I know that a support network is essential-- you probably do too, because every decent article explaining what PTSD is recommends that you have a good support network. What makes a support network a good one? I find some comfort in knowing that however messed up my emotions and thoughts get, there are others in the world dealing with the same thing. It's a reminder that it's not my fault, I didn't choose this, it's not just me.
There is, however, a line that I am hesitant to cross. Who do I trust to tell, when I'm at school all day, that I just need to get outside for a few minutes because the constant noise and crush of people are getting to me? Is it that guy I see in the hallway-- that guy that I know is a veteran, who's probably seen far more action than me, and who probably has PTSD at least as bad as me-- do I tell him? Do I expect him to-- what, exactly? Understand? Help? Save me? Tell me a story? Get me a cookie and some milk?
I'm trying to move past the past, not replay it. I'm trying to move on, dammit.
Maybe it's just that I don't want to trust someone else with my weaknesses and issues. I don't want to bother them, I don't want them to think they have to treat me differently, I don't want them to consider me based on that... I want to be considered for who and what I am, but who and what I am can be a little scary at times, and certainly hard to explain at other times.
I want to be past this, but I don't have a definition or a frame of reference to know when that is. I know how (usually) to deal with the PTSD, but I don't know if or when or how to stop "dealing with the PTSD". What is healed? When does the road end, and when do you find yourself merged onto the highway you're supposed to be on?
I wasn't issued a roadmap, compass, or GPS that tells me any of these things.
(Side note: I'm waiting for word on being accepted, or not, at a major university. One could argue that such acceptance would be proof that I've improvised, adapted, and overcome-- so I'm quite stressed about the word that comes down. Acceptance means that everything I've done has been the right thing. Denial means I have to scrounge, scrape, and fight a little harder for a while. Lots riding on this.)