As the victim of appalling abuse from family members and peers alike, I am plagued by sudden flashbacks and vivid nightmares. So how do I manage my condition?
I’ve always been a quiet child, more prone to spending breaks reading books alone than hanging out with the cool kids. Perhaps that is what made me such an easy target for abuse, as well as my weaker physical body (that comes from being a short girl). I was also more accepting of abuse as I was brought up in an abusive family, with physically violent elders and a strict, Asian culture that sanctified academic achievement above all else.
The school I went to was populated by students pushed by their families to achieve and the staff either did not understand nor care about the academic and social pressures facing their students. Also, teenagers in general are notorious for being bitches to each other. Mix in extreme academic pressure, nasty peers neglectful authority figures( and abusive white supremacist teachers)and it is no surprise that a vulnerable student committed suicide on a school day.
I couldn’t have a reprieve from the bullying at school because my parents were so uncaring about my suffering. They were obsessed with my academic success and ignored all other aspects of my life. They were also abusive and cruel at times too, most likely due to their own abusive upbringings.
However, I am still here, alive, wonderfully alive.
To manage the anxiety that comes from PTSD:
- I go on a great deal of walks. Physical exercise is one of the best non-pharmaceutical ways to manage stress and do wonders for your general health.
- I visit green spaces and parks; being around nature is proven to improve mood.
- I spend time on activities I genuinely enjoy such as writing and sharing my thoughts with you!
- I take the rage I feel from my PTSD and channel it towards productive things like competing in sport, producing art and my studies
Obviously, I have lost out on a great deal of time, energy and resources dealing with my PTSD. What could really help me and other PTSD sufferers is access programmes that are given to other disadvantaged groups such as women. For example, many big firms run employment programmes targeted specifically at women to encourage more women to enter into their male-dominated fields. It would be amazing if firms also did this for PTSD and other people who suffered debilitating childhoods.