I get emotional flashbacks. I get them a lot. Last Wednesday I was confronted with someone triggered yet another emotional flashback. It’s Saturday and it’s still going on.
There is a difference between PTSD and CPTSD. PTSD involves a single traumatic event. CPTSD involves many traumatic events, over time. I have CPTSD.
When I have a flashback, they span my entire life. The crap my family put me through. The attack on myself by that teacher and his students. The 100 women bullying one guy. Pronoun girl who thinks I’m a bad person because I messed up a pronoun, and for that she gets to attack me. It wasn’t even her pronoun.
Interestingly enough, I don’t have flashbacks about the car-jacking, the kidnappings, the guns I had to deal with, or the fucked-up situation with Ray. I don’t have flashbacks about being abandoned in the desert in the middle of the night by my father.
My flashbacks are more about fairness, justice, and doing what’s right.
I have a thing about fairness. I know that the world is unfair. Different people and different cultures have different ideas about what is fair and what is unfair.
I resist the idea that the world is unfair. It just seems so unfair to me. I resist the truth. I resist seeing reality the way it is, and this pains me greatly.
I can’t even go to a movie that has unfairness being part of the them. Even though I know that they will win and fairness will triumph, seeing the unfairness is just too much for me. So yeah, I didn’t see Erin Brockovich. And I didn’t see John Q. After my experiences with the medical industry, I couldn’t bear to see a young boy who wasn’t going to be helped. I don’t even know how it ended.
My flashbacks about fairness.
A quick note on Flashbacks. Flashbacks are a return to the trauma. It can be emotional, where all the emotions come swarming back. You can have a physical response. You might even time travel and think you’re back in the situation.
For PTSD, it tends to be time traveling to a specific event along with the other two.
For CPTSD, it tends to be emotional first since many people with CPTSD have no idea where it came from because they repressed it. Then they go to the physical. Then they might go to specifics as they try to figure out what the hell is going on. That’s me.
When I first started studying fear, there were 3 main ‘F’ Fear Responses: Fight, Flight, and Freeze. And it’s often a combination, or they change as the event progresses.
I remember when I was a kid. One of my brothers got a butcher knife and came up to my room and waved it around, acting crazy. I kept backing up. He kept coming on. Flight response. But then I couldn’t back up anymore so I turned and attacked. I put his head into the door jam. Fight response. We had to go to the emergency room.
In the hi-jacking and the kidnapping that involved a gun, I froze. Freeze response.
Then they came up with another response: fawn.
I think it took a while to figure that one out because so many people live in a fawn response. It can be a way to keep from getting killed, or on the lighter side, keep from getting fired.
But I’ve figured out there is another ‘F’ Fear Response, and I’ve sent Richard Grannon an email. He’s my favorite resource for CPTSD.
That response is Fantasy.
I’d been trying to figure out what my flashbacks were and they just weren’t in the set of Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn. Then I really thought about what happens to me during my flashbacks and came up with Fantasy. I do believe that Fantasy is a subset of Fight, but I think that it should be seen on its own since it’s so different.
Here’s what happens to me:
- I become paranoid around people, imagining that they are going to attack me at any minute.
- I have fantasies where they finally understand what they did, and they apologize.
- I have revenge fantasies.
- I have cognitive dissonance because my view of the person and the reality is so different that I just can’t understand why they think what they did is right, just, and fair.
The Fantasy response is an attempt to change reality. It’s an attempt to deny what happened. “Surely, what happened can’t have happened. Surely, there must be a mistake.”
I keep posting stuff on Crackbook in the hope that someone will tell me it’s not true. Or even explain it to me that makes sense. I fail every time.
But it did happen. They are not sorry. They don’t understand what they did, and unless they are very lucky, they never will.
The assistant of that teacher who, with the assistant and the other students, attacked me, actually came to me to ask if I was “ready” to return to class. I was flummoxed. After what they did to me, how could she, for one second, believe I would ever go back to that man’s class? Or hers? I have no respect for any of them.
I’m having a really hard time getting out of this response.
Women and Men
And it’s mainly around women. I’m scared to death of women. All my flashbacks directly involve women, or women who want to be men, or men who want to be women.
Almost all the experiences I’ve had recently have been about shaming, blaming, emotionally attacking, bullying, oppressing, and “monitoring me for bad behavior” has been done by women.
I haven’t had a problem with men in years, and even then, the problems were the hi-jacking and the kidnappings. They were bad, but my real issues are around fairness.
Someone who tried to get me to understand that 100 women on one man was fair told me that she regularly gets obscene things whispered to her and touched inappropriately. All I can think is, who the fuck are you hanging with if this is a regular thing? And why attack one guy for all of it?
I’m tired of women blaming all men for all the problems in the world. When I hear their crap I want to punch them in the face.
And I’m trying really hard to not do the same thing. I’m trying hard to not blame all the women for all the social violence going on. I’m trying to be open minded when I meet a woman. But it’s hard. I’m disappointed too often.
I feel more comfortable among men. And not just any men. Alpha men (real ones, not dumbasses who just think they’re alpha). I don’t have to worry they’ll attack me. I know they’ll have my back. Men are so much less complicated and honest than women.
A friend of mine once quotes to me, no idea where it came from: “Women use compliments to show contempt, while men use insults to show affection.” So true…
Today I’m trying to bring myself down. My mind spins, and meditation does little to stop it. I think about leaving this city, but is anywhere else better?
I’m angry at the moment because someone is hogging the washing machine. I was in line and she snuck another load in there. Of course, it’s a woman. Always a woman.