My Hiding Place
One of the most difficult things you go through when you suffer from
PTSD, is the fact that you never, ever feel safe.
Growing up I never knew about this sickness of mine; I don’t even know
what I knew. I lived my life always so concerned about pleasing someone else…I
was being raised the same way a slaved was raised, raise to think only to
please your owner, no dreams allowed, no growth for personal gain permitted.
The most interesting thing is that I never knew I was being raised like that. I
thought I was a normal child, yes my parents weren’t there, but it never
crossed my mind the level of brokenness I was being put through, no one ever cared
to talk to me about the importance of family…a functional family (my mom, my
dad and siblings in one home). And when I graduated college, and I thought I
could dream……..everything collapsed. I began understanding the fate that my
long time oppressor had planned for me.
In future posts I will give detail about my early years, I was trying to
write about it minutes ago and I couldn’t. I’m still finding my voice. Putting
everything on the surface is not easy, especially because when you have been
abused, you are the last person to realize it.
All I can say today is that I lived in oppression for many years, close
to three decades. So much verbal and psychological abused was instilled for
such a long time, it’s easier for me to start talking about the consequences
rather then the details of my tormented past life.
I realized the severity of my wounds when I was hospitalized in a mental
health facility for the first time, about four years ago. I had decided to call
a therapist and confide in her these unbearable symptoms I was having. I had
been for about six years struggling in secret with that until I couldn’t handle
it no more.
These manifestations had begun about ten years ago when in my deep
loneliness, I started to call on God to save me from my disgrace. I honestly
didn’t know what to do with my life, I was trapped in an existence that I
didn’t want to live, in the country where I was born. I lived there until I was
32. At age 29 I saw my life, and realizing that I had no hope for nothing, no
future of my own…nothing… I cried out to God……..I cried so hard and broke in
tears daily, within the solitude of my bedroom, especially during the first
hours of the day, when it was still dark. I had been raised in a Christian
home, and even though my whole religion and God himself had been distorted
through all the abuse I had been through….I decided to call on him, I needed
something, I needed to find a way out of this inferno I was living. No one was
there for me, no one. I was completely alone, and I decided to call on that God
who I had read in the bible, that He could do anything.
I started coming closer and closer to him, I would fast a lot and
pray….until one morning I experienced something that I don’t know how to
describe, through the scriptures and in fasting and prayer, I found Him….I
found God, I found Jesus….I can’t give details…I will in a future post….but for
the first time He manifested himself to me, in such a spiritual and
unfathomable way…that after that day, I was never the same.
I was left with an indescribable peace, something I had never
experienced. But that peace only lasted a few days because, one morning a voice
or a self came from within…invasive thoughts I couldn’t control, they found their
way between me and the Words of God that were flowing from the Bible and from
anything good around me…and suddenly those thoughts, or voices started fighting
from within to do everything they could to separate me from the source of that
I remember beginning to have problems reading the bible and praying.
When I went to church, I had to go hide in the bathroom often to quiet those
voices down…they were so unbearable, I couldn’t seat in peace on the benches to
hear the Word of God be preached.
I remember working as a broadcaster in a Christian radio station, I used
to read beautifully these inspiring devotionals directed to women….and because
of these horrible manifestations I had to stop broadcasting….I couldn’t
function anymore. I hid my problem; I hid it for years. Until the year 2015
came when I had already moved into the U.S. I was now working at a call
center….I guess because of the level of stress in the job….my mind started to
find no respite. The invasive thoughts were now taking over while conversing
with others, even in solitary when I would walk outside or drive. And it was
especially because I couldn’t drive, my legs and arms would get numb from the
severity of the symptoms, that one night I decided to call my therapist and
told her in detail the symptoms I had been experiencing. She said to me that I
might be suffering from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), and that these
invasive thoughts were one way in which the illness manifested itself, and she
prompted me to find a Psychiatrist.
The next night I went to a place where I had been directed to find a
psychiatrist. When the lady and the Doctor in that place did my screening and
consultation, they said to me that I needed to be hospitalized immediately.
I was afraid to tell anybody that I had to be hospitalized, especially I
didn’t want to tell my mom. I was living with her at the time. But I had no
choice, my workplace had to be informed of my hospitalization and my mom as
well, but of course neither was informed in detail of my condition.
I was taken that same night into this other mental health facility,
where they had me for three weeks. I had therapists 24 hours a day, and a
psychiatrist, who was definitely an angel from heaven that was the person used
by God to explain to me why I was suffering so much.
This Doctor was the psychiatrist of a prison as well, so he had a lot of
experience. I remember telling him what I was suffering….that those thoughts or
voices from within were treating me badly, they were treating me the way Satan
would treat a child of God, and that those thoughts were very oppressing…they
always wanted to make me feel worthless, miserable as if I was a nobody…a
person who deserves nothing in this world.
He started inquiring about my life, my past, the way I had been
raised…and of course he dug into all the abuse I had been through. And he told
me that my entire life had been a place of war, and that peace had been
something foreign to my brain…and that the OCD had manifested as a response
from my brain to “protect me” from that foreign feeling called peace that I had
never had. Those invasive thoughts, OCD attacks, were a resemblance of my
abused childhood…those thoughts were treating me in the same hateful way I
had been treated my entire life.
I remember, the second time I came into the Doctor’s office while I was
hospitalized, we were several patients in the facility, so I came in and told
him “Doctor, I came two days ago, I don’t know if you recall my case, do you
want me to remind you?”, and his answer was, in an ever sweet tone, he said –I
remember, it’s very sad, I had never seen a case like that before”
When I was discharged, I left that place in a different perspective, I
now knew why I was suffering and the name of my diagnosis (PTSD and OCD). This
was the beginning of a long process of wonderful therapies I have been through.
I am ever so grateful for every Doctor, therapist that has been part of my
healing process. I am pretty sure that this country considers PTSD or OCD,
conditions that you can manage, not heal. But I have seen the Infinite leading
me through my entire healing Journey, and as I stated before in previous posts,
I do believe in healing…
If God tells me that He is the One who heals ALL my deceases…. I believe