It was only in 2018 that I discovered I struggled with CPTSD. Most of my adult life I believed I was reacting to my mother's physical abuse. The idea that childhood emotional neglect is equally--if not more--damaging floored me. Really? Is the thing that I've been fighting my entire adult life actually... invisible?

I have posted here about finding new language for CPTSD as it is so unrecognized that it's near impossible to talk about. So many other "mental illness" conditions spring from Complex PTSD--often developed from longterm childhood impacts. Traumatologist John Briere suggests, "“If the role of dysfunctional parenting in adult psychological disorders was ever fully recognized as CPTSD, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (used by all mental health professionals) would shrink from a large dictionary to a thin pamphlet.”

Let that sink in for a minute.

Some survivors have suggested they would never talk about it--perhaps because it's too painful, that no one understands anyway or that it's private. I urge you to consider this:

--As a child of the 80s-90s, the LGBTQ community was not largely recognized. Many of these people hid their identities for fear of ridicule, inability for loved ones to understand and accept their reality and the world did not have a language for talking about and recognizing them. We do now.

--Drug and alcohol abuse is an intensely personal and private journey stemming from issues that are not understandable or visible just by looking at the symptoms of addiction. There is an AA meeting in just about, if not every, city in America. There is community, support and a language for sufferers to gather. We need this.

--Cancer is a topic we put on stage--in national fundraisers, community and workplace support groups with physical products and symbols we can wear to show support. This is an intensely private journey that, if you do not have it, you may not be able to full understand. And yet people of all walks of life--with or without the illness--talk about it. We need this.

These are just three examples of how it's possible to turn a neglected, unknown and invisible topic into a world where it's okay to suffer from CPTSD--and still belong, and still feel seen and have the tools to have dialogue that can help you.

I encourage anyone who is on their journey to discovering, working on and healing from Complex PTSD to use your voice for all of us.

#ComplexCPTSD #CPTSD #Childhood #Trauma #Childhoodemotionalneglect #CEN #complexposttraumaticstressdisorder