I appreciate your interest in reading my back story. However, it’s a long one that spans 65 years, so this is a brief introduction about why I keep this website online. But first, thanks for visiting and please know that it’s my wish that you find some measure of corroboration of your own story through mine. It’s important for people to know that they’re not alone, even when they are physically alone. I call this Susan’s back story but we all have our stories – right?
Spiritual connections or whatever language you use to describe the connections we feel between each other even when we’re not together are something I’ve become more aware of as I grow older. That’s basically what this site and my life is about today which is to connect to my surroundings on a more organic and spiritual level.
A Synopsis of What Happened • Susan’s Back Story
My story begins in the dysfunctional home of my youth. I remember fighting against the sick games over and over and over again. But in the end, at the age of 16, I gave up and took a nose dive into a roller coaster existence that went on for decades.
As an adult, I attended several treatment programs designed for alcoholics which helped with some of my issues temporarily but it never got to the core of what happened to me and why I was always so afraid. All the while, I suffered emotionally, physically, and financially until I was able to break away to find my peace.
When it first began.
I first remember these dark feelings at the age of six years old that I now have the knowledge to attribute to my PTSD. Throughout my life, I endured many labels of shame from my family, therapists, and those imposed by many other societal systems.
It isn’t me — it’s what happened to me. As I am relieved of my stress, I am relieved of my life-long compulsions. Things in my life are much clearer now due to the “clearing away” of the never-ending panic and drama that always surrounds those feelings.
It is important to note that my mom was my physical and emotional abuser from childhood. But, going back even a little farther, she grew up in an alcoholic home and experienced a great tragedy when her father suddenly died violently while she was barely a teenager. Those events shaped the rest of her life and affected all those around her.
I clearly knew when I was about 14 or 15 years old that there was something seriously out of balance with my mom. I tried to point this out but no one responded positively or perhaps they believed there was nothing anyone could do about it. We all know the stigma attached to mental health by our society.
While trying to understand my own challenges, I naturally became aware of how closely related they were to my mother’s challenges. It was in my twenties when I first became aware that I reacted differently to events than most of my friends. I knew I had been negatively affected by my childhood. However, I also felt like I was walking in the dark with no direction and no answers.
The turning point.
My diagnosis for PTSD came after living with it for over 50 years. At last, after decades of searching for answers about why I felt and reacted so differently from most people around me, the answers became clear. I am not a bad person with ill intent, but there is a lot wrong with what happened to me.
The therapist who correctly diagnosed me after all these years also introduced me to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment. From the first session, I found relief from stress. There is no easy answer for PTSD but EMDR gave me a fresh perspective which is so amazing because I had literally given up hope.
But, thank goodness I was not fully informed because there is always hope.
Moving on with life.
People like myself with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder/Syndrome rarely talk about these things to anyone. Ever. It’s only now, after all these years, that I’ve found my voice. I am so tired of being quiet. I must fully acknowledge everything I’ve been through and embrace my life. Moreover, it is time for me to tell my story, my way.
Today, my life is less about what happened to me and more about accepting life as it comes along – even when that means dancing in the rain. I don’t care what any book says – human-life-is-complicated – and it is never perfect. Plus, there is always a silver lining in every situation if we take the time and patience to see it. So, I intend to keep dancing in the rain or sunshine for as long as I am able.
With Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), meditation, healthy eating, and exercise, I have a new way of living today. Now, I let nothing stand in the way of my light shining brightly for all to see. If you’re interested, join me on this journey, and together we will see where this bright light leads. Thank you for reading Susan’s back story.
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