This is a trauma post so…trigger warning. Guns, domestic violence, and narcissism…
My understanding of PTSD was a slow process. I always thought it was an extreme, like can’t-go-out-in-public type of disability. Nightmares of trauma are common, so it’s what we hear about the most as a symptom, but I did not have very many nightmares about the event. For some people it truly is intense, but I never thought I would have it. I thought I was “normal”…whatever that is.
Without medication, PTSD showed up in small ways for me. For example, due to trauma my heart beats faster around guns, my mind is on high alert, and my brain did not discriminate on who was handling the gun. It could have been an expert, but my traumatized head does not recognize the difference.
Back in 2015 I met a guy. Cute, gorgeous eyes, and black hair. He made me laugh and feel special. For two months we talked- he was in Japan and I was not. I began to trust him, even thought I could love him. When he came to the states I welcomed him into my home with open arms…inviting the devil to join my space and my heart.
He took all of that and crumpled it like paper.
Pretty soon he started showing 🚩🚩🚩 with his accusations, questioning, and paranoia. He was convinced I was unfaithful and would accuse me every day of cheating until one day we got into an intense argument about it. When the fight got heated, he pulled out his pistol and placed the muzzle to the left side of his head.
“Is this what you want?!” He screeched. We were in my bedroom, I on the bed and him in front of me standing there threateningly. My mind immediately disassociated to “how hard is it to clean blood and brain matter? Do I have to say someone died here when I sell the house…if I survive?”
It was a strange moment to think I might be shot, maybe killed that day, and all I can think of is blood everywhere.
I got him to calm down somehow- I could not tell you how. I remember lowering my voice to a soothing tone but that’s it, who knows what words I used to not die that day. When I felt safe enough to, I told him he needed to go home…I was not about to work out a relationship with this boy. He told me his mom could not pick him up (she was in a different state) and he told her not to come, I found out later.
A few weeks go by as I waited for her. I kept the peace as best as I could, thinking she was going to come and take my problem away. When he asked if we were going to work the relationship out, I bluntly replied, “No, I’m just waiting for your mom to get here.”
A second time, the gun was grabbed. This time he placed it into his mouth. I did not know if there were bullets in it but my rage did not care. I called him out on his bluff, told him to do it outside if he was serious. I guess my anger caught him off guard because he took it out and headed towards my backyard. I followed, adding that he better do it across the street and away from my home. I threatened to call the cops, made my mom send her boyfriend over in order to mediate the situation. It worked.
The end result was his mom came to my rescue and took him back to her home. The story does not stop there sadly, but that is for another time.
My trauma is not as bad as other individuals unfortunately experience, but I lived through it and learned from it. The result of the incident was PTSD. According to Mayo Clinic, PTSD is described as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.” This means that no matter the event, it may affect us all in a different way.
To this day I fear him and I cannot forgive him for putting me into that situation. I tried to monitor him through social media (I guess to make sure he was not in my area), but have lost him the last few years. I felt guilty for a long time that I was dumb enough to bring this person into my life and open up to them, when in reality I could not have predicted the events that unfolded.
Everyone experiences trauma and PTSD in their own way. This is a part of my story. I believe that through sharing our experiences, we may be able to help someone in ways we do not understand.
Signs and symptoms of PTSD: