Somehow I think this is like in C.S. Lewis "Through the looking Glass." I've been running and running just to stand still. I just need to stop running and let these feelings catch up with me so I can finally get peace. I wish I could do it all at once, but there's only so much I can take at one time.
I use to have a dream about myself, my brother and my sister being on a beach with a huge tidal wave chasing after us. My brother and sister are both older than me and they ran off and left me behind. I could hear the tidal wave roar and feel a strong wind and drops of salty water hitting me. I was terrified and use to wake up screaming.
When I finally let go of the striving and running and learned to accept my symptoms and make progress with controlling them I realised what the dream had meant.
There was only me who could stop myself running and although others have helped me there are those who will never understand. I was so angry with family members who cannot/will not understand my PTSD but now I know that it is useless worrying about that and I focus on understanding myself and I have finally stopped running.
If the tidal wave washes over me then so be it, once it has gone I'll still be here and I have found an inner peace and calm I never knew was possible.
I still get triggered and have bad days but I'm so much better than I was.
I honestly have the impression that my life is just one big exposure therapy, and that I can't run away from it. Like I have to see my ex repeatedly because of my children. I have to talk to him, find some sort of way to be at peace with him, over and over again. It's not easy when you can't stop the exposure therapy because it seems to be chasing you no matter what you do. Like that tidal wave CraftyCath. That's what I mean, life needs to start settling. Being on this site, is just helping dealing with the immediate factors that I would very much like to run away from. I am not forcing anything. Life is enough to handle.:cry:
I can totally relate to yours and Cath's comments of never being able to get away from exposure. That's definitely the life I'm living right now.
I do have trouble getting triggered with reading other people's trauma diaries and posts on this site.
I want so much to give my support, but some of the most interesting folks on here have very long diaries amassed, and I feel that - how can I comment if I can't even cope with reading their story for more than a few minutes at a time.
I'm so incredibly thankful that people have read what I have to say and had such supportive and compassionate responses. I hope in time I'll be able to read more about the struggles you have all been through and offer my support and some of the coping strategies I have managed to develop over the years.
Words can't express the value of the support I've received here.
I also feel the same way about life being exposure therapy. I also experience therapy to be triggering, and it feels like exposure therapy. I find the therapeutic relationship accompanied by the closeness and dependency feels either uncomfortable, something to fear, or else too good to be true. Once in a while it feels so good, and then I want to run for the hills. Tonight I am living in the moment as my H and I enjoy dinner cooked on the grill, and some good conversation. I also value this forum and the safety and support I have received.
I started reading a few peoples diaries here when I first found the site, and found that I was taking on too much of their pain and anger, which was extremely hard and painful for me. It was hard enough to deal with my own stuff, which was already very painful.
Now I don't go into most peoples diaries. I have a few that I have felt I have the strength and energy to give some of myself, but even then, I cannot do it all the time, and it is overwhelming to see the number of diaries on this forum, so I don't think it is even realistic to be able to get through all of them, and still have time to live and work on your own stuff.
It's probably the same for many people here. I don't think there needs to be any guilt about it though. We are all doing our best, and it's really hard to read some of the things that have happened to human beings on this site. I still can't get past some of the things I've read here, and it numbs me at times. I can't begin to imagine how it must be for the people who have actually been the ones living through those horrible, horrifying events in their past and sometimes, present.
I think Anthony is right about exposure therapy being very effective, but I had to find my own way.
I think I read too much, wrote too much and got into an unmanageable space with my anxiety level in the beginning.
Now I am trying to read and write on here in measured doses, and I am experiencing a positive change in my symptoms and life.
Between the forum and therapy I am coming to a point where my own past experiences actually seem more real, and not just a dream state or a lie I made up to hurt my family. This is very validating and calming for me. The secrets and lies were the worst of all for me.
Like anything, there's a balance that is probably different for each person... it's important to have a thread like this, reminding us that the forum can be very triggering in large doses, and learning to manage that is similar to how we manage the triggers we experience in our everyday lives.
I know what you mean about past experiences seeming more real instead of a dream or something you made up. I've been tackling this lately, but there has been some amazing progress in the last couple of days for me, since my mother has actually admitted to some of her bad behavior, without making any excuses for them, and even admitted to having failed me badly, which for her is a real step.
My mother is usually quite an Ostrich and likes to keep her head in the sand, so I really appreciate what it must be taking for her to make herself vulnerable for me right now. That is not an easy thing for anyone, and it must be very painful for her to admit to these things.
I'm feeling pretty amazed that my rocking the boat has actually worked.
I have been gone from this forum for a couple of months. In some ways I feel guilty, as if I've abandoned the people that I have met and who have helped me in my time of need. Some in person and others on line.
When I first joined, I was deeply depressed, sad and confused whilst going through a second marriage break up and feeling lost and at times suicidal. Time takes care of many problems and once again I am able to go about my daily life in a normal fashion. Having returned to Australia to my children and grandchildren, I feel happy and wake every day with a smile on my face.
My break up, brought back previous PTSD traumas from my past, insecurity, low self esteem, abandonment issues to name a few. I learnt a lot from the people on this forum and was able to find my way back to a more stable and manageable frame of mind. I've stopped running away and now know that location does not change problems. The back pack goes with you.
Yes, reading the traumas of others can increase symptoms. Even though people are in pain and are struggling there is only so much you can do to help. Each person has to find their own way and at times I found myself even more depressed after reading some diary's. I truly appreciate the kindness and support that I have been given. I hope to be more active in the coming weeks. Hugs and warm wishes to you all.:)
Hi, I find I have to dose myself on being online and will ofter take a couple of days break. I have found some days it does not stress me out like other days. Sometimes I have to stay away from the trauma diaries, and yet this is a very good way to get to know people.
Being on the forums has speeded up my healing process with many positives coming out of it for me.