Posted by GMGittins
19th Jan 2014

I'm trying to describe to you what it feels like to have PTSD. It's like leading a double life; one is real life, the other is the internal life in my mind governed by whatever flashback my brain has chosen for me. It feels like brain damage because it's beyond my control; believe me, if I could control it, I would.

Today, that church bell in my head has been ringing non-stop all day. It has really got on my nerves. Sometimes, it sounds soothing. Other times, it's so loud it's disconcerting. I've even heard it while I've been swimming.

Guess what! A friend told me about prescription swimming goggles, so I've bought a pair. What a revelation! I can see two different colours of seats in the spectators area, not to mention spectators sitting on them. I can see there's a clock above them. I can see all the other swimmers, including what stroke they're doing, how fast they're going, and whether they're swimming towards me or away from me. So I think it will be easier to keep out of everyone's way now.
Dad, you were so wrong about me. I wasn't lying about needing glasses. I wasn't making a fuss about nothing. There was no need to make such a huge stick out of it to beat me with. I'm beginning to realise that you might have filled my head with lies. The glasses lie is the first piece of rubbish to be taken away.

Today's flashback has been short. It's like a snapshot, but I can remember it well and what I was thinking about. I was about four years old; not yet in school.
Mum has my little sister in her arms, holding her tightly. She's using both her arms to hold onto her. I'm standing next to mum. We're in the doorway of our front door.
Mum is screaming hysterically. "He'll change! He'll change!" She's crying, too. She's really angry and upset, and frightened too, I think. She keeps saying it. "He'll change! He'll change!"

I can't stop looking at the lady she's screaming at because I've never seen such a smart lady. She is wearing a suit, and carries a matching big shiny case with a strong handle. Why can't we talk to her? I think she looks nice. I wonder what ladies in suits are like to talk to.

Dong, dong, dong, dong, dong, dong.

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