PTSD took over for a while

Somewhere in the middle of covid quarantine, a traumatic memory long buried resurfaced, and I got lost.

PTSD thoughts overpowered most of my memory.

When Depression joined my PTSD, life became dark.

PTSD is confusing, thoughts are abstract, fear is palpable and high anxiety is present.

Out of this mess, my meditation space is where I gain some clarity.

I remember back now, when I was a successful salesman, often a lead salesman, it seems like another life, another century.

Next question, how did I accomplish being a successful salesman?

How did I make cold calls, do presentations, close deals, and succeed?

I am much more than my PTSD would have me believe.

PTSD took over for a while, I am wrestling back my sanity.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of mental and emotional distortion?

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rudid96 on July 5, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    “Has anyone else experienced this kind of mental and emotional distortion?” Why of course. Life is confusing. If it wasn’t for the tangible items that mark my previous accomplishments, my memories would be doubted. It is as if life is marked by an invisible Mason-Dixion line. Spending time looking at the past brings up wistfulness. Best for me to dwell on navigating the present.

  2. Thanks for your insight

    For me the once buried betrayal trauma arrives everyday

    Is it like a soldier who gets flashbacks later in life or does the horror of battle unleashes itself

    I know I can not touch my trauma memories cognitively or they explode

    It is all egoic based

    So remembering the accomplishments and talents I displayed broadens my perspective

    I crave having peace of mind before I die

    I fight to open my heart at the soul level, below the egoic level

  3. I hope you find the peace of mind you are looking for – and deserve. I also hope you are able to get back in touch with the more powerful self rather than feeling the traumatic memories and reactions are controlling your life. Not that this is easy ….
    But, as you say above, you are MORE than the trauma.

  4. Thanks

    The persistence to still search to still take action to find peace is needed

    We never know the results

    We only control our effort and attitude

  5. Posted by Alyson on July 9, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    Hi Marty –

    So happy to have seen this post!

    Like yourself, at least so far as I can tell based on your blog posts from those years, my experience of life radically shifted from being in such psychological pain that existence itself felt like a complete net negative … that I wished I had been never been born … to a 180 flip of ordinary, every day experience, was simply and effortlessly infused with a such a positive valence, existence as a complete net positive, inherently valuable, as such, unconditionally good … and then, seemingly like yourself, flipped back to after sustaining a TBI in my case, not ptsd, however.

    Oddly, our paths somewhat tracked in time, and I was very sorry to read about your own struggles and have been looking forward to a post like this of your remembering and having faith in what in Zen they call the bodhi mind … the leap of faith in its indestructible self existence & remembering that it is only obscured but never lost — like a cat 5 hurricane which obscures yet doesn’t alter the sky.

    I just felt moved to reach out to let you know that you are not alone … that I am wishing you and myself & all like us the best, and encourage us both to make that leap once again … the faith / courage to let go, again … if not for ourselves, but for others, who haven’t yet had the immense good fortune that we have had (we need to remember this as much as possible that however hard the past few years have been … many, many never had the type of experience we both had of bodhi mind! we are among the lucky few who got a glimpse) to have broken through once by mysterious various causes and conditions, and for you, seemingly, very dedicated attention training, and thus know in our bones … it is waiting for us and for everyone if they only faith and were willing to trust and let go.

    This — this loss of experiential contact with bodhi mind — is what I see as the true wound of childhoods like your and my own — lost so early by overwhelming psychological pain that we don’t even have a memory of it in childhood unlike those with healthy minded, happy parents have. They may go in and out of it — but the essential goodness of existence inherent to bodhi mind is the background to experience — while you and I and countless others like us, we lack this confidence for most of our lives, certainly during our childhood and youth, unless we are very lucky to meet the right people/circumstances.

    I believe for those like us, it takes faith, making the leap of faith, that if we let go of taking the cat 5 hurricane as the full story, then bodhi mind will come forth. And with that … all is redeemed and made whole, as a reconciliation with existence itself— even though you and I are old, and will get sick and die, and can’t undo the past, or even do much to alter current life conditions, now in our twilight years, but we can fully fall back in love with life via bodhi mind as that is our true nature after all.

    I too don’t want to die with the regret of not fully resolving as the say in Zen, the Great Matter.

    But there is no rational answer— this came hard to me as like yourself, seemingly, I love to read and collect ideas — but it is arrived at by faith … not by thought – understanding – knowledge.

    In fact, all rational approaches in my experience, just tighten the noose … putting the problem in charge of the solution!

    I make no ontological claims about Reality — nor do I have an ideology about it — simply that as a matter of phenomenology, human consciousness seems to have this bodhi mind as it’s root, as an experience, and from that perspective life – even with all the pain and suffering – is beautiful. Who knows what it is — but when it comes forth, such questions don’t even seem important.

    Hoping you and I both leap once again fully on faith and as validated by our own prior experiences and fall once again back into the great peace.

    Warmest wishes for you, Marty, and myself and all your readers.

  6. Wow

    Amazing response

    Through the turmoil you keep a positive outlook

    That is inspiring

    Meditation opening the heart is the road less traveled

  7. I had to reread your response

    Very detailed and interesting

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing your experience and for offering support

    Much gratitude

  8. Posted by Alyson on July 9, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    Oh, Marty, I had several horrific years when I was completely & utterly lost in confusion/panic/fear … alternating with utter grief/sorrow … alternating with anger/blame … the TBI rendered me in a state of childlike helplessness, utter exhaustion, and overwhelm … and there was no real help available as folks don’t understand TBIs not even doctors/neurologists. Although the worst of it is over … I have fallen back into seemingly complete identification with the discursive mind — with the added twist of the horror of knowing it (and the alternative) but not being able to escape it. For years, reading, thinking, trying to fix it, but recently reached the end of the road with all conventional, rational methods (including therapy) and see that it is really is faith … faith … not reason, not belief … but pure faith that opens the heart. You and I are lucky in that it is not pure faith as you KNOW … I read your posts back in the day … you SEE/FEEL the Beauty, the Sacredness, the Love … it’s documented by your own had, on your own blog, I am just saying have faith that … that is what is true. I just remember your own bodhi mind better than you do, perhaps, in this moment?

    Ultimately I am encouraging you to do what it is that I intuit needs doing here in my own life. … not looking to others … not reading books … but remembering the pre-TBI years, the few precious years in which the Beauty was alive and active and palpable & trusting in THAT — my own mind, fully expressing, as was your own, during those years. So communicating it to you, and drawing on my faith that it is your nature and can be once again uncovered is a way of resolving my own intentions for myself , I guess.

    Not many people have the experience of a so called awakening and then the seemingly loss of that awakening — but the history of adversity on top of that —- so your experience evokes for me a strong sense of fellowship, sympathy, and kinship.

  9. I agree understanding childhood PTSD is hard

    Not many do

    Even fewer understand TBIs

    Conventional therapies are helpful and productive but we have residual that needs healing

    You have a great spirit

    Most give up after the first therapy if they bet that far

    You have not given up

    That is amazing in itself

    Kudos to you

  10. Alyson

    I need to sit down and read your response when I can focus better

    Longer prose gets me sometimes

    You have so many emotions

    I will reread and five a more detailed response

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