Rethink Trauma: What Your Words Mean

I can’t tell you how many times I have been standing, sitting, lounging, or was otherwise stationary in a group of people and heard someone say not just something hurtful about PTSD but hateful. Then they laugh. Then I bite my lip and try not to burst into tears and insults all at the same time. 

You can’t see that I have C-PTSD and DiD. You can’t see that I’m sick. Unless you’re present for some of the scarier moments of my month, week, day, hour…you can’t see it. I don’t have any pictures to post to my medical fundraiser of being brave in a hospital room. I don’t have pictures of being asleep and full of tubes. My hair hasn’t fallen out. I look “normal”.

So many of us who struggle with mental illness look, “normal”. And we are tired of you saying, “No one is normal.”
We are both sick and tired of that, on top of being annoyed. 

Stop minimizing our pain, our struggle, our sleepless nights, our emotional anguish, and the physical pain of depression and anxiety. 
I don’t need you to know.  

I need you to watch your mouth. 

PTSD isn’t funny. Soldiers with it are not laughing with you. Rape victims are not laughing with you. Kids who have been abused are not laughing with you.

When I get startled easily because I was beaten and raped most of my life, it isn’t an invitation to scare me. 
When I can’t see a scary movie or read a certain book or go to the aquarium, it isn’t an invitation for you to try and tell me how “it’s not a big deal”. 

Just stop.

Stop making jokes about addiction, cutting, rape, war, or “being a little OCD”. 
You don’t know what you are saying. 
When I can’t sleep at night because of the obsessive thoughts running through my head or because I’m trying not to think about nightmares or flashbacks your words just add fuel to the fire.

Please, just because you can’t see how sick I am doesn’t mean I’m not.
And I’m not alone. I’m not the only person who has been through unspeakable things. I’m not the only chemically imbalanced person. I’m not the only one who struggles with clinical disorders that are invisible.

I can’t ask you to stop. I can’t tell you when it happens that it isn’t okay. My illness takes my voice and the damage is done before the end of your sentence let alone the beginning of one that I can’t make.

So I’m asking you now, before you say something: stop.

Think.   

 

Light bulb photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/pulpolux/79771042/”>Pulpolux !!!</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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