I’m fairly certain what I suffer from in relationship to my father is PTSR, post traumatic stress response (not a disorder since it doesn’t persist for days or even hours and requires a direct trigger). Maybe that’s denial, but according to the DSM IV I think I don’t qualify as having actual PTSD…that’s a relief. I’ve had a domestic violence civil protection order in place since January 2012, the same month my divorce was final and I was cured of cancer. When his existence comes into my space, even via a phone call, my heart races, my breathing accelerates, my stomach lurches, my skin feels all wrong. Then I want to scream or cry at the person who called me (my grandmother) because I don’t know how many times I have to explain he’s not allowed to contact me, ever.
It’s hard to wish him dead but I certainly wish I did not have to hear that he’s alive, or be asked to help find him….WTF? I expended the serious effort to remove him from my life with very valid reasons…..years of abuse as a child not withstanding, his forced entry into my home November 2011 on the day I found out I had cancer…..and with my precious babies present was an easy sell for my DVCPO.
I do not want anyone to ask me if I’ve heard from him. I don’t want anyone to ask me how he is…..I just want to be allowed to let him fade out of my life and hope these attacks fade with him. It’s been 18 months and I had one tonight when she called. I’m able to control it and regain my sense of self but it’s rather terrifying to feel so scared and so not in control. He is an abuser. He lost the right to be a parent and a grandparent. Why is that so hard for people to understand? Definitely it is evidence that parents, even when the children grow up, can inflict serious harm on their offspring. I hate him, OK? I want the right for him to be gone forever, as he abdicated his rights to parenthood and grandparenthood when he committed violent acts.
I am a happier, more balanced, more whole individual now. So let’s leave this PTSD nonsense on the roadside with my other baggage, if at all possible. I declare this is the last day he will have this much power over my physiology; today is the day I take back even more of myself. I cannot stop my aging grandmother from calling or my ex mother-in-law from asking about him; all I can do is manage how I let that affect my breathing, my heart rate, and my emotions. I have to learn how to control my PTSR. If anyone can do it, I can.