A traumatic event in your life can be anything. As we all know what one person finds stressful or overwhelming another person may not. It can be going to the same job everyday and getting yelled at by your boss until you break. It can be childhood abuse, physical or sexual. It can be a sexual assault or physical assault as an adult. It can be dealing with the loss of a loved one. And yes it can be dealing with what a person has experienced during military service.
Sometimes our brain shields us from the worse of these things. When we can’t handle the knowledge or the knowing of the event or trauma. When this happens it effects our bodies. It manifests itself in a physical way. Sometimes through seizures, temporary blindness, paralysis, speech difficulties, tremors, trouble walking or swallowing. This is Conversion Disorder.
Usually with PTSD you know what the problem is or event was that triggers your reaction. It’s still hell.
I suffer from both. I’ve had people say to me “what happened that was so bad?” or “you had a good family, I don’t understand”. That’s the problem. They never will. Some of my experiences I don’t shout out to the world. The ones I remember are bad enough. It isn’t just about my mother dying. There is way more than that. Things that happened when I drank. The consequences of my bad decisions. To know that somewhere inside of me there are even worse memories that I don’t want to remember, scares the shit out of me. These unknowns cause my stuttering and tremors and also problems with my balance. What could possibly be worse than what I do remember? My mind wanders to unthinkable acts. That is the worse part.
No one wants to discuss it. My father and sister want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend nothing bad has ever happened to me. They also on some level blame me for letting some of it happen. They don’t have to worry because I blame myself for all of it. Did I deserve some of it? No one deserves to be treated as cruelly as I was. But I still chose to put myself in that environment and drink. Sometimes I think of revenge. But how do you get revenge on people who never cared to begin with? You can’t. I just have to live with it. An apology or admittance of guilt would be nice but that’s never going to happen.
Being Bipolar also means I get to relive these lovely events on my bad days. I try to stop it but it doesn’t always work. That’s when you’ll find me in the bathroom crying until I make myself sick. Therapy you say? Doesn’t matter it still happens.
Sometimes I think I see someone from my past. I become paralyzed with fear. I want to run and can’t. I can only move when I realize it’s a mistake. At this point I find a place to shake and cry.
There are many triggers for my Conversion Disorder. Supposedly once a person finds out they have Conversion Disorder the physical symptoms go away. Except when you have a coexisting mental illness like Bipolar Disorder. If this is the case it will come and go whenever you get upset.
It isn’t fun and it can be embarrassing not having control over your own body. No one has the time to wait for me to get my words out. They either don’t talk to me or finish my sentences. It can be lonely. You deal with it because you don’t have a choice.