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PTSD for an Alcoholic's Kid

Drawing by Johnny Disher

The joys of being an alcoholic's kid just keep coming. Ideally, you move out and leave it all behind. In reality, it trails you like bad credit card debt. Keep in mind, my father was also mean and violent, which adds to the problem. Maybe your parent was just a neglectful drunk, who knows, maybe that's not as bad, but bottomline, I bet it was still painful. Certainly, no one deserves this type of parent. PERIOD

Once you survive your childhood, and hopefully live far away from the alcoholic parent, (I highly recommend this) the after effects of your childhood come to call. I first noticed symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in college. One day, I realized I felt nervous and very uncomfortable while a professor stood behind me in a classroom. I cringed as he stood behind me because I anticipated he would hit me if I didn't make the changes we were discussing correctly or quickly enough. My father would hit me for some of the dumbest, most illogical reasons and that erratic behavior drove my irrational fear.

Rationally, I knew a professor wasn't going to hit me, but the feeling persisted. Other behavior surfaced as well. Around guys my own age I tended to be fine, but older men, men in authority positions did make me nervous. I outgrew this particular feeling as I matured, but the constant vigilance of potential danger remained. As I may have mentioned before, I'm aware of the exits in every room. Knowing the fastest escape route is critical. If I'm alone with a man I don't know, you can count on the fact that I will keep myself out of his reach. There would be no way I would put myself in a situation where I thought I could be cornered or overpowered. If I thought the guy was super cute, sadly none of these fears would occur! LOL This is why Ted Bundy was a successful serial killer, he was cute. Which is not funny!

If surprised or caught off guard, I will undoubtedly curse and jump a mile. I startle easily. My children and husband will also tell you I talk in my sleep and twitch, A LOT. I think this is related to PTSD, but I’m not positive.

On the opposite side of scary things, movie monsters don’t frighten me. Humans are the scariest beings on this planet. Although, I did just watch the movie, A Quiet Place, which is very good and made me jump out of my skin several times!

I’m sure my level of PTSD isn’t comparable to a war vet, or car crash victims, etc. But anytime you’re traumatized as a child, those marks remain. It’s just something I recognized about myself and you may find you experience some aspects of PTSD as well. Please seek treatment, for additional information check out your options here: PTSD treatment options

As always, I share my stories in the hopes it helps you in some way. Mainly, my blogs will help those who experienced abuse in their childhood and may be struggling with some of the same issues.

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