Post Traumatic Distress

I’m really, really good at fighting.   I keep calm, state my case well, give and take, don’t get snippy and hold my ground strongly.

I’m really, really bad at fighting.   It leaves me all jangled for a long time afterwards, distressed and very upset, taking a huge amount out of me.

I picked up my prescription yesterday after two weeks of not being able to get a fax to my doctor until I finally engaged support who found the number was misrouted in their network.   I had resisted engaging them because I just didn’t want to have to fight with them,

The young clerk at Wal-Mart brought out one box of a medicine that I know I the doctor writes for three boxes worth.

That’s a problem I had last time I got a refill, which ended up with me telling the doctor they were wrong, the doctor having to call the pharmacy and call me,then  a second box languishing under the shelf through two pickups, and a twenty minute drama to try and get it corrected and get issued with the other box.  It was a mess.

I didn’t want it to happen again this time, but the clerk was adamant: the doctor only wrote the script for a thirteen day supply, so that’s what I was getting.   Tough.

She was not happy that I was challenging her authority, because she had orders.   I would have to take it up with the doctor, have to just move on.   She knew.

She also decided that my prescriptions were new and I would have to have a pharmacist consultation.

The pharmacist finally came over and I again stated my case.   She offered to print the prescription for me, something I had asked the clerk to do.

She came back after going to it, and decided that, maybe the way the script was written I had a case.  Then there was a whole dance about returning it and reissuing.  The insuarane company only would allow a 26 day supply, two boxes, but that was 100% better than what the clerk wanted to give me in her wisdom, based on a smock and access to the computer.

I stood my ground and got what I needed, but it has been almost twelve hours now and I am still buzzing and upset about the confrontation, my nights sleep being destroyed.

I have the smarts to stand up gracefully for myself.

I don’t have the emotional resilience to do so without enormous cost, without distress and pain.   I have no support system to soothe and replenish me, to calm and affirm me, so I am left raw and ragged.

This is not a good thing in a world where everyday confrontation is just part of the deal.   It means I avoid conflict, which creates more and bigger problems that also nag at me, tear at me, making me even more tender before going into the next fight.

Avoiding conflict because of the emotional cost is a bad, bad thing.  It’s hard, though, to explain the cost to me when they see me challenged, because I appear calm and focused under fire, doing the work.

I fought for my parents all the time, especially during the last eighteen months of their life when they were always and intensely in the medical system.

I never discharged all the distress I saved up during that time, though, never discharged all the distress from a lifetime of taking care of dear, frustrating, Aspergers parents.

“You spoke for your mother.  You spoke for me.  Now you have to speak up for yourself,” my father repeated to me in the last two weeks of his life.

I know that I need to engage the everyday battles of life, standing up for myself with micro petty bureaucrats like those who think they have power because Walmart gave them a smock.

But the cost, the cost, the cost, the cost, the cost.

Avoiding battles just gives me more pain, more tension, more fatigue, more cost.

But I am really, really bad at fighting for myself.

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