trauma | 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.

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Laura Lee, 53, 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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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.

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.

I cringe when I hear or see people say things akin to, “I’m sooo OCD!”  When did OCD become a social norm, or something to strive for?  I find myself having to justify my OCD diagnosis by saying things like, “I TRULY have OCD,” or “I LEGITIMATELY have OCD.”  As in, I take medication for it and it disrupts my life.

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.

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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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