Where I’m coming from and how I got PTSD in the first place. How it almost ruined my life.

September 17th, 2014

See Trigger Warnings in the “About Page

Welcome, I’ve attempted to break this up with centered text, but it is long.

I have PTSD from my experiences in the public education system over 20 years ago and have struggled with chronic depression ever since.  I’ve visited thoughts of death and suicide many times over the years and continue to.  I was lost in a fog for many years, just coping and seeking escapism.  I’ve only recently really started to be able to talk openly about anything.

Some of it is specific to the Autism Spectrum, however I think some of it can relate to anyone.

I’m only sharing this to give you perspective on where I’m coming from and some idea of how a damaging things can be, a case study or cautionary tale of sorts.  Obviously there’s lot of information out there now that can help others avoid these situations, however, I still see there is much of the same ignorance despite that.  It appears things have actually become worse in some cases.  To be honest I’d rather keep to myself, as I am by no means “doing well”, but I can not in good conscience continue to say nothing, to stay silent and fearful.

I’m not looking to be the object of anyone’s sympathy, pity or charity, because there are others that need it more today(minus pity).  Honestly, I consider what I went through to be pretty insignificant to some of the things that go on today.  Which is why I am gravely concerned.
I can forgive and understand the ignorance of the past, when information was hard to come by..  but I can not understand the ignorance of the present.  With today’s knowledge, I consider it barbaric that kids are still being subjected to trauma needlessly. Often it’s not entirely intentional, but in some cases it very much is.

I am not looking to earn Karma points or doing this to pat myself on the back.

So I suppose I should start with where my troubles began, how I ended up with PTSD. The most challenging thing for any person not on the autistic spectrum to understand is the sensory issues with filtering and overload.  Actual physical wiring differences in the brain.  I’ll go into that later. Some of it can be easily related however.

In the past I had gone to smaller schools out in the country, not overly crowded or loud.  Then I moved to Texas.  Still not exactly in a big city, but compared to what I had been exposed to be before, it was.

I was still under the delusion that school was a place of learning and enlightenment, that adults were good people, that we lived in a more civilized time, that our laws were all just and right. All of that was about to be shattered. In particular, that teachers and administrators had my well being in mind.

So there were several variables that all combined to form my own personal Hell.

First, this school was different because it was packed and overcrowded, police and their dogs roaming the hallways, my first real encounter with sensory overload was the cafeteria with hundreds of kids screaming all at once.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal does it?  It’s one of those invisible conditions that makes an entire world of difference.

The main problem with it, is that it makes you more sensitive to sensory situations you might better handle normally.. Like a kind of shell shock.  Like someone with a severe hangover that causes them to become sensitive to sound and light(I wouldn’t really know, I never drink alcohol, no interest after seeing it’s effects on others).  I’ve always had the problem, but that tended to make everything worse.

Sensory overload comes with a tremendous amount of stress, makes it very difficult to enjoy some things most people take for granted.

The next problem was that when it came to understanding pain and emotions I was basically non verbal, I had no understanding of sensory overload, Autism or feelings.  The people confirming the diagnosis basically just left my folks with a label and didn’t have any useful information when it came to specifics.  My mother would scour libraries studying books on all kinds of disabilities, trying to understand my condition, what to do about it and never finding good information.  This was of course before the Internet was main stream and available easily to all.

I was absolutely clueless about why I was in pain, and had no way to explain it to my parents, teachers, nurses or counselors.

That’s still not enough to cause PTSD though, so onward.

Next, there’s the Bully element.  I wasn’t bullied for liking something nerdy like Star Trek or Star Wars(okay, I was once, by a former friend) but for the most part it was because of my awkward social skills and slower responsiveness, or that I would easily become distracted.  I was mainly bullied because I behaved differently, I didn’t conform to all the “cool” stereotypes.

I always stood up to bullies outside the classroom, usually finding a non violent way to handle things or not responding to violence with violence.  Christopher Reeve’s Superman was my big role model back then still as well as other “incorruptible” heroes,  I wanted to be good and I didn’t want to disappoint my parents either. Part of the reason for my self-control was that I got into Martial Arts, Tae Kwon Do to be exact because I liked the Karate Kid and Ninja Turtles.  I learned self-discipline and you have to admit kicking the crap out of a bag is also a good way to relieve stress.

It was in the classroom where bullies were able to do damage, due to my sensory problem.  all they had to do was whisper and make minor gestures within my peripheral vision.  I would of course complain to teachers, but I was told to simply ignore it.  Which was something I could not do and didn’t know how to explain. The class I most enjoyed and did well in was science class, where I would participate and ask questions.  When the teacher would say “excellent question” it earned me a nickname used in the most derogatory sense you imagine, “Einstein”.  Doing well would draw attention to me from the bullies, and the bullying problem would intensify.  That’s when I learned to keep my mouth shut.  I could no longer focus in that class being constantly pestered, and started to rack up extra homework.  I was becoming very depressed.   I was being bullied not just because I was socially awkward, but also when I displayed intelligence.  Complaining about bullying seemed futile, I felt like I was being looked at as the boy who cried wolf.

Still, was that enough for PTSD? This went on over a four-year period, and things progressively got worse.

As time went on under those conditions, I became more and more depressed.  I started to have self-destructive behavior.  My folks would ask me how school was when I came home, and I couldn’t answer.. I blocked it out of my mind when I got home and just tried to have fun before dreading the next day.  They knew there was something wrong, but I couldn’t tell them what and the school didn’t tell them anything either.

There was another vital element taking place that I wasn’t completely aware of at the time.  The reason I wasn’t provided with any special considerations for my condition.   The school rejected my diagnosis and did not follow my IEP.  I don’t know the reason for this, there was no logic.

My parents paid for many tests attempting to appease the school officials, which neither the school or insurance companies would cover.

I was re-diagnosed by the top expert in the state.  My folks also paid to have the school’s own expert evaluate me. Their expert said I had a language processing disorder, which in retrospect I can see how she would arrive at, though incomplete.  The school ignored her diagnosis as well, Literally sitting through a meeting listening to their expert and reacting like it was nothing.   Part of the problem was, all these experts could make the diagnosis, but they couldn’t explain what it truly meant or understand it themselves.  There was a lack of information, there was no Internet, no support groups.

My parents had meetings with the school frequently,  because the school officials did not to put me in any special education classes.  So my folks were constantly trying to make sure I was getting an appropriate education and wondering why I was coming back so miserable every day.  Trying to find out what was happening to me while I was at school.

During this time I went to Charter Hospital and lived there for several months to be treated for severe depression, which I agreed to.  They had no clue what to do with an Autistic child either.  I saw a counselor everyday and he could simply not reach me, I didn’t understand what was wrong, I couldn’t verbalize it at all.  It was simply a Hell I had no words to describe.

It was certainly a very different environment, not overcrowded, lots of space and no bullies.  Much calmer.  Everyone else there was a victim of something awful.  Attempted suicides, victims of abuse and assault.  There would be these group meetings, exercises in building trust, by allowing yourself to fall and be caught by others.. Things like that.  During these meetings people could open up and talk, but it didn’t work for me because I could not relate nor could I explain what I was going through, something none of them would have been able to grasp without being on the autism spectrum.

I believe I was the only person there that actually requested to be in the isolation room.  It was not a tiny closet with no light.  Just a white room with a cushion on the floor, a window in the door.  Make no mistake though, it was MY CHOICE to seek isolation to cool down.  I sought isolation because it was low sensory, and outside it was too noisy at times.  If it wasn’t my choice it would have been something entirely different, a violation.

I can still remember hearing the screams at night, from patients that were kept on a different floor, more severe cases.

Ultimately Charter hospital wasn’t able to help much, it just provided me with a break, except for the part where I couldn’t go home. I returned to the regular school.

There was one teacher that had taken notice that there was something very wrong, and allowed me to use her classroom to eat lunch in. I would turn the lights out, with just light coming in through the door.  Lunch break and recess are supposed to be breaks, but they weren’t for me.  Rather the opposite due to the sensory chaos.  Not to mention, it was a good place for bullies to attack more blatantly without being noticed.

We’re getting there, lets talk a little bit about self-destructive behavior.

I reached the point where I was started to pull my hair out and bang my head either on my desk or school books.  It was a response to sensory overload,extreme stress and frustration with myself for not being able to communicate what I was having trouble with.  The school was aware of this, and of course did not inform my parents(until much later) and I never talked about it.  It felt like the only thing left that I could do, both to relieve stress and deal with something that I had no words for. It was instinctive.

I started to seriously drag my feet in the morning, and ended up late to school all the time.  Which of course naturally lead to confrontations between my parents and the school. There were constant threats of legal action and jail time. The school sent someone over to “teach” my folks how to “force” me to go to school.  I only cooperated when they told me of the legal threats.  I was very near my breaking point.

It all added up to being the perfect storm for me.

I still vividly remember the moment that I “broke”.  Being shuffled into an already full classroom that happened to have a row of computers along the wall, with a presentation of some sort in progress for the main class.  Naturally, I ended up seated next to a bully and with all the sensory distraction it was hard enough to focus, and the bully knew he could get to me by constantly whispering to me. I of course got up and complained multiple times, and as usual was told to “just ignore it” as if I could.  I tried to, but it was futile.

I snapped in that moment, I didn’t just learn to ignore the bully, but to ignore everything including the work I was supposed to be doing.. I learned to shut down my mind and not be there, to just endure while sitting still.

From that day onward, I started seeing myself as broken and incapable, unintelligent, and hated myself for not being able to do what I was asked.  I felt that the teachers and the school had abandoned me because I wasn’t worth helping. That I was just a burden.  For some it wasn’t their fault for not knowing the specifics, still, they should have realized something.

Whatever self-worth I had was greatly diminished.  It didn’t matter how supportive and encouraging my parents were, because I had the delusion that school was a place of knowledge and enlightenment, and that teachers and principals were the good guys concerned with my well-being.
In reality, it’s more like they’re just herding children with a one size fits all mentality expecting every child to learn identically. As it wasn’t just kids with disabilities having difficulties.  They seemed more concerned with maintaining  the status quo and their own authority.

As a result of my shutting down in school.  I ended up with homework for the entire day’s worth of classes. My parents had to take on the role of tutors. In order to keep up with homework I was forced to stop martial arts, which was very therapeutic for me during that time.  Not mention other after school activities, swimming at the YMCA, etc.  Sometimes the only thing I made time for was watching Star Trek:TNG.

My strategy became that of many other students that didn’t care about learning:  Memorize,Pass test, Forget.

Unlike some of the other kids, I really wanted to learn and understand.  There is a difference between encyclopedic memorization and actually understanding knowledge to the point you can put it to use with your imagination.

Considering my Father was(is) a scientist of multiple disciplines: A Mathematician, Statistician, Nuclear Physicist, Geophysicist, Software Engineer, Astronomer, Pilot, Electrical Engineer, Had a key role in averting the Cuban Missile Crisis, Commanded an air-force communications Base in Spain among other talents.

You would learn something just being around him usually. I was naturally interested in science, because he sometimes made the ordinary very interesting by looking at it through a scientific perspective. He was also responsible for something we take for granted that was key to modern aviation. Also a genuine “Rocket Scientist”, having worked as a Space-Launch Titan Missile Inspector as well as both the Skylab and Viking Lander projects for NASA.

The way the school experience affected me made me feel like a terrible disappointment in such a big shadow, I truly thought myself incapable. I know better today thankfully.  My father also falls somewhere on the Autism spectrum, though not as severe with sensory.

My real “disability” was that the school did not teach in the way I learned.  One Size did not Fit All.
Sometimes it was a matter of sensory or lack of visual, sometimes it was pacing.  For example, I have a visual detail oriented mind, sometimes I take longer to build an image.
This doesn’t mean I need someone to talk slower, it’s more like it’s about introducing too many variables at once. I can be long-winded talking, but listening to a person covering multiple topics/instructions without pause is more difficult, not fair is it? With reading text, it isn’t an issue.

I’m getting ahead of myself a bit though.

Let’s take a closer look at PTSD itself.

I believe most forms of PTSD have some common causes.

It’s a feeling of being so desperate to do something and not being able to, feeling absolutely powerless.  On the battlefield that might mean something that is happening to you or being done to someone else and not being able to stop it.  Not being able to save someone from dying.

It can apply to a hostage situation or an assault, especially when restrained.  It can apply to a natural disaster.

That can be a humbling experience in itself, to be completely powerless. I suspect that’s where it comes from, being helpless to do anything in a desperate situation.

That can break you and make you lose trust, whether in yourself, others or both.

For me it was the compounding stress and frustration with myself, the ceaseless bullying and being desperate to communicate a pain I could not describe or explain after enduring it for a few years.

To me, the feeling of being abandoned by the adults that I placed my trust in was more damning than the actual bullying itself.  Kids misbehave all the time, but it’s the adults you’re trusting with your well-being.  That naturally eroded my ability to trust anyone.

I would not compare it to a soldier going to War, as soldiers have some idea of what they might be getting in to.  Though I have spoken to veterans with PTSD and it did feel very familiar.  Doesn’t mean everyone is going to react to it or deal with it in the same way.

The triggers of course are unique to the experience.  I’ll list mine shortly, first I want to bring that school experience to a close.

The constant meetings and threats continued, my folks argued that the school was not providing Free Appropriate Public Education. The school did finally acknowledge that I had a problem, and their solution was to “warehouse” me in the detention area with no teachers or tutors.  That was the last straw, though my folks were not at all prepared for homeschooling but it was the only option left.  Being warehoused was like the ultimate confirmation of everything I felt about myself, and those beliefs were set in stone for the next 20 years.

Had it not been for the sensory issue, the bullying likely would have had less impact.  Were it not for the bullying, the sensory issue would have been more tolerable. Had the school informed my parents about what was going on or had I been able to speak, I would have gotten out much sooner no doubt.

At the time my father had a good job and had a reputation around the world in his field, he was being contacted by geologists and geophysicists from around the World. Traveling overseas to give presentations, etc. My family was racking up debt from all the testing, hospital visits but it was manageable.

Unfortunately due to all the time he had to take off for the hospitals and meetings with school officials, jumping through their hoops, he was laid off.. That bad.

My father decided to pursue a job in a place we all enjoyed more, in the mile high state.  It was good for half a year, I resumed Martial Arts, started to make some friends. But we underestimated the difficulty in finding a new job that was stable and ended up forced into bankruptcy.

From that point it became a struggle to survive, had to move in with my grandparents for a while. That was kind of traumatic for different reasons.  Bounced from job to job/place to place, I stopped trying to start anything in any new place, expecting it to be temporary and kind of ended up stuck in that pattern, became rather reclusive.

Later the problem would become that he couldn’t find a job because of his age and because of surviving a lethal cancer by catching it early.  Ended up stuck in a place none of us wanted to live.

Something I should clarify about my head banging was that it was not that severe(though I do still have a scar), had the experience gone on longer it’s quite likely I would have become more destructive.  When I got away from the public school scene and was actually able to rest, that behavior ended.

Time to look at those PTSD Triggers and the Longterm effects I’ve dealt with over the years.

Looking back on it seems hard for me even me to believe now, but it’s true.

For starters, I was triggered by anything school related.  Just filled with anger and unable to think.

That included school buses and seeing kids walking home from school.  I never had any ill thoughts toward any of those kids, it just made me feel like I was back in time.  That lasted in into my early Twenties.

Books! Wouldn’t read em. Got over that probably when I was around 18-19.  Which of course made homeschooling more challenging.  I’ve known how to use a computer since ’91 though.  Problem was, I didn’t believe I was capable of learning much, so I stuck with learning computer graphics programs and eventually studying game development, 3D rendering, things like that.  Brainstorming about game designs. In other words, Art.

Sensory overload also triggered me.  Meaning, restaurants, shopping centers, any crowded place with lots of people talking at once.  Even comic cons this year.  Just the feeling that I was back in time in a place I hated.  I might finally be getting over that this year.

I wasn’t interested in learning about Autism, I denied it and hated the idea, I regarded it with the same ignorance as others.

Certain gestures or actions, whispering followed by laughing.  Think I’m over that.

Hearing someone say “That was Dope!” Because I have mental image burned into my mind of bullies high-fiving each other after they bullied a friend.  That’s the problem with slang, it can be used for positive or negative actions.  Of course, usually you can tell what context someone meant it in. That’s just how the language was back then.

I had nightmares all the time, usually back in the school getting into one of those fights I always wanted to start.  Woke up punching or kicking the wall, occasionally kicking my beloved cat when he was on the bed(RIP, no I didn’t kill him! cancer did…)

My folks had to be careful waking me up, because I was waking up like Wolverine does sometimes.  Waking up ready for a fight.  That lasted into my late twenties.

I mainly still have the conditioned response of distrust or doubt.  Expecting to be attacked or ridiculed when there is no logical reason I would be, or expecting to be betrayed.

To be honest the people I’ve reached out to this year have all been a leap of faith in trust.  Partly because I could learn something about them first or see something special in them.

I’ve had no friends in the real world since ’94.  My main social contact is doctors, nurses, my folks and online.  Not sure I’m really interested in having friends anymore, or at least I’m very selective.  Doesn’t mean I don’t like people, just don’t trust em much.
Definitely not shallow friendships based on trivial common interests.. I’ve had enough of that from gaming.  Many gamers are just not the kind of people you can talk to about anything or have philosophical conversations with, discussing serious topics..
There are of course many exceptions, not all gamers are bad.  But I’ve never found a more crude, immature, judgmental, boob objectifying group of bullies bullying each other.  That is, outside of politics of course!

I didn’t even begin to accept my diagnosis until my early twenties.  Then I obsessed over what “Normal” was until I realized how deeply flawed “Normal” is in it’s own way.  Conformity to stereotypes to be popular, hate objects, etc.  Just didn’t seem genuine, so I started to value my divergence and different way of seeing things.

The most challenging thing I got over is rather fascinating.  The belief that I was incapable of learning certain things or that my intelligence was limited to one area.  That wasn’t a narrative or lie I constantly told myself. Not a label I conformed to.  It was deeply embedded in my subconscious. It was something I took for granted, like the fact I have four fingers and a thumb on each hand.

It’s the closest thing to brainwashing or indoctrination I’ve experienced.  How I became consciously aware of it is also puzzling to me and to my doctors.  It felt like I woke up from a Coma only to realize I missed years of my life.  It’s something others describe as spiritual after I told them about it, that includes doctors and counselors. That was three years ago, so yeah, that “programming” lasted far too long.
Had to forgive myself for things I didn’t know needed forgiving in order to forgive others.

So becoming aware of that “programming” is one of the best things that’s happened to me.  Otherwise.. I don’t want to imagine. Probably would have continued to erode.

I may or may not go into more detail about that later.  As it’s not something I can teach or recreate so far.. I have theories, but I haven’t investigated yet.  Just reading books(psychology, spiritual, etc) from several different points of view still trying to understand.
Whatever the case, I’m grateful for that experience. I wouldn’t have been capable of even writing this before that.  I don’t know what my actual limits are now and what limits I do have can be compensated for.

Over the years I’ve had to become my own self-psychologist in a way, reasoning things out the hard way because I still couldn’t talk about much, I still couldn’t be reached. Perhaps it was not unlike some pioneers in the field. Taking an objective approach to step out of my own biases and looking at myself and others from an analytical point of view.  Sometimes drawing inspiration from fictional characters, especially from Star Trek.  Imagination is a powerful tool when you actually put it to good use.

What I find most fascinating, is how that indoctrination was not even intentional. That it was based on actions or lack of actions from adults in the school, and not something I was being told directly by bullies. I’m just glad it didn’t turn me against my parents, because they were the only ones fighting for me during that hell.

Just wanted to share a few more recollections before I close this.

I look back and realize I was truly buried under that psychological rubble, just coping and seeking escapism for over a decade. Escapism in television, movies and video games(partly due to not living in the country).. Though I always did a lot of thinking and had creative ideas.

I wonder sometimes if things would have been different, I had so many opportunities to inflict physical harm on bullies, and I really wanted to lash out during those classes where bullying went ignored. After all, violence would have earned respect because it’s such a popular thing we glorify.
I had a lot of anger and rage I held back somehow.  The only thing that stopped me was that I loved my parents and wanted to be good.
I was raised with good Christian values, though my folks always taught me to be open-minded and think for myself.  My heroes and role-models tended to be the incorruptible or the highly logical sort.  Was also a fan of heroes created from Redemption.  Xena and Faith for example.

Back during that ordeal when my self-esteem and identity was shattered, I had to channel fictional characters and be someone else to get through bullying encounters.  Worf or the Terminator, maybe Mr. Miyagi.  Someone unflinching.  Because that’s what bullies want, a reaction, and they always pick on someone they don’t think will fight back.

There’s one bully I’m still haunted by.  They say we are our own worst enemy or our own worst critic. I’ve become aware of ways I beat myself up.
This is something I’ve forgiven in the past but am still troubled by.  That bully was ME.

Despite all my values, during that Hell I also made a terrible mistake.  Since friends had turned on me in the past, and since it was considered “bad ass” to be a bully. I wanted to be accepted by my peers and live up to the macho “gangsta” bullshit.  I joined in with the herd, I betrayed one of the few friends I had who was already bullied a lot.
I don’t know what came over me, but it was very predatory feeling and I pounced and pretty much hazed my friend.  His living situation at home was abusive and the reason I decided never to drink alcohol.  That’s who I betrayed.  Such a primitive cowardly act.
I immediately regretted it but couldn’t really face him after that.  I almost became the very thing I hated so much.

Perhaps if the school system understood bullying and took it more seriously that wouldn’t have even transpired.

I was too busy going through my own hell to see how severely it was affecting my parents as well.  My folks have struggled with depression as well since then.  When my mother goes to counseling sessions, they use a PTSD technique and she flashes back to how terrible she felt being forced by law to send me to a place she knew was Hell for me.

Realizing I would have likely accomplished a lot by now if not for that experience,  I know there’s no use in hanging on to regrets about the past..  No, I hang on to the past because of what I see happening in the present now and where it’s leading.

Closing thoughts.

Something I’ve come to learn is that everyone’s pain is personal and unique. Some go through less and feel worse, some go through worse and come out better.  It should not be compared as if it were a contest with a scoreboard.

I still wasn’t paying much attention to the disability or minority worlds or reading that many blogs, mainly just stuck with my own interests.  I had the delusion that since we have the Internet and support groups out there, surely things are better today. Figured it’s nothing I need to worry about.

Unfortunately I know I was deeply mistaken about that now, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do in so many ways.

When I read about bullying related suicides, I have to question how much of that was from the bullying, how much of it was because it went ignored, especially by adults? It makes me wonder how many could have been prevented if the educators and officials had some psychological understanding.

Can you imagine what I’m thinking when I read about a case, where a student with disabilities(as is often the case, anyone that is different is a natural target) is complaining about bullying and ignored, so he records evidence with his IPAD  only to end up charged with illegal wiretapping? There are not just potentially damning psychological implications, but also financial.  Why are the very systems, laws and people who are supposed to help turning against us? Wiretapping laws protect bullying and behavior that can drive someone to suicide? Seriously? I will likely write a rant on that logic.

What happened to Humanity? Individual rights? Human beings are NOT statistics on a pie chart.

Bullying can affect anyone, disabled or not.
Learning of all these cases of forced restraint and isolation for students with disabilities is disturbing as well. Because it is schools doing it, that is NOT appropriate education. Are they restraining bullies in the same way or just people who have emotional outbursts? Not that I would advocate that treatment for bullying either.

There is a big difference between intentional premeditated misbehavior and sensory/emotional overload or attempts to communicate, being overloaded with stress.  I’ll make a separate post on my own perspectives of sensory overload later.

It’s important to know/remember that children on the autistic spectrum do not develop or mature the same way as “normal” kids,we are prime targets of bullying because it is a cowardly act, they only target people they think are vulnerable.

This is the result of a stagnant unchanging One Size Fits All system failing to adapt to changing circumstances, at least that’s my theory.

We do have the Internet now, so I hope most today those going through trauma will find support online, but I also know that sometimes when the damage is done, words of support don’t help you feel any better.

I know there are a lot of terrible things going on in the world as well as here.  But this is the United States and I was at least taught to believe we overcome problems like this, this isn’t a natural disaster or a disease that we are powerless to do anything about.  Why are some officials so cold and unable to regard others, especially children as individual human beings?  That is demonizing.

Bullying isn’t exclusive to children, far from it.

I remember a teacher that was ridiculing his own students for not doing well, making examples out of them for the entire class to laugh at, driving the girl sitting in front of me to cry.  It makes one wonder, is the guy just that self-absorbed by his big ego or did he gain sadistic pleasure from it?
He did not seem to possess any empathy or psychological knowledge to realize that what he was doing to some students was deeply harmful and could cause suicidal thoughts.  I learned to keep my mouth shut in that class.  The guy wasn’t liked by many students, it didn’t matter if kids or parents complained about it,  because he was a smooth talker with excellent social skills able to convince officials it was just kids making things up.

I still worry about what I can not remember, I blocked out a lot, there are gaps in my memory.

What caused me to start paying attention in the first place was learning of a place in Boston, Massachusetts a couple of years ago.  That really helped open my eyes to how bad things can be. How much we are still misunderstand and stigmatized. I’m still kind of in shock about it.  That’s probably what my next major post will be about. [Post is Up]

I don’t want to say my life has been ruined, because I’m not dead yet and I’m waking up.  I have no plans to go away while these things are happening.  No amount of depression or profound sadness will stop my need for answers.  Though some questions I expect not to find answers to.

FYI, I am Male, in my 30s, an only child and a Leo; whatever that counts for.

-Chris “Stargazer”

An only child, a lonely child, a bullied child…”I have been all of those” -Robin Williams

[2016 update: When I originally wrote this, I was not comfortable talking about my suicidal ideations or what ultimately drove me to attempt suicide prior to self accepting.  I had also hoped to avoid talking about specific groups despite their involvement because I wanted to avoid different “sides” in order to to avoid internal politics.  As a result, I left out some very significant years where my suicidal ideations were greatly reinforced coinciding with a group that at the time was still in it’s infancy yet wielded tremendous influence. In the not so distant future I will be addressing this in a new post.]


5 responses to “Where I’m coming from and how I got PTSD in the first place. How it almost ruined my life.

    • That’s something I’m still trying to understand myself. I wouldn’t say I’ve completely gotten over it, but I did spend a good portion of last year just studying and catching up in areas I didn’t believe I was capable of, enjoying having conversations with my father I didn’t used to be capable of having.

      Think of a fictional story where a character has experienced two very different versions of a timeline and has both memories. I’m aware of the conditioning and do things in spite of it, but the conditioning isn’t completely “gone”.

      During depression, I’m in conflict and revert to the same old feelings of hopelessness, futility, distrust and doubt. I do wish medications were more effective, because I’ve had a lot of positive experiences this year that should mean more.


  1. I cannot even begin to understand what you went through because each of our illnesses or so personal to ourselves. I am so sorry you had to suffer through so much bullying and misunderstanding. Bullying is the demon child of ignorance. These children were being raised in ignorance – and that I wholeheartedly believe. My bullying was not from my peers but from my family. There is no where to go when that happens. Yes, I too have PTSD, but the bullying is only one part of the reason. You are excellent with words and writing. I would love to see you write a book about your experience because I think it can be made into an excellent and successful movie to help raise awareness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks,

      I appreciate the compliments and suggestions. Strange how things turn out, when it’s the living situation at home that is bad, then school should be a refuge at least. I can only imagine things being far worse if my parents had not been supportive. There’s so many stories that need to be told in my opinion, don’t think mine is unique or special, other than my ability to articulate sometimes.

      Wishing you all the best,

      Liked by 1 person

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