CPTSD flasbacks triggered due to emotional abuse & gaslighting - I walked off my job

I don't really know why I'm writing this, guess I just want to vent a bit. And maybe warn somebody so this doesn't happen to them neither.

Has anyone else committed a crazy mistake during a PTSD episode they later came to regret?

During the resignation period of my latest employment, the situation below took place and I got a flashback which led to me making a rash decision which I came to later regret immensely. My professional reputation and life pretty much got ruined after said event.

I didn't know I suffered from PTSD back then, was 23 at the time. If this helps somebody, please, be on the lookout for this yourselves!

TL:DR: a female colleague, in an office setting, was using emotional blackmail in order to manipulate my superior into offloading her work assignments onto me. My superior did not question her but everyone around her in my team at the time could see that she was emotionally manipulating him by shedding fake tears.

Due to the environment and culture we were working in (Scandinavia), speaking about a woman using tears as a tool to manipulate is unheard of and a definite career-ender.

My boss didn't question her behavior (probably because he was scared shitless), but instead decided to gaslight me by repeating some falsehoods straight into my face so I would do her work. I took this really, really hard as I could tell that he was just gaslighting me (didn't know the word then).

I felt extremely abused - something I hadn't felt in years - but there was no way of talking about it as I knew everybody would deny it - and that I had no way of proving it. I also found no way out of the situation (I had a 30 day notice period). This led to me suffering immense physical and mental pain (the flashback).

This was the first time in my life a PTSD flashback occurred. And it triggered an emotional flashback to a time I wish I wasn't reminded of.

I think this was all because I was being abused by proxy - leaving it impossible to prove without the proxy (in this case, my boss) admitting to it.

I knew I would look crazy if I spoke up and said a woman was using tears as a form of manipulation. And without having too much time to think about it - this led to me walking off my career job at the time - which later led to me being unemployed and pretty much having my professional reputation become ruined.

While I now know I didn't do the right thing in the long run, it certainly felt like I did at the time. What I was feeling was just so intense I needed to physically get away from it. A trauma. I now know what some of my triggers are (and the fact that I have triggers).

Anyone have any warming words or any advice for someone like me?

Did I do the right thing perhaps?

I'm still young and learning about myself.

While the damage has already been done, I'm thinking of contacting my old boss and explaining to him why I went MIA one day.

Just so I can get that off my chest, and maybe have him understand why I felt the need to literally walk out without notice.


Now that you've got a diagnosis and a better understanding of what went on, it seems like it might be ok to contact your old boss. If it was me, I'd frame it as an apology so it doesn't sound like an excuse. It's a small world. You never know when you might encounter that person again and there's no harm in trying to show them you've decided you made a mistake and learned from it.

Has anyone else committed a crazy mistake during a PTSD episode they later came to regret?
Probably more than I know. Certainly several I'm aware of.

Welcome to the forum!


I recently left a job under similar circumstances - although I did give some notice, just not the required/requested 2 weeks - and what I'm learning from that is that there was nothing different I could have done, given the accumulation of triggers and my inability to manage them.

If it were me? I would focus on moving on. Can you talk more about how your reputation/life was ruined? What I discovered was that there were still some folks who had my back and would provide a good recommendation for a new job.

This has actually happened to me a couple of times and I know how very painful it is. I'm sorry you are having to manage this.