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Sufferer Hello, I’m new here! Joined because frustration around stagnation re therapy, and healing from CSA. Any advice?

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New Here

This is gonna be a long one- ?

I stumbled across this site while researching PTSD info. Not entirely sure how this works yet. But I think I found the introductions section? So hi!

Again, not entirely sure what exactly I’m doing on here yet, but figured I’d give it a shot. I’ve been in therapy for about three and a half years, was diagnosed with PTSD and DDNOS, (informally C-PTSD I believe), back in 2016, as a result of years of sexual abuse, among other things.

Over the past few years I’ve done a whole lot of work in therapy/my everyday life in regards to managing my PTSD symptoms, taking meds, workin’ on interpersonal relationship dynamics, boundary work, family of origin work, mitigating unhealthy coping, reducing shame, blah blah blah, etc...(all that Courage to Heal Workbook stuff).

But! And I think this is the big reason I’m reaching out- I still feel like I have an insurmountable amount of shit to work on. I really feel like I’ve been on a months-long plateau in therapy lately, (love my therapist, not interested in switching), but the issue is, I'm not sure what to even focus on at this point...I know what I need to do and when, I know healthy coping, I understand trauma and its effects thoroughly, I’ve disclosed plenty of stuff to friends who are wonderfully supportive....

And stiiiiiillll!! I’m having freakin’ intrusive thoughts and nightmares and flashbacks. I still wanna drink, (and do drink), when that happens. I know I still feel all those negative beliefs regarding the abuse, even though logically I don’t believe them. And there are plenty of things I still can’t say to my therapist, despite my deep trust in her and years- worth of rapport. I still feel shame. I still can’t disclose to my parents what happened. I still drink to cope. I still have intrusive symptoms. I still have urges to SI (but haven’t in years).

So, uh, I guess that’s my life long-winded introduction?

Basically, has anyone been at this point before and surpassed it??? Any advice?? Next steps? Motivational stuff?

I don’t feel ~healed~ even though I’ve done all the right things, nearly textbook-style. I’m frustrated and disheartened and worried all this trauma will very prominently affect me until I die ?

Thanks for those who read through this whole dang thing! And thank you to those who took the time to skim it!


Alice (my username is my bitter humor, sorry).

TLDR; I’m new here, joined because frustration around stagnation re therapy and healing from CSA. Any advice?
Welcome Alice! @traumaqueen. I can easily say this forum has been an incredible resource for me on this journey. When there have been rough patches for me ( and there’s been plenty) even just reading that I’m not alone in this battle is reassuring.
All that to say, I’m not beyond the point you describe but instead, right there with you. What you wrote is how I am as well.... so no wisdom, sorry....just solidarity.

Lots to explore on the site, take your time!
Could have written your same story myself. I don't have advice and can only lend support and an ear to listen. I find myself on this journey with many other men and women who have done the work and bare the scars that come with the battle.... I hope your battles become less frequent!!!
Welcome! Glad you found us. Sounds like you reached out at a time when you need like-minded, like symptomatic people who understand the cycles of this monster PTSD we all live with.

You have covered a lot of ground in your therapy! Some amazing hard work. But this does come in cycles. Doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong, or not doing enough, it means there are many layers to the healing work. You will see it referred to as 'peeling the onion'.

I'm not sharing this to discourage you, I'm saying this so you will know you are doing an extraordinary job on your healing!

Does it ever completely heal? I don't know. Seems all of the info we read, says we learn how to maintain. And considering where we all come from, that is awfully powerful hope. That regardless, we will know what to do, when to rest, when to talk to someone, when to ride it out, and on and on.

Very glad you are here. Like was shared, a lot to read here. Many articles, people from all over the world and we are all at different stages of healing. Diaries, many topics and articles, take your time and look around.

Hope you have found your tribe. We are going to understand anything you share.
Hi! I just found this site myself and have been reading through it for a little bit. I haven't done an intro for myself yet, I'm planning to after this, but I really wanted to respond to you so I'm jumping the gun a bit here.

I have been in the same boat as you. I've been in therapy for about 30 years now and I'm not 40 yet.

The most useful piece of advice I ever got was "You talk about it until you're done talking about it". It doesn't seem helpful on the surface, but I figured it out over time. There was a point a few years ago where I realized that I hadn't felt the need to talk about what happened to me in a long time. I was done talking about it. The nightmares had stopped, the freak-outs during sex had dropped to almost never (I still have a couple of triggers but my partner understands and is careful), and somewhere along the line I had actually started to like myself as a person. I can't pinpoint when it all stopped, but it did. I've been almost entirely symptom free for at least 5-6 years now.

I did go through several periods when I felt like there must have been something wrong with me, something I wasn't doing right or enough, because "I should have been better by now" got stuck in my head and did the round and round and round on repeat thing. I beat the stuffing out of myself for not trying harder. Honestly, that way of thinking always just ended up making it worse. The truth is, there's no hard and fast time frame for recovery. It's not like taking a course of antibiotics, "take these three times a day with meals for a week and you'll be fine". That doesn't exist for mental health. As long as you feel like you still need to talk about it, you are still processing things and still healing. Go easy on yourself, you are doing recovery right and you are getting closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, it's just that the process involves periods where you don't feel as bad as you used to so you start to think "That's it, I'm better now" even though you still have a way to go.

There is a light and you will get there. Don't give up on yourself and don't beat yourself up. The worst you've ever felt is the worst you can imagine feeling, but that goes for the good stuff too. This plateau is part of the healing process and in itself is a sign that you are making progress, it's a nice place to take a rest from the hard work, but it's just a rest stop, not your destination. You probably won't even realize you've reached your destination until you've already built a life there.

Don't give up. You're doing great.
Welcome to the neighborhood! I've reached those plateaus in therapy, and I just kept going in. I've taken breaks after about 6 years, and now I'm in short term therapy to brush up on my boundary setting. I'm glad you found us because I've found that talking out stuff here tends to help me almost as much as therapy.
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