PTSD is something that happens to you and is nothing to be ashamed of!
I used to think that post-traumatic stress disorder was something for veterans only. Yeah, I admit, I used to be pretty uninformed until I was told that I definitely had traumas myself. Looking back at the time that this was first brought up by my boyfriend, I can totally see what I mess I used to be. My behavior towards him because of my own scarves was unacceptable. I always used to think that I was just a girl who spoke her mind and didn't accept any bullshit. Honestly, this girl disappeared long ago after the first chapter of having a toxic partner happened. I was in a constant battle for many years.
I was so jealous and angry
I flipped out for no reason, just by even thinking my partner would think of cheating on me, simply because the first idiot in my life had done so and left scars on my soul. The fact that this partner would never do that, never even occurred to me as in my mind all men were cheating assholes (sorry, that's how it felt at the time!). I had been hurt by the first toxic partner so badly, that I could never really trust men for many years. The few times I did in the years to come, I was played by even worse men that saw right through my mask and had a great ability to target me for their own reasons.
One of them used me for his personal pleasure
While I felt that we had the deepest connection and this was the right one for me (yeah, I was young still and under his spell), he only used me for his personal games in so many ways, but mostly for his pleasure. The worst thing about it may have been that he indoctrinated me so well, that I thought I loved being that person and that it took me years to shake off that coat I had put on during that relationship. He played a dangerous game with me, and I had no idea that this could have ended much worse than it did.
The next one saw an even more damaged person and took advantage of that as well
I won't go into detail about what he did exactly, but take it from me when I say that he was an even worse predator than the first person. This one was the biggest psycho out there and of course I was so stupid to open up to him soon after we met, telling him about my ex. That was such a stupid mistake to trust him as this was all the confirmation he needed to know that I was an easy target that had enough scarves on her soul already to break me into even tinier pieces.
After this toxic relationship ended, I slowly started to see through my own mask
I found a new partner that didn't have bad intentions for me but was truly crazy about me for who I really was. Too bad for him that he had to break down so many walls to let me realize that I was sabotaging the relationship because of my previous ones. I was a jealous partner and went nuts when he only spoke to a girl that looked great imo. This had nothing to do with him being unfaithful as he's the most loyal person in the world, but it was only caused by my own insecurities and damaged soul in the past. I had been building walls and a mask around the hurt girl, playing a strong person that could handle anything and didn't need a man. While in reality, I needed a partner that supported me more than ever!
It was during another fight that he mentioned my traumas
I never, ever, realized that I was not only hurt by what had been done to me in the other relationships but that these things had changed me so much that I totally lost my true self. I tried to act confident in the world, but in reality, I was hurt and afraid to be left alone in this world. I never really had a partner that supported me in everything, I always was led in the way they wanted me to be, and pushed back when I stood up for what I wanted. This had totally changed when meeting my current partner as he has ALWAYS been by my side and supported me as many other great partners wouldn't even be able to do. I see that he's been the best thing that could happen to me now, and I salute him for putting up with me while I was in a constant battle with myself and him to work through the traumas.
While my mask fell off, I started to change
The nightmares started coming, and felt that they were on repeat. I know now that I was trying to process things from the past, but I didn't know it at the time. It was a process I had to go through. My partner has always had trouble sleeping, and because of that he has seen me go through them night after night for a long time. He often tried to talk to me with a calm voice to change the state of mind, sometimes he woke me up leaving me in shock and instantly feeling ashamed as I didn't want to share what I just saw in my nightmares. I felt ashamed, really ashamed.
Then the flashbacks came as well
I was reliving things from the past with my exes that felt so real while I had the nightmares that sometimes I would wake up in sweat and fear not knowing where I was. Maybe the scariest thing about it was that often I suddenly had flashbacks of situations that I didn't remember until the moment that I had the flashbacks. The more times I relived those situations, the more I could remember. I have to tell you, that was scary knowing that my subconcious mind had kept this from me for all these years. Now I know that at the time, it was too hard to deal with, and stored somewhere deep in my memory rather than at the surface.
I felt the fear as if it was happening again and sometimes my heartbeat would be through the roof. Unfortunately, these flashbacks came at the weirdest moments and were triggered sometimes even by one single word alone. I've discovered quite a few triggers during the years, being aware of them helps a lot!
They kept coming for years
I had trouble sleeping without these horrible interuptions for several years in a row and I didn't get any nicer in the morning from it. I was a horrible morning person! Now I love to be productive in the mornings, it was all about not having a good sleep.. I noticed that the intensity of these nightmares have decreased a lot, and I haven't had these intense ones for quite a while now. So I guess, I processed some parts of what happened by reliving the moments and talking about it and writing about it. I often would write what I saw and felt and later I'd delete the document. Just writing it down was enough for that moment. I can't unknow the things that I now know anyway.
Don't feel ashamed <3
I do know that feeling ashamed is stupid, although I also know exactly how it feels to be ashamed about it. For some reason, even knowing that it was not my fault that these things happened, I still feel horribly stupid that I let it happen and that I fell into the traps with open eyes, making me feel ashamed to share the details. If you are experiencing shame about traumatizing events that have happened to you, please know that you don't have to be ashamed and talk to someone you trust, or start by writing it down for yourself. Over time, you will notice that you are processing it and things get easier to deal with.
Take care! <3