I'm always looking for a distraction. Every single day, I look for a reason to not think about the thing, but I always end up thinking about the thing. If you suffer from PTSD, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
And as my trauma anniversary approaches, this feeling intensifies even more and suddenly it encompasses my every move. Two years since the incident and I still find myself warped by the memory.
What most people don't understand is how this affects me in daily operations. As my trauma anniversary approaches, I have become tenser. I'm writing this in the height of my yearly freak out.
I want the people who caused this to know a few things:
Firstly, you aren't bad people. You are good people with good intentions, but you can make mistakes, too. The way you impacted me will be something that I can never forget, no matter how hard I try. On the other hand, I think you can forget it. That's the real travesty. That while I spend every day surrounded by thoughts of what happened, you can spend every day doing literally anything else. Despite this though, these past two years have taught me that you are not inherently bad just because you wronged me.
And that being said, just because you are good people does not mean I have to trust you again. That's been one of the hardest things for me to comprehend. You caused me such trauma and such pain and for the longest time, so many people in my life tried to convince me that all this rage I had against you was negated by the good work you did.
I can recognize that while you may be good at heart, you hurt me in such a way that I don't owe you any sort of forgiveness.
Secondly, when you hurt me, you took some of my youth. I believe that maybe I made some mistakes, too. The difference here was that when I messed up, I was a child… you were an adult who stole some of my childhood away from me. I went from learning and being carefree to being bogged down with overthinking and finding ways to afford therapy.
You changed how I saw the world and forced me to become cynical and jaded before my time. Looking back, that part of it didn't hurt me at the moment, but it really hurts me now. I was consumed so badly by this mental disorder called PTSD that I lost so much of my innocence. As an adult now, I can recognize that I'll never be able to get that back. That's all thanks to you. I grew up faster than I ever wanted.
Thirdly, I wonder if you ever think about that day? I wonder if you think about how I asked for medical attention, but received none. I wonder if you ask yourself if things could have gone better. I wonder if when you're in the shower for too long, your mind starts to race as you replay the events. I wonder if you wish you could take it back. And if you don't feel regret, what do you feel about that day?
Fourthly, I listen to a certain song a lot now. It's on repeat some days when things are particularly hard. "Two Years" by Have Mercy is constantly on my mind. Maybe it's just because I'm two years in and have found my entire life warped around that one moment. Or maybe its because my Ed Sheeran playlist that I played on a loop after you ruined me can only help me cope so much.
And fifthly, next time I see you I hope that I can have the courage to finally stand up to you, but I'll probably just put on the same show that I always do. You'll ask me how college is. I'll tell you it's been great. I won't mention how every time I meet someone new I wonder if things will end up the same. I don't talk about how hard it is to be a part of the social scene when it all comes back to me thinking about how alone I was. I'll tell you that I'm adjusting alright and that I'm thinking of joining a new club. I won't let you know that somehow you're still always on my mind.
I bet you wish this message would end happily with an "I forgive you". The truth, however, is that I just don't.
You'll get your forgiveness when you deserve it. You'll get your forgiveness when I stop waking up from night terrors, gasping for air because for the fifth time that week I've relived that entire day start to finish. You'll get your forgiveness when my Facebook memories feature doesn't scare me to check because I don't know what's bound to pop up and trigger a PTSD attack. You'll get your forgiveness if you ever even bother to ask… or apologize… or believe me. You'll get your forgiveness when you stop telling me I'm overreacting. You'll get your forgiveness… but then again, you probably won't.
You won't and that's okay because I'm the one hurting right now and I deserve to be allowed to be in control of my own hurt since you've controlled that for long enough.