So I have run across quite a few things recently regarding personality types and the like. Articles comparing different types or blogs stating how to care for certain personality types. Some have had useful information, some have belonged in the funny pages. I have know for a long time that I have an introvert personality but I decided recently to look more into it and possible connections and even susceptibility to PTSD. I have not really found any blatant connections, but I have found that many of my coping mechanisms are just amplified personality traits of an introvert personality. I have also figured out that my introvert personality really messes with my PTSD somedays, especially days where I prefer to be alone and the best thing for me and what is going on in my mind is to not be alone. It is a large challenge to my everyday life.
Some days I feel like my mind is going a hundred miles an hour while the rest of the world is going fifty. This also messes with me somedays. I take time to process things, it is another trait of an introvert personality. They need time to process things and generally, trying to demand an answer right away is just not going to work. My brain never seems to shut off, so when you add the fact that I have lots of unpleasant things in my head somedays I wonder how I even pay attention to other people.
On a separate, not personality related topic, sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if I had decided to get help earlier. I realize that compared to some my diagnosis after 7 years is quick yet compared to some others, the 7 years it took me to start getting my head back together is a long time. I also wonder what would or could have happened had I not been diagnosed when I was. I wonder if I would have or could have muddled through and thought a happy thought. My life and my PTSD is probably the toughest, weirdest and at times the most gratifying thing I’ve ever been through. I realize gratifying is a very strange word to use in conjunction with PTSD, but I know now and have learned what I can actually handle in life and to me, that is a gratifying thought. The other thing, and I have discussed this with my therapists at the VA many times, is that I’m not sure how I would have reacted had I tried to get help sooner. I honestly think I would have just driven myself farther away from reality and further away from life.
For a while, I felt that my now ex-wife was the one who was essentially the one who saved my life and convinced me to seek help. More and more as I reflect on things, she only had her self in mind with her actions and ultimately used me and my diagnoses as the leading (and pretty much only) reason for the failure of our marriage. The truth is, she had nothing to do with it. I know in my heart that had I not wanted to seek treatment, nothing she said would have changed my mind. I know that I saved my own life. I know that the quick and well intentioned response from my primary care Doc at the VA helped turn my life around. I know that the two highly skilled and highly caring counselors/therapists/inserttheiractualtitlehere helped save my life. I know that my family, even when I am sure they had no honest clue what to do with me or a true understanding of what was going on, they helped me save my own life. I know most importantly of all, two twin boys who have nothing but love for me in their heart are the real reasons I still walk this earth.
So for the first time since being officially and legally divorced, my ex-wife, my children and I went to a hockey game together. While it was not really a bad time. I did not enjoy myself. It was for a variety of reasons really, not all my ex-wife’s doing. It was her idea to go to the hockey game with the boys. She felt it would be good for the boys to see us all together. While I do not disagree I do think that it is more likely to be confusing for them at this point. I also really dislike having to answer my boys when they ask me if I am staying at the house tonight. It breaks my heart.
The other big reason I did not enjoy the came is because I didn’t feel all the comfortable. I still dislike large crowds. I was okay for a while (mainly because there was a large amount of veterans in the crowd for military appreciation night and that seemed to appease my anxiety) until the little kids in the row behind us starting kicking the back of our seats. It broke my attention to the came and just started to raise my anxiety to an uncomfortable level to the point where I became more concerned with possible things that could be happening that what was actually happening.
Like I said, overall is was not a failure of an outing, but I wish I had turned down the invitation. It is bad enough I have been spending a lot of time at the house lately to get it ready to sell, I do not think its good for my boys at the moment. I am also slightly annoyed about that house. I did most of the work to move us into that house and I guess she is going to push my buttons enough to make me do most of the work to move us out of that house. She knows I want the house sold. It is really the last remaining issue between us. The ex-wife just cannot make things easy I guess.
Ok. On a lighter note, I saw my primary care doc the other day, the first time since she got me into therapy at the VA and other than discussion that I’m healthy and just chubby, she asked me if I had started dating yet. While my answer was no because I am not ready for that yet. I would like to know if it is it wrong that the first thing that popped into my thoughts was asking her on a date? She is pretty cute and definitely close to my age. My CPT doc was pretty cute too, except o would not want to date someone moving back to Texas and that looks like someone I used to work with. Maybe I can ask for a new doctor and then ask her out. (Is that allowed Shannon?)
So what’s next for me? Well. I want to buy a house. To buy a house, I have to sell a house. I need winter to be over to I can get my behind back to work, I enjoyed working at the boat yard and I have not really paid attention to how much I miss working there. Sooner we get warm weather, sooner we get to go back to work.
I sit here in a house I own slowly packing up the few things left in it that are mine. Tomorrow, my divorce will be final after what I’m sure will be several hours of me uncomfortably sitting in a courtroom with strangers. I am positive that I should be feeling some sort of emotion, but I’m not. I am basically moving through actions I know I should be going through. The only thing I am close to feeling is anger and my reasons for feeling angry are many but I do not want to focus on or validate them. I am trying to move past those feelings.
I am fully aware I’ve been quite for almost a month. Between the holidays and my divorce, my stress level has been on the rise and with that seems to come a resurgence in my PTSD symptoms. While they have thankfully be mitigated with skills I learned in CPT, they have not and not will they every really go away. Over the last few weeks they re-manifested themselves in some unpleasant new nightmares. Nightmares mean I don’t sleep. No sleep means I am a cranky asshole to those around me. I have done my best to keep myself in check, but I am sure it has slipped out.
I brought all of this up in my one month CPT follow up the other day thinking it was not normal or that the effort I had put into CPT was wasted. Thankfully I was told it was normal, well as normal as any of this is or can be. I will survive this and strike out on my own. At this point the only thing I can do for myself is prove that I can do it. I can. I will. I am going to.
I will probably have more to say tomorrow after I am officially and legally divorced.