The last few months have been tough, to say the least. Looking back, I’m seeing something that I keep forgetting over and over. Avoidance is carved into my personality like some polyurethaned name plaque hanging on a weather beaten house. I avoid whatever displeases me or whatever seems too hard to accomplish. The ultimate goal of my not yet formed writing career is an autobiography detailing my abuse and healing. I intend to support and educate both the abused and those who care for the abused. Contradictory to that goal, I’ve been avioding anything to do with those emotions; the very emotions and revalations that will serve my purpose in the end.

Partner to the avoidance is the act of entertaining one’s self. Playing vidoe games, watching TV, and working on my family tree are all emotionless activities that are successful at numbing the depression, anxiety, and fear. Unfortunately, they also push the PTSD experiences into a deep abyss, unobtainable on a whim should I feel ready to write. I find myself journaling angry rants or writing phantom letters directed at individuals. My writing looks more like an example of my symptoms rather than any type of supportive or educational material.

That’s not what I had in mind. I’d like to see a novel come to fruition, one that encompasses the elements of both self-help and heartfelt story. While I’m avoiding any thought connected to my disorder or the situation that I’m in now, my novel has ceased to form. In my experience, the most debilitating aspect of PTSD is the inability to pursue one’s dreams and goals. No matter how important or impassioned the endeavor, and this one is both, it seems I’m unable to just do it. I have the skills, and somewhere inside of me there’s a tremendous drive, but something is holding me back.

I’m almost certain that I know what that something is. What am I truly avoiding? I could paint a picture of a woman wrought with symptoms and sorrow, but I feel more like this is survival mode than anything else. You’re aware of the age old writing method of authors renting little cabins in the forest to get the juices flowing. Environment seems to be a key component to a writer’s success. My environment is one of anger and anxiety presently. I’m avoiding my housemates for fear of exploding or breaking down. All the while thinking “It’s too much…”. Concurrently, I’m avoiding anything that might add to my already ladened stress bucket, which includes thoughts concerning old unresolved issues; my trauma. My environment is what’s holding me back, so I’ll just pretend I’m somewhere else. Although this subconscious denial of the real world around me allows for a certain level of security, it does NOTHING to move me forward.

It is true that I am surviving, but I’m capable of so much more. My new priority is to create an environment that supports and benefits both my mental health and my goals as a writer. My new polyurethaned plaque will simply say “Meli” because I’m a wonderful and talented person, not a mere container for PTSD symptoms.


Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 8:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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