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Old Trauma and New Trauma

Posted Apr 17 2011 2:44am

Although I thought I was okay and safe on the day I encountered the stalker, the fear developed into monster proportion on the next medical appointment day. I woke up with chest pain. Unlike my occasional temporal chest pains, it didn’t go away. I was also having problem with breathing. When I analysed they were symptoms of anxiety, the fear grew bigger and bigger.

It also triggered old memories. Although it wasn’t nice remembering the bitter and hurtful memories, old memory doesn’t cause problem to me anymore.

I see old trauma as an old man who sat in the same room with me face to face. He is alive. But he just sat there without motion nor emotion. I know he would not stand up from the chair anymore and he is no longer a threat to me.

I dealt with old trauma alone too long. About a few years ago, the relief came when I read psychology student’s blog about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) form her own childhood. I realised what I had been dealing with. Knowledge is power. I analysed what had happened to me. Analysing gave me therapeutic benefit to me.

The new trauma, on the other hand, started developing quickly. It was about shake up the tame old man in the chair, aka PTSD, to do something to me.

While in the waiting room, I was going through emotional roller coaster. One moment, I felt safe and overwhelmed by the emotion. Then, the fear started developing stronger again without any reason.

The talk with Dr TL stopped all these.

He believes it is best not to think about it. He assured the type of stalker I encountered would move on to the next once the first attempt failed. (Although I knew about this, it is much more convincing to hear it from other person.)

Then, he explained how trauma develops. We don’t feel anything while we are right in the middle of the incident. All we do is to act. We don’t think. We don’t feel. We just act on survival instinct. Then, trauma develops when we are safe and realised what happened. This is exactly how my old traumas developed. Hearing it from other person is once again very assuring.

One of the admirable qualities of Dr TL is that his knowledge and attitude towards mental illness. He shows his respect to each condition and treats them without stigma. His understandings of the condition is almost as if he had experienced the condition personally. His knowledge and attitude gives compassion and treatment to those who need it. It also stops physical condition from misdiagnosed with mental illness. (In my opinion, when a doctor understands depression, he/she wouldn’t diagnose ME/CFS as depression.)

After the assuring discussion with him, I agreed that it is best not think about the incidence and keep going on with my life. I knew if I obsessed with it, it would cause psychological problem.

When I got home, I also found assuring messages from my friends.

The decision and promise that I won’t think about the incidence anymore worked very well with Dr TL and my friends’ assurance.

I’m still scared of using Find A Carer website. But Dr TL had already suggested the possible solution to find a personal assistant without using the website. So, my “hope” is still alive and strong.

I started carrying a camera in my bag as a personal security video camera. Maybe, I could use it to capture great photo moment, instead of recording a stalker.

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