I Miss the Person I Was Before Ptsd, I Feel Like My Memories Were Recorded by a Camera Stood in My Place

Updated on November 3, 2019
Taz Haddlesey profile image

I began writing in April 2018 when worsening symptoms of PTSD and depression stopped me working as an ED nurse. Writing is therapy.

Since engaging with mental health services this year, I have been asked so many times about how I was before complex PTSD

I have been engaged with different services to try and keep me on the straight and narrow and alive, as a result of a further decline of my mental health coming to a year ago. Since then, I have been asked many times what I was like before this condition crept in and seemed to removed everything that made me, me. I can’t seem to answer the question. It’s like my memories and any previous sense of self happened to someone else or don’t belong to me somehow. I’ve also been asked how I’ve managed my mental health since an abusive first five years landed me in care and it’s the same, it’s difficult to remember or imagine myself coping or not coping.

The problem is those early years had a profound effect on me as I had seen a lot and I was never able to relax due to the violence I experienced but I never told a soul. I didn’t want to make a fuss or rock the boat so always did as I was told first time, didn’t cry or ask for things often. I was totally focussed on burying everything as it came around, growing up and taking care of me and my family.

So the result of that was that I have mixed memories of feeling awful and putting on a front and then pretending that it wasn’t the case for fear of upsetting some. It was complicated keeping up with it all and exhausting.

For quite some time around university and becoming an emergency nurse I was genuinely very well both mentally and physically

What I am sure of is that I did get my life together and was doing okay before PTSD took hold. I partied a lot in my teenage years and could easily have fallen right off the wagon but I didn’t, again because I was scared that that would affect someone else too.

University went okay as far as I remember especially when compared with school, I met my best friend there and between us we really had a good time and this is one of the only times I really felt like I was succeeding and didn’t have any concerns about my mental health. I had a small blip at the beginning of my nursing career due to the stress of being newly qualified and working in a busy area but settled down and had everything I wanted, my memory is sketchy at best but mostly, no concerns.

I even mustered the strength to move 300 miles away from my family and friends to live by the sea and my best mate. Everyone I knew at the time kept saying how brave and bold it was, it has taken me until now realise they were right.

This is probably why I’m so certain I am not that person anymore and given the long and arduous journey to get here, it’s highly unlikely to me that I will improve enough to feel like I’m fully and even nearly recovered. A grim thought I admit which often turns to suicide. My apologies for taking it there but I feel it’s necessary.

While I was in hospital both my sister and best mates brought in photos for me to stick on the wall of my room. They thought it would do me good to try and remember these times in the photos in order to try and reconnect with myself. It did work to some extent because I’d put myself in the photo and try to fill in the space around me but I’m still struggling to know the person.

I have to believe that I can learn to reconnect the dots of dissociation to recognise myself

It’s as if the memory was recorded by a camera stood in my place, that’s strange I know but that’s the only way I can describe it. Feeling mechanical, disconnected or fake isn’t all that new to me, dissociation has been a strong part of my experience of complex PTSD.

At the end of the day, I know I have been well. I know that I have the best people around me and that I’ve had good times with those people. Now I need to try to find a way to connect the dots in my life and memories in order to live a more fulfilling life, or so I’m told. Not only that but it gives the professionals to work on if they know where my baseline is or was if it is truly different as I have now come to believe.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)