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Living with Ghosts

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LIVING WITH GHOSTS: Early Childhood PTSD

What is it like living with early childhood PTSD? Life is never dull, that’s for sure.  Overwhelming.  Incomprehensible.  Frightening and lonely, but never ever dull. I haven’t always had a name for it, when I was a teenager and young adult I knew I wasn’t normal but each and every head doctor I ever spoke to shook their respective grey heads, told me to keep my pandora box of horrors tightly closed, never ever speak to a therapist because frankly, the child mind is a hell of a lot stronger than an adult’s and nobody would be able to put me back together again if I ever opened those dark treasures in my brain.  I avoided close relationships that asked more of me than I could give.  I was numb to pain and numb to pleasure.  I could walk the walk, talk the talk but it was just that, a…

Flashbacks are not Memories

Hyper vigilance is a fact of my life.  I grew up hunted.  No adult was safe to be close to.  Nobody was trusted.  Those that I had loved and trusted had been murdered, massacred, machete’d into tiny pieces of useless flesh, blood and vomit.  Sound extreme?  How could you understand.  You who sit quietly comfortable in front of your favourite cop show on t.v.?  The reality of violent death and torture are so far removed from you that words like this fall like hyperbole in a windstorm of make-believe. A childhood in an african civil war adjusts reality perceptions permanently.  Live to Die.  Die to Live. A heartbeat.  Perspiration.  Thoughts.  Emotions.  Subtle body cues.  Faces, so much information.  All the time, every day, every minute.  The noise in my head is deafening.  Mostly I just avoid big social events, when I can’t, I scan the room for safety.  Hide behind…

Beginnings

The tiles feel cool, reassuringly solid beneath me.  Holding the glass of wine between my knees I watch the Bay and Mount Baker.  Silvery blue clouds caress him gently today, everything is blue – from a dark midnight blue running through the sea up to the coast on the other side – America I guess – to the tree line, a cobalt blue blinks underneath him.  He sits there looking at me.  Daring me to find my voice, to express the lives I’ve lived in words, words, words. Who will believe any of it?  No matter.  ‘Tis fiction.  Or not.  The truth often wilder than any imagination born of normal.  Our world is so small, we have reduced ourselves to byte size snippets of reality shows.  Our worth is measured by the things in our lives, we sustain ourselves with inspirational quotes garnered from gurus rehashing ancient themes, dusting them…