I don't know if I qualify as a "survivor". This is all new to me. I am a decent man with no history of any psychological maladjustment.
But since about middle of 2006 I've been suffering from anxiety.
When I was younger and I felt stress i could sort of talk myself down to earth.
Now I feel it differently. Now I feel shackled and weighted and electrified.
This anxiety came on during a period of time when I was incarcerated for 33 months.
I desperately missed my wife and children. I was in a state of perpetual shock all the time. Every now and then i would get those acidic tendrils in my gut...tunnel vision and I would hear sounds like they were in a distant tunnel.
I figured all this would go away by itself if I just kept my thoughts peaceful and undisturbed. This worked for a long time. I would feel the tide fall on me and i would swim back to shore.
The day I was released from custody in December of 2007 I had a terrible attack that I almost couldn't control. I was scheduled to leave the facility at 8am but I didn't get out of there until 10:30.
My poor wife didn't understand what I was going through. I tried to explain but she took my anguish for hostility.
To be quite honest, I don't ever think she took me seriously when i told her about my bouts with anxiety. She always had something to say to top what I was going through.
I've told a couple of medical people about it but they looked at me like I was doctor-shopping for drugs. They all say the same things. They say to eat healthy, sleep and get lots of activity.
Well, DUH. I'm in tip-top shape and get plenty of rest but I still can't escape the seismic activity in my chest.
Frankly, I would have expected my wife to understand since she suffered from anxiety during the time I was gone.
No matter how hard I try to convey what is happening to me I still get dismissive, doubtful looks from people.