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Around The Bend

Your heartspace is clear and open. I admire that, and I'm not fully there. I still hide a lot of anguish from myself, as a matter of habit. I will take your example today. Thank you! I'm humbled by the work I see others doing here. I love seeing what is possible in life, even though, it can be hard.
I totally agree. Being lied to your whole childhood and life is being presented with a false story and false reality.

It is so hard to begin to accept a different reality and believe a different story of who you are, that you deserve love and acceptance, that you're a good person who deserves good treatment, not that the abuse was your fault or you were frustrating the parent to abuse you.

We have the task of retelling the not so pretty side of things, and in my case, nobody in the sick family wants to hear my version of the history. I am the oldest and I remember the worst times better because I was older then. Things did get better overall, altho, still emotionally abusive/spiritual abuse and mental health issues/addiction/lies on parents' parts. Somehow, abusive parents can warp their kids' minds into their reality.

I read about starving children that do not realize their obese parents are starving them to death and denying them all regular check ups and normal care. These kids are given a story and a role within it that enable the abusers to look like the heros, when in fact, they are totally evil.

I see this come out in the new Disney "Tangled" and many other fairy tales. The Evil Stepmother is usually the master Gaslighter. Such is the case in my childhood, except it was my real mother.

How to go on to disbelieve, to accept real love, to give real love, and to trust life?

Trusting life is very hard for those betrayed at so young an age. You need a total paradigm shift. You get it by going your own way and away from the direction of the abuser's life. Mental and personal growth. Taking risks, overcoming challenges, meeting goals. Listening to the good, trusting them, and not letting fear call the shots. Speaking up. Getting help. Not seeing abusers everywhere, even if they are. Finding those who you're unsure about and giving time a chance to reveal character.

God! It's been tough! I guess even though I still feel like I'm that abused kid inside, I've come a long way baby!
For anyone who is stuck living at home in what was or is an abusive or controlling environment that makes it hard for you to learn, function, or escape depression or hopelessness, please take hope, no matter how long it takes, you will get out and find yourself to be much stronger than you think or they tell you. You are full of amazing potential and just need a safe space in which to grow. Once you are safely away, your growth will come through if you do not give up or into the darkness that surrounds you.
My spouse has discouraged me from being on the forum since he saw a high correlation between time spent on it and negative mood. The reality is having those "hard conversations" within oneself (and doing the forum "is that") does exact a certain cost when it exceeds my coping skills.

I'd like to be able to process my toxic shame and traumas in some small, digestible bits, along with perfect coping techniques, but sometimes life's a marathon.

In going through a 48 hour PTSD symptom relapse, and coming back out, I am aware of how exposed I felt in my traumas. This is something I was aware of in the past but I guess not ready to process.

Now I see my problems with clothing (getting dressed in the morning and the depression it can bring on) and having a public persona, as well as planning for these, as well as leaving the house and how I use greater stress than the inherent stress of just leaving the house.

I see how exposure, being stood Naked in front of my rapists, being photographed naked by perps, and verbally shamed, raped, and tortured, deficated on, and death threated as a very young child by adult men in authority in the community, including my dad and church leaders as perps would lead me, as an adult survivor, to fear exposure and feel over-exposed just leaving the house or going out and about.

I will need to say words of self-compassion daily to affirm my safety and value in the world when this strikes. I need support in realizing that I am having the progress and the success of overcoming these disasters on my psyche when I was too young to see that I had any value yet. I don't have to be perfect to have value.

I'd appreciate anyone's input on self-compassion phrases that work for you when faced with the terrible feeling of being exposed, naked (even when dressed) and vulnerable. Any clothes help you to feel less exposed? I know some teachers say they have a self-designed "uniform" to help them feel professional and not have to think too much about what to wear at 5 am.

Waking up to PTSD nightmares and having to get ready as a female at 5 am in the dark (a real trigger, too) is very hard for me no matter what. Any advice is appreciated.

What I have done is get coffee and spend time with my husband, as he has his routine of coffee and YouTube music videos to wake up and feel happy about it (he has Narcolepsy) instead of miserable. I don't always like his music, but I love his company and coffee.

Then I shower, do my work level hair-makeup, and get dressed, pack my lunch and drinks, and drive to work. I am always under time crunch. Sometimes this routine and the pressure to be there at 7 helps me overcome my issues. Often, I arrive feeling a ton of shame, shame, shame. My perfectionism is a real issue with self-criticism about how imperfectly I did this routine or how imperfect I feel about my work performance, punctuality (if others are there already) or how I dress. I don't like how I dress and I struggle to want to spend money, since I will feel shame no matter what about what I put on. I have no way to not feel shame. I have never not felt shame about what I put on my body, so I have no method to break out of this cycle so far. Putting on clothes or thinking about putting on clothes, or clothes in general, is a trigger. I do best after I get busy working and am no longer having to think about my body much. If my clothes are annoying or require adjustment while working, I feel shame about them. Same for my hair, if it gets in the way.

My husband says that I am stunningly beautiful, and since I feel such toxic shame about my body and appearance, I overcompensate, and end up looking like I want attention, when I really do not. I want to be like, and to not have to feel shame or think too much about how I look or am dressed. I don't do well with dress up days. Never have.

Worst Halloween was 6th grade when the boy opposite me asked if I was trying to be a "slut" for Halloween. I still cringe and feel shamed about it, and I'm 41.

In high school, while wearing loose blue jeans and a loose, dark T shirt, but also lipstick from earlier, I would earn the "slut" title at the dinner table from my Dad. This was quite triggering since I had dissociated most of the sexual trauma from him, it obviously was re-traumatizing as well as triggering. It added layers upon layers to my shame. As did the boy who molested me and told me he didn't want to date me because he only wanted my body, not my personality. (Thanks, Asshole! And his name was also Steven, like my father/abuser, which didn't help me at all. --Sorry if that's your name. I'm sure there are good ones.)

The common thread here I see is dressing to be liked, but getting sexual attention I don't want, so I don't know how to look "good" without also looking "attractive" or just how to dress for my figure.

My husband says I have like a "Jessica Rabbit" body that is hard to not look very appealing to males. Having a curvy hourglass and tall body is hard to disguise, even in business suits or jeans. He says that no matter what, the "outline of" my breasts and butt are always "on display" and too easy to notice. (Yeah, they stick out!). I know a lot of women who wish they had this and want to have surgery to get it. They can put in padding, but you can't take padding in your body out of your outfit; you're stuck with it.

Having large breasts has been proven to produce a subliminal belief within hetero males that the woman is more sexually available or interested. When this is not the case. If a woman wears heels, it pivots the chest outward, making the most of a smaller bust, and also sending the signal.

I don't wear heels, but my bust is already poppin. Also, the women in my family have small frame shoulders as frame to place the large bust, making it appear that we have implants or out of proportion, as well as hips.

I'd rather sport a more athletic build. It is really an issue. I cannot golf, as my tits are literally in the way of my swing. Running is a chore, and I have to wear two very tight sports bras for support, and this makes it hard to breathe. All this makes me lazy and out of shape. I need to get back to just long walks and running anyway. It would take me down from a D to at least a C again. I was happy as a B. It's hard to dress with a D on a 32 inch waist. I can't even find bras that fit. They can't believe a small rib cage would go with a D cup. The shoulder straps are always too long. I cannot afford it, but I really need a custom made set of bras. Is there a line for women that accommodates this? I'm still searching. I have to daily wear "Nips" as well inside my bra and even then you can still make out my aereola and sometimes nipples.

Women at work tend to dislike me, and this is part of why. I know my friends with large breasts got bullied by surfboard chest popular girls. And since then, I have read it's a common problem for girls who "develop early". Or at all. Or don't stop developing, say, from having babies.

This is all to say that our American society has a problem with big boobs, unless you work at Hooters or some such. I don't want that kind of attention. I want zero attention from males outside my bedroom with my spouse.

Is there a way to hide a large bust that isn't too hot? I live in FL.

I have a kind of tight tank top thing that sucks you in, but I cannot stand wearing it most of the year, and since it rolls and rides up at the base constantly, it triggers shame every time I have to think about clothing. It this stuff would do its job and stay put, and be comfortable, I could go about my day and not have to think about it all the time, why I'm wearing it, etc.

I should lose a lot of weight and this will help reduce the curves. I can then make clothes be more baggy and that will help. It is hard to have the energy to do the workouts. I have not been able lose weight while working my high stress job. I'm planning on leaving my profession due to the catch 22 of all this. I can't find a solution. I want to work only part time, reduce stress thereby, and spend the rest of my time starving myself and running back down to a size 8 and B/C cup range again. I feel better that way, too. No high blood pressure dizziness.
Is there a way to hide a large bust that isn't too hot? I live in FL.
I don't know if this will help... this company (Enell) makes pretty much just one thing, it's a compression sports bra that actually works. I can't say it's not hot to wear, but can say I've worn it for 10-12 hours at a stretch in high heat and it's not been at all bothersome. It's tight, but it does a good job.

I'm sorry you're struggling. Sending you good thoughts.
I'm back to talk myself through the DID issues coming up for me recently.

One of my alters argues with me while dreaming. I was watching her dreaming about ways she manipulates me. She claims that she's going to take control of the body and leave my family and go be happy living with her crush. She claimed that "it's all been arranged" with him. I guess she said that he's buying and sending her a plane ticket and letting her live with him!

this completely shocked me and scared me to the point where I'm going to start taking my d i d symptoms that I've never covered in therapy more seriously.

My husband and I are agreed that I should contact the man in question who we knew simply as our neighbor who we never talked to.

I contacted him, a complete stranger to me, and tried to get him to admit if anything happened between them without actually admitting to having anything more than PTSD. officially I'm not diagnosed as did since only my husband and kidshas seen and experienced the altars fronting.

He didn't seem to know off anything about the "memories" I can see of hers that involves him having saved her from drowning and taking her to his house. I'm not sure what to think.

He didn't have any information on interactions at all.
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Ever since my oldest went away to college I've been dealing with a lot more switching.
And in fact different altars are coming to the front to speak now.

The altar with the crush is deeply sad that she can't be in touch with him and doesn't get to come to front and live in actual life. She is consigned to the back of the head space because she is deemed too much of a threat.

She's grown a lot stronger and has even figured out how to make me pass out when she doesn't like my attitude.

items that she feels are hers have been moved inside of our house and bits of them are missing and I have zero memory of doing that myself.

These are photos that were taken of her that she must feel belong to her. We don't know where one of the photos is that she says she took. My husband and I suspect that she sent the photo to her Crush.

As you can imagine I'm super embarrassed and don't wish to be involved. From the email to her Crush I discovered that he to suffers from PTSD.

beyond that we really can't understand what her obsession with him involved only that it's been causing Havoc ever since she latched on to him years ago.

my husband and I believe that she's never spoken to him and that she just is stuck in the headspace fantasizing about being able to come out full-time and live with him.

my husband and I think that really what this is about is the altar wanting more out time and validation.

I even moved far away partly to get away from the crush because whenever I would see him or run into him I would nearly pass out as she tried to pull me to the back and take over.
I know this isn't a DID forum. I've done a ton of work on processing my traumatic early childhood memories. An 2011, I started experiencing frequent flashbacks and basically found out a ton of information on my past hitherto unknown to me but felt on an emotional level.

much of what I remember has been corroborated in one form or another so I believe my flashbacks are legitimate at least in terms of the facts. so the issue I'm mostly having is not being certain what I can trust coming from my own headspace and the motives behind it.

I really wish there were more therapy options for this because it really stalls your healing Journey when you run into something that is so confusing.
Somatic symptoms that I know are no longer PTSD realm and force me to reckon with possible DID:

Upon accepting a visit with a trigger person, instead of the usual emotional checking in and processing, which I did daily, as well as the last minute anger freaking out that is per the usual in hyperarrousal of my PTSD, I experienced a new phenomenon that I later found out was an inner's reality leaking into my sensory processing.

I began smelling smoke. At first I thought it was"real" and couldn't find a source. It happened in afternoon and evening, often when I was trying to lie down for the night and sleep.

It happened when I was driving. Whenever I was winded down. But it would not occur for days on end until I forgot it had happened. Then, it was starting up again.

I began to feel like there was a vague sense of feeling haunted. Like there was almost someone there.

Not until later did it become apparent that my teen self smoked, and when she began almost surfacing, this was how my own breath smelled to me in my nostrils.

I started smoking again, and she immediately fronted and interacted with my spouse, who was shocked to discover that it was a part of me he thought I'd simply outgrown.

Another puzzling issue is feeling suddenly very ice cold, even while driving in a baking hot car and having to shut off the AC and turn the seat heater on. This has happened in the past in conjunction with flashbacks to a particular child part I can only refer to as "Cold girl, " who seems almost dead as she's actually in shock.

Nothing preemted this latest attack. And there was no flashbacks, no dissociative symptoms, no emotional connection. It felt like an insider was having an episode, and I could only perceive the physical cold, and only in my legs, which were pins and needles with goosebumps.

Somatization does not adaquately describe these symptoms, and I'm used to only feeling these in the context of massive weekend destroying flashbacks. Not momentary blips.

I'm sure there's more I need to process, but I wanted to get these two out of the way.
It's not easy being the only one who remembers.

My sibling could tell me of incidents that indicate that the abusive parent was on a drug one time, but then deny and defend later.

Denial is a concrete wall, and it keeps people from connecting the dots in life about the past and what happened to us.

It's not easy being aware and having to hold the trauma memories and not discuss them or the abuser.

Have you chosen to continue to contact family who are living in denial? Or to decide to love them despite this denial because denial isn't a choice?
Upset about switching into a fight EP and then another alter last night, very unexpectedly, when scared by husband's sudden discipline of 4 year old. Can't type like normal, still not back.

Lately, I've been stuck a lot in an ANP from school age childhood that is a child worker ANP. As her I feel:

Less conscious, able to read and write but limited to short sentences and concrete ideas.
Hungry; this child wants to eat all the time.
Hurt: this child knows it was hurt, but can't or won't look at it; denial.
Isolated: this child knows it has to appear social but doesn't want intimacy with anyone, doesn't want to be touched.
Talkative: this child can go into a "chatty Kathy" mode to nervously cover up (denial) her negative fearful emotions, but she is in a state of extreme tension (attachment confusion) and retraction of consciousness from the trauma and the younger children.

When I'm her, I can't stop eating, I clean a lot to avoid negative punishment from my mother, I crave chocolate, especially, and don't feel very adult like or responsible for others. I can't read long posts on here (last night I noticed) or avoid the site or anything too mentally challenging. I can't focus on much. I stay busy. I don't want sexual feelings or activity of any kind. I feel too young for that. "leave me alone."

This one has taken over lately since the bad stuff at work happened and my husband has been TOO BUSY FOR ME. I don't know what made the switch happen. I know this girl feels neglected and sullen and wishes she could get away to a better home, a better place. She craves the escape.

Now that I know I have DID, this alter has come out and talked to J. Her name is "T." She is unchanged from this description five years ago that I totally forgot about. With DID, alters come to the front often for a time during times of stress. But they retreat again and someone else fronts. I forget about them (amnesic walls) and life goes on this way, always has. It was how I survived being tortured and raped by my Dad and his friend(s) at least weekly for years. Somehow, I had to go on and be a good girl who didn't know the abuse and the bad one, Michelle, who felt incredibly damaged and alone in a black pit with the trauma, and split off the bad dad and the neutral dad (there was no "good dad" for me).