Re-empowerment is such a gritty, unpredictable creature for me. A month ago, I was attacked by a fellow board member at MHRAC (Mental Health Response Advisory Committee). For a month, I’ve been doing just lousy. PTSD is such a bitch, amongst other bitches.

For a month, I didn’t do anything about it. Wait. I did file a police report. That was a huge something. But I did wait three days until Razzie insisted I do it.

I wanted to spare MHRAC the hardship. Continuously, my friends and support network reminded me that I didn’t create the hardship. So, Monday, I wrote the statement to MHRAC I should have written the day after the attack.

I slept for a full six hours rather than the two hour norm of the past month. Gritty. Unpredictable.

I didn’t attend MHRAC last night because I do not feel safe with her (and I have not obligation to do so, and for now I focus on how to live with incredibly sever PTSD symptoms), so this will need to be addressed. That is disempowering.

The statement, though. This is my statement, a positive, self-empowering step in my recovery journey. Chapter 1.


MHRAC members:

I am not attending tonight’s monthly MHRAC meeting because of an incident that occurred immediately after our last meeting in August. A female MHRAC member approached me in what I feel was a very aggressive manner, and in the ensuing argument her screaming at me escalated to her jabbing me in the chest with her finger.

I have incredibly severe PTSD from a horribly abusive 13 year marriage, and an unfortunate consequence of being engaged so aggressively by our fellow MHRAC member is that PTSD symptoms more intense than I’ve yet experienced were triggered. It was far too similar to the way my ex-wife treated me for 13 years.

For the past month, I’ve been sleeping no more than two to three hours at a time, and additional symptoms like night terrors are beginning to manifest. This is part of the peer experience with which I haven’t had to contend previously, and my WRAP is entirely devoid of strategies to combat PTSD symptoms this intense.

Speaking, planning, and coordinating with my treatment team and support network, I have determined that the first step to re-empowering myself after this incident is to share with MHRAC why I am not attending tonight’s meeting, something I should have done much earlier than today. Hopefully, this will be that necessary first step to get me back to the level of wellness I prefer and enjoy.

I know and appreciate that there is great potential for disruptive fallout from me sharing this with the committee. My fear of disrupting MHRAC has also had a significant effect on my mental wellness because I’ve allowed my loyalty to MHRAC to outweigh my mental health needs. Again, I’m reminded that my wellness comes first, and if MHRAC is disrupted by this incident it is because of the choice our fellow MHRAC member made in how she communicated with me, and then the unfortunate triggering of my severe and unanticipated PTSD symptoms.

I have no intention of resigning from MHRAC. I am being responsible and professional and have asked Rasma Cox to take my seat tonight. Also, I did share this email with our co-chairs Danny and Rick before sending this to the MHRAC membership.

I value your understanding and support.

Steve

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