People with PTSD don't get to choose what triggers their reactions.
Today, I am feeling very alone here with my husband and the two children who are currently at home.
Scrolling through FaceBook today, and suddenly I am back as a young girl, maybe 10, 11, 12...and wishing I had friends...really anyone I could talk to. Other girls from school talked about calling and talking for long periods of time...they got to hang out with friends, and cousins. I had no one.
I was isolated. Oh, I went to school, and to church...but I never talked to anyone about how awful it was at home. And I couldn't bring anyone home. The few times I got to go to friends' houses were oh-so-welcomed, but didn't happen often.
I have cousins. Five first cousins. All of whom are grown and have kids and significant others...most of whom I have never met. I don't know ANY second cousins. I know they exist. I think I have met ONE of the many.
See, not only did my parents isolate me from others in our community, but they so limited our contact with grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, that I barely know any of them, and I really don't have a relationship with them...and that makes me REALLY sad.
I remember LOVING when my mom's sister came to visit from college...we had grand plans to do things together. We were going to hike the Appalachian Trail together. And then she got married...and I was further cut off from her because my parents wouldn't let me go visit.
Some days I am super-jealous of friends here whose parents, and siblings, and grandparents come visit them. I have pretty much given up on ever having a visit from anyone in my family, except maybe from my sister.
Today, I'm reeling again from the pain of being deprived of good relationships with extended family members by the effects of mental illness. Days like today, I end up angry....a lot.
Because triggers bring back all of the hurt.