Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


3 Comments

In Trauma Typology for Complex Trauma, I am Freeze with Dissociative Defense

Pete Walker’s information on Complex PTSD, has always resonated with me, and I have always assumed I am a mix of all the different trauma typology response, of flight/fight/freeze/fawn.

But, now there is no doubt that I am freeze, with the main aspects being hiding, isolating, and distracting with far too much time on the internet, watching TV, so I don’t think about the more painful things, to deal with my internal fear and abandonment fear/depression.

All my life, I have withdrawn, isolated and suffered with depression, where I can’t be around people, only since my breakdown in 2012, it has become much worse and now is at an all time full on isolation.

Pete Walker explains…

The Freeze Type and the Dissociative Defense

Many freeze types unconsciously believe that people and danger are synonymous, and that safety lies in solitude. Outside of fantasy, many give up entirely on the possibility of love. The freeze response, also known as the camouflage response, often triggers the individual into hiding, isolating and eschewing human contact as much as possible. This type can be so frozen in retreat mode that it seems as if their starter button is stuck in the “off” position.

It is usually the most profoundly abandoned child – “the lost child” – who is forced to “choose” and habituate to the freeze response (the most primitive of the 4Fs). Unable to successfully employ fight, flight or fawn responses, the freeze type’s defenses develop around classical dissociation, which allows him to disconnect from experiencing his abandonment pain, and protects him from risky social interactions – any of which might trigger feelings of being re-abandoned.

Freeze types often present as ADD; they seek refuge and comfort in prolonged bouts of sleep, daydreaming, wishing and right brain-dominant activities like TV, computer and video games. They master the art of changing the internal channel whenever inner experience becomes uncomfortable. When they are especially traumatized or triggered, they may exhibit a schizoid-like detachment from ordinary reality.

TX: There are at least three reasons why freeze types are the most difficult 4F defense to treat.

First, their positive relational experiences are few if any, and they are therefore extremely reluctant to enter the relationship of therapy; moreover, those who manage to overcome this reluctance often spook easily and quickly terminate.

Second, they are harder to psychoeducate about the trauma basis of their complaints because, like many fight types, they are unconscious of their fear and their torturous inner critic. Also, like the fight type, the freeze type tends to project the perfectionistic demands of the critic onto others rather than the self, and uses the imperfections of others as justification for isolation. The critic’s processes of perfectionism and endangerment, extremely unconscious in freeze types, must be made conscious and deconstructed as described in detail in my aforementioned article on shrinking the inner critic.

Third, even more than workaholic flight types, freeze types are in denial about the life narrowing consequences of their singular adaptation. Because the freeze response is on a continuum that ends with the collapse response (the extreme abandonment of consciousness seen in prey animals about to be killed), many appear to be able to self-medicate by releasing the internal opioids that the animal brain is programmed to release when danger is so great that death seems immanent.

The opioid production of the collapse or extreme freeze response can only take the individual so far however, and these types are therefore prone to sedating substance addictions. Many self-medicating types are often drawn to marijuana and narcotics, while others may gravitate toward ever escalating regimes of anti-depressants and anxiolytics. Moreover, when they are especially unremediated and unattached, they can devolve into increasing depression and, in worst case scenarios, into the kind of mental illness described in the book, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden.

http://www.pete-walker.com/fourFs_TraumaTypologyComplexPTSD.htm


5 Comments

Coming to a place of harsh, painful acceptance.

Honesty and acceptance, are harsh realities and I am never one to shy away from, self honesty, self insight, reality.

And no-one knows me, better than I know myself.

People can project their own assumptions and judgments, of how I should heal, whether I should tolerate society more, say I shouldn’t be isolating, whether I am doing what they feel I should be doing.

But, I am not striving to be what other people expect anymore.

I am me. This is it.

I accept that decades of severe cruelty, abuse and trauma, mean I see and know a lot more than many who have not experienced such devastating life experiences.

I accept I cannot trust, or rely on, or expect anything from anyone, because I have a life threatening severe disorder, than means people’s behaviour affects me so painfully, I can want to end my life. And I am sick of feeling like my emotions are wrong. They are what they are, with good reason.

I accept I am who I am for all I have endured. I have endured abuse no person, no child, no adolescent, no adult should ever have to endure. It has wounded me to my core, and the scars remain, and I accept that.

I accept I have a life threatening illness, and I am so scared I will end my life one day, that I HAVE to stay from people, or those suicidal thoughts can be triggered. Continue reading


8 Comments

Complex PTSD abandonment depression, is so hard.

Pete Walker explains this well.

http://www.pete-walker.com/managingAbandonDepression.htm

Here is an example of the layered processes of an emotional flashback. A complex PTSD sufferer wakes up feeling depressed. Because childhood experience has conditioned her to believe that she is unworthy and unacceptable in this state, she quickly becomes anxious and ashamed. This in turn activates her Inner Critic to goad her with perfectionistic and endangering messages. The critic clamors: “No wonder no one likes you. Get your lazy, worthless ass going or you’ll end up as a wretched bag lady on the street”!

Retraumatized by her own inner voice, she then launches into her most habitual 4F behavior. She lashes out at the nearest person as she becomes irritable, controlling and pushy (Fight/ Narcissistic) – or she launches into busy productivity driven by negative, perfectionistic and catastrophic thinking (Flight/Obsessive-Compulsive)- or she flips on the TV and becomes dissociated, spaced out and sleepy (Freeze/ Dissociative)- or she focuses immediately on solving someone’s else’s problem and becomes servile, self-abnegating and ingratiating (Fawn/Codependent). Unfortunately this dynamic also commonly operates in reverse, creating perpetual motion cycles of internal trauma as 4F acting out also gives the critic endless material for self-hating criticism, which in turn amps up fear and shame and finally compounds the abandonment depression with a non-stop experience of self-abandonment.

Here is a diagram of these dynamics: Triggered ABANDONMENT DEPRESSION — FEAR&SHAME –INNER CRITIC Activation: (Perfectionism & Endangerment) — 4F’s: (Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn Response). Especially noteworthy here is how the inner critic can interact with fear and shame in a particular vicious and escalating cycle.

This article describes a treatment approach that decreases retraumatizing reactivity to the internal affects of the abandonment depression. It guides the client to meet abandonment feelings equanimously by staying somatically present to the physical sensations of depression and fear. This in turn promotes the ability to feel through abandonment experiences without launching into inner critic drasticizing and 4F acting out.

R.D. Laing once stated that: “The only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid unavoidable pain”. In my experience resisting unavoidable encounters with depression and fear accounts for more than the lion’s share of the PTSD client’s pain.

The etiology of a self-abandoning response to depression.

Chronic emotional abandonment is one of the worst things that can happen to a child. It naturally makes her feel and appear deadened and depressed. Functional parents respond to a child’s depression with concern and comfort; abandoning parents respond to it with anger, disgust and further abandonment, which in turn create the fear, shame and despair that become characteristic of the abandonment depression. A child who is never comforted when she is depressed has no model for developing a self-comforting response to her own depression. Without a nurturing connection with a caretaker, she may flounder for long periods of time in a depression that can devolve into The Failure to Thrive Syndrome.

Continue reading


1 Comment

I am not in a good place.

I currently don’t have a counsellor. Mine is not able to work at the moment and that could be indefinitely.

My doctor/counsellor, cant see me as regularly as I need, especially at the moment, she’s already told me she can’t commit to weekly appts with me, and I am very blessed that she sees me at all, because when she started seeing me, she wasn’t taking on any new clients.

There are also issues from the last 2 appts, that I don’t even want to talk about, but know I have to sort out. So that’s bothering me.

I will probably have to start with a new counsellor, and I can’t. I know my current state of mind and what I am capable of, and starting again, with someone new, is beyond my capacity right now. I need people who know all the background of what has happened throughout the last 18 months, as well as my past stuff, because the more recent stuff, still affects me badly.

But, what I know I need, is not what I am going to have.

So, I am going to be stuck, in this void where I am right now, which is not a good place.

Continue reading


1 Comment

Top 10 Careers That Attract Psychopaths – Includes Church Ministers/Clergy

This explains the amount of abuse that occurs within Christianity, not only do minister/clergy careers attract narcissists, but also are top 10 jobs for sociopaths and psychopaths too.

1 in 100 people are full blown psychopaths, they are all around us, and there will be many found within church’s too.

Most psychopaths are not serial killers or serial rapists, many are found as CEO’s, lawyers and as church ministers.

Psychopaths are characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.

Everyone I have ever worked with has, at some point, called another colleague or coworker “crazy.” But does your job actually attract true psychopaths? In the book “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success,” Kevin Dutton explains that there are jobs that can attract literal psychopaths – and also jobs that are least likely to do so.

Continue reading


4 Comments

Someone ‘proud’ to be a ‘sociopathic narcissist’ – how deeply sad.

I recently wrote on a facebook page, about narcissism with regard to Tony Abbott’s narcissistic traits (as defined by mental health experts) and it was positive to read how many people were interested in this and could see the list of narcissism traits I shared, were indeed demonstrated continually by Tony Abbott and other politicians, as this is a very attractive career for narcissists.

But one poor soul – felt the need to create a false facebook account, calling herself a ‘public figure’ (nothing on internet about this person), and wrote this..

“It was the left that started the class war, now the wealthy is hitting back by introducing the foundations for a segregated class system.

(my name) i’m what you would consider a sociopathic narcissist, it’s not the weakness that you make it out to be. The opposite actually, those two traits are essential to not only survive but prosper, it’s funny how the wealthy and powerful mostly share those traits.”

My response..

Maria, I feel very sad for you. A sociopathic narcissist is a very unhealthy, destructive ‘personality disorder’, born from a place of deep fear, shame and insecurity – that means striving for wealth & power make you ‘feel’ like you are successful – which is only a cover for inner shame & lack. A successful person can indeed be motivated, but a good/decent person must also have empathy, and care about others, which sociopathic narcissists do not have. The fact that you are proud of being a sociopathic narcissist, is deeply sad and you really do need to seek counselling. I wish you much healing.

Whoever this person is, I feel sad for them. To be proud of being a sociopathic narcissist, to believe that wealth and power, is what defined you as successful – is really so sad.

And to need to create a fake account, is such lack of courage & honesty too.

My husband laughed and said maybe it was Tony himself. Narcissistic injury is something narcs don’t tolerate well at all.

To celebrate narcissists and sociopaths, is to celebrate Satan – being the god of narcissism/sociopath/psychopath.