I think I might have PTSD. I had several people on here tell me that it sounds like it, including one person diagnosed with it who didn't just say he thinks I had it, but that I definitely have it based on the symptoms which he recognized. Yet even though I keeping suggesting that I might have it, I keep wanting to then deny it when people wholeheartedly agree since I haven't had such a bad episode except for a bit of drunken belligerence here and there in over the past decade.
What started it was one time almost a decade and a half ago where I got beaten half to death by a gang. I think something knocked some screws loose in my head at that point for various reasons. For a start I never experienced such cruelty first hand before; I had been in fights but not ones from people genuinely seeking to maim and kill. To get an idea of how brutal it was, it fractured all my hands just blocking their kicks. Where I failed to block their kicks, my body fractured.
A Hated of Fear
Yet I think also what bothered me is something I'm a bit ashamed to admit, but I started feeling fear halfway through the beating -- like an overwhelming, crippling fear because I wasn't ready to die yet. And I'm kind of a stranger to fear or at least the kind towards danger and pain. So I tried to hold my hands out in the air as though I surrender, and they completely ignored it, and so I had to face the prospect of embracing that fate... as a coward wanting to surrender. And I think that's the ego part that was bruised. I'm not sure how much of that factors in but coming face-to-face with the idea that I'm a coward really bothered me since I spent all my life as a thrill-seeker and adrenaline junkie and thought if there's one thing that people can't call me, it's coward. Something about not putting up more of a fight always bothered me there. So it's like I've had a bruised ego ever since, and maybe some subconscious part of me wants to atone for it but in the wrong ways, deliberately seeking out more fights.
The other part that has always troubled me about that incident was the onlookers and those passing by. The way I got into that gang beating was finding the gang beating up a couple: a man with a head bleeding profusely and a woman hugging him from behind while they kicked the two of them. And not really thinking, I ran up to them and told them to stop -- not intending to get into a fight but just trying to talk them out of it saying they've proven whatever they want to prove, they've won, the people are down, and there's no point to continue. The leader ignored me and delivered another kick to the couple and then I lost my temper and pushed him and then the whole gang turned on me at which point I was down and found myself in the same situation as the couple before I could barely put up a fight.
Yet it's like no one bothered to intervene at that point in the same way I did for the couple. I wanted to be rescued too, but people just watched or hurriedly walked on by. So maybe I'm disappointed in humanity -- in the fear of others and myself at that moment. I've come to despise fear -- it's like I sometimes think I find it a worse human quality than the malice and cruelty of that gang. Fortunately, some people at least called the police even though they didn't intervene directly and that's what ended up saving me in the end.
But even though I eventually recovered from my injuries, my brain never seemed to fully recover. Actually even though I didn't put up much of a fight, I took some vanity in that I at least intervened here and took some action at risk to myself, and paid for it dearly. So my ego wanted to think of myself as a hero, even though I also acted as a bit of a coward once I realized the full consequences of the beating I was to take. I even got called that by the witnesses and the couple, so there's like a conflict of reality where it's like I want to think of myself as heroic but I know that I'm not. I like to think I could be still but I need more practice learning how to take such a beating without wanting to surrender. So maybe even some crazy part of me wants to get in that same incident again and do a better job the next time.
I don't know. I can't figure it out. Maybe it's all of the above. But I haven't found a bad case where I went totally berserk and lunatic except in the past month. Yet I've had little "triggers" and hints of it here and there over the years, usually brought on by drinking. I've had people suggesting to seek help and totally agree but they don't really take psychology so seriously in Japan as they do in the West, so I found all I can do besides medication of a kind that makes me feel awful is to study psychology on my own try to best apply what I learned to myself as a patient. I found that the most useful thing I've done so far but still struggling here and there, especially when something extraordinary happens like the death of a loved one or killing of a friend.
One thing I have figured out though with my toe incident (see my previous take) is that physical injury seems to be one of the "triggers". I got a bit of a Eureka today in the hospital where things started to make sense.
For example, one time I went kind of looney on a vacation with my wife. We found there was a skate park there with a halfpipe and I had not skateboarded in years and maybe I tried too hard. So I hung up on a frontside air and landed on my arm and hurt it a bit and got bruised up there. Then later that night I started going insane pacing around the room in the middle of the night and complaining that the bed is so uncomfortable and I think there are bugs in it making my skin itchy, and it felt like my skin was so hot and itchy along with my scalp. I also had this cut on my lip and kept complaining that something is wrong with my lip and it's making it difficult to breathe. But I kept shouting and apologizing repeatedly to my wife like I don't know what's wrong with me.
So she suggested to go to the hospital and I told her I'll just take a shower and see if it helps my skin and try sleeping on the floor since I thought I was allergic to the bed or something. But the next day I barely got any sleep and it ended up becoming even worse the next night. So I told my wife I'd go to the hospital and she insisted to go with me.
Then the doctor looked at my lip and skin and took my temperature and said there was nothing wrong with me. So I was so confused. I was like, "I feel awful! Are you sure? Maybe I am having some sort of internal reaction? I could barely sleep a wink the past couple of nights." She looked again and said I was fine and it could be something going on in my mind. But my arm had turned a bit purple from the bruise and my wife insisted that the doctor looks at that.
So she looked at it and asked me to stretch my arm and move it around and asked if it hurt and I impatiently told her that I just bruised it, it's not the problem. The problem is my skin burning and crawling and my lip which I think is infected. Why isn't she fixing the problem and focusing on my arm? Then the doctor said it's very unlikely that my arm is broken but the swelling is pretty bad and she'd like to X-Ray it. To the doctor's shock and my own, my arm was apparently broken. So maybe that's what was making me crazy, but I didn't really realize it. My incident with the toe last night reminded me of that.
I used to use that as a joke about how my pain tolerance is wired in a funny way like I don't mind a broken arm but a busted lip makes me complain like a baby. But maybe I do mind a broken arm but it just kind of triggers this PTSD stuff out of me and my brain sort of blocks the pain but subconsciously has me feeling terrible and crazy all over.
Oh well, I got a lot I have to figure out about myself. I thought I did the bulk of the work already but I'm starting to think I need a whole lot more work.