I am having the worst time (worst as in emotional and stressful) writing chapters for my memoir about my childhood. Trying to get back into my 5 year old thoughts after watching my mother die isn’t cute. The tears that well up and stream down my face while I’m reading aren’t cute. My depression isn’t cute! But its OK, because I want to write about it…its healing me, I know it.
Although I remember everything, I am having trouble remembering how I felt. I decided to look up symptoms of PTSD in kids and I was floored.
- having frequent memories of the event, or in young children, play in which some or all of the trauma is repeated over and over (I loved to beat up boys during recess-I won every time)
- having upsetting and frightening dreams (laying in bed, I sometimes have obsessive thoughts of someone coming to kill me-it was worse as a kid-getting a dog helped)
- showing more sudden and extreme emotional reactions (Does calling my English teacher a bitch during class in fifth grade count? Meanwhile, that was nothing…)
- having problems falling or staying asleep (The dog helps)
- showing irritability or angry outbursts (Grrrrr)
- showing increased alertness to the environment (If you happen to be walking behind me, don’t make any sudden moves, I am ready to shank you.)
- repeating behavior that reminds them of the trauma (There is a good chance this is why I only enjoy rough sex. There are worse things…ha! )
So yeah, I may have been a classic case and I still deal with some of these issues, but looking at this list also makes me realize I’m better…and I know I’ll keep getting better as long as I’m facing it and writing about it.