Letting people into our worlds after getting PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a fragile situation for most of us. We need to feel “safe” at all times and if there is an “unsafe person” in the mix, they can trigger us just by being present in our world.
Recently I was tested by having someone in the family (not mine but my partner’s family) near me who has committed a lot of crimes and never worked despite being in his mid thirties. This person committed such crimes against the people he loved I do not understand how they can keep giving him chance after chance after chance. My family may not have gotten everything right but one thing they did teach us is that enabling and even rewarding bad behavior is NOT the right thing to do. It is so NOT the right thing to do, it just allows the sickness to continue. This person is a user and taker of people, places and things as his own uncle says, “always looking for a freebie.”
This person “triggers” me but that wouldn’t happen if he weren’t repeatedly given chance after chance after chance. In my opinion the door should have been shut to this person years ago. He thinks it is an honor and something to be proud of that he has done “time” or has court coming up. He cannot even see the stupidity in that type of thought process and will likely always be “prison cultured.” When I worked in Corrections in a jail for a few years I saw up close and personal the reason why the recidivism factor is so high. Many become “prison cultured” and do not even have a grasp of what it is to be a human being who actually contributes to society instead of always taking, taking, taking from anyone and everyone they can.
Three strikes you’re out is my motto for anyone who is living this “pretend thug life” way. He has had well more than three strikes. Yet he is being given chance after chance after chance. How is it that I have never done anything wrong in my life, have always tried to do the good and right thing and nobody is coming to the rescue of me or others like me while people like him get break after break after break. Dr. Phil (yes I mentioned Dr Phil) would have much to say about this, I am sure. He would likely talk about “consequences,” “enabling” and “rewarding bad behavior.” Why can’t those closest to this person “see” what they are doing?
“Molly coddling” as my mother called it is not the way to go with a person like this. This person needs to get out, grow up and stand on their own two feet without any “enabling” or “favoring” from any source. Only then could a person like me even begin to think about trusting him or allowing him near me in my world. Oh, I’ve heard the song and dance about him being “blood” but that’s just another excuse and the longer people continue to “make excuses” for him, the longer he will need a “giant pacifier” without doing a lick of work for himself in the world.
Even talk about this person triggers me because he walks around bilking the bank out of money or high as a kite all the while people are telling me “he’s keeping his nose clean.” I am struggling now with the idea of just disengaging entirely from the family so I no longer have to be triggered by his garbage and that of his girlfriend who is just as toxic and messed up as he is. But what do you do when you love so many people in that family and are feeling ripped off that it is “you” who has to do anything because “you” have done nothing wrong?
So, PTSD triggers can show up anytime and from any source. We don’t always know what the triggers will be but when we do know what the triggers are, we can do our best to avoid them. Even if that means withdrawing from some people and relationships to keep ourselves “safe.” It would be nice if there were a simple answer for this but there isn’t. Withdrawing and Avoiding are all I know to do. On that note, here is my latest PTSD poster, thank you for reading my blog today. And, if you are in my world, thank you for being kind, human and “safe.”
Years ago after reading some books by Shakti Gawain, a new age writer who talked a great deal about “creative visualization,” my mum-in-law and I were both inspired to start using “treasure maps” or “vision boards” to create our futures. Not only did we find this an effective means of keeping our life goals in front of us but it also helped us refine our needs and grow more attuned to what we truly wanted.
As time went by we shared what was happening in our worlds and the “treasure maps” were definitely helping. Many of our goals were realized and some of those in far less time than we had anticipated. From new job(s) to new wheels to world travel and relationships, our lives were definitely improving by keeping our goals in front of us.
When I was fifteen years old I hadn’t heard of anything like treasure maps or vision boards. I loved to draw house plans and pretend I was living in the homes I created. One of my very first creations was a modest three bedroom one bathroom rancher on it’s own lot with a fenced yard. You may not believe this but the very first house I ever owned (co-owned) was a 12 year old three bedroom one bathroom rancher on a nice big lot with a fenced yard.
Did my fifteen year old self create this home as part of my future when I was in my mid-thirties? Perhaps the very act of just getting things down on paper where we can see it creates an energy the moves us closer to our goals.
My vision boards to date have proven quite accurate. In 2007 I taught some nieces of mine how to do their own vision boards and it wouldn’t surprise me if they have realized a lot of their goals or dreams already.
To do this is very simple. I use a bristol board or a half of one and cut out images from old magazines that reflect my goals. You can also cut out words or symbols or draw or paint on your board or use your own photographs, it is entirely up to you.
One thing I always do on my vision boards is put spirituality right at the top and center of my board. I believe we can do nothing without the abiding presence of Our Creator and the Angels who guard and guide us. Your spirituality may be very different from mine and you don’t have to include it if you don’t want to. A photo of an ornate cross was what I used one year and another year I just pasted on clouds of the heavens.
Anyway, I think I have been neglecting my writing and my vision boards and need to get back to both which is what prompted this post. Let me know if you do one and if I can find where I put mine – for safe keeping of course, haha – I will take a picture of one and add it to this piece.
Who knew that my fifteen year old self could attract exactly the house she had drawn into her thirty something life? I know, I know, you might be saying it’s not possible. But what if it is? Rather, what if it was?
Happy goal setting, treasure mapping and vision boarding.
(c) Janni Styles
Do you have someone, residents or visitors, in your house who never put things back how they found them?
A resident or visitor who always makes a big mess and leaves your things out of order everywhere no matter what they do?
A resident or visitor who eats sitting on the couch and leaves half of the feast on the cushions, the coffee table or floor for you to clean and sweep up later?
Well, I have news for you. This is not just a messy person. This is a LAZY person.
When I ran a daycare in my home many moons ago, the children would get up from the meal and clean up whatever the dog didn’t from the floor underneath the lunch table. Then they would clamor to be the first to put their bowls or spoons in the sink. We had rules that made things easier for everyone but those things they just learned from watching me and wanting to “hep” me. These were preschool children who knew if they made a mess, toys, food or whatever, they could also clean it up and while they weren’t always happy to do so, they did it.
Again, I have news for you. Not every person who sees better and knows better will stop being LAZY even if they are over the age of five.
It is my belief that anyone over the age of five should have manners, consideration and tidiness down to a fine art. Personally, I resent having to clean up behind someone over the age of five. There is nothing worse than getting your feet wet from over-sprayed pee or for that matter, your underwear which touch the toilet when you sit on it getting drenched from over-sprayed pee. Aim that thing or sit down to pee, I say.
When living alone I never have mess anywhere and only have to give my place (except the weekly toilet cleaning) a good cleaning once a month. With regular visitors, in my life anyway, this changes drastically to having to clean every single week, sometimes even every few days, which my Fibromyalgia and Polymyalgia Rheumatica hate me for.
So what can we do about this to stop having to clean up after people, big people who should know better?
Sticky notes! Yes, I said, sticky notes. I use them wherever I need something to stay as I left it. Currently my bathroom has two sticky notes. Above the toilet roll it says, “I go over, not under” and on the closed toilet lid it says, “please close me before flushing.” There is nothing I hate more than trying to extract tissue from a roll that won’t let me because it is stuck under. My hands hate it, too, and punish me with everything that isn’t easy for them. Why people need to change things in “my home” is beyond me.
As for the lid note, well, I read somewhere if you leave your toilet open when you flush the invisible “spray” can reach six feet and yes, you guessed, it my toothbrush is only about four feet from the toilet, maybe five feet but not an inch more. So I need that peace of mind or I will gag when I brush or I will need a new toothbrush every time.
My next sticky note is going to say: NO MORE EATING IN THE LIVING ROOM! NONE! EVER!
Yes, of course, I know there are far bigger issues to worry about in the world but these are things that are an easy and very considerate fix. No rocket science here, just some manners and consideration for others. Life is easy if we get these simple things that are so easy to do and really quite fair since it is about taking care of our own messes. I mean, unless someone wants to pay me $30 an hour to clean up behind them, then I sure wouldn’t mind so much.
Life can feel rough if the people visiting us don’t or won’t get these simple things that make life not only easier but much nicer. Besides, when in another’s home, aren’t you supposed to do as they wish, not as you wish? Well, that’s what I was raised to believe. More work is the last thing in the world anyone needs, especially with chronic health conditions that cost us pain and stress to clean up.
When I visit people I try to leave the tiniest footprint ever. I clean up behind myself as I go and if I am there overnight, I may sweep the floor(s) or even clean the toilet before I leave just so they don’t have to. I did this recently when visiting relatives who live a ferry away. I left the bathroom sparkling just as it was when I arrived because I didn’t want my hostess to have to clean up after me. I think it’s rude and actually very insulting to assume it’s okay to leave our messes for others to clean up.
And, besides, I like standing in pee said nobody ever.
(c) Janni Styles