not described here because otherwise it would be a very very long story and I don’t want to bore you all to death lol) although she would get diagnosed years later. Didn’t I tell you this girl was too proud and stubborn to reach out for help? She still is. She is tough enough!
When they returned from their honeymoon, she was diagnosed with Crohns. A couple of years later, a diagnose of HMS (hypermobile syndrome, hurts like hell) and EEM (a skin disease with blisters, hurts as well) followed.
Blessed with 4 chronical conditions, she couldn’t work anymore. Especially after she almost died twice from medication poisoning. (almost dying does set your priorities straight though)
So she started writing again. And blogging as well.
And because of that, she finally lost her mask and started to feel everything again.
All of those feelings, kept bottled up for so long, it’s a rough ride like you can maybe imagine! After being practically numb for all those years to stay tough enough…
But maybe now she can finally heal from everything that happened since that one day in April.
I can finally heal.