It's early morning and I'm sitting on my couch knitting. My needles clicking fast - trying to finish one scarf so I can finish another. Suddenly, I burst into tears. Only for a moment do I sob; then the tears just trickle slowly down my face. I know what started the flow of tears, but I'm not sure why they started.
I'm watching last night's episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" and it's heavy on the PTSD issues. A scene where a character falls to the floor in fear and can't move - I remember when that would happen to me - but I don't start crying yet. The fallen character's best friend rushes to her side and holds her hand to pull her out, to calm her fear. Now my sobs start. I wish someone had been there to pull me out - that someone had recognized what was going on.
I remember a best friend calling me ridiculous because of my fear. I had collapsed on the floor in front of her and she told me I was faking it. That made it worse. Sometimes, I thought I was making it happen - but then why couldn't I stop it?
My tears stream because I needed that one person to confide in, one person to tell me it isn't my fault and to tell me I could do something about it.
I went to college still 'crazy' and I still regret things I said and did to people. I needed so much help and it only got much worse before it got any better. When I finally got help, I found a person - a few people, but one person in particular - who gave me the strength to come forward. This person, A, still inspires me today. I believe she went through much worse, but she was able to help me. A says I helped her too, and I hope I was able to be her pulling hand as much as she was mine. Sometimes when I have a bad day or a PTSD nightmare I want to rush to her side, hold her hand and make sure she's really okay.
I have more mature friends now - most likely because I'm older. My very best friend Sarah Lynn and I are much closer than we were in high school - we drifted apart during those four awful years. My more mature friends understand what happened and some even help pull me out when I have a bad day or a relapse.
But I have all these 'what ifs' rolling around in my head. What if Sarah Lynn and I hadn't drifted apart? Could she have been the one to hold my hand and pull me out? I know she could be that person now - but what about then? What if my other friends had been more supportive - or had payed attention? What if my parents had asked why I was so angry, or why I was hurting myself?
I'm crying because of the 'what ifs.' Because maybe if someone had held my hand and pulled me out, I wouldn't still have problems.
The tears are gone. Wiped away. I remember I can't change the past, only the future. And as I return to my knitting and the PTSD-heavy episode of "Grey's," I know I want to surround myself with the friends who would be there for me - and I always want to be the person willing to hold your hand when you need it.
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