It bewilders me how mirth and melancholia could dwell simultaneously, yet in me they ensue. I am outgoing, upbeat, and busy which makes my bedridden state tolerable. Yet, depression hovers over, underneath, and within me. I cannot shake it.
I wish I knew how to thwart it. My trigger log helps somewhat, but how can I possibly conquer invisible triggers?
A riptide thrashed my eight-old-body, violently tossing me around. Water rushed into my mouth and up my nose. The riptide ensnared me, and its angry waters buried me.
That same sense of entombment imprisons me now, propelling me into darkness, even while, in any given social situation, I am able to joke and keep a genuine smile. How can this be?
I have been “self-medicating” my PTSD via various websites: guides to PTSD, how to cure it, and/or (such as this one) provide ways to defeat it. This site is the most helpful that I found which encouraged me. I suppose their tips work for some, but, as of yet, not for me. Nor did therapy. I had to dismiss a female therapist who visited me at home because of her exorbitant rates. Then, after a few Skype sessions, a second therapist that I found named Dr. M., to whom I bared my soul to via Skype, directed me to a Nigerian female therapist in my area who made house calls.
His suggestion freaked me out because Jamaican and Nigerian accents are similar and my sex traffickers were Jamaican. Of course, I rejected his suggestion. Then he ended our sessions. He said (this Biblical counselor, who was a child sexual abuse survivor counseling victims and perpetrators) that he was at a loss about how to aid me. His blunt honesty led me to believe that I am beyond help. It hurt me deeply.
Therefore, I decided I could not rely upon therapists. I really believed once I completed my cathartic memoir, I would be magically healed but that did not happen; so now I turn to encouraging quotes, other blogger’s methods of overcoming, Bible verses, advice from self-help books, and friends’ good intentions.
Like drinking Alka-Seltzer, I get temporary relief. If only it would last. People have mentioned that faith is enough. They lack understanding and, possibly, compassion. Many well-known men and women of faith suffered immeasurably such as Paul the Apostle, Amy Carmichael and Richard Wurmbrand. God, the universe, spirit-in-the sky, creator, or boogeyman; call him/her/it what you please, spares no one from pain. How do you actually explain to a sexually abused child, a tortured soldier, someone whose baby died, or trafficked teen that “everything happens for a reason”?
Dancing had always been my go-to, but I cannot move my paralyzed legs. It is almost torturous to be absorbed in a song that calls me to salsa and not be able move my legs to the rhythm of the beat.
So I blog, listen to music anyway, and live vicariously through idealistic movies and TV shows. Although writing surpasses these, hosting my human trafficking and sexual violence websites and Facebook page take me out of myself.
In my spare time, I pour my energy into bringing awareness to human trafficking as well as interact with other survivors and those passionate about ending the horror. During those moments, I become an undeterred woman until my crazy schedule swallows up my freedom. Then, I fall back into the ups and downs of joy and despair.
Maybe the mania is my thorn in the flesh like the story about Paul that I read in the Bible. His thorn was meant to humble him, I think. Not sure. Or possibly, because of the constant reminder of the reason that confines me to bed, I will have to live with PTSD and pray that the good moments would infuse life into my blood stream like an antibiotic and someday wipe out the infection of depression.
And, continue to cling to the inexplicable thread of hope that has sustained me though all these rollercoaster years.