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Vanquishing the Inner Critic

I call my inner critic Mrs. Rochester (from Jane Eyre) because she wants to burn it all down. After nearly two years of therapy and somatic experiencing, that cruel voice is finally fading. Gabor Maté's The Myth of Normal helped me put so much into perspective. Not just about complex trauma, but about how the world perpetuates it. Humanity has an astonishing capacity to normalize the worst—look no further than how people in positions of leadership decided COVID didn't poll well, so now we're ignoring it at the peril of our own lives in a mass-disabling event. As we kick of Mental Health Month in May, I look back on the crisis that led to my CPTSD diagnosis two years ago, and how much progress I've made since then. Grateful for all the resources that helped me be more even-keeled, though I'm a work in progress. But finally, some of those old ghosts are finally moving on, and Mrs. Rochester is a lot quieter these days.

#CPTSD #complextrauma #PTSD #MentalHealth #ComplexPTSD #MentalHealthMonth #MentalHealthAwareness

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I am displaced again with no safety plan because there aren’t any safe options

This is the third time she has kicked me out after she insisted on me coming here.

Her husband has allowed me to stay both times. I don’t know what’s going to happen this time but I have to plan for the worst.

I need people to see what happens when you are disabled in the US.

I don’t know how much I can survive but this is truly unbelievable.

She doesn’t talk to me or look at me despite us being best friends for at least a decade and me staying in her home. She is completely unreachable in terms empathy.

She told me yesterday after months of literally treating me like I don’t exist: I think I need to explain myself
She proceeded to tell me all about how she used to take mental health days and have her house to herself and she didn’t realize the effect of having me in the house.
Then said in agony “I just need an end date to you being here.” (Gurrrrrl me too cuz I am pretty sure this is going to kill me if I don’t stop being the target of your resentment)
She then proceeded to tell me “I know you’re going to twist this in your head.” Ummmmmm excuse me? What am I going to twist? That you are kicking me out knowing I have no one else or where else to go? I don’t even talk to people so idk who she thinks I’m going to twist it to.
So I finally was able to say that. Then she told me “I know you think I’m gaslighting you.” Again… ummmmm what? What??? When I said that I have never said those things and that I have already been trying to strategize how to live in my car with the symptoms I experience and my 14 year old dog she was with me when I adopted, she responded “maybe that’s what you need to do.”
So I “need” to stay in my car because you need mental health days? Can I sign up for that perk? Cuz I could use some mental health days.
Also… does needing mental health days justify completely disregarding my long term safety and possible mortality?
(If you haven’t read previous posts… this is basically a saga of #complextrauma #DomesticAbuseSurvivors #Betrayaltrauma and what it’s like to try to survive on #DisabilityBenefits
I have contacted all of the people who are supposed to be there to help people in these situations multiple times. I am repeatedly told there isn’t anything that anyone can do.
Soooooooooo like… what do they advise as my next step? “Idk”
Okay that’s helpful.
The system is more than broken. And people who work in this system need to hear my story. Really hear it.
#ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #CPTSD #ChronicMigraines #Migraine #Agoraphobia #PanicAttacks #Anxiety #ADHD #CheckInWithMe

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Random Innocuous Memories

It’s been 16 months since my CPTSD diagnosis and one year since I started somatic experiencing. It’s been a wild ride. As I shake the trauma out of my body with a combination of meditation, journaling, and bodywork, memories return that take me off guard—not the scary ones. I expect traumatic events to reappear in more detail, and they do, but it’s the bland everyday memories that weird me out. Suddenly I’m seeing random moments in vivid detail. Watching Mork & Mindy in the early ‘80s with my little brother—the walls were bright orange, there was an orange bean bag chair by the stereo where we played 8-track tapes and vinyl records. I can smell the incense my stepdad burned. I feel the terrycloth jumpsuit I was wearing. It was yellow with blue trim.

Then it jumps further back. Somewhere in the ‘70s, sitting on the ugly brown shag carpet in my grandparents’ living room, watching Doctor Who and Star Trek. The smell of cigarette smoke and the scotch my granddad loved. Our beagle puppy sits beside me. My uncle’s joking around with someone on the phone—the kind stuck to the wall with a long cord—anything you had to be said in front of everyone, so we all spoke in code when getting into mischief.

Then they disappear.

It’s unsettling sometimes when the memories are conjured up like this, even when they’re pleasant. I worry about all the years lost to dissociation and anxiety, all the wasted time spent worrying about whatever drama I was wrapped up in. This diagnosis didn’t exist back then. I tried to “learn to live with it,” as so many people told me.

2023 is the 50th anniversary of the chaos that eventually led to my CPTSD diagnosis. I love somatic therapy, but I’m often surprised at how little, innocuous memories or sensations can throw me off my game. Anyone else out there who’s felt this?

#CPTSD #PTSD #somatictherapy #Trauma #complextrauma

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When therapy is too triggering

I'm with a fairly new therapist, whom I like so far. But CPTSD symptoms are raging. I've been in therapy for years, processed a lot, but am in a fragile spot now. Trying to move on and heal, but then I'm dragged back again in my head. To all those feelings, flashbacks, nightmares. Is there anything that helps or any suggestions? I'm going to speak with my therapist about it and maybe for now focus on something else.

I'm scared to go just because of the whiplash. But I need to talk with someone to stay afloat. The goal is to treat my complex trauma without going into a meltdown.

Has anyone had trouble like this? #CPTSD #PTSD #complextrauma #Trauma #Abuse #Depression #Anxiety #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #Nightmares #neglect

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Hi, I’m new

Hello, I’m Angela and new to the group. Just wanted to share my story. Five years and four months ago, my 26 year old first born son took his life. That changed my life drastically. It changed who I am. I now suffer from complex trauma, anxiety, ptsd, depression and many other things I can’t even describe. I feel very alone a good portion of time even though I like being alone. Mostly, I am here to learn. I want to learn coping skills, etc. I also love to help others if I’m able.
#PTSD #Anxiety #complextrauma #Depression #Suicude #lossofchild #BereavedMothers #mothersofchildrenlosttosuicide
#SuicideSurvivor #SuicideLoss #SuicideLossSurvivor


Chronic pain and complex trauma support groups?

I’m recovering from a recent physical and mental health crisis and am becoming more aware of the ways my complex trauma and fibromyalgia (recently diagnosed) relate to each other, both in terms of my trauma history becoming longer term somatic dysregulation and the ways this physical and emotional/mental dysregulation contribute to each other. I’m trying to find resources for this experience but I’m not finding much. I’m in therapy but could really use support or therapy group type of help so that I’m less isolated in my experience. I’m not always great at keeping up with online, text-only things so something with video meetings or local NYC meetings would be great. Any pointers in the right direction would be wonderful. Thank you for reading! #CPTSD #complextrauma #Fibromyalgia #ChronicPain #SomaticHealing #Trauma #traumahealing #supportgroup #SupportGroups


A wish to see my trauma for what it is

I have most likely been in survival mode my entire life without being aware of it.

Finally, the covid-experience has lead to me understanding that I 1) suffer from trauma and 2) was kept in isolation by a single caregiver during my childhood.

This abuser was neglectful and controlling. They were also proctective of themselves against being seen as a failed parent. I have taken on their view of me being something they need to minimize and keep at a distance.

I do not know when or how the abuse started.

By the same age as my abuser were, I have come to see that their behavior just doesn't make sense.

Most likely I have made myself validate their behavior out of survival instincts because I had nowhere to go and the truth was more painful than I could grasp.

I also had very few reference points for what people were supposed to be like.

I have defended the abuser against me.

I have defended the abuser against outside society questioning their behavior towards me and the consequences of abuse seen in me.

I have seen the abuser as helpless, to protect myself from seeing that they did have the choice to not be abusive.

I have not been able to see or hold on to the idea of me needing to escape.

I am now self-diagnosed, as I have very bad experience with medical health professional, with c-ptsd.

With this post I am hoping for validation for my own experience. I am not a weak, strange or evil being. I do have the ability to connect with others. I have been a child.

#CPTSD #complextrauma #StockholmSyndrome #ChildAbuse #Isolation #EmotionalNeglect #mindcontrol


Re-learning how to play #CPTSD #complextrauma #PTSD #Anxiety #Depression #DissociativeIdentityDisorder

Hi everyone. My therapist recently gave me a little homework to help me try to re-learn how to play and let my inner child out a little. It’s strange that playing seems like such a simple concept, but it’s actually really difficult. If I sit down with some arts and crafts, I just kind of stare at all the materials because I have no idea what to draw, paint, or make. It’s like I’ve lost any and all creative sense (not that I’m a very artistic person to begin with).

What do you do to cultivate play and creativity and let your inner child out a bit?