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Epiphany about my core beliefs... are they in fact just C-PTSD flashbacks?

Ecdysis

MyPTSD Pro
So, I've been listening to Pete Walker's C-PTSD audiobook a lot lately... (Audiobooks are easier on my brain than reading, atm...)

And I think I may have had an epiphany about my core beliefs...

I think they may just be a complicated version of a C-PTSD flashback...

Pete Walker describes C-PTSD flashbacks as "emotional flashbacks" as opposed to "normal" PTSD flashbacks that are more oriented on physical and visual memories.

And I've noticed that some small event (for example, me making a mistake, or somebody being rude, or similar) can set off a C-PTSD flashback quite intensely.

I grew up with these C-PTSD flashbacks, so my brain is sooo used to them just "being part of everyday life." I mean, at age 10, I'd have flashbacks to traumatic stuff from age 7, at age 12 I'd be having flashbacks to stuff from age 7 and 10, at age 15 I'd be having flashbacks from stuff aged 7, 10 and 12, etc... Back then, I didn't even know what flashbacks were, so my brain just got used to "this is how my life is".

I think because of this, I built up a relatively high "tolerance" for just bearing/ enduring the flashback, until it ran its course, which with C-PTSD flashbacks can be a long time... hours... And I learned to just keep "functioning" on the outside while on the inside, I'd be stuck in this awful flashback mode.

The core beliefs (I'm worthless, the world is a bad place, people are awful) are very intense during a C-PTSD flashback and they're not like normal thoughts or feelings - I can't seem to "shift" them when I'm inside the C-PTSD flashback. No amount of reasoning or alternatives seem to be able to budge these flashback-core-beliefs.

BUT... Using Pete Walker's material, I've been able to notice that it's a flashback and then implement steps to get out of it.

It takes a while... Especially because my brain has become so habituated over the decades to thinking they're normal and that I "can't" get out of them or not even realising there's something to get "out" of...

But once I'm out of the flashback and have shaken off any hangover feelings from it... The negative core beliefs are gone... It's like they've evaporated into thin air and I'm able to think normal, healthier thougths about myself, life, other people, the world, etc.

I think this may turn out to be quite a pivotal turning point for me.

Instead of staying stuck inside these C-PTSD flashbacks and trying to helplessly "fight" the awful core beliefs, without any success... I think focussing on identifying the C-PTSD flashbacks and then getting the heck out of them asap, is going to do really good damage control and get me back to healthy modes of thinking.



 
hm-m-m-m-m. . .
Instead of staying stuck inside these C-PTSD flashbacks and trying to helplessly "fight" the awful core beliefs, without any success... I think focussing on identifying the C-PTSD flashbacks and then getting the heck out of them asap, is going to do really good damage control and get me back to healthy modes of thinking.
this matches up with my own "flashback management," but i find myself putting my core beliefs into the equation. to my current mode of thinking, i separate base conditioning and core beliefs. even as a child, i believed the rape and mayhem around me was wrong, but i was heavily conditioned to suck it up and make it work. i believe it is the conditioned behavior which resurfaces during a cptsd flashback. shifting the focus from the conditioning to my core beliefs is part of what helps me detach from the trauma far enough to nurture the core beliefs which were buried in the mindslides of trauma.

just believing and maybe splitting grammatical hairs. . . i'm a linguist. i split a great many grammatical hairs.

great epitome, ecdysis. steadying support while you put that epitome to work.
and thank you for sharing your take on pete walker's work. it be high fiber chew food.
 
So I'm still working with this new hypothesis that flare ups of my cognitive distortions/ negative core beliefs are actually "just" C-PTSD emotional flashbacks...

Currently experiencing the one that goes "I do not belong/ I am an outsider"

I grew up with parents that had this core belief themselves, so as the child of outsiders, I was actually raised to be an outsider too... Sigh... There was even a weird family sense of "pride" about this... looking down on the masses/ the majority for being sheeple... Sigh...

So there was alwsys this inbuilt sense of otherness/ not belonging, right from the start.

Then moving halfway across the world, to a different culture, where I certainly didn't belong.

Then, as the trauma accrued, a sense that being a victim of abuse and trauma makes you "different" and like you don't belong with the (apparently) normal/ carefree crowd.

Then, the stigma of mental health issues and everything associated with that.

A lot of the time I give up even trying to fit in.

I know its a fallacy tho... Everyone is damaged goods, in their own unique way. That's the great leveller.

I think it's my parents teaching me in childhood that I am different/ don't belong to mainstream society that's the hardest to shift... That's such early programming.
 
@Ecdysis I recently found Pete Walker's C-PSTD book as well and it has been extremely illuminating to me. I too find myself in these deeply ingrained beliefs where my inner critic runs the show. In fact, it has been for much of my life and I'm only just realizing this at 41....sigh....looking back I can see how so many events in my life: a job that didn't work out, a love rejection, or even impatience in the tone of voice of a friend can spiral into tales of unworthiness where there feels there is no way out. I constantly think everyone is mad at me and it's so deeply ingrained because in my house growing up, I was in trouble for breathing. This is such hard work but I'm optimistic after finding this book that I will be able to get control of these flashback which really can occur multiple times a day for me. It's really no way to live that is fair to one's self, but I'm leaving now how necessary self-compassion is for healing thanks to this book.
 
yeah, feeling negative about stuff today and i sharedmy poor attitude.
i am on here now to see if i can omit or at least apologize for that post, apology sent out everyone.
i am learning anout my disgnosis and the causes and had always discounted the abuse in my family of origin and figured my trauma was several later in life events. Now i am seeing that it was family of origin that baked the cake and everything later was fristing.
my poorly posted opinion this AM was from everyone getting excited about finding a root cause for my diagnosis, and possible advances dealing with cptsd coming. For today, nothing to see, move along. Sorry for that
 
yeah, feeling negative about stuff today and i sharedmy poor attitude.
i am on here now to see if i can omit or at least apologize for that post, apology sent out everyone.
i am learning anout my disgnosis and the causes and had always discounted the abuse in my family of origin and figured my trauma was several later in life events. Now i am seeing that it was family of origin that baked the cake and everything later was fristing.
my poorly posted opinion this AM was from everyone getting excited about finding a root cause for my diagnosis, and possible advances dealing with cptsd coming. For today, nothing to see, move along. Sorry for that
Apology accepted. Many of us have family of origin trauma coupled by later-in-life traumatic events also. They are all equally important. Many of us also ended up in abusive relationships because of our family trauma. We cannot heal what we do not first acknowledge and then try to understand. ❤️
 
And I've noticed that some small event (for example, me making a mistake, or somebody being rude, or similar) can set off a C-PTSD flashback quite intensely.
Another thing that could possibly be worth looking up is RSD or rejection sensitive dysphoria
Apologies if irelevant.
 
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