Sufferer A lifetime of depression and anxiety finally understood as CPTSD

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Greetings from the dissociated realm of CPTSD! I imagine some of you know it well...

Here I am at nearly 40, still struggling to find a place for myself in this chaos we call existence. But after hearing about CPTSD a couple years ago and pursuing the intense journey of learning more, my life of depression and anxiety is finally making sense. I have read a lot of the major books, watched a lot of videos, and worked with some good therapists. I'm still struggling, but at least now I have a clear understanding of what happened to my brain and have been taking steps to rewire it - even with some success! :)

This is the first forum I've joined and I'm hoping I can find some community here. I have intense social anxiety due to fear of judgement, which has largely kept me from pursuing life, but this rewiring doesn't just happen so I'm trying to find safe ways to explore more connection. With that in mind, I figure the easiest way to introduce myself is with some bullets of the basic aspects of who I am and what I experienced. I'm going to leave out most details since I just want to give a baseline here but I'm sure I'll have opportunities to talk about it more. But if you have questions feel free to ask.

  • 40 yo gay white guy from the U.S. now in Canada.
  • A lot of interest in philosophy, science, and social issues.
  • Love video games, cooking, thoughtful media, and insects.
  • Dislike rigid thinking, cars, and intense sunlight.
  • Afraid of other people (at first), climate change, and capitalism.
  • Currently unemployed but work in biotech and looking for a new job in a new city (so activating!).
  • Use weed almost every day lately in order to sleep.
  • I've had a lot of days in my life where leaving the house hasn't been an option.
My Experience:
  • Materially secure childhood in a sea of dysfunctional family dynamics (nuclear and extended family).
  • Alcoholic Father with terrible anger issues who regularly hit me and my brother for doing normal kid things.
  • Emotionally abused by Father and neglected by Mother. Still can't get through a day without imagining the voice of my father putting me down in some way.
  • Brother had a much harder time than me and spent most of his life living with my parents. Ultimately he could not stop escaping with substance abuse and my parents never wanted anyone to have to give up drinking. Sadly, he was killed as a pedestrian in 2018.
  • I escaped my home state at 25 but was plagued by a continuing relationship with my parents. I have taken a step away from my parents the last year and a half to figure out what, if any, kind of relationship we could have after I do some healing.
  • Have been in and out of therapy since I was 20 but realize how terrible some therapists were for me and am lucky to be with an excellent art therapist at the moment.
So hopefully that's helpful. I am looking forward to engaging more and hope that I can help others with some of the perspective I have gained thus far. I think I've come a long way in two years, even if there are still days on end I spend in freeze/flight. And of course, since I'm regularly activated/dissociated/dysregulated, it would be great to find some help for myself in those moments as well.

Thanks for reading, and see you around! <3
Your story reminds me of my own a bit.

Lingering Relationship With parents is tough for me. I work for them and it’s the best job for my condition but I do wonder if disability would give more Good headspace overall.
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