PTSD Nostalgia of My Heart…of Me


It’s not like I haven’t heard the song before, but I think I always glossed over it. Then it hit me the other day and emotional rumblings burst into climatic waves of tears. I thought, there’s no relationship that I feel sad about leaving or passing. Most of them ended with good or fair closure, certainly enough to know it was time for the moving on for both of us, whether we wanted to accept it or not on either side. The “What if” of past relationships is like a Disney Ride that goes nowhere and likely teaches us nothing. Still the tears keep welling up when the chorus pierces my flesh somehow:

“I haven’t see in you in ages, sometimes I find myself wondering where you are. For me you’ll always be 18 and beautiful, dancing away with my heart.”

I just realized that it’s speaking to what I lost when I was assaulted 1 month before the 9/11 tragedies. I was near catatonic after being attacked on my job. Terrified, I often sat in my home unable to process the day or anything really. Because I couldn’t handle much I didn’t watch TV or listen to radio. Connecting with anyone via phone or in person was overwhelming, but therapy was mandated and necessary. On the morning of 9/11 I went to therapy like the robot I had become to sit mostly non-responsive to one of the worst psychologists I hope I shall ever meet (I’m still wondering about her credentials—which probably helped contribute to my returning to school). She made more assumptions than a bigot racist walking into a room of Spelman College graduates. To be honest, most of the time she gave me the creepy feeling she was more similar to the analogy than I still want to believe in the name of all humanity. She began to ramble on starting with the stupidest question any therapist can ask a distraught person:
“How does this make you feel?” She continued as if my response wasn’t required, “I’ll bet this is hitting you very hard.” I finally looked up at her quizzically and she took this to mean we were connecting, which we never did and never would. I allowed her to continue her typical ramble listening for any pertinent information to explain what the hell she was talking about, but nothing. I remember nodding at one point when she asserted I could end the session early if I needed to, then I quietly stood up. She gave me the obligatory “see you next week,” and relieved I quickly got to my car and reluctantly turned on the radio. I knew something newsworthy must have happened by her rambling, though not one time did you mention the World Trade Center, New York, or even the words plane crash. It’s like she was trying to avoid saying something to further traumatize me, yet she spent the whole session talking around it. I guess I could have understood if she had given some kind of overwhelming fear, devastation, or anything you would expect of someone watching the death of anyone, but she sounded more like the looky-loos searching for excitement from a fatal car accident. As the radio announcer of a rock-n-roll station tried to talk through his bawling (grown man crying like his only son just died) stammered out for those who might somehow not be aware of the details as best as he could. I immediately felt like the moment I was strangled by the passenger who attacked me on the job. I could hardly breathe as I wept and headed out of the parking lot. I had to get away from the creepy psychologist; she made me feel so disgusted I almost had to pull over and throw up. How could anyone impart such a horrid event the way she did. For the first time in my life I was almost ashamed to be a woman. There was nothing nurturing or caring in her demeanor. What kind of nut would want to discuss this as if it were a sideshow to watch? If my job hadn’t required I see her, that would have been the last time I walked into the office of that, what my sweetie then called a B… He hated her and often called her a fraud. I daresay if I were to call him up today and bring up that time in my life, he’d still have some major expletives to offer for her description.

“I haven’t seen you for ages…” speaks so deeply to the “me” I used to know. Post traumatic stress disorder is like falling through a black hole into another universe where everything has different hue and shape. How you see loved ones, the world, yourself is often too foreign to find the door back. School eventually replaced work, my dogs replaced friends (for a while) and even the love life I was going for at the time was upended and slipped into another incarnation. I still find it difficult to manage the relationship thing, but thankfully the love of my life remains the best friend of my life and that ain’t hay, as Larry King loved to say. I could describe the gregarious type more worldly person that people in my life used to know as me, but it might just make me sadder. It’s not that I do not like the more pensive and cautious side that I exude today, but I do miss how easily I connected with people and all the events I used to attend without care. Thinking back to meeting a stranger at a show and ending up back with friends at his place for beer and seemingly world-changing-discussions that may or may not lead to more intimacy for me or one of my friends, sounds like something from a book or film. Even the ideas I would come up with that my friends gladly obliged, art galleries, trips to Canada, Glassblowing demonstrations seem like someone else’s life. I actually ended up blowing glass for 2 years and have a few sculptures to prove it. It is something to miss an ex-lover, friend, loved one who died, but it is quite a different catastrophe to miss yourself or another much beloved version.

“I can’t help but wonder if you ever miss me…”

Here’s the Video by Lady Antebellum Dancin’ Away With My Heart

4 thoughts on “PTSD Nostalgia of My Heart…of Me”

  1. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. This gives an insight into your old self as well as your new self.

    1. You’ve certainly caught me on this. I imagine a lot of PTSD people have had similar experiences…it does blindside you occasionally though. Thank you again for responding I truly appreciate your opinion. -D

    1. Maybe maturity…just a different version of myself now that I’ve reread this. Maturity is possibly the answer. Thanks for your response and take care with your PTSD issues!

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