Therapy And Writing
Writing might just save my life. Last summer, I began therapy. After a few months, I was diagnosed with PTSD from sexual assault I experienced many years ago. I decided that I wanted to write a book about my experience of going through therapy.
Therapy is a lot harder than most people think, and PTSD is a lot more common than most think. When we hear about post-traumatic stress disorder, we associate it with major disasters like terrorist attacks or a mass shooting. The sad truth is many people are suffering, and they don’t even know it.
I kept a journal at the advice of my counselor. That is when all the feelings started to come out. It’s insane to feel something after over a decade of being numb. Numbness is incredibly common with victims of any type of abuse. The human brain has many instinctual safety mechanisms, so someone who has PTSD can experience numbness, extreme anxiety, or memory loss.
For a long time, my emotions only cycled through a few things—fear, anger, and self-loathing. When I started keeping the journal, I was simply trying to find a pattern of what was initially perceived as a codependent personality. Codependency, for those unaware, essentially means that you’re child-like.
This misdiagnosis was made because of my fear of being alone and the fact that I said I was angry toward my parents. I do have some animosity toward my initial therapist. Many people with disabilities have codependency issues. I feel that they were using a stereotype to diagnose me, and then ignored certain symptoms so that I could fit into a mold. I feel like we wasted time.
With my desire to publish this journal, I have learned a lot about myself. For the first time, I’m starting to feel emotions. After 15 years of not feeling anything other than anger and self-hate, I’m finally able to feel happiness and sadness, and it’s insane. In some ways, I feel like it would be easier just to leave everyone else because I know that I was not always a good person.
I realized that I gravitated toward people who were just as angry as I was, and I gravitated towards things that aren’t healthy. Things like alcohol and dark fascinations.
One thing that still really hurts about all of this is the fact that I feel so much hate towards one person. I was raised to be an empathetic person. I was raised with the knowledge that people are never perfect. I was raised with the knowledge that Jesus would go out of his way to help people and understand people. Somewhere along the way, my need to help others and understand people became fused with the darkness that lives inside of me, and I became obsessed with serial killers and mass shooters.
When I look at someone like Charles Manson, for example, I can’t help but think that he was incredibly neglected by his parents, and that’s probably what made him a psychopath. If I can look at people who have destroyed others and see a human inside of them, why do I think about the person who hurt me and want to see them rot in prison for the rest of their lives? Why do I want to see them hurt as badly as they hurt me? I feel so confused and hurt by that fact.
As I’m writing this, all I can think is that without Coffee House Writers, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. My fellow writers have given me the love and support I’ve needed to continue this journey and to get healthy. They took the time to love me and support me and my dreams, even when I didn’t love myself. My world is changing, and I’m so grateful that they’re along for the ride.
Writing might just save my life.
If you or someone you know is struggling help is available.