Sufferer New Here Not New to Trauma


New Here
So, I had no idea that what I have been suffering with since at least as young as 11 years old is cPTSD. I have seen a number of therapists and psychiatrists beginning at age 23 and now I am 53. I told each provider about growing up being the only sober one in my childhood home. I did not know when I started out that there have been numerous small t's and some large scale T's because every effing therapist I told these things to essentially glossed them over. Like because no one was hitting me or actually molesting me (see touching) that what I went through did not classify as anything that might lead to PTSD. Instead, I was diagnosed with Cyclothymia, then Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, and finally about 2 years ago I met with a therapist who affirmed that I have cPTSD. Mind you, I am a LCSW, and I could not see how my experiences came close to my clients with trauma. Except they do. I have minimized and wrestled with this same shit for so long and still there is more.

I listened to a podcast in which Pete Walker was interviewed this week and I bought his book Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. I honestly still could not really see how my experiences fit the diagnostic criterion until I read the first couple of chapters of his book. I saw the same assessment questions in an entirely new way. Like the blinders are finally off.

Last year I was on a few different dating apps and was meeting random strangers for sex. I had done this so many times in my life, I didn't realize it was risky. I mean that seriously. I figured I had never been hurt so why not keep doing it. And last October I was raped. I tried to keep working full-time and made it until late July. And I finally had to stop. I was not recovering and kept feeling worse. So, here we are in the middle of the pandemic and I am working from home. The only people I engage with are online therapy clients and a couple of employees at a yoga studio.

So, while I am feeling kind of ok, I am anything but right. I am exhausted and eating a lot. I haven't heard from any of the people I consider friends in weeks. I don't reach out to them because they were also coworkers and I don't want to hear anything about the job I just left. I live alone so I could probably hide out in my house for as long as I want and not one person would come check on me. This is the one area of my recovery work that has yet to let go. I constantly feel alone and lonely even if I try to engage with people. I feel awkward and scared when I'm invited to go anywhere. I've got a million reasons why I don't want to hang out with the people who offer. And on it goes.

I read voraciously and listen to lots of podcasts and TED. I listen and hope one will finally say what I think is true. I cannot hope that one day I will be able to sustain a friendship or a romantic partnered relationship. I will go through life as the one on the outside looking in no matter how much work I do. I tell myself I am defective and that because I don't know why I repel people or at least don't draw them to me, I am stuck in this hell until I am finally allowed to die. I am afraid of a botched suicide so I don't do anything. But I don't care to live either.

After the sexual assault I was finally able to tell myself I have a legitimate reason to have PTSD. Like all the other shit didn't count. I am working because I need money but what I crave is oblivion. Maybe live in a daze but I don't want to f*ck up my brain with drugs. Instead, I inhale carbs and go to the gym or a yoga class. I'm laughing at how ridiculous that sounds.


Hello @Heartmind, welcome to the site. Do you currently have a therapist/counsellor? What happened to you sounds awful and I would suggest getting professional treatment. I too have been misdiagnosed and have had a terrible time with psychiatrists. It's good that you still go to the gym and yoga. That's important. Loneliness can be awful but sometimes even though we're lonely, we don't actually want to see other people for specific reasons. How do you think your friends would react if you told them the truth? People on here are very supportive so keep posting. All the best to you. S3


I saw the same assessment questions in an entirely new way. Like the blinders are finally off.
<rueful grin> I made it through 4 years of undergrad (Nope! Did not continue on) without ever once sitting through a lecture on trauma, or studying any of the material. But I didn’t actually twig to that? Until about 10/15 years later. <cough> It was one of those lightbulb moments, where a pattern emerges from the chaos, of ...oh. Oh f*ck me. Really??? <headdesk> I think it was when I went to buy a copy of the Science & Practice of PTSD, and remembered this being one of my textbooks IE should be in my storage unit. But I never read it. Which isn’t like me. I read everything, and more. And then one of those mental montages on fast forward... all the times I just bounced out of my seat with a dont-notice-me grin on my face to exit class, stage left, suddenly/urgently needed... elsewhere. Anywhere else. Right now. Smoke shack, pop machine, loo, car, didn’t matter. And the utter relief of freedom. (Which, to be fair, I get whenever I take my happy ass off -elsewhere- just because I can). If I’d failed my exams I might have noticed the trend earlier... but shrug. When you’ve been around the block a few times? Some things are just common sense. People tend to react in a series of specific ways depending on several factors. Best-guess + extra credit meant my exams were always over 100. So the penny never really dropped. Until I went to go buy a book I’d owned for at least a decade. Oopsies.

Avoidance. It’s a seriously real thing.

Welcome to the community :)