Tag Archives: war

The One About Seeing a Psychiatrist et al.

I have not been back to school since the Great Blood Pressure Incident of 11/29. The administrations’ thoughts and prayers were not well-received here because they came with 0 plan of action to help me or my students. I finally got in to see the psychiatrist today (by no fault of her own – this is a very busy time for mental health professionals) and was told that I do indeed have PTSD (duh).  Basically, what’d happened is that the therapy and self coping I’d developed decayed due to my work situation. (duh)

My issues:

  • rituals
  • hypervigilance
  • rage attacks
  • panic attacks
  • generalized anxiety
  • depression
  • high blood pressure caused by these things
  • night terrors
  • insomnia

I’ve been placed on an antidepressant and will not be returning to work until the second semester. By then, these new meds will have kicked in and hopefully they’ll do the trick.  We will reevaluate the drug situation in 6 months to a year.

Best thing said to me so far, was when I left the ER two weeks ago and the nurse caught my attention on the way out. He said, “Hey, you’re not crazy. You’re not.”

I bawled. It hit me in the human side of me that’s still capable of emotion. 5

TLDR: I am starting this journey again. Thanks for your kind words and concern.

 

 

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The Other One About My Weakness

I thought that last post would be my last on this topic – at least for a while.  Since then, I’ve had two more really bad PTSD days and a couple of just real bad days. I leave for work in the dark – about 5:30 a.m. and have conversations with myself about how would be the best way to wreck my car so that no one else gets hurt – just so I don’t have to go to work and be stuck in a small room with 32 kids for 6 1/2 hours. I have blown up and yelled at home a couple of times. I came close to punching someone in the face because they appeared behind me, speaking almost in my ear. I spent an hour on the floor of my closet with my dog for quiet solace and crying.

I currently have three coping mechs:

Shutting down without speaking for long periods time

Drinking

Spending money

I have 22 days until my appointment. And that’s at a civilian center, because I would be dead if I had to wait on the VA. Besides, going to the Dallas VA sends me over the edge to start with. The place is packed to the gills with people much worse off than me. I won’t take their spot.

But I feel like a failure. I haven’t had to take meds before. I’ve been able to shore myself up against the darkening storm. I’ve made myself OK. I willed it to be so. I’m just out of time.

In 22 days I could be a silent, broke alcoholic or worse. 23621228_1461471297300803_3708888256101548341_n

TL,DR: I am falling.

 

The One About My Weakness

Part of my problem is the job. There are TOO many people in my space. My processor slows to a crawl and I fight the urge to just walk out and never come back at least twice a week.  Jamming 33 people and desks into 21 by 25 foot room will do that to me. I can’t remember shit. Any request for help has been met with adding teaching assistants to my already over crowded space.  That is not the help I need.

This weekend I had a full blown episode. Couldn’t breathe. My heart jackhammered my head. It’s like being punched in the chest, like a hammer blow to the sternum. Like being physically attacked. On the way to a party, my sigoth had to pull the car over so I could get out. Had to STOP the MOTHERFUCKING CAR so I could get out RIGHT. NOW. My body shook. Tears. And then to the party where I slammed a couple of beers before I could feel right again. I’ve seen this path. I know where it leads. Statistics can eat my whole ass.

Yesterday I  found a psychiatrist that specializes in PTS and anxiety in combat vets. Couldn’t get an appointment until December, but that’s OK. I’ll limp through until then. I’ve trained for fighting wounded.

If we’re friends and you notice a change in my behavior, please – PLEASE- document it. You don’t have to say anything to me, just hang on to it. I’ll ask people to email their observations right before I go to the appointment.

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The One About North Korea/Russia

If you’re worried about Russia and North Korea or just want to feel a little more on top of things, I get you. I really get you. Doing some prepping is never a bad idea and sometimes even makes you feel a little more in control.

No space for a bunker? No money for sniper training? Me neither.

READ.

These are a few of the books recommended by The Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley and the ones I’ve downloaded.

Big Stick

Another Bloody Century

Leaders Eat Last

Ghost Fleet

The full reading list can be found here:

The Chief of Staff’s Professional Reading List

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Gather information that isn’t just a scare tactic. Be as self reliant as you can. Stay away from slanted social media that’s aimed at scaring rather than being helpful. Anything less is a Rook mistake.

The One About Fireworks

The last time I went to a fireworks show was in the days before Facebook. It was just a small gathering on the lawn …in front of the Washington Memorial. I don’t want to get too into it because it was not a happy experience. It was hot and crowded and I was arm-twisted into attending. Add full dark with strangers everywhere then throw in explosions and a very, very abusive spouse sharing my blanket and it was a recipe for the perfect panic attack.

So, you know what? I don’t go to fireworks show any more. If I hear them out in the country, we’ll sit on the porch and watch from a distance. If I hear them in the neighborhood, I’ll call the cops because I’m that asshole. Your happy-fun explosive times are not worth the fire damage you could cause to my house or the damage to my calm.

Man, the older I get, the more awesome I become.

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TL;DR: Keep fireworks where they belong and you won’t bother people. Also, you kids get off my lawn. Anything less would be a Rook mistake.

The Other One About Night Terrors

Going to try to get through this without losing my shit.

The other night I am sleeping in the guest room. I wake up in full dark with the certainty that there is someone in the room. My heart hammers against the mattress where I’m laying on my side. I can hear them. Just a little shuffling sound, a quiet breathing.

There are 2 doors out of this room. One to the hallway, one to the bathroom. Both are equal distance from me.

I am still.

I am quiet.

I want hear if there is more than one.

I take a quick inventory. I can reach the lamp on the side of the bed, use it as a weapon, use it to break out the window, use it to light up the room, but that would blind us both.

I know my first movement will give me away. Let them know I’m not asleep any more. At my fingertips is the iPad I used to watch Netflix until I crashed out. If I open it to call for help, I’ve given myself away. While I’m debating, the bed moves – ever so fucking slightly- like someone’s leaning against it, or has sat down very carefully.

I’m thinking: knife. They probably have a knife. I have two very thick quilts- so there’s some security there. I have a small fort of pillows around me – so it might be hard for them to know which lump is me in the dark.

All this time, I do not move. I don’t want to give away that I’m awake and lose the little edge I have.

And then I wonder if I’m right about this person’s location. What if they’re not where I think they are. What if the knife isn’t a knife? What if it’s a hammer? And if I don’t MOVE NOW there’ll never be another chance.

I throw off the covers and grab the lamp, swinging it like a club, putting my back to the closet door.

When I realized I was alone, it took me 49 minutes to calm the fuck down. I walked the house, checked locks, dogs, and kids. Checked the sig-oth. Picked glass out of the carpet.

The adrenaline dumped and I couldn’t shake the absolute goddamn terror. Just writing about it makes my body remember it. It felt real as hell. I was awake laying there freaking the fuck out and believing my family was in danger.2ed799ee2fb77f743847dc4a3b52df8a

TL;DR: Plan and act, people. Even when you’re sleeping. And see if they make tactical lampshades. Anything less is a Rook mistake.

The One About Today

It’s not been a good couple of days over here. Normally I’m totally down for a good thunderstorm. Blue-gray clouds, lightning zippering across a black sky or lighting it all up in 2 second increments, but not today. That electrical charge in the air put me on edge first thing this morning. Driving forever across the metroplex in a torrential stop.  down stop. pour around and through the emergency response vehicles guarding the wrecked and injured, their lights coloring the slick roads – it’s all got to me. Welcome to HyperVtown . Population me. Cause the rest of you fuckers aren’t allowed in. It-takes-a-great-deal-of-energy-to-remain-300x300