I Survived a Crime: PTSD from the Inside Out 

Last week I peered into the rabbid blue eyes of death.

If you’re aware of the details of the situation, I ask you to not to comment as I am in process of working with the legal system. 

Due to PTSD, I’ve sobbed uncontrollably several times a day.


My thoughts and activities derail as a flooding of intrusive images intercept my daily tasks.

One moment I’m walking forward in life, and then in a second I see violent replays in my mind.

The emotions flood over me, eclipsing every aspect of life.

This crime happened in a place where I’d always felt safe, in a lovely setting.


Suddenly the tides turned into a vicious tsunami of fear and pain.

The pain – for  me, wasn’t physical.

Yet my insides felt ripped to shreds.


I’ve completed a police report and spoken to several police officers and sergeants.

As I wrote the report, an ocean of tears poured out of my heart. I sobbed uncontrollably.

Again.


When I close my eyes at night, I see an image of the suspect.

Many stores, people and situations “trigger” me into a sea of tears.

Children, babies, pregnant women, certain animals, smiles, a squeaky swing set, hamburger meat, certain words, and colors trigger me. A white door triggered me the other day.

Even my husbamd’s snoring. (I almost laughed when I realized this.)


I can’t work, although I love my job.

The way such crimes work is the victim pays for all medical and counseling bills herself.

Then, someway or somehow -she can address the costs through the legal system.


I navigate through the police and legal  system while many triggers flood my daily life.

I’ve never written a police report and have Hand written the report while sobbing and shaking.

Normally I would have slowed down the process, but the police department needed the report ASAP.

I look the same as before the situation happened last weekend. But…

People don’t get PTSD unless they have experienced it.

I have lovely friends and family and many have reached out in kind-hearted ways.


It’s not their fault they’ve never received education on PTSD. Some have supported me graciously during this nightmare scene of my life movie.

I don’t want sympathy. I really don’t.

All I want is for people to grasp that a person can look okay on the outside, but on the inside they can be shredded, and ripped into pieces.


I know if I would have been in a car accident which resulted in broken bones, people would have sent cards, flowers, plants and brought meals.

But people don’t understand pain they cannot see.


Thankfully, God hears my tears. He saw me wailing, screaming, sobbing and shaking during the crime scene and while I received counseling last week.

I can’t eat much, I can’t work and I can’t hold a conversation without getting triggered.

“I’m glad you’re ok,” they say.

They mean I look fine and the same physically. On some levels, this reminds me of a person dying of internal injuries.

Some people – trying to help – have done the Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda on me. The thing is, my brain and body were in survival mode. I had a split second to decide how to respond to the situation.


The truth is nobody really knows how they would respond to such a situation until or unless it happens to them.

I pray you never experience a crime such as this. Let alone any crime.

When you’re shocked to the core, wailing and attempting to manage someone else’s injuries, your brain responds in a severely traumatized condition.


When a violent crime happens, you go into shock. Your brain and body kick into an extreme trauma response.

The first week I cried many times a day. Various situations and events reminded me of the crime scene.

I’m now in week two of recovering, and experience fewer flashbacks.

God wastes nothing. The beauty of this situation is I know that He will use this in glorious ways.

A gentle whisper of hope streams through the dark, tarry puddles of despair. God will heal every aspect of this scene of my life journey.

I will be a better therapist when I heal enough to begin working again.

But in the meantime, I need to concentrate on healing.

Writing this helps me heal. I know most people don’t understand the impact of PTSD.


I hope to educate people on the nature of internal injuries when someone experiences PTSD.

Maybe after reading this a few people will begin to grasp the depths of internal trauma.

This is the hope streaming through my soul.~

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Janis says:

    I will have more empathy hearing your transparent and vulnerable heart. Thank you. 😓

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Janis. It’s so helpful to know my pain helps other people.

  2. gigimurfitt says:

    Cherrie. I am praying for healing. I am thankful for your vulnerable post. I have experienced my own version of PTSD and it is difficult. But I trust that God will see you through this valley. I am sorry for your pain. On my knees I will offer the only thing I know to offer you. Prayer. Bless you as you hang on to His mercy and grace.

    1. Gigi, thank you so much for your kind-hearted words. My hope is for churches, organizations and businesses to better understand the invisible shroud of PTSD. I am so terribly sorry that you have also battled this beast. Thank you so much for your prayers.

  3. ginger storts says:

    My son was raped by a trusted family member as child. He has PTSD, anxiety and agoraphobia. My heart aches for you Cherrie! Love, hugs, prayers and spoons heading your way. {{{ ❤ }}}

    1. Ginger, I am so so sorry for your son. And of course for you as well. EMDR is one of the most effective treatments for trauma, but only if it’s done well. I hope he’s getting good help. Big hugs and prayers for you both.

  4. Cherrie, I’m so sorry you’re suffering at the hands of the PTSD beast. You’re right that more information and education needs to be available for churches etc.
    Healing Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. Wendy, thank you for your prayers. You’re right -PTSD is a beast. I really hope this blog can provide some insight into the experience and help churches and people how to understand it better. Thanks for your concern. Blessings,
      Cherrie

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