I hate when people tell me to breathe. I hate when people say well just don't let it upset you. The very basis of my problems are that I have very little control over my physiological reactions to stress. Also I have chronic insomnia and what the VA charmingly refers to as "sleep disturbances". You know how cranky you feel when you didn't sleep well or get enough sleep? That is me every single day almost. When I'm home and calm and feel safe, I really want to smack people for the idiotic crap they tell me. Panic attacks don't come with an off switch.
I've never sat down with any one person, even therapist, and just listed all of the bad things that have happened to me in my life. I tried to list the things when it was just me and I was alone, and I found myself thinking "No one would believe all this shit happened". Sometimes it doesn't even seem real to me. There was way too much. It was one thing after another after another for more than five years. That's not to say nothing bad happened to me before those five years, but MOST of the trauma I experienced happened within five years.
I spend most of my time alone now. Its a lot of time to think, to remember. Its good that I can remember some of it that I forgot. My memory of some of the things that happened are spotty at best. Sometimes I worry that I will suddenly remember something even worse that happened that I completely forgot. Most of the worst of it comes in sensory memories. Smells or sounds are the most frequent. Those usually trigger panic attacks.
I really really don't like being around people. I tough it out sometimes, because I know that total isolation is really bad for a person. Sometimes when I get angry at myself I push myself and that usually ends up in panic attacks. Most of the time thought I stay at home, and I love/hate the solitude. I watch tv just to feel some connection to the outside world. I get angry at the people on tv which is usually amusing to watch I'm told. I can't relate to people on a personal level anymore very well. Sometimes people ask casual questions and I give what turn out to be completely inappropriate and horrifying answers. That is another thing that makes me angry at myself. I intensely dislike confrontation, but in many ways I handle potentially dangerous confrontation better than normal social interactions. I'd rather fight than talk to strangers. I can't go around picking fights though.
Every single day perhaps a dozen times or more I think about Iraq. I think about the rapes. I think about the assaults. I remember firefights and bombs and mortars and death and destruction. Its nerve wracking. Some days it feels like torture. Those days I can't even get out of bed. Some days it actually makes me sick. The symptoms are extensive and disruptive. I'm appealing my disability rating with the VA. I can't work right now. I literally cannot deal with people, not even myself.
I hate listening to people talk about their problems, because I can't empathize anymore with anything less than a life destroying issue. I hate listening to people talk about their day to day lives also because I don't have a day to day life. So I don't like talking and I don't like listening. It makes for great conversations. I can't just "be myself" because I am a fucking train wreck. People like to stare at train wrecks, but they don't make friends with them unless they are as equally as wrecked.
I get so scared sometimes that this is all my life will ever be. I try to focus on goals or anything positive I can think of, but thoughts are slippery fuckers and they get away from me sometimes. Lately I've tried to make some changes. (Also I really hate being told people are proud of me. My life is nothing to be proud of, all I've done is survive. Animals can do that.) When I'm around people, I have violent thoughts. I find myself hoping for a fight. I want to hurt someone, but I can't do it unless I'm given a good enough reason. Even then I refuse to escalate situations. So far I've never provoked a fight, or let a situation escalate to a fight. Its the training I think, strange that it would stick. I think it would either be the best feeling ever or it would put me over the edge and either way it would be bad.