Impatient or PTSD?

I hear it almost every day: “You are SO impatient!” My sister is quick to point this out, although I don’t know how many times I’ve explained to her that I have PTSD. The fact is, I am hard-wired to respond quickly to whatever presents itself to me in the way of life situations. That’s PTSD.

I remember once reading about an astronaut who was asked what he would do if he learned he had just 10 seconds to act before a situation went out of control and he was killed. His response was that he would think it through for nine seconds, then use the last second to follow through on his decision. Not me. I would try 27 different things in those 10 seconds! That’s PTSD!

I can’t say whether how I would respond is better than how he would respond. It’s certainly not that I wouldn’t be thinking things through. PTSD puts my brain into overdrive, and I believe I think quite clearly; I just do it faster. It’s not a matter of being impatient. It’s PTSD.

I guess the larger problem is how do you get friends and family members to understand that this isn’t just a matter of your making decisions in a flash; it’s not a choice. Rather, it’s a lifestyle, something I can’t control. I’m not sure I should even try to control it. It is who I am.

I wish people could simply understand that we don’t all have to be exactly the same, that no one way of doing things is better than another, that their way isn’t necessarily always the right way. I guess the world would be a lot closer to heaven if that were the case! But, in my world, it’s PTSD.

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