I told my psychologist this felt like PTSD.

“Not real PTSD, not like soldiers suffer, obviously they have real trauma”, I told him. “But it feels like what they say they suffer”

“I can be coping OK, then the smallest thing, a word from someone, or a photo, or a location, or a sound, or a smell, and I break down in tears and start shaking.”

The drugs don’t help. Talking doesn’t help.

He wrote on his official report, “It is my opinion that Mr X has been the victim of domestic violence from Miss Y”. But those just felt like words.

I know he meant them, I know he is qualified to judge and honestly believes them.

But I don’t see how he can even begin to understand what I have suffered for so many months and even years. Vivid technicolor fear.

When I first saw him he asked about feeling betrayed or a sense of injustice. Yes I was betrayed. Yes it is unjust. Yes it is unfair. But this isn’t that at all.

I’m just scared. Terrified.

I don’t know when the next word or photo or location or memory or sound or smell will trigger me again.

Alcoholism was her disease, not her choice. I don’t feel anger at her at all. I don’t hate her. I don’t wish her any kind of ill.

But she had a choice of how to deal with it. She chose to take it out on me. And even for that I can’t blame her. The disease overtook her, overran her.

Just like my psychologist, she doesn’t understand what it did to me.