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Sufferer C-PTSD diagnosed and nervous breakdown


New Here

I'm leery to post here because I have found people to not really be supportive in other forums, making judgements about the kind of care I am getting. And that only serves to confuse me because of the dynamics of my car are one of unusual trust, when over the decades I have found it best to NEVER trust anyone. But someone I've been able to trust the person I am getting care from, my psychologist, Stephanie.

I have diagnosed C-PTSD (with some mild psychosis symptoms) and Depressive and Anxiety Disorders. I am 50 now and my first traumas started at age 4 and continued to come, through sexual abuse and parental abandonment because of that sexual abuse. There was also sexual abuse from one of those parents later. I have been bullied throughout my life, especially my school years from age 5 through high school. It was a daily occurrence from fellow students, even some teachers, and even family. I have been physically attacked more than I can count, including having someone lift me up by my neck just because I didn't do something in a sports game that they liked (and the school staff tossed him out, but ridiculed me for it). I have been abandoned more times than I can count. I have experiences at least 3 Nervous Breakdowns in my life, at age 16, 34 and most recently at age 48 in April 2022. I have yet to recover from that because I was literally yelled at and told to just behave by family and management at work.

I have been in a bad place many, many times in my life trying to manage this. But more and more through my life everything has pointed to one thing: I am a mistake. My life was a mistake and I am a cancer, the monster in the story. And aside from my psychologist, Stephanie, I don't have anyone I trust. I am alone in life and don't belong. That is an especially tricky spot to be in, believing you are alone in the world except for this one person that you trust, but knowing that having just one leg to stand on is not great. If she disappears then I'm left feeling 100% alone. I have been abandoned and alone so much in my life and that it core pain. I have felt I was on my own when my parents abandoned me immediately following my sexual abuse at age 8. And that has be the way it always has been.

I came from a strict Catholic conservative family. That adds another layer of institutionalized guilt. Then I came out as Transgender in 2021 to them and they abandoned me again, not wanting to have any part of that me. So I was on very shaky ground, that I had to increase to two sessions a week with my psychologist. Then I lost my psychologist for a little while in April 2022, unexpectedly and I thought "I have lost her" and I was 100% alone in the world. No friends, no love ones, no family and sitting in a place where it is terrifying to trust people and I already felt like I was a cancer in the world so it is hard to subject the world to me either. I avoid people to save them and save myself. I didn't want my life to turn out with these believes, but it has been such a consistent experiences that it is hard to dismiss the evidence.

So I had a nervous breakdown when I thought I lost my psychologist. I won't go into the details of that time. She did come back and it wasn't rational that I thought I lost her, but everything prior to that had been building up with the knowledge that I am always abandoned and alone. It is getting harder and harder to not feel alone in the world to have the experience every day. The main way I cope is to dissociate from the experience, There is not other option in my mind, because the believe I am alone feel an impermeable given. And so the psychologist is on break right now (Spring Break) and she has done so many times in work together, but it is getting harder to be separate from her for long times. Not ideal and I don't need people judging that dynamic. You can't know the dynamics of our work together without having sat with us for all these years. And she is the most careful person, very conscious of boundaries but also very caring and genuine and works freaking hard. We knew the break was coming and set up safety measures and ways to reach her in the ultimate emergency, but also back-up colleagues. But I sit her experiencing her absence, fearful "What if something happens and she doesn't return?"

I am so tired of this life. C-PTSD is so hard and complex and people just don't get how things trigger you so easily. I just want relief, but I don't have the inner courage or strength to believe this can be fixed.
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I want to first acknowledge the immense pain and suffering you have endured throughout your life. It takes tremendous strength to carry the weight of trauma, abandonment, bullying, and feeling like you are fundamentally flawed or alone. I am truly sorry for all the hardships you have faced and continue to face.

It's clear from your words that the bond you have with your psychologist, Stephanie, is a profound source of trust and safety for you. It's understandable that her absence, even if expected, can trigger feelings of abandonment and intensify your sense of isolation. Your experiences of feeling alone and unworthy are heartbreaking, and it's completely valid to struggle with trust and connection given your past traumas.

It's important to emphasize that seeking support and sharing your experiences with others who understand can be a crucial step in healing. MyPTSD offers a community where individuals with PTSD and CPTSD can connect with others who may relate to their struggles. There are specific forums on the platform that address different topics related to trauma, therapy, relationships, and more, providing a space for you to express yourself and find understanding.

While online forums can offer valuable peer support, it's also essential to continue working with professionals like Stephanie to address your complex trauma and mental health challenges. Professional help and therapy can provide you with tools and coping strategies to navigate your emotions and beliefs about yourself.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Your experiences are valid, and there are people who are willing to listen and support you. Please take care of yourself and continue reaching out for help, whether it's here on the forum, with Stephanie, or other trusted individuals in your life. You deserve healing, relief, and a sense of belonging.
Welcome to the forum:)

Hopefully this place ends up being somewhere that provides you with a sense of belonging, even after your T comes back from leave. That was probably one of the best resources this place offered me with my own recovery - a place where I felt people ‘got it’.
hello solveig. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.

complex ptsd is indeed, a complex phenom. it helps to have a safe place to vent and sort the confusions and contusions of ^it^.

welcome aboard. i hope you find stabilizing companionship here.
I think I read your post on the other forum you mention, or at least there was someone in a similar circumstance there. Many of the responses really lacked insight/ understanding on the complexity of what CPTSD entails and how therapy can look. Hope you find gentle understanding here 💛
Thanks for the kind welcomes. Sometimes I feel like a dog that has been abused and mistreated for their entire life like you see on the commercials (with the Sarah McLachlan songs) and even if the dog see some "kind" words, they are not sure to trust it and just sits in the corner curled up and trembling. So many times I have let my guard down and have had pain come down on me.

Back in 2007, I was with a therapist for 3.5 years and one day at the end of May she sent me a certified letter just saying she was ending our working relationship. We had what I thought was a great and trusting relationship, then she abandoned me with no explanation. I tried to get a final session to end things with at least some closure, but she said she wouldn't do it and said I wouldn't understand. She knew that I had many, many abandonments prior to this and everything that she was doing was recreating all of them. It felt very disrespectful and broke my ability to trust and also made me wonder what was wrong with me that that she wouldn't even treat me like an adult and just saying "You wouldn't understand." I ended up in the hospital twice in June for the risk I was under, the second time involuntarily and brought there in handcuffs in broad daylight and chained to a hospital bed in the emergency room, with doctors and police officers just yelling at me. Trust I had said I didn't want to live anymore, but that was no reason to treat me like a criminal. The police officer even said to me "Do you know what happens to me and my family if you do something to yourself?" I was thinking how I didn't know him from a brick in the wall, so his words were not helping. And to top it off the officer had someone shadowing him. I was like on display. I retreated hardcore after that. Trust was gone in anyone.

However I somehow took a chance in early 2008 and looked on an online dating site and a woman in the next state over contacted me. Somehow we hit it off and had a long distance relationship for about 3 years before getting married and eventually adopting a newborn child (who is now 6). I told my spouse everything I could about what happened in my life. I was even a bit too open during our first actual phone conversation, after just talking through email for a while and I backed away from her for a week, but she didn't leave. However after we got married and intimacy started to develop, the sexual abuse that I had yet to resolve on top of my repressed understanding that I was transgender, our marriage quickly became more challenging. We were unable to conceive a child because both of us were infertile. And that was one of the biggest things she wanted - a child. We tried fertility treatments, but nothing ever took. Then the intimacy issues continued to rise up and I was having more and more panic attacks and my latent transgender self was starting to become more internally vocal.

These difficulties pushed me to try to see a therapist again, because I wanted to be better for my spouse and any potential adopted child. It took 6 years to adopt a child and we found out about him 24 hours before he was born and he was in the NICU for 2 weeks before we brought him home. Turns out the child has a very rare genetic issue, and also autism. He has meltdowns that can last hours and one of the biggest things that someone with his genetic conditions turns to is self-injury. (His genetic conditions is Smith Magenis Syndrome). And he has learning difficulties, though in some ways he is very very smart. But he is very challenging for both of us and we never know when he may be triggered or what may trigger him - we are still trying to get better at learning his triggers.

Anyway, eventually I came out as Transgender to my spouse in July 2020 and began the transition. That was another big stressor to an already shaky relationship. It impacted her self-worth and she said it was something I was doing to her that she had no control off. We decided still stay together. And as our son's difficulties continues to emerge, it would have been bad for the child if we divorced. I know sometimes people say that can make things worse for a child, but in his circumstances staying together right now seems best for him. Yet, I'm pretty sure (like 99.9%) that if we didn't have a child we would be divorced now.

Yet back in January 2014 I started with my psychologist, Stephanie, and here in 2024 we are still working together. (I tried a few therapists other than her but none of them took). Again I started to work with Stephanie simply to try to figure out my intimacy issues, but it has evolved and deepened over the past decade. And some of the most intense work was done in the past 4-5 years and the past 3 years it has only gotten more intense. My wife has continued to retreat and I feel largely indifference or disdain from my wife. My parents re-abandoned me when I came out as transgender (as they did after I was sexually abused at age 8) so that was big trigger crumbled any foundation I had to stand on. Then Stephanie unexpectedly had to be away for about 3 weeks in April 2022 (due to her mother dying) and as I was already on the verge of a breakdown and, as irrational as it was, I thought I had lost her and so I was 100% alone in the world. I had my biggest nervous breakdown. I felt lost, but I also hated myself for not being able to calm myself down. When Stephanie and I met again in early May 2022, I couldn't hold it together at all and just cried because I missed her so much. But again I hated myself because she had just lost her mother and I was making it about me.

However, Stephanie, in all the 10 years we have been working together has been very consistent and steady and calm. I only saw her once breakdown a little bit, shedding a few tears, when I was expressing my self-hate in a very strong way. She has been very, very conscious of what is safe for me and keeping healthy boundaries and always expressing her trust in me to respect those boundaries. As everyone has retreated from me and I have retreated from myself even and retreated from all hope, she has stayed by my side and somehow remains hopeful. I am pretty certain that she is keeping me alive. So when she goes away for a big longer time for a vacation, I'm lost and all my C-PTSD and other disorders and flashbacks come up and I fear I will lose her. There have been many times that traumas in my life have occurred with no warning and even have been 180 degrees different from anything I was thinking could happen. So my heart can't help but think: What if she gets in an accident or worse and I am alone again. Because I really don't trust anyone except her. I don't WANT it to be that way, but the C-PTSD etc has ramped up my defenses so much that pretty much my defenses block everyone.

For the longest time, I used to be in awe of my defenses and how they had very ingenious ways to keep me in the same position, mistrusting everyone and hating myself because "I have to" because "what if I'm wrong" and the world beats me down again and puts me back in my place, needing me to just stay down like the vile beast I am? But the awe of my defenses has changed to despair, because I can't even get through my own defenses if I tried.