Carrie Cotton

Just a Girl In The World Sharing The Ups and Downs of a Messy Life


I tell myself I’m being dramatic when I see a post like that and agree with it.  Trauma lingers.  Maybe for some. But not for me.

I tell myself,  “I don’t have PTSD – that’s for people that went to war.”

Truth is.  Maybe I do.

My sister n law has mentioned it, in the past, in conversation.  I was irritated.  Offended.

“But, I’m fine.”

Why do we feel we have to defend ourselves? And pretend we were never hurt or deeply wounded?  Why do we belittle how we feel or react?

My daughter went on a school trip today.  Five hours away.  It didn’t take long for the panic to set in.  To start to worry about the drive and pray that nothing would happen to her while she was there.

It seems to happen when there is a new situation. Something beyond my control.  I react. I expect the worst.  I hate feeling out of control.

Ever since that July day, when I lost half my family in one night, I don’t completely trust that people will stay in my life.

I don’t completely trust, that they will come home at the end of the day.

I run through the situation. I know how it will play out.  I know how quickly a call will come if something were to happen.

It’s ridiculous how “prepared” I am for disaster. I have it all played out in my head before the situation even happens.

My family died in a car accident. Someone blew through a stop sign going way too fast.

I would say my fear of driving comes from that.  Mostly in traffic. I don’t drive in big cities. I hate the idea of merging.  Nope. No thank you.  I’ll pass.

My drive to work can be stressful at times.  There are days I drive to work, and in my head, I wonder if this is my last day.  I wonder, not always, but some days, if today is the day a car doesn’t stop.

I get tense behind the wheel.  I think about my life.  I think about what I said to my husband and kids before they headed out the door. I replay my words as if they were my last.  I make sure to kiss my husband and tell him I love him, just so he knows, should I not see him again. I get really upset with myself if I don’t.


Maybe people are right when they say trauma lasts.  Maybe people are right when they say “I think you have PTSD”.

I KNOW that life is not guaranteed. And I KNOW that just because I expect it to be a regular day, doesn’t guarantee it will go as planned.

I believe I’ve gotten better over the years.

But, some days will trigger the response even more.

Today it was my daughter driving five hours away on a bus, without me, and not in my control.

It doesn’t run my life, the fear of the unknown, but it does linger.  I have to trust in God that I will be OK no matter what happens.


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