100-word Essay: Off The Rails

If you want to know more about this cycle within Complex-PTSD take a gander at this post.

Just Don’t a new 100-word Essay: Truth

I like to think I am relatively ‘easy going’. I’ve had folks tell me that I was a pleasure to work with. Huzzah. And I like to think that not many things send me into a point of anger. Of course, that could just be the CPTSD and the fact that I have virtually no emotions talking. But, hey. It’s chill. I’m good. 

But then I meet folks who want to redefine my story of my life. They sit there and explain to me how my representation of my experience is ‘wrong’. Yeah. I ran into one of those recently. Oh… I really wanted to ‘rage post’, but my interior editor stopped me. Thank goodness for that titanium trap in my mind that usually keeps me from uttering something that might later be – ahem… unfortunate. 

So, instead, I sat down and wrote this 100-word essay. I hope you enjoy. 
And, just as a tip. When someone is divulging their truth to you, do not attempt to invalidate their experience in any way. It makes us grumpy.

Underground

“One. Two. Three.” I counted in the dark.
People huddled in the crowded subway tunnel smelling of damp wool coats, black-market cigarettes, coal dust and fear. Momma held my hand squeezing it tight to calm us both. Papa was upside fighting the fires that followed the explosions of Hitler’s rockets. People shifted uncomfortably on the floor as the shelter shook. Everyone counted the time between the engine’s death and the detonation above. Momma picked me up holding me tight in her lap.
“Let’s count together.”
I nodded in the dark leaning on Momma’s salty cheek. We waited together.
“One…”

Erosion: CPTSD in 100 words

“You won’t get it.” 
That was my father’s response when I told him I was among the finalists for 
the Morehead Scholarship to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 
This was a big deal. 
The full ride, a four-year scholarship covering tuition, books, room and board. 
It was proof. 
Wasn’t it? 
I had done well. 
I was worthy. 
Wasn’t I? 
My excitement, my hope for some sign of my value to him collapsed on his response. 
Not enough. Not I. Not ever. 
He was right.
I didn’t win the scholarship. 
I wasn’t enough.

Not for them. Not for him.

I just really like it…

Ladybug with a story about CPTSD

I can think of a hundred reasons why I shouldn’t share this.


It’s self-indulgent.
The meme itself is wordy.
Already shared the story.
The text is too dense.
It breaks the meme conventions.
and on,
      and on,
            and on.

But,
   even with all that
this simple image
with the tiny bug and the
tiny story just feels right.
Inexplicable, but there it is.

Small: CPTSD in 100 words

How do I explain the limits that a child places on themselves when faced with a certainty of violence? I tried to survive by becoming small. I didn’t share the backseat with my brother. I cringed in the corner between the seat and the door. I curled into a knot. Tighter, smaller so I presented less of a target to him. Smaller still, curling in on myself not allowing a hair, a thought or an expression to ripple the air around me. Drawing in still tighter I collapsed until nothing escaped, becoming a single point without boundary, mass or being.

Happiness: CPTSD in 100 words

Happiness is not a word that I generally associate with my life or myself. To me life has always been about what I must do for others. What was expected out of me. What I was and wasn’t allowed to do, think or even feel. Somewhere along the timeline of my childhood happiness was put in a box and stuffed somewhere deep in the metaphorical closet of my self. It was in my 20s that I first approached a mental health provider with the first of a long list of questions. She showed me that my happiness was my responsibility.

The Hollow : CPTSD in 100 words

I am hollow.
A coiling tension surrounds the body, pressing from front and back.
It squeezes until the throat closes tight.
Making the body voiceless.
Emotions long silenced initiate a new silence.
The silence of survival is replaced by the silence of terror which newly echoes through the empty frame.
The heart contracts, refusing to beat as if any action would break the status quo.
I am the hollow.

Underground: Microfiction

London Underground 1940

“One. Two. Three.” I counted in the dark. People huddled in the crowded subway tunnel smelling of damp wool coats, black-market cigarettes, coal dust and fear. Momma held my hand squeezing it tight to calm us both. Papa was upside fighting the fires that followed the explosions of Hitler’s rockets. People shifted uncomfortably on the floor as the shelter shook. Everyone counted the time between the engine’s death and the detonation above. Momma picked me up holding me tight in her lap.
“Let’s count together.”
I nodded in the dark leaning on Momma’s salty cheek. We waited together.
“One…”