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PTSD Awareness month-It’s real even if you can’t see it

As I have stated before, Mental Health is very real, even if you can’t see it, it’s there. In honor of PTSD awareness month, you will hear the story of my boyfriend, Scotty Rayburn who suffers from PTSD.

PTSD is REAL

  1. When were you diagnosed with PTSD?
    Approx March of 2018 is when I was diagnosed with PTSD
  2. What caused your PTSD?
    The October 1st mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  3. How has being diagnosed with PTSD affected your life?
    It has affected it in many different ways: Lack of sleep, constant paranoia, depression and panic attacks.
  4. If you had one piece of advice for someone who also suffers from PTSD, what would it be?
    To talk about it and not to hold it in. Ask for help.
  5. What can someone do to help you with your PTSD?
    Just be around and listen, don’t try and force me to do something. Just knowing someone is there helps. Just knowing you understand helps.

His Story: *TRIGGER WARNING*

On October 1st 2017, I was working as a bike security officer for a casino on the strip. I was doing a patrol around my facility when I hear what sounded like fireworks. A concert was going on, the route 91 harvest festival was on the other side of the building, so I thought they were just celebrating. Then I hear over my radio, There is a active shooter.”  That’s when I rode as fast as possible to get to the other side of the building to see what was happening. When I got there, I noticed there were hundreds of people running past me, yelling at me to turn around and run because there was a shooter chasing them. I couldn’t turn around, I had to continue to help people even though I truly wanted to hop in my car and run, I couldn’t. I went as far as the gate that was knocked over, to help grab whoever I could. I was not aware of where I was or what I was doing, I was just doing whatever my brain was telling my body to do. I remember helping people back into the building, guiding people to a safer location while bullets were hitting the ground around me, and the building near me. After the majority of people were in a safer location, I ran inside. What felt like hours, was only minutes. I start cutting clothes and boots off of people to use as tourniquets to help keep them from bleeding out. The whole time I heard people throughout my casino, yelling through the radio that they need help helping people also. I provided an escort for the police to a room where I got a call stating someone was shot in the head, and was losing a lot of blood. I escorted police and ambulance to him, and when they opened the door, I saw the swelling on his skull where the bullet or shrapnel entered. They took him to get help and told everyone else to stay back. His wife was screaming and crying, so I pulled her out to go with me. I figured he needed her and she needed him, for I would want my wife in that situation. I called my fiancé at the time, and said to her, “There is an active shooter. I have to evacuate people. I love you, I got to go.”  The whole time while trying to fight back tears, I felt that could have been the last call I ever made. At that point, the shooting had stopped to my knowledge. So, we started getting everyone into one giant room to start conducting a more thorough triage on them. My phone was ringing the whole time, but I was to busy to answer to my mom, dad or sister calling over and over to get ahold of me. After that night, I felt I had to stay strong and make people think it’s alright, and that I’m fine. I was battling every day, trying to figure out what happened, what did I do wrong? Did I help anyone? Did I run? The night was a blur for me. On January 30th, in my hotel of the casino I worked for, I was on lunch and I got a call stating someone wasn’t breathing and that they needed help. I ran as fast as possible to get to the room to help. There was a man laying on the ground and his brother who stated that he had called 911 and then fell over. So, I check his pulse and he was breathing, but very faint. The ambulance was on their way. Because he was still breathing, I did not start CPR. I was completely untrained at that time for that kind of situation because my job didn’t train for this.  When the ambulance got there, they immediately pronounced him dead. He started gasping seconds before they got there. I was stuck in the room when they ripped his clothes off and started CPR and injected steroids into his shin. I couldn’t take my eyes off the situation for I felt this couldn’t be real. My boss had to turn around and he never once came into the room to help me, he stood outside. That was the second step into my PTSD. I kept working and acting like nothing was wrong, but knowing I had a guy I didn’t know, die in my arms was eating me up along with the months of fighting off my thoughts of the shooting.

Fast-forward to Superbowl Sunday…I was watching the Superbowl because my team, the Eagles were playing the patriots. My team won and I got super happy but then felt really weird. Little did I know then, but it was my first sign of anxiety ever. The next day, I worked a 7-hour shift. When I was logging in an item at work, I felt dizzy, faint, and weak. I couldn’t stand or talk or even grip anything. I radioed my boss and told him that I needed help. They called an ambulance and after the paramedics arrived and took my vitals, they said my blood pressure was 210 over 125 and took me to the hospital. After hours, the doctors told me that I was fine to leave. So, I went back to work, grabbed my stuff and went home. I went back into work the next day feeling fine. I smoked a cigarette and then walk into the office because I started feeling weird again. My boss looked at me and asked, “Are you alright? Your eyes look super dilated and you look really pale.” They called an ambulance again and the paramedics took me to the hospital, just to be told the same thing I was told yesterday. So, for weeks my boss tried to work with me, but like every group of people, they get tired of seeing someone getting help where its needed and not them. So, I continued to work and fight through it, but my boss told to me that he will not be working with me because I was upsetting others. He told me that he was tired of hearing it and that if I called out, missed work, or left early, I would be getting write ups. So, I asked his boss to get me papers for workers comp. I spent weeks fighting them to get me workers comp papers. I eventually got the papers and then was sent to therapy. I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and paranoia, so they put me on anti-depression medication. I started taking them for about a month, but I was in a relationship with my fiancé who kept telling me to just get over it and that she doesn’t understand how I can let this beat me and destroy me like it was.  I ended up confiding in alcohol while I was on those meds to see if that would help me feel even more numb. I ended up cheating on my ex because of it. I told her what I had done and we split up. A few months later, I was still drinking every day while on the same meds. I felt like a robot or a zombie, and I loved not caring or worrying about anything. I felt like I wasn’t hurt anymore, I felt like I was fixed, but I was very toxic and angry to everyone else and wasn’t aware of how I was treating others. My family kept saying I needed to get over it because they didn’t understand what mental health meant. I heard it so many times that I eventually snapped and told them that I’m leaving. My mom grabbed me and hugged me while she cried. She said that my eyes changed colors that day and she felt an energy that wasn’t her son anymore. At that time, I owned a firearm and made an unconscious decision to drive home while drunk to retrieve my firearm. I called a few people and told them I was going to kill myself in front of my dad. I wanted him to watch so he can see me get over it. I wanted to end the pain. I wanted to stop feeling pain, anxiety and depression every single day. I wanted to be normal. I wanted to be whole again. I drove probably close to 100 plus miles an hour to get back to my house to do this. My brother who I had called, told my mother to call 911. I pulled up in the drive way and my sister was standing in front of me crying. I chambered a bullet and put my gun to my head and said, “Get away from me sis! I don’t want you to watch me do this!” She walked away crying and freaking out. I was told later that I said, “Richard, come outside! You want to watch me get over it so, let me show you how.” Richard is my Father and he didn’t respond. I walked to my car really fast and sat in the driver seat double checked that I had a bullet in the chamber and when I go to get up I heard, “Get out the vehicle with your arms up.” I then saw an easier way out… I thought that maybe if I showed them my gun, they would just end my misery for me. I go to stand up to put my plan into action and I heard my sister yell, “Don’t shoot my brother!” as she hit the ground, screaming and crying. Because of her, I snapped back to myself. I threw my gun on my seat and stood up and obeyed the police. When I turned around, I saw 20 plus cops with all their guns drawn on me. I got cuffed and put into the back of a cop car. My family told them what I went through and what happened and why I was suicidal and because of that, I got a medical arrest. I didn’t go to jail but I did spend a week in a hospital doing nothing but thinking. I suffer from anxiety every minute of every day and still don’t know how to cope years later. I have noticed pain in areas of my body I have never even felt before. I cry a lot now. I go to hospitals for the pain I have and get told that I have nothing wrong without even being checked because of my mental history. I get told that I’m fine with minimal help, every single time. I lost my free ride to college and I lost $30,000 because my ex used it all before, we split. I lost my job, my house, my animals and my ex fiancé. I have slowly been learning how to cope again, but I have faith that I will be able to feel whole again and that I will be close to normal again. I spend most of my time focusing on helping others now that I am aware of what is wrong with me. And to be honest, I wouldn’t change my story one bit because, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, so I’m glad it was me that it happened to and not someone else. Thank you for reading if you made it this far. I love you, and hope that this makes you realize that you aren’t alone. Ask for help like I did and don’t ever feel like you aren’t enough, because you are.

What I saw and what I thought:

Back in September of 2018, I was sitting in my living room with my kids and I see red and blue lights flashing on my walls. What I saw when I looked out my window affected me in a way I can’t explain. I saw my neighbor, Scotty with a gun to his own head and about 10 cop cars surrounding him. The only thing I thought was, “That boy needs someone, he’s hurting bad.” I found out later that he was having a panic attack due to his PTSD. Fast forward to a few weeks to a month or so… I officially met Scotty when he walked into my garage. That’s when he told me his story about what caused his PTSD. I literally went inside and cried for him. The thought of someone going through that much mental pain and trauma was hard to even think of. I just wanted to hug him.

Mental Health is VERY MUCH REAL

Like I have said many times before, Mental Health is a serious thing. It needs to be taken more serious. This picture was taken during one of his panic attacks. You can literally see the mental pain and sadness in his face. This is such a heart breaking photo and I cried when he showed me. Being an empath, I pick up on EVERY emotion, even through photos and I felt every emotion he felt just looking at this picture.

How you can help someone with PTSD

Just like any mental health issue, you don’t want to tell them what they need to do. Just be there for them and LISTEN. Ask them how you can help, sometimes they won’t know what they need and that’s when you just need to say, “Well I will be here for you every step of the way, I’m not going anywhere.” They NEED to know that they have someone who isn’t going to pity them and just be there for them. They NEED to know that you understand that they are mentally hurting and that they can’t always control it. Mental illnesses can make it seem like there is something medically wrong with you as well. It can make you feel like you are having a heart attack, breathing problems, and even a stroke. You need to just be there and listen, don’t tell them they are crazy because they are actually feeling these things. Be their support. Listen and just be understanding.

Mental health isn’t always physically visible so don’t judge or assume

This was a really hard post for me to write because I have been put down for my mental illnesses and it hurts more than anything because it’s not something I can control at all. It’s a constant, tiring fight between me and my brain. Scotty has been told to “Just get over it” after the traumatic event he went through… This is the number one thing you should NEVER tell someone who is mentally struggling. One of the biggest reasons why this was a hard thing for me to write is because, he’s my person. He is who I am suppose to be with. I can feel it in my soul. So many WHAT IF’S run through my brain. What if I didn’t have him?
Scotty is such a caring and very protective person with such a huge heart. He always worries about how other’s are doing and feeling over worrying about himself. My soul connected with his and all of a sudden, everything finally made sense. Words cannot describe how happy I am that he walked into my garage that day.

Please, if you are struggling mentally, seek help. Talk to someone. The world is better with YOU in it!

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Let me tell you bout my mama

I’m not the best at picking out guys, I’ll admit. I’ve gotten hurt by pretty much all of them… I remember what the hurt felt like from everyone of them, but what I didn’t realize until I became a mom was that it wasn’t just hurting me…

My mom was right by my side though EVERY hurt I experienced. She was there through every trial I went through. When I cried, she did to.

16 year old me

When I was in my teenage years, I was dating someone who was very verbally abusive and he was always yelling at me. One day when we were in my room, he’d yelled at me and punched a hole in my wall and my mom was the first one in the room to threaten him.

Early 20s

I remember once shortly after I first moved out and into my own place, I was really having a hard time with a guy I was dating and just needed space, but he followed me for days. He followed me to work, was there when I got off and even followed me to friends houses. My mom said, “Just come over and stay here for a while, he won’t get past me.”

My adult life

About 5 years ago, I called my mom after I had gotten into a fight with my boyfriend at the time. I was telling her how ugly and unloved and just unnecessary I felt and she told me that I needed to get dressed and put my makeup on and she’d be there to pick me up.

My last relationship was a train wreck that literally shredded every good thing about me to pieces. This was the hardest relationship of mine for my mom to watch, but she was there from day one of it and still is even after I told him I wanted a divorce. She didn’t once tell me I was stupid for staying (even though I know she was thinking it), but she never left my side when bad things happened even though she knew they were going to happen.

This woman

My mom has seen the absolute worst of me. When I say worst, I mean like she wouldn’t let me drive and wanted to take me to the hospital kind of worst. She was there when I mentally wasn’t. She held me when I wanted to just die. She picked me up NUMEROUS times and didn’t let me just fall. She has been my rock in ALL of my hard times. She’s been my support in so many ways and still is…

One time when she was crying with me, I asked her why she was crying and she said, “Because my daughter is hurt and when you’re hurt, I hurt for you.” At the time I didn’t really get it, but now being a mom, it makes perfect sense.

I don’t think she really knows what it means to me to have the constant love and support that she’s given me. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be alive.

Love you Mama.

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I was told to “Just be happy”

I really wish people would do some research on mental health and what it does to a person. I was told once, “Why can’t you just be happy?” Like if I could just be happy don’t you fucking think I would be?! Do you think I am just choosing sadness and depression? Um, NO. I wouldn’t choose this nor would I wish this on my worst enemy. Battling with your own brain is by far the worst.

I was asked once, “Why do you post so much sad shit on Facebook?” Oh gee, I don’t know, maybe because I’M FUCKING SAD, Lisa! Did you even ask if I was okay?! No? Then don’t talk to me about the sad shit I post. Move along little doggy.

Someone asked me if I was okay once and when I responded with an honest answer, which was “No”, their reply was, “You should seek professional help.” Okay, this is like the last thing you want to say to someone when they tell you they aren’t okay. If they tell you they aren’t okay, more than likely it was hard to even tell you that. When you tell them to go get professional help, it’s basically saying that you don’t want to listen. Most of they time, all they want is someone to listen and just BE there for them, no advice.

Do your research people, don’t be ignorant

I cannot say this enough, MENTAL HEALTH IS VERY REAL AND IT REALLY MATTERS! Do your research so you don’t hurt someone who is already hurting. You have no idea what battle they are fighting within themselves.

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I want to ‘Bye Felicia’ everyone

Anyone ever just want to up and move somewhere and not tell anyone? Yeah, I’m at that point in my life.

My life has been full of drama for the last like 5 years straight. The kind of drama that seems to just follow you because there’s no way to just fully avoid it.

People keep trying to talk to me about MY business when the LAST thing I want to do is talk about it. It’s really hard to mentally deal with something when everyone won’t leave you alone about it.

I feel like the only one I can really trust 100% is my damn self. It’s such an isolating feeling when everyone you know has done something to hurt you or betray you in some way. I literally feel like I have no one to fully lean on.

One thing I know I got out of all the bullshit I’ve been through though is that fact that I’m more intune with my gut instincts and if I’ve learned anything after all I’ve been through, it would be to ALWAYS trust your gut. For a long time (longer than I’d like to admit), I ignored my instincts because I wanted to see the good in people… Sometimes there’s just more deceit in a human being than there is good and it took me so long to realize that.

I’m overwhelmed

I’m just overwhelmed with life and the drama that’s attached to mine, that I just want to up and move without telling anyone. I just need a break. My mind needs a break from the excessive thoughts that it creates due to the anxiety that was caused by what people did to me. I need to get a grip on my life again without people questioning me or pushing their way into my life.

This past month has been hard for me. My mind goes a million miles an hour and in all different directions. One minute I feel happy with my life and the ones in it and the next minute, I feel like I can’t trust anyone.

I just want to be able to do shit by myself without being questioned or without me worrying about how someone else feels about it or if I’m hurting someone else’s feelings.

I just need a break. Anyone have a cabin in the middle of no where that me and my daughter can escape to for a few years? Lol

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Inside my mind during it’s darkest time

My breath becomes short…

Me body becomes numb…

Everything around me disappears in a haze…

My thoughts all come flowing in at once with no time to sort them out…

I feel nothing but everything all at once….

I’m completely numb and left with just my mind…

My mind is not in the right state…

I feel an overbearing amount of emotional and mental agony… All… At… Once…

The mental pain is too much but my body feels nothing….

The pain needs to escape my mind so I can physically feel again…

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9 ways your toxic partner is negatively affecting you

In a relationship, you are suppose to build each other up, not tear each other down. You are suppose to grow together and be able to count on one another. Do you feel like you are trapped in the idea of how a relationship should be and not actually in a real relationship? Here are some signs that your significant other is more toxic than than beneficial to your health.

Your social skill have changed

You use to be able to strike up a conversation with anyone. You use to be able to find a common interest with anyone.

Now, you barely talk. You aren’t that chatterbox outgoing person that you were before because now you fear saying the wrong thing. You fear that what you say will be misinterpreted. You fear that your significant other will think wrong about what you say to others.

You feel drained in every way possible the majority of the time

You have little to no motivation left for anything, not even something as simple as taking a shower. You are running on a 1% and anything feels like a demanding task. You just feel empty.

They have literally rid your soul of it’s will to go on…

Restful nights are completely non-existent

You don’t remember when the last time you went to bed happy and actually slept. You are up all night wondering what you did wrong earlier that day. When you finally do fall asleep, it usually comes with tears and anxiety.

Being with someone toxic who is slowly dragging you down means that your life is surrounded with a scary amount of negativity, which prohibits you from being able to sleep peacefully

Your toxic significant other is affecting your sleep and now your health to a scary degree.

You have lost a lot of friends

You find yourself making excuses to not go out with your friends anymore. As much as you want to, you also don’t want to be accused of doing something wrong by your significant other. Your friends don’t recognize the person you have become and tell you how worried they are about you often, but you are too afraid to tell them how you feel, because you are afraid of what your significant other will think if they found out.

You notice that less and less friends even call you anymore to invite you out.

Your significant other is literally isolating you.

Worry has become your best friend

You constantly worry and have anxiety about everything. Literally everything. You worry so much that you make yourself physically sick over it. You feel like your whole day was wasted and filled with anxiety

You feel your anxiety taking complete control, but you have no emotional or physical energy to address it.

Your physical and mental health has plumeted

You feel unwell most of the time. You always seem to have something wrong. You always find yourself in the emergency room or doctor’s office.

You just don’t feel like yourself anymore, and just want everything to end because that seems easier.

They are literally draining your health to the point where you NEED to depend on them.

Disappearing feels like the only option

You feel like you are stuck and can’t get out the the toxic cycle you are in, so ‘disappearing’ seems like the only logical solution.

You feel like no one will miss you anyways, so why not.

They have have literally sucked all the self worth you use to have, out of you.

You constantly question yourself

Even when you haven’t done anything wrong, you blame yourself all of the time. You blame yourself for your significant other’s actions. You also blame yourself for the reason why they don’t show you the love you show them.

You honestly feel like you did something so horrible to make them not love you…. Even though you know deep down that you didn’t…

They are able to manipulate you into thinking whatever they want you too think, when they want you to think it.

You always feel like something is missing in your life

You feel like your life is always incomplete, like there is something missing, but you don’t know what. You feel like nothing will get better.

As much as you want things to get better and you want to fill that void, you have no idea how.

You need to reach out

I am here to tell you guys that I really know how you feel. That sound cliche, but I have been where you are and it’s hard. Beyond hard, but you can get out of it and find yourself again.

You are worth more than your significant other is making you feel. You are important and you matter.

I know it’s hard, but you need to find that strength you once had to leave that toxic relationship, because it’ll only get harder if you don’t.

You need to trust your gut and act on it, not ignore it. You have more strength than you realize, you just have to find a support system to help you remember that.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, please please please reach out to loved ones or call the National Suicide prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.