May 29, 2004 I was riding my Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 at dusk on an Illinois highway with my Liege & daughter in front of me on his Indian Chief motorcycle and about 6 motorcycles behind me. I see a deer to the right of me. I thought to myself “if I can just get past it then it will be ok.”
The lead guy cracked this pipes and that deer bolted towards me. T-boned me at 70 mph. I dragged that deer with me about 20 feet. If it wasn’t for the windshield I’m sure my tale would be different. I tried to down shift but the deer had kicked the keys broke off in the ignition. Bike is shaking hard. The deer still kicking gets caught up, spins around to the left side of me, hits me with the back side and momentum pushed me off-road down into the ditch. I kept traveling, overgrown grass slapping, cutting my cheeks as I pass. LIGHTS OUT.
After three months of being drugged, placement of a metal plate. I started having nightmares. Detailed flashbacks during the night, I became exhausted because I would refuse to go to sleep at night. I would wake up screaming, sweating. I went to my doctor after about a month of this. She informed me I was suffering from PTSD. I was given some medication. Which I stopped taking because I didn’t like the way the drugs made me feel.
May 2009 I was driving home from work in my Liege’s car. I had the green light going straight. A car turning to the right was supposed to yield to the green light. Meaning that after carefully looking for oncoming traffic they could legally turn on a green light without the green arrow. One car turned right in front of me, cutting my stopping distance short. Next thing I felt the sting of the inside drivers door pushing into my body. My body moving forward into the dashboard. The dashboard breaking into pieces at me, BAM. Airbag. Because I have a metal plate across my left collarbone I don’t use a seatbelt. The damage to my shoulder & chest would be far worse with the seatbelt. There was another car after the first one and that one plowed into me.
A trigger is the connection between the conscious mind and a buried painful memory.
That traumatic accident had triggered my PSTD. Before I had it mostly under control. However today when I ride my PSTD is active.
- I have small anxiety attacks when approaching & passing through intersections.
- Anytime the wind blows hard and I feel the motorcycle sway I get an anxiety attack.
- I can no longer get the motorcycle speed higher than 60 mph before I freak out.
- When cars get too close to me.
When my doctor first told me I had PSTD I thought PSTD goes away with time. But it never really goes away, it just goes to sleep until there is a trigger that sets it off. I still continue to ride my motorcycles suffering through those PSTD’s episodes. If I’m riding the bike and get an attack I keep telling myself “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” I repeat it over & over. I talk myself through it, I’ve only stopped once because I freaked out. I will not allow myself to be a prisoner of this illness if I don’t have to be.
It’s not that the person is refusing to let go of the past but the past is refusing to let go of the person.