But that doesn’t say much, does it, now? There’s hell of a ride and then there’s hell of a ride. The one I’m talking about is the kind that feels like a Russian Roulette. By which I mean, I never know when I’ll end up shattered in pieces, scattered on the floor.
I could be on my way to meeting a friend for coffee, or watching a movie, or going for a walk, or browsing my newsfeed and wham! Hit by a truck I didn’t see coming.
A while back, a friend tagged me in a post about depression. Naturally I went to see cause, you know, depression.
There was this long thing which was actually kinda beautiful, a nice picture and then a link. In the comments, they added another link, saying the first one was wonky.
The second link had a different picture. It raised all sort of flags but I decided to ignore them (yeah, I know). It is just red paint, I said to myself. It’ll be fine, I said.
Well, it wasn’t *just* red paint. And I got triggered. Was up all night. Miserable night.
All I could see when I closed my eyes was my mother’s blood all over the place…
I think my friend tagged me precisely because I am so vocal about depression and PTSD (the article was about how people from Rwanda are dealing with both after the genocides) but I also think they have no clue about how PTSD works.
I told them I had had to quickly close the page as it had triggered me so I couldn’t read the article. They apologized and then proceeded to tell me how it was not an article but a podcast and gave me the skinny, which only triggered me even more. Something to do with the ritual sacrifice of rams and roosters to exorcise depression and PTSD out of Rwandan survivors. [like, WTF?]. It was the account of a white man who went through the ritual so he could tell the whole world about it.
I politely said something to the effect of the explanation making it worse and how I didn’t condone animal cruelty and that as much as I felt for the Rwanda genocide survivors (I do, I carry them daily in my heart) I believe not even their recovery justifies ritual slaughtering of animals.
Also, that I rather live a thousand lives in the claws of PTSD and depression than be the cause of such cruelty even if I knew it worked. I know and can imagine many will disagree with me on that part, seeing that animal testing is still widely used and still considered ethical. But that’s where I stand on the issue. Feel free to disagree even though I’d much rather you didn’t.
So even when people are well-intentioned, you never know when something is going to jump at you like a jack-in-a-box and trigger you.
Not that it means you should live life being afraid of what awaits at every corner. I refuse to live in fear. I also refuse to sanitize my life to the point of missing out in order to protect myself.
But that means I have to be aware that triggering will happen and that I need to get stronger so I can deal with it when it happens.
So yeah, the way I see it, life with PTSD is a Russian roulette.
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