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An_258078 posted:
Help. I am in my mid-20s, female and suffering from depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Along with these mental issues I have chronic arthritis all over my body from a hard physical job in the military, had surgery on both legs, chronic migraines, and other lovely ailments.

Despite these issues, I am now back in college, maintaining a 3.10+ GPA, making money doing freelance jobs and also am self-employed. I have a loving boyfriend and everyone I know thinks of me as successful, talented, and "going to do great things."

I am sad. I am constantly fighting to stay positive and count my many blessings. Trust me when I say I know that I have a lot going for me. I know I am lucky. I have people that love me. I have few friends, but the ones I have are awesome.

The VA has labeled me as disabled due to physical limitations, and I am aware of these. They are hard to accept though. I don't want to be disabled. I don't want people to feel bad for me; I feel bad enough. I feel like I'm letting people down when I tell them I can't do something, so sometimes I end up pushing too much and I'm left in pain for days.

My family doesn't believe that there is anything wrong with me. They like to tell me I'm taking things too seriously, that it's the medication that's doing this too me, it's just a phase... Etc.

I've only told 3 people I have recently been diagnosed with PTSD because of the stigma that comes along with it. My dad has PTSD from being in Vietnam, and when I was diagnosed I felt ashamed because I have never seen battle. I've never been in combat. I was diagnosed with it because of year sexual abuse and harassment. My dad makes fun of me because "he's actually been in combat." He's also an alcoholic and has been verbally abusive my whole life, though not as much recently since he's been seeking help as well. I can recall every time he has called me a b----, and has said this to other people when talking about me when I'm not around.

My childhood was tumultuous; the three others in my household were all diagnosed with depression. My sister liked to cut herself, my dad was drunk, and my mother would lash out verbally or throw things on occasion. My teen years were horrifying; I had two stalkers for a few years from middle school to high school, my friends and schoolmates enjoyed bullying and taking advantage of me because I was so desperate to be accepted and loved. I hid for a semester from friends after I tried to protect a friend in fear of being physically assaulted. As a young adult, I was raped by someone who I thought I loved and felt like I had to stay because... Who else would love me now? After I pulled myself out of that situation I fell in love with someone who guilted me over drinking, smoking and not being a virgin. Though he ended up picking up those same habits after a few years. He would torment me by telling me how he would go home with a "friend" just to get a reaction out of me. I finally ended that a few years ago. I was sexually assaulted and harassed during my military career multiple times. Despite this, I rose through the tanks quickly. When I decided to leave, I was harassed for being a quitter. During my time in the military I would come home and curl up, head in hands, cry and sleep, dreading the next day.

I know I'm getting worse. I feel alone. I don't want to die, I don't. But it's hard feeling alone, lost, broken, and worthless. Some days are better than others, and I'm on medication. I see a therapist, and I try to always be active, while taking downtime when I need to. I do things like dye my hair to try and cope. I feel like I can't love my boyfriend the way he loves me and that breaks my heart. I have nightmares that make me feel like I'm going crazy, sometimes I they interfere with my daily life.

I want to get better, but I don't know what else to do. I'm reaching out here because I cannot reach out to the people in my life. I hope someone reads this, and I find people who feel like I do.
rohvannyn responded:

You have been through so much, and I would say your reactions to what you have been through are entirely human, natural, and understandable. You have really done well considering all that has happened! I admire you for not just giving up and being a victim, and letting your past be your excuse to be non functional.

You are definitely welcome to open up here. I think you will find folk who have had similar experiences.
paytonh replied to rohvannyn's response:
Thank you, having someone who doesn't know me personally, but only by the words in a post, it means a lot. I've always been suspicious of support groups, maybe because I was scared of being around miserable people... I'm not sure.
rohvannyn replied to paytonh's response:
Yeah, me too. I still haven't joined any in person support groups, but posting here has been quite therapeutic for me. In the past, I've gotten some really good advice too. Ilike the relateive anonymity. This community is nice because you can post when you want to, and not post if you can't deal with it.
paytonh replied to rohvannyn's response:
I just want to figure out what I'm supposed to do with the short lifespan I have. I don't want to fade into the background, or miss out on anything. I want to do everything, and help everyone. But I do to know how. It kills me inside to think that I have some sort of potential to do good, but I can't find an outlet. And if I found one, I'm convinced I would fail.
rohvannyn replied to paytonh's response:
Sounds like a little confidence building might help. I've found some success by picking just one thing that I can do to make a difference. That way, no matter what, I've done just that one thing. Posting here is a good start, actually, because you can help others and yourself at the same time.

I TOTALLY understand wanting to do something with your life within the short time you are here. Sometimes that can mean developing a talent. Sometimes it means helping others. Sometimes it's just doing a good job at whatever you do.

Helping others doesn't have to start as a huge undertaking. Even if it's spending time with a lonely neighbor, or walking somebody's dog when they are sick, or donating to a local charity thrift store, or a whole bunch of other types of things. The important thing is, start small if you are having confidence problems. Don't get discouraged. Believe in yourself.

And finally, remember that there is no way you can fix the whole world. Life is a team effort. But if you even do one little thing, it is still one more thing that wouldn't have been done without you. You affect the world around you every day. Thank you for being here.
whatsupbuttercup responded:
I also have PTSD, or technically the lesser form called adjustment disorder. And mine was just from an exchange abroad to a scary country, no military involved at all. How we react to things is not always predictable. There's nothing shameful about your PTSD.

Also, I'm so sorry about your sexual assault in the military. You've been through a lot, and you're so strong. Take the time to heal and keep doing what you're doing. I'm really glad you're seeing a therapist, taking medication and staying active. It will get better!

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