Sufferer I’m here - Looking back, I’ve always had CPTSD I guess? I mean that, in review, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t like this.

Looking back, I’ve always had CPTSD I guess? I mean that, in review, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t like this. For long stretches of my life, I got to be really good at masking and most of my more problematic behaviors were explained with “being shy” or “snobbish”. But as I got older nothing really ever seemed to come together for me. Tried a lot of different jobs: soldier, nursing, engineering, corporate sales. I never failed at any of those, per se (in fact, I usually seemed to end up in some version of “in charge” before long), but I never felt like I was where I belonged and I still can’t imagine what I want to do “when I grow up” (I’ll be 55 this year).

I’ve always had a troubled relationship with my parents with some extended periods of no-contact. My dad also has PTSD, probably complex, and what I know of his childhood explains why. I struggle constantly with that. I feel empathy because his dad was a monster–a well known fact long before anyone started talking about trauma. I think he and my mom tried their best but they both inherited a truly shitty suite of parenting tools. My dad is so hurt and confused when I stop talking to him but he triggers me for days at a time. I’ve tried to explain it with as much compassion as I can but he can’t not take it personally (he doesn’t hear that he was a crippled parent out of the gate, he hears me telling him he’s a bad person). And he refuses to seek help or even believe that he can be helped. It makes me desperately sad and crazy angry.

So imagine my feelings, after years of swearing that I was going to be a better parent, only to realize that I was still making a lot of the same mistakes. I’ve managed to push my wife right to the brink of putting my shit on the lawn more than once. Last year my middle daughter cut me off again, taking my first granddaughter with her. I haven’t seen or heard anything from her in almost a year now and this is a grandchild with whom previously, I had seen and spent time with almost every day since she was born. And the cruelest bit of all: my wife’s husband has a severe ADHD (I have less severe ADD) and a childhood story that, knowing what I’ve learned about CPTSD, reads like a checklist for f*cking up your kid. In some ways we’re almost the same guy, twenty years apart. And he hates me. I struggle with this almost every day. I know I have some fault here and I’ve spend a lot of time really hurting myself over it. But it’s not all my fault, it just can’t be. The helplessness I feel to do anything about it is profound and brings me full circle back to my relationship with my dad.

I can go on and on but I’ll end with my other most significant relationship: I’m my autistic son’s primary caregiver and have been for a long time. I know that I can’t keep doing this. It’s not good for either of us in so many ways and as I get older, I need to be making sure that he has a good life without me and not one where he’s stuck in an institution cared for by people who don’t love him. But I don’t know who or what I am, if I’m not caring for him. I’ve been out of the traditional work force for so long I may as well be starting over and no one wants an entry level senior citizen.

Anyway, that’s me. Hi everyone.
 

StillPen

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome @clownshoeninja. It is amazing to me the amount of work I've put into not parenting my children the way my mom parented me, but have done so in many ways despite the effort, and, I see some of the same damage it has done to my daughter as it did to me. And, there's nothing I can do to undo it other than keep working on myself and hope that she sees it and does the same for herslef in time. Dysfunction imo, is generational. We teach what we were taught unless we work our asses off to interrupt the learned dysfunction. So, I relate to your story and hope you find understanding and peace here on the forum.
 

AngelKeeperJ

Sponsor
Welcome @clownshoeninja! You’ve got a lot going on now…and a lot in the past…You have found a special place with special people, compassion and understanding abounds!

I hope you will find some help in real life…it’s more of a relief that you can imagine. I just got help with my elderly mother and it feels like a mountain off my shoulders.

You aren’t alone here! I hope you will take time to look at the immense amount of information here, and get some ideas on how to do things differently.

Blessings of strength and hope being sent your way!
AKJ
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
hello clown. welcome to the forum. i couldn't resist a grin at your username. my gk's are playing "teenage mutant ninja turtles" in the other room. 2012 remake.

anyhoo. . .

that family cycle is a hard nut to crack in my family, too. i moved 1800 miles from my birth family, my sons never met my parents, and i invested a great deal of time and money on psychotherapy and still managed to repeat the family cycle ominously close to verbatim.

you are not alone. welcome to the forum. maybe we can figure out more effective solutions together. just hoping.
 

SallyO

New Here
Looking back, I’ve always had CPTSD I guess? I mean that, in review, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t like this. For long stretches of my life, I got to be really good at masking and most of my more problematic behaviors were explained with “being shy” or “snobbish”. But as I got older nothing really ever seemed to come together for me. Tried a lot of different jobs: soldier, nursing, engineering, corporate sales. I never failed at any of those, per se (in fact, I usually seemed to end up in some version of “in charge” before long), but I never felt like I was where I belonged and I still can’t imagine what I want to do “when I grow up” (I’ll be 55 this year).

I’ve always had a troubled relationship with my parents with some extended periods of no-contact. My dad also has PTSD, probably complex, and what I know of his childhood explains why. I struggle constantly with that. I feel empathy because his dad was a monster–a well known fact long before anyone started talking about trauma. I think he and my mom tried their best but they both inherited a truly shitty suite of parenting tools. My dad is so hurt and confused when I stop talking to him but he triggers me for days at a time. I’ve tried to explain it with as much compassion as I can but he can’t not take it personally (he doesn’t hear that he was a crippled parent out of the gate, he hears me telling him he’s a bad person). And he refuses to seek help or even believe that he can be helped. It makes me desperately sad and crazy angry.

So imagine my feelings, after years of swearing that I was going to be a better parent, only to realize that I was still making a lot of the same mistakes. I’ve managed to push my wife right to the brink of putting my shit on the lawn more than once. Last year my middle daughter cut me off again, taking my first granddaughter with her. I haven’t seen or heard anything from her in almost a year now and this is a grandchild with whom previously, I had seen and spent time with almost every day since she was born. And the cruelest bit of all: my wife’s husband has a severe ADHD (I have less severe ADD) and a childhood story that, knowing what I’ve learned about CPTSD, reads like a checklist for f*cking up your kid. In some ways we’re almost the same guy, twenty years apart. And he hates me. I struggle with this almost every day. I know I have some fault here and I’ve spend a lot of time really hurting myself over it. But it’s not all my fault, it just can’t be. The helplessness I feel to do anything about it is profound and brings me full circle back to my relationship with my dad.

I can go on and on but I’ll end with my other most significant relationship: I’m my autistic son’s primary caregiver and have been for a long time. I know that I can’t keep doing this. It’s not good for either of us in so many ways and as I get older, I need to be making sure that he has a good life without me and not one where he’s stuck in an institution cared for by people who don’t love him. But I don’t know who or what I am, if I’m not caring for him. I’ve been out of the traditional work force for so long I may as well be starting over and no one wants an entry level senior citizen.

Anyway, that’s me. Hi everyone.
I have done a lot of work breaking the family cycle and I could not do it without help. You need to learn new tools. I have successfully used therapy and Codependency Anonymous among other things with a lot of success.
 

Friday

Moderator
Aloha! Hola! Welcome Aboard! (Or was told to me once? Welcome to our leaky boat. Grab a bucket. And start bailing.)

Tried a lot of different jobs: soldier, nursing, engineering, corporate sales
Marine, Disaster Response, Horse Training, Restaurants, Nursing/Archeology/Art, Teaching.

Seems like a helluva lotta us decide at some point? If I’m gonna put a hole in it, I’d like to know how to plug that hole. Or at least be able to keep them alive long enough to get them to a trauma surgeon, ya know? 🤣 That might just be me; I worked one epidemic and swore off infectious disease forever. Nope. Nope. Nope. I like microbiology just fine, in a lab. But not out in the world. Give me a sucking chest wound over sniffles any day of the week. The first doesn’t scare me, the second I’m borderline germaphobe. Ironic, that, since for years and years before school/kids/etc. (and catching half the tropical diseases known to man, swimming in open sewers, wading through thrice cursed swamps), I never gave a second thought to microbes. Now? I’m just like…. Ew. Icky. One arms distance, asshole. Seriously.

But I don’t know who or what I am, if I’m not caring for him.
One of my pieces… part personality, part ADHD, part compartmentalization like a motherf*cker, & prolly 3 parts trauma… is that I become who I need to be. Not necessarily who I want to be, but who I need to be.

When I decided to have kids? I built a life, became who I needed to be, for them. I never expected to like it, much less be happy, but I was. Right down to my fingertips. Coulda knocked me over with a feather when I looked up one day, having everything I never wanted, and couldn’t have been happier. That all went sideways after about a decade -very, very ugly divorce; new trauma, loss of coping mechanisms, crazy stress; perfect storm f*ckery- and I stopped being able to be that person/provide that life. I also couldn’t just walk away from that life, and being that person. 😵‍💫 It left me very shattered/torn between all the lives I’d lead… and where the hell I was now, who the hell I was now, and… just very trapped between worlds.

I’d made all these plans… to deal with the transition of kids growing up / needing to build a new life / new me… that the gods got a helluva good laugh at.

Point being? I hear ya.

I’ve been out of the traditional work force for so long I may as well be starting over and no one wants an entry level senior citizen.
The only tip/trick(s) I know for that? School. And/Or revisiting and re-certing in old lives. The hard part is getting the job. Once you have it, “everyone” assumes you always have.
 
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