I’ve never recognized why I developed a short fuse or experience sudden outbursts of anger while growing up, until I was in my therapy session last week. My therapist and I are seldom at odds, yet one particular thing that she said ticked me off and I just snapped at her which turned into anger.
We talked it through, and resolved the issue, but I was shocked when she said “when angry, the PTSD kicks in just like that”. I never connected anger, irritability or having a short fuse before with PTSD, but it makes sense.
I’ve been termed ‘such a nice girl’ often, and to others I suppose I am. Well-mannered, respectful, soft spoken, compassionate, but underneath, I’ve held back anger. Outside smiles, inside tears.
During most of my hospitalizations and through my worst years of depression, I cooperated with the hospital routine, took my meds, went to bed when scheduled and didn’t cause trouble. I got a ‘gold star’ for that, “Deb, she’s such a nice girl”.
Even as a kid, all throughout my life, at school, work, to my parents….you get the picture. But at home, with my husband, I fly off the handle sometimes and become angry “just like that”. I’m much better than I used to be, perhaps age, therapy and knowing the sexual abuse wasn’t my fault has helped, but I still have to be aware of it.
PTSD takes such a toll on a person, is so damaging and people who have never experienced this disorder cannot begin to feel the problems it brings to the lives of families or spouses. Just so you know, my husband (of 35 years) has been so patient, is a very calm person, and has stood by me through all of this trauma. I’m so fortunate. Thanks, hun.