AwareNow: Issuu 17: The United Edition

Page 109

‘SCARRED NOT BROKEN’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY LORI BUTIERRIES

COMPLEX PTSD, MY SON & ME

THE COPING CONTINUES

Heart racing, temperature rising, ears ringing, breath caught in my chest… I panic when I see the number on my caller ID and decline to answer it.

My son's doctor wants to talk to me, but I avoid her and postpone the conversation until the following day. Tears fall, my body begins to shake, and I fight back nausea and a blackening gaze. My reaction seems extreme, but that fact doesn't stop my mind from succumbing to the anxiety sweeping through me anyway. The stress of this lifestyle is getting more intense.

After thirteen years of living on the edge of an emotional cliff, it takes me longer and longer to recover from the depression that sets in every time I have to make another life-changing decision. But, unfortunately, there are no good options when I have to choose between two harmful alternatives.

Tonight, I KNOW that I will dream of all the other times I could have lost my son to his diagnosis because I feel responsible for giving him a terminal illness. The guilt isn't logical, but it gives me someone to blame. If it's my fault, then maybe what is happening could have been prevented, and I wouldn't feel so helpless - I refuse to be a victim ever again.

109 AWARENOW / THE UNITED EDITION

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