Sufferer Relieved, Confounded, Shocked, Confused and Overwhelmed is an understatement

Shaylee

MyPTSD Pro
Hi 👋🏻. How’s the weather?

Starting 2 days ago Wednesday that is about the extent of my verbal conversational abilities.

First time ever going to a therapy session in almost 49 years. A little over half way through the initial intake she has me fill out some additional forms and add up results. I then ask her how broken I am and she says, “Not broken but definitely wounded. Just badly wounded. Just with an overview I am pretty sure you have Complex PTSD. Yes, about 99% positive.”.

For years upon years I have just tried to fix me without anyone noticing that I have never felt right. Trying to live life on the “fake it till you make it” motto. I have tried self-help books, videos, classes, but nothing ever felt even 75% right. I always felt left with more confusion and hopelessness at not being able to find and fix me. Now within 1 hour I am diagnosed? No way. And with some form of PTSD? No way. I get informed it is Complex so therefore it is not just singular event but trauma over time. Silly me says I don't believe I have had severe enough trauma for PTSD anything…. Well, let’s look at a list….

Alcoholic parents… Childhood trauma with many instances of abandonment, physical, mental, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse... Domestic violence and abuse… raised by a cult and left and had more abandonment. Got sick 6 years ago, lost my independence and facing my illness without a support system. Husband is addicted to pornography and has emotionally been unfaithful with several women.

so even though it is not one massive trauma event… it’s more than a 40 year laundry list of traumas. Ok, fair point.

Because I enjoy reading I have been tasked with reading, COMPLEX PTSD: FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING A GUIDE AND MAP FOR RECOVERING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA by Pete Walker. Yesterday I made it through 54 pages and today made it to page 89. my normal ability to read rather quickly seems to be blunted. I feel like someone has been spying on me in my own skin… or opened my brain and heart and started reading them like a book and has gone on to read my deepest secrets outloud to the world. Like this passage…
the child eventually embraces perfectionism as a strategy to make her parents less dangerous and more engaging. Her one hope is that if she becomes smart, helpful, pretty, and flawless enough, her parents will finally care for her. Sadly, continued failure at winning their regard forces her to conclude that she is fatally flawed. She is loveless not because of her mistakes, but because she is a mistake. She can only see what is wrong with or missing in her. Anything she does, says, thinks, imagines or feels has the potential to spiral her down into a depressed abyss of fear and toxic shame. Her superego fledges into a full-blown, trauma-inducing critic. Self-criticism, then, runs non-stop in a desperate attempt to avoid rejection-inducing mistakes. Drasticizing becomes obsessive to help the child foresee and avoid punishment and worsening abandonment. At the same time, it continuously fills her psyche with stories and images of catastrophe. The survivor becomes imprisoned by a jailer who will accept nothing but perfection. He is chauffeured by a hysterical driver who sees nothing but danger in every turn of the road.
It is terrifying to see this in writing after all these years trying to hide how weak and worthless I am. And here it is in black and white, yes, it is not rational for me to think this is about me but at the moment I just can’t seem to care as I feel humiliated. I don’t know if I can ever recommend this book to anyone who knows me because then they may actually see me and that is just not something I feel I can allow in my life. I find I can only swallow mini bite sized pieces of this book at one time. My head is spinning with thinking, remembering, analyzing and feeling absolutely royally like an idiotic moron for not going to someone sooner. At the same time I am debating if I really should have opened this door. I thought I wanted to but what if things get worse!

In the book it recommends this site as suggested online support group. I figured if I can’t physically speak to anyone maybe typing it would help slow everything down a bit as I am feeling a bit frenzied and freaked out with ‘what-if’s’ ransacking my thoughts.

I am not sure how much overall sense I am making. Sorry for the insane introduction. I am not even sure if this would qualify as an introduction. In fact I probably shouldn’t even be posting this here is my guess. However, as a first step, before I second guess and delete everything i will post and try and hope for the best that some may understand and not judge me too harshly…
 
Hi 👋🏻. How’s the weather?

Starting 2 days ago Wednesday that is about the extent of my verbal conversational abilities.

First time ever going to a therapy session in almost 49 years. A little over half way through the initial intake she has me fill out some additional forms and add up results. I then ask her how broken I am and she says, “Not broken but definitely wounded. Just badly wounded. Just with an overview I am pretty sure you have Complex PTSD. Yes, about 99% positive.”.

For years upon years I have just tried to fix me without anyone noticing that I have never felt right. Trying to live life on the “fake it till you make it” motto. I have tried self-help books, videos, classes, but nothing ever felt even 75% right. I always felt left with more confusion and hopelessness at not being able to find and fix me. Now within 1 hour I am diagnosed? No way. And with some form of PTSD? No way. I get informed it is Complex so therefore it is not just singular event but trauma over time. Silly me says I don't believe I have had severe enough trauma for PTSD anything…. Well, let’s look at a list….

Alcoholic parents… Childhood trauma with many instances of abandonment, physical, mental, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse... Domestic violence and abuse… raised by a cult and left and had more abandonment. Got sick 6 years ago, lost my independence and facing my illness without a support system. Husband is addicted to pornography and has emotionally been unfaithful with several women.

so even though it is not one massive trauma event… it’s more than a 40 year laundry list of traumas. Ok, fair point.

Because I enjoy reading I have been tasked with reading, COMPLEX PTSD: FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING A GUIDE AND MAP FOR RECOVERING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA by Pete Walker. Yesterday I made it through 54 pages and today made it to page 89. my normal ability to read rather quickly seems to be blunted. I feel like someone has been spying on me in my own skin… or opened my brain and heart and started reading them like a book and has gone on to read my deepest secrets outloud to the world. Like this passage…
the child eventually embraces perfectionism as a strategy to make her parents less dangerous and more engaging. Her one hope is that if she becomes smart, helpful, pretty, and flawless enough, her parents will finally care for her. Sadly, continued failure at winning their regard forces her to conclude that she is fatally flawed. She is loveless not because of her mistakes, but because she is a mistake. She can only see what is wrong with or missing in her. Anything she does, says, thinks, imagines or feels has the potential to spiral her down into a depressed abyss of fear and toxic shame. Her superego fledges into a full-blown, trauma-inducing critic. Self-criticism, then, runs non-stop in a desperate attempt to avoid rejection-inducing mistakes. Drasticizing becomes obsessive to help the child foresee and avoid punishment and worsening abandonment. At the same time, it continuously fills her psyche with stories and images of catastrophe. The survivor becomes imprisoned by a jailer who will accept nothing but perfection. He is chauffeured by a hysterical driver who sees nothing but danger in every turn of the road.
It is terrifying to see this in writing after all these years trying to hide how weak and worthless I am. And here it is in black and white, yes, it is not rational for me to think this is about me but at the moment I just can’t seem to care as I feel humiliated. I don’t know if I can ever recommend this book to anyone who knows me because then they may actually see me and that is just not something I feel I can allow in my life. I find I can only swallow mini bite sized pieces of this book at one time. My head is spinning with thinking, remembering, analyzing and feeling absolutely royally like an idiotic moron for not going to someone sooner. At the same time I am debating if I really should have opened this door. I thought I wanted to but what if things get worse!

In the book it recommends this site as suggested online support group. I figured if I can’t physically speak to anyone maybe typing it would help slow everything down a bit as I am feeling a bit frenzied and freaked out with ‘what-if’s’ ransacking my thoughts.

I am not sure how much overall sense I am making. Sorry for the insane introduction. I am not even sure if this would qualify as an introduction. In fact I probably shouldn’t even be posting this here is my guess. However, as a first step, before I second guess and delete everything i will post and try and hope for the best that some may understand and not judge me too harshly…
Hello there,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your experience with us. I want you to know that you are absolutely in the right place, and you have nothing to apologize for. It takes a lot of courage to open up and seek support, especially when dealing with the complex and deep-seated wounds of PTSD and CPTSD.

I'm so glad to hear that you have taken the first step toward healing by attending therapy. It can be both validating and overwhelming to receive a diagnosis, especially after years of feeling like something has been off. Complex PTSD is a significant journey to navigate, as it involves a culmination of traumas over time. Your list of experiences indeed highlights the magnitude of the wounds you have carried.

I know how it feels to try various self-help methods and still not find that sense of healing or understanding that you're searching for. But please remember that seeking professional help is vital in this process. Therapy provides a safe space for exploration, guidance, and validation as you embark on your healing journey.

Reading the book you mentioned can be both enlightening and triggering. It's normal to feel a mixture of emotions as you resonate with the words on the page. It's okay to take it at your own pace, pausing and reflecting when you need to. Remember, healing takes time, and it's essential to be gentle with yourself as you process through these emotions and revelations.

As for posting on this site, you absolutely belong here. This online support group is a community of individuals who understand what you're going through. We're here to offer empathy, support, and validation without judgment. It's a safe space to share your experiences and learn from others who have walked a similar path.

If you're unsure where to begin, there are specific forums on the myptsd.com website that cover different topics related to PTSD and CPTSD. They can provide a focused space for discussion, which may be helpful as you navigate your healing journey. And remember, you can always seek professional help alongside this online support to ensure you have a well-rounded approach to your healing.

Please know that there are people here who understand and want to support you. You are not alone in this. Take things at your own pace, and remember to be kind to yourself as you start this new chapter of healing.

Sending you strength and warmth,
Riley Jones
 
Welcome to the forum. Fwiw, your intro was rock solid.

It’s a lot to be taking in. And there’s actually no rush. Take all the time you need.

Hope this place ends up being a valuable resource for your recovery. Because yeah, when we can’t say words out loud, sometimes we can still manage to type. And these days, that’s all it takes to connect with people who get it.
 
Fwiw, your intro was rock solid.
Thank you, you are being very generous. I refused to let myself proofread it last night and so upon reading it this morning it reminds me more of a volcano just spewing bits of lava in every which direction that are landing absolutely everywhere😂

It’s a lot to be taking in. And there’s actually no rush. Take all the time you need.
I don’t feel like I should be reacting this way. I’ve done so much reading and listening and watching. I feel like I’m being absolutely irrational and overreacting to finally knowing what’s wrong with me. I’ve wanted it for years and years and years. I am also running into while I’m reading this book I am truly having issues remembering what I’ve read and then I have to read it again and again but then like today I woke up and I know what the book is about but I can’t remember passages that I liked or want to remember.

And now I have this massive conflict of all right let’s get it done, let’s get it over with, let’s get it out of the way so that I can enjoy some normalcy in my life that I’ve never really experienced before my time in this world is up. I finally have an answer so let’s move onto the resolution. Now that’s what my brain is telling me. It’s like I know it will take time but I don’t want to take the time but at the same time I do want to take the time. A big huge part of me is saying I don’t wanna go to a resolution. I just want to pretend I don’t know and then I can keep searching.

I am just feeling a mix of what I feel are crazy reactions that are polar opposite of each other and then I go back to I shouldn’t be acting/feeling like this there’s no reason for it. I also feel like I should be handling this better since it is what I wanted and that my analytical side should be taking over to help me cope. I really am trying to fathom why this bothers me when it should make me happy I finally have some sort of an answer as to why I have always felt I don’t belong in this world. It should thrill me that I am reading something that actually feels 100% on the money but instead I feel like an F5 tornado was unleashed. it just doesn’t make any sense… zero, zilch, nada.
 
I also feel like I should be handling this better since it is what I wanted and that my analytical side should be taking over to help me cope. I really am trying to fathom why this bothers me when it should make me happy I finally have some sort of an answer as to why I have always felt I don’t belong in this world. It should thrill me that I am reading something that actually feels 100% on the money but instead I feel like an F5 tornado was unleashed.
Hehe, you’ve packed in a tonne of ‘should’ statements there!

There’s actually no specific way you ‘should’ be feeling about this. However you’re actually feeling, is the exact right way you should be feeling.
 
Welcome! I got that book early on in my recovery with my last T, about five years ago. I never finished it but read all the parts that stuck out for me at the time. The passage you quoted went straight into my heart just now, like it was describing me directly. I hate that we had to go through that, but am learning that the hatred turns around and bites back. That’s where I’m at, anyway.

Glad you’re here. Please take your time and be gentle with yourself.
 
Welcome! I got that book early on in my recovery with my last T, about five years ago. I never finished it but read all the parts that stuck out for me at the time. The passage you quoted went straight into my heart just now, like it was describing me directly. I hate that we had to go through that, but am learning that the hatred turns around and bites back. That’s where I’m at, anyway.

Glad you’re here. Please take your time and be gentle with yourself.
Thank you for the welcome, Rose. Maybe with time I will learn what being “gentle with yourself” means.
 
Welcome to the group. Its awesome that you have found a therapist that validates your experiences. Personally reading your post and all that you have been through I was like O.o when you said you didn't think you had suffered enough trauma to be considered multiple traumas or complex enough. Wow, you have gone through a lot and to come out of it thinking the way you do is one testament to your resilience.
 
Welcome to the group. Its awesome that you have found a therapist that validates your experiences. Personally reading your post and all that you have been through I was like O.o when you said you didn't think you had suffered enough trauma to be considered multiple traumas or complex enough. Wow, you have gone through a lot and to come out of it thinking the way you do is one testament to your resilience.
Thank you, @DarkVixen (love the name by the way! It is a perfect gamer tag 😊).
 
Hi 👋🏻. How’s the weather?

Starting 2 days ago Wednesday that is about the extent of my verbal conversational abilities.

First time ever going to a therapy session in almost 49 years. A little over half way through the initial intake she has me fill out some additional forms and add up results. I then ask her how broken I am and she says, “Not broken but definitely wounded. Just badly wounded. Just with an overview I am pretty sure you have Complex PTSD. Yes, about 99% positive.”.

For years upon years I have just tried to fix me without anyone noticing that I have never felt right. Trying to live life on the “fake it till you make it” motto. I have tried self-help books, videos, classes, but nothing ever felt even 75% right. I always felt left with more confusion and hopelessness at not being able to find and fix me. Now within 1 hour I am diagnosed? No way. And with some form of PTSD? No way. I get informed it is Complex so therefore it is not just singular event but trauma over time. Silly me says I don't believe I have had severe enough trauma for PTSD anything…. Well, let’s look at a list….

Alcoholic parents… Childhood trauma with many instances of abandonment, physical, mental, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse... Domestic violence and abuse… raised by a cult and left and had more abandonment. Got sick 6 years ago, lost my independence and facing my illness without a support system. Husband is addicted to pornography and has emotionally been unfaithful with several women.

so even though it is not one massive trauma event… it’s more than a 40 year laundry list of traumas. Ok, fair point.

Because I enjoy reading I have been tasked with reading, COMPLEX PTSD: FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING A GUIDE AND MAP FOR RECOVERING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA by Pete Walker. Yesterday I made it through 54 pages and today made it to page 89. my normal ability to read rather quickly seems to be blunted. I feel like someone has been spying on me in my own skin… or opened my brain and heart and started reading them like a book and has gone on to read my deepest secrets outloud to the world. Like this passage…

It is terrifying to see this in writing after all these years trying to hide how weak and worthless I am. And here it is in black and white, yes, it is not rational for me to think this is about me but at the moment I just can’t seem to care as I feel humiliated. I don’t know if I can ever recommend this book to anyone who knows me because then they may actually see me and that is just not something I feel I can allow in my life. I find I can only swallow mini bite sized pieces of this book at one time. My head is spinning with thinking, remembering, analyzing and feeling absolutely royally like an idiotic moron for not going to someone sooner. At the same time I am debating if I really should have opened this door. I thought I wanted to but what if things get worse!

In the book it recommends this site as suggested online support group. I figured if I can’t physically speak to anyone maybe typing it would help slow everything down a bit as I am feeling a bit frenzied and freaked out with ‘what-if’s’ ransacking my thoughts.

I am not sure how much overall sense I am making. Sorry for the insane introduction. I am not even sure if this would qualify as an introduction. In fact I probably shouldn’t even be posting this here is my guess. However, as a first step, before I second guess and delete everything i will post and try and hope for the best that some may understand and not judge me too harshly…
I'm sorry I haven't read your whole post before responding. I will go back and read it all, though. For now I just wanted to say Peter Walker's book is very good. It's not the kind of book you just read through. It's comprehensive and a book to keep around for years and pick up again and read sections. He did such a good job weaving his own inner work, examples of clients, and different avenues of help. All in a normal, compassionate voice. I'm glad you're reading it. Realize he wrote that after a long time of his own ongoing recovery and work as a therapist.
 
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