Unable To Talk About Trauma Because Of Shame

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I have a more recent trauma (last summer) that I can’t talk about because I am so ashamed. Yes, it has made me consider suicide. (Thanks, IOS, I appreciate that you newest upgrade autocorrects the word “suicide” into “suffice”. I really don’t like this overreach of Apple where you can’t even put “myself” after “kill”. 😡)

I told my ex (dumb move) because he used it as further proof that I’m trash, a whore, a slut, you name it. (He wasn’t my ex at the time.) A lawyer knows, but I decided to not press it further as things could really blow up in my face. The guy who did this to me still tries to contact me. Maybe it sounds dumb, but I have been dragging out changing my number as to not enrage him further. He knows he’s blocked on my phone and gets new Google numbers. I get a text about every 3 weeks. I have had no contact with him in months now, and I told him to not contact me ever again. I hate this dance of trying to not further enrage the person who is attempting to abuse you further.

The trauma I endured as a kid is 1000% not my fault and I can fully see that. This new trauma? If I hadn’t done “XYZ” then it wouldn’t have happened. I think you can see where the struggle lies. And the truth is that many people will think it’s my fault.

I don’t know how to deal with this. I don’t know what to do. I cry all the time. Sleep is difficult without multiple meds that make me feel like crap the next day anyway. I am struggling to function and part of my job is really falling behind, big time.

I am using affirmation type phrases to calm my mind, but I am looking for other things that might help. I am open to hearing anything, no matter how off the wall it may seem.

Thank you.

Edit. The “XYZ” thing that I did was part of acting out because of the past trauma, but outside of places like here, people won’t understand that.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
I think you can see where the struggle lies.

the double entendre of this phrase helps me with the shame/guilt symptom of ptsd. is the struggle in a horizontal position or manipulating facts like a bitter ex? more often the latter in my personal herstory. shame and guilt cause entirely too many distortions of reality inside my own ptsd ravaged brain.

an affirmation which helps me open up and set the truth free is, "those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter."

do i care where the folks who don't matter point their hoary fingers of blame? insert hank williams here. "if you mind your own business, you won't be minding mine."

i'm with you on hating the icloud overreach. insert rolling stones here. "hey, hey, you, you, get off of my cloud." keep your cloudy its off of my tech.
 

Sideways

Moderator
This is going to sound dumb and unhelpful to most people...I'll throw it in just in case it helps...

There's no recovery deadline for when we experience big traumas. If it still hurts a shitload? It still hurts a shitload. As frustrating as that is (there's never a good time to feel like shit), that's how our emotions work.

And then there's reality: I gotta go to work and function while I'm there. And overall, I want to make sure I'm moving through these big emotions, rather than getting stuck in them.

If it were me in this situation? I'd be dividing my time, and planning ahead, so that each day there's:
(1) work time: this is the bulk of the day, and the plan os to be functional
(2) healthy time: this is when I get the shit done that, physiologically, is going to help my emotional state progress towards something more stable, so prepping meals and eating times (lots of leafy greens and diverse real foods to shift my gut biome especially), exercise time, wind-down and sleep time;
(3) emotional time: most days there won't be a lot of time set aside for this part, but this is time I set aside each day where I can compassionately give my emotions time to just be. It's not a "sit and wallow" time, so much as activities that allow for a distressed emotional state, while providing some gentleness and compassion to keep those emotions from overwhelming me. My fave is a 15 soak in the tub with particular music playing. Journalling is another winner for me to make space for emotions.

It's not gonna work for everyone, and it's tends not to play out in reality quite as smoothly as it does on paper. But by planning out my days to allow for each of those 3 conflicting states of being, I'm dealing with the reality of having to function, compassionately accepting that my emotional state needs care and attention and space, while also making sure that I'm encouraging my physiology to start to shift back towards something more stable.

It's not how most people function or deal with distress, but it work's really well for me.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
I think among other things it's important to recognize the distinction in logical versus emotional processing and how that plays into situational memory (reflexive) and the impairments in declarative recall common to PTSD.

What that means is that because this event was a trauma that happened to you, your ability to logically analyze this is interfered-with by your experiental memory circuitry. If a friend told you about similar circumstances it may be easier for you to deduce there is little shame necessary, and that the fault solely lies with the perpetrator.

But because it's us dealing with memories and emotions not just cognitive analysis that breakdown is more challenging. Remember that just because you feel at fault does not make it true. I'd try an exercise of writing down everything that happened factually and without any opinions, thoughts or analysis attached.

(So one thing I blame myself for is leaving a drink unattended where I then got roofied. I can say "I stupidly left my drink unattended" (that has an opinion that is unhelpful) or say "I left my drink unattended and someone else took advantage of a mistake and harmed me.")
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
an affirmation which helps me open up and set the truth free is, "those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter."

I read your reply yesterday and kept reminding myself of this. It’s a good affirmation to remember as it’s so true. If someone holds this against me then I do not want them in my life, as a person who is close to me. The one exception is my mom who is judgmental when what happened to me happens to other women, which is part of why I’m struggling with this. I think you can understand why I tell her so little about what I’m dealing with overall. She has gotten upset with me for not telling her anything, but when I shared a trauma effect that I’ve been dealing with since I was a child, she turned it against me. My very real lived experiences are “wrong” to her. This happened about a month ago so we have to agree to disagree, which hurts when it comes from your mom in a situation like this (something personal and a lived experience vs ex a political opinion or something that’s not so personal).

If it were me in this situation? I'd be dividing my time, and planning ahead,

This is actually really helpful! I do best when I have a structured day and I love using my planner (an actual book I can write in, not an app). Thank you for this!

If a friend told you about similar circumstances it may be easier for you to deduce there is little shame necessary, and that the fault solely lies with the perpetrator.

I have used this method in the past and it helps to break down the hateful thoughts and feelings I have for myself. I definitely would not be holding this against anyone else as I can see that a mistake on her part doesn’t give the other person the right or the “go-ahead” to victimize her.

Deep breathing (box breathing) helps me a lot.

Thanks! It’s funny, deep breathing exercise’s definitely help, but I so often need a reminder as in a stressful moment this skill is forgotten!

Eve, we all do stupid shit in our lives. Just part of being human. If you feel shame, your feelings, your right. Don't beat yourself up for that too. Own what you own, don't own anything else.

Very true. I am able to remember much of the time that others are human and make mistakes, but I don’t give myself the same sort of compassion. Yeah, what I did wasn’t the smartest, but it wasn’t like I was giving him “permission” to do what he did. I hope I saying this right as it’s almost 4am here and I’m finally replying after waking up in the middle of the night!
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
which hurts when it comes from your mom in a situation like this

i didn't have enough of a mother to speak to the mama angle but loved ones, in general, make lousy therapists, even when they are fully qualified to treat jane q. public. they are entirely too emotionally involved to tread lightly through our deepest wounds. may they never be able to detach far enough to be good therapists.

i balance my healing journey better when i let my loved ones be the flawed humans they are and help me AS loved ones. just rock me gently and cry with me, my love. details unimportant. let me trust my therapy network for those gory details.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
i didn't have enough of a mother to speak to the mama angle but loved ones, in general, make lousy therapists, even when they are fully qualified to treat jane q. public. they are entirely too emotionally involved to tread lightly through our deepest wounds. may they never be able to detach far enough to be good therapists.

i balance my healing journey better when i let my loved ones be the flawed humans they are and help me AS loved ones. just rock me gently and cry with me, my love. details unimportant. let me trust my therapy network for those gory details.

I don’t get any of that kind of support from my family. The only one I see is my mom at this point and she seems to just tolerate me at this point because she needs me to do things for her. I feel so alone as I don’t have any friends anymore and the relationship with my ex ended a few months ago. I guess I’ll just say that there is so much that I am lacking in order to be able to have functional relationships, and it goes back to the trauma that caused me to miss out on so much socialization including how to make friends and get along with others. I’m just off in my own world most of the time. I try to talk about loneliness with my therapist but she just pushes me to do online dating. And yes, she knows I’m really struggling with functioning right now as she suggested a hospital program. I’m this mentally unwell at the moment and she thinks I should try dating…. Sigh. I wish that I could talk about loneliness without the “answer” being “find a man!”
 

anthony

Founder
but it wasn’t like I was giving him “permission” to do what he did
And that is what you have to believe, the facts. Because a woman wears a mini skirt and drinks in a bar, does not mean she wants some random blokes dick near her or in her without her permission. Its just clothing and drinking. The people who purport that type of scenario in such places, are the ones who need their heads belted a few times.
 
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