On grand occasion over the last 30 years, my left ear and left side of my head have exploded in sharp, dagger-like pain. When it has happened, I usually just write it off and wait for it to go away and it usually does. But for the last several months I have been dealing with an earache from hell. It has felt like an ice pick has been shoved into my eardrum and my neck along with the whole left side of my skull feeling like they're in a vice. Overall, I have been wondering why my sinuses have been giving me the dickens on the left side of my face for years...well, a visit to the student health center illuminated it for me.
I have a deviated septum. According to my doctor, from a cosmetic standpoint I'm perfectly symmetrical on the surface. However, underneath the surface it's a completely different story. It seems as mine tilts completely to the right, leaving my right side wide open and my left barely functioning. He looked at me and said, "That's not natural and doesn't come from just a bonk on the nose, you must've taken a Mack Truck sized punch." My jaw clenched shut and I just shrugged. Nothing would come out. I don't talk about those things.
He went onto explain that because of the severity of my deviated septum, the Eustachian tube on my left side has a lot of pressure built up in it and it was making my eardrum swell outwards, hence the pain and headaches. I always wondered why my left ear squeaked when I would equalize when I went diving at the aquarium to clean the exhibits...no small wonder. Well, he gave me some Flonase with strict instructions to do both sides of my nose once a day to relieve the pressure and hopefully get me fairly straightened out.
After I walked out of the Health and Wellness Center on campus and headed out to my car, anxiety overwhelmed me and tears just started falling. I know exactly who is responsible for my deviated septum. I don't like thinking about the day and I don't want to remember it at all, but C-PTSD doesn't let you. As you can guess, it has triggered a whole new round of intrusive memories, feelings of alienation and kicked my avoidance behaviors through the roof. The slightest noise and I flinch. If an arm moves in my direction I tense up, flinch and duck. Rounds and rounds of "you may be pretty on the outside but you're ugly on the inside", "you're worthless" and other insults fly at me through intrusive memories and worse, when I go to sleep at night I can see the hand that came with such power at my face that I literally sit up in the bed crying because I'm so terrified. I get short of breath and my body is covered in sweat. It's a miserable way to live. I love how someone defined "Borderline" personality disorder the other day, they said,"Essentially, BPD is what happens to a person when you spend years mentally and physically torturing them from early childhood. The torture consists at least in withholding all physical and verbal expressions of love, and often it there is the active component of telling the child that he is hated and worthless. Broken promises, emotional neglect and verbal abuse." They likened it to 'having unhealed third degree burns on the emotional system.' That description is so dead-on to the mark, I can't even begin to relay how.
Ace has taken command for right now. He's been really patient with me and holding me a lot. It's been a steady diet of Xanax and talking to get me to relax enough to sleep but it's been very hard because every time I close my eyes I can see the event over and over and over and feel the impact of each blow. I know I'm supposed to be tough and just let it go, but this one is tougher because it's 30 years of latent memories that I'm battling. It's like jumping onto PTSD airlines and being stuck in the middle of a hurricane, turbulence galore with nothing but hypersensitive shocks. So, I'm up again late, trying to get my heart to stop pounding in my chest and my tears to stop falling while I learn how to cope. If you'd like to see my handiwork that has been tonight's fun on Pinterest where I've been trying to pin my pain away, be my guest.