Sufferer Dealing with CPTSD from MST…or am I?

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Mac_1980

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I’ve come to realize over the past year or so that I’ve been suffering from what I think is CPTSD from an experience of MST some 20 years ago when I was in the Navy.

It’s sometimes crazy making because I’m not sure my “trauma” is traumatic enough. I’ve been working with a therapist for almost four years and she’s diagnosed me with PTSD but I find myself often questioning whether it’s really true. My “trauma” was basically a months-long campaign of sexual slander by my roommate (telling everyone I’m a sl*t or wh*re, SL*T was written on my door, among other things) simply because I got upset she and her boyfriend woke me up having sex while I was in the room. It continued to include death threats that would be screamed across the parking lot or during the middle of the duty day and then months of being ostracized by everyone I knew. Even the chain of command got involved because I went to the chaplain to seek help to end the harassment and I was quizzed as to what I did to let it get that far or senior enlisted people told people not talk to me because I was “unstable.”

To this day, I struggle to trust anyone and whether I’m actually loved. I don’t actually believe anyone loves me. I even catch myself looking at my seven year old son and figuring he’ll eventually find out how terrible I am and will reject me too. I am constantly testing in relationships because I just assume they’ll reject me too. I’m paranoid about whether anyone truly enjoys my company. Whenever I think I’m being rejected or left out in the cold I have complete meltdowns including hyperventilating and sobbing. Perceived rejection will have me end up in bed for days.

But still, I don’t know if all of this is PTSD-worthy or that I actually have it. I just know that I’m struggling and feel very alone. I’d be happy to hear if anyone else has similar thoughts or experiences. It would really help.
 
if all of this is PTSD-worthy

The death threats would qualify as a criterion A trauma (the type of trauma one requires to qualify for PTSD in the USA according to the DSM V). I don't have enough information about the rest of your trauma but that alone is diagnostically significant.
 
I don’t know if all of this is PTSD-worthy or that I actually have it
If it helps? Lots of us have grappled with this question. The old "but it wasn't that bad" routine.

It's easy to lose perspective when it's our own experience, especially when those experiences have been normalised over a period of time.

Lean in to the recovery part, irrespective of whether you think it's bad enough. Very often, understanding just how bad it was is something that happens down the recovery path as we heal.

Welcome to the forum:)
 
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