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The Demons Beneath

There are a number of events in each of our lives that require us to look back at the past and seal it off in a plastic bag or a secure room depending on the size of the impacts the event had on our lives.

The topic of abandonment comes up frequently in my practice. I am not sure why. At some point in someone's life, a person's loved one, an authority in the mother or father role simply bails out, walking away from the family. Another example could be the death of a parent during the early childhood years. If the deceased is the good parent, the child will have no one to nurture them as they grow, leaving a massive scar on their psyche forever.

Everyone knows these people. They trust no one and have an extreme commitment phobia. They may be an introvert or an extrovert. Introverts derive tremendous energy and pleasure being alone. They can sometimes be extremely effective in a social gathering, but their energy is absolutely drained by the constant changing interactions in a crowd. The extrovert craves social interaction, thrives on it. Any alone time is frightening, and the worry of abandonment festers as they navigate their world in a quiet, non-interactive space.

But the great imposter of all in psychological and emotional disturbances is post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A woman came into the office as a ten minute walk in. My nurse Tammy looked at me, "You have to use your strongest magic for this one." As I walked into the room, I saw a thin, attractive blonde woman lying down on the exam table. She was in tears. When she sat up, she appeared to have lost weight. She was unable to eat or sleep. She had just returned from California. Her trip was not for pleasure. It was to help her aging mother who had fallen and broken her hip and wrist. She explained that her mother was alone, although seemingly mentally together, her mother had befriended an Armenian couple who were clever con artists. These two ne’er-do-wells had convinced her mother to change her will, leaving them hundreds of thousands of dollars of family money. Her mother was frail, mentally vulnerable, and in her late eighties. No other family members were in California to help her mother. If my memory serves me correctly, my distraught patient had no siblings.

As I heard the story, I recognized that she was not well. She was weak and fatigued. She was crying, saying that she had very little energy to just get up every morning and get dressed. She was afraid of facing the next calamity, and the next. Going back and forth from California to care for her mother was taking its toll on her. But there was more.

After a few questions, she revealed she was afraid of the man and woman, the two people who had befriended her. She was afraid for her mother's safety. It seemed that her mother had injured herself while shooting a basketball at the couple's home. Her mother was using a walker. When she fell, she broke her hip and arm. The couple picked her up, took her to her home, and put her in her bed.

When her mother got up to use the bathroom, she fell. Life Alert notified my patient that her mother had fallen. The rest is history. As she relayed the story, she was shaking, felt powerless to help her mother, and related that she was in fear of the couple who had befriended her. Putting a woman to bed after she had broken her hip and arm was a clear message that the couple was not acting in her mother's best interest.

"Can you give me just an ounce of energy? An ounce? Do you have something? Maybe an infusion will help me." I looked at her after the story was told, "You have PTSD. That makes me sad. PTSD cannot be treated with an infusion. But we'll give you an Energy IV. It'll replenish essential vitamins, minerals, and increase vitamin C levels." She cried some more. "What do I do?"

"The only thing to you can do. Experience the grief. Experience the fear. Stay in the moment. Your mother will be okay. You'll get your life back. Sacrifice all unimportant matters to focus on your mother. Your Will shall overcome the will of the couple in California. Your mother 'll be safe."

When I left her room, Tammy had arranged for the infusion within a 24 hour period. But I felt something else happened to push her over the edge into PTSD land. Something she was still dealing with. Perhaps an abandonment issue hidden in the weeds on the shore of her PTSD. Who left her and why? Who did she trust? Who can she trust no more?

I'm sure we'll find a way to increase her energy. I'm sure she will find an excellent solution to cope with her mother's situation. I'm sure her PTSD will be repressed again, perhaps chained to abandonment, deep within the caverns of her unconscious mind. Only to return if her mother falls again unlocking the PTSD demons, releasing them back to her conscious mind.

Doc

Posted by Roxanne Evans at 10:07 AM
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