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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What Is The One Thing You Wish People Knew/ Understood About Ptsd Or Trauma?

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by Nemo38, Feb 10, 2012.

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  1. Nemo38

    Nemo38 Member

    I understand everyone is different and that people approach trauma differently, after reading some of the posts here. If there was one thing you wanted people to know or understand about PTSD/trauma, what will that be?
    CPTSD likes this.
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  3. maddog

    maddog I'm a VIP

    Well, I guess my answer is in relation to complex trauma specifically, or what I term as complex trauma, without getting into any discussion about whether or not such thing exists diagnostically as distinct from any other class of trauma, bla bla bla.

    I think of complex trauma as the multi-dimensional, chronic childhood Abuse that takes place continually and repeatedly throughout the key developmental phases of a child's life.

    That's how it relates to me, so for the purpose of this response, that's the definition I'm working with.

    Which leads me to what I wish people could understand. Complex trauma doesn't just leave you with traumatic memories and other intrusive or constrictive symptoms typical of PTSD. And I'm not minimising those at all, trust me, I'm not.

    But complex trauma changes who you are, at the personality and self concept level, and leaves you with so many shattered, damaged, distorted and deformed conceptions of the world, yourself and the way that those two entities interact with each other. It impacts on the way you think, feel, behave and relate to the world, and it damages you in ways that can't be healed only through exposure or cognitive restructuring or any other individual style or focus of therapy.

    It changes your personality. It shapes your self concept. It builds the foundations of concepts such as safety, trust and freedom in ways that are not typical.

    I wish people would understand that complex trauma isn't just about the past and what happened to you, it's about the present, and the parts of the past that live on into the present in ways that can't be explained easily, if at all. It's about every aspect of yourself being some reminder of the past, which isn't to say that it can't be improved or "healed" to a significant extent, but just that its reaches run so deep, right through to the core of who you are and beyond.

    Then again, maybe that's not something that most people want to understand, or should have to.

    Shae-Ra, Chimera, Amack and 49 others like this.
  4. MyStarryNight

    MyStarryNight Active Member

    I think the one thing I wish people understand was that this hurts. PTSD hurts. Having flashbacks repeat the trauma over and over in my head is like torture. It would be nice if people were sensitive to that pain, instead a lot of people make insensitive remarks and just add to the pain and the feeling of aloneness in it.
    Abstract, Nadege, Jen93 and 14 others like this.
  5. MyStarryNight

    MyStarryNight Active Member

    Maddog, your explanation of complex trauma and childhood abuse was amazing. I have yet to even fully acknowledge that some of that is true for me, but i know deep down inside that it really is. Thank you for putting all of that into words so eloquently.
    gizmo, Nadia, melody and 7 others like this.
  6. shell

    shell Guest

    That I didn't ask for this to happen, I didn't ask to be caught in the past, to over react , that I'm really not crazy and that I too wish that I could put the past where it belongs and feel like an adult all the time. Sometimes, it feels like they think I want to be like this.
    C j, Laura 2, Nadege and 24 others like this.
  7. schnauzerbabies

    schnauzerbabies Active Member

    That I don't want to feel like this, or react like this. I do not do it for sympathy. In fact I try to hide it more often than not. Even though it hurts me more and doesn't work as well as I would like. That it can be as physical as emotional.
    helen_000, Nadege, Jen93 and 17 others like this.
  8. Sqweak

    Sqweak Well-Known Member

    I wish people knew that I cannot turn this off. I can't just shrug my shoulders and just stop being who I am and starting act like a more socially expectable person, so they're more comfortable. I would love to leave the pass behind, I would love not to think about the things I do ever second of every damn day, but I can't. I wish people would understand that.
    Rosewater, Nadege, gizmo and 14 others like this.
  9. Queen Boudica

    Queen Boudica survivor, fighter to the end.
    Premium Member

    Thank you Maddog. Brilliant description of complex trauma. You've helped me understand my complex trauma even more.
  10. EloiseLandau

    EloiseLandau Well-Known Member

    That the reason I am glad people in my life don't understand PTSD is because it means they don't have it
    gizmo, Chincho, melody and 9 others like this.
  11. CPTSD

    CPTSD Member

    Maddog... oh my gosh. What you said here is brilliant. I have been trying for a while to write a concise, coherent, comprehensive explanation of the differences between PTSD and CPTSD for my new blog... and not having much luck with that task. Then I clicked on a link that just popped up on my twitter, which brought me to this page, and this question.. I read your answer.. I read all the other answers... and I had to immediately register myself here so that I could express my amazement. YES. Everything you said, YES. Complex PTSD is exactly that.

    My husband, a Vietnam Combat Veteran, has been diagnosed with severe PTSD. I have been diagnosed with CPTSD. My husband's traumas go back to 1969, when he was just 20 years old and he was a USMC sniper in Vietnam. My traumas go back to my very earliest memories, which start at around the age of 2... I was born in 1953, so my trauma memories go all the way back to 1955, and continued for many years.

    As unbelievably horrible as my husband's War experiences were, and as horribly he has suffered, and continues to suffer, with PTSD because of it, my husband has often told me that he believes my CPTSD is far more crippling to me, than his PTSD is to him.

    My husband has told me the details of his war traumas, and I really don't believe that I could have survived his trauma.... but he says the same thing, he does not believe he could have survived my traumas. But in truth, although my husband is now on 100% disability for his combat-related PTSD, he is far more functional, on a day to day basis, than I am.

    Maddog, as you so brilliantly explained, the devastation that results when we experience multiple severe traumas during our earliest childhood years when our personalities are being developed, during that time when we are learning about life, about the world around us, about family and society, and, most importantly, when we are learning about ourselves... the very foundation of our personality development is skewed. We are like the tiny fragile sapling that is bent in half and twisted around like a pretzel at a very early stage.. we grow to be very crooked and vastly different from all the other proud tall trees in the forest.

    Can it be undone? Can we ever hope to be permanently and completely CURED of Complex PTSD? I am one of those positive thinkers who believes that almost anything is possible.... and maybe that character trait has kept me alive and semi-sane. But... it doesn't seem very likely, does it?

    I do the best I can. This is what I wish the ignorant haters would understand. I.Do.The.Best.I.Can.

    PS: I want to explain what I mean by "ignorant haters." I'm talking about the people who think they know, but don't know. People who judge and condemn me for being so weak or fearful or lazy or crazy or whatever they think I am.

    I am like an idiot savant. I have a very high IQ, maybe that, too, has helped me to survive. I come across, most of the time, as though I am very bright and talented and capable and able... so, how can it be that I cannot hold down a job? How can it be that I very rarely can leave my house? How can it be that I am so often terribly late, when I do manage to leave my house? How can it be that I get upset so easily? Why am I so sensitive? Why am I so lazy? Why am I so unsociable?

    I ended my facebook account at the end of December, because some of my siblings and a couple of nieces decided it was time to let me have it. Merry Christmas, and why the *H* don't you STOP living in the PAST? It was a hard December. Here it is February 10, and I'm still hurting from December. Judgmental, ignorant haters. Ugh. Lord knows I would give or do almost anything, if only I could stop "being weird" and "living in the past." But I guess... people who are ignorant and judgmental and hateful can't help being ignorant and judgmental and hateful, and people with PTSD and CPTSD can't stop "living in the past."
    Amack, gizmo, Nadia and 14 others like this.
  12. maddog

    maddog I'm a VIP

    Gosh, all of the responses to this thread have been so spot on and so moving.

    And I'm glad you found us here CPTSD, that moment of "gosh, there are other people out there who might just know what I mean" is a pretty powerful one... I remember it well!!

    The point about recovery and whether or not it's possible is an interesting one, an issue I try not to ponder too much, partly because it's terrifying and distressing, and partly because it's hypothetical for now and not something I can figure out the answer to just by thinking about it.

    But I was talking about it with my T just a couple of days ago, and he said to me, in the course of our discussion, that he thought I could and would get markedly better, but that he thought that life would always be difficult for me.

    Part of me was devastated, that was the part of me that cried and cried like a fool and wanted to be angry with him and to accuse him of being negative and defeatist and behaving in a most un-therapist-like manner...

    But the greatest part of me was thankful for his honesty, and believed him, and so concluded that he was in fact acting in a most therapist-like manner by being honest and realistic with me.

    Because if I had to take a guess at my future, it would be in line with what he said. I want to believe that life can get better, perhaps even significantly better. Do I think I will ever be "normal"? Do I think it will ever stop mattering or that I will ever feel "cured" of the past?

    No, I don't, and I think it would be ignorant of me to hold on too tightly to that hope. For now I'm just working on "better", not "good" or "great" or even "pretty good"...
    I'll aim for "better", and anything more will be a bonus.

    Chimera, Nadia, starrynight and 9 others like this.
  13. CPTSD

    CPTSD Member

    Maddog, I just now read your last comment here, and I reread what I wrote here last night. Last night, I was tired and my mood wasn't the best, so when I said that it seems unlikely that those of us with PTSD or particularly with CPTSD may ever be cured, I was feeling much more Hopeless than I usually do. Sorry about that!

    Most of the time, I really do believe that a Cure is highly possible.. and if not a cure, certainly vast improvements are very much within our reach. Lord knows I am vastly improved from where I was at my very worst! At my very worst, I was hearing voices constantly, every waking moment, a multitude of voices, driving me to distraction. At my very worst, I did not know for certain who I was, or what was real. Those days are very far in my past, thank God... more than 40 years in the past. At the age of 14, when I first began to dissociate and hear voices and to not know what was real, when I told my abusive parents about the voices, they reacted by locking me up in a state insane asylum. My BEHAVIOR was perfectly normal, by the way, I did not act out in strange ways, I did not talk to myself, I was going to school every day and making good grades and doing my chores at home, which as the eldest of 6 then living (the 7th was yet to be born), I had plenty of chores to do. No one would have known a thing about me hearing voices, if I hadn't told about them. I told, because the voices frigthened me and I wanted to know how to get rid of them. They had started after some horrific violent traumas. But I had never broken a law (other than petty childhood shoplifting), I had never harmed anyone nor ever threatened to harm anyone, myself included. All I did was go to my mother and tell her that there were "ghosts" speaking to me and I was afraid of them and wanted them to leave me alone, and then my mother told my father, and then they put me in an insane asylum.

    That hospital, by the way, where my parents put me in 1967, was huge, in fact it was the biggest building in the state when it was built. Huge, and very crowded, with I don't know how many hundreds or thousands of mental patients. It was a horrible nightmare of a place. That place was closed in 1991, and torn down in 1999. I still can barely believe that it no longer exists, it was like a mountain range to my young mind, something that had always been and always would be there, keeping the "insane" people out of sight and away from society.

    I have been psychologically tested many times since I was finally released from that horrible place at the age of 16, and I have been told over and over again that I never should have been put there, and that my initial diagnosis of schizophrenia was wrong. Schizophrenia was pretty much the catch-all psychiatric diagnosis in the 1960s. PTSD, and CPTSD, weren't even know, back then. Not until 1981 did PTSD become an official psychiatric diagnosis.

    How much better my path of healing might have been, and how much earlier in my life might I have healed, if only I had not been misdiagnosed, and committed to a nightmare of an insane asylum, where the traumas and abused I both witnessed, and had done to me, were as bad, if not worse, than the traumas and abuses in my childhood home?

    When I was set free from that place in 1969, and the age of 16, I wanted NOTHING more to do with psychiatry! I also needed to get away from my abusive childhood home as soon as possible. I met an 18-year-old high school dropout, a couple of weeks after I was released. He was lounging in a small shop I went into, and he thought I was pretty, and asked me for a date. We went out to 2 or 3 movies, and then I thought I should tell him that I had just been released from a 2-year stay in an insane asylum, before he got any more seious about me. I fully expected that he would not ever ask me out again! I was very sad about that, but I wanted to do the right thing, and tell him, since he seemed to be getting seriously infatuated with me.

    To my shock he told me he knew all about my mental history, before he had asked me out! I was so overcome with happiness and gratitude that he would be willing to date me, to take me out for a hamburher and a movie and spend money on me, and to kiss me, when he knew all about my being diagnosed schizophrenic and committed to the most notorious insane asylum in the state! I was so grateful... and I mistook my gratitude, for "falling in love." He asked me to marry him, and so I did, with our mother's signatures (my mother always wanted to get rid of me, that's a whole other story, her jealously and scapegoating hate of me).

    Approximately 2 months after I was released from the mental institution where I had believed I would spend the REST OF MY LIFE, I was married! Amazing, yes? What I didn't know at the time, was HIS motive for marrying me. He waited until after we were married, to tell me. I thought he married me for love. But when we married, in February 1970, when he was 18 and, as I said, a high school dropout, his draft number was at the top of the list. He was about to be drafted to Vietnam. At that time, if he had been a college student, he could have deferred the draft. But he was a dropout. The only way then to avoid being drafted, besides leaving his life and family for Canada, was to get married, and to have a baby right away. This he told me, after we were married, and after I was pregnant. He only wanted to not be drafted. Now that he was free from that worry, he said, he felt he was much too young to settle down with just one female, and so he intended to continue to date any other female that he could. When I cried and protested... he beat me. Many many many many many times, during our marriage, he beat me.

    You see, when you come out of your childhood badly damaged, with no self-esteem, and after having been taught the evil LIE that love HURTS, after you have been taught to accept being abused, and to believe that your own abuse is your fault ~ most healthy normal loving people are not usually very much attracted to someone who is an emotional basketcase, and who has a history of being insane... but when you happen to be a very physically attractive young woman, users and abusers seek such women out like prey. And so I went straight from my abusive childhood home, to an abusive mental asylum, to an abusive teenage marriage, then at the age of 21 I went into my second abusive marriage, then at the age of 25 I went into my third abusive marriage... I was always the one that left, by the way, in every case, when the abuse and emotional pain got so bad that I decided I would rather live in a hole in the ground and starve or freeze to death, than to stay. But there was always another smooth-talking sex-addict who wanted someone who looked great but had zero self-esteem, someone they could use and abuse at will. They were all so different, so loving and romantic and so much "on my side," until the moment the marriage was official.

    And always, I believed it was MY FAULT. I was so crazy, I was so overly sensitive, I was so emotional, I was so lazy when I was Depressed, I was so stupid, I was nerve-wracking and irritating to be around, that I DROVE people to want to HURT me, just as I had done with my parents. Never good enough, never, no matter how hard I tried.

    I look back over my life now that I am 58-going-on-59, and I am astonished that I survived it all!

    But I did much more than survive. I also had 3 children, 2 sons and 1 daughter. They are now: 40, 37, and 31. My eldest is a bit of a mess, but at least he is sane and he has had the same steady job for about 15 years. He has a daughter that lives with him, her mother and he never married. The daughter is 14 and beautiful and brilliant. My daughter, the 37-year-old, is dating a NASCAR driver. My daughter is divorced, but she amazes me with all that she has accomplished in her life. She put herself through college after her marriage ended, while caring for her two children on her own, one of whom was born severely handicapped, due to a very rare genetic disorder... my daughter is the BEST mother I've ever seen, for loving her children and handling all the huge care that a very severely child needs. My daughter also has a soon-to-be 20 year old daughter who is now in her second year of college, she is one of the most wonderful human beings on the planet, (I'm not too proud of a grandmother, am I?). And then my youngest, my 31-year-old... he doesn't have a lot of ambition, but he is a steady and faithful worker, and best of all, he has a heart of pure gold.

    I am so proud of my children and my grandchildren!

    I have also written a novel that was published 12 years ago, and I'm now writing another book. And, after my children were grown, I went back to school and got a nurses degree, AND I was elected class president of my nursing class, AND when I took the final boards for my license, I scored in the top 2% of the whole nation!

    So... my life has not been a waste, far from it. I still struggle in many ways with my CPTSD. But as I said, i am FAR better than I was at my worst, and I am getting better all the time! I also believe that if I had known that I had CPTSD way back, over 45 years ago when my symptoms first became bad, and if there had been the help THEN, that there is NOW, I would have so much further along in my healing, many years ago, and I would surely have accomplished even more with my life.
    Amack, Nadia, starrynight and 4 others like this.
  14. maddog

    maddog I'm a VIP

    CPTSD, yours is an amazing story of suffering and courage and rising out of adversity. You're right, you have come a long long way, and that is testament to nobody other than you, and the courage you found in yourself, and the strength and love you found in your children and grandchildren.

    Thank you for sharing such a balanced view of both the good and the bad. It's important to hold onto both and to use them as a compass for finding the way forward. Your input to this forum is valuable and will remain so.

    Nemo38 and CPTSD like this.
  15. CPTSD

    CPTSD Member

    Oh, thank you so much, Maddog!

    It is a balance, the good with the bad. Truly, in some ways, I believe that I am a much BETTER person, than I otherwise might have been, because of my traumas and my CPTSD. I have noticed that people with PTSD and CPTSD, typically have a depth of compassion and understanding that far too many "normal" people seem to lack. I would rather be Broken, than Heartless. I would rather be the Drama Queen, than the Ice Queen.

    I do want to share a word of caution, though, along with my natural optimism: as we age, life, in many ways, becomes ever more challenging. The reality is that, while we are working towards increased wisdom, insight, spiritual growth, and greater mental health, the ongoing losses and traumas of life continue to accumulate, and these events can often set a person back very farin their healing journey, if only temporarily. The older we get, the more physical health problems we can expect to have, and also as we grow older, our income typically falls, in most cases very drastically. Also, and hardest of all: as the years go by, and the further down the road of life we go, the more losses and griefs we will have to bear, some of which will seem at the time to be unbearable. When I was in my 20s, almost no one I knew died. When I was in my 30s, 4 or 5 people I knew well, died. When I was in my 40s, there were many more who died. But, in the not-quite-9-years since I turned 50, I have lost a great many dear loved ones to death. I know this will only increase exponentially, so long as I am still alive. Getting older isn't for sissies!

    But truly, despite all these losses and sorrows, for me, the years since I turned 50 have been the very best years of my life, so far. I honestly am looking forward to being 60! I, who dreaded turning 30, worse than I would have feared the plague! When I hit 40, Oh my Lord I thought the world was ending. But 50 has been FUN, more than anything. I hope 60 will be fun, too. I'm going to do everything in my power to make it so!

    Of course, it helps that I do not look like I am almost 60. I give credit to the antioxidant grapeseed extract, which I started taking 15 years ago... I believe I look younger now, than I did then. I also use skin creams that have powerful antioxidants in them. The photo of my husband and myself, that I'm using as my avatar here, his picture was taken on his 63rd birthday, which was less than a month ago, and my picture was taken just 6 months ago. That's what I really look like, at the age of 58! My aunt is 72, and she looks at least 20 years younger, so maybe its something in my genes, also.

    If you take care of yourself, you can look better and even feel better while you are getting older, and really helps with the increased losses and challenges that naturally come with advancing age. But even so, when very dear loved ones die, that gets very hard. In just the past few years I have lost a grandson, my very precious stepfather, my extremely close uncle, who was more like a brother to me, and his daughter, my cousin, who was more like a little sister to me than a cousin, she drowned last summer, only a few hours after she and I were talking on the phone! I was writing a long loving letter to her, at the time that she drowned. I am still not over her death, I don't know if I ever will be over that.

    Having CPTSD is hard on a good day. But when loved ones are dying, or someone you care very much about is diagnosed with cancer, or a grown daughter has a severely handicapped child, and goes through a divorce, and losses a job, when a grown son flunks out of college and has four bad car wreck, when your husband has a heart condition, and then he is diagnosed with diabetes, and then he has a motorcycle accident, and your house is foreclosed on after your husband can no longer work, and you lose your job ~ these big potholes in the road of life can hit you like a train wreck.

    I am learning, the older I get, that I need to take extra good care of myself, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually, too, every day, so that when tragedies hit ~ and they do hit us all, sooner or later, if we live long enough ~ the weight of the new tragedies, on top of the old traumas and tragedies, might not utterly destroy us. I have found that I need to be particularly gentle with myself, when tragedies of all kinds happen to my loved ones, to my family, to my friends, or when I see horrible things on the news, like the unbelievable earthquakes and tsunamis and murders and wars, and on and on and on... this world is a wonderful, glorious, miraculous place, but this world is also very HARD at times! All we can do is the best that we can with what we have on any given day, and give ourselves a break, especially when times are really tough.

    When my darling cousin drowned last June, at the age of only 38... I thought I wasn't going to survive that one. But now, I am going on, I am picking up the pieces of my life once again, and I am doing what I know my baby cousin would want me to do. I am living my life in honor of her life, and in love for my most wonderful precious cousin Elaine. She was a nurse, too. She was an angel. I told her on the night before she drowned, when we talked on the phone for almost an hour, I told her how much I love her. I said, "I love you four ways. One, I love you for you. Two, I love you because you are my cousin. Three, I love you because I love your mom, my favorite aunt, so very much. And four, I love you because I loved your dad, my favorite wonderful uncle."

    We never know when a phone call or a visit is the last one. I had no idea that she would freaking DROWN the very next day! I screamed when I got the terrible news. Screamed. I miss her so much, and it just seems so very WRONG that she is dead, while I am still alive. But I am living my life in honor of Elaine. I am writing in honor of her. That's why I am now using the pen name, Elaina.
    shell, Helliepig and maddog like this.
  16. Meadowsweet

    Meadowsweet I'm a VIP

    I think, it would be helpful if more studies were carried out into ptsd in relation to different trauma. Because it does seem as if the nature of the trauma has an effect on how the symptoms of ptsd manifest.

    From what I can gather, that is why professionals describe the trauma as complex or combat. Because these are areas with more study.

    I did look for studies of ptsd recently. I noticed that the majority of studies looked at more easily comparable trauma situations. For example, veterans who have experienced the same war. Or people involved in the same terrorist attck.

    I guess abuse that involves closer and more individual relationships might make it more difficult to study scientifically.

    I feel quite alone regarding aspects of my trauma. But its ok, as long as others are accepting that they can't fully understand.

    People who have been in very different situations have given marvellous emotional support, just by recognising that they know what its like to hurt. It doesn't matter that they've not been through the same traumatic experience as me, they empathise enough to say its ok for me to have my own feelings.

    But I don't like it when people are making generalisations. I think getting to know sombody as an individual is important to understanding how ptsd effects them, rather than trying to know ptsd.
    CPTSD likes this.
  17. Helliepig

    Helliepig I'm a VIP

    Absolutely. When you read diagnostic descriptions of PTSD it all sounds so tidy and the symptoms sound iust so plain bothersome................ it does not describe the mind welting, reality shattering, existential despair and terror, the poison through to your very soul. The weird clashes between parts of yourself, the terrifying nightmares and physical symptoms, the loss of faith in everything - even just being.

    I wish people knew the sheer effort of courage and hopless blind faith that gets you through the ordinary days, day after day, the huge load of frightening and overwhelming feelings you have to carry on your shoulders while still maintain at outward show of normality, the places you have to reach into in your therapy in order to heal. I wish they weren't so quick to think they "understood" child abuse or trauma, as a tidy package, nor to forget that horrendous traumas can be happening right now, in outwardly normal middle class, achieving families.

    I wish they didn't always give the benefit of doubt to the perpertrator - innocent until proven guilty. In silent, evidence-lite crimes like that, there is never going to be definite proof and it is easy to say someone is making it up, that they don't remember- the only definite proof is the criss crossing warren of damage seeping through the neurones of the child and her long and painful history and attempts to heal in therapy. We do remember. All of it, but sometimes it is remembered in the body, and in the silent screams of our souls.

    The focus shouldn't be on the rights of the abuser, but onto rescuing that child and believing their story irrespective of anything else - before the poison seeps through adolescence and adulthood.
    Ice_Fire, melody, maddog and 2 others like this.
  18. kimba

    kimba Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    I wish people wouldn't think we are weak or less of a person for having PTSD. We have survived things alot of people wouldn't and if someone is fortunate enough to have never been tested that way, count their blessings and let compassion be their guide.
    Indra, Chincho, Sana Rabbit and 8 others like this.
  19. Helliepig

    Helliepig I'm a VIP

    I think part of the trouble is we often think we're weak - and we project that, or portray that. But yes, being mixed up and hurting often inspires impatience and lack of compassion. People often just can't be bothered enough, or have enough empathy, to look any deeper.
  20. Maddy

    Maddy New Member

    I wish people would understand that I am not trying to be lazy. That I don't have control of what I am doing and when I get into reflecting its really hard for me to get through. I wish they realized how horrible the dreams were sometimes and how often they happen. I wish that people knew what triggers were and how they may see like small events, but hey control my world. I don't wish for anyone to live the life I have and don't wish for a second I had a different life because what I have been through has made me the person I am. Although life is hard because I put everyone before myself I don't regret it. I just wish people understood a little more about my difficulties and respect mine like I respect the troubles they have.
    Nadege, Chincho, Lucille and 6 others like this.
  21. Helliepig

    Helliepig I'm a VIP

    Very well said. I especially think the thing about triggers is important. I think even a lot of sufferers don't understand how they are triggered and how it suddenly can cause your system to shut down and the world to narrow down- all you become aware of vaguely later on is that your mood has plummeted and you don't know why. The trigger was so subtle and the reaction so dissociated - you then have all sorts of theories about mood swings and what's wrong with you, all the time oblivious to what is really happening - ie something out there bypassed your concious mind but hit like a dart into the centre of your split off crumple zones.
    Nadege, Nadia, melody and 4 others like this.
  22. Maddy

    Maddy New Member

    Thank you for the response. I was diagnosed just under 2 years ago and I am still trying to piece together everything. I feel like everytime I try to figure things out though it just gets me upset and I start distancing from people. I am not really sure how I am going to get better if I can't face things. Doesn't help that with college and an engineering major I really feel like there is no time. I love to write and often do, but its usually often during class which then just messes me up for class. I try doing it later before I go do bed but I am so exhausted by that time in the day I just fall asleep.

    <Edited by KP the nut, full quote removed>
  23. Helliepig

    Helliepig I'm a VIP

    I know how all that feels, it is exhausting and a daunting task on top of "real life".

    I honestly think the key thing is to get into the underlying traumas - as a result you gradually start seeing how all your defences and manoevres work in a way that you could not imagine before, what means what, and after enough cycles of healing you start to develop a deepening understanding of then all makes more sense to you, even if it's hard to put into words.

    Trying to work it out doesn't work - and I say that as someone who tried that for a very long time, very very hard! - it is beyond comprehension because of the way it is compartmentalised. We cannot understand how out own brain is programmed to develop nor what it does when that development is arrested and disturbed by trauma. Nor what we need to put it right.

    So a very good T is key, as is patience, curiosity, courage and fortitude.....and a lot of reading - I wish you all the luck you need xx
    starrynight, CPTSD and Maddy like this.
  24. Queen Boudica

    Queen Boudica survivor, fighter to the end.
    Premium Member

    I wish people would understand how much my complex trauma makes me doubt myself and think I am such a horrible person.

    I hear people go on about borderline personality disorder and it is associated with complext trauma. When talking about borderline personality disorder, they describe it as a mental illness, someone who should not be befriended, treated with caution because they can turn into a stalker, that they lie.

    All my life I have been made to feel like I am the problem, I am the liar, I am the selfish one, when I was not, but now I doubt myself so much. I am constantly questioning am I right? Is this the right thing to do? I probably look guilty all the time because I am always questioning myself.

    And I hear people talk about complex trauma as a personality disorder and I think, well maybe they were right, maybe I am just too mentally ill to realise that I am a liar.

    I know I'm not but that sort of talk, brings out the self-doubts. That is part of my condition. Doubting myself all the time. Living with that is a nightmare.
    Ice_Fire, jalahay315, 712xx and 3 others like this.
  25. alleycat

    alleycat Active Member

    I wish people would get that I can't control when I dissociate or when I get triggered. Yes, a phone ringing DOES trigger me, even if I expect it. So do most alarm clocks or really any noise that's unexpected. Even if I get ten texts in an hour, chances are I'll still jump when my phone beeps that tenth time. Getting pissed at me for it will only make me more anxious.

    I wish people would stop asking me where I disappear to when I'm gone for an hour from a social event. Dude, I got triggered by the two assholes that were literally hovering over my chair. You saw me walk into the bathroom and then half an hour later you saw me pick up my coat and go outside. Seriously. And when I tell you that I had a panic attack don't freaking suddenly clam up and have nothing to say. F*ck that.

    I wish people would not think that my experiences/feelings/thoughts are less because I dissociate and sometimes miss social cues. Just because I missed something or you don't agree with me doesn't mean you can completely dismiss what I'm saying/feeling/dealing with as wrong and then just say no to whatever I'm telling you I'm feeling/experiencing/whatever. They're still real to me, assholes. So if you think I'm not getting something, how about you explain it or actually listen to why I'm thinking the way I am? So tired of being treated like I'm an idiot or that I'm less than the people around me. Ugh.
    Nadia, melody, Panama Pete and 3 others like this.
  26. The Albatross

    The Albatross Product of decisions rather than circumstances
    Premium Member

    I wish people understood that PTSD is something I need to manage every day, just like allergies, or diabetes, or high blood pressure. It takes time away from them sometimes, and they don't really understand that I need that time to prepare to be able to deal with things better.
    Nadege, ericaboo, Chincho and 11 others like this.
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