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Other Survivor Guilt/Compassion Fatigue: Seeking Advice

Anitza

New Here
I'm diagnosed with PTSD from a super abusive home and later, spending years trying to held my younger sister and brother who were addicts. My sister was sex-trafficked and died from drug-related medical conditions. Spent a few years in and out of hospitals, trying to get them into rehabs with no insurance and so on...Too many sad anecdotes to get down in this post.

After my sister died, I went to work for a charity that had helped us once. I was undiagnosed at the time, and eventually found out I couldn't handle being in that environment. It's been a long road, ten years since my sister's passing. Last year, got seriously into therapy to work on my C-PTSD and most days feel like I'm treading water. I've got debilitating amounts of survivor guilt. I still keep in touch with some of the girls from the program. One in particular is mentally unwell, likely schizophrenic, and won't accept it therefore making it impossible to get help. Ended up in jail and her boyfriend keeps calling me to help find her a place to go. Like I said, I'm barely making it right now... The guilt is making spiral and feeling like I need to rescue everyone all of the time. We all know how hard the system is to navigate; there are barely any adequate services. Looking for any advice to help quell this latest spiral. Thank you❤️
 
But your own oxygen mask on first. Put up some boundaries and step away from those seeking your help so you can help yourself. Once you’re more steady then you can help others. I know easier said than done. But it sounds like you’re only going to heal yourself so much if you keep trying to help others. I’d guess it amplifies the survivor guilt. Every time you can’t help you feel guilty which then puts you back in your own work as you try to work through it. By telling people that you can’t help right now, you’re going through a lot and then maybe blocking those people, you can get over the guilt and onto you.
 
I’ll kill myself for anyone else, before I do anything for myself.

I’m told a whole helluva lotta that’s survivors guilt. I can see the logic behind that, I also know that’s part of my personality & always been there. So… accentuated by trauma? I can buy. But? Part of it is just me. How I’m wired. Which makes it all WICKED hard to manage on a day to day basis. What’s me, what’s right, what’s trauma? IDFK.

Having someone else to protect? Is the only thing that has ever led me to protect myself.

NORMAL LIFE MANTRA : You can only abandon kids & pets. Everyone else? Can take care of themselves.

Reaching out to ME? Is/maywelldamnbe PART of them taking care of themselves. They’re reaching out to anyone/everyone/someone they know. Which is smart. Hit your contacts up. But? That doesn’t mean that me/I/myself am now obligated to solve their problem. Even though I usually take it that way, and throw all of my weight behind doing so, there are many many many times… where I simply can’t. I’m drowning, here. I need help, my own self. LT that means I’ve learned to isolate HARD when I’m doing badly, and only resurface once I have time/energy to give. Which is not exactly healthy, but it’s healthier than killing myself / wrecking my life when there are 1,000 better options.

The people most immediate in your life to find a placement for someone? Does. Not. Mean. YOU. have. To. Find. That. Placement. Give them a list of numbers, if it’s in you. A lead for them to chase down. Or shoot back that you’re wrecked right now, but hit up so&so, or this-other-place. Or don’t reply, and they’ll move onto other people as they find them.
 
my advice is to keep on keeping on. recovery is a mysterious process and those spirals are part of the process. in my own recovery, i believe those spirals are what take me down to the depths of the hurt so that i can best heal them at the source. it hurts, but? ? ? it hurts worse trying to pretend everything is fine the way it is. keep on venting and sorting. your answers are in there.

easy does it, anitza. those spirals can be a booger bear, but healing hopes. steadying support while you work it through.
 
But your own oxygen mask on first. Put up some boundaries and step away from those seeking your help so you can help yourself. Once you’re more steady then you can help others. I know easier said than done. But it sounds like you’re only going to heal yourself so much if you keep trying to help others. I’d guess it amplifies the survivor guilt. Every time you can’t help you feel guilty which then puts you back in your own work as you try to work through it. By telling people that you can’t help right now, you’re going through a lot and then maybe blocking those people, you can get over the guilt and onto you.
Thank you. I actually did block this person, but I guess I didn't block her boyfriend. She really has no one and I feel terrible because it's not her fault that her trauma broke her mentally. I'm not in a good place mentally. It's definitely a vicious cycle.

I’ll kill myself for anyone else, before I do anything for myself.

I’m told a whole helluva lotta that’s survivors guilt. I can see the logic behind that, I also know that’s part of my personality & always been there. So… accentuated by trauma? I can buy. But? Part of it is just me. How I’m wired. Which makes it all WICKED hard to manage on a day to day basis. What’s me, what’s right, what’s trauma? IDFK.

Having someone else to protect? Is the only thing that has ever led me to protect myself.

NORMAL LIFE MANTRA : You can only abandon kids & pets. Everyone else? Can take care of themselves.

Reaching out to ME? Is/maywelldamnbe PART of them taking care of themselves. They’re reaching out to anyone/everyone/someone they know. Which is smart. Hit your contacts up. But? That doesn’t mean that me/I/myself am now obligated to solve their problem. Even though I usually take it that way, and throw all of my weight behind doing so, there are many many many times… where I simply can’t. I’m drowning, here. I need help, my own self. LT that means I’ve learned to isolate HARD when I’m doing badly, and only resurface once I have time/energy to give. Which is not exactly healthy, but it’s healthier than killing myself / wrecking my life when there are 1,000 better options.

The people most immediate in your life to find a placement for someone? Does. Not. Mean. YOU. have. To. Find. That. Placement. Give them a list of numbers, if it’s in you. A lead for them to chase down. Or shoot back that you’re wrecked right now, but hit up so&so, or this-other-place. Or don’t reply, and they’ll move onto other people as they find them.
Thank you. I really respect what you are saying here. I guess it's just extra hard with someone who is schizophrenic because you feel like they don't have self-agency when they are having an episode because their mind isn't all there. But I've been there for so long with my siblings. I can't do it anymore while I'm desperately trying to heal.

my advice is to keep on keeping on. recovery is a mysterious process and those spirals are part of the process. in my own recovery, i believe those spirals are what take me down to the depths of the hurt so that i can best heal them at the source. it hurts, but? ? ? it hurts worse trying to pretend everything is fine the way it is. keep on venting and sorting. your answers are in there.

easy does it, anitza. those spirals can be a booger bear, but healing hopes. steadying support while you work it through.
Thank you. These spirals are just so hard. Recovery is indeed a mysterious & very two steps forward, two steps back process.
 
two steps forward, two steps back process.
i call this, "the recovery waltz." a recurring theme in my own recovery has been throwing proverbial babies out with the bathwater. the proverbial babies are talents, ideas and such which weren't as bad as the circumstances i was attempting to apply them to. yes, the spirals are hard, but those babies are worth rescuing.

stay brave.
 
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