Sufferer 50 Year Old, Childhood Abuse + Spiritual Abuse + Spousal Abuse (Complex PTSD)

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
Hello Fellow Survivors,

I go by Woodsy on these forums. I'm glad to meet you. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

I was abused from birth to age 12 by an alcoholic father. I saw some pretty crazy stuff in Desert Shield/Storm. Then I later suffered spiritual abuse for 18 years. As if that weren't enough, my wife was diagnosed with NPD, HPD, BPD and bi-polar and I felt every ounce of the wrath of those disorders for the better part of 12 years. I think it suffices to say that I am a hot mess! LOL.

I am learning to laugh at myself though. That helps a bit.

After coming out of my spiritually abusive group, I was still stuck with my wife. Sorry, ladies, I don't mean to demean you at all. I'm sure there are many wonderful ladies in the world. My wife simply wasn't one of them. And I don't devalue marriage at all, just my marriage.

Good to get that out of the way. After coming out of that group, I was diagnosed with PTSD, MDD, GAD and Social Anxiety Disorder. I worked for a while until my trauma symptoms made that impossible. Thankfully the VA granted me 100% Disability for PTSD.

I spent 2 years curled up on my couch, playing video games to try and stop the condemning intrusive thoughts and deal with the constant barrage of unimaginable mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. Some of these symptoms were caused by my condition, others by all the different meds the VA tried out on me in an attempt to treat me. I probably tried just about every med in the book at the time, and then some. None helped. Most made things worse. I guess I'm just one of the folks whose atypical condition is refractory to treatment.

I was way too traumatized to benefit from counseling or therapy. I tried with several different flavors of counselors and therapists. Nothing helped. Everything made my condition worse.

I pretty much gave up on myself. I figured this is how the rest of my life was going to be and I'd just white-knuckle it on my couch until I died.

Well, after 6 years of that hell, I finally came out of my darkness into a little bit of light. I've laid hold on that light with the best grip I've got. I'm trying to widen the window and let more light in by any means possible.

For the first time in almost a decade, I have hope. Hope makes all things more bearable.

I am seeing a therapist. I've found a healthy faith community. I'm participating in forums like this one.

My latest baby step that is a huge step for me is that I'm going to a local mall most every day. I walk a few laps for exercise. I also talk with people here and there. It's incredibly threatening and uncomfortable for me, but it is also becoming somewhat enjoyable.

I literally have no idea how to socialize. I don't know what I would do for work or if/when that will ever be possible again. I'm middle-aged and I feel emotionally like a 12 year old, starting life all over again and having absolutely no clue how I'm supposed to do it.

Like so many people with trauma in their life, my mantra is becoming, "One day at a time." My favorite word for describing the hell of PTSD and all that goes with it is, "Ugh!"

Right now that's my favorite of all words: "Ugh!" I won a game of Scrabble with that word once. Yes, it is in the dictionary. I think it was worth like 20 or 30 points. Ugh!

Ugh! Like ug-ly. That's how we feel so often, right? Ugh! Like someone just delivered a blow to my stomach which knocked the wind out of me. Ugh! Or a kick to the groin. Ugh!

That's how I feel when I wake up most mornings. Ugh! Another day. I'm thankful, but Ugh!

That's how I feel mid-day. Ugh! Here come all my symptoms again. Ugh!

That's how I feel in the evening. Ugh! I made it through another day and even experienced some peace and maybe even a laugh, but Ugh! I am so tired. Fatigued. Exhausted. Ugh!

So, when you see me around in this forum, don't be surprised if you hear me say it: Ugh!

Thanks for letting me join in on this journey with you.

I look forward to getting to know you and I wish you the very best,
Woodsy
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome to the forum Woodsy!!! Your word is much nicer than mine, but I sure relate. Glad you found us. Lots of great folks here, many veterans, and no offense taken about the marriage.

Hope to see you around. People from all over the world here and someone will always relate to what is going on with ya. You don't have to be alone in what is happening in your life. Good or bad.

We support each other here. So join in and make yourself at home!!!
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome! @woodsy1 🙂
Boy have you been through some s***!
I'm glad you found this forum, but, not happy for you, for the reasons why.

No, I don't take it personally at all, that you had an abusive, unwell wife, I just feel for you. There are narcissistic and abusive women in the world and there are narcissistic and/or abusive men in the world. Abuse is not a gender thing, it's a human thing.

It's just our misfortune to get entangled with such folk, so, I feel for you.

I hope you find comfort here, and understanding, and the wonderful sense of support that comes from being surrounded by peers, by fellow experiencers who have a similar lived experience or who just have some kind words of empathy and support and helpful info.
 

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome! @woodsy1 🙂
Boy have you been through some s***!
I'm glad you found this forum, but, not happy for you, for the reasons why.

No, I don't take it personally at all, that you had an abusive, unwell wife, I just feel for you. There are narcissistic and abusive women in the world and there are narcissistic and/or abusive men in the world. Abuse is not a gender thing, it's a human thing.

It's just our misfortune to get entangled with such folk, so, I feel for you.

I hope you find comfort here, and understanding, and the wonderful sense of support that comes from being surrounded by peers, by fellow experiencers who have a similar lived experience or who just have some kind words of empathy and support and helpful info.
Thanks Mums. Today was one of the harder days, not the hardest, but harder. Your kind words lifted my spirits and encouraged me.

Welcome to the forum Woodsy!!! Your word is much nicer than mine, but I sure relate. Glad you found us. Lots of great folks here, many veterans, and no offense taken about the marriage.

Hope to see you around. People from all over the world here and someone will always relate to what is going on with ya. You don't have to be alone in what is happening in your life. Good or bad.

We support each other here. So join in and make yourself at home!!!
Thank you Ladee. It's good to feel welcome. Much of my abuse centered around rejection at so many levels. I'm sure I will post about some of these rejections at some point. Again, thank you for your kind and welcoming words. I appreciate you.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Hello Fellow Survivors,

I go by Woodsy on these forums. I'm glad to meet you. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

I was abused from birth to age 12 by an alcoholic father. I saw some pretty crazy stuff in Desert Shield/Storm. Then I later suffered spiritual abuse for 18 years. As if that weren't enough, my wife was diagnosed with NPD, HPD, BPD and bi-polar and I felt every ounce of the wrath of those disorders for the better part of 12 years. I think it suffices to say that I am a hot mess! LOL.

I am learning to laugh at myself though. That helps a bit.

After coming out of my spiritually abusive group, I was still stuck with my wife. Sorry, ladies, I don't mean to demean you at all. I'm sure there are many wonderful ladies in the world. My wife simply wasn't one of them. And I don't devalue marriage at all, just my marriage.

Good to get that out of the way. After coming out of that group, I was diagnosed with PTSD, MDD, GAD and Social Anxiety Disorder. I worked for a while until my trauma symptoms made that impossible. Thankfully the VA granted me 100% Disability for PTSD.

I spent 2 years curled up on my couch, playing video games to try and stop the condemning intrusive thoughts and deal with the constant barrage of unimaginable mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. Some of these symptoms were caused by my condition, others by all the different meds the VA tried out on me in an attempt to treat me. I probably tried just about every med in the book at the time, and then some. None helped. Most made things worse. I guess I'm just one of the folks whose atypical condition is refractory to treatment.

I was way too traumatized to benefit from counseling or therapy. I tried with several different flavors of counselors and therapists. Nothing helped. Everything made my condition worse.

I pretty much gave up on myself. I figured this is how the rest of my life was going to be and I'd just white-knuckle it on my couch until I died.

Well, after 6 years of that hell, I finally came out of my darkness into a little bit of light. I've laid hold on that light with the best grip I've got. I'm trying to widen the window and let more light in by any means possible.

For the first time in almost a decade, I have hope. Hope makes all things more bearable.

I am seeing a therapist. I've found a healthy faith community. I'm participating in forums like this one.

My latest baby step that is a huge step for me is that I'm going to a local mall most every day. I walk a few laps for exercise. I also talk with people here and there. It's incredibly threatening and uncomfortable for me, but it is also becoming somewhat enjoyable.

I literally have no idea how to socialize. I don't know what I would do for work or if/when that will ever be possible again. I'm middle-aged and I feel emotionally like a 12 year old, starting life all over again and having absolutely no clue how I'm supposed to do it.

Like so many people with trauma in their life, my mantra is becoming, "One day at a time." My favorite word for describing the hell of PTSD and all that goes with it is, "Ugh!"

Right now that's my favorite of all words: "Ugh!" I won a game of Scrabble with that word once. Yes, it is in the dictionary. I think it was worth like 20 or 30 points. Ugh!

Ugh! Like ug-ly. That's how we feel so often, right? Ugh! Like someone just delivered a blow to my stomach which knocked the wind out of me. Ugh! Or a kick to the groin. Ugh!

That's how I feel when I wake up most mornings. Ugh! Another day. I'm thankful, but Ugh!

That's how I feel mid-day. Ugh! Here come all my symptoms again. Ugh!

That's how I feel in the evening. Ugh! I made it through another day and even experienced some peace and maybe even a laugh, but Ugh! I am so tired. Fatigued. Exhausted. Ugh!

So, when you see me around in this forum, don't be surprised if you hear me say it: Ugh!

Thanks for letting me join in on this journey with you.

I look forward to getting to know you and I wish you the very best,
Woodsy
Glad you joined us. Your post is incredibly easy to read.....your thoughts are clear....My mantra is make good memories.....which fits nicely with yours. So, I just retired not too long ago, and had to figure out what my purpose is in life......make good memories was the answer I came up with.....I thought. So, to socialize....I don't do computer dating or anything like that....I take classes....art classes or make stuff (just finished making a holiday tree for my porch out of a tomato cage and a whole lot of garland), I have a walking buddy or two, and a puzzle friend, went kayaking a lot....good for distance excercise, so getting out and exercising is a great thing.....and I recall when that was hard....really hard but the more I did it, the more it wasn't a struggle. Sounds like you've found a direction to head in. Way to go!
 

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
Glad you joined us. Your post is incredibly easy to read.....your thoughts are clear....My mantra is make good memories.....which fits nicely with yours. So, I just retired not too long ago, and had to figure out what my purpose is in life......make good memories was the answer I came up with.....I thought. So, to socialize....I don't do computer dating or anything like that....I take classes....art classes or make stuff (just finished making a holiday tree for my porch out of a tomato cage and a whole lot of garland), I have a walking buddy or two, and a puzzle friend, went kayaking a lot....good for distance excercise, so getting out and exercising is a great thing.....and I recall when that was hard....really hard but the more I did it, the more it wasn't a struggle. Sounds like you've found a direction to head in. Way to go!
Hiya TruthSeeker. Thanks so much for sharing. Congratulations (and good luck) on retiring. I hope that works out well for you.

If I may ask, what did you retire from doing?

My older brother just retired. He worked for PG&E for decades. Now he's trying to figure out what to do. He's not one to sit still long, so I imagine the beginning of retirement will be a challenge for him.

I consider myself (at least temporarily) prematurely retired against my will. Lol. Under different circumstances I might enjoy it more, but so far it's been rough! And I imagine, if I heal enough, I will return to some form of work. Who knows though with the way the world is going.

One day at a time. Sometimes one moment at a time.

I like your mantra of making good memories. I think I have a similar aspiration even if it's not a mantra. Bring kindness into people's lives.

Im trying to do that though I sometimes fail. It makes me feel valuable to encourage someone along their way.

Thanks for sharing with me all that you do. I hope you find joy and peace and purpose in your retirement.

I've still got a lot of things to figure out as I simply get through whatever is left of life for me one day at a time. Hopefully I will help a couple people along the way even though I myself am broken and in need of help. I guess this is kind of how life works.

I hope to chat with you more.

Have as good a day as possible,
Woodsy
 

Kittie

Confident
Hello and welcome!

This place has been warm, friendly and accepting, I'm sure you'll find understanding people who you can relate to.

It seems like a lot of years are spent "in the dark" before the light is found. I wasted much of my life in the dark, even though I craved the light. No therapist could really show me the way, I had to find it for myself. Now I'm working on reaching out and hanging onto it without falling back into the darkness. It's a daily process. Number One, never give up! I hope you find enlightenment here! Best wishes!
 

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
Hello and welcome!

This place has been warm, friendly and accepting, I'm sure you'll find understanding people who you can relate to.

It seems like a lot of years are spent "in the dark" before the light is found. I wasted much of my life in the dark, even though I craved the light. No therapist could really show me the way, I had to find it for myself. Now I'm working on reaching out and hanging onto it without falling back into the darkness. It's a daily process. Number One, never give up! I hope you find enlightenment here! Best wishes!
Thanks Kittie,

I appreciate your warm welcome and kind, encouraging words. Like yourself, I wasn't able to glean much benefit from therapy or even medications in the first 6 years of my debilitating response to 2 decades (or more) of trauma. I was just too raw and sensitive. I tried some half dozen different therapists and modalities, but everything just further traumatized me. My emotions were like a wild animal that couldn't be helped until it could be calmed down. And nothing would calm them down.

Like yourself, I had to find my own way. In my case, that appears to be time. They say time heals all wounds. I'm not sure that is 100% accurate, but there is at least a kernel of truth included.

In hindsight, I think divorcing my abusive wife was a huge step toward healing. Diagnosed with NPD, HPD, BPD and bipolar with some antisocial tendencies, I was suffering constant re-injury from her. Due to my value system I couldn't divorce her for just any reason. And, of course, I always hoped for things to get better (like we all do). Then she (finally) committed adultery and I felt free to divorce her. What a relief.

I wish holding on to the light was not such a difficult and daily process. It is so much work that I'm exhausted and out of strength for staying positive by the end of the day. Now that it's getting dark around 5pm where I live, there are a lot of long dark hours to sit through while waiting to escape into sleep once more. Then I wake up far too early and must begin the battle again. This soldier is getting weary!

I am thankful though that I'm not where I was. While I may whine and complain a little, I am actually glad for the little bit of light, comfort and peace I am currently experiencing. After 6 years of utter darkness, it is a delight. I am also thankful that I can now reach out and talk to others who are experiencing similar struggles and have attained similar damages.

Thanks for being there and taking a moment to encourage a fellow weary traveler.
Woodsy
 

Kittie

Confident
They say time heals all wounds. I'm not sure that is 100% accurate, but there is at least a kernel of truth included.
I totally agree! Time...in some ways helps, but there are things we seem to need to do during the time that makes a difference. (That's where I'm stuck). Just waiting doesn't seem to be enough.
Due to my value system I couldn't divorce her for just any reason. And, of course, I always hoped for things to get better (like we all do). Then she (finally) committed adultery and I felt free to divorce her. What a relief.
As sad as divorce is, if it was a bad match, its liberating. Now you won't be mistreated and can focus on rebuilding your life...I wish you success!
I wish holding on to the light was not such a difficult and daily process.
For me, its a daily, sometimes hourly or by the minute process...definitely not easy. Some days feel much better, some are a struggle. You're doing it for yourself and you're worth it.
I am thankful though that I'm not where I was. While I may whine and complain a little, I am actually glad for the little bit of light, comfort and peace I am currently experiencing. After 6 years of utter darkness, it is a delight. I am also thankful that I can now reach out and talk to others who are experiencing similar struggles and have attained similar damages.
I believe whining and complaining is now called "venting " and its healthy. Bottling it up is unhealthy. I'm also glad to have found this place where others understand. I felt very isolated before. I've also found I can get the words out easier by typing.

You're off to a good start, keep it up, you'll be surprised at the positive ideas and input others who understand have to offer.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Hiya TruthSeeker. Thanks so much for sharing. Congratulations (and good luck) on retiring. I hope that works out well for you.

If I may ask, what did you retire from doing?

My older brother just retired. He worked for PG&E for decades. Now he's trying to figure out what to do. He's not one to sit still long, so I imagine the beginning of retirement will be a challenge for him.

I consider myself (at least temporarily) prematurely retired against my will. Lol. Under different circumstances I might enjoy it more, but so far it's been rough! And I imagine, if I heal enough, I will return to some form of work. Who knows though with the way the world is going.

One day at a time. Sometimes one moment at a time.

I like your mantra of making good memories. I think I have a similar aspiration even if it's not a mantra. Bring kindness into people's lives.

Im trying to do that though I sometimes fail. It makes me feel valuable to encourage someone along their way.

Thanks for sharing with me all that you do. I hope you find joy and peace and purpose in your retirement.

I've still got a lot of things to figure out as I simply get through whatever is left of life for me one day at a time. Hopefully I will help a couple people along the way even though I myself am broken and in need of help. I guess this is kind of how life works.

I hope to chat with you more.

Have as good a day as possible,
Woodsy
I was a K-12 behavior specialist and special needs teacher, and over the years I was a reading/language arts teacher, middle school English/history/math, high school math/English and a high school job skills and job training grades. I miss the kids....not the bureaucratic BS, though. I believe when you go back to work, choose an area that calls to you......where you have skills that you will shine and feel confident in. Maybe some kind of helping profession....I derived a lot of pleasure out of helping others.

I've come to think that while I felt broken for a while, that wasn't the best way for me to conceptualize it. Broken means we can fix it.....and I never knew what I "should have been like before the trauma (baseline me)" so fixing me wasn't an option. Instead, I like to think that I can choose to be whomever I want....kinda like a blank slate, and I am the artist, and I design a new me..... a better version of me.....and it doesn't matter how rough the old me was.......cause in the end it's going to be better.
I started with disengaging from all sources of drama......how might you create a new you? What values would you see as most important. How might this new you give you positive memories (you know, so when you are old and gray, you look back and remember....with a smile)? Just know this is one of those long-term projects.....and unlike fixing something which is usually more immediate and done- I also think of this journey as a remake of a movie....or a make-over. Glad you are here.....gotta run...
 
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