What is it like to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Imagine this.

Tonight, since you’re home alone, you decided that you were going to prepare yourself pasta, and you decide to make everything that you will eat yourself, so you get out some tomatoes to make some marinara sauce.

You clean the tomatoes, taking them out of the water, and you take out the knife to cut them into chunks.

Everything is going well, you’ve already gotten through two of the four tomatoes you are preparing to reduce to chunks.

The little red cubes that you’ve already crafted are waiting impatiently in the glass bowl that you placed next to your kitchen-space to prepare the sauce.

In your hurry, you make a big mistake.

The knife slips.

Your finger is suddenly ablaze with pain.

The half-sliced tomato is drowning in crimson liquid, only a shade darker than the food that you were preparing for yourself.

You clumsily drop the knife and grab a paper towel, trying to stop up the flow of blood escaping from your sliced finger.

It’s bad.

You have to call your family to take you to the hospital.

The blood won’t just stop coming out, filling every crease and spilling over your clothes, your dignity coming out with it.

A couple hours later, the doctors have glued your finger back to rightful place, but it still hurts like when it happened.

Your finger is blue and purple. The doctors told it was going to leave a scar.

You sleep, but something keeps nagging at the back of your mind, something isn’t right.

Next morning, you feel jittery, all of your fingers tremble and shake, they’re useless, so you take the day off work.

But when you try to eat your breakfast, the glint of silver spoon you’re using reminds you of the knife that you cut yourself with last night.

You choke on your cereal, and switch out your metal spoon for a plastic one from the ones kept in the drawer where you put the cutlery that take-out gives you when you order out.

You want to put on your favorite red t-shirt, but as you look at yourself in the mirror, all you see is blood, running down your body.

The day after next, you try to prepare yourself dinner, but your hands start shaking as soon as you open the drawer where you kept the knife.

You order out instead.

That night, your consciousness is plagued with your family members and best friends being chased by shiny and sharpened knifes that drip crimson-colored blood onto the floor, slicing your loved ones apart, starting from the fingers up.

The nightmares don’t stop the next night, nor the one after the next.

The day after that, you go out to dinner with your friends, to your favorite restaurant, but when you see your friend slicing open the meal with the knife, your head starts to swim, and all you can see is the reflection of light bouncing off the metal.

You excuse yourself as quickly as you can, and you have a panic attack in the bathroom stall.

You can’t deal with it anymore.

Everyone is telling you that your fears are stupid, and you manage to convince yourself that they are right.

But no amount of trying to convince yourself that nothing is wrong, and that you’re just stupid will let you enter the kitchen, that your brain has labeled as out-of-limits.

You can’t step into that room without your mind drowning under the sheer amount of thoughts that crowd your brain.

Your eyes start to water, and it seems as though there are not enough tears for you to cry.

All you can do is suffer in silence, while your loved one’s calls of “just get over it already” and “it wasn’t even a big deal anyways” will drown out the cries of “you are in danger” and “you are stupid and weak” coming from your brain.


Now put this in into perspective, imagine the exact same situation, but replace it with something else.

A person watching their family or friend die before their eyes, or failing to take care of them, without being able to do anything to prevent it.

A child being relentlessly bullied at school for years.

A soldier watching the comrades they trusted with their lives fall in war.

A person getting raped by someone they thought they trusted, or a complete stranger, in somewhere they thought was safe.

A person in an abusive relationship that they can’t get out of.

A child being beaten by their parents, other friends or family members without any way to retaliate or protect themself.

A student coming to school only to realize that their best friend committed suicide and they couldn’t do anything to help.

And so many more situations.

This is exactly what we feel like.

People tell us to get over it, but that’s the one thing that we just can’t do.

That is the one thing that is wrong with our minds.

We are forced to constantly relive our past traumas, and feel the same feelings we felt then, right there in that moment.

We are plagued by the feeling we could have done something, or that it was all our faults, when it really wasn’t.

So next time, don’t judge for being forced to feel these things over and over again, we can’t just “get over it” or “forget about it” like you.

We have to feel it everyday, over and over again.

No matter what the situation may be.

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