Sufferer validating memories

baisa

New Here
Hi all, this is my first time on any kind of PTSD forum, I'm kinda nervous about it. I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago, along with persistent depression. Depression was something I had lived with for a long time but the PTSD has been hard to wrap my head around. Even though I have been diagnosed by both a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist, I struggle with classifying my experiences as traumatic. There is always a voice that interjects and tells me that what I experienced was not hard, or as bad as it could have been. For example, as a child, I lived in a violent asian country where community violence was normal. I have witnessed many beatings and violent exchanges but have never been hit or beaten myself. I have witnessed the death of children but have never been sick myself. My house burned down but I was not hurt. Food was scarce and I experienced scurvy but I did not starve. I was flashed and groped but never molested or sexually abused.

How do I embrace the memories and validate them? Even as I write this the voice is persistent in calling me crazy and idiotic for claiming I had a hard childhood.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Welcome to the forum:)

I think a lot of us here relate to the "it wasn't that bad" voice. I certainly do. No problem at all identifying others' experiences as traumatic, but very hard to apply that same compassion to myself.

While working on self compassion is definitely a long term goal for me, at least dealing with a lot of the other symptoms of ptsd is something I can sink my teeth into, and make some real progress with. There's a lot of value in trauma-focused therapies for both those short term, and long term goals.
 

Friday

Moderator
How do I embrace the memories and validate them? Even as I write this the voice is persistent in calling me crazy and idiotic for claiming I had a hard childhood.
PTSD isn’t about things being hard or bad.

Some of the worst things in life? Don’t cause PTSD.
Meanwhile? People get PTSD from jobs they love.

It’s a disorder caused by a specific kind of traumas. Because, for whatever reason, the brain mixes up the processing of them. Instead of sliding into memory & the past… the brain keeps them present. Not like how we can keep a cherished memory present, but literally present. As if it’s still happening, right here and now, instead of in the past. Relived, instead of remembered.

Are a lot -if not most- of the kinds of trauma that can cause PTSD brutally painful, hard, bad, etc.? Absolutely. And a big part of dealing with trauma can be dealing with those aspects of it. But PTSD isn’t a pain scale. It’s not about how much it hurt, or how hard it was, or how bad it was… nor how much it hurts, how hard it is, or how bad. (See that past/present thing?) It’s about the way apx 1:5 people’s brains deal with a specific type/types of trauma. Not all trauma, not all things bad or painful, and definitely not the Oppression Olympics (IE whose was “worse”). Just a specific type of trauma.

if you lived through those types of trauma, and have PTSD from them? You lived through those types of trauma. And have PTSD from them. That simple.

Welcome to the community 😁
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
It is normal for people with PTSD to feel like this. I questioned my PTSD, even though my trauma was really bad. I felt that since it wasn't the holocaust, I didn't have the right to be affected. The more you go on with therapy, the more you will come to accept your diagnosis.
 
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