In 1995 I was in an incident that brought on PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) In the beginning, I was pretty much incapacitated. I couldn't speak or write or virtually do anything for myself. I would instead, rock back & forth & cry. I had become a broken human being.
I was married at the time & my husband shared my daily care responsibilities with one of our close friends because he worked. It would be the better part of 6 months before I could speak any words that were recognizable.
In the meantime, I went for many tests, blood work & even phych evaluations & after 2 months, finally a diagnosis. PTSD, borderline schitzophrenia, borderline personality disorder. I began medications to try & get rid of the voices I heard & the "things" I saw. The medicine didn't really do anything for me except make me sleep. The Dr. would change it & still the same results.
I had become a nervous wreck & when I finally could communicate to some degree, the Dr. settled with an anti-anxiety medicine that didn't make me overly sleepy & would calm the anxiousness in me so I could concentrate & begin learning how to live again.
I had to learn virtually everything all over again. Tying my shoes, brushing my teeth & hair, taking a shower, eating with a fork & spoon. I had to learn how to dress, read & write. I would become frustrated easily because I knew this stuff & I was frustrated because I couldn't remember it.
I would often times relapse back nearly to the beginning & have to start over again & again. It was like taking baby steps uphill only to slide back down to the bottom. Eventually as my memory came back, I wouldn't slide backwards so far & I was making progress. While it was encouraging, it was still frustrating.
At one point I gave up trying. I accepted the fact that my life would always be like this & even if I made progress I would never be able to live on my own again. My relationship was strained at best & no amount of communication was going to fix it. My husband & I seperated in 2001 & I went to live with my mom for a short period of time. She didn't understand my condition & because we didn't get along, I didn't stay with her for very long. She had her own issues to deal with & I didn't have the patience to deal with hers & mine together.
My husband & I would try our relationship again in 2002, but it didn't last. He had given up on our relationship all together & couldn't handle my illness any longer, so we split again for good in February 2003. By March, I moved clear across the states to Georgia where I currently live. In 2007 I decided it was high time to tackle this PTSD again & find some therapy that would help me to get back to some kind of my normal self.
In the beginning it was very difficult because there wasn't many therapists here who were qualified to handle my case. I managed to find one who gave me some "homework" to do. It helped some, but the part I was struggling with the most was my loss of memory. Both long & short term were so convoluted & with no one here who knew me in my past, that making progress would prove extremely difficult. I contacted several of my "friends" who I would find out didn't understand what was wrong with me & didn't want any part of trying to help me piece things back together. I hit a brick wall.
I had come to a point where I didn't know if I was remembering something or if it was something I had just heard or something I was making up because it sounded good. So I stopped all therapy for a while. I was at a point where I could take care of myself for the most part, my relapses weren't happening quite as often & the things I heard & saw were no longer there.
I did some research online about PTSD. Most of what I found was in regards to soldiers coming home from war with it. The information was vast but good, though I couldn't really relate to any of it. Then I read an article about some soldiers who were going through therapy with horses. A lightbulb had gone off in my head. The more I read the more I became encouraged.
I have always loved horses & learned to ride when I was a kid.... so maybe this was the ticket to my recovery.
At the time though horses would be a far reach because of money & space. So I would work on some of the memory exercises I read about. The exercises helped some, but without anyone from my past to help me with the rest of it I just wasn't getting anywhere. Again, I would give up for a while.
Now I have my own horse, & my therapy continues every day. I still have issues with my memory & I suspect I always will. I have my good days where I remember a lot of things both short term & long term. Some days I can't remember my own name. I know brighter days are ahead & with Cookie close by I have hope that I'll find more of my normal as we go along & learn about eachother.
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