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Ptsd From Cancer, Death And Bullying

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lala

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I was 15 when I lost my mom to cancer. It turned my world upside down. I was left with an alcoholic father who didn't feed or take care of me. My siblings delved into their own grief, several abused substances heavily. One of my brothers developed Schizophrenia at this time which was very frightening because I had no idea what it was for many years.

I had a boyfriend at the time who was emotionally, sexually and physically abusive. I also depended on him for food which made me feel terrible.
He had a group of friends who targeted me at school. They engaged in social bullying which escalated to a group of these boys drugging and kidnapping me (insert rape and torture here). I dissociated this event for more than a decade!

I also developed depression with psychotic features which was made even more terrifying by comparison to my brothers Schizophrenia.

A little over a year ago I developed cancer in my 20s. It turns out the cancer that killed my mom was hereditary. It was a serious trigger for all of this because I felt like the worst time of my life was coming back to get me. It brought up all of the old trauma (and caused me to recall my dissociated memories).

I don't know how to explain to other people how hereditary cancer caused my PTSD. I don't know if there is anybody else who has lived through something like this. Sometimes when it gets bad, I tell my loved ones that I am having a "Nam" flashback, simply because that is easier than explaining all of this and what it really is.
 
Hi and welcome.

I suspect that the PTSD itself was caused by the neglect, rape and torture but it was the cancer diagnosis that actually triggered you into full blown PTSD. It's not uncommon for this sort of scenario to happen.
 
Lala, I'm so sorry you've gone through so much. :-(

My mother died of cancer when I was 17. She had very aggressive cancer and I was her sole carer during the disease. Part of my C-PTSD is to do with having to look after her - the things she endured through that disease were extremely traumatising for me (a teenager at the time) to live through that I still have nightmares and flashbacks about it all 15 years later. On top of that, I was emotionally abused continually by my family through the whole ordeal.

What I'm trying to say is, I understand so, so well what you went through with regards to losing your mother to cancer. I understand very much how being diagnosed with cancer would bring all that back to the surface. That's a fear I have, too, and have had that fear since I was a teenager - that I will be diagnosed with cancer, that I will have to go through what my mother went through, that my daughter will have to go through what I went through with my mother. I know it would bring everything back to the surface in a bad way.

You have my deepest sympathies; I know how horrifically painful it is, to have to live with what's happened.

*offers gentle hugs* Look after you, k?
 
Thank you shoulderblades! I am so sorry you know this pain, but I am grateful for your support.

For people who have not lived through it, it is so hard to explain the trauma and devastation of a cancer diagnoses and the "treatment" it involves. To watch a loved one (particularly your primary caregiver) go through it and lose their life is a unique type of trauma. In some ways, I feel my mother's cancer was worse to go through than my own. The idea of my child dealing with this and loosing me continues to be one of my worst fears. Sometimes I feel I have lived such a difficult life, I would never want my kid (or anybody) to have to go through what I have.
 
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