Due to the trauma I have experienced in my second marriage, and throughout my life, I have been diagnosed with complex PTSD. My second marriage is responsible for the brunt of the issues, but I allowed that relationship to continue due to unresolved issues from my past. Anyway, I have flashbacks, not all the time but often enough. The triggers are anything, or nothing. I think this aspect is one of the worst of PTSD because it can trigger a panic attack at any given moment. I am then left feeling vulnerable and out of control, which is not what any PTSD sufferer needs.
One of my most common flashbacks is to when my now ex kicked in the bathroom door on me. We had been arguing for several hours, about nothing because all the arguments are about nothing. At this point I usually just take the screaming at, occasionally throw in my own retort, and wait for the switch to flip and the remorse to set in. But lately, things have not been going that way. He has been raging for longer periods of time than usual. What was once an hour is now half the day. He is becoming more aggressive, more explosive, scarier.
On this particular day, I told him I was done fighting for the moment and needed a break. I told him I was going to the bathroom to compose myself and just take a break. I went into the bathroom, closed and locked the door. I sat on the toilet and just cried. Within a minute he had followed me upstairs, and screamed from the other side, “We’re done talking when I say we are done talking, and you’re gonna listen to me God damnit!” He then kicked in the door, and continued screaming at me, berating me. I almost vomited from the anxiety.
To this day, everytime I close a bathroom door, I flashback. Every. single. time. Sometimes are worse than others, but every time I visually recall that moment when he kicked in the door on me and showed me once again I was the bird trapped in the cage and I was not going to escape if it was up to him. Some day I know these flashbacks will stop, and I long for that day, but for now, I am where I am, and it is going to be ok.