Due to an ‘interesting’ childhood, I have PTSD.
In fact, to be more specific, I have c-PTSD (c=complex) and for quite sometime had no idea. Unfortunately, neither did anybody else and so in order to feel ‘better,’ I took myself off to various counsellors in the hope that they would magically fix me.
No magic took place.
Instead, those people with qualifications in psychology and psychotherapy made matters far worse. Rather than understand my textbook PTSD symptoms and provide appropriate treatment for it, or refer me to someone else who could help, they instead asked me to talk, in detail, repeatedly about the situations that had caused the PTSD in the first place.
In other words, for years and with a number of different ‘therapists,’ I was reliving over and over again the worst possible experiences of my life contributing enormously to my PTSD.
The Four Walls of My Mind was something I wrote for one of those therapists to express my feelings about what was going on in my mind as we said our goodbyes during our final session.
My belief at the time was that I was the only person who could change how I felt. Years later, after discovering an incredible therapist who is highly trained in PTSD, I learned that there is appropriate help available that can make all the difference.
The Four Walls of My Mind:
I stare at the four walls, day in and day out and wonder if I will ever escape. These four walls are the walls of my mind. They are my conscious and my subconscious, my heaven and my hell. Wherever I go and whatever I experience all I am ever aware of are these four great walls. They are walls of infinite height and of the greatest breadth and I know that however hard I try I’ll never be able to climb over and make my way out into a vast expanse of space. Of freedom.
There is no colour in my life. Although, I am certain that behind my prison walls is an artist’s palette with every hue and shade of all the colours ever created. Those colours are so close that I feel I can smell them. The musty greenness of the ivy clinging and crawling up and up, higher and higher along the outer-side of my walls. The citrus yellow of the lemon sun and the icy-blue freshness of a morning wind and cloudless sky.
The fortress in which I am held prisoner has no sensations. The white hot heat of hell is kept at bay by the cooling spirals of heaven’s gentle exhalations. There are no people to hold and touch.
Each miniscule bubble of thought is released so gently into the atmosphere for fear of bursting one already freed. Stealthily, it wafts up and out, bouncing from one thought too many to another, trying to find a gap in which to rest it’s weary soul knowing that any moment now it will have a battle on it’s hands. Does it give in to those stronger spheres of heavier notion or does it use those bigger ideas to lean on and rest, waiting patiently for the perfect moment to launch itself higher?
My non-existent taste buds have been worn away with eating abrasive phrases and hosting an ever sharpening tongue. I have no taste for life or life for me. Life’s menu, displaying mood dishes of exotic names is tacked with a rusty nail onto the outside of my encasement, maybe faded and torn by the elements and time, away from my overwhelming hunger.
Redundant, my ears are closed to the sounds of children laughing and dogs barking, the buzzing of bees and the gentle whispering of leaves on trees and the soft caress of a summer’s breeze stroking my skin.
I am blind. Blind to the joys of life and the strength of pain. I turn my face from the outside world afraid of being seen by those with eyes that seek. Cowardly, I hide from those who can barely make out a shadow or an outline of reality and responsibility, knowing that they will see me clearly for what I am.
I am ashamed that I have lead you to believe that the walls of my creation are beyond escape. Please forgive me. They are high, towering way beyond the stratosphere and they are wide encompassing my world. But the bricks from which they are made up are nothing more than the worlds which they surround: my conscious and my subconscious, my heaven and my hell. With one determined kick I could raze this flimsy yet invincible barrier to the ground.
I stare at the four walls, day in and day out and wonder if I will ever escape and know that if I really wanted to I could carve a doorway in one wall and windows in the others, giving myself the choice little by little of seeing more, feeling more, living more and one day when I have enough courage, joining the more enlightened of you somewhere out there along the paths of destiny.
Copyright © 1994 Toula Mavridou-Messer
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the copyright owners.
If you would like to read more about the circumstances that caused me to develop severe complex PTSD, you can click through to my short story on Kindle/Amazon – ONLY DEAD ON THE INSIDE.
You must be logged in to post a comment.