I live with PTSD. It’s not something I really talk about very often. In fact, I’ve hid it for years. My husband and my therapist didn’t even know; until two years ago. I was taking a class on Military Sexual Trauma and I started have nightmares and night terrors. You see, I had a sexual assault in 1982 while in tech school. I told my parents and one of my teachers. Both of them told me to keep quiet and not say a word. Back then, if I would have reported it, I would have received an Article 15 and kicked out. It’s a fact friends. Do the research. So I said nothing. In fact, I blocked it out for years.
I finally broke down and told both of them. My husband and therapist encouraged me to apply to the VA for disability. So I did. It’s been, to say the least, an adventure in learning ways to deal with this.
Things such as the attack on the Capitol on Wednesday 1/6/21 reactived my PTSD. My brain and body have been on high alert. It didn’t help matters that I was recovering from eye surgery either. Anger, fear, uncontrollable shaking, uncontrollable thoughts have plagued me. I look at people now and wonder, “Are they going to want to kill me because I’m a Buddhist and a Yogi?”
So now is the time to work on me even more. What have I been doing? Well, it’s a few things. First, I’ve reignited my meditation practice. I use two or three different types: TM (transcendental meditation), Lovingkindness meditation, and Music (specifically Krisha Das and Baird Heisy’s Puja). Second, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Third, Havening. Last, breathing. The combination has helped dramatically. I’ve also shut off the news (which my husband loves to keep on all day and since he’s retired…well, we’ve had a discussion on it. I’ve also stepped back from social media a bit.
I know the most important things I can do right now is take care of me. It’s so important for all of us to put ourselves first; especially when we have trauma.
I’ll never be “cured” (hell I don’t even know what that means), but I know I can help myself.
Let’s talk about a few of these things:
I learned TM about 6 years ago and it’s amazing! TM teaches you how to meditate using a word to keep you centered. If you’re a veteran, the David Lynch Foundation helps veterans learn TM and gives them ways to help themselves.
Lovingkindness Meditation is a Buddhist based meditation that is so extremely simple: You use three sentences.
I am happy.
I am healthy.
I am at peace.
What I do when I do this I use my breath as a guide. On my inhale, I say, “I am” and on the exhale, “happy” and so on. I really helps.
Music is a great way to do a nice calming meditation. You can choose any type of music as long as it’s soothing. I highly suggest not using music like Guns N Roses or AC/DC.
The Emotional Freedom Technique was created by Gary Craig who is one of the coolest people on earth. You can learn it free on his website. He’s a great guy and you’ll learn a lot from his videos.
Havening is on the same lines as EFT. It’s a little different in the technique but is sure does work. Their website is filled with great information and video’s.