Paranoia at its finest

So I thought I'd talk a little about one of my PTSD symptoms since its one of the things that is taking up my life right now.  It started out with little things; things that I didn't even realize I was doing and they weren't completely overboard so no one else really even noticed either.  I wouldn't let anyone that wasn't family or someone I trusted drive a vehicle I was in, thus making public transportation out of the question.  This evolved into - I would only drive myself, this didn't set off too many alarms as I also one of those people who gets extremely sick in any type of vehicle.  Yes, I know I joined the Navy, and yes, I know it doesn't make any kind of sense.  This was just the first signs of my paranoia.

It would be years later before my paranoid behavior would get worse.  Keep in mind that I'm only focusing on the PTSD paranoia and not those symptoms associated with my personality disorders.  Right before getting out of the Navy, I was dealt a blow to my psyche, self-efficacy, pride, what was left of my self-esteem, and most importantly my self-worth.  This was done by my superiors, not an attacker, but it caused a regression and thus a heightening of my symptoms.  From that point, everything just got worse as time went on.  I had better moments of course, but the damage had been done and I wasn't aware of what was going on inside.

Let me also explain that the Navy is to blame for some of the paranoia as well because of the type of job I had when I first went in.  I was a Cryptologist.  I was chosen for various reasons, one of which was because I'm very good at noticing patterns - this translates into noticing behaviors and habits.  Once you are in this field, you are taught to be careful about your own movements, behaviors, and habits.  Don't go to work the same way every day.  Don't go to the same place for breakfast, etc.  See what I mean?  Anyway, I began having days where I thought someone was following me home in the car.  I would go out of my way to make sure they weren't.  I would get lost doing this.  This would happen a lot in Macon which is where my rapes took place.  I would get so tense and prepare myself for a confrontation that it would take the rest of the day to decompress.  When I moved into a house that was close to downtown, I didn't have my dogs so I was walking by myself. I didn't have to use my cane but I would take it with me because again, I was in Macon.  I couldn't enjoy the walks because I was constantly preparing for someone to attack me.  One of these days, one of my rapists happened to drive by while I was walking and said something and asked that I wait while he drove around.  I froze because 1 - I couldn't believe he had the nerve and 2 - I wanted to kill him.  I actually stood there trying to think of how I could kill him.  I knew I couldn't do it right there but I had lost a lot of my physical strength so luring him elsewhere was probably not a good idea.  So while I was I standing there contemplating how I was going to murder this man, he had had time to come back around the block.  He stopped the vehicle and got out and even though I wanted to run, I couldn't because the part of me that wanted him dead was bigger.  Basically, the rest of it is that he said he wanted to apologize.  I said something like he doesn't get to apologize or I don't forgive him, I don't remember.  Amy can tell you, I told her about it right after it happened.  I didn't tell her about wanting to kill him.  This is the first time I've admitted it.  The other guy, the one who raped me twice, the one who actually abducted me;  he was working at the mall when I was Macon, piece of shit.  I avoided the mall because I knew; I knew I would plot.

The paranoia now has me not able to walk down the street unless I have my dogs or someone else and even then, I'm looking over my shoulder.  When I go to get back in my car, I'm checking the back seat, the back floorboard, the cars on either side and if it doesn't feel right, I keep walking.  This means that it may take 30 minutes for me to get into my car.  I know the comings and goings and habits of everyone in my building and the building beside me.  I know their cars and how they sound.  I know everyone's dogs and if they have a dog, I probably know a lot more about that person (it's a club).  Once I know your habits, I have a good idea of what kind of job you have and if you're doing something illegal.  For example, the people across the hall from me are producing meth.  They'll be taken out next week.  The old people in the next building are selling pills.  The police need more evidence.  Anyway, you get the idea, right?

The part of this that is the worst is when I think someone is in the apartment.  It started after I finished a.......tryst.  It didn't go well.  I didn't want to get into anything with anyone, he talked me into it.  It wasn't supposed to be anything serious.  He lied.  I found out some other crazy shit.  I left him a letter telling him to not contact me again, lo and behold, a wife finds it.  She wasn't happy, he wasn't happy.  Anyway, I happened to fall asleep on the couch one night.  I swear I thought he was in the apartment, I was preparing for a fight as soon as he got near me.  I even heard him shooshing the dogs.  I could smell chemical, like ether, so I slide to the floor and then I hear him leave.  When I got up, nothing was moved, door was still locked and chained.  I still got the locks changed and he still fucked up my tires.  I think someone is in my apartment about once a week, not him, just someone.  And I always have the fight response.  Do you know how hard it is to come down from that?  I know some of you reading this do.  It's a lot of adrenaline and you want to go fuck or hit someone or jump out of an airplane or something.  It's crazy.

I know this isn't a really good picture, it's pretty old.  It's me.  I'm rappelling aussie down a rock in Puerto Rico.  I bought a car that was manual and taught myself to drive it.  I raced my motorcycle through Sabana Seca from the police to base so they couldn't pull me over.  I was the only female in my SERE school group.  I qualified on the S-3B Viking. That's who I was, that was the type of stuff I did.  I did stuff like that without asking questions and with no hesitation.  I had the mental and physical strength to back myself up.  Now I'm this scared, housebound weakling.  I don't know myself and that woman in that picture wouldn't like me now.


  1. I let you down in high school. I knew about the rapes, but I never said anything about it. In my eyes, you were a white girl fucking around with black guys; what did you expect? Since then, I've grown up (in more ways than one). You need a shoulder or a roof over your head, give me a call.

  2. What you wrote takes a lot of courage. It isn't easy to openly discuss any demons or skeletons that we all possess, no matter how big or small they may be. I do hope you seek treatment if you haven't already if only in the form of a counseller in whom you can confide, scream and cry if needed. I wish you the best in the days to come and beyond.

  3. Wow! How about I don't remember this, did you tell about that? Dang! I was supposed to be "Mother Hen" but I could never get out of the house.... If you need something - you know, definitely, let me know! Whatever you need. It's never too late!