A triggering fright.
Fight or flight?
Adrenaline surges.
Cortisol purges 
but with PTSD 
the system crashes.
The sufferer lashes
over a shopping cart
in a parking lot.
He uncomfortably tries
to leave as I apologize 
for misdirected rage 
acting much like a phage:
feeding, coiling,
infecting everything.
Emotions I couldn't experience
because it made her furious,
and a target knows
how to deflect the blows.

So why, today, did I react like that?
Fifty years ago she killed my cat. 

28 thoughts on “PTSD

      1. Yes, I know that feeling. You were strong and resilient, worth so much more than any of them.

  1. That is just horrible Jen, and I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. And for the poor little animal.

    1. I can’t begin to explain how much she hated and still hates me, but she will go to any lengths to hurt me. I look forward to the day the bitch is dead; I’m gonna celebrate like the Munchkins of Oz.

  2. Hey, I hope you’re doing okay now. I also have PTSD and found your writing so relatable.
    Sending you warm hugs.
    I genuinely hope that you heal from this very soon.

  3. I have combat related issues like that, I don’t like the PTSD label, but that’s what it is. Combinations of anxiety, tension and learned responses. I think the cathartic thing is to realize that your weaknesses can be turned into strengths. You just have to make those personal changes. Your outbursts might be really negative now, but with some real determination they can be channeled to something more positive. Also, you have the power. THE POWER. To break the cycle you had to go through.

    1. Thanks Ronin. The difference in combat PTSD and childhood narcissistic abuse is that children don’t see the problem. They think – and are told – they ARE the problem. And in the case of many narcissists, including my abuser, they put up a good front to others so that they also think the victim is the problem. I only came to realize the truth within the past two years, and some of it I still struggle to believe. So yeah, I’m working on behavior, but it’s way different from what you faced, and your experience was also traumatic. All I ask is you don’t be so quick to write us off as whiners that need to get their shit together because we’re doing the best we can

  4. Just wanted to stop by to thank you for your kind words and “sitting with us while we grieve” on the loss of our beautiful Cleopatra. I (dad of Cleo) appreciate you.

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