I have a thriving social media presence – particularly on Facebook, and I asked my community members, what they would like others to know, about living with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
These are just a few responses.
(I have omitted names, to protect privacy).
I wish people knew and learned to appreciate how intense feelings really are for those with C-PTSD.
Not to take my symptoms personally! if I withdraw, isolate, am short-tempered, triggered, zoned out, or have a short attention span, if I am depressed, anxious, or simply cannot sit still…..it is most-likely from the stuff that’s going on inside of me – not so much what’s outside of me. Bridging those two worlds is huge. Most of my personal relationships suffer greatly.
I wish people understood that we need a great deal of patience and love. We need to feel safe to begin to start to heal. It’s not a matter of “just getting over it”. There have been fundamental changes to our brains that cause these reactions. It takes a long time to begin to rewire the brain so those reactions occur less. But that can only occur with a strong support system.
I wish that there could be more emphasis placed on education regarding CPTSD for those who have endured sexual/ physical child based trauma. I am 54 and it seems that I am only learning about this most recently AND thanks to you Lily. Typically we get the anxiety/depression diagnosis and treatment/medication as such. But in learning that CPTSD exists and that it fits into every aspect of my life is like breathing air for the first time. I finally understand who and why I am and how I got to this point. It is unfortunate that it has taken so long and that that my prior physicians did not seem to have any understanding. So thank you Lily! I’m doing my homework and making up for lost time.
That even just to be able to talk about it without being told to get over it and rather have the issues and feelings be taken seriously and respected. When one cannot talk about it, it becomes worse to the point of shutting down socially and emotionally.
Makes me unpredictable. Daily challenge. Like walking about in a bubble, never truly being a part of life, most of the time. Terrible memory problems. Never try to understand because it’s something a person couldn’t understand unless they’ve experienced it. How horrendous experiences means I will probably always see the world through tainted lenses. How I notice things wrong first before things that are right. Always a longing and need for something that I can’t quite define yet I also know doesn’t exist either. Never feeling like a whole person. Little concept of time, spatial awareness, dates, day and remembering names. How I can feel what other people are experiencing, empathise, support and love…but rarely able to feel that way about myself…like those things don’t apply to me because I’m nothing. The daily fight with my mind and body is real. How I wish it was taken as seriously as physical health. Hope this helps.
I wish some people understood it’s not a choice and some people can’t remove the toxic people causing the triggers due to their children being with them. All a result of q long line of abuse and a crooked and flawed system. So there is no healing just constant reliving.
That it’s real, that it’s not a choice I made, that it can and does manifest later in life, that I can’t ‘just get over it’, that I’m still me, just struggling. That the same person who treated them well was indeed capable of abusing me horribly. Just because they never saw it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. That when triggered, I revert, emotionally, back to that child.
Living with Complex PTSD does not control my life. I am a successful human & professional, but my triggers are deeply connected to intimacy. I am whole, I am more than my diagnosis. Triggers are moments that make life a bit more challenging but they are not the totality of who I am.
That carrying a teddy bear helps me cope with the overwhelming stimuli and the anxiety of being in a crowd, it’s not because I’m seeking attention (which I loathe) or because I’m immature. I’m just too poor to afford a $50,000 service dog.
That having CPTSD is a response to trauma, often from such an early age that we don’t know what it’s like to be okay; therefore, we feel like aliens existing beside humans and not able to fit anywhere. We can’t just get over it and somehow slot ourselves into the human community. Sometimes it takes many years of therapy to even become part of society. People need to know how exhausting it is to have this, and how much we want to be ok. We don’t choose this.
That we are not “making this up.” We seriously get overwhelmed (often without understanding the underlying reason or dynamic) with a great deal of fear, shame and bewilderment. We ARE trying to make sense of our emotional, physiological, cognitive reactions but… ??? we often don’t remember or know what the heck is going on. We are not deficient or less than. We are disconnected from the source of our pain because it was so overwhelming and in that we have also lost (temporarily) a part of ourselves which could connect the dots.
Negative self-talk and self-attacking thoughts aren’t things I consciously choose, and often I’m not even aware I’m falling into this pattern until someone else points it out to me. No matter how much I can understand and recognize it rationally / logically, a part of me is still susceptible to acting out these patterns. It takes a lot of repetitive work to get to the point where I recognize triggers for these patterns without stumbling into them.
I wish people understand, that to try and keep a balance daily is hard work, that, between the nightmares, anxiety, hyper vigilance, triggers, disassociate, withdrawing and depression is in it self a lot to deal with. Simply going to a shopping at a store to can be an overwhelming experience.
I wish they understood – I don’t know their normal. .. I only know mine. For me, there was no “before” and “after” . .. my first memories are abuse.. I have lived this way my whole life. I don’t process information like they do. I do feel everything deeply.. I always second guess if my reactions are what people consider normal. .. I get brain tired easily… I can lose hours … I am still a functioning member of society.. I just don’t function how they expect.
There were far more very worthy comments I could have included, these were the ones that received the most positive feedback. But, everyone had something vital and valid to say about this very hard challenge, of living with Complex PTSD.
My community members are all amazing.
I am SO deeply thankful for their honesty, their courage, their empathy and their support.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
All blogs written by Lilly Hope Lucario and subject to © Copyright Protected.
All rights reserved.
No part of any entry/blog, may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, screenshots, copying & pasting, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods.
This includes adaptations in all forms of media.