I never served in the military, but PTSD for me is very real and should be talked about so help can be afforded to those that need it the most. It’s as scary as anything I have ever lived through in my life. It’s something that has become so debilitating and threating to my life that it feels as if I’m a prisoner in my own body, the wrong noise can send me into a spiral where it seems like it may never end. People stare as if you are psychotic and continuously a threat when my entire life I’ve been nothing but an ordinary loving person. Until that one moment that forced everything to change.
A violent past means that’s what you are supposed to be an ever since mine I was determined not to let it be me. When I was younger my family was everything, we were just a typical family, and my parents worked nice jobs making a good living, as there was never a time when we felt like anything was wrong. My sister and I were always getting whatever we wanted; you could say spoiled. As much as I can remember I would say we lived a great life. That life was everything until It came crashing down, when someone from the outside, saw that life and wanted it themselves or were jealous.
I remember the night so vividly it’s scary how clear it is. My sister and I were sitting in the living room watching TV, while my mom was in the kitchen cleaning things up after dinner and my dad was upstairs doing something. You could always hear when someone would go up and down the stairs, our family wasn’t light-footed. My father was coming down, and just as he got about halfway, we heard a knock at the door. Our stairs were in the entry of the house and were right by the front door; my dad yelled: “I’ll get it.” My mother a not able to hear him told us to turn the TV down. She yells “what,” and my dad replies, “I’m getting the door” my mother and father had this unique sarcasm that made us smile. That felt like the last normal thing that happened for a while. I could hear him unlock the door, and as soon as I heard the deadbolt turn, I could hear yelling. That yelling didn’t belong to my father but some voice I have never heard before. Everything muffled and frantic, my mother heard the commotion and told us to come into the kitchen, she yelled out to my father. “What’s going on.” My father yelled backed scared; It still sends shivers down my spine. “Take the girls and run” All you could hear was a loud commotion, things falling over, my mother grabbing us by hand and pulling us away. When all of a sudden you heard “BOOM.” A loud thump and my mother screaming.
My mother was on the phone, hiding us in a bedroom. As she was on the phone with the police, you could tell she kept wanting to go and find my dad, but she wouldn’t leave us. She had us keep our heads down and ears covered, we couldn’t hear a thing because we were crying and almost didn’t want to hear anything anyway, we were in that position for what felt like forever. Next time I looked up my mother was opening the door to the police; their guns were drawn clearing the house. As soon as it was, they brought us out into the living room again. They were standing there talking to my mother, but my dad was nowhere to be seen. She was so scared she was just staring at us while she was talking to the police. It turned out my father had fought off the person as soon as he tried to push his way in. While fighting off him off the intruders’ gun went off and hit my father in the shoulder. They never caught that man, or had any indication as of who it was and that contributes every day and every episode. No fear exists more in the world then the kind of its repeating itself.
Every time I hear a noise that resembles that gunshot, I almost shoot straight down into that position our mom had us in. I breathe faster; blood starts pumping faster and faster. PTSD is something that can affect so many people, and see it change me into something that is so uncommon imagine how it affects people who are those kinds of things often. It’s important to have that conversation and understand the triggers and reactions of people who may be impacted. Every person is different, and some may never get help because they feel they can deal with it themselves. When it is so debilitating, I promise you will never win. I searched for help and am currently receiving that support. If you know someone with PTSD, try to help them but don’t push hard. Don’t try to fully understand and pretend you know what’s going on. Be there for them, allow the conversations to thrive and love. Time will come when things will get better, and they will seek help.