Sufferer Mi vida loca (my recent diagnosis of c-ptsd) - abuse, csa, dv.

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I was recently diagnosed with C-PTSD. I was in an inpatient rehab facility for my 17 year alcohol addiction I had developed later in life when the diagnosis was given. I am 51 years old and have always known that something was "wrong". This "knowledge" came to a head when I was recently arrested on suspicion of DUI. I have NO memory at all of the actual arrest until I came to in an ER with 6 policemen holding me down as another cop was removing a vial of blood. I was in a 4 point restraint with my hands turning purple from the handcuffs and the skin rubbed off from the leather leg restraints. Incidentally, I blew a 0.07 in the jail less than 2 hours after I "awoke" from my violent arrest, (the stories I was told by witnesses just reinforce that I had some kind of "episode" from the violent attempt to place me in handcuffs.)

I have reacted to the attempt to put me in restraints before: when I awake from a Generalized Clonic Tonic seizure and am restrained, (I often awake from the seizure confused and violent), when I awake from a deep general anesthesia after surgery, when I am grabbed by a stranger, forced into any kind of a restraint and during a sexual assault, (that could very well have turned into a full rape had I not responded so violently and was "crazy".). I never thought of PTSD being an issue as I thought only war veterans got this diagnosis! I knew I was "anxious", "Manic", a little difficult to deal with when angry (HA!) and that I was very hyper vigilant: never relaxing for a second...not ever....always tense. I also thought that because all of that childhood stuff happened so long ago, I SURELY could not be effected NOW at age 51!!! It took a nervous breakdown and my arrest 3 days after my birthday to prove me wrong!

I will not go into great detail as the story would be so long and even the most avid reader would quickly bore of my overly verbose writing style. I will state that I was born to teenaged parents in the mid 1960's. The violence started from the moment I was months old as my father was pretty volatile at age 19/20 and would threaten my "wild" mother with repeated attempts to toss me over the balcony of their 4 story building, (once holding me over the edge while tripping on LSD, threatening to drop me). When my father joined the USMC and left for Vietnam, my mother ran off with the first man she met: my step-father. He, and my mother, would systematically destroy my childhood over the next 14 or more years.

I moved with my mother to a small town in East Texas where my step-father grew up. My mother and he bought a modest home and he worked for the local brewery as a foreman. There was ALWAYS beer in our home and it was ALWAYS being drunk. My step-father had completed two tours in Vietnam and suffered from a pretty bad case of PTSD during the early to mid 1970's. He also was a very violent drunk and would beat my mother. I watched my beautiful, young artistic mother change when she started to become an alcoholic herself and was exhibiting symptoms of what would later be diagnosed as Schizophrenia. My brother and I would be beaten (repeatedly throughout our childhood, right up until I left the home at age 15/16) so badly that we would have deep welts and bruises that would sometimes last weeks. We were beaten like animals with a belt. We would lose control of our bodily functions, first during the beatings and then later, as the fear set in, before the beatings would begin. My Step-father would shame us if we wet or soiled ourselves, sometimes in humiliating manners. I, being the step child, would sometimes get closed fist punches to the head. This is the manner in which I was "trained" to say, "Ma'am" and "Sir"; a habit I have continued to this day, even thought I left Texas as soon as I turned 19. I was hit so many times in the head and subjected to so many head injuries as a result of lack of parental attention, that I suffer from epilepsy from all of the concussions I have received over the years.

My mother was also a drunk and would sometimes pass out after she had locked the door to the family home. This forced my brother and I to drink water from water hoses, obtain food from neighbors and to discern the "bad leaves", (like poison ivy and oak), from the "good leaves" by which we would wipe our bottoms when we had to relieve ourselves. My mother would carry a large knife around with her at times, murmuring how the voices were trying to get her to kill everybody in the house. On one occasion, I had to punch my mother in the head (which knocked her out...or she was so drunk she passed out) when she tried to strangle me to death when I was 13 years old. My mother attempted suicide MANY times, twice almost succeeding: once with a handgun wound to the abdomen! My mother was institutionalized in the mid 1980's in a state mental facility. When she left, she would disappear for years on end. She never witnessed a wedding, a birth, a christening, a graduation. She is still, at age 68, an alcoholic; holed up in her hoarded up condo my grandmother willed her when she died.

I would like to say the abuse ended when I was kicked out of the house for graduation, but my first husband was also an abuser, (it was from him I learned to be afraid of handcuffs and being restrained). He took my first born when he was 2 years old and I maybe got to see him a handful of times in his life until I moved to AZ this past year and found out that my daughter (from my 2nd marriage) and he were sleeping together. (I discovered this in May of this year...thus the start of my nervous breakdown). My son is a very violent man like his father. My daughter calls him her "husband". They both are violent alcoholics.

I am an alcoholic and before that, I was an anorexic throughout HS and my early 20's. I have never known many emotions except debilitating fear and anxiety....or extreme anger...I seem to have been "intellectualizing" the last 45 years of emotions....or so my therapist in rehab stated. I have yet to find a therapist on the "outside" of rehab and have only been home 4 days now. I am stunned and almost frozen. I freaked out earlier in the am because I thought the cops were at my door, (they really DID beat me up), when in fact it was some religious group knocking on the door. I would say I am still on HIGH alert......

I hope I can get some hope back. I know I am done with the drinking...but there was a very good reason why I drank...and not just genetics, (my brother killed himself over his alcoholism back in 2008 when he was aged 38). I just don't know where to begin.

Thanks for reading my short novel.....(and I only scratched the surface....I didn't even bring in the sexual abuse or psychological abuse.......)


Welcome to the forums! I’m sorry for the reasons that bring you here but I’m glad you are here. Your mother sounds horrible... ugh.

My son is a very violent man like his father. My daughter calls him her "husband". They both are violent alcoholics.

You’ve done amazing work already to stop drinking. You are breaking the cycle of abuse by doing the work.

I use the maladaptive coping skill of over-intellectualization of my emotions too... I can so relate there.

When I first got home from specialized inpatient care, kind of like rehab but just for PTSD not an addiction, I was a mess. The transition was rough. I finally was feeling everything.

It gets better.

Deleted member 33052

Cornczech, your story is absolutely horrifying! I'm so sorry for what you've suffered. I also very grateful that you have made your way to us.

Like you, I suffered abuse virtually from birth, and like you, it took a breakdown a few years ago for my PTSD to show itself. I just assumed I was completely crazy.

I hope you've found a good trauma therapist. You've got a lot of work ahead of you, but you're worth it! ***gentle hug***
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