Sufferer My first step

Bamboo

Learning
I'm not really sure how to start this post and I'm uncertain how far this will go. I'm not certain if this single post will be all decide I want to share. My hope is that the more that I type, the easier it will be. I found this site quite a few months ago after my T started speaking to me about C-PTSD. I have quietly been reading without becoming a member. A few weeks ago after weeks of starting and stopping, I finally got up the nerve to create a member name. Then anxiety or fear won that day and signing in is as far as I got. As over dramatic as it may be, simply typing my first post, without full details of why I've joined the site, has already sent my anxiety thru the roof. Quite frankly, the thought that I may one day type out words about what I call "the thing" and know that others, even strangers in supportive forum such as this, will then know about what I myself blocked out for close to 40 years unnerves me in a way can't really describe. I've only just begun to touch the tip of that iceberg. My need for denial is strong. My memories are hugely gapped and weak. But what my mind apparently chose to block out, my nervous system has seemed to make up for during that last 40 years of my life. From what I've read, my current mode of thinking, which includes "what happened to me is nothing compared to others" and "I lack all of these concrete memories and must therefore be making this up, filling in my own head with a story that isn't even true", isn't all that uncommon. My hope is that as I heal, the way my whole body tightens at the thought of talking about it, or even thinking about it, will begin to dissipate. That or I find a way to bury it again, which hasn't proven to be as easy this time around because I've tried. 🙁 My T has told me "The box is open now. Not so easy to seal it back up when you know it's there".

What I CAN talk about is growing up with a narcissistic, emotionally neglectful father. One would think that as a grown woman I could move past the negative feelings of having a father who was completely indifferent to me as a child. One would think that a grown, competent, professional woman would stop striving to impress such with something, ANYTHING to make him believe that I'm worth it. And yet, for years I did. I had thought that I had gotten to a point where I could be OK without his approval. But about 3 months ago, hearing him say that he "thinks" he loves me in response to my "I love you dad" sent me back to such a horrible place in my head. My inner critic almost squealed in delight as I sank into horribly place of unworthiness and I mentally attacked myself for days. 😕 After a few years of therapy with a wonderful T, I'm learning just how much that all of this has actually affected how I've thought of myself throughout life, or rather, how little I've thought of myself. I really had no idea how much I hated myself. As is the case with so many people, I am really only just beginning to understand how the examples I had as a child of a healthy relationship were incredibly false. The picture presented to the world was of a very happy and loving family. I had a mother who, while loving me unconditionally, had her own issues from childhood that affected her. What she tolerated "for love" for years in her marriage to my father, was definitely an ability that was passed on to me. My life right now is so full of change, recognition, pain, fear. I am currently in the process of a divorce after almost 40 years together with my husband who met at 14. I essentially married a clone of my father. I see it now in hindsight.....sigh.....what I tolerated just to be "loved". My constant belief that I was never enough for anyone. The ever present feeling of "if only I was more pretty/smart/funny/impulsive, ect." I would be worth loving. The unconscious belief that because of "the thing" I am forever damaged. That despite the verbal and emotional abuse, the drinking and the infidelities, HE was the one who got the raw end of it all because he got someone who was broken and that's not what he bargained for. There is growth ahead for me in this area. And I look forward to that growth. But my fear is that "the thing" will be the mountain that I cannot climb. My desire to avoid dealing with it and the emotions it brings up in me instantly is incredibly strong . My T is ever compassionate and patient, never pushing. One day. Not today. But maybe one day.

All that said, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the people on this site. The sufferers who have been so incredibly brave as to share their fears, their stories, and damaged pasts. Your stories of growth, of moving past it all, of falling backwards but slowly moving forward again. I've spent hours reading posts with tears in my eyes and nodding my head up and down as read so my things that I can relate to. That I have never shared with anyone. To feel lost and so full of doubt about the things you have in your head.....the thoughts you have, the behaviors you have that you feel make no sense. To see that there really are others that have behaviors that present in ways you would never ever share with someone else because it's just too "messed up". And to realize after reading others say the SAME things, that maybe it does come from trauma (see now, writing that word was HARD). Reading things people do or feel inside and thinking to yourself "Oh my God YES, that's exactly how I feel!" All of those posts....all of you people making those open and honest posts......is what has given me the the courage to take this first step and make a post. I have found courage from your courage. And while I'm still in that "what happened to you isn't as horrible as what others have endured" mental state......it's still a step for me. And its incredibly important that you all know just how much your honesty and openness has helped another who is just beginning the journey. I hope to one day have the courage that you've all shown.
Thank you for giving me the space to do this. I dont know. I feel it may help. I don't know.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Despite your anxiety, that was an excellent first post. Welcome to the forum!

The truth is - it doesn't matter who had the worst trauma. None of us asked for the trauma, and none of us asked for the illness that is now creating a complete mess of our life.

There's no rush to get your "stuff" out. Do what helps you move forward.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
From what I've read, my current mode of thinking, which includes "what happened to me is nothing compared to others" and "I lack all of these concrete memories and must therefore be making this up, filling in my own head with a story that isn't even true", isn't all that uncommon.
Welcome to the forum and the similar feelings of what alot of us experience. Sorry you go through this too.

The lack of memory, or it coming out piecemeal, or whirling round in a nonsensical way, the strong denial, the self doubt, the minimisation: all part of trauma. This site is really helpful in realising that, whilst our traumas all have different stories, the impact and processes can be quite similar.

Well done for posting, and already making positive change for yourself.
 

Friday

Moderator
As over dramatic as it may be, simply typing my first post, without full details of why I've joined the site, has already sent my anxiety thru the roof
Not over dramatic at all. Totally normal.


Welcome!
 

Bamboo

Learning
Welcome to the forum and the similar feelings of what a lot of us experience. Sorry you go through this too.

The lack of memory, or it coming out piecemeal, or whirling round in a nonsensical way, the strong denial, the self doubt, the minimisation: all part of trauma. This site is really helpful in realising that, whilst our traumas all have different stories, the impact and processes can be quite similar.

Well done for posting, and already making positive change for yourself.
Thank you so much. Its such an incredibly difficult thing, convincing yourself that what you don't remember is your younger self's reality. How now that it's been unearthed from that closed off area of my mind, little bits swirl around in my head from nowhere. Things that were never there before. Things that I'm uncertain how to make sense of. Even if I WOULD describe it to anyone, I don't know that I COULD . I go thru this internal battle of "Is this real? Is this a real memory or is it just what my grown up brain is saying would be the 'most likely' thing that happened?" And they are things that I don't WANT to make a determination on. It's an emotionally exhausting internal battle that I can't seem to get a handle on and don't even want to have. There's incredible fear that I don't remember many things because maybe it's all worse than I think. Maybe THAT's why I don't remember so much. Maybe it's buried that deep because I can't handle the reality. So its supposed to stay buried. My logical adult mind knows that isn't how this has to go. That the very reason adult me reacts the way she does with things and feels the way she does about things is because it's buried. But the rest of me....the younger me that apparently wielded the shovel used to bury it all..........she disagrees. Vehemently. I know that's odd, two parts of myself disagreeing with each other so much. But there it is.

That's a wonderful intro!!!
And yep - finding others like me made a huge HUGE difference in my life and my recovery.
I'm grateful every day that I found this place
Truly. Not sure how to explain it but..... there's just a difference between hearing your T tell you that what you are feeling, fearing, or denying is a normal reaction when something has happened to you and reading about similar behaviors and responses from people who don't know my story. Somehow it makes it a little easier to convince myself that I'm not making this up. I haven't won that battle in any way yet. But i will say that reading the posts from others really does help. Does that make sense?

Not over dramatic at all. Totally normal.


Welcome!
Thank you Friday
 
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