A busy Sunday with PTSD…

I have a busy Sunday ahead of me, and not a stress-free one, either.  The stress will hopefully be kept at a minimum, but I never know what’s going to happen with new experiences, so I’m wary of that, which is by nature, stressful!  Squiggle Bug is coming down this morning, which is normal.  Then the running hither and thither begins.  First, I have to go over early and pick up some paperwork from one of the church buildings for my husband.  Next, I’ll probably bring the paperwork home, or study my Scriptures in my truck somewhere, like a parking lot or the church building that the services that I’m going to attend today are going to be held in.  I might even explore a bit.  That might not be a bad idea.  I want to at least know where the bathrooms are!!!  That’s probably what I’ll do.  I’ll meet up with the missionaries and I’ll visit with them about a few very important things I have on my mind, and then I’ll find a place to sit for the services that’s near a door and near the back, where nobody can sit behind me, and on the end of the aisle, if possible (it’s a PTSD thing).  I’ll decide whether or not to stay for the Sunday school session of things, which I’ll probably need a book for, and then be on my way out to the small town where my Dad will be napping, no doubt, on the couch in their house and I’ll end up waking him up.  I want to check on him today, though.  Mom still isn’t back from Nebraska, so he’ll be lonely.  Of course, waking him up isn’t my idea of curing his loneliness, but he’s always disappointed if one of us kids stops out and doesn’t wake him up, so I’ll wake him up and talk to him for a bit (after he actually wakes up…that takes a little time, haha).  By that time, it’ll be mid-afternoon and I’ll think about heading back to the apartment because we have to watch Squiggle Bug tonight, too.

I’ll have a full day and no time to climb, but I want to see how this church thing works out.  I’ll have to remember to take my Scriptures with me.  Where are they, even?  I’ll have to dig them out, here, after I get done writing this blog post! It’s been a long time since I attended any church services.  My missionary friends’ time here ended (retired husband and wife team) and they went back to the Midwest where they lived, and then Virginia died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack.  They’re like family to me.  I should call Russ, come to think of it, and ask him how he’s doing.  Note to self.  He’ll be glad to know that I at least attempted church services again.  It’s been a few years.  Anyway, that’s my tentative plan for the day.

So what could go wrong and why am I worried, you ask?  Everything could go wrong at any time and that’s what worries me.  PTSD isn’t an easy illness, because it involves a lot of anxiety around crowds and a huge distrust of people in general, especially new ones that I haven’t met before.  There may or may not be a few people there that I know from other places, but I never count on it.  Sometimes the people you end up knowing from other places are the ones you’d rather not know to begin with!  Not a church-like thing to say, but the truth, and don’t pretend that you haven’t thought it if you’re judging me for it right now!  I have my weaknesses just like everybody else – a lot more of them than the average person, as a matter of fact!  Like I said, PTSD is a difficult illness because people think, first of all, “mental illness”, and automatically think you’re crazy.  Well, I am.  There.  Now that that’s over with, we can move on.  Crazy’s not always bad.  It’s just different.  People are uncomfortable around “different”, too.  They have a tendency to take it too seriously or not seriously enough.  Both extremes are hard to deal with because explaining it comes with a lot of questions, and the answers aren’t easy.  Expressing PTSD verbally in a way that people can understand is one of the most challenging tasks there is as far as the illness goes.  It should seem that people would get it, but they don’t.  That’s not their fault.  We don’t educate people properly and they get a hold of strange ideas from the media and other sources, which makes it that much more difficult.  Some people, and this is their generation speaking, don’t believe that PTSD exists.  Others think it’s scary, bizarre, or fake.  Still others, and this is the most ignorant you can get about it, think you’re somehow at fault and weak for having PTSD.  That’s certainly not the case, and, I always tell people this:  If I could allow you to experience what I go through with severe and chronic PTSD for just one day without it scarring you for the rest of your life and harming you permanently and irreversibly, I would, but I can’t, because you would indeed, never recover, and I don’t wish that on anyone.  So you’ll have to continue to be ignorant or choosing to not understand because I wouldn’t even wish this on those whose actions caused it in me.  That’s how bad PTSD can be.

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