I can feel my body tense up when a certain smell or sound triggers a memory from the traumatic event. It’s like I’m back in that moment, helpless and scared - even though it was months or years ago.
It’s hard to explain what living with chronic PTSD is like. People think of flashbacks and nightmares, which are definitely real aspects of it, but they don’t understand the constant state of hyperarousal and fear that’s always there beneath the surface. It’s like a part of me that will never go away.
And when things get really bad—when I start feeling overwhelmed or trapped—it’s hard to stay in the present and keep myself calm because my instinct is to fight or flee from whatever I’m feeling. That kind of response causes so much individual and relational hurt and brokenness.
Sometimes, I wish I was normal, that I could just forget about what happened and move on with life as if nothing´s wrong. But this way of living has become “normal” to me now. It’s taken time to learn how to cope with it in healthy ways—like self-care activities, therapy, support groups, or tuning into what God says about identity and worthiness—but these things help me manage my symptoms so that one day, maybe I can let go of the pain completely