As a result of trauma, I suffered from PTSD for years. I was jumpy and always on edge. When I had kids, I knew I needed to fix that. Kids jump on you, they surprise you, they do all sorts of things that aren’t compatible with PTSD. So I did. I spent years working on it so that I wouldn’t have such instant reactions. Reactions that could hurt my child.
But I was never sure. Was it gone? Was I “fixed”? I do still find myself scanning my surroundings. I find it difficult to have a one on one conversation in a room full of people because the person in front of me is not a threat – so my attention focuses where there may be one and doesn’t allow me to focus on the person I am speaking with.
For the past 8 months or so, I have been taking Krav Maga classes. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a self-defense martial art form that, unlike many other self-defense styles, is designed to inflict maximum damage on your attacker. It was developed by the Israeli Army and is designed for close combat.
Last night as I was leaving the grocery store, I felt something in my back and heard a voice say “give me your money”. I paused. I hesitated and turned to look. It was my Krav instructor and I ‘failed’ the test. He wanted me to react by sweeping his arm away while delivering a strike to the face. But I didn’t. 5 years ago I would have though. So while that may have been a failure on one hand, to me it means my PTSD is no longer controlling me.
For me, that’s a “win”.