Recovery*

There are many different types of trauma and many ways to recover. This site aims to help people find the help they need to recover the way that is best for them. 

*with an Asterisk

When I talk about my trauma and recovery, none of the words I could use to describe what happened to me felt comfortable in my mouth. I could say the word 'rape' and people understood it was a big bad thing, but it doesn't come close to describing the details that haunt me or how I relate to my trauma. 

When I tried talking about it, I found myself going off on tangents. Each word I used seemed like the word someone would use, but in my mind there was always more I needed to explain than what that word said. Someone tried to comfort me by telling me what I was feeling was natural and I was sane, and I tried to explain, "I'm sane, but with an asterisk. There's complications and conditions to my sanity." Every time I told someone I was doing 'okay' I had to add 'all things considered'. I wasn't okay in the sense most people understand the word. 

When I started a blog on Tumblr, I struggled with a name for it. I knew I wanted it to be about recovery, but it was more than that. I thought about my comment about the asterisk and my trouble with words. I started to add asterisk to words I felt uncomfortable using and I started to find it easier to communicate. I was raped*. Seeing it written like that made it feel different. It wasn't describing an action. It was suddenly describing what had happened to me. It made it seem that the sentence doesn't end with that word. There is more to this story. My story continues beyond that sentence. 

I feel the same about my PTSD* diagnosis. I would stare at a list of symptoms and try to see myself in them. I wanted to understand what this diagnosis meant to my life. 

It took me a while to accept that I am more than a list of symptoms I am constantly trying to manage. How I experience these symptoms is different from how someone else might experience them. Even in myself, some of the symptoms display themselves in vastly different ways. Hypervigilance is what causes my hands to shake and it is also  what makes me listen more to what is happening in the next room than pay attention to what is in front of me. Those are two very different experiences that share the same word to explain why it's happening. If I think of it as Hypervigilance*, it is easier for me to understand how this symptom manifests in different aspects of my life. 

The more I thought about my story and my symptoms, I thought about the various different causes for PTSD. Every trauma is different and the resulting PTSD is different as well. I want to create a space that acknowledges that and gives people room to explore what can help them cope with their experience and give them the tools to recover*.