My marriage sent me to the psych ward.
I guess I should rephrase that. It wasn’t actually my marriage that got me admitted. It was the letters PTSD, or rather the fact that that’s what happens when you tell enough people, in one day, that you want to die.
I wish I had known the truth about posttraumatic stress disorder long before they took my shampoo, spiral notebook, shoelaces, and anything else the hospital staff deemed dangerous. They even took my pen. As a writer, this was a “face down” moment; I couldn’t be trusted with a ballpoint pen.
It should never have gotten that bad. The thing is: I did reach out for help. A lot.
I described posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms to nearly ten different therapists over a period of about twelve years. I was told that my difficulty in intimate relationships was a result of my being “avoidant attachment” or “just really anxious.” One therapist (that’s what he listed on his business card anyway) told me to drink more alcohol to deal with the anxiety. Excuse me, what?
Why did so many people, including me, miss the signs of a real, life-threatening mental illness? Not to mention, why did I get such bad guidance from helping professionals?
My friends and family could tell that I was exhausted, depleted, that I was far, far from myself, but they couldn’t see what I was fighting against.
Nothing is chasing you, Jenni. Just quit running.