Living with PTSD
It's been more than five years since I came back to Sweden and I am still waiting for a physician to go through my symptoms and needs to be able to certify that I have PTSD and to what degree. Not to mention get therapy!
Here is my own list:
Physically: Symptoms include a sensitive stomach, headaches and heart exhaustion affecting my immune system, also affected by hormone levels throughout the month. My sleep differs, at best uninterrupted alone in safe room preferably for 7-9 hrs. I need to have an extra buffer for waking up without drama to ensure not becoming nauseous or stressed out, best without alarm and therefor working afternoon shifts. Eating glutenfree mostly vegan or lactose free regularly and enough is a must, with snacks inbetween to ensure good even level of bloodsugar, even filling up with extra electrolytes and drinking at least 1 1/2 litres of boiled (cleaned) water and mostly herbal tea on a daily basis. Getting fresh air daily with walks is essential, paired with dancing gives me the physical workout I need as well as allow me to release stress and transform it into an expression of pent up emotions, just like writing also can assist. To live in rooms with enough heat and daylight keeps me positive and grounded without stifling me or tense up my body with pain even more due to any setbacks or flashbacks or incidents to deal with, avoiding physical stress factors especially connected to previous torturous conditions. When I feel safe, my sexdrive is positive and normal with no problems of intimacy. This should all be evident, so why is this obstructed?
Emotionally: I have no room for drama or little things that have no bearing for neither my survival or thrive. I need time to process and feel connection to the impact of traumas since this allows me to feel more human. Trust is only built with compassion together with those open for understanding the existential part of my experiences and taking my needs seriously.
Mentally: Allowed to talk about what happened but without being kept into it, lessens flashbacks since thinking about it consciously lessens any subconscious driven reactions. I am also more alert than others due to a heightened and broadened understanding of the width and possible implications that can take place with more instincts and intuition. I have little patience with narrow minded judgmental perspectives who are voiced without respect to my experiences that always are the foundation for how I know things can develop unless redirected in action and properly addressed by acknowledging what I have shared.
Spiritually: It is of vital importance to have my freedom of faith so I can continue to live with a purpose set between me and God. Likewise being allowed to exercise my pursuit of happiness and expressing love and good things enable me to remain in a positive focus orientation. Respecting this is a need.
Flashbacks are triggered by anything perceived as unexpected mostly by sounds and sometimes the environment such as keys, echoes of women conversations in the hallway and low ceilings takes me back into how it felt during my immigration detention in the United States 2011-12. Certain things that I see can also remind me and thereby trigger a vivid unwelcome memory. These can take a couple of hours or a day to shake off and process, just like ongoing threats stifle my healing process by taking energy from positive forward motion. To put it simple: Sleeping in a steel bunkbed with strangers reminds me of sleeping in a steel bunkbed with strangers. So then stop forcing me to Sweden!
Accomodations at work therefor must include a certain flexibility for hours and location until I have my own business with security in place to stop the continous stalking, sabotages and break-ins that I have to put up with in Sweden or until I move abroad again.
Above all; straight forward communication with proper answering and respect is needed with the other person, especially in their line of duty, taking full responsibility of his/her decisions and its consequences that I have to deal with. Allow me to have my home, pay my rent, eat my food, have relationships that I choose, and work with inclusiveness based on my competence, just like it is for everybody else in society. It is when you put up a wall, you create a reaction. This time I am striking back.