I lived with PTSD for 40 years, after molestation by a Catholic priest at age five. Read my story as I write it here through 2015.

This is a True Story

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Friday, June 12, 2015

People with PTSD are not insane, in fact the opposite is true

We are very-very sane.  

When a person goes through horrible trauma, the weaker mind relies on the brain’s survival mechanisms. Many people create multiple personalities after trauma like I went through, also dissociative disorders. I know because I've interviewed a lot of victims. They can end up living on disability.

People like me with PTSD hold it together and keep on working, we are just hyper alert, and, as happened to me last night, always subject to unexpected events that can trigger as much as 24 hours of reaction, even longer. 

This was a two incident event. When the first part happened out in the parking lot in the morning, my landlord screaming awful things at me for seemed like twenty minutes, I still came back inside and finished a job and got the doc sent back in plenty of time. Made my deadline. Then went for a walk and only when I got out of the apartment and down to the lake did I let it all pour.  I shook then for, I don't know 12 hours, I still actually haven't stopped. 

Then when I came in, the person involved, the perpetrator, decided that since he manages the building where I live so has the electric breakers in his apartment, hey, wouldn't it be funny to just sort of accidentally bump the switch and turn off the old lady’s electricity. 

Around 10 PM, I was just getting out of the shower when all the lights, internet, TV, everything went out.  I had an LED light nearby so pushed it on and had enough light to get dressed, then went outside to see if other people had lights.

Everyone else had power. And funniest thing, just as I open my door, there’s the building manager’s wife right there, with this goofy grin on her face, she’d just run up, and so kind of embarrassed, said to me, “Oh,” flush, “I thought it was just the internet. It's everything? Oh.”

I figured it out right there on the spot that her husband had turned off my electricity.  Something inside me said, Get the electricity back on.

And I switched into overdrive.  See this is the survival side of my PTSD. Nothing was going to stop me.  I said whatever came into my mouth, no matter how shocking.  I walked right behind her, saying, Turn my electricity back on.  She went in her apartment and shut the bottom half of their door. I leaned in and called inside the house, “Turn my electricity back on.”  She tried to tell me I was scaring her kids, but at that point I didn't give a damn about her kids, I think I even said so.  “Turn my electricity back on!”  She slammed the door but did not lock it, so I opened it back up and stuck my head in the door saying “Turn the electricity back on.”

I know at this point I looked more like a character in a sci-fi movie than a human.  I was on total auto drive. 

And the Voice.  The Voice.  I used to sing, I still do around the house, I have a very powerful voice already.  But when one of these incidents happen, I go down to this huge chasm and fill up with power and this bell tone sounds out like Quazimoto on a rampage. After she finally locked the door, I stood outside in the driveway and in full Liberty Bell Tone hollered, “Turn my electricity back on” over and over again.

She says she doesn't have a flashlight to see the breakers, and I shove my little LED light in her hand, “Turn my electricity back on.”

Oh. This is the funny part.  She hollered back, only she just had this shriek off-key soprano totally loud with no power voice.  She shrieked, “We were both asleep in bed when the electricity went off, we have no idea what happened.”

But because I was so relentless and would not stop standing right outside their door- HOLLERING - I was on autodrive- they called the police on me.  At the same time I was calling the police on them.

Anyway, Because this dumb-ass Florida cracker called the police on me, the police came, and because they went inside his apartment, they saw that the breaker is way over here, how did it get switched off if he was in bed.  “Oh,” said Nitwit, “I may have accidentally bumped it.”

From his Bed? 

Caught in a lie, la la la la la

The cop then came to talk to me, and after hearing my story, said, “Oh by the way, he did admit that he might have accidentally touched your breaker and turned off your electricity.”

Right, I said, only mine after all this.  And I think the officer rolled his eyes as well, but he was really trying to be noncommittal.

I thanked him several times.  Now, thanks to my local police, I know I'm not imagining it, he really did turn the electricity off on purpose, otherwise why did he lie and say he had been in bed. Now I have the ammunition I need.  I knocked off a couple emails and . . . well,

I feel like I may not have to pack up and move again now after all, which would have been really hard on me.

The PTSD part, this is the weird part.  If you remember the film I Am Legend, there are the guys who have the virus, they are after the doctor, they push up against his glass wall, and they just keep pushing up against it and pushing up against it, like it's more instinct than brain at work, even though they are not getting through, they still keep pushing and pushing and pushing and indeed after enough brute force and a long enough period of time, the glass does break.

That's me in one of those auto-pilot PTSD modes.  Nothing can stop me.  I was up against their door and I was going to push my head in as far as I could without breaking the law, and I was going to keep saying it and saying it and saying it until I got a response.


The really scary part is, it was not until this morning that I realized how horrible it would have been if I had not been able to get them to turn back on my lights.

That's why I'm so grateful that part of my overdrive was just knowing I had to get the electricity turned back on, no matter what.

You see since about 1995, I have some media on all the time.  The TV or radio or music or an internet auto-play TV series is on in my life all the time. Because I cannot let my brain get empty. If I do, horrible stuff pours in, and before I know it, I'm rolled up in a ball in out of control tears or rage.

That is what happens if I don't have electric stimulus around.  That is what would have happened to me for God  knows how many hours before I finally got those people to turn my electricity back on, if I had not been relentless.

I'm a sick sixty-seven year old lady.  This should never have happened. 

I kind of hope they move away and we get new management.  

-Kay Ebeling 

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