Adult Children


New Here
I struggle with explaining to my adult children why I struggle with cptsd. They think I should leave the past in the past, not be hurt by the actions of those who hurt me, and am not over the trauma of many, many years. It makes me feel small and ashamed that I still am working thru an abundance of trauma. They always know how I should handle situations that are triggers for me. It leaves me feeling shame. I have been thru years and years of abuse since childhood- my father, my brother, me ex, his father and even his siblings. Any ideas? Thanks


I personally find that people either understand that mental illnesses are an illness, with symptoms that are difficult to manage, or they don't. And for people that don't understand that, I like to shift the shame element away from myself in the way that I communicate with them about the issue. For example, "Look, I have ptsd - I'm sorry that you don't understand what that means, but this is how I am."

For people that aren't supportive? They very definitely lose the privilege of knowing what's going on with me personally. I don't tell them, I stop explaining. If they can't do anything compassionate with the information that I choose to share with them? Then it's very definitely better for me that I don't share.

You don't have to explain. You don't have to persuade people that your illness is justified. It's their loss that they can't be compassionate, because it definitely means that your boundaries are going to shift to a place of greater self-protection.


personally, i let it go with a silent prayer of thanks that my adult children do not have the experience to understand cPTSD. i thank psychotherapy for that miracle.

in this regard, i treat my adult children like john q. public. PTSD is one of those things that you really CAN'T understand unless you have experienced it. may my adult children --john q. public, as well-- never understand.

i feel almost guilty for my gratitude that there are places, such as this one, where people DO understand and can help me feel less alone.