Despite the fact that humans are quite irrational beings, they still seem to hold firmly on to the belief that all actions and thoughts are still somehow governed by reason. There is also the belief originating from this initial belief that every human being is capable of complete self-control. Suffice it to say that this is as far from the truth as one can be. Case in point is that of a post-traumatic stress disorder - or PTSD - which is a crippling psychological and neurological disorder which completely shorts out one's capability to reason before it has a chance to act.
Knowing something and feeling the same about it are two separate things. Sometimes they align, but more often they don't. With conditions like PTSD they can go so out of whack that there's no stopping it. I can say without exaggeration that PTSD is the worst thing I ever incurred and that the thought of living with it untreated seems quite unbearable. What keeps me going is that the coming time things will happen which will soften the traumas at the root of the PTSD and thus reduce the stress.
This morning I was just sitting there, working, when someone started talking with another person about the latter guy's girlfriend. While logically this shouldn't do anything to me since even if I did know the people in question it still shouldn't matter to me. Instead I began to experience a sensation akin to physical pain or severe discomfort. Continuing to listen to the conversation was impossible. I became beset by a feeling of... wrongness. Everything I heard was wrong. What was happening was wrong. I had to shut it out. Do something about it, but I couldn't.
Even after walking away and finding a calm spot I found myself unable to control my emotions. I was overcome by this massive sense of frustration, pain and anger, all targeting eventually the root cause of the wrongness: this body I inhabit. It's exceedingly hard to not give into the urge to then assault, maim and even murder one's own body. I have complete understanding for war veterans who struggle to live a civilian life again. The sense of wrong must be agony to them.
It's all conflicting emotions, reasoning and thoughts. The sense of wrong where there is no wrong. Every PTSD episode is another attack on one's sanity and another step taken towards ending one's tortured existence. Having to never experience or even better know this overload of wrongness must be bliss indeed. I'm not sure I'll live long enough to ever experience it again.
After withdrawing from the situation in which the episode started it usually takes about an hour for me to regain my senses, although I'll feel numb and emotionally worn out for a while longer. It will also reinforce for me the underlying traumas and the associated conclusions, no matter how misguided. Should I really be considering relations between men and women to be evil and wrong? Of course not. Is being intersex something akin to torture, best ended swiftly and mercifully? Of course not. There should be nothing keeping me from living a happy life.
And yet... the undercurrents of the brain, where the subconscious lives and emotions reign freely, there such logic doesn't hold. There is just the pain of past experiences. The memories of all that happened and the concrete conviction that all that will happen again. The frail conscious mind is no match for it.
No match at all.