I was diagnosed with PTSD when I was drinking. I didn't even know what that was, but it was kind of a relief to have a name for what I was feeling. So what did the doc do? Prescribe a pill! Their answer for everything.
And I loved the stuff. It made me feel drunk without any of the signs of inebriety. The problem was it didn't do much for the PTSD, and I eventually went back to just drinking.
It wasn't until I took the steps that I realized the grip the disorder had on me had lessened. But not totally. Every night when I did my 10th step I could feel the fear lurking under the surface. I felt so helpless.
My former sponsor ( who is now in the big meeting with all the AA's who have passed on ) was concerned that I still had so much pain and fear around this. She told me she had prayed about it and that God had given her a plan for me. If you're interested, you can PM me & I will share it with you. I didn't understand what she was trying to do, but I always listen to my sponsor. I knew she cared about me. Plus I respected her immensely. I did what she suggested and came to know in the depths of my heart what the book tells me - that the people who harmed me were spiritually sick. Now I knew this intellectually, but not in my being, where it makes a difference in my thoughts and actions.
The relief came gradually ( the only thing that was lifted immediately was the compulsion to drink!
) but it came.
Also, attending Al-Anon regarding family issues, and reading their literature, was helpful in learning to take care of myself.
Through all this, I became strong! And the funny thing is, the stronger I become, the more loving I feel! I don't need to keep people out. I can welcome them into my heart and enjoy them and love them because the fear is gone. It's just gone. I don't even need to "protect myself". I am free. And happy and joyous too!
There are still times when something will trigger a reactive emotion, and I have to remind myself, "That was then. This is now" or "I am safe. Today I am safe." But I stand in awe at the miracle sobriety has given me.
Thank you for letting me share. I am here to tell you there is hope. Don't give up. There is happy destiny for us.