Panic Attack Hangover: The Aftermath

When most people think of panic attacks, a certain image comes to mind. Maybe it’s one of someone sitting on the floor in a far corner, or on a chair bent over, hands over their ears, or on their head, hyperventilating and struggling to breathe normally. For some, that’s the case. …

A Letter to My Abuser

Dear Voldemort, I am not a social butterfly, but you took me under your wings and, for a time, made me feel like I could soar. I know that’s cliché, especially considering all the future pain you would cause, but for a little while, it was true. By watching you, …

When Forgiveness Doesn’t Eradicate PTSD

As a Christian, I’m supposed to forgive everyone so that God can forgive me of my sins. I was once an enemy of the Most High, so who am I not to forgive someone who wrongs me when God forgave me of all my junk? Easy, right? No, not really. …

On Discussing Trauma

I think the hardest aspect of trauma, especially in the context of recovery, is talking about it repeatedly. In my experience, I’ve only discussed it in detail with a counselor and my former pastor, as he has training as a licensed psychologist. I thought that talking about it to strangers …

There’s More to Life than Trauma

Trauma has a way of disrupting and contorting everything so that all one sees is pain, paranoia, danger, and withered hope in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, intrusive memories, and a flight/fight/freeze brain system in need of major repair. But that’s not all there is. There are hope and …

Reflections on Being Institutionalized

Sometimes, I wonder if I’m doing life correctly. Because of PTSD, I tend to live the past a lot. It’s unintentional, due to flashbacks, triggers, and panic attacks, but it happens. I have a lot of trouble with being still and clearing my mind because people, responsibilities, and distractions are …

What No One Tells You after a Suicide Attempt

When the school counselor calls the police to escort you off the premises to be Baker Acted for a suicide attempt the night before and asks you, before they come, if you hate her, be honest. Don’t let fear strip you of your humanity just yet because months later, when …