I have a first appointment later today to try neurofeedback for my PTSD…

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I am excited and nervous and too wound up to sleep. It’s almost 5:30 in the morning right now, and I have been awake since 1:30. In a couple of hours I will get up, get dressed, and drive for almost two and a half hours to my appointment. Not good, with so little sleep! But I really need to try this, because I have been feeling so STUCK in my life. Writing my memoir, which I am still doing, has brought up some deeply buried issues that I didn’t even know I had.

Anger. Pain. Anxiety. Depression. Poor Executive Function. Feeling Overwhelmed. Feeling Stuck. Writer’s Block. Trouble Sleeping. Trouble Concentrating….

Most grievous of all, I recently overreacted to a precious friend who had completely misunderstood something I said to her. I said something that was meant to affirm and bless her, and she reacted with anger, thinking that I had said something offensive, which I absolutely had not done.

Right away, I realized that she had misunderstood me. But instead of gently pointing that out to her, I became Really Angry. And I pounded out a reply to her mildly scolding email, that went way beyond what was called for. Her initial upset email to me had been only about a “3” on an anger scale of “10,” but my scorched earth reply was at least an “8.”

Now, I am devastated that I lost my temper. I am furious at myself for hurting my friend, and I feel heartbroken, because she told me that our friendship is over, and she blocked my email. I don’t blame her for doing that, but it really hurts.

In hindsight, I know what caused me to overreact to her angry misunderstanding. My friend’s fairly mild anger at me, an anger that really was inappropriate under the circumstances, triggered a lifetime of trauma memories. Memories of being the family scapegoat since childhood, and continuing to be the scapegoat in my elderly mother’s eyes, to this day. Memories of trying so hard to do good and trying to be helpful and to make other people happy, only nothing I did was ever good enough for the “narcissists” in my life!! I would try and try, I would jump through hoops trying to please my mother, for example, trying to make her happy, trying to win her love and approval — but my mother would misunderstand me, she would take things out of context, she would twist things all around, and she would project attitudes and motives onto me that were never mine.

When I was a child, I was helpless. I could never stand up for myself to my parents, not without getting a tongue lashing or a beating. So I stuffed it all way down deep inside. But last week, when my friend reacted in an email the way my mother used to react to my acts of kindness, I LOST IT. And I really hate when I do that!

So today I am going to drive over 250 miles round trip and plunk down some cash for a procedure that, according to what I have read, has helped a lot of people recover from PTSD and other cognitive issues.

I am excited and nervous. And I need to try to get at least another hour or two of sleep!

Here is a YouTube video about neurofeedback. The guy who is administering the procedure is the person I will see later today. He is the same age as my younger son, which feels a bit weird to me. But that’s okay, as long as he knows what he is doing!