Sufferer New member - Kidnapped & Tortured



I've lived through a number of traumatic experiences but the worst and most recent whwas when I was kidnapped by an organized crime group in another country and tortured a dozen ways over three days. As bad as it was, recovery has been harder. Therapists in the States aren't trained to deal with torture victims. I have severe depression, anxiety, depression and anger control problems. I have chronic pain in my legs and feet from beatings and spending 12 hour periods in stress positions. I am barely able to trust anyone. Two weeks ago I verbally lashed out at my girlfriend. The insults just poured out of my mouth. I felt like I was driving a car with no brakes. She understands my situation but feels - justifiably - uncomfortable speaking to me much less seeing me. I've become distanced from my family, too. What hurts most is the pain I've caused other people. I don't use ptsd as an excuse but mention it to them when I apologize as part of my own, enotional context. I'm here to confront this problem and find help. If I can find a way to save these relationships, that would be a huge deal.


Hi, and very sorry you went through this. It sounds pretty horrible. And impossible to talk about. No one wants to know, everyone is baffled, these things aren’t supposed to happen until they do.

But obviously, lashing out at others, especially loved ones, is tragic. Because they start to distrust you, too, and in return you might carry on that way as the trust is already broken anyway. But the guilt always looming and ready to morph into anger.

Saving won’t happen at once. Apologies are one thing. Accountability another. And repair, a third step. Each one is hard. The accountability period is the one you’ll have to probe and heal, mostly on your own. Perhaps with some support, but limited. And then the repair will happen when not only you’ll be safe enough to be around and able to redistribute the support you have been given. It’s not a piece of cake. Gently rewire. Keep somewhat distant. Relationships will change. Not necessarily in bad. But it will be different.

Anger happens when something is blocked. You’re not getting what you want. You’re feeling stuck. And then the lashing out often lands on someone who isn’t responsible for the essence of it. What helps is to target the anger to its real targets. In your case the abusers aren’t there anymore, but can you do something in that sense? Or using the energy of that anger to address that issue, read about it, write about it. If it’s compulsive and obsessive? Better than randomly insulting someone you love. If you can’t attack the right target, you can find a screen.

I don’t know if what I’m saying makes any sense. I’ve not been so much in this position. But someone I know was and was constantly circulating in lashing out, apologizing, lashing out again. Scared if he stopped being angry, blaming, resentful and even violent, he’d collapse into a sadness with no return. All the angry structure build in avoidance of grief. Then the guilt of having been horrible piling up. The avoidance, the blindness to maintain such a system.

I don’t know you and don’t know how you’re managing this. But problems of this nature generally get cyclical and spiralling. What you want is get out of the spiral. As long as you aren’t okay it might be wise not stay too close. It’s not forever though. Not being close also avoid further problems and complications. Healing needs rest.

I hope you can find here the information you need. Again sorry for what happened, and welcome.


Therapists in the States aren't trained to deal with torture victims.
True that.

Except? There aaaaaaare some? But they’re RARE and mostly focus on refugees &/or trafficking victims. Which are a) different things & b) frustrating as hell. As there are any number of people with K&R histories (individuals, journalists, engineers, military/contractors) trying to find assistance with very very little common ground.

Best resource I’ve found to date? International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

Welcome to the community!

From someone who’s been there.

Warrior Chicken

Absolutely what @Friday says. She’s gold.
Dint give up please, there are some resources who deal with your experience and have the skills to have a conversation with you. Depends what kind of person you’re looking for to assist in that journey....

One I know of: Katherine Porterfield, Ph.D. |

Trouble may be not being able to access the skilled resources in situ....or close to where you are. Perhaps consider virtual?

Good luck @matthew99