Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

PTSD Makes a Noisy Mind

Person with head upside down, mouth open, and a theatre of people inside.

PTSD forms in domestic abuse victims like me. It forces us to stay vigilant because we don’t know when the next attack will come. This hypervigilance is distracting, demanding, and unceasingly noisy. The demands of PTSD symptoms leave us with little time to think or dream for ourselves.

Instead, we find that we silently abuse ourselves — we put ourselves down and often agree with our abusers that we are worthless. A domestic abuse victim or survivor’s noisy mind continues after the abusive relationship ends and disrupts the normal life we long to live.

Abuse victims feel anxious much of the time. In part, we feel anxious because we don’t know when the next attack will come or what will spark it. The abuser designs life to strike at us. So, we live in an eggshell house and trip across live wires that weren’t there yesterday. We don’t relax. After living with anxiety for long enough, it feels normal. And when the anxiety feels normal, PTSD grabs hold quickly.

But, like many abuse victims, I didn’t realize how terribly anxious I felt until leaving my ex. Living without his abusive personality allowed me to experience peace for the first time in 18 years.

A Poem Describing PTSD

Years ago, while living in abuse, I wrote the following verse to describe what was going on in my mind. I hadn’t a clue that what was going on had a diagnosis — PTSD.

A Noisy Mind

I can feel it whisper whisper whisper

not enough quiet time in my head


No! Should Be


2) be

3) do


I need to think for a while!

But, it’s whispering whispering whispering …