My nemesis

First I’d like to say that I hope I didn’t scare anyone off yesterday. I appreciate all of the invitations to stay or to meet up. I really do. And I fully plan on taking advantage of as many as I can. Just know that it’s a big step for me. That’s all.

Yesterday I talked about anxiety. It’s a big deal and hard to deal with.

Unfortunately it isn’t the biggest issue I face.

That honor would fall to anger. In all it’s many forms. Rage, brooding, hate, intolerance, seething and others. If there’s a way to be angry, someone with PTSD will have it.

I wish I knew why. I really do. Everytime I meet with a new therapist, they typically ask me what my perfect end state would be. My answer is always a life without anger.

I have a short fuse. Basically that means I can only take a small amount of anything before it’s too much to handle.

Someone chewing gum loudly? Anger. Someone tapping their foot? Anger. No turn signals? Anger. Basically anything that any normal person would be able to put up with, sends me over the edge.

Little things can ruin my whole day.

There is a reason that vets are notorious for road rage.

I see everything in black and white. It’s either right or it’s wrong. It’s the law or it isn’t. I’m not sure why I see everything in absolutes. Perhaps it’s a holdover from the military where everything has a purpose, a place and a way it’s done. You don’t vary from that. I still can’t.

I feel horrible for how I treat my family because of it. I have no patience. Either obey the rules or you’re in trouble. I yell a lot. I have to separate myself from the kids pretty often. Mostly in order for them to be able to just be kids and not have me harping on them. Also to keep the peace in my head.

That’s the thing that makes me feel so bad about having PTSD. Not how it makes me feel but how I treat others. I know there are plenty of people out there who think I’m not a nice person. For good reason. I’m not afraid or too shy to let you have it. I wish I could change that. I really do.

Unfortunately me being angry at everyone else is just a byproduct of me being angry with myself. My therapists say that if I could find peace within myself, I would be able to be at peace with others.

That sounds very zen-like and simple but my head can’t do it. It doesn’t help that I get close and then have to get a new therapist. But that’s just blaming others. This is on me.

I wish I could introduce myself to new people and include the caveat that I have PTSD and I will come across as an asshole, but give me time and we might get past that.

Once again that’s the disadvantage of non visible wounds of war. If I was missing an arm, people would make concessions for me, whether they meant to or not. But without an announcement or a sign around my neck, no one knows my wounds. I’m given no allowances and judged to be less than a normal person because I can’t function correctly.

Even if I could tell people, it wouldn’t help. There is such a stigma surrounding mental illness. It isn’t forgiven or understood and I don’t think people really want to understand it.

So I just stay angry and isolated. Stuck within myself.

Unless I’m doing something I love, with people who like to do it as well.

I haven’t had any real anger issues all week. Even in the limited traffic I’ve been in. It’s hard to be angry and still ride a motorcycle through beautiful country.

If I can keep this up for two months, maybe it’ll help reset my mind.

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