Donna Bugat -v- State of Victoria Case 352: I have… feelings :) so I know my own family is best for my health and wellbeing (18.09.2020)
I have since I was a small child, personally had the life threatening disease called PTSD that in adversely affecting my physical and emotional health, ultimately impacted my entire life. It originally happened because I was forcibly separated from my entire family, as a small child, because I was just an experiment for the adults who instead raised me, which is more generally what too many governments do.
It has been a real problem literally completely losing everything about my own identity when it was changed, as a child.
My PTSD has never been my friend or helped me in any way, although we have shared a long life together.
The reality PTSD disproportionately affects children who do not have either their own family or a safe and regulated space with other adults, is why I personally have an aversion to most ‘public officials’ of pretty much any and every kind, because their only interest is ticking whatever boxes politicians etc tell them to.
I had to try and survive, as a child, despite not experiencing and learning the ‘normal’ things, thankfully many children do, to help them reach their full potential in a safe and regulated space, in a healthy environment of caring, respect and love, that is mutual.
The PTSD… children suffer is historically seriously under-reported, untreated and completely airbrushed over and marginalised because it is ‘inconvenient’. This is solely because of the selfish, exploitative and myopic closed shop of politics and news media, who persist in perpetuating myths such as ordinary civilians are not ‘whistleblowers’ who need real protections from abusive state systems, so there can genuinely be equality of opportunity. There can be little doubt that if the manipulative political and news media classes all had to live a child’s life of PTSD themselves, the world could well be a very different place, remarkably quickly.
I have always been willing and have tried to help… other people solve problems, as most of us do in life, but I was always powerless to help myself, stop living with my own PTSD, because I didn’t even know the name of the terrible disease that I have lived with all my life, that is… PTSD. The child or adult who suffers from PTSD because of the state system is not at ‘fault’ in any way, because it is an abusive state system that needs to change to have any relevant meaning in the one world everyone shares.
I have personally been to the darkest abyss of dysregulated PTSD, as both a child and adult, which I would never under any circumstances wish on any other human being.
The all consuming darkest abyss of PTSD completely exhausts my whole mind, body and life, so searching for any strategy to try and hang on, has to be the better struggle on a human journey to living within a safely regulated space that has to become the normal in my own life.
I find, having lived with PTSD my whole life, disassociating is a huge problem, because despite disassociating being of itself so harmful, it is the only ‘normal’ and all I have ever known, to try and survive on some level, when being overwhelmed. The risks caused by disassociating and being overwhelmed which can all too quickly take over with a momentum of its own that suddenly spirals out of my control without my fully realising because I never learned about trying to safely regulate, are however too dangerous to me. So, while the strategies to try and stop disassociating are not always easy to remember and do not come at all naturally, the best I can do, when I am really struggling to try and stop disassociating, is to try and give myself time, in any way I can find, to try and remember any strategy to… ‘come back’.
My own experience of trauma and disassociating because of flashbacks and reliving, all of which is confusing and disorientating, is compounded by the fact of experiencing life threatening trauma in multiple countries. I have found myself literally experiencing life threatening trauma in one country that while that life threatening trauma is actually happening, triggers flashbacks to other earlier life threatening trauma, that includes other countries, which is all very surreal and disturbing..
The fact I have experienced life threatening trauma since I was a child and then in multiple countries, has over the years, significantly worsened my own PTSD. The fact the overwhelming nature of lifelong PTSD can mean the mind can ignore and shut off what is physically happening to the body, doesn’t however change I did become physically ill, without even understanding, let alone fully comprehending that was happening to me, or how serious it could be, so the disease of PTSD is a very vicious cycle.
My own ‘lived experience’ is that trauma and PTSD are responsible for my own auto immune and related illnesses, so people with lifelong PTSD, do very much need a safe and peaceful space along with time, to try and slowly work through whatever they need to.
I don’t know if I will ever personally fully recover from lifelong PTSD, but I have at least begun the journey by being willing to learn, what I never learned as a child, and would very much have liked to know then, because it must be possible to build the necessary foundations to successfully manage PTSD. If managing my PTSD means I can live a safer and more regulated life, that in turn means there is the possibility of both my physical and emotional health and well being, improving.
I don’t really engage with the medical profession as a general rule myself, either, because I don’t personally like being touched by strangers and so on, and so forth, but I was lucky enough to have the help of a health professional to begin to guide me through that series of emotional blocks. I knew myself, that I had reached a point when I no longer had any excuses I could make to my own two beautiful sons, to avoid engaging ultimately with specialist medical professionals, although in the bigger picture, engaging with the medical profession as a whole is still a ‘work in progress’ for me.
Someone who has had lifelong PTSD, since being a small child, has quite a lot to work through… before, and apart, from dealing with medical professionals, anyway, regardless of whether the medical professional is a GP or it is a hospital. There is the reality a massive void exists, because there is no ‘reference point’ or ‘framework’ that existed to go back to, of either what life was like… before PTSD, or in fact that there is and could be life without and beyond PTSD, because it began as a small child, which I somehow have to come to terms with too.
The positive experience of having the help of a health professional to try and find a way to engage with the medical profession that could work for me, at least some of the time, did however turn out to be an entirely unexpected defining point, on so many other levels too.
It also unexpectedly (as a complete aside to engaging with medical professionals) resulted in unlocking what I only know to describe as a ‘cascade’ of other information, including fragmented memories that while mostly too difficult to deal with, I slowly learned were generally, although not always, possible to either put on hold, or better still, move beyond, while I also developed around the same time, something called my… ‘self awareness’.
A central lesson I have learned in trying to manage my PTSD, is to try and work out how to be able to go at my own pace, and not that of the PTSD or indeed anyone else’s needs or expectations, because everyone is obviously different, in terms of abilities and experiences, including how much information it is possible to process at any given time, for all sorts of reasons.
The only way I can hope to manage my own PTSD is by finding different ways to learn about everything at my own pace, because sometimes you just need a breather and a break too, and perhaps particularly when you are trying to change a lifetime of living with PTSD. I still often find it difficult to process all sorts of information in the same way other people without my ‘lived experience’ might do (which has too often in the past been used by others as a way to exploit me and the fact I have PTSD) but at least I now know why, myself, so that gives me greater personal peace of mind too. It’s no secret I literally cannot do ‘bureaucracy’ because of my ‘lived experience’.
The process of learning to try and manage my own PTSD that unexpectedly precipitated ‘cascades’ of information of all sorts, resulted in the beginning of reprocessing of information that was previously fragmented and unresolved. It is similar to suddenly finding a missing piece in a jigsaw puzzle (or in my case, quite a few jigsaw puzzles !!) so the pieces then make sense, and can be peacefully filed away, in such a way that it is possible to move on, from something or other, which frankly when that happens is such a huge relief for me. It also means I have increasing freedom to focus my mind on what I need to learn and know to try and live in a safe and orderly way, as the clutter or fragmentation etc diminishes.
The reality however, the reconciliation of fragmentation that is helping to reconfigure my mind away from PTSD happens quite randomly, means I have to be flexible and accommodating with myself, because it doesn’t happen at my convenience and can be incredibly exhausting emotionally.
I like to think though it is a sign it is a possibility that I will maybe, fully recover from PTSD, eventually, although I don’t yet know what that world of complete recovery from PTSD might possibly look like for me. Nevertheless, my own desire to move beyond PTSD, altogether, is an ultimate goal.
The contrast between a life with PTSD and the experience of living in the ‘present’ or ‘here and now’ is dramatic because when I live in the ‘here and now’ which I understand is most people’s ’normal’ experience of the world, I am using all my senses, and in a regulated way, which opens up so much beauty to personally experience in life, even if and when it is only a very brief or fleeting moment in time, it is also a time that brings with it, the knowledge that is how life can and should be, with all its infinite possibilities.
I now realise that my own experience of PTSD, includes my mind existed without any real consciousness of my body, so that not only did I not have the ‘normal’ experience other people do, of having a body, but I also was not properly experiencing the ‘five senses’ like other people explain to me they do. The disassociating effect of PTSD means my losing awareness of so much of myself and the world around me too. I find it a totally new and strange sensation when I manage to properly connect my mind with my body, which is incredibly relaxing too.
I hope that one day, my PTSD is in the past and nothing but a distant memory, so I can not only naturally enjoy the here and now more fully, just like most people, but also have a real, safe and sustainable future too.
I have recently tried CBD oil too, to see if that can help me with my PTSD, and the CBD oil has not only helped with my PTSD (because it doesn't affect my mind, but does relax my body, making it easier on a good day for my mind and body to connect, which is always a good thing) but it does offer some pain relief from physical illnesses, although it is far too early to properly quantify that or how successful it might be, not least because I haven't tested all the different combinations of taking CBD oil, along with the pharmaceuticals too, combined with the fact the physical illnesses are prone to flare-ups.
The biggest mountain I have had to climb with my PTSD is the one about...feelings, and trying to slowly share those very private and personal... feelings with family members.
I think that my sharing my most personal and private… feelings with members of my own family (which is different from sharing ... experiences you don't necessarily want to, and isn't always healthy to remember yourself) is my biggest step to try and overcome PTSD, because it has helped me realize that my own family love me, regardless of my PTSD, which they know is not my fault, and so they only ever tried to help.
I know my own family is best for my health and wellbeing.