Just when you think things are going well, PTSD will come along and smash it’s shit right back in your face.
I wanted to wear a dress yesterday that I’ve worn before, one with a lot of good memories attached. I had bought the dress just before going to America last year, overcoming the depression and self-loathing for a minute to be able to acknowledge that I actually did look ok in it.
I have a picture of me and J, and I’m wearing the dress, at my cousin’s wedding. We are smiling at someone off camera, and we’re just so happy. I’m confident, I’m smiling like I will never stop, and so is J.
Putting that dress on yesterday was supposed to bring back all those feelings, that happiness and my sense of pride. I love wearing clothes with good feelings attached- it’s a solid way to boost my mood. What happened instead was that I had a panic attack.
I’m aware the dress is cheaply made, and I knew my bra would show a little, but I didn’t anticipate feeling the way I did. I looked in the mirror and all I could see was a cheap slut. J had warned me it was showing but I’d then tried to find a bra that would show less, and none did, and now I was sitting on the edge of the bed fighting tears.
When I started sobbing softly, J was standing in the room and I hadn’t even noticed him.
“What’s wrong, baby?”
I choked on my words, trying to explain how bad I felt, and how much of a slut I felt. J was immediately trying to cheer me up, telling me he didn’t mean me to feel bad because my bra showed, he was just warning me. I told him that this crisis of confidence was not him, it was me.
We finally worked out that it wasn’t the right time for me to wear the dress, if this was how bad I felt, and I quickly changed into a different one. He held me twice, told me to step back so he could see what the dress looked like, and told me I looked cute. I probably did, but for some reason all I felt like was a slut.
Warren has it right. My shit is still fucked up, but J and I and a whole lot of other people are fighting to get it right again.