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  • Writer's pictureJessie Huang

[POEM] An abuse & NYPD survivor's take: PTSD is...

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

PTSD is difficulty discerning whether the man who just glanced at you walking down the street is following you or not.

PTSD is waking up shaking and drenched in so much sweat you have to move to a dry part of the bed, only to sweat all over it again.

PTSD is being in an abusive relationship with NYPD because they’re supposed to protect you as a domestic violence victim, but were also the ones who threatened to search your place and arrest you at work, and made you do the perp walk in handcuffs.

PTSD is constantly wondering all the ways your abuser has fantasized about killing you.

PTSD is thinking it’s the cops anytime someone knocks on your front door with a little too much force.

PTSD is being wary of stepping outside somedays, because your startle response is so revved up that the sound of someone dumping a bag of trash on the sidewalk can sound like an outright bomb.

PTSD is feeling absolutely convinced your abuser is scheming to frame you again.

PTSD is having an anxiety attack anytime you receive a call from “No Caller ID” or “Scam Likely” because cops and DAs never reveal their numbers when you’re a suspect.

PTSD is having the location of your local precinct memorized and their phone number on speed dial because you never ever feel safe.

PTSD is feeling as if the normal conversations taking place around you at work are too. fucking. loud. and does nobody else feel like people are screaming at each other or is it just me? Ok it’s just me then... :)

PTSD is experiencing paranoia to the point of engaging NYC Well services to double check you’re not going into psychosis.

PTSD is noticing how often people joke about PTSD.

PTSD is being real deliberate about the friends you surround yourself with.

PTSD is constantly feeling like you have to explain yourself in an alien language.

PTSD is perceiving benign things and situations as aggressively malignant cancers.

PTSD is gaining fresh perspective in life and understanding what really matters to you.

PTSD is realizing just how much excessive worrying and complaining exists in the first world.

PTSD is learning how to clearly communicate your needs to those you love, even though it’s hard.

PTSD is growing so fast you want to pinch your cheeks like your own Lil Asian Auntie.

PTSD is learning self-love to the fullest.

PTSD is having a stronger capacity for empathy and sympathy.

PTSD is invigorated exhaustion.

PTSD is finally seeing all that you went through gives you super powers.

PTSD is making grand plans.

PTSD is me :)


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