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Blending of Past and Present

Thread starter #1
I have barely started my journey into recovery from C-PTSD. I was just diagnosed a year ago and dove in head first because I just couldn't handle the intense anxiety anymore. My T has been an amazing fit and with her help I've been able to come pretty far in just a year, read a lot of books, and with the usual back and forth have been able to push myself to take chances and challenge my thinking, still so far to go yet but I'm learning.

Right now I am reading "C-PTSD, From Surviving to Thriving". Quite interesting. In reading I've learned a lot more about disassociation and the nuances of it and I've noticed something that I hadn't been aware of before. I don't know if I'm right about this because it's so tenuous it flits away before I can get a good grip on it but my T thinks I'm on to something. I would like to know if anyone else has experienced this.

I have a lot of negative self-talk, or as this current book calls it, the inner critic. I've learned when it happens to mentally pause and correct my thinking, or at least try to remember that. For the past week or so there seems to be a new element involved, that I've noticed most prominently while I'm cooking. I have Cerebral Palsy so prepping and cooking food is more difficult for me than for most people. So one instance I was trying to cut a chicken beast lengthwise and my inner critic was having a hay day berating me for being so inept. I mentally stopped to correcting and noticed something that right now I can only say felt like a blending between the past and present, very faint, like my brain was trying to re-live, or show me a memory from long ago. It didn't stay long enough for me to fully understand what it was.

Does anyone else know what I mean or have experienced this yourself?
 
#2
I think I might.

I had a memory come back, real hazy. Far more hazy than any other hazy memories that have come back. So it's more of a dream if that makes sense. Something I can kind of grasp onto but not really. It's more of a sense.
But the thing that I've mostly been left with is that this ultra hazy memory is the beginnings of a bigger memory. Something more.

I feel like my brain is awakening and I'm in a better place now to allow these things to come back.

So maybe that is what is happening? Something is pushing through the layers of protection and it'll make it's way out more clearly to you shortly?
 
Thread starter #3
Thanks Movingforward,

YES, it's more of a sense. Somethings there but it's hazy and disappears before I can determine what it is.

It makes perfect sense, the brain is awakening and/because you're in a better place to handle it. I feel like I'm in that spot too. It's both frightening and exciting.
 
#4
It's both frightening and exciting.
Yeah, I get that. I suppose the thing to hold on to is that if it is coming back to you now, however fleeting it is, it means your ready to deal with it? You're aware there is something and you're actively preparing for it and asking questions and able to sit with it. All positive healthy things. So whatever it is: you're in the present, in this safe place, and you'll be able to process it safely.
 
Thread starter #5
Thanks Movingforward. The rational side of my brain knows all those things are true. I'm having to beat back the other side (names escape me right now) that's trying to go into red alert. I know this wouldn't be surfacing if I wasn't strong enough to deal with it. I know it's a good thing, I know it's progress. I can do this. One more step towards me controlling it instead of it controlling me.
 
#6
Hi..I have a copy of that book also. I need to start reading it again. I also suffer from C-PTSD. I think during the recovery process the brain brings up memories at points where we are more stable to deal with it and address it. It's not a pleasant process but can be helped when being supported by a therapists help. All the best to you. S3
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
#8
That is quite a vivid experience you had there. I am in the school that self critic whether one realizes or not is a parental voice/internalization or whatever it is called in your psyche. Of course, one may say it cannot be cause I love my parents and they never did this to me but it does not even mean they did to you...it could be they do it to themselves and you as a child or a youngster absorbed it in their presence. Children learn a lot by emulating and watching as much as what is told to them. It seems and I could be wrong and I am sorry if I am wrong and please correct me, that maybe your were sick and sometimes adults around you were not able to cope appropriate with this (good or bad) so unfortunately you absorbed that experience in your body and ultimately in your internalization (the 'other' parts) in your mind.

Not sure what I am saying makes sense, my advise to you is not to correct but observe and see what that means for you. By enough observation, your observing parts/internalization/self parts get stronger and the mind quiets down. It is always quite fascinating and really amazing how our minds and body can wake up at any time. Just by cutting a chicken, you experienced a profound side of you that you were not aware of as fully before. Correcting it is making crazy cause you cannt correct behaviours of others who influenced you but you can observe to deepened your own understanding of it and the reasons you carried on.
 
#9
Yes I feel like this often.

I learned yesterday, apparently when we are in conflict, or feel badly (including with ourselves), we (supposedly) react (it is not intentional). But we react precisely based on our perception, and that perception reflects how we felt as a child. Now, the reasons we felt like that as a child may be many and varied, but are based on it.

As a side note, I find it very difficult, sometimes, to know if my perception is because of the past or reading the present correctly.

On top of the rest battling the challenges that are there and Cerebral Palsy as well makes you very brave in my eyes. Difficult as it is to be kinder to yourself, I hope you still will.

Welcome to you @Not a real Seashell . :)
 
#10
I really feel like I have experienced this too. It progressed to a thought of "oh this reminds me of.." but I don't finish the thought because my brain shuts down whatever communication was about to happen. The creeping feeling of the past and present coalescing is uncomfortable and I often get really frustrated and wish I could remember everything at once and be done with it but it's all about protecting us. I know I have memories today that I couldn't access last year and I hope it will be the same next.

I had a very profound experience with my inner critic. If it's really howling at me I have found just repeating over and over "it isn't my fault" silences it. It was a life changing moment for me. I wonder what your inner critic needs?

I also want to commend you on your journey thus far. It shows so much strength for you to be exploring these things with a willingness to sit with what is brought up. Quite inspiring.
 
Thread starter #11
Ugg nothing can make me feel inept and frustrated like trying to figure out this message board so if I make mistakes, please overlook it. Thank you for all the replies, you've given me much to think about. My first instinct is to apologize for taking so long to reply. One small baby step for me for realizing I don't need to.

@Survivor3 That book is helping me a lot, in understanding why I have C-PTSD, it's not just from an abusive marriage or life's traumas, it started with my childhood. I saw during my reading last night the author has a website and on it he has all the management tips and articles. I have it bookmarked, should be much easier to refer to it instead of rifling through the book looking for what I need. It's pete-walker.com.

I am actually very thankful that I am far enough in recovery that my brain now feels like I can handle these things. I think there are probably memories I've blocked, and I now realize that inner critic is just parroting what I've been told all my life. My therapist told me right at the start someone can only start dealing with this when they feel safe. On one hand it's sad that it took 60 years for me to be in a place I feel safe, on the other I'm massively grateful it's happened at all.
 
Thread starter #12
OK, technology got me again. I'm too slow to edit and reply in one fell swoop so it'll be individual posts.


@grit. I am learning that I have been the family scapegoat. I went thmy life thinking my childhood was normal but I had nothing to compare it to. I absorbed all the demeaning and criticism without even realizing what I was, just took their words for truth and believed I was the most flawed human ever.

On it being because I was disabled....still trying to sort that out myself. My father definitely felt superior to me and despised me I believe because of it. I had a brother with Downs Syndrome and found out he treated him badly too. I didn't see it until I was living at home again and wasn't in the position to really call it out. One day he was doing something,can't remember what,but something with some papers and his hands and saying "You can't do that?" several times. I wanted to ask him if it made him feel superior and more like a man that he could do something his disabled daughter couldn't but I got my point across by saying "No, my hands don't work like yours.". I think my dad was the ringleader and the others just followed along, even my mother. My CP wasn't bad, it was in the moderate category, I went to regular schools and did mostly whatever I wanted with modifications, and definitely wasn't coddled because of it. My parents had 3 girls then later 2 boys and I am in the middle of the girls, by the time my little sister came along they had a ( from my understanding) demanding 3 year old, 11 month old me who didn't walk til 15 months, and a newborn. I'm sure my mother was overwhelmed and it was easier to just let quiet, agreeable me just be because her attention was being demanded by the other two. She was really good at criticism too though.

I have found myself doing a lot of observing this week. Just stepping aside and noting those feelings. My granddaughter is here right now so there hasn't been much space and time to myself to get very deep in it but I was listening to music yesterday, something I have only recently been able to do again, and realized I was grieving for the life and relationships I didn't get to have because I was so afraid to put myself out there and be seen, or dare to have a life. It's the first time I recognized that. I didn't have time to sit with it before my son and granddaughter came home and it took some effort to pull myself back to the present, safe spot.
 
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