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Why Mother's Day is Bittersweet

#CPTSD #Abuse #DBT #Relationships #Healing (TW:SI&Abuse)

Mother's Day is a bittersweet day for me. I am the luckiest mom in the world to the most incredible human. I'm amazed that this tiny person has blossomed into a young lady challenging the world. It's like looking in a mirror, and it makes my heart happy to her creativity, thoughtfulness and loving and caring soul. You'd be proud. The reason she's turning into that person a for very different reasons than I did. Here are the things I am willing to thank you for in teaching me how to parent, but for what most adults would.

I swore I was never getting married or having children. I never wanted to end up with a broken life, and a child from a broken home. Fast forward to that's where I am since you've passed. The 5 month period of death of the step-monster, grandmother, then you and the falling apart of the family left me holding a big bag of grief that my partner didn't want to be a part of.

There were some happy memories, overshadowed by the abuse I had to learn to live my life around. To keep safe. There's many years still blocked out, but the layers uncovered are the most painful.

I was just like you, despite how many times you told me you hated me because I was exactly like my father. You brainwashed all 3 of us children about what an evil man he was. I swore to never speak ill of my child's father, and I stand by that despite how difficult it can be. I've now lived in your shoes, struggled without child support and making ends meet due to co-parent's bad choices.

When my daughter was the age I was when the sexual abuse was happening right in front of you, and you did nothing. You blamed me for the rest of your life up until the end that I was the cause of all your misery. Shipping me off to live with my grandparents for that short time was the only good memories from childhood. Until cancer took them both and I had no choice but to return to you.

How you instilled hatred of me to my siblings was something that looking back on it now, they knew not what they did. When I came to you for help when Grandpa was terminal, I was so scared losing the only person I had in my life to protect me from you. He was the only one who would stop the beatings once we were living with him after Grandma passed.

When you encouraged me me to suicide because it would make your life easier, that was something that will forever be with me. You beat me so often because of your undiagnosed mental illness that the coping mechanisms I had to learn early, I've had to unlearn as an adult.

The bruises healed, the bloody injuries gone, but I'm still trying to unwrap my sense of worth because of your venom. Seeing friends Mother's Day posts on social media is too much as I didn't have the same experiences that most do.

What you did teach me are all the things NOT to do in raising my little Mini Me. Her feelings matter, her opinions matter and I'll always take the time to listen.

She's the only thing I'm able to invest myself in outside of my job. I can't keep relationships, despite my stabs at therapy because there are a lot of broken people out there. Because of the Generational Trauma that stopped with me I can give her tools for her toolkit vs bruises and excuses.

Your son is just like you, and I hope that you can see the mess his family is. Multiple charges of domestic abuse, children he isn't allowed to see, and a wife living in a shelter. Both beautiful granddaughters of yours living in a group home because I was unable to take them in. That broke my heart dealing with CAS retelling stories of what the abuse looked like, so they could understand how to deal with him and reluctance to change. Or seek help that isn't alcoholism.

Everything fell apart when my sister passed. You being sick the same time was devastating to me. But you were more concerned about yourself. She was terminal, but you were struggling with your disease progression, so I understand now the way you acted crazy. Your nephew turned out amazing despite his rough start losing his mom as a toddler. That's the other reason this day hurts because the day she passed was the day before your birthday. And a week before Mother's Day.

You've taught me the mother not to be, so I thank you for that. You apologized the best way a narcissist knows how near the end so I've had to interpret it the best I can through therapy.

My daughter is awesome, you'd be proud someone broke the cycle. Happy Mother's Day to any readers who also struggle this day. This Mama tries her best to remember that I'm a great mom, even on days when I feel I'm not. We don't have to repeat what was taught to us. The day you passed was the first day I finally felt healing begin, though it's been a decade I've still got a way to go.

But I forgive you. I'm a survivor.

4 reactions 4 comments

What’s everyone most effective skill?

I’m very curious on what’s everyone’s favourite/most effective skill from DBT. Mine personally is the TIPP skill:
Temperature (this is my most used)
Intense exercise
Paced breathing
Progressive muscle relaxation
#DBT #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder

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#DBT #MentalHealth #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #DissociationDisorders

My DBT therapist called me spoiled. I’m trying so hard to think of a way that this would not be judgemental but I can’t think of any. Should my therapist be saying this?

30 reactions 16 comments
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BPD and CPTSD #BPD #CPTSD #Childhoodtrauma #DBT #traumaprocessing #Hypervigilence #selfsabotage #trustissues #traumaresponse

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about unprocessed trauma, and how it impacts everyday life. It determines much of how a person views their relationships, self, and how they respond to stress and fear. I was diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) in 2017, and it was always very clear to me that many of my symptoms were directly related to trauma I experienced during childhood. Most of this trauma took place from ages 13-19, during an abusive relationship that started my freshman year of high school, and did not end fully end until 2019. Now, five years later, I am trying to unpack the trauma from this time period that I have been pushing to the back of my mind and attempting to avoid for so long.

I cant avoid it because it still frames many of my relationships (both with friends and my spouse). In times of stress and big life changes, I find myself on guard, treating others and myself with coldness and mistrust. My spouse is traveling for work frequently, so I am spending more time alone. I am struggling to maintain motivation and focus both at home and at work, and am often irritable. I become very negative, both towards daily life and myself. I over analyze everything my spouse says to me or doesn’t say to me, and I find myself complaining about almost everything, and feeling guilty about it and realizing that everything in life is good right now, so why am I having such a hard time accepting it? Why do I always have to find something wrong? Why is normalcy so uncomfortable for me?

In taking a hard look at my behavioral patterns, I noticed that many of my reactions to things and interpretations of other’s actions are the same or similar to those I had during the abusive relationship in my teen years. I started to wonder if this was connected, and if there was anything I could do to retrain my mind to not exist in the “trauma realm”. BPD is often diagnosed in individuals who have endured some kind of physical or emotional trauma. The trauma is usually long-term, and it warps how a person sees themself and interacts with the world. It is treatable and is a disorder that can be remedied through retraining the brain to respond differently, interpret differently, and cope differently.

Recently, a new diagnosis has emerged, CPTSD, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This disorder shares many symptoms with BPD, and is different from PTSD in that it relates to damage from long-term trauma and not one singular traumatic event or experience. I discovered this new diagnosis while researching trauma response in relationships. (It has been excluded from the DSM-5 thus far). There have been mixed feelings and opinions from the psychological community at large as to the significance of this new diagnosis, and some resistance due to the symptom overlap between CPTSD and other disorders. One of the biggest areas of contention has been the overlap between CPTSD and BPD. In the image I shared, the overlap in symptoms can be seen.

I wanted to reach out to the community here, and ask for thoughts regarding the overlap between BPD and CPTSD, and also ask for advice in the way of overcoming long-term trauma. What are your thoughts on CPTSD, and how should it be interpreted by those who have received a BPD diagnosis? What methods of treatment or small actions have been helpful for you (or your patients) as it relates to trauma responses and being able to recognize them? Has anyone else struggled with long term trauma lasting multiple years, and adjusting to “normal” life on the other side?

I also wanted to ask for thought and feedback regarding unprocessed trauma, and how processing past trauma in a healthy way might have helped you (or a patient)? What steps were taken to process the trauma? What connections were established or discovered between the trauma and behavioral responses to triggers? How were these responses redirected or altered, thus diminishing the “trauma realm” response and shifting to a more mindful and present(in the now)-focused response?

All thoughts and feedback is appreciated!

16 reactions 4 comments
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Borderline personality disorder: I got better, so I know anyone who suffers from it can get better too 🩷 #BPD #dontgiveup

I am so proud of myself for how amazing I have been doing. I really am learning to appreciate myself and love myself everyday, while currently going through a very difficult time. I was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease and it has been extremely painful and debilitating. I take medications everyday, and I’m still doing my best to learn what I can about it. It seems impossible to do things I once saw simple: like house hold chores or brushing my hair. It has also ofcourse caused depression and anxiety, to the point where my psychiatrist prescribed me Ativan for when my anxiety is bad. I have not self harmed or attempted suicide in over 5 years. I can say that dialectical behavioral therapy did help me, as I feel like giving up but I still try everyday. #dontgiveup #MentalHealth #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #DBT #RheumatoidArthritis #BPD

8 reactions 1 comment
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I have to stop, pause, and sometimes remind myself of how far I have surely come, this is the perfect affirmation for me today ❤️ #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #DBT # Dbtskills #BorderlinePersonalityDisorderBPD #BPD #Anxiety #MentalHealth

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be aware 🍵

What kind of triggers do you think you have?
And do you see yourself in what you might still need to heal from according to the triggers below?

I do.
And I find it very helpful to find simple lists like this one because it gives me way to reflect and maybe understand better what may be going on inside of me.

Since I have BPD I see myself in a lot of the situations below and I'm working on it by trying to pay attention to myself and what's surrounding me.

For example, I realized that any time I meet a member of my family I get very nervous and I am way more exposed to random triggers than usual.
So now I have my new task: pay more attention then usual to myself anytime I meet someone of them. I know I'm going to be nervous and probably get triggered by something. Then eventually I can see my emotions arise and I'm prepared to see their effects coming.

Do you have ways you're trying to handle your reactions to triggers with? Let me know!

A hug ♥️

#triggers #BPD #DBT #aware

62 reactions 22 comments

DBT for trauma

DBT is really helping me heal from childhood trauma. Has anyone else had the same experience? #DBT #Trauma #PTSD

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first time doing DBT

can anyone explain how DBT works and what all it consist of? im doing it next Monday for the first time w my therapist..idk what to expect or feel..i know i need to do it bc im really messed up from my childhood trauma's..

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I'm new here!

Hi, my name is Emma. I'm here because I've found myself at a point where I'm lacking peers and community. I want to move towards more stability and wellness within myself and in my life and that feels like such a huge mountain to climb on my own. Growth is important to me and I've realised I need people to grow with. Lately I've felt like mental health symptoms have taken over to the point where it's all I can do to keep my head above water every day. I'm hoping to find resources, learning, connections, and skills that will help me to go from just coping to thriving and actually enjoying life again. And I feel like it would be really rewarding to be supporting others in their journeys as well!

#Peersupport #ADHD #MentalHealth #CheerMeOn #Diabetes #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #DBT #CBT #Therapy #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #CPTSD #Recovery #MightyTogether #EatingDisorders #PMDD #PremenstrualDysphoricDisorder #Relationships #Trauma #Anxiety #Depression #Neurodiversity #Autism #MentalHealthAwareness #Disability

32 reactions 14 comments