world topics

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

“It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past but the past refusing to let go of the person”. PTSD is a mental illness that affects 7.8 million Americans . Most people believe PTSD only affects people who were or are in the military and they are wrong because I am one of those people. PTSD is a disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. My PTSD derives from my abusive childhood. Something that started over 17 years ago still affecting me today. I have been victim to PTSD and I have also been the culprit to pushing my pain onto others.

For me PTSD is not sleeping well at night because I am still afraid that someone will come through my door and abuse me. PTSD for me is having nightmares when ever I do sleep so I wake up multiple times throughout the night. It’s crying uncontrollably. It’s being paranoid of every man who I see. It’s being afraid of being alone. It’s only sleeping when there’s someone who I trust near me holding me. I tend to lash out emotionally when I feel I’m unsafe or scared. PTSD for me is a reminder that no matter how far I’ve come my past will always follow. PTSD comes in many forms and for me PTSD is fear.

Growing up in my teenage years my step father also had PTSD. He was a former marine and couldn’t cope with the thought that something was wrong with him. He was prescribed medication to take for his condition but to him he didn’t need them so he didn’t take them. As a result, he would randomly spaz out. It was usually the simplest things that would set him off. Anything that resulted in him feeling weak ended with my him breaking anything in his path. Whether it be Tv’s, furniture, anything in his path was destructed. As a result my younger brother and I would lock ourselves in our rooms until he was no longer screaming at the top of his lungs, threatening to kill us or trying to break down the bedroom door. Until we could hear no more chaos. After it was silent we would go out to see what damage had been done. All of his episodes usually resulted in his blood being splattered everywhere from breaking or throwing everything with his bare hands. Me and my mom would clean up what looked to be a massacre and she would try to get him to take his medication which never ended well. This was denial and rage what we most often associate with PTSD in our military personnel when they have “snapped”.

At the time of my step father’s out cries I was 15 years old while my younger brother was 11. This was something we had never witnessed before so it scared us. I feared for my life at all times of the day or night. You never knew when he might flip or what would set him off. Often times while under attack he would threaten to kill us, you hear something so much you start to believe it. My mother and younger brother and I stayed up all night one night just listening to him , taking turns watching the door, waiting and praying. Although we weren’t really young that still affected us. No child should have to ensure this.

PTSD is our minds reaction to us being unable to cope with a traumatic experience. PTSD is another topic that is rarely discussed but should be. There are people dealing with this constant fight within themselves everyday and need help. If my step father had allowed us to help him, if he had taken his medications all those times he switched on us wouldn’t have happened. My brother and I wouldn’t have had to see something that dramatic at a young age. We shouldn’t have had to fear for our lives in our own home.

If you suffer from PTSD or know anyone who does I beg you to get help or help them get the treatment that they need. They may go through a stage of denial but at the end of the day you’re doing what’s best for them and in severe cases what’s best for you as well. With treatment PTSD can reduce and even elimate the symptoms of PTSD. The thought process one has with PTSD can go away and in that sense PTSD can be improved or “cured”.

In severe cases you have to think of your loved ones. You don’t want them to fear you. You don’t want to be afraid of what you’ll say or do around them either. Take the first step in understanding your diagnosis and begin getting treatment. In getting treatment you allow yourself to be able to lead a better life. The nightmares can stop, The thoughts can stop, it can all go away. I don’t know about you but I want to be able to have a full nights sleep without waking up from a nightmare paranoid. I’m 22 years old and I deserve to live as normal as I possibly can. That’s why I went and got the help I’ve been needing. It’s never too late to better yourself So, what’s stopping you?

Breaking The Silence

Letter to my Step Father

This was the message that I sent to my step father after he declined to meet with me to talk. I would have rather said everything in person but I wasn’t given the chance :

Drico,

Before I say what I needed to say I gotta know why are you so small?I hated seeing you like that. That’s not the Drico that I know. So what’s going on? I know you probably won’t tell me but I hope you do.. If not I understand.

I Wanted to start by saying that I really do hope you’re taking care of yourself. But for a while I’ve been wanting to talk to you I was hoping you would accept my offer to talk in person. But since you didn’t I’ll accept writing to you. Whether you respond or not doesn’t matter as long as I say what I need to say.

When you first came into our lives we accepted you and loved you. I’m glad that I was fortunate enough to have some good memories with you in the beginning. Things were great. Unfortunately towards the end of you being in our family majority of the memories were bad, things that I wish I could forget. And those are things I wanted to talk with you about now. With all the things you’ve done I still care about u.

First and foremost I do want to say thankyou for trying to talk to me when you all found out about my past. For that I’m grateful you got me to open up and talk about the things that had been done to me. You taught me a few things like how to cook things which I didn’t know before. So thankyou for those things.

But of all the things that you did teach me you also taught me not to trust people. In the beginning of 09 you were a great guy one we all loved and didn’t mind being around. But, it seemed when you moved in with us all of that changed…. You switched like someone had turned a switch and you became a completely different person. One that I really don’t like. In case you don’t remember ill explain.

When first moving to Arizona you threatened to leave my mother after a dish was left in the sink to soak by me. Blaming me for being the reason that you were leaving. In my opinion that’s was very cowardly of you. If you wanted out you didn’t have to use us kids as an excuse to leave. Secondly, You made me sleep on the floor when I had a perfectly good bed because of your own insecurities and no I don’t feel that was right in any way. Moving forward over the years you and I weren’t close. None of us were really close with you, and no one is to blame but you.
You called Jarrett names and mentally abused him on the daily, that I didn’t like nor did he. The things you say affect the people you say them to. Both you and my mom are wrong because you shouldn’t have said it and she should have spoken up for Jarrett. I hope you treat your new family better than you did us.

You used to make us take cold showers only turning the hot water on for yourself or my mom that’s wrong. I dislike that you made us do things we didn’t want in order to even get shoes for school. That was a game to you but wasnt cool. I know how they feel but I can’t speak for moe and Jarrett they’ll have to tell you themselves but for me you ruined what we’re supposed to be some of the best times in my life.

I disliked how I was forced to walk 2 miles back and forth to school each day rain included. It was pouring and I asked granddaddy for a ride one day he brought me home and because of that I got in trouble. With 2 vehicles at the house I couldn’t even get a ride when mama was going that way anyways. That was ignorant on both of y’all. I don’t like that you opened all of my mail before giving it to me. I don’t like that you stole money given to me by my dad it wasn’t yours to keep. I don’t like that you tried to have me help you sale weed in order for me to get money. I asked if I could get a job y’all didn’t want me to have 1 of them either. Unsure why you were so difficult but it wasn’t the right way.

I understand in you being an ex marine you have ptsd. But, You having it and knowing that you do you need to get help. We watched you flip out too many times. Watching as you tore the house apart breaking anything you could. Then you would turn into a child. Going around the house with blood just everywhere looking as if it’s a murder scene. We as children shouldn’t have had to witness any of that. You up yelling until 3 am screaming at the top of your lungs something we shouldnt have to see. You threatening to kill us saying you wish that we were all dead isn’t something we should have to go through. Especially from someone who claims to love us as his own children. You having a problem doesn’t excuse your behavior especially if you aren’t trying to get the help that you need.

With all that was going on in the home I needed an outlet and I found it by talking to other people. That guy I sent the nude pictures to I know I shouldn’t have but at the time that was my outlet my way of asking for help but you and mama as parents were supposed to be there but weren’t. You all were too wrapped in your selves. It was wrong on my end im not saying my behavior was ok because it wasn’t. But I was pushed to go outside to find another outlet. Although I was wrong for taking the pictures the way you handles things was wrong. I know you downloaded and printed the pictures saving them in that folder. That was inappropriate of you as someone who was supposed to be my step father.

Another issue I have with you as a step father you crossed so many lines. You asking to give me head and for me to lose my virginity to you was inappropriate and sick. You know you were wrong because you tried to hide the fact that you asked me that to my mom. You forcing me to watch porn was so wrong on many levels. You trying to make me pull down my pants and touching me was wrong as well. You don’t deserve to have the step father title. My mama was wrong for marrying you, especially with knowing all the things that you did. With you knowing my past knowing that I was molested as a child why would you ruin me even more. As a man in my life, you being my step father you’re supposed to protect me not prey on me! You’re sick for that. In my eyes That makes you just as sick as the men having sex with children! You were wrong and I hope you know it. I want you to know it. On april 30 I will be posting a vlog telling my story I will be saying your name and telling all that you did. You as well as the 3 other men who hurt me. I don’t care how you feel about it. You made the decisions that you did so you have to live with the consequences to your actions. You always said man’s worst fear is being found out, I guess we will see on monday. My one question to you is why?, why did you do it?

In your message you stated I didn’t invite you to my graduation which it seemed was your reasoning for not wanting to meet with me. The last I heard you didn’t want anything to do with us. You didn’t even want us to come to Mississippi to visit our own mother. So no I didn’t invite you to my graduation that’s not something you deserve. People who were there for me were at my graduation and going away party before I went to the military. You never checked on us or anything so how you feel you were right to be at my graduation is beyond me.

Then the next time I did hear from you was after I messaged your friend cameo telling her the truth. And you got mad and refered to me as a “Skinny Bitch”. Yeah I heard that part too, and that you all felt I shouldn’t have spoken about that but I did. Y’all are married but that marriage involves me and my siblings as well because whatever you put her through you put us through too. I told my mother before I did it too. And I did it because I feel if you are Okay With moving on with your life having a new family you should be able to sign some papers to be divorced. She spent her money you didn’t have to Pay anything all you had to do was sign The papers but ignorantly of course you didn’t. Don’t you feel you’ve put our family through enough? You have moved on my mother deserves to be able to do the same.

Overall my point in writing you was to clear my chest of the pain which you have caused. I don’t know what happened to you over the years but whatever it was I pray you never turn into that guy again. I pray that in reading this you reflect over yourself from past to present and are able to become a better person in the future. I wrote you because for so many years I resented you I hated you. But in doing that I know I only hurt myself more. You were once a good man one that I was proud to call my step father, proud you were dating my mother back in 2009. I only wish you could find that guy and be him. That bitterness and evil ness that grew about you isn’t right nor healthy. You hurt people when you become bitter and if you hurt everyone who’s around you who loves you then you will end up by yourself. Some things you did i may never forget i wish i could though. And hopefully 1 day i will. But my point in writing you is to tell you that even with all that you have done I forgive you. I’m forgiving you for myself because holding on to the pain was killing me. I’m a completely different woman from the little girl you knew with a different mindset and personality. I have so many dreams that have been put on the back burner because i was trying to rebuild myself from being hurt in the past. I wish this life on no one. But i have grown so much as a person and found myself and my calling in the process i also found my voice. So, im going to say how i feel no matter what anyone has to say about it; including you. Seeing you the other day was hard because it brought back so many memories. Also because you look so sick, I don’t know what’s going on with you but you need to get yourself together! I’m speaking as your step daughter not as your friend. I care what happens to you even with how our past is.

I hope in reading this I receive a response or you at least understand. Read with the intention of understanding not to reply. You’re a very intelligent man why you chose to sale yourself short I don’t know but I hope you hear me! I hope you understand. And I do forgive you Drico and I hope you take this as criticism and use it to work on yourself. You overall aren’t a bad person you just make bad decisions. My suggestion is you think before you act and think about the consequences to your actions and how it can affect not only you but those around you as well. Its 2018 and in moving forward I hope you learn to forgive yourself as well as let go of whatever it is that turn you into such a cruel human being. You are more than the troubles you face. Instead of holding it in you need to let it out if not you will do nothing but continue to hurt yourself. Now I have said my peace. Have a good day!

-Jade

After reading he replied two days later. He said to me…

“Dear Jade, I remember a very different story, however if you choose to do you then do it. I have no problems with you. Somebody really lied to you because I chose not to pursue. But, it’s okay I am a Christian, which means I am not perfect, So moving forward start whatever trouble you feel like you need to start. But always remember when you plotting revenge does 2.”

It was Short which in all honesty I didn’t expect to hear back from him at all and if I did I expected it to be bad. If you know drico then you know his mouth will cut you deeper than any physical wound could ever do. But, I didn’t get that this time and that both shocks & scares me. I don’t know where things will go from here, I just pray that they get better and not worse.