“I have a friend who has a crush on you,” someone sang to me coyly, chuckling at my wide-eyed expression. The momentary excitement that rushed into my heart was replaced by a crippling anxiety when she named him. Instantly, guilt mixed with that fear. Why should I be so scared of someone who had not hurt me?
Little things creep me out quickly. The way a guy looks at me, accidentally touching my stomach or back, certain comments – all of it makes my mind race, face flush, body sweat, and heart thump as I long to run in the opposite direction. Such is the difficulty of having PTSD.
That video might be funny, but dealing with flashbacks is certainly not. Sometimes I do not even know what I am frightened of or what happened in the past that is triggering my anxiety. All of a sudden, I just cannot deal with the situation at hand.
PTSD is not just a feeling of being crept out by someone; it is a physical explosion inside that is hard to manage. Your body quakes, sweats, shakes, heats up, freezes, shuts down, races…the symptoms differ for each person but are always miserable. Trying to stay calm and rational in such a situation is difficult.
I want to be able to respond well to guys especially nice ones. Knowing what sets off my PTSD would be nice. Hopefully I will discover that one day. Until then, I have to figure out how to care for myself while being kind to others. That is certainly harder than it sounds because a guy might not be creepy but my PTSD brain does not know that.