Meet A

*Initials are used in the story to protect the individuals privacy. Story may contain triggers and sensitive topics*

Meet ‘A’.

She is a spunky, social friend, daughter, girlfriend, and pet momma. She lives her day to day with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] (specifically the subcategory Rape Trauma Syndrome [RTS]), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD] and Panic Disorder. To outsiders, these disorders are well hidden.

In 7th grade, ‘A’ was diagnosed with OCD and Panic Disorder by a psychologist. The diagnosis came after after a teacher had discovered that she had been using self harm and the school counselor had brought her and her mother in to discuss the next steps in finding help. From there she saw a few psychologists, that though they all agreed on the diagnosis, were not able to provide her with any help.  

7 years later, (a year after she was assaulted) ‘A’ was diagnosed with a subtype of PTSD- RTS. At this point she wasn’t sleeping much because when she would she was woken by night terrors surrounding her assault.

For the past 11 years, ‘A’ was on and off several medications. Being medication free for her is possible, but she has trouble sleeping, trouble with eating and extreme social phobia. Within the past year she had found a medication (an SNRI-Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor) that she felt did it’s job. That process alone is hard enough, but she ended up having to fight with her insurance company who refused to cover it, as they would only allow one pill a day. Her doctor had prescribed it in a way that made the insurance company deny the prescription. Being bounced back and forth between the insurance company, her doctor and the pharmacy, she finally got the first month filled. After 2 refills the insurance company denied the prescription (again) because they had decided she needed to purchase the medication through them and have them shipped to the cardholder’s address (at the time was her father’s address). While on the phone with the insurance company she let them know she was running out of doses, and the suggestion was made to have her doctor write a script for her to hold her over- however she would have to pay out of pocket for the medication. At the time she was unemployed so this wasn’t an option. Withdrawal from an SNRI is no joke. ‘A’ suffered from dizziness, severe headaches and vomiting. Starting from 24 hours after the missed dose until she could get the level of medication in her system back to normal.

‘A’ tried 3 separate psychologists, none of them able to offer her the help she needed counseling wise. She’s found that art, makeup and dancing help her to re-balance herself and let go a little.

On a normal day, ‘A’ finds herself sleeping in because of having trouble falling asleep at night, meaning she is almost always running late. Also adding to her hectic morning, ‘A’ always feels she has to wear makeup and look her best for fear of people seeing her the way she sees herself. Most of her day is spent second guessing everything she says and does, and if she feels like something is going wrong or someone gets confrontational, she immediately has digestive issues. After work, ‘A’ tries to unwind from the day with her pets and her boyfriend watching Netflix. On the rough nights when sleep won't come, she ends up crying herself to sleep listening to her brain telling her everything that's wrong with her.

On her worst days ‘A’’s OCD kicks in and she feels as though she has to shower multiple times a day. The floor is her safe space to cry while questioning everything down to whether or not her pets enjoy her company. She can't be touched on her bad days, always flinching, and finds the most comfort in her pets. She'll often forget to eat or eat too much.

‘A’ is thankful to have her boyfriend in her life who is her person. He listens without judgement and he is always able to recognize her mood shifts. She has a hard time with people trying to tell her what's wrong without listening to her and offering unsolicited advice.

‘A’’s advice to anyone else struggling, is to find your person.

Find someone to talk to who doesn't call you broken. Someone who sees the cracks you feel in your soul and has a way to help let the light in.

Erin BerryComment