Recovering from PTSD by Reading and Other Things.

Shit that Physicist Thinks
17 min readAug 15, 2023

I know it feels like ‘the outsiders’ are right, whenever they try to tell you that you are at fault, you are the problem, there is some deep, hidden fault within you, within your personality and within who you are, that your brain begins to believe it. If so many people, for my entire life, have treated me this badly, like I somehow have to completely change who I am because I am the issue, I am like a fracture in the earth, a canyon, a valley of mistakes, failures and faults, a person whose entire existence is somehow wrong… how can I have any redeeming qualities, right?

You feel like you need to change who you are, when you honestly are brilliant, dazzling, funny, fun to be around, a great person overall whom anyone would be lucky to know… and yet, the people all around you, the people who are supposed to love you unconditionally, to trust you and just let you live freely, the people you are supposed to love and trust… they’ve always harassed and belittled you, made you feel like your personality was abrasive and horrible, your ideologies flawed…

Well, guess what? You don’t do that shit to them. You’ve never done that shit to them. Because of your ability to empathise, you can actually feel how terrible and shitty it feels when people make you feel like you are a wound, an ugly ulcer, a pustule waiting to burst. Something to be hidden and never looked at, no matter how much you achieve or how much you do for the people around you… somehow, they lack the ability to actually just shut the fuck up with their criticisms and just be grateful that you even give them the time of day.

Like you are a leper, a mad-person, something to be hidden in darkness, an ugly, putrid, pungent thing to be destroyed and kept away from the light.

Well, guess what? You are none of those things. In fact, people who are capable of treating others like that are reflective of the negative values and qualities they assign to other people. Maybe it is their narcissistic personality or their lack of self-awareness. Honestly, at this point, the reason doesn’t fucking matter. What does matter is how wrong they are.

First of all, no person on Earth with good intentions and a fucking proven, clear record of just being an overall joy, someone who is capable of growth and change, someone who has so much self-awareness that their horrendous past experiences turn them into their own worst critiques… those people should never be made to feel so small and alienated. No one should make you feel like you’re crazy, even if they look at you like that. Even if you kinda are. Crazy is just another way people create ‘the other’, a person they don’t understand and fear because they don’t understand them, so they cast them out.

And you know what? It’s not their fault that they are so stupid and toxic. Well, actually, it is, because while you take the time to try to improve and heal, they keep dumping their issues and their toxicity on you. And you don’t have to take it.

When you go through trauma that’s awful enough to leave you with PTSD (or CPTSD and other things that happen to you when you experience severe trauma), you end up in that state of numbness that feels like there is a constant tightness in your heart. You are always either numb or anxious or both. I’ve been feeling like that for 5 years.

But you know what? I actually met someone who, out of everyone I’ve ever known, people I’ve known for fucking years (unfortunately), he stuck with me. He stayed. He was on my side. He was always kind and he did whatever he needed to do to help me come out of this poisonous shell that my trauma placed around my actual self.

I realised that I am stuck in this state of a mental block that I am just wholeheartedly sick of being in. The voices that tell me things will go horribly wrong, that my happiness is wrong and I should be anxious and worried about every little thing instead of daring to be calm about things I sometimes stress about. Because sure, it is all right to stress about things you care about. It means you give a shit. It means you actually really want it, it’s the kind of thing that makes you feel alive. Like you finally have a purpose, after years of being numb.

I was reading a book called Foundations of Mathematics, and the author mentioned something about ‘mental blocks’ being formed concerning mathematical ideas. In that moment, it was like an epiphany. A feeling I missed so badly that I ached for it… but not really. I knew of the concept of aching for it, because I used to experience it. I used to experience the most effervescent passion, bright-eyed sparkly enthusiasm… I used to have an endless well of passion for life, for love, for beauty, for the magic of science itself… I coined the term wizard of the universe to mean physicist. See, that epiphany led me to find a book, any book that could help me destroy the mental block I was tired of.

Doesn’t it just suck to be in a mental cell, feeling like you can’t go anywhere or do anything? The things you used to think, the thoughts that used to constantly run in your mind, making the world always interesting and fun to observe… just silenced by constant negativity, intrusive thoughts, anxiety and toxicity in your head, playing on repeat. But you know what?

The book I found has already made me come here and write this, and I haven’t finished chapter one. I am a quick healer when I’ve reached the right kind of mindset, and I don’t expect anyone to be as quickly affected as me because this has just always been who I am, but even I, the ‘overnight queen’, as I like to call myself, struggled for YEARS with this trauma, because, at least I think, it was compounded.

I experienced something so awful that no one should ever have to experience, and it created that fracture in my mind. I am not the fracture, but I had one in me. A wound that ran so deep, it could split a planet in half. And since I was still recovering from other things, when such a horrible thing happens to someone so bright, they shine like a billion stars… well, it hurts. It hurts a lot.

I ended up in a weird state of numbness because I was never given a chance to properly heal from what happened to me. I was completely alone in my problems and I never noticed I had them, because I was numb. I started smoking — aka regularly consuming any kind of drug other than some caffeine— for the first time in my life, because it was helping me numb the constant fear and stress. Well, helping is a stretch. It was more like ‘helping’ me. I reached a point where I was ALWAYS WORRIED about maybe having lung cancer or heart problems. I couldn’t breathe.

One day, I spent a day with the person I mentioned earlier, without smoking a single cigarette.

For the first time in 3 years, I was able to think relatively clearly. I could breathe. The oxygen I was depriving my brain of, which my protective self (a term I learned from the book I’m reading that I will mention soon), was asking for, because it’s a lot easier to make a genius miss details of their own self-destruction… or preservation, according to the twisted new mindset your body develops after severe trauma to keep you alive, when their brain isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to function properly.

I am writing this because I want anyone out there, struggling with the issues I had and have, should seriously read this book. It’s magnificent. It’s amazing. He gets to the point and makes you feel like you are looking in a mirror from before the introduction.

It is called: Whole Again by Jackson MacKenzie. When I did my research on the different PTSD self-help books, I found this article that had a comprehensive list of books, recommended by an expert. However, the one that is working for me is Whole Again. I am pretty much addicted to the book at this point. I just wanna keep reading it. And whenever I am not reading it, I am thinking about reading it.

It is helping me. Hopefully, it can help you as well. And if not that book specifically, then maybe one of the many on the list above.

I just… it feels good to recover and to talk about it so openly like this. I figured I could also help out people experiencing the same thing as me.

I just want to repeat… it doesn’t matter if you have people externally validating anything you do. Years of being worn down don’t really work, either. What does work is trauma that disconnects you from yourself.

You don’t owe anyone anything. Fuck them and their bigoted opinions. You don’t have to be someone else or pretend to be miserable so as not to make them attack you for being happy or try to rain on your parade.

Fuck ’em. Be unapologetically happy and unapologetically you.

I spent so long wondering why I am like this, why I am not myself anymore, what changed, why it feels like I can never fix it… I can’t fix myself if I was never broken, and I can’t fix something that doesn’t go away by ‘being fixed’. It’s not something I have to analyse and try to understand. It’s a coping mechanism. It’s a way to reassure yourself that you are awful, that’s why you’re treated the way you are.

It’s all bullshit. Those fuckers that try to make you feel like you’re too much, you’re too x, you’re too y… well, maybe they’re too fucking x and too fucking y. You don’t owe them shit.

You’re never going to live this life again, and you are never going to exist again.

Isn’t it about time we said fuck the assholes and start actually living the way we want to live, without fear of being abused or physically assaulted or harassed?

I am so sick of being afraid of stupid, insecure, insignificant, pathetic little dangly-bits-havers because some pathetic morons from my childhood touched me the wrong way or beat me near to death.

I’ve experienced a lot of violence where I shouldn’t have, and I’ve survived it.

I’ve survived all the fucking bullshit those weak, disgusting creatures threw at me. And I have every right to be angry and call them whatever I want, because they behaved in the ways I am describing, which automatically rips them of any respect they may have once had. So, get offended, tell me I shouldn’t talk like this, tell me I am rude, say whatever the fuck you want.

The old me wouldn’t have given a single fuck. She would’ve known she was absolutely right and she wouldn’t have cared, not even a fraction of a fuck given, because when you are right, the whole world be damned. They can be fucking wrong because when they try to abuse you, stomp on you, belittle you and bring you down, fuck them, they are wrong.

This revolting world we live in, where sexism and racism are social constructs that the powerful use to their advantage, where greed rules the world and human rights are frequently stripped from people just as human as EVERYONE ELSE? It doesn’t get to tell me what to do. It doesn’t get to tell me I’m wrong.

Get your self-righteous fucking delusional heads out of your own asses and look around you.

If family abuses you and never repents for it, you don’t owe them shit. If your family treats you like utter shit, blackmails you emotionally, gaslights you, literally imprisons you in a tiny little germ-infested ugly little green-walled apartment, never accepts responsibility for their actions, and then fucking expects you to forgive them for everything they’ve ever done without ever having apologised? Oh, and, the real fucking kicker: when they expect you to apologise to them for simply existing and being yourself and them deciding to take offense to that… ah, man, that just makes me laugh. Because it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

I’m good, honestly. I am more than sure that I don’t have to take their crap, and I won’t. And you shouldn’t take crap from your abusers, either, shit, you don’t need to prostate yourself and crawl to the fuckers who tell you that you are a sore, that your personality is just wrong… ahahaha, they are so dumb and toxic I just don’t even know how such a mind could work.

I honestly could keep writing about this for hours. I can keep talking about how when I decided to take a stand and do what’s healthy for me, my siblings decided I was wrong, they decided I should go crawling back to an abusive piece of shit because he threw another one of his boring, classic tantrums, a 50+ year old who never grew up and never will. He has nothing? He did it to himself. He wants something? He can try to work on getting something back. It is not my responsibility to parent an adult. I don’t have children and I don’t want any, and I never signed up to parent my own parents when I’m in my 20’s. I don’t have to do it, no one has to do it, and if a human being can be so horrible to you throughout your entire life and just never change, ever, the pathetic sentence of ‘he’s family’ or ‘he’s your father’ loses all meaning when he’s never been my father.

You know whom I see as a father? My uncle. He raised me to be generous, open-minded, curious, eager to learn, cautious and calculated, thoughtful, prepared, hard-working, financially intelligent, balanced in all things… he raised a brilliant person. I did my own work of course, as we all do when we learn independence at the age of 7, but he was there. Just like my grandmother. She was there when my mother wasn’t. So, you know what? I am old enough now to know that it doesn’t matter that I had deadbeat parents who barely did anything for us — heck, my father never did anything, literally anything for us (he loved spending his money on scams that he still pursues to this day, instead of his family, of course), and once the divorce happened he was either completely gone or back to do nothing but abuse and scream and shout and make us feel as unsafe as possible. I was more of an adult, I was more mature than him at the age of fucking 14. I did my fair share of raising a child in a man’s body and I am done wasting any more time and energy on a pathetic excuse of a person.

I did my part. Trying and knowing when to stop, when it’s a hopeless case, are things I’ve always been good at. I do what’s good for me and my mental health. I’ve always had to take care of myself, completely by myself, and I became damn good at it. So, when I declare something toxic and I remove myself from the situation, it is because I know it’s good for me, and no one else will do what’s good for me, as proven by others’ insistence to subject myself to constant harm and emotional abuse.

It is not my issue if they wish to keep lashing themselves like some self-flagellating religious fanatic by staying in the presence of some goddamn awful cunt who never did anything good for anyone I know (I don’t even care if this sounds extreme at this point, I am done making excuses for a 50+-year-old good-for-nothing, deadbeat scumbag). You know what he could do? We don’t want anything from him. He can send ‘child support’ to my mother, which he didn’t do for YEARS and very recently did the same thing he always did, the same hilariously predictable pattern of ‘if you don’t obey me I will withdraw my funds from you’, and I am just bored and done. But you know what I think is hilarious? Instead of trying to change or grow or do anything meaningful, instead of moving to live with his dying and ill mother, he stays here to harass us and do nothing with his life. It’s pathetic. How can someone be so blind and so stuck?

And you know what… you might think that maybe he just needs someone to help him see that he should change, he should go be with his mother. But no, he likes to play the victim. He doesn’t want to do anything for her, either. If people wanna play saints to make themselves feel better while functioning under the delusion that they might get a stone that’s never moved somewhere, they are free to do so.

I am done.

I learned one thing pretty quickly from spending two years with the most toxic person I’ve ever known.

They never change. He has never changed. Every time he lied to me and told me things would change, we would be free from that house, I can go to uni… none of that ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever happened.

And you know what? I am a firm believer in change. I do think that people can change.

But not everyone does. And some people really just don’t want to because change takes effort, growth takes work, and I’ve never known a lazier person in my life.

So, you know what? I’m glad he was never around. His absence was the best thing he’s ever done for us, because it meant we grew up without his toxic influence… for the most part, the abuse was still there, of course, because how could he live his life knowing he wasn’t actively damaging the people he was supposed to protect?

And, after so long… I have conclusive evidence that this is the right way. This is the healing path, the clear, clean, self-growth-inducive path.

Staying as far away from that cancer as possible.

And I will say this to anyone who might listen.

If you have a toxic family member in your life who has always made things worse instead of better, please feel free to practice your human right to get the fuck out. Leave them behind. If you can’t physically toss that anchor weighing you down into the abyss, do it mentally. That’s harder, especially when you can’t disengage from contact with them, but… you can do it.

You can find peace.

There is absolutely no logic behind staying in touch with a toxic family member just because they are family. To what extent are we going to sacrifice our wellbeing — which, more often than not, is tossed aside for the wellbeing of others because the world is entitled to a strange delusional belief that somehow you have to forgive family anything and everything and throw your own self worth out the window — to please our fucking condescending, belittling, uncaring, gaslighting, abusive family members??

It’s not okay, and that is the message the world should hear.

You don’t have to completely give up on everyone/anyone, especially not the first time you ever try to come up with a solution.

I think you should try. You should try as much as you think is necessary or possible.

But there is a limit. There should be a limit to how much you are willing to try, especially when you start to reach uncharted territory of severe trauma.

When you feel like you’ve given them enough chances and you are ready to walk out, when you can make peace with that decision, when you know there is no moving forward without dropping that tumour into some dark river and letting it go downstream… forever freeing yourself from that dark cloud hanging over your bright, confident, full self, you must do it. You must get out.

It is time to love yourself and be kind to yourself. You’ve spent so much time, so many years, doing the opposite, tossing your needs and your wants aside to please others…

Don’t you think it’s time to move forward? Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to take back what you’ve lost, to take care of yourself again, and to make yourself feel loved?

You don’t need external love. You need internal love, self-worth, confidence… you need to understand that you should love yourself, as you are, no matter what, before anything else. Unconditionally love yourself.

I also firmly believe that love is either unconditional or it is a fake. It is a shell of what love should be, because I experienced both.

Once you start to love yourself, it will naturally become unconditional.

Once you can do that, unconditional love towards and from others will come easily.

I promise.

I just want to say that I thought about it as I wrote the things above. I am so positive, for the first time in years. I can feel myself getting better. Whenever I think about trying to involve myself in what I imagine should happen but know won’t, I see growth. I see positivity mixed with realism. I know I have done what I need to do. I am done. I am finished, I am free.

And… to conclude this? This writing has been some of the best, most therapeutic thing I’ve done in ages. I feel this odd sense of calm washing over me and I absolutely love it. I haven’t felt this way in what feels like eons. It’s mesmerising in its serenity… I want to keep it.

So I am going to keep walking this path. I know whom I want with me on it, and I cannot wait to meet new people who love me for me. I haven’t made any true friends in a long time. I am excited for that to change.

I also know I have found the love of my life, and all I feel towards him is this peaceful excitement, this passion, this endless, unconditional love… he is the one person I always want around. I love him more than the stars burn with fusion at their cores, I love him more than the extent of our ignorance regarding gravity and its connection to quantum mechanics. I love him more than the amounts of useless money spent on detecting ‘dark matter’, a hack’s way of explaining a difficult issue.

I love him more than my lungs can breathe and my eyes can see. I love him more than my extent of sarcasm, my level of competence, my passion for logic and analysis… I love him infinitely and above that, which has no word because my love for him cannot be expressed in words.

And I am okay with that. I am more than okay with that, I am so happy to have found him. The reality is, he is like my novel love. Straight out of a book.

And I am not afraid to admit it anymore. I want to tell it to the fucking world, in fact. Which is what I’m doing now.

No matter how much anxiety tries to tell me I somehow would be happier alone, like I am meant for a life of solitude… which, honestly, hilarious? What kind of logic is that?

No matter how much fear might try to gnaw at me or tell me I shouldn’t enjoy myself… he makes life sparkle with technicolour and air itself taste sweet.

And all of these words come from me. See, the tantalising thing about him is that I genuinely can speak through the walls. Through my protective self. It is insane to me how I come through the trauma, like a dazzling, blinding light, whenever it has to do with him.

If you are lucky like me, and you found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with…

Listen to your true self, because you want it. You want them. Any fears the trauma tries to throw at you… they are not as real as the protective self might try to make them out to be.

It is okay for you to have found the love of your life. It is okay that it and they are real.

We have such a short amount of time to be alive, to breathe, eat, love, dream, work our asses off and feel the delicious thrill of success, of our efforts paying off, of our passions leading us through life…

I want to live my life as me, and not some shell of something that tries to be me but fails. Something I never recognised as myself and never knew why.

I understand now. I want to and I am moving forward with my life. I will keep going, keep growing and keep trying, no matter what.

Especially if it means I can feel this much fucking peace, even on my own.

How do you want to live your life?



Shit that Physicist Thinks

Physicist, artist, writer, passionate, creative thinker. This is just a blog about random shit I think about. Can be funny. [SATIRE AHEAD.]