Peer support subsequent to trauma contributes to full recovery

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- including complex trauma (cPTSD) -- is debilitating, breaking down the body through anxiety and stress, and it poses a significant suicide risk in sufferers. MyPTSD seeks to help and inform those who are directly or indirectly affected by these conditions through peer-to-peer support and educational resources.

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Sufferer Hello, Was Sexually Abused Very Young, Also Have Eating Disorder

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by LaurenZ123, Jan 9, 2013.

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  1. LaurenZ123

    LaurenZ123 Member

    Hi everyone,

    My name is Lauren and I am 23 years old. I have complex PTSD and was diagnosed about 2 years ago. I was sexually abused by a family member when I was very, very little. I was also raped by an older female who threatened to kill both me and my family when I was 15. I don't really have much of a relationship with anyone in my family and realized that a lot of the friends I used to have were not necessarily positive influences on my life, so I am pretty much on my own 99% of the time. I have an amazing therapist, who I have been seeing for three years but her ability to help me is obviously fairly limited since the hardest times are at night and I can't always remember or report what happens or how things unfold accurately.

    I didn't have much Memory of my childhood at all until I was about 20 years old. I entered treatment for anorexia and bulimia and began piecing parts of my life/ memories together in treatment. My PTSD symptoms have gotten MUCH worse since then. I was/am very dissociative (especially at night). I used to not remember a lot of things, but now I am a lot better with that.

    When I was 21, I was admitted to a treatment facility that supposedly treated both trauma and acute eating disorders, but that proved to be an unhelpful experience. They did something called "somatic re-experiencing" there, which is basically reliving trauma both in your mind and body while they hold you down and you "fight" the perpetrator(s). My therapist is convinced that re-traumatized me and made things much worse. I agree.

    Fast-forward to today: I started a new job a few weeks ago that I really love but I am finding it much harder to handle dealing with my PTSD symptoms at night than I was before. I really have no supports in my life, as I do not share details of my PTSD or eating disorder with any "friends" and my family lives 3,000 miles away and refuses to acknowledge anything anyways. I can manage fairly well during the day and appear normal at work (thankfully), but at night I am tortured by my symptoms. It feels like I can almost always shut them off during the day, then the second I leave work or am alone they attack me! My eating disorder has gotten worse again, I self-harm, and continually feel like I am dying. I also have flashbacks and body memories that feel torturous as well. The body memories are the worst part I think.

    Anyways, I have realized that feeling connected to others helps me stay present and realize I am in fact safe and things are generally ok now, etc. I have really been looking to find ways to connect with other people who I can relate to, but still keep my job, which kind of led me here. My nights are by far the worst time for me, so I am hoping to be able to connect with some of you here and not feel quite so alone with all of the strange things my mind and body do in response to old trauma.

    Looking forward to talking with you :)

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  3. Smushroom

    Smushroom Not all those who wander are lost
    Premium Member

    Welcome to the forum LaurenZ123. You and I both sound very much alike. I am the same age as you and have suffered many of the same things you have. I have only within the past 9 months, found this forum and the support here is amazing! I really hope that we can provide you with the support and encouragement and even companionship needed to continue with this often torturous journey to healing :)

    I was reluctant at first to start a trauma diary, and I must admit, I have not done a lot of entries lately, but I find this really helps. Just getting things out of my head really helps.
  4. LaurenZ123

    LaurenZ123 Member

    Thanks Smushroom :) I am happy to have found this place. My therapist actually showed it to me because we determined that, like you just getting things out of my head and realizing I am not the only person experiencing some of the horrible things we experience.

    I am wondering ... What is a trauma diary exactly? Sounds interesting. I usually have a hard time writing things down (journaling, etc.) if I dont have a "purpose" for it. Like, if I don't have someone to tell these things to, I usually can't get myself to write anything down. That's another reason why I think connecting with others here will be helpful.
  5. Smushroom

    Smushroom Not all those who wander are lost
    Premium Member

    Here's the link to the trauma diaries [DLMURL][/DLMURL]
    Have a read of the coduments up the tops that anthony has written to see if you think you are ready for this kind of thing
  6. Smushroom

    Smushroom Not all those who wander are lost
    Premium Member

    I write constantly, I love getting things out of my head. Usually I write really long emails to my T, because writing for me is a much easier way to communicate rather than talking. I struggle with speaking about my traumas, but I have written everything out for my T.
  7. Ayesha

    Ayesha Yarn and Cat Crazy.

    Hello and welcome to the forum. :)

    There are a lot of supportive and helpful people here. I hope when you feel comfortable you join in around the forum.

    The trauma diaries are very helpful to many people here. A lot of people will also use them as a normal diary. I hope you will start one if you like too.

    Take care and best wishes.
  8. LaurenZ123

    LaurenZ123 Member

    I do the same thing! All the writing I do is in email. Sometimes when I try to talk about trauma-related things I try to talk but words just don't come out. It's weird. Same thing though, about telling my therapist everything, but in writing. I always feel bad for emailing her. I don't want to be a pain or annoying or anything, but she keeps telling me to do it, so I have to get over that. Do you ever feel that way?
    Smushroom likes this.
  9. LaurenZ123

    LaurenZ123 Member

    Thank you :) This place seems really great, and everyone is very nice.
  10. Smushroom

    Smushroom Not all those who wander are lost
    Premium Member

    Yes, exactly the same!! I freeze and dissociate when talking about trauma. I am, slowly, getting better. I have been in therapy for just under 2 years. We tried to do the trauma stuff first, but that failed miserably. We are just starting to look at the trauma again. It helps to know that she now knows it all.

    She encourages me to email too. I used to email her my nightmares every day, and would usually email after a session. I find I process a lot of stuff not in session, but right afterwards. I always feel bad emailing her, and because it is always so long, but she keeps telling me to email. She knows it is so much easier to write it than to talk about it, and she said as long as I am getting it out, it doesn't matter how. For now anyway. I do understand we will need to talk about it eventually. Which is what we have just started to do, in the last few sessions of last year.
  11. timid_flower

    timid_flower Active Member

    Hi Lauren, welcome to the forum :)
  12. Ayesha

    Ayesha Yarn and Cat Crazy.

    How long have you been seeing your therapist? It takes time to trust and open up. Take it easy on yourself. You will get there.
  13. LaurenZ123

    LaurenZ123 Member

    Oh goodness ... I have the EXACT same fear and it is rather overwhelming at times! I find myself in this constant conflict of wanting more of her and more from her and wanting to run away at the same time because I fear I am becoming too much, or asking too much, or being annoying, etc.

    My emails are always long but ESPECIALLY LONGA after sessions. Sometimes I can sit in my car and type a several page email for almost an hour after a session, right from my phone. Once be thoughts start flowing I want to explain everything!

    That'S another big conflict I have: anytime anything happens in my life I want to tell her about it it I know that's neither possible nor appropriate and have the hardest time acknowledging Taft its ok to feel that way in the first place, I beat myself up so bad for wanting more from someone who doesn't want anything more from me. Grr dilemmas!!

    Hi Ayesha! Nice to meet you. I have been seeing my therapist for 3 years, so be have a pretty solid relationship. I think she is afraid to fully dive into the trauma work right now because I have no coping skills (except my unhealthy eating disordered and self--harm ones which I want to stop more than ANYTHING) none tonight by the way woo hoo! First night in forever! Thanks to this wonderful lace :). Anyways, I thin she's afraid to really dive in A. Because I had a Sabah, re-traumatizingd experience the first time I did any Trauma work (not with her) and B. I really have no support here so anything we uncover I am left to cope with by myself for week, while trying to maintain my job etc. so the timing isn't exactly ideal. I don't think it will ever be IDEAL but I understand why diving in when I literally have no one in my life right now probably isn't the best of ideas.

    Have to done any in-depth trauma work and found it helpful?
  14. KP the nut

    KP the nut Tigger is back!!!!!
    Premium Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum.
    LaurenZ123 likes this.
  15. LunatickLauren

    LunatickLauren New Member

    Hay I've been through a lot of similar things as you. Also just looking for someone to talk to. So feel free to message me at anytime.
    LaurenZ123 likes this.
  16. Smushroom

    Smushroom Not all those who wander are lost
    Premium Member

    Oh goodness, we definitely are alike! I sit in the car afterwards and email her. I could be there for hours typing. Sometimes I'm even still there when she walks to her car at 8pm when she finishes, although if I see her car in the parking lot, I usually move to another car park, just to make it less awkward. And I too fear contacting her sometimes. I feel the urge to tell her everything issue that comes up throughout my week. She welcomes my texts and usually answers with a short message, but I feel bad, and I know I shouldnt contact her all the time, but...I dont know. Having her know whats going on and reassuring me is sometimes all I need to keep going.

    I have been working really hard not to email or text her over the christmas break. I sent her the usual christmas and new years message, but apart from that, have only emailed once and texted once about issues. I am trying to cut down. She has never said it is a problem, but I feel like it is a problem!
  17. LaurenZ123

    LaurenZ123 Member

    WE ARE THE SAME!!!!! I do the exact same thing and in my experience, it never helps when I (incorrectly) assume she is getting annoyed with me and start to pull back. All that happens is I get worse. It's so hard to fight off the feeling that I am annoying or making her mad (especially when she's busy and doesn't have much time to respond) but she keeps telling me I have to keep doing it. I too want to tell her EVERY detail about my life. I find myself frustrated a lot because I want to email her 100 times a day but cant, then when I get off of work I have SO many things I want to tell her that I can't possibly get them all in an email. That sends me into a tizzy sometimes.

    While I am sorry you are experiencing this as well, it actually feels really validating to know someone else has the same conflicts about their therapist that I do. I always feel so alone for "wanting" more of her time like that. She can tell me it's normal but hearing it from someone else who is in the same boat makes HUGE difference.
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