Category Archives: ptsd

Why the hey am I so angry?? Get a grip. (I sorta did so now I can talk about it) So Odd.

Dang!

That was a rough PTSD last week. (holding my head.)

It seems that my PTSD flares (or I make it flare….keep reading) and leaves me spiraling into -

…. exhaustion, irritation, and hypervigilance – plus anxiety. Sounds like a ball of fun, eh?

But last week….it included ANGER.

And I mean ANGER with ALL CAPITAL LETTERS!

You are thinking….


“Did she scream and yell?”

“Did she throw things?”

No. I did not. (okay I might have… but I not at the kids. Wow. I’m amazing. sheesh.) 

It was almost a “sad anger”. Sad that this mental health issue is here. Sad that it affects us still. Sad that I cannot, consistently, wake up and just feel “good”. But, it was also an unusual anger that I allowed to build.

The anger … this type …. was definitely new to me. 

I sort of wanted to just be alone until the feeling went away, but I knew that was a bad idea and also not that reasonable.

However,  I wanted it “gone”. I am not used to “super angry”. It is a bit un-nerving. 

[okay...we are not talking 'murder-angry' or anything...though I did 'murder' a few cartons of ice cream last week]

By last Friday, I was standing in our room, crying. 

I was trying to do my hair or throw some makeup on or whatever (I feel better dressed, etc when I’m struggling with PTSD)

Jim walked in … stood in front of me …. and I said, “I have NO idea how to make this go away. None. If I did I would. I want to be mean. I want to scream. I want to tell people off. I have controlled it all but this is not me and it needs to end.”

What’s a guy to do? It’s not like he can come over and give me a big hug. I’m irritable, itchy, sensitive to touch when in this state…a hug would have made me scream.

Jim was left with the same phrase that has begun to haunt us…”We can get through this.”

To know neglect of his own, I already knew that. I didn’t, truly, expect to be that angry for days and days. 

The scary part was not being able to understand it. 

Now that it’s subsided, I can see through it a bit more. I can see why I acted the way I did when that sad-anger was sitting on top of me.

I let things build up.

Specifically, stressers/triggers. 

I lied to myself that I could handle it all last week.

There were events occurring last week that were super-struggles. But I was not true to myself about my ability to handle it all. 

I, instead subtly let the stress of each situation build, and I think the “mound-o-stress” (ha)  turned into a strong anger that I did not understand until the feeling left.

Some stressers were related to a situation that I do not blog about (out of respect) but which causes me significant sadness.

I did not consider that those situations would bring on such anger. 

All the {oh I wanna insert some sort of mean adjective but I won’t} specifics in this situation are NOT new in any way shape or form. I was sure I could handle it all.

I have experienced “regular” anger towards the situation, the people involved, the losses we’ve experienced…but not “THIS” anger.

THIS anger was deep. Sad. Until it was dissected, um like right  NOW, it was just raw, sad, anger that was leaving me confused last week.

Add to that, just before the difficult stress that occurred last week, we had enjoyed a long weekend away. That was JOY … coming home is NOT. [enter stress]

(the following may seem petty…but to someone getting her brain all-balanced again…it is SO SO SO not…)

I LOVE home. I NEED home. It is my “safe” spot.

But…I do not like a super-messy home.  But, durrnit, coming home from a long weekend, at a beautiful and sandy beach with five kids,  means MESS. 

{insert ANGER … at least that was what happened when I saw all that vacation stuff laying around…why???}

I am not a “Has to Be Perfect” Stepford Housewife!  I have gotten OH SO MUCH better at letting a lot of messiness go. 

I let it fly out that dang proverbial window ….. I was even getting better at that BEFORE PTSD…(pat me on the back…  ;)

But MESS that comes through the door and sits in piles for a day or two…blah. gag. boo. stress. [anger growing]

You are thinking, “Just deal with it. Just put it away.”

Yeah. Well, um, can you come put it away? Or better yet…Wash it and put it away? While life continues?

(Said in complete kindness of course…sorta)

One of the things a PTSD sufferer deals with is lack of focus and a component of this is that SMALL things seem MASSIVE. Unattainable. Why-Even-Try-I-Cannot-Do-It.

Now, medium to hard stuff? Somehow that does not affect me as much.

Take homeschool for instance. Teaching my kids is a pretty “big” thing on a daily basis. A huge responsibility. 

If I’m feeling even just barely so-so…I can do homeschool. I feel great about it!  But there is NO WAY IN HADES I could hang up some clothes in my closet. WHA????  

It is so weird to be me. 

AND, adding to the above events (stressers),  there were a few other more relational-yuks that were occurring that absorbed me last week.

AND, last but certainly not least – adding to the above ,  our “Nala” (3 yr old, sweet momma-dog) ran away from a friend’s house while we were gone. (I mentioned that in my last post…sigh)

We were looking for her all week in 90-100 degree temps. I struggle, deeply, (like we all do) when my kids are hurting but I did not think to associate THOSE feelings with triggering my PTSD so much. 

{insert stress-obviously. But I did not ‘feel’ angry about this event. Sad? Sure. Angry? not so much. This is one of the reasons some of this hit between the eyes maybe?}

As I am typing this all out … at this very moment … I am thinking,

Andrea, it probably wasn’t all THAT unhealthy to feel such sad – anger last week.  For the love of pete, give yourself a break. Why didn’t you last week? 


Yes, it was new and strong and scary. But why are you still surprised at PTSD stuff?

Why didn’t you wave the white flag and just HIDE for a few days? Why do you push so hard?

You have PTSD. You ARE sick. [growl]

You cannot plow through like you used too. You need to remember stuff like this for next time.

Because there might be a next time when you feel like a complete failure because you want to scream, and throw, or act out in anger-induced ways. You are smarter than this!”

Dang this is real writing. Here’s to transparency!

I hope my kids read this in the future (hey future kids…I adore you)..and know “me” from all of this. 

Mercy. 

How could they not, eh? 

And I am certainly not scared of them seeing their “true” Momma who isn’t perfect. They see her in-real-life right now!

Reading about it in the future will probably be humorous….”Ha! I remember when Mom was doing that! She was a trip!” 

or “Yep. She sure freaked about that sand.” 

or “Wow. Mom REALLY fought to have our family be tight even when she was struggling.” [this one is my favorite]

I am happy the sad-anger has left…but so has the stresses that were mentally straining me, although “Nala” is still missing. [sadness]

Apparently these events were desperately more difficult on me than I was aware of.

And there’s where the rubber hits the road. 

That’s when the anger slipped I think. I let it all build until is passed “irritation” and slid right into raw, pure, sad, hot anger.

So now what? Hide in my house forever? Never interact with others? Stay away from sand-related long weekends?

No….I simply need to plan better. 

If you are a person reading this who is or knows of people who struggling with mental health wellness…please talk about being completely honest with yourself (or help your friends be honest with themselves…) 

Sometimes it is HARD to allow yourself to be constrained by the truth.

“Will this event draw you out long term?” 


“Add up all the stressing events going on yesterday, today, tomorrow. Can you handle more?”

That kind of stuff. That kind of HONEST stuff. That hurts. Makes you feel like a failure, a louse, a weakling, if you have to say “NO” oftentimes.

I used to be good at asking myself these questions…Jim was especially good at seeing events that would put me in bed for the famous 31 hour sleeping events. [those haven't happened in a happy long while. Improvement!]

But, now that I’ve gotten somewhat healthier, (hey…don’t I sound oh so healthy?! ha) I’ve gotten out of the habit of ‘checkin’ myself like I was.

OR I assume I am bionic and can plow through difficult things with ease and comfort, and be fine the following days.

Well. If there were ANY doubts (oh please)…I am not bionic. ;)

I am a fighter who fails (danggit…) but who, with the help of God, Jim, kids, close friends, and ….

(truly…and I don’t give a fig if this sounds odd…because….if you are reading this then you read this entire novella so you get my ‘weird’ a bit.)

….you guys.  

Here, I have an outlet to throw it out.

I have a place to write my brain down and to hope & pray that what I am writing, as raw and as somewhat embarrassing but yet oh so true it all is, MIGHT be touching a reader right now.

THAT also pushes me and makes me a fighter. 

I can come back out of the corner of the fighting ring, makes me put my (pink) boxing gloves back on, and go another round. 

I am pretty sure I lost this last round but I am hoping to make up for it or should I simply say “improve” this next round.

Because what HAS happened doesn’t necessarily need to be “made up for” but it can be used to IMPROVE oneself, yes? [this may be one of my best blogging sentences ever ... I should probably take heed.]

Wowza…thhat was some really real writing!

Okay…push me outta the corner…
Andrea

This picture sums me up this week.

This blasted week.

BLAST THIS WEEK!

I have been so anxious and excited to write Tye’s “birthday post” (he turned the big “9″ Monday:)

….but….


Well…see the picture….I’m asleep…or am about to go to sleep, or just woke up and can’t focus, or am thinking of sleep. 

Next week WILL be better for this girl … 

RIGHT?!!

Tell me I am right or…well…um…I will promise to have a very bad dreams about you??! ;)
ZZZZZzzzzzzz….

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder….it is time to EXIT STAGE LEFT please. NOW. asap.

Problem is…I have had some very major ‘triggers’ this week…thus the excess sleep. 

My brain likes to ignore the real world when it’s ‘triggered’. 

Isn’t it nice of my brain to just to ‘shut down’ and forget that it’s in charge of a real human who has real kids and a real husband that she’d like to see once in a while?! 

Bad Brain. Bad.

Please don’t forget about me and my little blog. It’s not my blog’s fault. Poor whittle blog…getting ignored cuz of mean ol’ PTSD. 

(I know…I posted last week..and it was sorta an epic post…but..I miss you people :)


Well….my sweet little blog …. and my precious readers… ‘I VILL BE BAUCK’….like Monday. Or tomorrow. Or  Sunday. Only my brain knows.

ANDREA
ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz…..

(maybe this would help?)

(an on-the-go-pillow and a high-fashion “snuggie”. But I think my brain would still know I was walking and semi-useful.  danggit!)

A little video tirade about the Christian community and mental illness. Oh. and we have a pregnant dog :)


How was that for a tirade couched between cute kids?
Makes me seem less scary :)

Welp.

Ya knows I gotta post some pics of my crew after that video tirade cuz now I feel ‘purged’ and can get on with my good ol’ self again.

ONE MORE NOTE!

IF you are someone who deals with what I addressed in my blog OR a Christian who thinks what I said was ludicrious please email me at:  andreacockrum at yahoo dot com or find me on Facebook under my my full name: Andrea Lowe Cockrum.  

I would love to chat with you…from whichever side of this you are coming from. I am ALWAYS open to new information and love making friends, especially where there’s a common thread already established.

Okay…pix :)

Tye WANTED “blue” hair…I SWEAR I had NOTHING to do with this request! 
DOUBLE PINKY SWEAR!


 I thought he looked SO ADORABLE like this…but he refused to keep it ‘just bleached’. (btw: do you know how hard it is to truly ‘bleach’ asian hair???? It had to be on his twice the amount of time…!).

He demanded his “BLUE”…and…He got it!


I have no idea what he’s doing other than being deliciously adorable.

Then…today…

I got to spend a bit o’ time in my still totally wrecked Art Studio but twas fun to have paint on my hands again…LUV having paint on my hands…LUV it :)

 My twinnie needed this “vintage” window pair turned into a table display for her and her husband’s fundraising needs.  She wanted it to look like a ” really old Indian window” and then I put henna-ish designs on the corners. She’ll put picture of their work in the window panes, etc.

 AMY actually PAINTED! That’s equivalent to me RUNNING (and not just after a good sale at the mall but actually running in running shoes outside in nature)

When your daughter says, “Momma, you need to paint while you wear a tiara” You ALWAYS say YES!

 Maybe a perfect afternoon for me…painting with my kids :) My sis was there too :)

 The kids make “gift bags” …. we are going to work on spelling this year in school.
bwwwhahahahahaha

So.

There ya go.

A video tirade.

Cute kids acting weird on video.

Pictures of our daily lives.

I think that consists of a full blog post, eh?!

PLEASE LET ME KNOW, via a comment here or SOMETHING PEEPS, of your thoughts about my idea on the “church” and the “mental illness” issues.

I think the “Church” needs a seminar or something on “Mental Illness” issues :)

I’ll lead it.

errrr…..maybe not?

Andrea

Pressure to write Pultizer-Prize winning Posts…. said the Perfectionist.

  
So, as my slightly obnoxious (get used to it people :) indicated…I’m going back to how I ‘used’ to blog.  Which means…more daily (short) posts, with some “grandiose” posts thrown in for good measure :)

Today I feel like I am moving through sludge. I am tired and my mind is thinking of the hundreds of things I need to be doing.

However, I remain NOT doing those hundreds of things :) Call me a Procrastinator. I’m not scared of truth :)

I DID manage, however, to sort through an embarrassing mound of (clean) clothes that had accumulated in my closet…then progressed into our bathroom. The progression has been occurring since…oh…early June :)   That’s how I function with my closet…I get it immaculate, and then I let it “go”. 

Awwww…isn’t that how SO MANY things are though?

You get things “perfect” and then kinda forget about them…Cuz..Once things seem “good” my attention quickly goes elsewhere…thus leaving the “good” things to slowly disintegrate until we are in “EMERGENCY CLEAN-UP” mode…hhmmm….

*marriage
*parenting tactics
*friendships
*worship habits
*talents

Yep. My closet habits do reflect some of my lifestyle habits.

Who knew?!

Does your lifestyle habits go up and down like an “Andrea Rollercoaster” or are you more of a “Siberian Express Train Ride” … 

TELL ME!

MWAH!
Andrea
and now…photos from our reunion with my sister and family!! THEY ARE HOME FOR MANY MONTHS NOW!!


 Yes…It was a very happy reunion…and we look forward to MANY happy memories over the next many months….These cousins need to be crazy together as often as possible!!

Now tell me…are you an “Andrea Rollercoaster” or more of a “Siberian Train Ride” in regards to your lifestyle habits…come on…fess up. TELL ME!