I am doing my best to heal my complex PTSD.
Today was a bit of a set back for me.
Truth be told, I totally lost my shit.
It’s already been kind of weird lately for me. I haven’t been sleeping well. After a few days of not sleeping well, everything becomes surreal for me. The other day I looked up at the clouds and thought: those are old clouds from weeks ago, nice try…
Today I got pulled over. It happened so fast, I was unable to even have that sinking feeling in my stomach like, oh crap, that’s a cop. I just looked in my rear view mirror and saw the flashing lights right behind me. I looked down at my speedometer and was not surprised to see that I was NOT speeding. As I pulled over, I hoped that maybe this was not about me somehow…
As the officer approached, I got out my license and thought…I hope that me getting my license out of my purse does not cause the officer to think I am getting out a gun.
By the time the officer got to the passenger window, I became terrified to retrieve my registration from the glove box because I became fixated on the police officer mistaking me for someone with a gun. The fear came upon me so quickly, I was surprised to see my hands were shaking as I handed over my license.
The first words out of the officer’s mouth were a demand for my registration. Of course. License and registration. I knew that. But…
My mind is like…what is that again? Registration…that thing in the glove box…
Very slowly, I reached for the glove box while making eye contact with the Officer the entire time as if to say: please don’t shoot me for opening the glove box.
I pull out the canvas/velcro holder of all things paper related to my vehicle out of the glove box and sheepishly open it up knowing that I don’t know what exactly I am looking for…
All the while, the officer is advising me that the sticker on the back of my vehicle is the wrong color and I should know the answer to this simple question and where is my proof of insurance?
As I am sheepishly explaining to the officer that “the shameful truth here, is that I don’t know the answer to these questions because my husband takes care of this sort of thing,” the radio on the officer’s shoulder declares that my registration is expired.
No registration and no insurance? The officer tells me to wait here and goes back to the police vehicle.
This is the part where I totally lose my shit.
I’m in trouble. As I begin to scan the vehicle for evidence that I have active car insurance, I begin to convince myself that I am going to go to jail. Right now.
I call my husband and am unable to even speak to him for the first 85 seconds of the conversation. This is not his first rodeo, so he waits for me to speak with the patience of a saint. I tell him while sobbing:
I am scared…I got pulled over…they say I have no insurance or registration…I don’t know what’s going to happen to me…
Really? Rachel we have car insurance. I’m surprised about the registration. Let me get off the phone with you so I can send you the proof right now. It’s ok.
But it’s not.
I have Complex PTSD. A bucket of adrenaline dumped into my system. I was hysterical. I was shaking, my heart was racing, my stomach was cramped and burning with acid, I could not stop crying and I was having a hard time breathing.
The officer could not believe it.
“Turn that off.”
Seriously, that’s what the officer said to me. Twice.
“Turn that off.”
Meaning, my feelings. Lol. If only I could.
I handed my phone to the officer to show that I had active insurance and was told to bring that proof to court with me so that my ticket could be reduced. I took the ticket and said:
Thank you. I just want to say that I am sorry.
“You weren’t even speeding.”
I know. But I messed up. And I’m scared. I thought you were going to arrest me.
“Why? Do you have active warrants? Should I do a background check on you now?”
This actually pauses the crying for five seconds so I can laugh out loud.
NO! I mean, go ahead you can do a background check on me if you want. I’m just so sorry and I apologize.
Disinterested, the police officer asks me to sign the electronic acknowledgement of my ticket, needing to quickly go pull someone else over who had just sped past us.
It may be necessary for me to point out here that I could care less about getting a ticket and having to go to court. The problem for me here is, I don’t think I can drive because my body is processing a bucket of adrenaline that dumped unnecessarily into my system due to mother-fucking PTSD.
The officer cut me off to pull out, wanting to go get that other guy, which left me in the awkward position of reentering the freeway on my own in heavy fast moving traffic. The terror inside of me is just, unreal. I do have the ability to intellectually observe in real time: wow, this amount of fear is excessive. I do not have the ability to make it stop before it has run its course.
So I drive home scream crying. So startled. I am so startled by everything. And at the same time, I am able to say the truth to myself: it’s ok. You didn’t get shot. You didn’t get arrested. You didn’t even get yelled at. You’re ok.
But I’m not. I wish I could tell you here that I was ok, but the fear inside of me needed to come out, it was not all gone. I could not stop screaming. I could not get ahold of my breathing and I could not stop crying and the pain in my stomach was intense.
My husband called to follow up with me and I told him: I got scared and it made me sick.
He asked what he could do to help and I asked him to get me adrenal gland supplements from the health store. This was a suggestion written down for me by a psychic I saw several months ago, but for some reason had never followed up on. I shouldn’t need a psychic to tell me to get adrenal gland supplements, but the fact that she made the suggestion without me ever mentioning my health issues resonated with me.
My husband came home with a variety of supplements and tons of love and support for me. We talked about all of the healing tools in my arsenal and how this is a time to use my app. So I did.
I opened up the iHeal because iFeel app and it gave me the best homework. It asked me to list out my 5 favorite lunch meals. Now that may seem useless to you, but it was lunch time and I had not had anything to eat, nor did I plan to. Listing out 5 different lunch meals was hard but ultimately inspiring. I also meditated with the app and that caused me to fall asleep. When I woke up, I ate and felt much better.
The app helped me to transition. That period of time between “I’m not ok” and “I’m ok” can be the scariest time of your life. You don’t know when it will end, if ever. I have spent a lot of time in this space. The space between.
Interestingly, taking selfies of my crying face also helps me to transition. It’s hard to continue sobbing when you know exactly what it looks like. In fact, this almost makes me smile. Because I am so ridiculous. Shout out to my sense of humor for keeping me alive all these years!
Knowing I have the ability to heal my Self is empowering.