New Members please register here after first reading our Member Guidelines which are in place to ensure a safe, respectful & considerate community for all.  Please note that non-survivors are welcome to read, but not join the forum.

    OOTS is a recovery focused forum and information web site for survivors of complex relational trauma (repeated emotional/physical/sexual abuse & neglect) who suffer from the symptoms of Complex PTSD.  The forum is English speaking but members come from all around the world. As of Feb 2, 28, 2023, there have been 10,782 registrations by survivors from 67 countries

    Why We are Here: The Power of Community

    Traumatic events destroy the sustaining bonds between individual and community. Those who have survived learn that their sense of self, of worth, of humanity, depends upon a feeling of connection with others. The solidarity of a group provides the strongest protection against terror and despair, and the strongest antidote to traumatic experience. Trauma isolates; the group re-creates a sense of belonging. Trauma shames and stigmatizes; the group bears witness and affirms. Trauma degrades the victim; the group exalts her. Trauma dehumanizes the victim; the group restores her humanity.

    Repeatedly in the testimony of survivors there comes a moment when a sense of connection is restored by another person’s unaffected display of generosity. Something in herself that the victim believes to be irretrievably destroyed---faith, decency, courage---is reawakened by an example of common altruism. Mirrored in the actions of others, the survivor recognizes and reclaims a lost part of herself.

    Herman, J. (1997). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence from domestic abuse to political terror. New York: Basic Books

    (Advocacy Piece)  Complex relational trauma survivors suffer ongoing abused/neglect "behind closed doors" by those who do not want their illegal acts to be seen (e.g., parents, spouses, religious leaders, coaches).  This is different from those who traumatize and abuse/neglect others openly and in groups such as racists, religious persecutors, war makers, political autocrats/dictators.  Because our abuse/neglect is hidden/secret, it is easier to ignore and as a result we are not as well recognized/acknowledged as the very large group we are - complex relational trauma survivors.  As such, funding, research, services and treatment are lacking around the world.  It is why we must open the door and let our trauma be seen so we will be acknowledged by our communities, health services and governments.  It is the only way we will receive the treatment, services and support we all need. We need to take a page from the "#MeToo" movement which has shone a light on sexual abuse taking place behind closed doors and forced awareness of what is a prevalent but unacknowledged problem in society. We can also look to the Vietnam Veterans who organized and made people listen to the pain and suffering they were enduring and through their efforts PTSD was acknowledged and they began to receive the treatment, services and support they need. We must do the same for Complex PTSD.   

    (Advocacy Piece)  The effects of trauma are indeed just that—effects of an event [or events]—and as such are causally related to the trauma and not to the harmed individual. …. when psychology and mental health professionals draw that causal path incorrectly, when the field fails to place the dysfunction solidly on the shoulders of individual and societal wrongdoing, survivors of trauma …. end up shouldering the burden. This, in essence, is pathologizing—the assumption that because individuals exhibit certain sets of symptoms, they are themselves disordered.  From  Rosenthal et al, (2016). Deconstructing disorder: An ordered reaction to a disordered environment. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 17(2).  As this article points out, we are not disordered; rather, we sustained lasting psychological and physical injuries due to the abuse/neglect of others.  These symptoms we develop are normal responses to an abnormal situation; that is, the ongoing abuse/neglect we were subjected to.  These responses allowed most, but not all, of us to survive.  It is important to our mental health and to how we are treated by professionals, government, the public and family that we accept this perspective rather than accept blame for our symptoms.

Board Information

No New Posts About the OOTS Board

Child Boards: General, Announcements, Questions/Suggestions/Comments, Research & Advocacy, Checking Out

Welcome to OOTS - New Members Please Start Here

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Child Boards: Member Guidelines (PLEASE READ FIRST), About Complex PTSD , Introductory Post

Development of CPTSD in Childhood

No New Posts Causes

Child Boards: General Discussion, Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Religious/Cult Abuse, Neglect/Abandonment, Addiction (Perpetrator), Personality Disorder (Perpetrator)

Development of CPTSD in Adulthood

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Child Boards: General Discussion, Emotional/Physical/Sexual Abuse/Harassment/Violence, Coercive Control, Workplace Bullying/Harassment/Abuse, Religious/Cult Abuse, Kidnapping/Entrapment/Stalking, Other


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No New Posts Six Major Symptoms

Child Boards: AV - Avoidance of Traumatic Reminders (eg Dissociation), RE - Re-experiencing the Past (eg Flashbacks, Triggers), NSC - Negative Self-Concept (eg Inner Critic, Shame, Perfectionism), AD - Affective Dysregulation (eg Anger, Numbness, Derealization), SOT - Sense of Threat (eg Hypervigilance), DR - Disturbed Relationships (eg Social Anxiety, Isolating, Attachment Disorder)

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Physical & Psychological Comorbidities

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Child Boards: General Discussion, Depression, Anxiety (eg General, Social, Panic Attacks), Suicide Ideation/Self Harm, Autoimmune/Inflammatory/Oncological/Neurological Conditions, Addiction/Self-Medicating, Eating Issues, Sleep Issues, Memory/Cognitive Issues, Other

Treatment & Self-Help

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Child Boards: General Discussion, Building Protective Factors, Inner Child Work, Recovery Journals, Letters of Recovery, Ideas/Tools for Recovery, Successes, Progress?, Frustrated? Set Backs?

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CPTSD and Others

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Child Boards: General Discussion, Family of Origin (FOO), Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws, Parenting (Children, Teens & Adult Children), Friends, Professionals (GPs/Therapists/Lawyers...), Employment, Going Low/No Contact with Abusers

Important Days/Holidays

No New Posts Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day

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Child Boards: Christmas & New Years, Mother's/Father's Day, Birthday, Anniversaries, Other


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Child Boards: Information Sheets, Forms & Questionnaires, Research , Books & Articles, Web Sites, Support Groups & Organizations, Conferences/Courses, Podcasts, Videos & Documentaries

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Child Boards: Africa, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Israel, United Kingdom, United States, International (English Speaking)

Community Corner

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A place to share about anything other than CPTSD - chat, a joke or interesting web site...

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Child Boards: Music, Poetry & Creative Writing, Art, Other

Admin Area

No New Posts CPTSD Course Group #1

Child Boards: Information about Group Work, Group One March 2015

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