• Michelle Partington

Frozen in time

I'm sat here after receiving a text from a friend discussing the walk I am booked to go on at the weekend. Problem is I'm becoming increasingly anxious about it because apparently thousands are booked onto it. I've donated to the charity so if I don't make it I won't feel as bad. They won't miss little me anyway. I currently feel like I'm becoming a prisoner in my own little miserable flat whilst life goes on around me.

It's impossible to explain to others how I'm so very keen to get involved with things yet when it comes near to the time I become anxious and panic. I am trying though and I have managed to travel to Manchester on my own for the last couple of weeks, albeit with my headphones on and timing things absolutely right. I am already a prisoner in my mind and I really don't want to become a prisoner in my home as well. It is so easy to just lock yourself away and I have to be honest and admit, I have done on a few occasions because it's safer and easier.

I am in a vicious circle which I cannot escape from. I have lost a partner and a dear friend due to my injury and I am worried about getting close to anyone else for fear of hurting them to. I truly want to meet someone and enjoy the closeness that this brings with it. The problem is I become extremely agitated, anxious and devoid of any emotion so quickly it's just not fair to subject someone else to that. Add to it the random social anxiety, nightmares and lack of interest most days, I guess I find it better not to put myself onto anyone else in a situation where they have to find out the hard way what my injury does without warning.

Oh my god seriously!!!!! I'm just watching Pride of Britain awards and Prince Harry just came on as well as the Invictus Team, talking about the Games and all I was hearing was about the physical injuries sustained whilst in Afghanistan. I am so proud of all those who have overcome their physical injuries but without going over things already said, what about the invisible injuries.....aaarrrggghhhh!!!!!

I'm becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of recognition for PTSD (I think I'm hiding it well though)! I was watching This Morning today and Brian Adams was on talking about his book of photographs and an exhibition of physically wounded soldiers. Everything I have been reading about PTSD refers to men and about 'him' suffering or hitting 'his' wife or girlfriend....I understand it's due to the majority of 'soldiers' being in direct combat but that really isn't the case anymore. My team and I found ourselves in combat situations on more than one occasion whilst picking up casualties. It isn't also just about being in combat situations, we are exposed to extreme trauma on a daily basis. Sometimes it is only one casualty but other times there are a number of them; including women, children and insurgents. These are all challenging mentally without the added exposure of horrid wounds we have to tend to. That amount of trauma takes its toll on you and added with that, the high extremes of anxiety we feel minute by minute waiting for a call to come in, flying in often dangerous situations and retrieving casualties. Yes we go on auto pilot but at some point it comes back to bite you in the backside which is exactly what it has done for me. I feel like I'm locked in time, trapped in a cube of ice, unable to escape the nightmare I now find myself living in.

Veterans of war are wounded physically and/or mentally and this MUST be recognised, taken seriously and prioritised on the same scale as physical injuries. Many lives have been saved because of medical intervention for the physical wounds. Lives are being lost in the battle against trying to gain medical support for the mentally injured. Some days I feel like this ice cube will melt and I will just be another statistic who was frozen in time; war time.

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