Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


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Hospital Tests Results Not Good News & I Will Always Be My Only True Advocate

The results of my tests in hospital are:

  1. A debilitating, non curable, difficult to treat illness, that is potentially life threatening and unusual at my age. And if chronic – which mine is already – can lead to heart failure, heart attacks, stroke. http://www.mdedge.com/ccjm/article/95292/cardiology/preventing-and-treating-orthostatic-hypotension-easy-b-c
  2. A tiny hole in my heart.
  3. Possible mini stroke.

Have to have more tests as an outpatient. I guess that’s when they will talk about medication, or something to do with managing it. Maybe. If they can be bothered. The cardiologists were pretty blasé about it all. I suspect it would be different if I were someone with private health cover. Public health patients are often treated as though they don’t matter. I guess they deal with worse cardiology related issues: people dying, full heart attacks, open heart surgery etc. I’m sure if I have a full blown heart attack or major stroke – they might seem a little more concerned. Maybe.

I’m someone who does research and finds quality info and info that often the general public are not aware of. I’m not easily fobbed off by doctors who treat people like they don’t deserve to know the truth of their illness. Who treat people like it doesn’t matter if they die.

I’m trying to be okay with this new health info.

I’m aware my genetics (family of origin have heart/strokes etc), my severe trauma history, having PTSD all my life, now these actual issues occurring….. means my risk for life threatening issues occurring are greatly increased.

I’m pretty numb most of the time. I guess that survival mode kicking in.

I need to be strong for my kids.

So now dealing with chronic physical and mental health issues. I’ll do my best to manage all the symptoms and hope it’s enough.

And I’m at the point now where it’s easier to just tell most people what they want to hear… “I’ll be okay, I’m strong, I’ll beat this too … blah blah blah. People don’t want hear about your struggle, your fears, your pain. They want to hear what makes ‘them’ feel comfortable.

Something I’ve also learned in this………… is my entire life I have had my ‘stuff’ invalidated, minimized and trivialised….. and that still continues. It’s happening now about my physical health issues…. from doctors.

But, just because others choose to do that to me…….. doesn’t mean they are right, or that they are showing any kindness in what they are doing.

I’ve realised I’ve spent my life also minimizing my ‘stuff’ – as I was groomed to do by my ‘family’ who called me a drama queen anytime I tried to stand up for myself in regards to their mistreatment and abuse. I had to be the opposite of a drama queen and not care about my needs, or being mistreated and it led to other people all my life not caring about my needs, or caring about mistreating me either. And to them trivialising what I endure and the seriousness of it.

But, I do realise just how serious this all is. It’s really fucking serious. It’s life threatening serious. It’s – I could die or have a severe stroke and be incapacitated for the rest of my life – serious.

So, I know I have to make a bit more of an effort to demand this be taken seriously and for them not to just shrug me off. Even if I am only a ‘public system patient’.

I matter to my kids, even if no-one else cares.

And I’ve realised as a result of the last few months …. that I will always be my only true advocate.

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Being admitted for cardiology testing next week. Variety of very valid emotions.

Received a phone call from the cardiology department about my admission for testing on my heart/blood pressure issues. So I should be going in, within a few days.

I’m feeling a combination of emotions.

Scared and fearful of what they might find is wrong with me and how serious it is and all the many consequences. I am aware the chronic low blood pressure issue I have is not normal for someone me age and potentially a life threatening health issue.

Angry that all the people who have chosen to abuse me throughout my entire life – and have caused me to have these physical health issues I am now dealing with. I am very aware that it is all the trauma that has impacted my physical and mental health. It makes sense that someone who has been abused so badly, over decades, would have a variety of physical health issues. Trauma affects the physical body, as well as emotional/mental health.

Scared this will impact my capacity to find a job in the future to become independent again and be able to financially support my children.

Really over dealing with health issues that plague my life and cause such a negative impact on my quality of life. And all being caused by abusive people – who could have chosen to treat me well, but didn’t and they had no excuses for what they did.

I’m very aware it is completely okay and normal to feel these emotions, and I’m aware I don’t have to minimize them, or invalidate my own fears and anxiety. I’m trying to do better with not feeling shame about being angry. I have every right to be angry. And suppressing that – would not be healthy.

My doctor/counsellor said she will come and see me in the hospital, which is very kind of her and above and beyond what she needs to do. I am very thankful for that Continue reading


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Physical Health Issues Complex Trauma Survivors Can Endure ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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There are many physical and mental health issues, survivors of complex trauma endure. They can range from mildly life impacting – to severely life impacting.

I write a lot about the mental health issues, that develop as a result of ongoing abuse, including by ongoing child abuse, complex trauma and severe repeated abuse and trauma. The mental health issues that can develop are Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), severe PTSD, depression, anxiety and there are more. Many mental health illness/disorders can be triggered in particular by childhood trauma and abuse.

This article highlights, the physical health issues that many also develop, as well as the mental health issues… as trauma affects physical health, as well as mental health.

“Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up.

Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain.

This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer.

An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.”

~ Dr. Nadine Burke Harris – TED Med 2014


On 14th June 2017, I asked my amazing complex trauma community audience, to list the physical health issues they endure as a result of complex trauma.

These were some of the responses…

Fibromyalgia muscle pain, due to decades of body hyper-vigilance, headaches, dizziness, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, exhaustion.

Adrenal insufficiency from chronic stress

Anorexia (past), still have chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal fatigue, IBS, other digestive issues, women’s problems, detoxification issues, vitamin D deficiency, all I think linked. I think some of that is to do with the anger being stored in the liver. All to do with trauma being trapped in the body & DNA. Epigenetic etc.

Headaches, unable to distinguish the here and now physical symptoms versus flashback body issues, chronic pain ( but I also have physical injury ) I think muscle tension increases pain during stressful times, anniversary dates (months).

I have developed Pseudo-seizures due to the trauma and chronic stress I endured. When I feel threatened I start having tics. If I have to deal directly with my abuser, attend court or something that triggers my PTSD I actually have a seizure. The Psychiatric Neurologist said that the abuse and chronic stress has taken a physical form. It’s repairable through intensive therapy. My PTSD brought on my Fibromyalgia about 10 years ago. My chronic pain and tics/seizures have made it so that I am unable to work anymore or drive. It’s devastating.

Due to Complex PTSD – my worst physical symptom was inability to eat without severe vomiting , which in turn caused serious acid reflux., weigh loss etc and also stripped the enamel off my teeth.

IBS-d (which is horrid for me) headaches, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite or too much appetite, muscle tension and pain, fatigue, high blood pressure, GERD. Just off the top of my head. Hyper-vigilance and anxiety is the cause of much of it.

Sharp muscle spasms in my neck. Debilitating stress headaches.

I have IBS, hyper-vigilance and hypertension. Blood pressure couldn’t be read the other evening as it was too high? Cold feet and sweaty.  Muscle aches….feel like I’ve run a marathon. Exhausted.

Chronic migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, psychosomatic joint pain in my hands, morbid obesity. Continue reading