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Hi, I just joined this group and this is my first time joini

Hi, I just joined this group and this is my first time joining any kind of support group. I have severe PTSD from growing up with extreme violence in my home and no, it wasn't from either of my parents, it was from my brother. He has major anger issues to the point where he has episodes and starts screaming and breaking everything he can find. We have countless holes in all our walls and ceilings because of his outbursts. Because of him, I now have a panic attack every time someone raises their voice, when I hear a loud noise that I'm not expecting, or when I see someone that looks like my brother. I just got diagnosed with PTSD this year and I just started to check out books from the library on how to handle it, but I wanted to actually discuss it with others who suffer from PTSD as well. I'm leaving for college this fall and I'm terrified to leave the house, even though I'm even more scared of my brother, but I'm worried he'll hurt my mom while I'm away. He's made attempts to harm both my mom and myself, he's pinned me against the wall, but he's thrown things and tried to punch my mom. I worry that after I leave for college and he does something to her, it might be my fault because I should have stayed home to protect her. I desperately want to get out, but I don't want to leave my mom alone to deal with him. Everyone's told me that this is just a phase that my brother's going through, but it's been going on since I was twelve and I'm now nineteen years old. It's not just a phase, I'm convinced it's who he really is. He makes sure to let my mom and I know that he can hurt us. Including the fear I have for my mom, I dissociate from the world every day. I daydream, try to make up stories in my head to keep the memories out, I get a very small amount of sleep every night because I'm scared I'll have a nightmare or what I'll wake up to hearing my brother have another episode, and I don't see myself having a future. I always feel like I'm on the sidelines, watching everyone's life pass by me, seeing others happy and enjoying life, whereas I'm stuck in the same spot, unmoving. When I was younger, I used to always make up new scenarios on what my future would be like, but now, I see nothing ahead of me. I read in one of the books I was reading about PTSD about how when we dissociate ourselves from bad memories, we also dissociate ourselves from good memories as well. Now that I think of it, I seem to always have trouble looking back on the good things after a day has ended, even though I know I had some good moments, I still can't recall what they were; I can only focus on the bad moments of the day. Are there any suggestions someone can make on how to connect with the present again, how to get control of my life once more? Maybe some advice on how to handle a trigger that sets me off, anything that could possibly help me enjoy life again? I know my form of PTSD isn't as extreme as others, such as veterans or rape victims, but I'm still terrified of my own home, my own brother, and I feel like I'm watching life fly past without me. If I don't daydream or focus on the little fantasy stories I make up in my head during the day, the memories of the emotional and mental abuse will just come flooding back, which leads to me being afraid of my own mind. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this and I look forward to any response I may receive.

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Stationary_Transient's picture
Jul 10

Hi Countrydreams and welcome to the group. I’m sorry you are going through so much chaos at home, that can’t be easy. I’m impressed with you going to college with so much stress, I’m pretty proud of you for that. I think you have taken some great first steps in trying to manage your symptoms instead of running from them and delaying the inevitable. Remember that we shouldn’t disassociate though because that will prolong the inevitable. Have you contacted a psychologist or therapist? Do you have any local support groups? Have you spoken to your Mother about these issues if you are comfortable?

In regards to your severity, please don’t compare your pain or severity to others. You were diagnosed with PTSD, you are severe enough. I’m glad you came to us for support, there are experienced and supportive people here to help.

Round3's picture
Jul 10

Welcome to our group. You will find a lot of people here have great ideas. However, remember to take what works for you and leave what doesn't.
Re: your mom ….. I'm sure your mom's wish for you is to be happy, healthy, safe, and successful. It is not your job to worry about your mom. It's your moms job to worry about herself. Your job is to be a college student. Be careful you don't let your kind heart lead you to a co-dependency state where you parent the parent. I'm not saying abandon her. Give her the information, resources on who to call, empower her to remedy the situation (kick brother out, leave, etc), and support her in her decisions. Don't try to rescue her!
re: your ptsd. Have you sought treatment for your ptsd? Are you working with a good therapist? We see a lot of posts here from college students with ptsd, and the stress of college caused their ptsd to flare. Having a plan to deal with your ptsd before starting school is smart. Prevention is important! On campus, connect with a counselor and let them know your diagnosis so they can support you. Don't under-estimate the pressure of full class load and consider dropping one class. PTSD is classified as a disabling condition so you have rights as a student with a disability, if you choose to use them. When I went to college the last time, I registered as a student with a disability and accommodations were on my file. Accommodations like -- deadline extensions as needed, more time on exams, big exams to be given in sections, etc. Turns out I never needed any of them but just knowing I could eased my stress tremendously.

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Jul 10

@Stationary_Transient and @Round3, thank you both so much for responding to my post! I've been going to see a therapist for a few months now and although it's hard to talk about memories that I've tried to repress, it's definitely been helping. It's kind of like one step back and two steps forward when I see my therapist, talking about the horrible memories that I've tried to forget, but I feel like it's a step in the right direction too because it's helping me be open with it all. I'm not sure if I have any local support groups right now, but I have definitely spoken with my mom about this. Sometimes she listens to what I have to say, but most times she doesn't want to hear it because I'm talking about her son, who she stills believes to be a good kid who just has anger issues. However, if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't even be going off to college. She pushed me to further my education and to get out of my hometown so the college I'm going to is three hours away. Thankfully, I just got a little kitten back in January and I have her registered as my ESA, so I'm able to bring my cat with me to college and because of my PTSD causing me to have nightmares where I wake up screaming, I have a single room. Everyone's worried I won't make any friends simply because I'm not sharing a dorm with anyone, but I think this is the best way to go about it because it will be the first time away from home and I need to figure things out about myself first before bringing in someone serious, like another girl I might have to actually live with for four months during our semester. I will definitely look into registering as a student with a disability, as I often stress about deadlines and I have text anxiety to the point where I can easily pass all my assignments and projects, but I fail every test or quiz I'm given. Registering as a student with a disability could help me in more ways than one! Again, thank you both so much for your advice, I'll definitely use them and write them down, as I'm trying to make a notebook of things that could help me recover from the trauma!

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