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Posts Tagged ‘Trauma’

How do you explain?

Sunday, December 13th, 2020

How do you explain C-PTSD to another person? How do you explain the feelings that come with it when you yourself have no idea how to even call all the emotions that are running rampage through your body.

How do you explain to someone that just because another person who also happens to have C-PTSD and who appears to be very successful in certain areas that’, that doesn’t mean that you are supposed to be capable of these things too?

How do you explain what’s going on with you when you have to focus on keeping your reactions under control because your in the middle of an episode.

Partners, family, and friends of people with trauma, physically or mentally please do your research, talk about it with your partner, and be patient. And to those with the trauma, be patient with your partner. It IS hard to understand often because they don’t feel what you feel. they have not gone through and are not going through what you feel.

Some may have wondered if I am going to give the answer to the questions I have asked in this article, but I can’t. One person is not the other and your trauma is not mine. Some people are more open and willing to learn about another person’s trauma than another.

Some people are more empathic and understanding than others. Sometimes we just need to accept that we don’t understand something and simply accept what the other person is saying. You don’t always need to understand it. Just being there and listening and making the other person feel heard and not alone means a lot already.

What we feel is only for ourselves to feel. We have no right to tell another person how to feel. How we act on how we feel is our own responsibility and we have no right to blame another person for our own behavior. That being said, an action usually causes a reaction, we are all human keep that in mind and most of all just be mindful overall.

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Forget me not.

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

Every so often I get challenged with questions about my symptoms and my self diagnose of C-PTSD. Understandable from one point of view but at the same time the other side of the coin is that it hurts, a lot. One of the things that I’ve been challenged with a few times is my memory loss, my short term memory damage that I have to deal with. It’s opted a few times that it’s a selective memory that I have.

It’s very painful to go from a very good memory to someone who has a very bad memory. I was a student who didn’t have to study for her exams, A child who won most memory games. Today I have to write things down I want to remember and set a timer to be reminded about events. It’s very painful that the symptoms of abuse, done to me by other people are being used against me.

I have not received an official diagnosis of C-PTSD because it’s not in the DSM 5. That’s why simple as is. In the next DSM, it will be listed and you will see that more people will be (unfortunately) receiving the diagnose of C-PTSD. However at the beginning of my healing journey when I went to my doc the first time and they forwarded me to the trauma center who treated me The diagnose I was given was C-PTSD. That’s what my doctor wrote down.

Since my first appointment was still far away I started to research C-PTSD and I found Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. From thinking I was losing my mind and going insane I suddenly had a lot of lightbulbs around me flashing on one after another. I started to understand what was happening to me was the result of trauma, abuse and I was definitely not going insane At a much later appointment with that same doctor and it was discussed again I found out they meant Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, that doesn’t match with the abuse I’ve gone through.

PTSD is mostly caused by single event trauma at any point in life whereas C-PTSD is caused by severe ongoing trauma starting in early childhood and is usually caused by several types of abuse.

The trauma center specialized in my type of trauma never gave me any single diagnosis they just treated me for my symptoms. Treatments that have been given for people with C-PTSD and when I say C-PTSD I mean Complex PTSD. It makes sense because C-PTSD is known to have such a variety of symptoms that overlap symptoms of other mental health problems that they simply don’t want to be misdiagnosed by anyone and it’s as mentioned before NOT in the DSM 5. Treatments that have been given for people with C-PTSD and when I say C-PTSD I mean Complex PTSD.

“The stress of PTSD can have an adverse effect on memory. Specifically, this can have severe effects on the hippocampus, including a decrease in hippocampus volume, causing problems with transferring shortterm to longterm memory, and with the formation of shortterm memories” Quoted from Wikipedia

“According to recent research, the hippocampus, an organ in your brain, literally shrinks by 8 percent in the brains of PTSD sufferers. That’s a significant problem because the hippocampus is responsible for regulating emotion, storing long-term memory, and sorting old and new memories.” Quoted from April Lyons

Stress can cause acute and chronic changes in certain brain areas which can cause long-term damage. Over-secretion of stress hormones most frequently impairs long-term delayed recall memory but can enhance short-term immediate recall memory. This enhancement is particularly relative to emotional memory. Quoted from Wikipedia

I have been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused, I don’t have a selective memory, I have C-PTSD. It’s hard enough already to deal with everything I meet with throughout my day without having to defend myself for my symptoms. Especially in stressful situations, when I’m trying to focus on not dissociating and when my anxiety pops up which is all the time or when I have a panic attack less or more severe, memory loss is a serious symptom I have to deal with. I have a hard time recalling words I want to use in my sentences or I forgot what I was going to say or what someone else said a minute ago. And that are just a few examples that make communicating hard for me sometimes more than other times.

I am sorry but not sorry for the inconvenience it causes for other people because it is not my fault and I am working hard on my healing every single day and with that, I am taking my responsibility.

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Where it begins,

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Early on even before we are born the trauma experience already begin if we are being exposed (as strange as that sounds when we are not even born yet) to situations that we don’t feel safe. Let me quote another few lines from ” The 5 Personality Patterns” by Steven Kessler.

“If something in her early environment/womb does not feel safe and loving enough, but instead shocks and scares her, then she won’t have this felt sense of safety in her body and she won’t be able to fully orient to the physical world and attach to it and her body. She won’t believe the physical world is safe and she won’t expect that her needs will be filled by anybody.”

Now when I think of this and reflect on this it brings me more and more understanding again of who I am. I know my father was a violent man. He was an alcoholic as well. I do not know a lot about him since he left us when I and my brother were still at an early age however from the few stories I have heard about how aggressive he was even I assume that was not any different when my mother was pregnant.

I have already always suspected this since I found out and learned more about my C-PTSD, however having this confirmed does make me feel more secure in my own findings. It underlines my realizations of not having memories of pre-trauma me. This brings more and more trust in myself and with that, I feel a little bit more secure and safe within myself which on its own is a big win in my healing progress.

At the same time, it brings sadness because this also means that my two daughters also may have been exposed to trauma even before their birth altho I can not remember any cruelties during my pregnancy my own state of mind obviously has an impact on this too. Since I was already traumatized even though I had not been diagnosed that does not change their experience. I know not to keep hanging in that feeling because it was not my fault and it is not helping.

Learning about my traumas affects my healing a lot and helps me acquire and learn how the use the new skill sets I receive. I am grateful for this process.

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My boundaries.

Monday, June 24th, 2019

I have chosen to post this list of my boundaries so I can access it always anywhere to remind myself of these things, but also because other people may find it of use when they are having a hard time making their own boundaries. I know I had a hard time with it.

One of the things I became aware of is that setting boundaries once you know what they are, is the easiest part. To maintain them however is not.

My healing journey where I am now putting down my boundaries is going to be one of trial and error I am very well aware of this. However in the past I have learned that I am allowed to fall and make mistakes and then try again with the experience I have gained.

First I made a little list for myself of things that I think I need to be able to be successfully maintaining my healthy boundaries.

  • I need self-awareness. (check)
  • I need to recognize my needs. (getting better at it)
  • I need to seek support (hard without a support system but I am trying)
  • I need to be assertive in a healthy way (still difficult)
  • I need self-care (eating is hard but I manage, sleeping is a problem still, and I make sure I take y CBD oil)
  • I need to be direct about my boundaries (learning phase)
  • I need to name my limits. ( I don’t like doing things half, so it’s difficult)
  • I need to get more self-esteem/confidence. (hopefully, my next therapy will help)

The next list shows what I have accomplished so far.

  • I have been working hard on being self-aware since I started my therapy and I’m constantly working on that still.
  • I am recognizing my needs more and more due to become more self-aware.
  • My needs in a relationship with a partner are not the same as my needs in a relationship with family or friends. (I’m still working on the “friends needs” list)
  • My needs in a relationship can be defined by intimacy, compassion, respect, support, trust, affection, attention.

And now finally my list of boundaries. This list is still a work in progress and therefore will be changing over time as I see fit. I probably will reword this list over time and combine things or simplify it. I know this list may seem strange to people who have no issues with boundaries but understand that these are things I have difficulties with because of my traumas.

  • If I want to spend time doing things alone or with people other then my partner then I should be able to if this is not something that would harm my partner in any way or our relationship.
  • I speak up about my wants and needs and allow others to do so as well.
  • I give my partner the space to do things he wants to do without me with other people if he wants to as long as they do not harm me or our relationship.
  • I have the right to say what I need to say without being interrupted. If I am being interrupted I have the right to say something about that. If this is a problem I have the right to choose to leave the conversation.
  • When I interrupt my partner (or anyone else) when he is talking then he has the right to call me on it and I should listen and let him finish talking. If this is a problem and I don’t allow that then he has the right to choose to leave the conversation.
  • I have the right to be angry at my partner or other people. I should be aware of how I act and behave when I am angry and stay rational. I am allowed to let you know that I am angry at you and why.
  • My partner is allowed to be angry at me and so are other people. I do not have to make sure to fit everyone’s needs so they do not get angry at me however the consequences will be mine to carry.
  • I take the time I need to do the things I need to do or want to do for myself.
  • I let my partner and others do the things he/they need to do and want to do and give him/ the time he needs to do for that
  • I can be friends with anyone I want as long as this does not harm my relationship. He has the right to let me know if one of my friendships bothers him. It is up to me what I do with this information.
  • My partner can be friends with who he wants when it does not harm our relationship. I have the right to let him know when one of his friendships bothers me. It is up to him what he does with that information.
  • If my partner or anyone else yells at me during a conversation I will let him know to stop yelling, If he refuses I will leave the conversation.
  • If I yell at my partner or anyone else yells at me during a conversation he has the right to tell me to stop and if I refuse or continue he has the right to leave the conversation.
  • I have the right to say what I need to say in a conversation as much as the other person does as long as it’s in a civil manner.
  • Other people need to be able to say to me what they need to say when it is in a civil manner.
  • If my partner or anyone else chooses to befriend someone who has harmed me or is harming me then I have the right to distance myself from them to protect myself.
  • I do not have to allow other people to touch me and I have the right to speak up about it. I also have the right to protect my personal space. I give the same respect to others.
  • When I or my boundaries have been disrespected or trust has been broken then I will maintain a safe distance from these people as I see fit until I feel this trust and respect has been restored to a point that this distance I created is no longer needed.
  • I will apologize on my own when I believe I have wronged someone on purpose or by accident. I do not have to apologize just because other people say so. Neither will I force others to apologize to me.
  • I share my personal information in an appropriate way. I try not to overshare or under-share
  • When I say no, others will have to respect this. If they don’t then I have to right to distance myself from them. I will respect others when they say no to me.
  • I decide how I feel about something. My feelings are my own and others have to respect them just as well as I will respect other peoples feelings. It is not up to me to decide how they should feel about something.
  • I won’t play mind games and people who I believe play mind games with me I will distance myself from.
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Abuse Intentionally or not, is still abuse.

Monday, July 31st, 2017
I know, unintentional abuse is still abuse. Emotional abuse, is still abuse as well. Learning to control my emotions by learning patience and emotion regulation is very important but also very difficult for me.
Having C-PTSD, I know what emotional pain feels like, The fear the, pain, the anger etc etc. I know hurting other people is bad. I will try to explain what happens, note that this is a really not an excuse for me to be allowed to hurt anyone. Its the reason why it happens. It doesn’t make it right And it doesn’t mean that I can accept it from myself either, but I would like to explain it a little bit.
 
When I am in a normal state of mind I am reasonable and I would never do or say anything to hurt anyone. My traumas cause that I can be over flooded with emotions. More and intenser then I can handle, they are traumas from my past. The fear and pain is very real. They stem from real experiences. I have been hurt, I have been abandoned, I have been neglected, I have been sexually abused, etc etc. Its mostly emotional flashbacks that cause this. My traumas are overlapping each other and it becomes very difficult to sort out what caused it often that I respond so strongly. If I knew what caused it right away and can lead back the emotion to its origin then I can compare it with the current situation and work on dealing with the current situation in the right manner. I understand often that what I feel is not accurate with the current situation.
 
What I don’t know is how to respond anymore because of being overwhelmed. I have said things to people while in my mind I was only trying to protect, defend and stand up for myself. I was hurt, mostly by people I was supposed to trust. I am mostly triggered by those people for that reason. Other people can trigger me too but it will have less effect on them because I keep distant more from them than from people that I care about. So I will easier get into a situation that triggers me with people that I care about then people that I don’t care about. Logic wise its easier to regulate my emotions when its a child who triggered me or when its an adult person. I wish I could explain this better.
Some people are for me an almost constant trigger. That being said should tell you that I feel really horrible, and it hurts me very much knowing that I hurt other people. I am working very hard to stop my own abuse and to heal myself from my traumas. And, intentionally or not, it is still abuse. It is very hard for me to forgive myself and that too is part of my healing and something I am working on. Now last but not least. I am really sorry for hurting anyone, I know these people love(d) me and I hope they can forgive me. I also want to apologize to the people who love the persons I have hurt, other then myself, I am sorry.
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