People who know me, know I cope very well in chaotic situations and that traumatic events have little effect on me.
I live daily with complex PTSD and a large range of triggers that come from a decade of emotional, physical and sexual abuse as a child, closely followed by a 14-year abusive marriage and through it all I was masking, hiding, and suppressing my Tourette Syndrome, ADHD and Autism.
I would confidently say that I have a remarkably high level of resilience, which I attribute to the years of childhood trauma and to the traits coming from my ADHD, high functioning Autism and a life living with Tourette Syndrome.
Although I consider myself very resilient to new trauma and have been described as emotionally cold by some professionals, this does not mean that I do not live with the effects from the traumas that built up this resilience.
As a matter of fact, the level of effects from my triggers have never really changed, although after learning about PTSD. What did ease, was the anxiety that came from not knowing why I was feeling the way I do for what seemed to be no apparent reason.
I could be going about my daily business when any one of my many triggers can provoke feelings of fear, dread, vulnerability, anger, melancholy and shame.
Insomnia, anxiety, lack of concentration and constant mental playbacks of traumatic events are just some of the things that come along with the provoked feelings.
When triggered by a person I often go into a fight or flight response and its quite often the fight response that I must talk myself down from.
Once triggered the effects can last for hours, days or even weeks.
When the effects are prolonged, they can then spiral into a craving for justice and revenge and many hours of mentally plotting how to achieve it.
The range of my triggers is very wide and includes certain music, smell, noises, shouting, physical touch and visual things that remind me specific events.
Sometimes it can just be my mind thinking back to specific events that are vividly imprinted into my memory, I struggle to remember any birthdays from childhood, but I do remember things like sitting in a bath at 5 years old crying and afraid because of a loud tone in my ears and the pain from a double slap to the sides of my head.
When people reminisce on the happiness of their childhood it reminds me that mine existed and what I went through, I cannot join in with happy reminiscing and stay silent with all the feelings I had back then creeping in.
I know I will have to live the rest of my life with the effects of my traumas, but I do take some comfort in having the resilience to be able to deal with any future crisis with a high level of control while most people are a state of shock or panic and rely on people like myself to hold it together.
So please remember that people like me build up a high level of resilience, show little or no reaction to new trauma and may be good in a crisis, but do not be fooled into thinking we are not still affected by the traumas of our past.