Sufferer I need a sufferer AND supporter button... Hi! - Childhood Trauma

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Kamorth

Learning
Hi! I'm Kam. I have been looking for a space like this for years.

I read the rules on trigger warnings. I'm not giving them here but I will warn you that I am very verbose. If it'll take 5 words to say, I'll use 17. This is going to be long.

I'm a CSA survivor and have never not been. My grandfather was a pedophile who regularly abused at least 2 of his 5 children and 7 of his grandchildren and we don't even know how many others. My grandmother supported him in this, leaving children alone with him when she felt they deserved punishment and throwing him towels with instructions to "clean up when you're done" when she caught him in the act. I eventually immigrated to the other side of the planet to get away from the dysfunctional mess that is my extended family. Sometimes I feel like more of my symptoms come from how the various adults in my life handled their trauma than from what he did to me. He died in prison, she's still out there somewhere.

My first suicide attempt happened when I was 7. I have been in therapy ever since. Despite being in therapy, by the time I was in my teens self harm was part of my daily routine. I am happy and proud to say that I have self harmed a total of two times since I immigrated almost nine years ago. I'm not currently medicated, although I am a loud and enthusiastic supporter of meds (when they're not being abused). If your system can't make the chemicals you need to enjoy at least parts of your life by itself, store bought is fine and if there is something that will help you to cope, it makes no sense to punish yourself by depriving yourself of that help.

In my early-mid 20s I started having nightmares about what was done to me, very graphic and vivid ones in which I was in the back of a station wagon and my face was inches away from a newspaper with a date on it. That date put my age at 1 year, 8 months. When I bit the bullet and asked my mother (who had been abused by her parents as well), she confirmed that the date lined up with an incident in which my grandfather was alone with me in his car, a station wagon, for several hours. She never let that happen again, although I was left alone with him in rooms when other adults were in other parts of the house. Most of the extended family accused me of lying and I spent a lot of time wondering if it was just a nightmare my PTSD infested brain had come up with. This stopped when I was 27 and a surgery revealed scar tissue that could only be explained by that kind of injury at about that age, which for me confirmed that those nightmares were a traumatic memory that had bubbled to the surface. As a result of these injuries I am unable to have children.

I identify as aro-ace and I am completely convinced that this is due to my trauma. I don't feel that my trauma invalidates my sexuality though, it was a part of my life that formed who I am today. I am married and my husband is aware of all of this. He is my best friend and has been for almost 20 years, our relationship makes sense to us and we are the only people whose opinions matter on the subject. My husband and our roommate (who also wears the title of Best Friend - you can have more than one) both also suffer from PTSD due to other kinds of childhood traumas. As they were only diagnosed in the last couple of years I have ended up taking on much more of a supporter role recently. I've been through CBT and more therapy than the pair of them combined so they see me as being a kind of veteran of the disorder who can usually give them good advice on how to deal with a panic attack or self-hate spiral right then and there. I know I have to set boundaries so that I don't go backwards myself, but it feels like we've found a healthy balance that works for the three of us. All I have to do is say "I don't have enough spoons today" and they will move on to asking another support person for help.

I find that helping others helps me process my own issues and lets me give a meaning to what I went through and that's the kind of support I am looking for in a community like this. I want to be able to help people who are going through what I have been through so that my experiences can count for something meaningful. I feel like I have come out the other side and am learning to function as a mostly mentally healthy adult now instead of just trying to learn how to cope with what happens inside my head all the time and I would like to help others at least see that getting to this point is a possibility. I'm probably just going to be popping into other people's posts and asking advice. If I'm being more irritating than helpful, please just politely let me know. I won't be offended, I'll just leave you alone. Sometimes the best intentions just aren't the right fit.

TL;DR: Hi I'm new, I have a lot of experience with Childhood Trauma related PTSD, and I'm more likely to be offering advice than asking for help.

See, I told you I was verbose.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome! You've come really far and that is amazing! I often find when I'm in therapy my dreams are actually memories that I was able to confirm too. I'm glad you found us and I hope to see you on the forums. Oh, and I tend to be concise, so if you think I'm saying something off the wall, just ask me to clarify.
 
Hi! I'm Kam. I have been looking for a space like this for years.

I read the rules on trigger warnings. I'm not giving them here but I will warn you that I am very verbose. If it'll take 5 words to say, I'll use 17. This is going to be long.

I'm a CSA survivor and have never not been. My grandfather was a pedophile who regularly abused at least 2 of his 5 children and 7 of his grandchildren and we don't even know how many others. My grandmother supported him in this, leaving children alone with him when she felt they deserved punishment and throwing him towels with instructions to "clean up when you're done" when she caught him in the act. I eventually immigrated to the other side of the planet to get away from the dysfunctional mess that is my extended family. Sometimes I feel like more of my symptoms come from how the various adults in my life handled their trauma than from what he did to me. He died in prison, she's still out there somewhere.

My first suicide attempt happened when I was 7. I have been in therapy ever since. Despite being in therapy, by the time I was in my teens self harm was part of my daily routine. I am happy and proud to say that I have self harmed a total of two times since I immigrated almost nine years ago. I'm not currently medicated, although I am a loud and enthusiastic supporter of meds (when they're not being abused). If your system can't make the chemicals you need to enjoy at least parts of your life by itself, store bought is fine and if there is something that will help you to cope, it makes no sense to punish yourself by depriving yourself of that help.

In my early-mid 20s I started having nightmares about what was done to me, very graphic and vivid ones in which I was in the back of a station wagon and my face was inches away from a newspaper with a date on it. That date put my age at 1 year, 8 months. When I bit the bullet and asked my mother (who had been abused by her parents as well), she confirmed that the date lined up with an incident in which my grandfather was alone with me in his car, a station wagon, for several hours. She never let that happen again, although I was left alone with him in rooms when other adults were in other parts of the house. Most of the extended family accused me of lying and I spent a lot of time wondering if it was just a nightmare my PTSD infested brain had come up with. This stopped when I was 27 and a surgery revealed scar tissue that could only be explained by that kind of injury at about that age, which for me confirmed that those nightmares were a traumatic memory that had bubbled to the surface. As a result of these injuries I am unable to have children.

I identify as aro-ace and I am completely convinced that this is due to my trauma. I don't feel that my trauma invalidates my sexuality though, it was a part of my life that formed who I am today. I am married and my husband is aware of all of this. He is my best friend and has been for almost 20 years, our relationship makes sense to us and we are the only people whose opinions matter on the subject. My husband and our roommate (who also wears the title of Best Friend - you can have more than one) both also suffer from PTSD due to other kinds of childhood traumas. As they were only diagnosed in the last couple of years I have ended up taking on much more of a supporter role recently. I've been through CBT and more therapy than the pair of them combined so they see me as being a kind of veteran of the disorder who can usually give them good advice on how to deal with a panic attack or self-hate spiral right then and there. I know I have to set boundaries so that I don't go backwards myself, but it feels like we've found a healthy balance that works for the three of us. All I have to do is say "I don't have enough spoons today" and they will move on to asking another support person for help.

I find that helping others helps me process my own issues and lets me give a meaning to what I went through and that's the kind of support I am looking for in a community like this. I want to be able to help people who are going through what I have been through so that my experiences can count for something meaningful. I feel like I have come out the other side and am learning to function as a mostly mentally healthy adult now instead of just trying to learn how to cope with what happens inside my head all the time and I would like to help others at least see that getting to this point is a possibility. I'm probably just going to be popping into other people's posts and asking advice. If I'm being more irritating than helpful, please just politely let me know. I won't be offended, I'll just leave you alone. Sometimes the best intentions just aren't the right fit.

TL;DR: Hi I'm new, I have a lot of experience with Childhood Trauma related PTSD, and I'm more likely to be offering advice than asking for help.

See, I told you I was verbose.

Hiya! I just wanted to say a lot of your post resonates with me both the trauma and relation of the abuser. I read lots of studies and found that the way I process in life is often due to how my early attachments were effected. I too like helping people and work in a caring profession helping others. Some days I feel it is a use and others a hindrance! I get particularly upset with the justice system as it let me down and others I frequently work with. Some days I just want to hear good things happen to good people!
 
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