The hallmark symptom of the oblivious nature of PTSD, in my opinion, is dissociation.
I don’t know when my dissociative episodes started. I don’t know how long they used to last. I only became aware of them after being diagnosed with PTSD.
In my Brooklyn apartment, on Valentine’s Day (just moments ago), I started to prepare my dinner, a romanesco salad with greens, onions, and carrots. I wanted to grate the carrots so I looked for the grater but couldn’t find it. Next thing I knew, I saw my dog come by in my periphery as I was staring into space. I don’t know exactly where my mind went except that it was triggered by not being able to find a grater. The oblivious nature of PTSD can lead one to forget one moment before the next. I can recall a time in the past, before the diagnosis, screaming out of frustration that I could not find an object I had put down seconds before. I don’t remember the object, just the scream. I’m sure my neighbors heard it. It wasn’t a grater.
Misplacing objects is also a symptom of ADD. But in my one year before 9/11 knowing I was typical “ADD”, losing track of things were funny occurrences to be laughed off. Back then, nothing was worth screaming over.
My dog sees me staring at my computer and nudges me. She knows this is hard… Or she’s cold. It’s nice to need a dog as much as she needs me. (Hooray for non-sequiturs.)
edit: At the time of writing, my mental state was not in a good place as I had written “disassociation” rather than “dissociation.” 3/4/2016