Day 19 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.
A door slam, twig snap, weird sideways glance, chair screeching across the floor, standing too close, jostling, emotional weirdness.
My heart races. I start sweating. Eyes race back and forth looking for an exit in case I need it. Hands tensing. Muscles twitching and taut. I think, consider what I need to do, say, throw etc. to get away, the quickest route to safety. Play and replay conversations in my head of how to end relationship, terminate conversation, leave.
I don’t have the ability to consider whether or not you are here to hurt me. History and instinct tell me that is a certainty. I will protect myself at all costs. This is my PTSD.
You? You want me to pray. Stop. Think it through? Calm myself with talking to God? You’re so foolish.
Pray. YES! This is what kept me alive. This is what keeps me going. This is what gave me my survival instincts. This is what gives me strength to go out into public and interact. This is what heals my soul. I pray before I’m scared and I pray for peace in spite of fear. All the time.
But don’t mock my “in the moment” need to survive. Allow me to respond instinctually, animalistically, and reactively. It is a base survival skill that God gave me. You respect that. Respect it.