The Itch of Triggers

**Post Contains possible triggers for PTSD issues**


It’s as if I have an itch which cannot be scratched. This feeling of irritability which won’t go away because I can’t reach it to give myself relief. What is this feeling? I’ve asked myself for days now, trying to find the answer. Yet it was only after a connection shared privately about how they are also struggling right now that I finally figured it out. I reached out to several others in the PTSD community and also had a comment left on Monday’s blog post which confirmed it.

Friday’s terrorist attack had triggered not only their but also my PTSD. Seeing the images, the news, while I was in the waiting room to be seen at urgent care for a spider bite on my neck made me uncomfortable. I was immediately reminded how glad I was I’d cut our cable in favour of only having the internet. I spoke to the only other person in the waiting room, who ironically also had a bite, hers to the eye area leaving it terribly swollen. I tried, I tried very hard to be ‘normal’ (whatever this term means) about the news which went on and on.

It was a relief when my name was called to go back to the room where I could be away from the onslaught of the terms “approximately 100 bodies, hostages killed” and more I find difficult to even type out. My skin crawled from hearing it all.

Focus Bree, focus on the task at hand, this spider bite which everyone else is concerned about more than I was. Leaving the parking lot I sped as fast as I could to the pharmacy to pick up the prescribed medications she’d ordered, hoping I would not have to listen to anymore news about the terrorist attack in Paris. Focus, keep moving, I have to be somewhere. This day of all the days of the week I had many, many places to be at certain times and I was already late.

Finally, I walked into the martial arts dojo to take pictures and video of the black belts testing for forms and one young junior black belt getting his solid black belt. An exciting night for all. A happy night in spite of the world falling apart outside of this protected place.

Saturday, the itch began and in the night I woke up screaming. Then Sunday it was compounded until by Monday I was so irritable I began to snap at others and stay in my room to do all my activities. I didn’t want to work out, I didn’t want to go anywhere and yet I did. By Tuesday I was frustrated beyond belief at my inability, due to TBI, to be able to cry. This loss has made me feel ‘less than’ a person, unable to express my sorrow. That evening I ‘Scoped’ and talked with others also struggling with PTSD. After this discussion I finally allowed myself to have a large globe of wine, becoming two. But, in the end I slept, woke feeling rested and have gone on with this day’s responsibilities and appointments.

The itch, well, I finally reached it somewhat. Relief, albeit it momentary was found and I could move forward as I do each day. I find it is a place containing the occasional need to scratch that itch indicating triggered PTSD issues when I become aware of it’s location.

I think, for now that I am okay with this.


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