Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

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Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
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    Community Voices

    Why don’t they care?

    This requires some background. I was diagnosed with FND (Functional Neurological Disorder) in 2017. For those not in the know, that means that the emotional portion of my brain (specifically the amygdala) has a very strong pathway connected to my involuntary functions, brain stem, speech and processing centers, and motor reflexes. My NeuroPsych thinks I was actually born with FND (usually develops due to trauma, often complex trauma in young individuals), meaning I’ve never been “normal”. But we didn’t figure any of this out until I was 33. Until I’d been taking 22 pills every morning for a host of diagnoses I didn’t actually have and the symptoms of which weren’t getting better. Doctors accused me of lying, family got upset, all of which stressed me out causing, you guessed it, more symptoms. We figured it out though, so everything should be fixed since we know what to treat right? Uh huh. Show me a life without any stress and I’ll ask what time the funeral is. I’m getting things together(ish), I’ve accepted that disability is just where I’m at. I have generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and complex PTSD, great additions to FND. My dad at the time is dating who would become ex-wife number three.

    Dad loves me in his way, but untreated bipolar paired with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) doesn’t create the safest or stablest of environments. Their marriage imploded, because she was unstable. Anyone who attacks someone like a monkey clinging to their back and then threatens their daughter to try and force them to do what she says; unstable by my definition. Out of a year of marriage, they were together 3 months. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl, even once I saw what was happening, how damaging our relationship could be to me. So I supported him through it all. That was three years ago. She walked back into his life this spring and apparently I’m supposed to just forget it all. Pretend she’s a completely different person, forget that she put him in the ER, forget the abusive phone calls and voice messages she left on my phone to try and get at him, forget that she threatened my life if he didn’t do what she said.

    I put a boundary in place. One year. If she’s truly changed, then she’ll still be that same person a year from now, and I’ll feel safe with proof. One year with no fits, no attacks, no suicide threats or arrests, and no asking for money. That’s what the first marriage felt like, her gold digging. If she loves him, then she loves him for him and doesn’t need his money. Except he’s suddenly constantly broke. A man who has a steady monthly income that’s half what I live on in an entire year, is strained for cash. Then he starts pushing. “She says hi.” No. I said no contact. “Can’t you just say hi over the phone?” No. I said no contact. “You’re going to lose your relationship with me. I hope you understand the consequences of your actions.” This is the consequence of her actions. She threatened me, attacked you, made me feel unsafe. Now to feel comfortable, I need proof of her growth. That is a consequence of her actions. “You’re shifting the blame, you need to take responsibility.”

    That was when I pointed out that a big part of this year is because I need to protect myself. I’m overweight, making me 5x more likely than the average person to have a heart attack. I have an irregular heartbeat, making my heart more likely to have a health event. I have FND, making me 10x more likely to have a stress induced heart attack. I have severe anxiety and complex PTSD, meaning I jump and react 100x more than the average person to stress (these numbers are from my doctors). I HAVE to protect myself. I had three major seizures last Friday night because of a disagreement with him over this very topic. When I reminded him in that conversation that it would harm his relationship more if I fell over dead of a stress induced heart attack because I didn’t put that boundary in place, he thanked me for reminding him that I have a serious neurological condition because it’s easy to forget. I walk around with a stress noose around my neck every day and it’s easy to forget?! Today when I told him about the seizures, after he pushed me to talk to her, I was told that I was making a big deal out of nothing.

    Nothing. My health is nothing to him.

    This is where my topic title comes in. Why doesn’t he care?! I’m a former step-mom to a kiddo who turns 16 this fall. I’d sacrifice myself for my kid in an instant (and almost did one 4th of July when his dad messed with fireworks). His mom granted me mom status after I left his dad because I “did more than his dad ever did for him”. How do I understand what a parent should be when mine doesn’t care in the slightest? I’m not saying he can’t have a relationship, I want him to be happy. I didn’t even say he couldn’t have this relationship, I only asked that my boundaries be respected. Why doesn’t he care?
    #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #CPTSD #AbuseSurvivors #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #Anxiety #SocialAnxiety #frustration

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    Megan Glosson

    How Will the #MeToo Movement Be Affected by the Amber Heard Case?

    It seems like the entire world has watched the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial over the past several weeks. And, after three long days of deliberation, the jury finally reached a verdict on Wednesday. While some are calling the results a “mixed verdict,” one thing is definitely true: the jury decided that Amber Heard “knew her claims of abuse were false” when she published her 2018 op-ed essay in “The Washington Post.” Although Heard never used the phrase “me too” in her claims, she did claim to be “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” In fact, this may have been one of the most high-profile sexual assault or domestic violence cases to take place since the #MeToo movement really took off in 2017. As a result, many people are wondering how this verdict will impact the #MeToo movement going forward. Now that the verdict is here, the question remains: what does this ruling mean for others who are waiting in the wings? As a survivor of abuse and a woman who has also received conflicting diagnoses of borderline personality disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), I have watched the case unfold with anticipation and fear. I avoided taking a personal stance on the case as I didn’t feel it was my place to say whether or not Heard’s claims were valid. However, I did have moments where I reflected on times in the past when my own claims were invalidated due to “lack of evidence” and others providing character vouching for my abuser. In my case, it wasn’t a jury deliberating over my case, but rather, school teachers and a guidance counselor during my childhood. Yet, somehow, it all played out in much the same way — and I ultimately lost. It took me over 20 years to finally come to terms with the two-and-a-half years of verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse I lived through in middle school. I had to undo decades of fear, shame, and questioning the truth to finally accept what happened to me and remove the power it held over me. Unfortunately, this was incredibly difficult due to the invalidation I went through multiple times as people dismissed my claims as false, much like the jury just did with Amber Heard. When I finally found a trauma therapist willing to work with me and listen to my story, it took us months to unpack everything. At first, I attached others’ claims to my memories and dismissed my emotions. I told myself things like “I deserved what happened to me,” and, “I’m probably remembering it wrong anyway.” The more I opened up and my therapist validated my claims, though, the more I remembered — and the more I realized I was in fact abused whether or not those adults I confided in were willing to see it. In Amber Heard’s case, the events were much different. Yet, somehow, I still can’t help but think about how this verdict will impact people like me in years to come. Some are saying that this trial simply shows that our justice system serves its purpose and eventually uncovers the truth. Others are claiming that this may be the end of the #MeToo movement altogether. While I don’t necessarily feel it’s necessary for me to weigh in on whether or not Heard’s claims were false, I do think that both of these beliefs about the verdict can be true.  Justice may have been served and people may find it even harder to speak out about abuse and sexual assault as a result of this case — only time will tell.

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