When PTSD waits 50 years to surface



PTSD lay dormant until my mid 50’s, then exploded one night.

As documented, many soldiers do not get PTSD until later in life, usually after a crisis.

Then the past explodes, life changes and they now have a meticulous memory of the horrors they witnessed.

My trauma exploded with a family crisis, my father, long dead was inches away from my face, and PTSD had arrived.

Then last year a shameful betrayal surfaced.

Those of us who experience PTSD later in life, fight a different battle.

We experience our trauma through the eyes of a mature adult.

I did not possess the knowledge or skills to seek support or therapy as a 20-year-old.

I experience it now as a 70-year-old.

I do not have the comfort of crazy college exuberance, drunkenness, and lack of maturity to explain it.

I can not believe another human being could betray me so publicly, so shamefully.

So many questions haunt me now.

Questions that will never be answered.

This is what trauma is like when it waits 50 years to explode.

5 responses to this post.

  1. We do not select which trauma becomes PTSD

    As a 20-year-old in a crisis, I had no support system, no mentor,

    I wonder what a soldier feels when PTSD explodes at 70. He is no longer a young 18-year-old, oblivious to the dangers of war.

    It must be hard to handle the torn bodies and death at 70.

    My childhood left me vulnerable and damaged

    The result of this trauma was the sabotage of every relationship that followed

    I did not know the level of distrust that lived inside me

    I had erected tall walls around me

    I would not trust again, life was shallow, I did not risk like normal people

    Distrust limits life, I would not go where I felt vulnerable

    I was prepared to be betrayed for the rest of my life unknowingly

    It is all so confusing,

    I am trying to heal, I do not think I will ever trust again

    That’s ok

    I search for peace of mind not trust

  2. Posted by rudid96 on July 8, 2022 at 3:52 pm

    Your post brings up an interesting question for me. What is it for which we’re searching? Naturally, the response is unique to the individual. I accept your words; the betrayal you experienced was shattering and has become life-defining. So what does “peace of mind” look like for you?

  3. That’s a good question

    Let me start out with the understanding that my childhood abuse makes us vulnerable to more trauma later in our life

    Do I describe it like we described mental health forever, the lack of a mental disorder

    Piece of mind.

    That would be me feeling normal or like a normal person

    I would move freely in public, I would not sense danger, I would enjoy being around people

    I guess peace of mind involves trust

    Now, I think opening my heart is the path to healing

    Piece of mind will not be reached cognitively

    I do not know how to be relaxed and worthy

    I guess feeling worthy is part of the peace of mind

  4. Posted by rudid96 on July 8, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    So would it be correct to say that for you, peace of mind is to trust that you are worthy, or is it to have a felt sense of self-worth? Feeling normal? Isn’t that really an outsider’s perception? Yes, there can be a clinical definition of ‘normal’ but generally speaking, there’s a broad range for normal.

  5. My self-worth would be from within

    Not caring what the hell others think would be about right

    To be at ease to not have the anxiety, the constant worry, to be at peace inside

    To know failure is not an option

    I do not know that at 70

    That’s not normal

    I want things I have never felt so my description is probably not accurate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: