Post "Post-It" PTSD
Can you just stop with the flashbacks and bits of anxiety? You’re really cramping my style.
After what happened, I gave myself a week to be sad and upset. I'm one of those Type A people that calendars anything and everything. I went to bed at about 7pm each night with the help of wine and xanax. This past Sunday, I pulled myself together. I woke up went to the gym, ran some long over due errands and finally tackled the mess that was my nails. If you know me in real life you know I wont go more than 30 minutes with chipped or worn out nail polish. I'm incredibly anal about my manicures. But this past week... woof, my manicure was a hot mess, my life was a mess. In short, I got my shit together.
I woke up the next morning in such a good place. Accepting of what happened the previous Monday with the “post-it”. (If you read “How Do You Single?”, you would know that I related his “don’t hate me” text message to Burger’s “don’t hate me” post-it) I spent that past week writing everything out and it honestly was incredibly cathartic. I finally got to a place where I was okay. I was getting back into the sync of things at work, fast-paced me, working my way down my to-do’s for the day. I went to lunch with coworkers and as we were finishing up, out of the corner of my eye I saw a group of people coming towards us on their bicycles decked out in gear/outfits from the company he works for. So in my head there was a high probability that this was him. I immediately got nauseous, felt sick to my stomach and could feel a panic attack coming on. One thing was clear... as much as I tried to convince myself I was okay, I was not fucking okay. This has been a fear of mine because we work so close to each other that we’d run into each other. It wasn’t him, but it took less than three seconds for me to go from smiling and laughing at lunch, to scared, anxious and panicked.
After what happened at lunch Matt said that I probably have PTSD. I thought he was kidding. But when we got back to the office, he looked up the definition and sent it to me.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD: Anxiety and flashbacks triggered by a traumatic event. The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions. Symptoms may include nightmares or flashbacks, avoidance of situations that bring back the trauma, heightened reactivity to stimuli, anxiety, or depressed mood. (Source: The Mayo Clinic)
At first when he said that I could have PTSD, I thought it was insulting to those that actually suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Most commonly you hear of veterans and our servicemen and women suffering from PTSD. What they experienced sacrificing for our country gives them every right to have PTSD. The fact that I was this stressed out by the off chance of running into him at lunch made me feel like I was insulting those brave men and women who actually have PTSD. But you know what, this was traumatic for me. I was not ready to run into him. One day everything is sunshine and fucking rainbows and the next, it’s like hell froze over. My world was rocked and not in the good way.
It was clear that as much as I was telling myself that I was okay, convincing myself that I was good. I was not okay. I think I’m still affected because I have so many unanswered questions. As much as I feel like I deserve an honest answer to these questions, I don’t think I’ll ever get them. But I thought because they still run through my mind... maybe I should just ask him. I typed out all the questions as if I were to send them to him, but I stopped myself (more like Matt stopped me). I didn’t ever expect him to answer them or respond to me, I just thought that if I typed them out and put them into the universe, I did all I could do to try and get the answers I felt I deserved. If he did respond, great… maybe I’d get some closure or the truth and if he didn’t… that would speak volumes and again I’d get closure. But Matt put it in perspective when he said that I couldn’t depend on him to get closure from this no matter how much I deserved it. I had to find closure for myself.
Still these questions run through my Type A brain. Nothing bugs me more than having unanswered questions. I’m one of those people that just needs to know. So here are my questions:
I’m curious if he even meant any of the things he said to me while we were dating? If he did, I can’t imagine he just woke up one day and thought to himself that he was done. So does that mean he was pretending? Because even in my darkest moment, I would never treat someone I cared about with that kind of disregard.
I get that he was stressed out about certain things happening in his life but a lot of what he brought up was there when we first started dating or even before. So that just confused me even more, why would he keep pursuing us?
Was I being too demanding of his time? I don’t think I was and if I was, he could have just told me. I understand being busy and not having enough time. I was able to manage everything I have on my plate (work, blog, Whim Things, events and friends) on top of him so I guess it didn’t ever occur to me that maybe he couldn’t. And if that’s the case, I’m sorry… but he never talked to me about it and he decided that wasn’t being fair to me because he couldn’t give me time or attention. If anything, what was not fair to me was when he decided to text me the “don’t hate me” text message without any regard for how I would feel. He made it a point to let me know that he felt horrible having to write this out… Well, then why did he?
If he meant any bit of the things he was saying to me I would have expected him to have enough respect to talk to me about it. He said that he doesn’t know if he could put everything he has into us, but I don’t recall ever asking him to. He decided that without talking to me about it. Why didn't he just talked to me?
One day he’s saying things that insinuate that he could see us progressing over time and the next this happens. Why did he say those things? Everything he said I took with a grain of salt because even though we went from zero to sixty we were still fairly new, in that everything is bliss “Honeymoon Stage.” But after our weekend in Palm Springs, I took everything he said at face value and believed him.
These are my questions. This is what runs through my Type A brain because without answers to them, it makes me feel like I did something wrong that warranted being treated this way. But I’m gonna tell you, I was fucking amazing. I was honest. I was me and I genuinely fell for him. No ulterior motives and no pretending. But right now, I feel like an idiot and a fool. And apparently no matter how much I tell myself I’m okay… Right now, I’m not okay. I’m suffering from post post-it PTSD.
I’m one of those people that believes that you can will something if you try your hardest. I tried real hard to convince myself I was okay and I started to believe it. I put my ColourPop London Fog red lipstick on and was ready to conquer the week ahead. But it took the possibility that I was about to run into him at lunch to make me realize that is not always the case. But me being me, I’m gonna keep telling myself I’m okay because eventually I’ll wake up one morning, say I’m okay and the post "post-it" PTSD will be gone and I will really be okay.