What Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Actually Feels Like And Why We Shouldn’t Criticize It

Artwork by Germaine Callou, print available for purchase  here

Artwork by Germaine Callou, print available for purchase here

PTSD is when you stop going clubbing by yourself, even though you used to go alone to others cities just to party. You loved it before, you felt so free.

PTSD is when you’re scared you might meet someone with bad intentions if you go alone to other cities by night and come back at dawn.

You used to be so full of energy and wasn’t scared of anything; you used to walk through the night so full of confidence, fall in love with the fresh air and look at the stars.
Not anymore.

PTSD is when you are angry at everyone and don’t feel safe around your friends. Because you know that some of them talked to him since it happened, even though they know everything. ‘’Oh look he has the same style than him’’, ‘’I was at the museum and I met several people we know, oh and also him’’. But you didn’t need to now. You also saw this boy with the same style. You also remembered. But you didn’t want to.

PTSD is when you see a scene at the cinema that remembers you of that moment. It’s when you want to run away from the movies but you can’t move because you are mortified.
PTSD is when you don’t go to the cinema anymore unless you are sure that there is no such scene. It’s when you dont feel safe when a man sits next to you in the dark.

You used to love going to the movies.
Not anymore.

PTSD is when you stop raving and stay at home during the week-end. You feel better alone in your cosy room and with you family that doesn’t know anything. You are safe.
PTSD is when you start having social problems, you are anxious about meeting new people. You are scared of being the center of attention. You try everything not to be seen. You put red lipstick one day and regret it as soon as you crossed the door. You used to love making new friends.
Not anymore.

PTSD is when your dreams change. You can’t stand being on the stage. You loose the confidence you had in yourself.

You wanted to be a live performer.
Not anymore.

PTSD is when you can’t have a normal relationship. Sometimes you have panic attacks when the man you share intimacy with makes love to you. So you push him away and let him feel rejected. You don’t have that much fun anymore. You prefer being alone. You stop sharing intimacy. You try with someone else, but it’s the same.
PTSD is when you try installing Tinder because you want your fun back, but when someone invites you to have a drink, you panic and block the person.

You used to love having sex.
Not anymore.

PTSD is when your friends, lovers and family don’t understand. And you feel hopeless. You try reconstructing yourself. But it takes time.
PTSD is when your friends start being aggressive about you avoiding them. ‘’I’m sorry’’, you think.
PTSD is my invisible illness you don’t know I have and that I try keeping secret.

But I hope that one day I will be able to say :
‘’ I used to suffer from PTSD,
Not anymore. ‘’

Please don’t judge rape survivors. Even when they pretend that everything is okay. Even if they don’t suffer from PTSD.
Avoid pronouncing the name of the rapist, avoid making any comment that would remember them of that moment.
Please use trigger warnings. PTSD can appear months after the rape, it’s doesn’t necessarily starts the same night/day.

Anonymously submitted to ArtParasites