Inside, Outside: My Life Today with PTSD and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Outside, the high desert/high plains winds are howling.

Inside, the house is quiet. My night owl hubby is sleeping and our two dogs are snoozing with him.

Inside my heart, I am mostly calm. Mostly optimistic. With intermittent moments of anxiety and wanting to cry, because:

1) My daughter in Washington state is very sick, probably with covid-19. Her boyfriend, whom she lives with, tested positive for covid two days ago. We are still waiting for my daughter’s test result. But with a fever higher than 100, and all her other symptoms, it is almost certain that she has it.

2) My son in Pennsylvania is having surgery on December 9 to remove a large kidney stone. He was recently exposed to covid-19 through his stepmother, who has tested positive. My son is going to be tested for covid before his surgery.

3) My husband will have surgery on December 18 to biopsy three hard areas on his prostate gland. With his documented history of high exposure to the deadly herbicide known as Agent Orange, the risk that he has prostate cancer is very high. My husband is high risk, due to having COPD — he must use oxygen at night — and he has had three medically documented heart attacks. The good news is that his cardiologist told him a few years ago that his heart has healed so well, his tests now don’t show any evidence of him ever having had even one heart attack, yaaaay! However, he is going on 72 years old, so I am concerned about his upcoming medical procedure.

4) My fourth reason for occasionally feeling anxious and tearful is simply everything else that is going wrong in our crazy world right now….

Ah! Just now, as I was writing this, the wind stopped howling outside! Yaaay!

Oops, never mind, Howling Wind is back.

5) I must also include my occasional annoyance with a small percentage of my Christian friends, who have either outright told me, or have implied, that for me to be anything less than 100% peaceful and joyful, 100% of the time, is a Lack Of Faith. To which I want to reply, Ooookaaaaay…. then why did Jesus weep at Lazarus’ tomb? And why did he grieve and sweat drops of blood, the night before his arrest and crucifixion?

I don’t say those things to my Christian friends, however, because I don’t like to argue. And I already know they will just try to convince me that those things are different. Okay. Whatever. So call me HUMAN!

Thankfully though, my moments of anxiety and tears are actually very few, all things considered, because I have had a lot of healing for my PTSD. And also because I do, in fact, really, truly have faith in God. I trust in His perfect will. But I also know that here on this fallen earth, very painful things do happen, even to the most faithful. Look at Job in the Bible, as one example. Furthermore, my own CrAzY life history is a case in point. Bad things happen in this life, even to people who don’t deserve it, by any stretch of the imagination.

However, since I became a Christian believer almost 18 years ago, after years as an agnostic/atheist, I have been amazed to see how God has brought beautiful and good things out of the traumas and tragedies in my life. So I continue to have faith, even when everything seems to be going all wrong, all around me.

Thank you, everyone, who responded to my previous post about my daughter’s illness with loving kindness and prayer. I haven’t replied to most of those precious comments yet, because…. I don’t know. Just because.

My daughter is my baby girl. She is 46, but still my baby girl. She and I have had a rough, rocky history, largely because of my almost life-long PTSD. And also because, before she was born, and while she was growing up, I kept unwittingly getting involved with people who were very much like my childhood abusers. I have learned that this is sadly very common among people who were badly abused as children. Until and unless we find healing for our complex, developmental post-traumatic stress, we tend to unconsciously gravitate towards the familiar. Plus we are very attractive to users and abusers, because our self-esteem has been so badly damaged, they know we aren’t likely to stand up for ourselves and say NO!

The collateral damage that happens, when a traumatized child grows up to be an adult who is still getting battered and abused, is that their children who witness this, suffer in all kinds of ways. Children growing up in this type of environment tend to identify with the person they see as the ‘strong abuser’ — or with the ‘weak victim’ — or, in some cases, they alternate between both. Unfortunately, my three adult children have had to overcome a LOT.

A couple of years ago, my daughter graduated with a Master’s degree in family and child counseling and became a licensed therapist. Six days ago, my daughter and I had the best, most healing phone conversation ever. We talked for a little over two hours. I am so thankful for my awesome daughter!!!

But now she is very sick, probably with covid-19, and my heart is filled with all kinds of emotions: from deep love, great gratitude, and walk-on-water faith, to anxiety and worry.

And I think that’s normal! My Christian therapist says it is. So, I am NOT going to beat myself up over it. Okay? Okay! I know there is a verse somewhere in the Bible that says we are to weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice. In other words, have some empathy.

Thank you for reading. I love every one of you, whether you agree with me or not. ❀❀❀

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UPDATE: My daughter does have covid-19.  😦