my story (sorry it's long and probably boring)
I believe I have a mild form of PTSD, but I was never diagnosed (I don't even have medical insurance anyway). Or at least it's mild now, but it wasn't as mild before. The cause of my stress - I feel weird even calling it stress, because it doesn't affect me anymore, or maybe it does but indirectly - the cause was a miserable childhood. The main thing that made me so miserable was the place that my mom moved to when I was 12. We had been living in the south (Austin, TX first, and then Las Cruces, NM), and I was very happy there. Then all of the sudden my mom got this idea to move up north and live with my grandma. I had already spent 5 yrs there previously, ages 2-7, and in those early childhood years, I had no friends and no interest in even having friends, because of the place and the people that lived there. Remembering that, and knowing how much happier I was in the south, I begged her not to move. She did anyway. Now most people probably would never understand how a place could make someone so unhappy, but trust me, I was VERY unhappy there. I did not fit in at all, in this small northern town, filled with small-minded, ignorant, sheltered people. I was completely out of place there, and wasn't about to change either just to fit in, I chose to stick out but be myself. Since I refused to change and be the same as everyone else there, I spent the rest of my childhood without friends. I spent my teenage years there, and didn't have friends to go out with or even talk to. I spent my teen years in lonliness and isolation, and felt alienated. On top of that, my step-dad treated me like sh*t and was constantly verbally abusing me. And my older sister would constantly rub in the fact that I didn't have any friends, and make fun of me. My mother just ignored all of this. I would always beg her to move, and even had an hour long discussion with her once when I was about 14. I told her that if she stayed there, she would be basically ruining my life, because any time spent there was time spent in hell for me. I told her that if she didn't move by the time I turned 18, that not only would she be making me live my teenage years in hell, but that I would have to take on adult responsibilities as soon as I turned 18, because I would be taking the situation into my own hands and moving. I finally did turn 18, after 6 years of being miserable, and got myself out of there. But it's not easy to live on your own at such a young age with absolutely no help from your family. It's almost like I didn't have a family...they didn't support me financially or emotionally. My mom got child support for me until I turned 18, and I never saw a penny of it....I had to buy most of my own clothing from the age of 15, and at one point pay my mom to drive me to work since that place had no buses. My family actually was a destructive one, offering no help of any kind, and nothing but discouragement and negative words for me. The first year after getting out of there, I would have nightmares about being a child again. I would wake up with my heart beating fast, and scared, and then I would look around me and see I in a good place and not in that place, and I would calm down a little bit, but still be upset. Also, whenever seeing tourists here from the state where I was so miserable, I would get really upset. Especially when they would get out of their car and I would hear that annoying loud "hehehehehehe" that I heard so many annoying people do up north. I used to get depressed whenever I would talk to my mom on the phone, because somehow she would always find a way of talking about that place and the people there and her daily interactions with ppl....and that would really bother me. It's like I got out of there, but couldn't escape it because my mom wouldn't let me escape. She couldn't keep me there anymore past age 18, but she seemed to be trying to almost verbally keep me there....always talking about that place and even giving her opinions about things, but hearing the things she would say, I could tell that place has had an influence on her and made her think like them in some ways. Even going as far one time as to warn me that if I had a bi-racial child (which my son is) that people will make fun of him for being mixed.....ughhh. I had to explain to her that where I live, most people aren't that closed minded and are more accepting of differences, especially simply being bi-racial....I see MANY, many children that are mixed here, and she should keep that kind of ignorant small minded thinking to herself. And even if the whole world were as small minded as where she lives, that wouldn't stop me from having my son with his father.....I wasn't going to break up with my son's father just to keep from disappointing the closed minded people in society with having a child that is mixed. I don't care what those people think, and those closed minded people are what annoyed me so bad where my mom lives, and I'm so happy that I don't see many people like that here in VA. Since moving here, I finally feel like I fit in and belong, and am accepted for who I am and not being judged so harshly every place I go. I still don't have too many friends though, because it's hard to find friends when you didn't grow up in a place and aren't involved in any sort of social groups or whatever. I can't just go up to random people and say "hey do you want to be my friend?", so that's why I just have a few friends....but that's not too bad considering I didn't go to school here, and before living here, I went to a school with 2000 kids and had no friends.
Now to anyone who read this whole thing, let me say THANK YOU. And if you just read part of it, I still want to thank you, I know this post was really long. I had planned on it being really short and don't know how it ended up being so long. And I know my case is not the common case of PTSD, I've read many things about PTSD, and never read about it being caused from being an outcast in a particular place....but it wasn't just that, it was having no escape from that place, and then being stuck with an unsupportive family on top of that. My mom tries to say she thinks my step-dad was the main cause of stress for me, but I am sure he was not the MAIN problem. The place was my main problem, and he just added to my problems there. But if I had been somewhere else and had friends to talk to, or a bus to hop on and get away for a bit, then it would've been easier to ignore him. I ignored him just fine before they moved there. Before I keep going on, I have one final note. Sometimes I feel as if I'm crazy or something, because no one can relate to me and most people can't imagine being in a place where you're SO OUT OF PLACE. Even now, after being here for almost 5 years, it's hard to believe that a place exists that can have such an effect on a person and how they feel.