• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Life with PTSD and depression is so hard right now

Ecdysis

MyPTSD Pro
Life is just so hard atm... and has been for so long... It's just miserable and I'm barely coping and it's such a struggle to get through each day.

One thing that I hate is that there's so little validation because I keep my PTSD and trauma secret from nearly everyone.

So it just feels like everybody's saying "suck it up".

It's such a struggle to get some stuff done each day but instead of any validation of how hard it is, it feels like people say "Is that all? Why didn't you do more?"

For example, I'm working part-time at a menial job but it's all I can manage right now and I feel like people are like "You should be able to work full-time" when in actual fact, given how bad my health is right now, I should be on Disability, but I go to my part-time job because I think I'll go nuts otherwise and my financial situation is already bad and I'm scared of how much worse it would be without that job.

I think the lack of validation is also internal... I went through a whole childhood of abuse and trauma and obviously got zero validation there - it was all "suck it up" and "I'll give you something to cry about"... So I've learned that I'm supposed to be able to endure miserable situations and just keep coping and not complain and that I'm a lazy, useless piece of sh*t if I don't cope with it.

Ugh...

I'm also really conflicted about my life in general atm... Not just about day to day achievements, or the lack thereof, but also generally.

I've always tended to compare my life to that of people without major childhood trauma and have felt envious of their successes and felt like I wasn't able to measure up.

I really struggle to *realistically* assess my life given that there was major childhood trauma.

If I try to view it that way, then I have achieved a lot: I've not killed myself, even tho I was sure I'd be dead by this age. I've managed to scrape by homelessness - it's been a tight scrape a few times, but so far, I've avoided it. I've managed to avoid drugs/ alcohol/ addiction. I've mostly managed to avoid abusive relationships. I've managed to get vocational training so that I have an official job title. I've mostly managed to stay out of debt. This next one is going to sound weird, but it is an achievement that I take seriously - I've managed to not have children - and hence not to pass on the generational trauma in our family. I've managed to seek and do helpful therapy. I managed to go no-contact with my family of origin. I managed to get by without a family support network. I managed moving to another country. I'm not great at managing my finances in some ways, but I've always managed to have food at home, even at the end of the month. I've not been in jail and not been in a psych ward against my will.

I know that all of these things are real achievements, but the way I view my life is: that should be the BARE minimum - I should have achieved so much more. It feels like those things are "basically nothing".

I don't know how to cut myself some slack and to think that that's acutally a pretty huge result for someone who had so much childhood trauma and who was suicidal and had raging PTSD when she left home at 18 and tried to work out how to build some kind of life for herself.

As a child, I remember always pretending "everything was fine" so that no one would know about the trauma and abuse at home. For one thing, my parents absolutely demanded that we never let on to others, how bad things were. And I think I tried to instinctively keep it a secret as a child too. And then, as an adult, I'd try to keep my PTSD a secret too, mostly, because of the stigma attached to mental health issues, especially back then - it was much more intense back then than it is now.

So this whole secrecy thing of "it never happened - there was no trauma" is so pervasive in my brain that that's how I judge my life and my achievements - officially there "was no trauma" so why haven't I achieved more?

I don't know how to turn that around in my head... How to keep it a secret from almost everyone but to validate and accept internally that it happened and therefore my life will never be a life without major childhood trauma. I don't know how to get my brain to both have it be "a secret" and to validate it at the same time. It's too confusing.

Edit to add: I also don't know how to set new, realistic (PTSD) goals that actually seem like goals and that don't just seem depressing. Like "keep avoiding homelessness" and "keep working part-time" and "keep managing my finances well enough to have food in the house"... I dunno... those things seem soooo uninspirational to me. (It's hard tho, with depression being this bad atm, everything feels like sh*t anyway.)
 
Last edited:
heartfelt empathy, ecdysis. manicky sidebar. i didn't know your username was an actual word until my spell checker failed to underscore it. and i call myself a biologist?!?!?

getting back on topic. . .

i empathized with your plight so thoroughly that i had to skim most of your post because of flashback triggers. i broke the secrecy code of traumatic repression long enough ago that i can speak the ugly truths of my life without falling into catatonic dissociation, but my neural pathways still scramble painfully when i **go there**. i still have to take therapy breaks when i hear the uninformed judges spouting their most cherished stigma of my broken life.

challenging the chaos in my head while finding peace with the external views of my strictly personal illness feels a bit like standing next to an 18 wheeler parked on a railroad track. i don't believe those two contemporary icons notice, much less feel my presence in the resulting collision.

healing has happened, but it remains more confusing my puny word bank can express. it is what it is, whether i understand ^it^ or knot.
healing hopes for all. no exceptions. even the train conductor and the big rig driver.
 
should be the BARE minimum - I should have achieved so much more. It feels like those things are "basically nothing".
Inner critic needs to shove off. Seriously!!! All those accomplishments? Are HUGE!
how to turn that around in my head... How to keep it a secret from almost everyone but to validate and accept
I haven’t seen your diary lately… might be a good place to air that shit out? Over and over again until you see that people get it!. And repeatedly listing those accomplishments. Heck, your list inspired me to go to my diary after this and list some of my own damn accomplishments because sometimes I swirl around in this little toilet of woe—we all do! I think that’s kind of the ongoing theme for many of the diaries: shit shit shit—damn it—hey friend I hear you—thanks friend—took a shower today—yay—thanks—etc.

It IS hard! And the secretive shit makes it way harder than it needs to be. I can’t believe how much I dumped all over my diary—so much I don’t even want to go back and read it—and people showed up for me—which inspired me to show up for myself—key part. But anyway… I’m yapping. Just wanted to say, you are not alone here and diaries are amazing for blah blah blah-ing if you want.
 
Hello @Ecdysis 👋 🫂 well done for the way you manage your life and all your accomplishments. Life can certainly be tough and shitty sometimes. What country are you in? Do they have a samaritans helpline that you can call to vent and have a really good conversation about your feelings? Because to actually speak to another human being that is also professionally trained would be very good for you.

It really sounds like your working very hard but not getting any fun and enjoyment out of life. What things make you happy? Hobbies? Interests? Passions? Can you set yourself any realistic and achievable goals to try and improve your situation?
Best wishes. S3
 
Thanks for your replies!

Inner critic needs to shove off. Seriously!!! All those accomplishments? Are HUGE!
Do you really think so, tho? They literally feel like the bare minimum to me. Like, I can't "see" them as accomplishments at all. I'd be even more critical of myself if I'd have not-achieved them, but yeah, achieving them feels like the absolute bare minimum to me. I seriously can't work out how to view these things as positives.

I think there's a part of me that thinks that I should have "somehow" been immune to childhood trauma, that if I'd have been "strong enough" then I would've done better - wouldn't have needed therapy, wouldn't have made so many mistakes, would've had better jobs and more education, would've been more successful.

And there's also some kind of back-to-front thinking going on along the lines of: because my childhood was so sh*t and that was bad for my self-esteem, as an adult I should've aimed for success all the more, to "make up for" my shitty childhood and to "prove" that I am worthwhile. I dunno if I'm explaining that right... I mean, I do know some people who are like that... who have become total over-achievers, always chasing success, to "prove" that they're not all the crappy things they were called in their abusive childhoods.

Ugh... I'm sooo bad at verbalising things atm...

I just feel like I'm a "failure" because I've achieved nothing more than the bare minimum and that "proves" that the abuse in my childhood was "right" because I really am a failure.

Hmm, I guess one thing that's really lacking from that perspective is compassion. Can I have compassion with the child me that was made to feel like a failure? Can I have compassion with the young adult me that struggled to get by on her own, trying to work out what PTSD was and how on earth to cope with it? Can I have compassion with adult me who chose to invest in trauma therapy as opposed to investing in a career? Can I have compassion with myself and validate that I have worth, even if my childhood was awful and my life since has been a messy struggle at times?

manicky sidebar. i didn't know your username was an actual word until my spell checker failed to underscore it. and i call myself a biologist?!?!?
If it's any comfort, ecdysis also isn't a word from my own vocabulary... I had to google "what's it called when an animal sheds its skin" to find the word... and I continue to forget how to spell it properly...

It really sounds like your working very hard but not getting any fun and enjoyment out of life. What things make you happy? Hobbies? Interests? Passions? Can you set yourself any realistic and achievable goals to try and improve your situation?
Yeah, this is a major issue in my therapy atm... That my depression is so bad that these things are toooootally gone. Like, zero joy, zero enjoyment, zero pleasure... It's a real problem.
 
Can I have compassion with the child me that was made to feel like a failure? Can I have compassion with the young adult me that struggled to get by on her own, trying to work out what PTSD was and how on earth to cope with it? Can I have compassion with adult me who chose to invest in trauma therapy as opposed to investing in a career? Can I have compassion with myself and validate that I have worth, even if my childhood was awful and my life since has been a messy struggle at times?
This!!!
 
I think everyone can validate that you’ve put in a lot of work and have accomplished a lot- regardless of how life started.

But what does validation of your trauma look like for you? Especially if you aren’t willing to share? I ask because I know I’ve gotten into mindsets where nothing anyone said ever “worked” because they didn’t know the full story so “obviously they were lying”. But that’s just me and my lack of any trust in anyone. For me to feel validated, whoever is doing the validating *has* to know the ins and outs before I’ll believe them. For others, just having someone acknowledge that their circumstances were bad without knowing anything is plenty enough to feel valid and every bit of the spectrum in between.
 
So this whole secrecy thing of "it never happened - there was no trauma" is so pervasive in my brain
How about your PIN for your debit card?

Does it destroy you not to tell everyone? To not have their input? Their acceptance? Their understanding? Their validation? If not? Why not?
 
I continue to forget how to spell it properly...
i don't care to do the research, but i will bet dollars to wishes that i heard/read it more than once over the course of my biology studies and even looked it up several times to get through exams, etc. for my cohorts who used and spelled it with pride, i probably accused them of bragging. if a tri-lingual spelling champ has to look it up, your not communicating, you are just showing off.

"shedding their skin" is so much more intuitive, but it ecdysis makes a far cooler username. in that context it was worth the bother of looking is up.
 
Life is just so hard atm... and has been for so long... It's just miserable and I'm barely coping and it's such a struggle to get through each day.

One thing that I hate is that there's so little validation because I keep my PTSD and trauma secret from nearly everyone.

So it just feels like everybody's saying "suck it up".

It's such a struggle to get some stuff done each day but instead of any validation of how hard it is, it feels like people say "Is that all? Why didn't you do more?"

For example, I'm working part-time at a menial job but it's all I can manage right now and I feel like people are like "You should be able to work full-time" when in actual fact, given how bad my health is right now, I should be on Disability, but I go to my part-time job because I think I'll go nuts otherwise and my financial situation is already bad and I'm scared of how much worse it would be without that job.

I think the lack of validation is also internal... I went through a whole childhood of abuse and trauma and obviously got zero validation there - it was all "suck it up" and "I'll give you something to cry about"... So I've learned that I'm supposed to be able to endure miserable situations and just keep coping and not complain and that I'm a lazy, useless piece of sh*t if I don't cope with it.

Ugh...

I'm also really conflicted about my life in general atm... Not just about day to day achievements, or the lack thereof, but also generally.

I've always tended to compare my life to that of people without major childhood trauma and have felt envious of their successes and felt like I wasn't able to measure up.

I really struggle to *realistically* assess my life given that there was major childhood trauma.

If I try to view it that way, then I have achieved a lot: I've not killed myself, even tho I was sure I'd be dead by this age. I've managed to scrape by homelessness - it's been a tight scrape a few times, but so far, I've avoided it. I've managed to avoid drugs/ alcohol/ addiction. I've mostly managed to avoid abusive relationships. I've managed to get vocational training so that I have an official job title. I've mostly managed to stay out of debt. This next one is going to sound weird, but it is an achievement that I take seriously - I've managed to not have children - and hence not to pass on the generational trauma in our family. I've managed to seek and do helpful therapy. I managed to go no-contact with my family of origin. I managed to get by without a family support network. I managed moving to another country. I'm not great at managing my finances in some ways, but I've always managed to have food at home, even at the end of the month. I've not been in jail and not been in a psych ward against my will.

I know that all of these things are real achievements, but the way I view my life is: that should be the BARE minimum - I should have achieved so much more. It feels like those things are "basically nothing".

I don't know how to cut myself some slack and to think that that's acutally a pretty huge result for someone who had so much childhood trauma and who was suicidal and had raging PTSD when she left home at 18 and tried to work out how to build some kind of life for herself.

As a child, I remember always pretending "everything was fine" so that no one would know about the trauma and abuse at home. For one thing, my parents absolutely demanded that we never let on to others, how bad things were. And I think I tried to instinctively keep it a secret as a child too. And then, as an adult, I'd try to keep my PTSD a secret too, mostly, because of the stigma attached to mental health issues, especially back then - it was much more intense back then than it is now.

So this whole secrecy thing of "it never happened - there was no trauma" is so pervasive in my brain that that's how I judge my life and my achievements - officially there "was no trauma" so why haven't I achieved more?

I don't know how to turn that around in my head... How to keep it a secret from almost everyone but to validate and accept internally that it happened and therefore my life will never be a life without major childhood trauma. I don't know how to get my brain to both have it be "a secret" and to validate it at the same time. It's too confusing.

Edit to add: I also don't know how to set new, realistic (PTSD) goals that actually seem like goals and that don't just seem depressing. Like "keep avoiding homelessness" and "keep working part-time" and "keep managing my finances well enough to have food in the house"... I dunno... those things seem soooo uninspirational to me. (It's hard tho, with depression being this bad atm, everything feels like sh*t anyway.)
Hi Ecdysis -for some reason I keep seeing your posts.
Here are a few facts we cannot escape- life is tough. Very tough. No need for secrecy - every person on this forum accepts your situation and you as real.
Reading your post today - I see you do not realise your strength - you TRY ! and you TRY! That is honourable in itself. Yes everything is Sh*t . For some of us - every day is that way. The world lately has this STAY POSITIVE culture- as though saying the words will magically make life perfect -BS .
No need to suck it up and move on - but ask yourself this - if the world had shut down today - would you have preferred to have smiled and thought you tried your best or would you have preferred not having tried at all? Say HI to someone nice at the store or out on a walk today - maybe they are hurting too.Stay Strong.
 
Back
Top