I won’t lie, having been diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a life changer for anyone. The flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety of it all is overwhelming at best.
You may be wondering how you are ever going to be able to step out of your front door or perhaps return to a society full of noise and sensory stimulation. The anxiety that can leave you tremoring like a Parkinson’s patient as you so desperately try to hide your difference from others. Always waiting for that uncontrollable attack that will leave you helpless and vulnerable.
I have been there too.
For me my world stopped in the beginning. I was being suffocated by intrusive thoughts and flashbacks as my perpetrator committed on what would be the last act of violence that would send me into oblivion.
It has been a very long road back as I found no quenching of life in the blackened drowning pool that encapsulated me.
Although I have come a very long way, I find that visualization helps. Because of my social anxiety and awkwardness in social situations I figured I would share what is working for me.
I tend to take life too serious perhaps because I feel so deeply. I approached healing much the same way. I can be very self-critical which is defeating as I end up second guessing every aspect of social interaction. I wonder how I presented myself and what impression I left behind.
It took me a very long time to drop the timid giggles and find the deep guttural laugh that feels wonderful to the soul. I wanted to feel some sort of normalcy, so this is what I do now.
Before leaving the house, I visualize myself wearing a pair of underpants on my head.
Now, these are not just any pair of panties. They aren’t big girl panties or sexy panties; they are the plain pair of what we call whitey tightys.
Having CPTSD/PTSD we already feel like strangers in the world around us. We feel strange period! So now, I have added something to my attire that stands out like I the way I feel.
When I am in a social situation envisioning my bleached white underpants on my head it keeps me from taking myself so seriously and helps me in the moment of awkwardness. I am giggling inside because I know they are there. When things get overwhelming, I picture one leg of the underpants slipping down on my face, so I am looking out of the leg hole. The question is this, does anyone notice the underpants? Am I really acting any differently than anyone else in the room? The answer is no!
So now it has become a game of sorts. Who is going to notice the underpants on my head? Who is going to notice my differences or even my deficits? It astonishes me how something so silly and simple would help me so much!
I love funny antidotes and positive thinking, and this has helped me enormously on my healing journey. We tend to get caught up in the seriousness of it all and we don’t laugh enough. Laughter is as healing as breathing. We need it and therefore I share my whitey tightys with you to ensure laughter on your journey!