Some would say it’s a contradiction for someone with PTSD to refer to themselves as resilient, since PTSD itself contradicts healthy adaptation to stress. But you know what, I am resilient. I don’t care who agrees or disagrees with me. It doesn’t matter. I’ve made up my mind.
With less than a day of being released from the hospital, I started my job. I called them as soon as a got out of the hospital to find out if I even still had a job. Luckily my roommate called them while I was in the hospital so they were somewhat aware (though they do not know the circumstances). I woke up at 4:45 in the morning so I would be able to shower and get ready in time to make it to the 6:00 bus. I was tired and in pain, but I managed. There were a couple of times when I just had to go to the bathroom to decompress for a few minutes. I also lost myself for I don’t know how long. When I came back to reality, it took me a few seconds to even realize where I was and what I was doing. I don’t think anyone noticed, thankfully. It’s not something I wanted to happen on the first day, though. I’m so scared of someone not understanding what’s going on. Why can’t I just be normal and not dissociate and not have flashbacks and not have breakdowns?
Regardless of all that, you know what? I still went to work. I functioned like a normal human being. I would bet my savings that a good portion of the other patients that were discharged either went right back to drugs or right back to another hospital (most of them admitted that they would). I’m not about that life. I want to function. I’m fighting my hardest to be normal despite all this bullshit I have to deal with. How is that not being resilient?
Even in childhood, I managed to adapt quite well despite everything that was going on. I received excellent grades. I rarely got into trouble (except the rare instances when I was tremendously bored out of my mind). I wasn’t a complete social outcast, though I was definitely socially inept. Perhaps being resilient hurt me in a way, because no one suspects anything bad is going on when a child is acting relatively normal. Maybe if I did act out, someone would have noticed something was wrong. Resiliency seems to have been a double-edged sword for me. While it got me through to adulthood alive, it also quite possibly prolonged the abuse and trauma I experienced for so long. But I can’t do anything about that now.
I know a lot of people think I am weak for not being able to handle myself all of the time. My strengths far outweigh my moments of weakness. Maybe that is my fault for not talking as much about my strengths as I do about my faults. I believe people can learn more from me if I talk about the things that so many others don’t want to talk about. No matter what people say, no matter what people think…I am strong. I am resilient. I am me.