The meaning of the word trauma is stated as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

There have been many traumatic experiences that have happened throughout my life that still affect me today. I am aware of my triggers and working on ways to manage it.

The worst part of trauma is when you are having a dream that is reliving your nightmare past over again. When you wake up, it takes a long time for you to recover yourself and realise that it was a dream and although it seemed real you are safely in the here and now.

I am not going to explain in detail about the things that have caused me trauma in the past as they are very disturbing, and I would rather not publicise them, but I can tell you how they make me feel.

There are many people who suffer from a complex post-traumatic stress disorder and have been overlooked by the system. Those who have worked in the military, emergency services and others who have witnessed tragic events, child abuse or even going through a traumatic operation.

When you have suffered trauma in your life, even though you have undergone therapy it does not go away. It is not because we dwell on it. It comes back to haunt us with flashbacks and nightmares, extreme anxiety and sometimes we end up unable to control those intrusive thoughts.

That certain song or music, the scent, or the sound of people having a domestic dispute, or that documentary that we thought we would be okay watching. Sometimes it can just get to us when we least expect it, and it can be frightening having a panic attack in a public place. It feels like you have no control over what is happening to you.

‘My experience is that I feel like I am dying as I struggle to breath my heart is racing. I am sweating, nauseous, shaking and my eyes sometimes roll to the back of my head. The panic makes me feel dizzy and on the verge of collapsing’

It has been a very scary and unpleasant feeling for me. I try my best to avoid staying in places that start making me feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed.

The problem being that I now cannot go on holiday with anyone for more than a few days as I am anxious about having no control over my situation. I do not trust anyone to make me feel safe and secure.

I used to fly to the Caribbean to visit my Father but now he is gone I feel no need to face my fear of flying again.

I rarely sleep away from my own home comforts as I find myself unsettled in anyone else’s home. I do not like the feeling of not being free to do as I please. If I must go away for a night in a hotel, I am okay but cannot wait to return home the next day.

I am no longer a risk-taker, for me to do anything out of the ordinary would have to be with someone who is a qualified, responsible adult who is legally insured and there would have to be a proper health and safety check.

I have noticed that these days people are more laid back and lapse in their attitudes and I am not at all comfortable with it. I do not trust their judgement and would not be putting my life in their hands.

I must admit that a few years after losing my Beloved Father made me hold on to life and not take anything for granted. I am grateful for everything that I have, my family, my home, and the fact that I am still capable of making my own decisions.

Life can sometimes change the way you look at things, when I was in my twenties, I was more daring but as I have matured, I am less likely to take any risks that can lead to life threatening or changing mistakes.

I live all aspects of my life responsibly so that my family will not have the stress and worry. I can honestly say that through all the challenges life has and is still throwing at me I feel so blessed.

In everything there must be a balance.

Natalie Bleau The Scripture of Balance

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