Monsters Under the Bed

It doesn’t seem like it, but near a year has passed since I contributed to my own blog. Writers block extraordinaire. I have pushed myself to the extreme in attempt to find the root cause of my disinterest…no luck.

Some years ago I was at a gathering at a friends house and was in conservation with someone I had just met. We were discussing life and some of its complexities…ups, downs, sideways and the subject of the military and the problems those returning from the middle-east and their involvement in events and the results of their experiences. I said that I knew from whence they came because of the year I spent in Viet Nam. PTSD and depression became the topic of the conversation and how we, the afflicted, live with and deal with the realities of it. I mentioned my writing and that it helped but stated that I didn’t like to write in the dark times of my days. “You should,” was her answer. She pointed out that it might help some one suffering from PTSD and depression as I was to show that even though the afflicted have bad days that good days can come from doing something that helps release the thoughts and fears we are plagued with. I should “let them know that not only do I have good days but I am burdened with the bad days but find a way to cope.”

So how does one cope with something that is different for everyone afflicted with that something? The something that has varying degrees of pressure… possibly by giving it a title or a name that has more of a relationship to what we individually are feeling? Maybe by associating it with something that bothered us in our past, sometime before the affliction took hold. How about we associate it with the feelings we had as children fearing the unknown and unexplainable, like fearing the ‘monster under the bed.’ This would fit nicely because they both are something associated with the fear of the unknown and something that is ‘all in our head.’

I can’t ever remember having to have my father check for the monster under the bed because all he would have found would have been my oldest brother…well at times I could have described him as a monster but not here, not now. After all we are are being serious here.

For as long as I can remember I shared a room with my two older brothers, fraternal twins at that. My two younger brothers shared a room when they came along later. So to fit us all in a three-bedroom house we had to share and to share we needed bunk beds, which I remembered one set was a birthday present…practical parents, check. So practicality lead me to live a childhood in which I feared no monsters under the bed, real or imagined. Because for me there was no under the bed. I only grew up with a healthy dose of insecurity, topped with a healthy sense of preservation and therefore a propensity toward observation to avoid ridicule about any type of abhorrent behavior. Therefore associating my conditions with monsters under my bed seems off the mark. That is unless you take an associative look at the underlying issues of both perceived and real conditions…they are both in the mind.

From the time of the invention of the raised bed, parents have no doubt had to assure their children that there were no monsters under the bed; not realizing that the dust bunnies that escaped with every breeze fostered the notion that the parent was wrong. How the parent handled or didn’t handle the belief of an impressionable child was really what created the ability to trust and accept the belief of a habitat under the bed void of anything resembling child gobbling monster, probably was the key to self assurance and success in the ability to handle life’s ‘monsters’.

Associate that with how some family members and clinicians handle depression and PTSD, the ‘monsters in our head’. The ability to deal with the monsters that periodically rear their ugly heads is tough to get a handle on…sometimes the monsters are stronger than all our abilities and training to control them they just take control. Mine seems to have taken a strong lead during the past year. Regardless of how I tried to resist the impulses to feel down I have not been very successful. And just telling us that it all is just in our heads won’t get it. The in our heads observation might be a fact, but the root cause of the problem was not and the condition needs to be addressed and not ignored. We need someone to talk to who will take the time to listen and understand that PTSD is real. We don’t need to be judged, just listened too.

So yes you will be my sounding board and you will know that I can survive the outrages of the monsters that have appeared under my bed and that by listening you will help me manage to put them back in the habitat where they have less control…in the realm the dust bunnies.

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