Sufferer recently diagnosed

Hello everyone,

I am 38 years old and got diagnosed with PTSD just over half a year ago. I went to my GP with a concern of perhaps having ADD as I finally figured I need to tackle the issue of struggling professionally. I found it very difficult to be in a corporate environment, network (I am a freelancer) or just be focused in social situations. I did know I suffer from depression for most of my life, and that I have stage fright, anxiety, panic attacks... but I never took all that seriously enough to seek professional help. Luckily I did meet some people in my life who suggested I should consider therapy. But I oftentimes felt it is something unaffordable and in some way, I was telling myself it's for fancy people... Really silly. Eventually, I went to a counsellor who sent me to a therapist who is specialised in child abuse with suspicion of PTSD. It proved true and now I am in therapy and started my EMDR.

I am afraid this will be a long carpet of a text I will write here now.

I think I have been living in some kind of denial. I knew I have problems, I did experience anxiety and constant stress, but I kept going. Even though I was aware of my traumas, I somehow, at the same time, kind of tucked them away and somehow managed through life, but without any confidence and with a lot of stress, especially in the past 10 years. I feel like my potential is not fulfilled.

I grew up in a family dominated by my father whom I think (I am sure) is an undiagnosed narcissist, perhaps even a psychopath. My mother, even though good-hearted, but pretty much in denial and a lot of time manipulated by my dad. My father terrorised me and my brother, punishing us with a severe beating. My older brother, I am sure, got the worst of it as I do have a memory of seeing him being tied up to a bench and beaten with cables. I was verbally abused, called names, distrusted, called a pathological liar, bullied over being overweight and having crooked teeth and all of this by my father. He was/is into BDSM and he kind of applied it to us. I am also sure he has issued with children even though I wasn't directly sexually abused by him. Later in my life, I was sexually abused by my brother who is seven years older than me. I don't know how many years it happened. I think it totally screwed my sense of self-worth.

I come from Latvia, a post-soviet country. My family is Russian speaking but we are two-generation Latvians. My parents wanted me to learn Latvian as soon as possible and put me in a Latvian kindergarten. There I experienced aggressive bullying for "being Russian" (an occupant). The aggression came from parents of other kids and the kids themselves. The school was even worse. I am an artistic person and I was labelled dumb for not being able to succeed in math or writing. I became aggressive and withdrawn, an outcast. Observing, not interacting much.

Then there is a third "theme" if I may categorise it like this... "The neighbourhood environment" I have never had a true friend as a young child. I was bullied a lot. I was somehow quite naive and trusted other kinds and they would only make fun of me and play out cruel jokes on me, accused me of things I didn't do. I was a bit strange, a weirdo. Kids were horrible to me. Once some neighbourhood girl ordered her dog to attack me. At that time (pre-internet) there were a lot of perverts in the streets. There were lots of men who were exhibitionists.. Once I was followed by a man in a white car, I was petrified. But I never complained to my parents, as I never had a feeling I will be helped in some way. I won't go into more.

On top of everything, my choices for a profession were dominated by my parents. They wanted me and my brother to take over their business. I worked for my family business for over 15 years. I was largely dominated and never learned how to make my own decisions, how business works etc. I was more of a performer, executing the ideas of my parents. I only managed to start my separation process by moving to the Netherlands for my MA studies. Some years after completion of my degree (one of the most anxious and panicked times of my life) my parents had to let me go from work due to the business not doing well and unable to pay me. I had to borrow money and start freelancing. And I met a huge difficulty finding clients. Slowly I gained some clients, but it's not something I want to do in my life. Only in the past couple of years, I started to seriously do something about eventually becoming an artist and draw. I should have done it 20 years ago.

The last thing that I want to share is that up until a year ago I never had a mutually loving relationship. I didn't start dating until I was 30. And without an option of online dating apps, I would not even be able to do it. Just a couple of weeks ago I separated from my first beautiful and difficult relationship with a guy I met on Tinder. We are very alike, but he could not balance his life with our relationship as for him I was not just the first-ever relationship in his life, but even his first sexual partner. I did casually date a lot before I met him.

I had a one really nice thing in my life. I was blessed to have a great talent for drawing and my mother was my first teacher. By the age of 15, I drew at an academic level. In my first year at the applied arts school, I won first prize at the national competition. I still draw and people are sometimes just amazed by my work. My mom and my grandmother both incredible people of the craft (creative fields) were special people to me. My granny was a person who played a crucial role as an independent woman with great skill and as a human being. She put a seed of kindness in me that grew and helped me through life. My mom also showed me love, but sadly she is still not aware of how our father completely broke my brother and damaged me.

I believe I was lucky with having some degree of optimism in myself. I have no idea how it is possible... I was told I am very funny, even though my humour is very dark and sometimes a bit extreme. I managed to meet some people who became great friends with me. I believe my interest in neurology and psychology also in some way helped me to cope on my own. Above all, drawing really saved me. I think it gave me a sense of identity and some degree of confidence (at some point in my life I was pretty arrogant about it though).

I am on this website just for a couple of days and I see people on here are dealing with severe states. I did develop a large amount of coping mechanisms. For most, I am just really introverted, socially awkward person who is able to be themselves with a number of more or less trusted people. I am very sensitive socially and people whom I don't trust end up feeling like I am a bad person perhaps. I am severely triggered by confident people, over extrovert people. The therapy really steered it all up even more for me. I sought a PTSD forum for the reason of being really stressed lately over a sense that I start to lose trust even in closer people. I am in constant mental or actual conflict with a very close friend. I started to feel like I am surrounded by toxicity. Maybe it's just the therapy that steered it all up. Recent breakup (even though it seem to go well) also played its role.

Anyway, I am confused I believe. Cause at the moment I am feeling really calm and I feel like a fake. Some people on here have really severe symptoms. Dunno. I believe I will have a lot of interest, having questions perhaps. And I see I may find support in the stories and experiences shared on here. Thank you for the site!

This text is so long :-|\_____ :)))
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome to the forum! Glad you are here. One thing to reassure you about from the start, we don't compare trauma. If yours is enough for you to have PTSD, you belong here. And will be supported like every one else.

I already see ways we have in common and there are others that come to mind that will certainly resonate with you.

Glad you found us. Hope this place is as helpful to you as it has been for me.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @TricolorGinger ! Sorry for what happened, all this is massively hard. It’s okay to write long chunks of texts. There is a lot. And your anguish is valid. The way you feel is valid. Being more or less symptomatic is something that we can feel like being very distorted from our view or outside view. I don’t consider myself as being highly symptomatic but I keep blasting assessment tests. I have a plethora of coping skills and managed to wind down the symptoms in ways that aren’t destructive, but it doesn’t mean I don’t suffer. And sometimes I’m also totally symptomatic and would not even consider this and that as symptomatic, as it’s always been that way. It just is. These ones are difficult to identify. But suffering, as internal it might be, is symptomatic.

We have all sorts of ways of invalidating our experience, be it because we don’t find it meets the criteria for being an "actual" trauma when it does, or because we don’t find we’re having a sufficiently horrible time to qualify as suffering. We all have different horizons, perspectives and somewhat similar symptoms, but at the end what counts is sharing, support, knowing we aren’t alone in feeling that kind of alone. And it changes a lot.

Happy to learn you’re being followed and have therapy. Happy to learn you could extract yourself from that abusive background too. What a lot of things you did already. It might not feel that way but it is a lot. Happy you found us. Welcome!
 

Friday

Moderator
I somehow, at the same time, kind of tucked them away and somehow managed through life,
When I first sought therapy my ENTIRE GOAL was to get my compartmentalisation back up and running!!! Now. Yesterday. Fix this BS. There’s been an earthquake in my head, and all my boxes have broken all over my floor, shattering contents everywhere, and I’m somehow supposed to operate in this clusterf*ck?!? No. Just no. I need my everything put back to where it was, neat, out of my way.

Welcome to the community 😎
 
Welcome to the forum! Glad you are here. One thing to reassure you about from the start, we don't compare trauma. If yours is enough for you to have PTSD, you belong here. And will be supported like every one else.

I already see ways we have in common and there are others that come to mind that will certainly resonate with you.

Glad you found us. Hope this place is as helpful to you as it has been for me.



Thank you. I do compare my self to others and I see that there is no need to do so as we all not the same. The struggle is what we do share. I am determined to gain the confidence I miss so much, and you guys on here are so supportive 🥰
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Hi @TricolorGinger ! Sorry for what happened, all this is massively hard. It’s okay to write long chunks of texts. There is a lot. And your anguish is valid. The way you feel is valid. Being more or less symptomatic is something that we can feel like being very distorted from our view or outside view. I don’t consider myself as being highly symptomatic but I keep blasting assessment tests. I have a plethora of coping skills and managed to wind down the symptoms in ways that aren’t destructive, but it doesn’t mean I don’t suffer. And sometimes I’m also totally symptomatic and would not even consider this and that as symptomatic, as it’s always been that way. It just is. These ones are difficult to identify. But suffering, as internal it might be, is symptomatic.

We have all sorts of ways of invalidating our experience, be it because we don’t find it meets the criteria for being an "actual" trauma when it does, or because we don’t find we’re having a sufficiently horrible time to qualify as suffering. We all have different horizons, perspectives and somewhat similar symptoms, but at the end what counts is sharing, support, knowing we aren’t alone in feeling that kind of alone. And it changes a lot.

Happy to learn you’re being followed and have therapy. Happy to learn you could extract yourself from that abusive background too. What a lot of things you did already. It might not feel that way but it is a lot. Happy you found us. Welcome!
Thank you! It is pretty confusing how things are. You really hit it on the nail recognising that I am invalidating my ways and feelings. I remember I felt uncomfortable revealing what happened to me to my therapist because I felt like it sounds unreal. Sometimes it feels incredible how much I have gone through as a kid and still was able to be optimistic and often naive with people. And in adulthood I felt is it so unfair to be damaged by others and then later on in life being judged for being damaged. It is easy to slip into anger, self-pity and whatnot. Most people have no clue about any of this. Some people think depression is some kind of choice of lifestyle, or that introversion is a weakness...

I do generally feel happy. I always felt I have a certain degree of awareness which gave me the opportunity to make better choices. I did have to basically fight through the struggle and a lot of effort ended in rewarding results. I believe that kept me going too. Some of my efforts were to make genuine connections with some people, developing relationships based on trust and acceptance. I am also very much aware of the ways our bodies/senses can be used to ground ourselves. I don't know what I would do without music (I love industrial/experimental techno)

I am glad I didn't wait any longer and sought professional help as I feel I have so much to improve. And I am happy to be here! Your response brought tears and warmth :D Thanks!
 
When I first sought therapy my ENTIRE GOAL was to get my compartmentalisation back up and running!!! Now. Yesterday. Fix this BS. There’s been an earthquake in my head, and all my boxes have broken all over my floor, shattering contents everywhere, and I’m somehow supposed to operate in this clusterf*ck?!? No. Just no. I need my everything put back to where it was, neat, out of my way.

Welcome to the community 😎
Eheheeeee, you are a very funny person :D Thank you for welcoming me and my clusterf*ck :)))))
 
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