Trigger warning: mentions of violence towards a child.
This is just one of my PTSD stories – the trauma related events that led to me living with complex post traumatic disorder.
You may be wondering what place it has on a blog dedicated to happiness. I am including it here because I really want people to know that they can find happiness, despite life’s trials. And I want to share the resources I have foudn helpful as I navigate trauma.
Here’s the story…
I don’t recall my exact age when this traumatic event happened, but I believe I was around 12 years old.
It had just gotten dark and that made me nervous. A friend and I wanted to see each other. I decided to face my fears and walk to her house anyway.
Halfway down my street, I approached a big pine tree. That tree always made me apprehensive. I hated how it blocked my view. I certainly could not know if there was something, or someone, waiting on the other side of the tree.
Now walking past in the dark especially scared me. I held my breath and wished for the best. After all, nothing bad had ever really happened when I walked past it before.
“Why should today be any different? I told myself.
I passed the tree and was about to sigh in relief when I heard footsteps directly behind me.
Glancing over my shoulder, I saw a masked man. He was dressed in all black. He wanted to be hidden.
Fear rushed through my body.
I quickened my pace. So did he.
I began to run and he chased after me.
The first house I came to was dark. I would find no help there.
The second house looked promising. Their kitchen light was on and the blinds were open. Their kitchen overlooked the porch. I hoped someone was there in the kitchen, perhaps eating dinner.
“Please, someone, be in the kitchen. Please be in the kitchen.” I thought as I ran across their lawn.
I arrived on the porch to the view of an empty kitchen. I rang the doorbell and began frantically banging on the door.
The man was now directly behind me. I could feel his breath on my neck. His hands began to curl around my shoulders.
“This is it. I’m being kidnapped!”
Perhaps sexually assaulted. Or even killed!
I was terrified.
But just then, my neighbor walked into the kitchen. However, he was looking at the floor as he walked. I screamed (silently, I think). “Look up! Look up!”
The would-be kidnapper saw him. He jumped off of the porch and ran into the backyard. I was saved just in time.
HOW THIS EVENT AFFECT ME?
I began having recurring nightmares about being kidnapped. I began to have a lot for fear of walking places. I began to feel disassociated from my body some.
As part of this series on PTSD I will be sharing some resources that have helped me. Stay tuned.