I have a secret...
The nightmares have returned. I kind of expected that they would. What I wasn't expecting was how hard it was going to be to deal with them.
I contemplated not even talking about it. The more I dive into the underlying issues, the more my nightmares increase, the more panic attacks I have, the deeper I dive into depression. I can't escape.
A part of me wants to return to normal. I want to bury it in the past, like I have done before. I don't want to talk about it, but I am being forced to. So the only thing I can think of to do, which might help me and help others as well, is to spread awareness.
So, after burying this secret for 13 and a half long years... I am finally going to talk about it.
I suffer from PTSD from MST.
|Secrets can consume us. Some|
of us are strong enough to hold
on to them until we eventually break.
Saying what happened to me is difficult. In fact, very few people knew about it. But I am not alone. During screening for MST, 1 out of 5 woman and 1 out of 100 men have responded "yes" to being involved with MST.
What was my mistake? I didn't report it. Now it haunts me.
When I got out of the military, I eventually filed a claim for my PTSD. I was suffering from depression. My relationships were hurting and I was cutting myself away from people. After several attempts, I gave up. My disability rating was not high enough to compete with the war veterans coming home that needed the appointment slots with the psychologist.
I concurred. They needed the help more than I did, and frankly I couldn't continue to live with the constant talk about the past. I eventually dropped out of the system. What they were doing wasn't helping me. I wasn't a priority and I was put on hold.
Now I am back in the system again. I attempted to reopen my claim last June. I procrastinated so long, that an appointment I should have made last year, is finally in the works. But that means everything is resurfacing again.
The panic attacks are returning. I am back on medication. And my claim is back up and ready for them to send it back unapproved because they don't have enough evidence. Once again, I am living this nightmare all over again.
Yet this time it is different. MST is a hot topic. They are recognizing it as a serious issue now. I have the opportunity to step forward and get treatment. I am working with some people that finally understand a little bit of what I have went through.
But that doesn't help. Because deep down, until they service connect my MST, I will have to pay VA (veteran affairs) for my treatment. Not only with money, but with my time and my sanity.
I don't feel good.
And while there are people out there that understand, there are also people out there that don't. They make you feel guilty. They make you feel like it was your fault, or that you were stupid for not following the right protocol. It isn't an easy topic to discuss. It isn't one easy to throw out into any conversation.
I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!
You feel guilty, you feel dirty, you feel overwhelmed, you feel used, you feel hurt, you feel unloved, you feel gross, you feel like it is your fault, you feel like you asked for it....
So what do you do - you hide from it.
But I am telling you right now. Don't hide. You need to face your fears. Take it from someone that knows - 13 and a half years later, I am still being haunted.