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Sufferer Tired Of Justifying And Apologizing For My PTSD And GAD

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Hey, so not new to ptsd diagnosed at 17. Born into physical and verbal, could call it emotional or mental... abuse. Father was diagnosed delusional, mother undiagnosed, sister bipolar. Family refused therapy, was suggested to emancipate myself but did not want to leave my sister.

Never became violent but always mediated tension between mom and sister who both could start it at any point. For example, dinner time when asked if i wanted some rice and said no, violence ensues. I have come a long way there is no more violence in the family but the past is unspoken. Recently confronted my mother who denied it. Gaslighting and excuses is a circle i will no longer run in.

I guess this is a very complex situation i cannot really explain. No matter how i shape it, PTSD and GAD will always be a part of me. I have trouble accepting it because normally PTSD is not supposed to be long term. I work really hard, have a psychiatrist, studied psychology to understand my parents and try to change my story. I have more control over my anxiety. less full blown panic attacks and symptoms but unless i completely cut my family out of my life the triggers will be there.

Even then a life of abuse i thought id escaped ran me right into an abusive relationship. Highschool i was too preoccupied with my family to have friends outside of sports. Always folding to intimidation ran me into rape.

So many times i thought i had escaped abuse and found myself in it again has made it very hard to believe I am safe. I am quite successful despite my past but the constant concern, random triggers and paranoia make having another relationship hard and lead to me being unable to set boundaries at work. Always aiming to please, always saying sorry, always analyzing and anticipating potential threats and finding negative meaning where it isnt. I guess its just very hard to go through life now believing i am safe.

Having learned the reasons behind my parents' mistakes and the overall development of abusive patterns or malicious intent, having learned how we develop the habits/behaviours and thought processes allows me to see that just because someone does something wrong it does not mean its my fault and learning that ppl make mistakes that can hurt u without meaning to is common, well it makes it very hard to trust ppl and very hard to feel ok. Makes it very hard to not question every word and action i make, to question my sanity constantly and to feel a need to justify myself and constantly find ways to be smarter and better. I just do not know how to feel normal or like i could be understood or find a way to seem normal.

I know this is long and i could go on forever. I guess i just want to figure out how i am supposed to not worry about ppls intentions and actions as well as my own when i know that not everyone goes through the process of thinking about how their actions affect others before performing them and even when they do they may not be able to understand the level of impact.

If you know what ppl are capable of even when they are good ppl and still cause too much harm, how can you trust people enough to feel like you are in a safe space?

How do you forget or let go or put things aside when you know it is happening around the world?

I just want to protect ppl and myself without ruining a person day or causing stress. I am pretty good at it have helped many through my job and in my personal life but I cannot ever just worry about myself and when i do it feels wrong, it feels like im not paying attention and need to watch my back before something happens.

This is a rant and I am sorry if it causes stress to anyone, I am just not sure how i am suppose to be ok when I know ppl are suffering and being abused and i know that it can be stopped. when i know that there is a lot of good out there but that that doesnt mean there is not bad. When i know that there is always a chance i will be abused again. I will stop this here, you do not need to worry about me doing anything harmful, i just want to grow and get past this barrier.
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I relate to almost everything you shared. I've been at this healing journey a long long time. And I do feel I've conquered many things, that need to always check my words before they come out of my mouth is still very much with me. Around certain people. At certain times when I am more stressed than normal.

My symptoms have lessened considerably thru the years and have a truckload of 'tool's to use to unwind and set myself back on the planet. But being vigilant to my surroundings hasn't changed much. I've just learned to accept that that is going to be a part of my life forever. Especially, as you shared, the world is a mess right now and it wouldn't be very mindful to forget to keep myself as safe as possible nowadays.

I've learned to be vigilant without it completely draining, most times. Not always. Life happens. So there's that.

I don't know if this will help you or not. But I feel my goal of 'fitting inside my own skin' has been reached. And by that, I mean that many things that upset or triggered me have gone by the wayside. Because I am confident and know who I am and what I stand for, and what I won't stand for. It took commitment, which I see you have, and a desire to be ok. Even on the days, I'm not ok. I hope that makes sense.

I no longer apologize or defend myself with others if I'm having a bad day. Because I am vigilant to what I say and do, many do not know I'm having a hard day.

Very few people, outside of the forums here, understand so I stopped a long time ago trying to fit into a mould that does not fit my life experiences.

Thank you for starting this thread. I hope others come on and share how they feel and think, where they are, and some that have made achievements and seem grounded.

You have made tremendous moves forward. And maybe you can give yourself permission to decide what is normal for YOU. My normal is not others normal. And I am ok with that, finally.

Welcome to the forums. I have grown a lot here. People here are willing to listen and validate and help if you need it. Glad you are here, if not glad for the reasons.
Hi @vixlookingfortrix , gosh, I identify with a lot of what you say!

Always aiming to please, always saying sorry, always analyzing and anticipating potential threats and finding negative meaning where it isnt. I
Yep. Me. Always apologising for taking space. It's so frustrating. I do battle against it, with some success at times. But it takes energy. Other times, I don't . Just meek, and please, and then frustrated again.

Makes it very hard to not question every word and action i make, to question my sanity constantly and to feel a need to justify myself and constantly find ways to be smarter and better.
Yep. This unrealistic view that I have to be perfect, otherwise bad things happen.

just want to protect ppl and myself without ruining a person day or causing stress. I
Yep. Again, unrealistic. We can't save ourselves and others from hurt, because hurt or stress is part of life.


For me, I'm trying to learn to be assertive. I'm trying to learn skills and recognise that my stress is related to trauma rather than the actions of people now. But trying to feel safe when your mind and body is screaming that it is not safe, is a constant struggle. It's a constant reminder to say to myself "I'm safe, I'm safe".

I don't have much to say, other than: I hear you! O get it. I share those thoughts and feelings.
IME I don't need to trust "safe" spaces. The world ain't safe. I need to trust *me*, and people worth it. Not every random Joe.

As to "if PTSD is part of me" - turn it into working for you. Build your life around it. In a way that protects you and makes you more functional. Instead of grinding you down.
I feel like you did a really amazing job of expressing all of this. I feel ya.

For me, the trust is not there and I don't try to force it, anymore. I tend to believe that I know I am out in the wild kingdom - that watching my back is required.

By the same token, however, I am not taking these people to the island with me. It's just me and my hubby going to the island - anyone else could turn it into Lord of the Flies.

I feel like I often expect the world to be island-worthy. It's not enough that I see these people around; I want to really connect with them.

As part of the world - not an island candidate - I don't need to trust these people. They are not people I need with me.

My husband, who is not mentally ill, operates in the same way: highly suspicious until something triggers cautious optimism about a person. Then, maybe, maybe, maybe, he will go somewhere that this person has invited him to go. But if the suspicion comes back, forget it.

The nice thing, though, is that you don't have to trust people to love them. These are very separate.

I don't know if this makes sense but it sounds like you are on a good road. It's hard but I don't think you have it wrong.
I just do not know how to feel normal or like i could be understood or find a way to seem normal.
Normal is just a setting on a washing machine. It's not really applicable to humans.

Instead of apologizing, try thanking people. It shifts everything. "I'm sorry I am having a panic attack" is an over apology. Instead, "thanks for being patient while this panic attack passes" invites connection in a safe way.

In terms of trusting people and navigating the world with so much going on, have you done much work around internal and external boundaries?
Thread starter #8
Wow i did not expect such helpful and relieving responses. I did not expect such relatability. Thank you so much to all of you. Great advice, reassurance and like for lack of better words these replies counteract the alienation i feel(i know i shouldnt and its my fault). Thank you.

Ladee, keep it up, i totally feel you and yes "fitting inside your own skin" exactly that what im working on now,

Movingforward10 yes all the way thank you for sharing and yeah you're right but also the logic and rationality is always there. The problem is something holds me back and knowing the why how and solution becomes frustrating because i know them but i try so hard and dont see the results. but i speak to my psychiatrist and he has taught me to look beyond a particular attack or loss of control. He points how my coping mechanisms and course of action/ response have improved and i have to note that eventhough i still have work to do. In the sense no i have not accomplished the goal but i need to remember, acknowledge and celebrate that i have nonetheless made progress and am getting there. ITS A PROCESS AS THEY SAY.

Ronin i used to have that mentality and worked for about 1.5 years really well and then it didnt and i refused to accept it and then i collapsed in public alone and hit my face on a pillar and had to go to the doctor who insisted i take time off. I had already been told multiple times by my psychiatrist but refused to believe it saying no i have been through worse i know i can deal with it im fine. when my body finally shut down i agreed to sick leave and have learned that i can understand ptsd and my behaviour and thought processes and use them to my advantage and yes i can and need to take back control. but i think making it work for me is not the right way to put it.

Russelsue, i see your point but i disagree love and trust are different. there are so many different forms of love and ways to express it but trust is crucial. I think but could be wrong.

Justmehere. Yes that is my current step. Setting and respecting, upholding boundaries is my biggest inaptitude but after years of learning and trying to understand i finally get it and now its a matter of practice makes perfect/ trial and error.

grit, definitely i recognize good all the time it doesnt necessarily change the way i feel but it diminishes the maount of occurences of negativity. CBT/rewiring the brain/neural circuits. Changing the thought process slowly. A good day is when, my fear concern or other ppls problems dont consume me, a good day happens often and i recognize it but the best days r when the anxiety comes and doesnt turn fun or successful/accomplishment days into fighting the worry days. Does that make sense to you?
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