the day i was told i had PTSD, the world stopped spinning. the ground beneath my feet shifted and a wave of ignorant denial swept across my mind as it kissed my body.
i close my eyes.
i am now six. six and terrified of the world around me.
screaming voices, slamming doors, the smell of vodka overwhelming the first hug he gave me in weeks.
i am ten. and i just had a social worker tell me it would be just like visiting different sides of the same fish bowl.
new house. new schedule. new fear.
looking back, it was more like trying to catch my breath as i was drowning in the ocean.
i’m twelve. there was a party and we were told it was over. the world is better; that we didn’t need a father.
fifteen taught me to stay quiet, that pain was good, and that the weight of the world’s problems was to be carried on my shoulders. fifteen was confused.
by twenty i had become terribly comfortable with carrying that weight. this comfort scared me. and you see, being behavior free does not take away the problems that were the catalyst for them in the first place. and that the word trauma does not have a single face. that this would not break me, but continuing to ignore it would.
i open my eyes.
it was 1:16 pm. leather couch. tissue box. her eyes told me it would be okay, and for the first time i believed her. she gave me a hug as i left for the week.