I thought this was an excellent infographic explaining all forms of PTSD and displaying the horrific impact it has on a person in the future.
I thought this was an excellent infographic explaining all forms of PTSD and displaying the horrific impact it has on a person in the future.
Yes, it felt as if I was handcuffed to my house.
It sounds dramatic, but I was at the time.
For countless years, and even today, depression with its dark, unforgiving black clouds still hover over me. Eventually, I recovered from those darkest days.
Recalling the arduous years of major depression, I was housebound and felt isolated from the world. Blackness overpowered my life; dark and muddy, depression was unrelenting, and the massive hands took hold of me demanding each full minute of my day.
Days upon days were devoted to gazing out my living room window and enduring life in the house, rarely venturing further than the end of the driveway.
Appointments with my family doctor or psychiatrist developed into an enormous production; quizzing what to wear, panicky about riding the bus or mixing up route times, and what to review with my doctors.
I’m unsure of the author of the above infographic, but I thought it showed a few examples of some regrettable symptoms of C-PTSD.
For me, to this day I experience triggers and flashbacks! Recalling my childhood, should I spot a man who has dirty fingernails it will literally send me back fifty years with horrid memories. My abuser/neighbor used to work underneath the hood of his old car daily and always had dirty hands and filthy, greasy black fingernails. It makes me want to vomit recalling him placing his hands on me.
Where would you be if it weren’t for mental illness or depression?
In the mid-1990s, mental illness first tossed me into a life of bleak, depressive despair, feeling hopeless and helpless, coupled with hospitalizations, countless medications, and ineffective ECTs.
I found myself apologizing for being ill, but why? Apologizing for an illness?
I felt guilty for my deteriorating attitude, the considerable burden I placed on my husband, absence and imperfection at work and primarily failing myself. The slightest bit of self-confidence achieved throughout the years coupled with the status at my current job dwindled now appearing threadbare. I was losing myself.
Depression focusses on the negatives.
For one, I kissed my livelihood goodbye. As a well-paid accounting supervisor, enjoying my job and colleagues, I imagined a lengthy career with this company, but, unfortunately, due to the constant absences caused by the illness and hospitalizations, I had no alternative but to leave my position.
Government disability followed after a lengthy two-year wait. You discover swiftly how to become thrifty.
Back then, both hubby and I lived on comfortable salaries and jetted off to balmy climates once or twice per year; it was a routine. I was able to afford fashionable apparel, household furniture or other articles on a whim without fussing over budgeting our money. Peculiar how you take vacations for granted, as of today we haven’t been on an actual vacation in almost 20 years. (Not a priority actually).
Luckily, I worked through some issues in therapy, medication was stabilizing my depressive moods, and I was capable of returning to the working world after nine years absent.
The job I accepted was a call center position (collections), but with a prolonged absence from working for nine years, it was a daunting, rocky road in the beginning. I was appreciative that this company gave me a chance at employment even with a spotty resume.
I survived six years with this company, only to find myself ill with depression and severe migraines, leaving me with no choice but to accept long-term disability. But at the same time, I wouldn’t have realized the enormous extent of stigma in the workplace.
I have progressed to the point that I’m no longer hospitalized and can function daily. Extensive psychotherapy has resolved the heaps of painful issues that have been haunting me most of my adult life.
I envisioned participation in the writing field in some capacity. It has forever been a passion of mine since I was a child, jotting daily in my diaries.
It’s doubtful I would have been invited to appear on a radio show, speaking engagements, ghostwritten articles for other bloggers, or requested articles as a guest writer discussing mental health, depression, bipolar, etc.
I also wouldn’t have this fantastic blog (since 2007) that has allowed me to express my feelings about my experience struggling with PTSD and depression.
If not for mental illness, I’m uncertain I would be the compassionate, understanding, and accepting person that I am towards others now. I have enormous patience when speaking with anyone struggling with mental illness or other invisible illnesses. Also, a thirst for knowledge on subjects related to medical information, and if not afflicted, I may not have researched.
I continue to struggle with depression on an odd day with frustration, regrets, and tears – but that’s not unexpected, I suppose. We’re courageous, but must forge onward, and be strong.
We’re in this together, you and I, and we must never apologize for our illness.
(edited and reposted)
Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2019
I learned this bit of wisdom from my therapist during one of our many sessions discussing my narcissistic mother. She explained it very clearly how a parent has children (plants); she waters some and helps them grow and flourish, yet the others who aren’t so lucky receive less attention and ignored. I now understood how my mother cared and treated my brother vs. myself. Do any of you feel this way?
(This was very popular when first posted in April/2017, being one of the favorite quotes I wrote about narcissistic mothers.)
I think about this statement often, and when someone utters these words, it pisses me to no end.
What precisely does it mean, and why do people say it? Are they so narrow-minded, wrapped up in religion, or in another world?
Does it mean when there is a world disaster, a plane crash due to a mechanical issue, a school shooting, childhood sexual abuse, people diagnosed with an illness, cancer, kidnapping, serial murderers and rapists, riots, war veterans killed or any other horrible occurrence, it happened for a reason? Please explain.
For me, it goes way back to my very ill years struggling with major depression and my mother once commenting the ever so “everything happens for a reason” words. Really, mom? You mean the sexual abuse, which led to therapy, which led to depression, which led to hospitals, a myriad of meds, which led to suicide attempts, countless ECTs, which led to losing my career, almost foreclosure on my house, hubby losing his job, losing friends and let’s include the horrible migraine headaches etc. What exactly do you mean?
I don’t believe people recognize how much these words can sting, it’s almost a “whatever”, said in a flippant moment. IMO, just support that person, show comfort and most of all keep your trap shut.
Edited and reposted
Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy 2019
In a survey of adults with anxiety or a mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder, about half reported experiencing chronic pain, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The findings are published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
“The dual burden of chronic physical conditions and mood and anxiety disorders is a significant and growing problem,” said Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and senior author.
The research examined survey data to analyze associations between DSM-IV-diagnosed mood and anxiety disorders and self-reported chronic physical conditions among 5,037 adults in São Paulo, Brazil. Participants were also interviewed in person.
Among individuals with a mood disorder, chronic pain was the most common, reported by 50 percent, followed by respiratory diseases at 33 percent, cardiovascular disease at 10 percent, arthritis reported by 9 percent, and diabetes by 7 percent.
Anxiety disorders were also common for those with chronic pain disorder at 45 percent, and respiratory at 30 percent, as well as arthritis and cardiovascular disease, each 11 percent.
Individuals with two or more chronic diseases had increased odds of a mood or anxiety disorder. Hypertension was associated with both disorders at 23 percent.
“These results shed new light on the public health impact of the dual burden of physical and mental illness,” said Dr. Martins. “Chronic disease coupled with a psychiatric disorder is a pressing issue that health providers should consider when designing preventive interventions and treatment services — especially the heavy mental health burden experienced by those with two or more chronic diseases.”
Article source: ScienceDaily.com
This describes my mother well.
To heal from trauma means finally dealing with the source of the trauma, whether it’s childhood abuse or neglect, combat experiences, or a natural disaster or a violent assault. How can this be done, however, when trauma provokes such negative and overwhelming feelings – feelings that most try hard to keep safely buried?
Therapy can be a vital step, helping the person feel safe enough to revisit their trauma without being retraumatized in the process. Getting the right support is key, however. Not only is it important to connect with a therapist well-versed in effective therapeutic approaches, it’s also vital to seek out a person with whom you feel a personal connection.
Multiple studies confirm that a person who feels good about their relationship with their therapist is more likely to have a positive outcome. A recent study from Bowling Green State University researchers takes the concept a step further, noting that a deep connection between a therapist and patient can lead to “sacred moments” that increase well-being on both sides.
With that in mind, here are four things to look for to make your therapeutic experience most effective:
Knowledge. Your therapist should, of course, be up to date on treatment options – techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches new ways of thinking of old experiences; neurofeedback, which can help rewire the brain to overcome trauma-induced changes; equine therapy, which can be a helpful supplement for those who find it hard to trust human connections; and EMDR, which can help with the process of moving beyond the past.
Hey, little girl, I saw you with that man
what were you doing, letting him have his way
didn’t you know it was wrong, why didn’t you stop it?
you could have said no, but you still let it happen
what’s wrong with you? how could you not know?
I tried to say no, he was bigger than me
yet he made me feel wanted and special for once
I was his “princess” and he said I “danced like an angel”
and I was invisible to everyone else
even though it hurt, it was worth the warm feelings
that I craved so much, and he granted me so lovingly
but then came anguish and pain
Finally, I did try to tell, but no one would listen
the words came out, yet no words were heard
no one will really know
that my mind and my heart
died back then
I was little and
I didn’t know how to say no
Written & copyright Deb McCarthy/2017
*I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and it feels so much better to be able to say ‘survivor’ rather than ‘victim’ now.
That was me, the black sheep in our family of four. There was only me and my brother, he was treated like gold, the golden child, while I….you get the picture. My brother and I were having lunch one day, and these words stung “I don’t know why you have problems with Mom, we must have lived in different houses because I saw none of this”.
On their PsychCentral.com blog, this article, written by Jonice Webb, Ph.D., explains:
I’ve met many Black Sheep. It’s my job.
In a recent post called Black Sheep, I talked about some common myths, and how Black Sheep are not what they appear to be. Surprisingly, they are simply a product of family dynamics.
But today, Black Sheep, I have three messages just for you:
1. Research Supports You Continue reading “PTSD ~ Are you the Black Sheep of your family? I know I sure am”
The therapist I worked with for seven years was amazing, we dealt with some extremely emotional issues including PTSD sexual abuse and maternal narcissism. She validated my feelings and showed the kind of empathy that I’d never received as a child, therefore, I often craved her as a friend while in therapy. I soon understood boundaries, and realized it just wouldn’t work; therapy isn’t friendship.
A friend told me of an occurrence where friendship ruined the relationship with her and her therapist. She had been meeting “X” every 3 weeks for roughly 2 years, drudging through many agonizing, uncomfortable, personal issues and trusted “X” entirely with what she disclosed, more than with any other therapist.
When she was pregnant with her second child, also experiencing difficulties with her spouse, “X” was there to convey her thoughts to. By the time the baby was to arrive, they worked through marital issues, which alleviated the situation at home and for her.
As an unloved daughter of a narcissistic mother, the cards or flowers I handed to her with ‘love’ throughout the years were given with the expectations and desires that one day she would hug me with love. Giving her a card each year was presented or mailed with a fake smile or strained “Love you always mom.”
She by no means ever deserved a card, lunch or dinner out, and especially a visit when I was an adult. When I moved across the country, there was one year I ‘neglected’ to send a card or call. This resulted in a ‘hissy fit,’ possibly threw one of her notorious tantrums including tears, resulting in my father phoning me, blasting “how could you treat your mother like this?” I can’t recall my reply, but more than likely, I said I was sorry.
A few days passed, and what do I receive in the mail, a multi-page letter from my mother ranting how self-centred I am, this is the way I treat her after everything she’s done for me throughout my life, took care of me, and will sever our relationship now. This was due to not sending a card?
To be honest, I feel jealous of others who have/had a wonderful mother.
So to all of those who are survivors of narcissistic emotional abuse, or never received the motherly care, empathy, encouragement, and love; I dedicate this post to you. You are all Warriors!
Trust was broken
you knew it was
But that didn’t stop your
desire and craving
My hands were tied
above my head
to the bed
Who cares, you thought
I’m getting what I want
This secret between us
no one will know
I’d never tell
because you persuaded me
told me I was lucky and special
to have someone like you
a special person
for protection and care
Trust wasn’t broken
You were was entitled to this
Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy/2017
I’m notorious for that, receiving a compliment yet responding with something negative because I feel embarrassed receiving the compliment.
Example: I seldom run into any of my co-workers since I went on disability four years ago, and weight loss is noticeable. Several that I have chatted with have complimented me for losing weight and looking terrific, yet my response is “yes, but I have to lose so much more”. Everyone reacts with “Why?”. Then I panic!
This article was in psychologytoday.com:
Most people like hearing praise but some people bristle when they hear compliments and others downright hate them. What is it that determines whether someone enjoys receiving compliments or whether they turn sour at the first hint of positive feedback?
More often than not, how receptive we are to compliments is a reflection of our self-esteem and deep feelings of self-worth. Specifically, compliments can make people with low self-esteem feel uncomfortable because they contradict their own self-views.
People actively seek to verify their own perceptions of themselves, whether those are positive or negative. For example, in one study, college students with low self-esteem showed a stronger preference for keeping their current roommate if that roommate viewed them negatively than if their roommate saw them more positively.
In other words, receiving praise from others when we feel negative about ourselves elicits discomfort because it conflicts with our existing belief system. If we believe we’re truly undesirable, hearing compliments about how attractive we are will feel jarring and inauthentic.
If we believe we’re unintelligent, someone lavishing us with praise about how smart we are will feel more like a taunt than a compliment. And if we’re convinced we’re incapable of success, receiving praise about our how capable we are can feel like a set-up for future heartbreak and disappointment.
Confidence as a psychological quality is related to, but distinct from, self-esteem. Self-esteem is usually lost as a result of other losses. Losing confidence is no longer trusting in the ability to perform.
My self-confidence and self-esteem went down the toilet very shortly after my first hospitalization back in the mid-1990’s and never really returned, even to this day. The gigantic hands of depression held onto me ever so tight, I lost my thinking process, the career I built and mostly what I lost was me.
I went from working full-time as an accounting supervisor for a large manufacturing corporation, to essentially a ‘piece of fluff‘. People routinely came to me for answers, and when in the hospital, I spent my days sitting in solitude or meandering the hospital halls to pass the time. Was this the life I was sentenced to?
It was incredible the change in me; virtually a child standing behind her mother’s dress frightened to ask or speak up. I was even nervous ordering a pizza via the telephone. Previously, I was forever the one who would enter a room, introduce herself, perform a speech and feel right at ease.
Mental illness does this to a human being; and instead of possessing that comfortable leather skin that gets us through the rough situations, we find ourselves now only dressed in chiffon. You feel flawed.
These are rough roads and undeserved journeys. Some of us have taken these roads/journeys repeatedly, and question when will the “under construction” terminate, giving way to smooth, fresh pavement.
It took years to recover and land back on my feet. I revisited the working world, however, only some of the self-confidence and self-esteem returned; just enough to get me by. Starting all over and learning new computer systems and methods were incredibly difficult, yet I managed to endure employment for 6 years before dark depression struck once again and now find myself unable to work.
I recognize I still lack it, and living jobless makes a difference, away from the working world, not connected to people sometimes hurls you into your own little world where you get to escape and become too comfortable. At times, I’d still rather hide, but I know I can’t, therefore, compelled to be somewhat “self-confident” looking and sounding.
Actually, this self-esteem/confidence thing is a lot of self-talk, and the support has to be there as you begin the “baby steps”.
Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2017
(edited and repost)
I originally posted this on my Niume.com blog (now edited) and received the most readers of any of my posts (4.4K). Eating disorders may occur at any age, and it’s awfully difficult to accept when you are middle-aged and over 50+.
Two years ago, I was 58 years old and struggled with an eating disorder called anorexia. That was extremely outrageous to me recalling a time when I had ballooned to a whopping 285 lbs.
During the late 1990’s I had been hospitalized too many times for major depression and on a cocktail of too many medications. Countless meds with their side effects increased my weight, and the heaviness remained that way for many years. But, before the gallbladder illness in November 2012, I had slimmed down to 185 lbs.
Yes, the gallbladder fiasco. Long story short, surgeons operated twice to finally remove this painfully unusable organ, and throughout this time, my diet was: “No fried food and no rich desserts or you will irritate your gallbladder.”
I have CPTSD (sexual and emotional abuse), and just hearing the word “fake” & “scam” was an enough to cause an actual trigger to my past, coupled with huge anxiety and intense anger.
Yesterday, while sitting in a coffee shop sipping tea and reading a book, two women around 30 – 40 years of age sitting behind me, actually had this conversation. True story. I’ll call them A & B.
A –Do you believe in all of this PTSD shit?
B –I don’t know what to think sometimes. I do know a co-worker who’s sister is going to therapy for it, I don’t know what exactly for, but she just said something that happened to her when she was young and has PTSD now.
A –Do you think it’s for real, or is she looking for attention? How old is her sister?
B –I think she’s in her 30’s, not sure. It’s something about molestation or something, I didn’t want to ask and be nosey.
A –Yeah right, like she can remember things that happened when she was a kid!
B –Well it’s her business
A –I’m just asking because I saw a show last night showing how some men in the military and some police are actually faking having this PTSD, just to collect disability. Some of them have collected $100,000.00, what a shame when people that have an actual disability need it.
And, their discussion continued……..
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape, or other violent personal assault. PTSD is a real illness that causes real suffering. (source: psychiatry.org/ptsd) Continue reading “Are you faking PTSD for attention? or is this a scam?”
Most of my therapy has been individual, and I shied away from group therapy due to the fact that I was uncomfortable sharing my problems relating to depression and sexual abuse with a bunch of strangers. To be honest, my biggest fear was losing it and looking like an idiot if I started bawling my eyes out! However, I had no choice at the eating disorder program, it was 90% group and about 10% individual therapy.
I loathed it initially, others speaking out about themselves, revealing deep dark secrets that they had been holding onto, and slowly I became to trust them and I opened up. In short, it was very helpful in my recovery, yet I have to say honestly, I still prefer one-on-one. Give it a try though, it may suit you.
This article appeared in PsychCentral.com
Individual psychotherapy will always be the staple. It establishes the bond. It explores the ups and downs of that bond and probes the depths of the psychodynamic patterns of that bond and other bonds. It is the primary mode of understanding. It exists of and for itself and is not dependent on anything else. Group therapy is an adjunct to individual therapy.
There has been a secret you’ve been concealing, that’s most likely eating you up inside, however, you now have mustered enough courage to tell someone you trust. It’s rough, and you’re just a kid.
Protection and trust have already been shattered by your abuser; you just couldn’t take it anymore, now it’s time to receive compassion, tenderness and told you were so courageous for coming forward and that person will be punished.
It may perhaps have been very positive for you, you were believed, acknowledged, obtained love, affection, sorrow and apologies for this ever happening; possibly counseling. You went on to recover with perhaps some difficulty, but you received support.
Wow, I have had my share of psychiatrists throughout my mental illness journey, both as an inpatient and outpatient, beginning in 1994. I won’t list them all, simply the ones who stood out.
#1-Dr. C. I’m convinced this man was 80, coughed his brains out with every visit, and actually asking “are you sure this is depression you have”? Hmmm…..He left me feeling desperate, confused and asking myself if I did have depression. I know I did, others doctors confirmed the diagnosis. He was the only doctor available at the time so I was ‘stuck’ with him for a couple of years.
#2-Dr. D. He was the lead psychiatrist who was responsible for my care during the severest years of major depression and hospitalizations. Opting for quick visits while an inpatient, his attention appeared to be given to more youthful patients. Dr. D. was forever ready with a script pad for a refill or new medications and believed in the power of useless ECT’s. Continue reading “Is your psychiatrist helping you, or is it time for a trade-in?”
Do you harbor some resentment? I hate to confess I do; feeling embarrassed with a character flaw such as this, it becomes awkward to discuss.
Resentment, or the strong and painful bitterness you feel when someone does something wrong to you, doesn’t have actual physical weight, but it feels very heavy and can last a long time. Forgiveness is one way to get rid of resentment. — Source: Vocabulary.com
Resentment can occur under any circumstances although some people’s resentments are deep-rooted, but the best example for me involved a work situation.
I recollect years ago, another woman and I were up for a similar promotion. We weren’t chummy friends; so that didn’t enter the picture, however, we did work in the same department. Both of us shared equal qualifications, and employed there longer than her, I assumed I would get the position hands down. Well, guess what – I didn’t. You know that reaction when they ultimately drop the bomb, you politely smile yet you are seething inside ready to secretly attack the winner! In retrospect, I was so cheesed off at myself for sitting there meekly accepting my loss and must have had the word “resentment” written on my forehead.
If you are a survivor of PTSD, CPTSD or raised by a Narcissist this video is a must. Don’t worry about emotions, I was tearful throughout the entire video. This gentleman showed empathy and shared his experiences.
TRIGGER WARNING!!!! This may be upsetting for some people.
He has a series of excellent and informative videos on YouTube explaining various Narcissism and Complex PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) traits. Source: (https://youtu.be/L6l59nEn2ZY)
Each time I hear a mention of this abuse, I shake my head thinking “here we go again, another child/adult child sexually abused, coming forward despite their courage and pain, to be treated like garbage or accused of making it all up and the church deals with it in their own way, which is nothing”. I seethe inside.
It is difficult to define what “religious abuse” means, as it carries with it implications of forcing someone to believe in a faith, but principally it is abuse committed by someone who is a representative of a religious body.
Usually, the abuse takes the form of:
~ physical abuse
~ sexual abuse
~ emotional abuse
The abuse occurs as a result of the religious representative taking advantage of his/her position of responsibility within the religious organisation.
There has been widespread publicity surrounding the abuse by and criminal conviction of priests of the Catholic Church all over the world leading to several leading legal precedent judgments in the higher courts concerning the scope of the responsibility of the church for the criminal behaviour of priests.
Don’t you just love the “just let it go” people? Such a simple solution for THEM.
Mom, you scored beautifully on this: 31/33 (and you’re lucky I was being generous!).
How would your mother score out of 33?
I’ve consulted a few therapists over the years, and it’s always been advised to “give it some time”, but just how long do you “give it”? I prefer not to ‘therapist hop’, however, even after a few sessions I can sense if this is the therapist for me. I’ve been with the therapist I have now for almost 6 years and knew almost immediately it was a ‘good fit’.
I found this article in Psychcentral.com interesting.
Throughout my years in therapy, validation was comparable to receiving a gift, at times triggering tears of sadness, yet happiness and contentment at the same time. Finally, someone was not ignoring me, was respecting my feelings and best of all, no interruptions with cruel words. As a daughter of a narcissistic mother, very rarely showing any validation, empathy and usually telling me “you’re making things up again.”, this was all new to me.
Validation means to express understanding and acceptance of another person’s internal experience, whatever that might be. Validation does not mean you agree or approve. Validation builds relationships and helps ease upset feelings. Knowing that you are understood and that your emotions and thoughts are accepted by others is powerful. Validation is like relationship glue. – psychologytoday.com
This article from PsychCentral.com explains ‘Validation’.
Have you ever wished you could take back an email that you sent when you were emotionally upset? Or maybe you made some statements when you were sad that you didn’t really mean or agreed to something when you were thinking with your heart that you later regretted? Or maybe you wanted to be supportive and helpful to someone you love but couldn’t because your own emotions made it difficult?
Communicating when overwhelmed with emotion does not usually work well. Being overwhelmed with emotion is not a pleasant experience. For emotionally sensitive people, managing their emotions so they can communicate most effectively and with the best results means learning to manage the intense emotions they experience on a regular basis. Continue reading “PTSD Survivors: Why is validation so important for healing?”
“She’s such a nice girl”.
I’ve never recognized why I developed a short fuse or experience sudden outbursts of anger while growing up until I was in my therapy session last week. My therapist and I are seldom at odds, yet one particular thing she said ticked me off and I snapped at her which resulted in anger.
We talked it through and resolved the issue, but I was shocked when she said, “when angry, the PTSD kicks in just like that”. I never connected anger, irritability or having a short fuse before with PTSD, but it makes sense. Yes, I have a ‘short fuse‘ and I’m terribly impatient at times.
I’ve been termed ‘such a nice girl’ often, and to others, I suppose I am. Well-mannered, respectful, soft-spoken, compassionate, but underneath, I’ve held back anger on many occasions. Outside smiles, inside tears.
My therapist was the first person who ever validated my feelings, allowed me to speak, and believed what troubled me throughout my adult years due to Emotional Abuse. My mother is a Narcissist and void of empathy, never taking the time or ignoring any feelings that I had. The only words out of her mouth were cruel and nasty.
I used to ask myself, almost every day throughout my depressive illness; is this it? Does it get ever any better? Am I stuck here in this black hole forever?
Sounds pessimistic, but my history of recurring hospital admissions and medications that were ineffective, coupled with suicide attempts and unrelenting depression, didn’t illustrate a positive picture. At separate hospital admissions, I was frequently greeted by the same bed, same patients and same nurses who precisely dispensed my medications. Many years ago, hospitalization was a sort of an incarcerated life; that of daily rituals, set meal times, social activities, lights out at 11:30 pm, and scheduled visits from visitors. Finally, discharge, after serving my “time”, which meant adjusting to home life all over again.
With zilch changing; I’m asking “is this as good as life gets?”
It’s both upsetting and scary, no one should ever have to endure this type of life, and depression, for me, proved a dreadful existence. After spending months in the hospital, I would continually sense that I was one footstep away from hospital waters every waking day. Continuously, just a step away from hell; surviving only on the surface.
The therapist I have been working with for over five years has been amazing, we’ve dealt with some extremely emotional issues including PTSD sexual abuse and maternal narcissism. She validated my feelings and showed the kind of empathy that I’d never received as a child, therefore, I’ve often craved her as a friend. I soon understood boundaries, and realized it just wouldn’t work; therapy isn’t friendship.
A friend told me of an occurrence where friendship ruined the relationship with her and her therapist. She had been meeting X every 3 weeks for roughly 2 years, drudging through many agonizing, uncomfortable, personal issues and trusted X entirely with what she disclosed, more than with any other therapist.
When she was pregnant with her second child, also experiencing difficulties with her spouse, X was there to convey her thoughts to. By the time the baby was to arrive, they worked through marital issues, which alleviated the situation at home and for her.
After the baby was born, she didn’t see X for several months, however, she did phone her to shout with joy that it was a baby girl, and X exclaimed “hooray!” She was ‘on the fence’ about sending baby pictures, yet she did send a few via e-mail in the end and X asked to see more.
Just a quick glimpse at a man’s hands with dirty fingernails is my worst trigger, followed by a flashback. Seems whacky, doesn’t it?
Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time. You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place. You may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event. Triggers might include:
For my Narcissistic mother.
It’s been two years since I’ve cut off ties with her, and although she treated me like crap, I still miss having a ‘mother‘. In therapy, I’m working on the impact of how living as a daughter of a narcissist has affected my life.
Trust has been a huge problem for most of my life, starting in childhood. Firstly trust was broken by the neighbor who sexually abused me, followed by both parents who refused to believe, thus making me apologize. Learning to earn trust again with adults has taken years, mostly through therapy, after all, trust must be earned.
I read this captivating book: The Loveless Family by Jon P. Bloch, which described me and my own family to a T. This paragraph in the book really touched on a nerve, acknowledging how much harm my parents did, not believing me about the sexual abuse. The wounds haven’t entirely healed and dancing lessons, upscale clothing and oodles of Xmas gifts never swayed my painful memories.
From the book:
“Between children and adults, there may be lifelong disappointment over a child’s failure to meet the parents’ expectations. The child, in turn, may spend a lifetime fluctuating between guilt for having failed and having resentment for being expected to succeed in the first place. When parents failed to help when they could and should have – if the child was being sexually abused, for example, and the parents chose not to believe it – the wound may never heal, despite superficial niceties. Sometimes, too, parents resent never having had their own chance at success.”
Definition of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD)
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be defined as a psychological injury which results from ongoing or repeated trauma over which the victim has little or no control, and from which there is no real or perceived hope of escape. This accumulation of trauma distinguishes CPTSD from the better known Post Traumatic Stress Order (PTSD) in which trauma typically involves a single event or a group of events of limited duration (e.g., witnessing a tragedy, being the victim of a violent act, short term military combat exposure).
What Causes CPTSD?