PTSD | It's Me Laura Lee

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First let’s talk about the difference between a service dog and an emotional support animal (ESA).  ESAs are not permitted in public.  Many people get doctor’s notes from their mental health professional for an ESA when they rent and their landlord’s don’t permit animals.  ESAs are good for those that require emotional support and comfort.  They are granted access to fly in the cabin of an airplane per the Air Carrier Access Act.  Because of this, it’s important that an ESA is well behaved in public.  An ESA is not a pet.  Neither is a service dog.

First let’s talk about the difference between a service dog and an emotional support animal (ESA).  ESAs are not permitted in public.  Many people get doctor’s notes from their mental health professional for an ESA when they rent and their landlord’s don’t permit animals.  ESAs are good for those that require emotional support and comfort.  They are granted access to fly in the cabin of an airplane per the Air Carrier Access Act.  Because of this, it’s important that an ESA is well behaved in public.  An ESA is not a pet.  Neither is a service dog.

When I came to it was because Autumn was licking my face.  Then, she put herself in the brace position so I could get myself up.  Although, I only got up to my knees because I had already fainted multiple times.  And, if I was only on my knees I didn’t have far to fall.  She was a good dog, but this is the first time we seemed to bond.  Over the bloody mess that was my face.

Do you have three children or four?  The answer is – I have four.  But it is a question that almost always needs an explanation.  I imagine that it must be similar to how a mother whose child has died must explain herself.  And, yet, my daughter hasn’t died.

He opened the door to the office and in his hand was a plate of food.  My food.  I thanked him and put it down beside me – right of my laptop.  It looked so good and smelled even better.  I kept typing away, answering emails, rat-a-tat-tat on the keyboard and without missing a beat I typed with only my left hand and grabbed a fork full of tilapia with my right.  My glaze never leaving the computer screen.

“Do this race with me,” she said.“ It will be fun,” she said.“ We can bond over it,” she said. I said, “You’re NUTS!”  And, then I signed up.I signed up for a 500K race.  That’s not a typo. 

We needed the break from each other, and we needed to learn that we wanted each other.  Note that I said ‘want’ and not ‘need.’  I’d rather be wanted than needed.  Having a hard time with that concept? Think about this….God doesn’t need us, but He wants us.  In fact, He seeks us.I want Scott and he wants me. 

I opened my eyes, sleepily.  Looked straight ahead.  Down the hall.  Confused. “Who’s the mom?” That’s the first thing that came to my mind.  My mind.  Mine.
Everything looked somewhat familiar, but I couldn’t place anything.  I had the sense of belonging, but I didn’t know how I belonged.  What was my role?  Who was I?

He put his hands around my neck, gently pressing his thumbs into a notch of my throat.  Demonstrating how someone feels when being choked.  He asked me if I felt it.  I tried to nod. I froze. He was supposed to be an ally.  I came to him for help.

THE “R” WORD   I couldn’t breathe.  I was using my inhaler religiously, but still, I couldn’t breathe.  I wasn’t wheezing, but I was short of breath and coughing.  It was reminiscent of my bouts of pneumonia.  I was using the inhaler more often than I should have been, yet, still, I couldn’t breathe.  I […]

What will truly be the hardest days are yet to come.  My weight gain, in part, was a defense mechanism against future sexual assaults.  My rational brain knows that rape and sexual assault isn’t about sex, but rather about control, but my irrational brain tells me that if I’m undesirable, I’m safe.  This may be why it was so hard to lose three pounds.  And, this is why my therapist and I will have a lot of work to do as I start losing the weight.  I’m ready to take back control.

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Laura Lee, 52, with invisible wounds and scars.  I've learned to embrace PTSD and depression because if I don't own them, they'll own me.  I don't want to simply survive, but to thrive.  I hope you'll join me on my journey.  It's sure to be a bumpy road.

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