Memory Shards…..

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My mind in its infinite confusion

Will often come up blank

There are many blank spots

In my memory and voids that exist

Sometimes my mind will fill in those

Blanks wrongly like trying to fill

A void  with something anything just

To feel full, maybe complete

Like shards of glass being glued

Back together wrongly and forming

A different picture, one that makes

No sense…..

 

©Shelley Brant – 2016

Blank

A Week In The Life of Me….

Mental-Exhaustion

The last week my anxiety has been exceptionally high and I don’t know why.  just know that I have been getting very little sleep because of it. I’m walking around in a haze feeling like I’m only half there most days, which feels odd because my vision feels like it’s only half seeing. It’s like peeking part way over a wall trying not to be seen and you can’t quite take in the whole picture. I haven’t been to this place in a while so I’m quite sure why I’m here now. The only thing I can think of is something subconscious is going on that I’m not aware of yet. I’ve been exhausted all week, yet  can’t sleep and when I do it’s not a deep sleep.

I’m handling whatever it is ok though, although it’s not a place I like to be at all.  It’s just part of the ebb and flow of PTSD that I have come to accept. There are good days and not so good days and sometimes there are good weeks and not so good weeks.  I guess it gets exhausting having to cope 24/7 and stay ahead of this thing, which some weeks, like this week, becomes impossible.  On days and weeks like this, I just try to be extra gentle and understanding of myself, which is great because there was a time when I would have spent the whole week beating up and berating myself instead. That’s progress and healing I guess and I like that whole lot better.

Other signs that I know that I am healing include:

Less flashbacks and an ability to handle them when they arise

Less triggers and some triggers are healed and an ability to handle them when they arise

An ability to relax

An ability to know my nightmares are not real and to not take on and carry the emotion of them

Healthy boundaries

Staying present more

I’m sure there is more, I just can’t think of them right now.

Anyway that’s been my week and a week in the life of a PTSD’r.

Searching the Depths….

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My memory is in pieces

Some days I can’t remember simple words

Some days I can’t put together a simple thought

Some days I cant remember what I did five minutes ago

The more I try to remember the more my mind scrambles

Looking for that one piece of memory that’s hidden deep

Like a grain of sand on the beach…..

 

© Shelley Brant – 2016

Grain

A Return to the Living…..

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I am learning to exist in a world

Without flashbacks

In a world without walls

In a world without isolation

In a world without fear

In  a world without panic

In a world with self-love

In a world where I am not invisible

In a world where I have meaning

With every step….

I am learning to live….

 

© Shelley Brant – 2016

 

 

The Embers of a Dream….

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I woke up in a world not of my own

It seemed cruel and harsh and not like my home

My heart couldn’t take it, it broke every day

To see people be unkind to each other that way

Their pain ridden faces hidden behind smiles

Callous lack of love seemed to be the style

Few people were real and genuine to me

It made me cringe in a corner so they couldn’t see

A heart that was different and full of love for all

Because the way they hurt each other filled me with gall

My faith in humanity slowly died out

With each traumatic experience it left me in doubt

My dream was simple to be love and light in the world

However that dream began to unravel and unfurl

When I saw darkness in favour light….

 

© Shelley Brant – 2016

Dream

Escape to Freedom….

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She stepped off the plane with sigh of relief ready to start her new life. She knew if he ever found her, he would kill her, because the last time he came close. The weeks she spent in the hospital recovering from every fracture and every bruise led her to make the choice between living and dying. She chose to live, which meant leaving the man who had abused her for the last time.

Ten years of loving a man who did nothing but diminish her life, her self-esteem  and her self-worth. She meant nothing to him, she couldn’t have, a man who loves you would never want to see those horrible bruises on your skin and the tears of shame that run down your cheeks. No, she was done and this was the last time he would ever lay a hand on her or tell her how ugly she was and what a horrible wife she was. She knew though, that in order to escape him, really escape him, she was going to have to leave and go somewhere that he could never find her. Somewhere where she would  be safe from his madness and wrath, and where she would never have to see that demonic look in his eyes as he hurt her, ever again.

She thought to herself “How did things turn out like this?” “How did the man that she married and loved with all her heart turn into a monster right before her eyes?” There were signs yes, but she always chose to ignore them, making excuses for him every step of the way and in turn blamed herself instead. That first shove came back to her in a flash, she excused that shove by telling herself he had just had a bad day at work and that she should try harder to be a more understanding wife. Next came the black eye and she told herself that he didn’t really mean it and she would try not upset him so much. Oh yes she could clearly see now how she placed his happiness and well-being before her own including her own safety, and created a fantasy of who he really was and just how much he really loved her.

As she walked down the steps of the plane to her new life, safe for the first time in years, she thought to herself, “It is now time for me to write my own life story and what a saga it’s going to be.”

This is my first attempt at a fictional write for the daily prompt. I hope you enjoyed it.

© Shelley Brant – 2016

Saga

Heart Song….

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A hug may be just a hug

A kind word just a kind word

An I love you just an I love you

A surprise just a surprise

A kiss just a kiss

A phone call just a phone call

A gift just a gift

Time spent just time spent

A conversation just a conversation

But these are all things in life

That speak to my heart and

Make my heart sing…..

 

© Shelley Brant – 2016

Sing

Brick and Morter…..

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Can you climb it?

Go through it?

Go around it?

Each brick was laid with

The finest or mortar

One trauma laid the foundation

Each trauma after built up the wall

Higher and higher

Brick by brick

Until I was in a safe house

Watching from the inside out

From behind my

Brick wall….

 

© Shelley Brant – 2016

Brick

PTSD Service Dogs – How They Can Help….

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Dogs are wonderful companions especially if you suffer from PTSD. They are very calming and loving and bring happiness into the home.

What I would like to speak about tonight are some very special dogs who do a job that can actually help change the lives of people with PTSD. These special working dogs are service dogs trained especially for those who have PTSD.  These amazing dogs are trained and tailored to fit each owner and their needs.

They perform tasks such as alerting when you are having a flashback and they will come and paw at you or jump on you or lick you until you come out of it. This immediately grounds you back into the here and now. They can perform a task called seek, which they will search the entire house when you enter it to make sure there is nobody there who shouldn’t be in order to make you feel safe. When you are angered or irritable and they hear it in your voice, they will alert again by doing the same thing as when you have a flashback. Also they will alert you when you are having nightmares and wake you up.  Some of them can be taught to respond to an  alarm, and alert the same way to get you out of bed. This can also be done with an alarm for medication, in fact they can even be trained to bring you your medication.

These specially trained dogs can go with you everywhere because they are trained service dogs and while out in public can perform such tasks as alerting you to when someone is approaching you, or what’s called blocking so that nobody can get near you, just by standing in the way or circling you, so that you feel safe. They will also alert you if you have flashbacks, panic attacks etc. while out in public.

There are organizations who will provide these dogs free of charge to veterans and first responders free of charge, however it can take up to two years depending on the size of the list and the availability of the right dog. The person they are placed with is responsible for food, vet bills and regular care of the dog that is placed with them.

There are also organizations who provide dogs free of charge with the same stipulations as above for non-military and non-first responders who have been diagnosed with PTSD.

There is an application process for both and my suggestion if you are interested is to do a search of your location to see if and where these awesome service dogs are provided.

The other option is to either purchase or train a dog you already own with a trainer who specializes in PTSD service dog training.

I am thinking about placing myself on a list to get one, although I haven’t made up my mind yet because I have a small place and I also have two cats that factor into the equation.