Today is my niece’s twelfth birthday. I didn’t really plan it this way, but it’s quite fitting as we get ready to celebrate her journey through some of the most awkward years in life, I’m looking back at the same years in my own life.
I was SO awkward when I was younger. In fact if Current Me, ever ran into Past Me I would laugh and be extremely embarrassed watching myself bumble through things that come as a second nature to me now. The worst of it was human interaction. I had absolutely zero social skills until I was like 24. (which, by the way, was only two years ago lol) By social skills I don’t mean manors. I always tried to be polite. Please, thank you, holding the door open, polite conversation I could do those things. Building off of the basic shell of polite conversation is where I got myself into trouble.
I was always extremely quiet around people I didn’t know, and for good reason. The few times I did branch out and express my opinion I did so with out hesitation nor tact earning myself many more enemies than friends. Most people just brushed it off and attributed the offense to my youth, but in doing so no one actually took the time to correct me which drug out my awkwardness so much longer than it should have gone on. lol. I’m still pretty curt and brash especially when I’m in a bad mood, but at least I recognize that I’m curt and brash now.
Oooooooh so many events transpired in those tender years. Really profound events that at the time completely passed by as just another day in the life of Kelli. That is just about the only good thing that comes with PTSD. A vivid memory of everything, not just the bad things that shaped and defined my life, but the good things as well. Of course having this extra vivid memory gets me into a lot of trouble. STILL gets me into a lot of trouble, especially when I remember things differently or more profound than others.
The greatest example I can think of, and the first time I noticed that my memory was substancialy more vivid than most others came about when I was about sixteen years old. Two brothers whom I had known since I was quite young were getting ready to ship off to join various branches of the military. I remembered them as being two people who had taken the time out of their day to talk to me and just generally be kind to me when most others weren’t. They were a really big part of my life, but I was just an annoyance in theirs.
The more I tried to explain myself and present my point, trying to get them to understand why this was such a big deal to me, the more they wrote me off as crazy. Eventually I gave up, realizing that I was only making the miscommunication problem worse, but that whole few months really stuck with me. It frustrated me to realize that I was different, but not know WHY or HOW my mind worked this way. The more I reached out to people trying to understand myself the more people I pushed away.
Even some of my closest friends at the time, completely wrote me off, telling me that I was simply obsessed and crazy. Instead of helping me through the problem, they only continued to tell me that what I already knew. I had a problem. I was “crazy.” Well OBVIOUSLY I had a problem, which is why I was so consumed with the whole thing. I didn’t WANT to have a problem, I wanted to FIX the problem. The whole fiasco eventually ended with hurt feelings, and lost friends. Spurring me into my angry I Hate Life phase, where I remained until my early twenties.
That, among other events in my life is why I was SO THANKFUL to finally get an answer to the burning questions that had been haunting my life: Why am I different? How can I fix it? The answers? PTSD, and I really can’t fix it. I can learn how to control my… er… episodes I guess we’ll call them, and I can recognize my triggers but the effects are permanent. I only wish I could have given it a name back in those days of early adolescence. It wouldn’t have made my life any easier, but it certainly would have given me a better jumping off point to understand myself and how I relate to others.
Anyway… that post got a lot deeper than I had intended. lol. Off to the birthday party. Until later Bloggies. 🙂