I should be working on my novel because I am already like 5,000 words behind for NaNaWriMo, but instead I was reading fanfiction, and now I am writing this blog post. At least this is writing, I guess?
Anyway, I was reading this story on fanfiction.net (which is where most of my free time goes lately, oi). The fandom is the anime/manga Fairy Tail, and this story (Light in the Darkness by Erza D. Law) is specifically about PTSD.
I may or may not have mentioned this on this blog before, but I have PTSD.
Reading this story is kind of hard because it hits home in several places, but I keep reading it because the author actually understands what PTSD is and what it does to a person. So, reading it hurts, but it also feels like home.
Anyway, something that came up in an author’s note on the most recent chapter was the way that PTSD can affect memory, and that more than maybe anything else that has been written on this story so far, gave me that weird feeling of hurt/home.
Because I have no memories prior to when I was 10 years old.
I know things that happened because people have told me stories and I’ve seen pictures. But, I don’t have any actual memories before the first incident that caused my disorder.
Beyond that, I have an extremely hard time remembering happy things. I can relive in vivid detail most of the embarrassing moments of my life along with the most heartbreaking and terrifying, but all the happy ones just vanish.
It’s hard to explain this to people who don’t experience it.
I could go into the psychological theory behind why this happens, but that’s not really why I’m typing this up right now.
I’m writing this post because… I’m not sure actually. It’s just that every now and then something like this pops up and I desperately want to tell someone, but I don’t really know anybody who would legitimately get it. Empathy/sympathy in spades, but actual understanding? Not so much.
And it’s no one’s fault. In a way, I’m actually kind of glad that the people I care about can’t understand this. Because it sucks. My happy “memories” are photocopies and secondhand stories while my nightmares are vivid recollections of events.
So, I guess I’m writing this because maybe there’s a chance that somebody else will see this and they will get it, and maybe they can help me feel better about it. Or maybe I can help them feel better about it. Because I get it. I understand.
And sometimes, just knowing there’s someone out there who genuinely understands is enough. Even if you don’t know them personally or ever actually speak to them.