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CPTSD and Others => Our Relationships with Others => General Discussion => Topic started by: Regret on March 22, 2019, 10:26:27 PM

Title: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on March 22, 2019, 10:26:27 PM
NOTE: I type too much, motor fingers if you will. I get going and it just pours out. I have so much to say and try to keep it short but this is what happens. Sorry for the length, I tried to keep it short..

I have to start somewhere and after reading a new member introduction today which really hit home, I decided to start with this.

A very long time ago, from when I was very young and into my early grade school years, my feelings were stolen from me. Oh, I had them and when they were expressed, they were in one way or another destroyed or co-mingled to the point that I think the only one I was left with was anger, which when felt was usually not expressed toward or appropriate to the situation at hand. Ended up being contained anger never released. I think the last time I had feelings was around 4th grade when I was betrayed by a pastor and had a promise made to me by my parents broken.  Soon after that, I remember lying on my bed, crying, saying to myself that I will never allow myself to be happy again because happiness would always leads to disappointment, rejection, emotional pain and anger. And, I have only cried twice that I can remember since then. Throw a tantrum back then? Sure, why not. No one would listen to my side of the event and I didnít know how to do anything else. Tantrums did not make things better and since I was being both seen and heard, a big no-no in a dysfunctional family, it made it worse. I did not exist to my parents as a real person, I was not allowed to have feelings, I was taught to do what others wanted of me regardless of what I wanted for myself, my feelings were meaningless, my parents emotionally absent never supporting me and what I may have wanted my life to be. They never asked or listened so how would they know. And as for my feelings, I was not allowed to have them so they got buried and all mixed together in one big ball of anger. I guess thatís why Iíve been sarcastic and critical of others my whole life. Itís what I ended up getting or taking away from my young, formative years. Detached, co-mingled and totally suppressed feelings.

And, before I go on, I have to say that I have a very good memory of my life. I remember playing with a farm/ranch toy with animals and fences on the floor of my parentís home before I could walk. I remember toilet training. And I remember 3 huge, significant events in my early life, events that I truly believe were the beginning of my cPTSD, emotional and mentally abusive events that took place when I was about 3 years old. There were many others bad things that happened to me in that time period of 2 to 5 but the big 3 impacted me forever, as I now know, and I can still picture the 3 scenes as if I was standing behind myself watching events happen, detached from my body seeing myself as one of the participants, chronicling the traumatic events for later use, for reference as I tried to make life better starting in the 80s, to make sense of what I was, who I was, why I wasnít worth anything, why I was a square peg in a round hole, why I could never do anything right, why I had no friends, why I could not get close to anyone and why I would not let anyone get close to me. And then came my 3 month spontaneous apocalypse, the big reveal showing me what had happened, that allowed me to put 6 decades of bad memories into perspective, to understand everything but also with the realization that the traumatic scars last forever, and recovery is not a fast, easy road.  And the memories I have? None of them are good, happy times. Only remember the bad stuff done to me and faux pas I did to others. I now try to fall asleep at night looking for my mind palace of good times. I have but two, one is not a happy ending and the other was a temporary event with no one else around, both happened during my high school years.

So, with that background said, back to this topic, whatís love? The one feeling that I have never had, never experienced is love. I donít have the foggiest idea of what love is.  I do not feel love, I do not know love. I did not realize others loved me in the past but know they walked out of my life after a period of a few months to a few years because I did not, could not return the feeling of love they had for me, some loving me 10-20 years after walking away. I was not, could not look for love because I did not know what love is. I regret that I lost a lot of good people in my life who loved me because I did not see it, feel it or return it. If love hit me square between the eyes today, I would not know it, feel it, be able to receive it, appreciate it, share it or return it because as many have written on this site, I was taught that I wasnít worth anything and I guess love is the really big anything that went missing from my life.

I was, as could be said, that person looking for love in all the wrong places. As a fawn, I did what I thought others needed or wanted me to do be accepted by them. I did everything for them, never for myself because I didnít have a clue of what it meant to be a person, I was not myself, I was not living my own life, a life stolen at a very early age. And the relationships I did end up having were shallow and short lived because I only sought the feeling of their acceptance after doing something I thought they wanted me to do. Thatís really a sad commentary. Another regret I has is how my life could and should have been so much better had it not been stolen.

So, whatís love and how do I find that feeling? What do or can I do to find that basic feeling and kick start it back to life in my head, my heart?  I must say that for several months after my spontaneous reveal, I truly understood, not felt but understood, what love really is and why one of my biggest regrets is never having had love in my life. Then there are the many regrets of the many opportunities missed because I did not know love. With that came the deep desire to go back and apologize to all those I hurt for not knowing, not understanding love, for not knowing they loved me and I basically rejected their feelings. Those regrets hit me in my heart, not my head, and for the first time in my life probably gave me an experience of true love lost, the sorrow and the deep regrets for those things that were stolen from me, my life, and making me realize how my life could have been so much different, better, full, filled with love had it not been for my early emotional traumatic experiences that started it all.

I canít buy true love, I know that. But is there a way to develop, to learn a feeling I never had? Or do I spend the rest of my live without it? I'm at a loss on this.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Not Alone on March 23, 2019, 02:50:41 AM
Huge questions. Right now I just want to let you know that I read your post. I know it can be vulnerable to write on the website, so want you to know you are being heard.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on March 24, 2019, 01:14:13 AM
Thanks for the reply. I realize many of my questions will or can not be answered. Most of what I write is historical, what happened to me over 60 years and asking where to go from here.

I started to write about my spontaneous reveal 2 years ago today and had to stop less than half way through it because what I was writing began to drudge up gut feelings that made me nauseous. I guess I do have feelings that  may come bubbling up going forward and who knows where that will take me.

I am numb to feeling almost everything, anything, except anger and frustration. All other feelings I may have had have been repressed for so long I don't know them.  And by having been all internalized for so long, they must be all mixed up so when they surface, i won't know how to deal with them. But, on the plus side, it seems I do have them somewhere since writing about it now stirred up something that didn't feel good.

I will work on my reveal over time and when ready, post it somewhere else on the site, in its own topic, and it will be a long, historical post.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: woodsgnome on March 24, 2019, 04:14:03 AM
What is love?

I never had it either, at least nothing I experienced externally resembled what I sensed it might be like -- my FOO seems to have hidden it well out of sight. But that was then, and then has been left in the dust. Which doesn't answer the question, does it?

So I found this song a couple of years ago that didn't have any step 1,2,3 answers either ... but it perhaps better describes the seeking for love as developing from an  inside process. Along the lines of no one can provide love if I don't already have it within. And there's the song's suggestion that once you remember who you are, the seed within a bright and shining star, you're closer to love than you realize. Love? Within? Now? Despite ... all the pain?

Having grown up without examples of much that resembled any love message, I somehow still know it when I see it. And it hurts knowing it wasn't part of my life, but it can be now, even if it's still experienced somewhat vicariously. But I found this song, didn't I? And it spoke a message, a vibe that resonates. so let's call that love, for now. The song's title -- The Wandering Soul -- speaks to the endless roaming about reaching for love, then finding that ... oh, I guess it was right here all along.

This singer had lots of probs with relational love, according to those who knew him. Despite this, according to his first wife, his stellar quality was as a romantic/idealist and in her words: "the world is hard on its romantics."

Enough. Here's a link to the song:

Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on March 27, 2019, 08:18:49 PM

Thank you for that reply, another door opens for me asking a question. Walking through that door was not what I expected.

The past few days have not been good for me. Yes, like you, I grew up in a loveless FOO with parents spending more time fighting with each other than taking care of the metal states of their kids. My younger sister suffers more than I right now from those early traumatic years. That has been left in the dust but those darn regrets constantly remind me of what was stolen from me, very good hindsight is maybe not the best thing to have in recovery.

It has been said that to love others you have to love yourself and that is something I have never been able to do. I donít know what love is, what it feels like, how to express it. I have feelings related to love but they only come up vicariously watching a special moment on TV or in movie. Love has not been in my life since age 3 or 4, when my life was stolen.

I never heard The Wandering Soul before you posted the link and with my old ears, had to look up the lyrics which really hit home for me. He wrote ďThere's a danger in forever looking outside, you start to believe that all your prayers have been denied, and you forget the sound of your own name, and thus begins the suffering and the pain.Ē  That sounds like the birth of a cPTSD Fawn, or Please, typology. Without love, I was taught at an early age through traumatic events to looking outside, to please others and no live my own life.

Near the end of the song, he wrote ďSuddenly the mystery is clear, that love is only letting go of fearĒ but is it that easy? Or is it really an epiphany moment as he writes? About a year and a half ago, cPTSD became known to me, very clear to me and for a period of about 9 months my head was clear and I felt everything, had no fear or anger, had great empathy and compassion for others. I had a dream in which I met myself when I was 3 years old, my happy loving self. After that dream I woke up and was truly myself 24/7. The parental tapes disappeared forever, and have not returned in my current state of distress. That empty mind lasted until about 9 months when a series of not very nice events in my life destroyed that new way I had of seeing life, the rest of my life. Oh, I still had the regrets from decades of past actions that were really not mine, they were the actions of the Fawn, but I had compassion for myself for each of them and that feeling is now gone, again.

Without love for myself, the regrets I have are worse than fear. Everything I do, see or hear reminds me of some event in my life over the past 60 years that is deeply embarrassing to me, for having done it, and it makes me sad seeing what I lost, what I never had, how it could have been so much better if I had not been living my life as a Fawn trying to please everyone else. My life was truly meaningless living with parental tapes in my head keeping me a child in line continuing their control over me. All I have are regrets, so many heart breaking regrets, and no happiness, or love, or close friends to counter them. What I see now, everywhere, is indeed the vanity of my vanities was vanity. All of my life was lived with one vanity or another controlling me, I was never myself and with that way of living, how could I every find unconditional love, learn to love, know love, give love?

I am not in a good state of mind right now and it is affecting me physically. Iíve been writing this off and on for 3 days trying to get it right and done. I have a knot in my stomach, nausea, lost my appetite and find it hard to breath. Itís been this way for a few days now caused by events I am well aware of. This enhances the sadness and sorrow I feel now knowing my past actions were not mine, that my life was stolen from me and that I could never know love, true unconditional love which hurts me under the current event stuff.

I wish I could cry but I havenít in over 30 years. Repressed that a long time ago. And my dreams which have always been pleasant escapes from waking life are taking on a dark tone that I do not like.

After reading those lyrics, dealing with life events and trying to work on recovery, something is changing. Iíve been deeply heartbroken, disappointed, sad and mad these past few days. Love is still lost for me. I can deal with the current events but those 4 feelings arenít improving, probably wonít until the issues are dealt with and some time passes.

So thank you for the insightful reply and the link to that song, which I listen to often and once and a while a few words do affect me for a bit in a positive way.

The search continues . . .   unfortunately with distractions.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Oscen on March 28, 2019, 12:23:38 AM
Dear Regret, it sounds like you are having a really, really tough time right now and I'm sorry. I really hope you can feel better than what you're feeling right now. Are you seeing a therapist? It sounds like that could help you. Please be kind to yourself. Here is a link to some self-compassion exercises, just in case this is something that helps:

It is interesting to read about your sudden reveal, and the mental state you were in for some time, before shifting to where you are now, without the internalised script but also without the euphoria - perhaps that's not the right word? - that you felt. I read about a very similar situation in Jasmin Lee Cori's Healing from Trauma: A Survivor's Guide, which is mentioned in the resources page on this site. I'm looking at the table of contents now and I think it's in Chapter 10 - Spirituality, where it has a section called "The Transcendence Trap". As I remember, it describes a woman who had a similar experience to yours - she had an awakening, feeling her bad conditioning disappearing overnight, and felt only compassion and connection with those around her. After a few years, she lost that feeling and felt like she'd been thrown out of paradise. I think it was because if you haven't actually processed the trauma, it can still be buried under the surface? She was then able to process the trauma and get back some of that connected feeling, but it was a richer, more integrated whole experience, with the light and the dark combined. This is just what I can remember, so please take a look if it sounds helpful! It's a helpful book in any case.

This is just my opinion, but I'm not entirely convinced by the idea that you can't know love until you love yourself. After all, that's how we are supposed to learn to love as babies - we are loved, and so we love. It's very natural and starts before we even have a concept of self. However, I do believe it is true that you can only feel as loved as you allow yourself to, but I think you can learn step by step. My partner loves me and that has been changing my life for the past nine years, ever since we got together. I would not have figured out that my family is abusive if I hadn't experienced what real love is from him. Sometimes, he gives me compliments and I just feel unable to accept them and deflect them. It's a good barometer for how my self-esteem is doing!

As a fawn, the real test of love will be when you are able to say no, to have an argument, or to make a mistake, and to know in your heart that although it's not comfortable or pleasant for the two of you, whether you are friends or lovers, it's not going to end the relationship. It takes time to build relationship like that, which is perfect for you. You can grow as the relationship grows. Please try not to fall into the trap of all-or-nothing thinking - just because you don't know love now, or don't have a loving relationship now, doesn't mean you can't someday. You don't have to figure it all out in one go.

You said that you felt in your heart that you wanted to apologise to the people you lost. I wonder if this is the next step for you? Who knows, maybe you can recover some relationships. Or maybe you can't, but you can give some closure to some kind people and learn something in the process that will help you in journey. Obviously only do what is right for you, but I think if your heart is telling you something, it must be worth listening to, even if taking action is not the right thing. You must feel some love in order to feel so sorry, so it sounds like a healthy sort of pain. I am sorry that you are feeling so much pain, though.

Sending you hugs and I hope you feel better about yourself.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on April 06, 2019, 05:03:59 PM

Thank you for your insights.

Iíve been trying to write a reply for more than a week but each time I come back to it, Iíve changed, things have changed, so I ended up revising it over and over. After a week of revisions and suffering the pain of stirred up memories, I finally got this to a short form reply.

My big 3 temporary, situational events are over and I have recovered 90% from the bad emotional and physical state I was in. I am no longer frozen in place by those events and I find my thinking about everything else changing by the minute. I am once again able to sleep and my ďconstructiveĒ dreams are coming back with the same two scenarios, builds and people, but different in content from what they had been.

Right now, Iím unsure of the next steps I need to take but I seem to be getting away from the need to tell everyone every detail of my life, a complex, leftover trait of the fawn typology, I think. Itís a one day at a time process for me right now so I am moving, acting slowly based on being in the moment and going forward.

I am painfully aware of what happened to me, when very young, why it happened and each day I end up feeling differently about that and myself. I started this topic by asking whatís love and, yes, we are not born with that feeling. It has to be given to us, instilled by loving parents.

Each day more becomes clear and while my parents provided everything I needed physically, I was not given anything to help me develop emotionally and after 5 or 6 years, I was conditioned to be seen and not heard, to do whatever to make other like me and any feeling I got along the way was verbally beaten into submission. I was and have been emotionally numb for over 60 years. I donít love, hate, fear or feel happiness. In bad times, I get angry, feel anxiety which physically turns me into a wreck, and generally know the reason, the cause, but thatís it. And, I am sad most of the time.

So, not only do I have many regrets about living my entire life with cPTSD, but also have to live with disappointment (the opportunities I recognize as missed), disgust (over my past actions or words spoken) and defeat (Iím mentally exhausted). I lost my life, who I could have been, what I could have done, to cPTSD and itís really too late to do anything but grow up Ė I think Iím about 5 or 6 now, I was 3 when I began this recovery process.

Yes, you were right woodsgnome, a child is not born with love so must receive it from loving parents in their early years. There was no love in my FOO. My parents were so involved with their interpersonal issues and verbal fighting that there was neither time for me nor love for me. They were not equipped, not able to raise an emotionally healthy child. And, when I was 4, my parents had another child which gets into abandonment issues for me. My mother had a rough childhood and as I knew her, thinking about it now and had narcissistic tendencies. My father came home from WW-II with PTSD. I was born into a marriage that should never have happened. I donít know if they ever loved me or were even capable of loving me.

Oh, Iím human and there are times in a some TV show episodes, some I remember well, or movies during which tears well up vicariously for a few minutes and then itís back to un-normal numb. I really think those vicarious feelings are the result of my seeing, in a scripted performance, that which I never had but have been innately looking for, needed and deep down felt was missing from my life. That doesnít happen often but each time it does, itís always the same scenario that tears me up. Even being emotionally numb to everything, it seems my damaged inner child can still miss what it doesnít have, never had. Other than vicarious tears, I havenít cried about anything in over 40 years and there have been many events that would have warranted a good cry. I donít get into verbal or physical fights with people. I catch flies and release them outside, feel bad over the death of a pet but I canít cry at a funeral.

So, whatís love? I wonít ever know because I am living with, have to deal with the effects of cPTSD. I also understand the failure to develop into a well adjusted, balanced human being is to this day preventing me from getting close to anyone, for a whole host of reasons including the lack of all feelings and learned traits of a fawn, taught to please. I donít know how to let anyone into my world, Iím afraid to let anyone into my world for fear of being hurt, and until I can and do, love is locked out of my life. I can feel love when I see it vicariously, but I am not wired to be it, to have it, to have it come from within. I can see it in others but am unable to have it in my life, my stolen life, my numbed out life. All my life Iíve been a human doing getting others to like me, not a human being living my own true life, the life that was stolen at an early age. Sad, isnít it?

As for my thoughts of going back and apologizing to people,  it would be to those people I liked back then, to apologize for the way I was back then, strange or weird. I can still picture the expressions on their faces when saying or doing something strange but I didnít know why. It wouldnít have been to anyone I lost since I never had anyone in my life to lose. I knew a lot of people and all of them must have looked at me as strange for the way I acted and what I said.  I was always the square peg in a round hole person and I seemed to know it, felt it. I did not make any friends so had no friends to lose in my entire life. After discovering I had cPTSD, then realizing who I was and what I was like back then, I felt a need to contact those who are still alive to apologize to them, explain to those I really liked, for being strange, being a jerk and telling them I really didnít know any better back then and why. To tell them that I really liked them and am now deeply disappointed that we did not become lifelong friends. But, over the past few weeks, my thinking on apologizing and explaining has changed. I now realize the desire to apologize was being fed by my fawn typology, doing something to make others like me now after all these years. There is no going back, there is no need or reason to apologize to anyone, whatís done is done, and no need to explain my life to them. Those desires apparently coming out of my fawn typology are weakening and will hopefully fade away.

I was raised by my mother (my father was always distant) to think we, our family, was better than anyone and everyone else, to critically look down at them, when in fact, we were the odd ball family in the town. I would really like to know what my high school class mates and their parents thought and said about my FOO but that will never happen. Knowing that would be a validation of what I think happened while I was growing up a cPTSD fawn.  I was raised, trained to be seen and not heard and to do whatever it took to get others to like me regardless of what I wanted or felt so I didnít question my motherís statement about others, just accepted them as true.

Itís really quite sad to realize that after my parents stopped their intense, verbal fighting, when I was about 10 or 12, they discovered they had a child who they did not know how to love and were not getting love from the child. They only knew how to provide food, shelter and gifts in hopes of getting their child to love them. It didnít work. Love from a child raised to be emotionally numb and devoid of love cannot be bought. Knowing what I do now about cPTSD and my life makes that an even more sad commentary on their lives, as well as my own. They also must have been quite torn and tormented within their own lives. I am the product of their lives and itís sad to now know how my life was stolen.

So, ďwhatís loveĒ will be an unanswered question for me. The big question is how deeply do I want to dig into my past. Do I really want to stir up emotions and feelings without having a solid basis on which to handle, judge or deal with them? Being numb is nice in one way, ignorance is bliss, but being on that island is lonely life.

Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Oscen on April 07, 2019, 10:23:45 PM
Hi Regret, this sounds very hard and I'm sorry you are going through this. It sounds like very painful grief for the life and the you that could have been. My thoughts go out to you. I believe you can come through this. You sound strong and insightful and humble. Sending hugs to you, if you want them. Please keep sharing your story.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on April 08, 2019, 01:03:55 AM

Thanks for the reply.

Please remember that I have no feelings, just thoughts and memories. That's where the regrets come in.  Never happy and sometimes upset. Went to a meeting today where the speaker unexpectedly talked about family life, how to raise children well. After the meeting, I thanked him for telling me everything I didn't get when young and the 60 years of pain it cost me. I think I caught him off guard and after mentally trying to quickly process that comment, said, "be sure to go forward" which is good advice and what I am trying to do these days, going forward.

Since my revelation of all after my big reveal dream, which I have to write about in its own topic, the new understanding combined with my memories created the regrets. The regrets are a heavy weight on me all of the time. But they are my guide to going forward, painful as they are. I don't understand this state having regrets but being numb to their pain. Probably the best for me. I don't think I could handle the pain of my regrets from my memories all at once.

My sister, 4 years younger, also has cPTSD and is in a real mess right now. She stopped communicating with me about 4 months ago. I worry about her.  I'll see her in early June. Her perspective of our FOO is from the view of the freeze typology. But she understood what was happening back then when I was emotionally dead, still am, and that greatly affected her. She being younger watched, experienced what I was going through and that affected her.

However, I do enjoy the sparks of euphoria that hit me once or twice a day out of the blue which are very joyful and happy and related to some memory of a life experience, but not experienced that way back then. Does that make sense? It's almost as if I was getting the good feeling I should have had back then in the moment instead of playing the fawn. I wish I was in a group to talk about and get feedback from all that I am going through. Might find one. I had those euphoric moments a lot before the big 3 events but the big 3 shut them down. Now they are slowly coming back but infrequently.

My dreams are getting better, more positive and enjoyable. No longer dark as they were during the big 3 events. I think if I had feelings, the big 3 would have given me a nervous breakdown. Was close as it was but I think the lack of feelings actually helped get me through that period the best I could.

I'm lost all alone on an island devoid of emotion. Writing that brings up anxiety for some reason but it will pass in a few minutes.

After my big reveal dream, i was a totally different person from who I was before that dream for about 9 months. Then the big 3 stole that from me. The 3 are over and now I am trying to get back to how I was after that dream, before the big 3. I really want to get there again.

Thanks again for the reply. You are helping me think through this in a different way and it is helping.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on April 08, 2019, 11:38:14 AM
Was reading posts by others in other boards and while I realize I donít have all the terms down which makes it harder for me to find words to quickly describe something, I did discover others who suffered emotional abuse when young are also devoid of feelings, emotionally shut down, numb. I also realize that my lack of feelings means I have no trigger words, nothing said bothers me and, as such, I donít know which words I use could affect others. Iím sorry if anything I write triggers bad feelings in others.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: LearnToLoveTheRide on April 08, 2019, 04:20:56 PM
Hi Regret. Glad you found a place to share... it makes it better, really.

My adult onset cPTSD robbed me of my emotions. I didn't even realise it until I was recently hospitalized. Psych evaluation diagnosed me with Schizoid Personality Disorder: emotionally aloof, unavailable. I watched myself having an argument with my partner last night and I didn't feel a thing. I didn't even get angry enough to defend myself.

I kept thinking to myself: I should be feeling something right now. But, I wasn't. I simply didn't feel anything. I'm not even sure yet what to do about it.

Be safe...LTLTR
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on April 09, 2019, 12:54:18 AM

Thanks for that, very interesting. My cPTSD started when I was about 3, emotional abuse with abandonment on the side.

I woke up to cPTSD about 2 years ago now, realizing then my life was stolen. Prior to that, in anyone got mad at me, said I did something wrong, didn't believe what I was saying or if I just thought I did something wrong, it would set me off for weeks, thinking about what I did wrong and worrying about that and any ramifications of my perceive bad actions or words. As a fawn, I tried to get people to like me anyway that came up. One way was to tell someone about something I knew, such as earth plate movement, and if told I was wrong, I would get upset, try harder to get them to believe and be upset about their calling me a liar for years (the plate tectonic situation really happened in the late 70s and it bugs me to this day that I was not believed - or they may have know I was right and were just playing me, I don't know but it hurt. Anything that upset my word resulted in anxiety, worry, anger and trying to make it better - a sad place to be for 6 decades. After my big reveal, discovering I had cPTSD and where it came from, I no longer have those buttons to push but I am still devoid of most emotions and feelings. Case in point, one of the big 3 events dealt with a landlord who on 3 occasions within one month ripped me for about a half hour to the point that other people in the building heard the noise and looked out to see what was happening. What they saw was me resting on the passenger side open window while the almost had a heart attack in what I believe was a self feeding BPD crude attack on me. Post cPTSD reveal date I just stood there, looking at him with no expression on my face, no increase in heart rate or BP and thinking as he talked about what was he doing. I had no anxiety or worry after each event. The 4th and last time he did that to me was on March 17th when we were ending our lease agreement at his house. He accused me of not doing something, which I did and told him I did (and I have 11 people who would sign an affidavit saying I did it) but he accused me of cheating him, lying to him, dishonoring him and went off on a half hour tirade. His wife called down to him to calm down and he yelled back "No!"  Once again, I just sat there with no expression on my face, no increase in heart rate or BP and thinking as he talked about what was he doing. After about 15 minutes, I got my files together, stood up and started to walk out, which calmed him down for about 10 minutes before relaunching his crude, abusive tirade on me. After I left, I again had no anxiety, worry and did not feel bad - but driving away called him a few things I wouldn't repeat in public, which he deserved.

My point in all that was prior to learning about cPTSD, my life was a daily wreck trying to please others and listening the the parental tapes in my head inventing criticism of myself to feel bad. Post learning, nothing sets me off. But, I am devoid of emotion, which was good in dealing with that jerk, but so very limiting in my trying to recover and lead a somewhat happy life. Nothing triggers the bad place I was in before understanding what happened to me, what stole my life. I realize I am fortunate but I am still emotionally dead, except for anger and anxiety.

I had another one of those short euphoric moments today. Was watching a show on TV and the driver rolled down his car window. Seeing that, I got this instantaneous feeling of being in my car in the early 60s, rolling down a window and even smelling what that old car smelled like and I felt a wave of happiness, of being back in that moment but with good feelings about it, but only for a few second before back to current time. That's usually how they occur. Something sets off an old memory for a few seconds but filled with enjoyment and happiness, which did not exist back then. The mind is a strange device and having all my memories of life, all bad by the way, I do get these go backs which are quite pleasurable for the few seconds they last.

I'm sure I'm not alone in having that happen. I'm not good at putting it into words so I hope the above made sense. This happen to anyone else? The one "go-back" I never have is to one containing love, places only, never people or love.

I have to write my big reveal story, will try to work on it more but it's hard to write so it's really slow going.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Three Roses on April 09, 2019, 03:35:14 PM
I got this instantaneous feeling of being in my car in the early 60s, rolling down a window and even smelling what that old car smelled like and I felt a wave of happiness, of being back in that moment but with good feelings about it, but only for a few second before back to current time.

This has been happening to me now also, for a few years. A pleasant emotional flashback!
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on April 10, 2019, 04:59:45 PM
Saw a T for an initial consult yesterday. Told him my life stolen life story from 4 years prior to my birth to the present day.

This T is quite experienced in PTSD and cPTSD. The big decision I have to make is to begin therapy with him or let it be, live the rest of my life in my current state of mind. My question to him was if it would be worth it to dig into my past to resolve and recover from that which was mentally beaten out of me in my first 10 years or so of life and reinforced for 20 years after that so by the time I hit 30, I could beat up myself for everything, real and invented in my fawn persona. I became emotionally dead as a way to not feel the pain incurred in my early life so I asked him what would be the point, would it be worth it to me to get in touch with my emotions and feel, relive my pain from long ago events. He said it was my decision.

He found my dreams interesting and helped me understand a few significant ones but was speechless about my big reveal dream about 2 years ago. He recognized my big 3 current events as something that set me back, triggered me out of a good place after my reveal, but did not take away all that was given to me in the reveal, did not take me back to the way I was up to 3 years ago.

My thoughts are to see him to get me from where I am now back to where I was after my big reveal, the dream in which I talked to my 3 year old self (about the time my FOO emotional trauma began) and from the next day on was a changed person for the better. To have him help me get rid of the trauma residue encountered or received during my big 3 recent events, all of which are now over and I have almost recovered physically from the mental mess, pain, anger, anxiety and worry suffered during those big 3 events. I would really like to get back to the person I was before August of 2018. I can live with a loveless life, without love in my life. I am a good, caring, compassionate and non-violent person and those traits are, have been sufficient for me to be a good person in a life devoid of love. The fawn is dead, the emotions are dead, still not a happy person and don't enjoy anything but I became free from my cPTSD after that dream and I really like the person I was until last August. I would be satisfied to get back to that which could be done without digging into whatever happened to me, all that pain I repressed in my early life.

I am willing to just forget about the 6 decades of my life stolen from me when young and just settle for the life I was really enjoying, really felt comfortable in, was a real person for the first time in my life until the big 3 triggered me and stole that new life away from me, left new residue to be dealt with.  Any thoughts on this tentative plan of action?
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: zeekoctane on June 16, 2019, 09:34:57 PM
Wow. What a powerful story. I felt as though I was reading my own biography. I do not know what "love" is, but I have learned that people show love differently. I, myself, cannot understand or comprehend the definition, but I have defined my own love for my family as doing everything I can for them. Is it right, I don't know. But I needed to try and identify with what "love" is and that is all I could come up with. My T recommended the book, "The 5 Love Languages." I have not read it yet but am hoping my husband and I can read it together.

Best of luck.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on June 19, 2019, 04:49:03 PM
Had a very interesting dream last night, first one of this type, ever.

The dream had me and my ex in a room and I was trying to figure out something, paying all my attention to a problem and not my ex. My ex said to me, we are both here now and you are giving all your attention to that problem. I got up and held my ex tightly and said "I'm sorry, I love you and would not be able to live my life without you" and I woke up. I felt true love in that dream when I said those words.

I remembered what that dream moment felt like for about an hour after waking. It's the first time in my life that I've had that feeling and having those words flow naturally, honestly and with sincerity. Now, a few hours later, the intense emotion I had in the dream is gone but I still have a deep down but faint feeling of what I felt in that dream.

Hopefully, my mind, in its 6 decade long neuroplastic regeneration, has managed to create a new pathway to that emotion and over time it will grow. In my dream, it really felt good to say those words in a tight embrace and mean it, deeply. Being my NC ex of nearly 30 years now didn't matter. We parted on relatively good terms and the feeling in the dream was more important that the person I was with.

The downside of this dream event is the sadness and regret I now have over not being able to have experienced that feeling at anytime prior to this dream.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Tee on June 20, 2019, 05:55:55 PM
It is hard to reawaken feelings when you have numbed them for most of your life.  I to closed off my emotions when they were not safe to have or show.  To such an extent that I fractured at 6.  I disappeared :disappear: leaving "perfect" version  a "yes ma'am" version of myself in my place. No emotions no disobedience or defiance. Even that want good enough for my NM to love me. 

I get the struggle when emotions come back too.  As I've been in therapy my T has helped because they come back in drowning waves.  And just you get your head above the water another hits you and pulls you down.  When you haven't learned to deal with emotions your whole life is overwhelming both good and bad emotions are suffocating. They all feel too much. Take it moment by moment and reach out to your T or here.  You are not alone.

Understanding hug. :hug:
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on August 12, 2019, 01:25:16 PM
What a devastating disorder this is. I am fortunate all of the reasons or causes of my living a life under cPTSD are now gone except, of course, for myself. Within the past few months, I have learned to know when I am triggered and that has helped me stop or shorten the pain associated with being triggered.

Over the past year or so, I have progressed in my thinking from being a 3 year old, the age at which the trauma affected me, to somewhere in my teens. But I am growing up alone in uncharted waters and I find myself fully capable of quickly making the same mistakes I made, throughout my entire life, before I discovered why my life was never right, I was suffering from cPTSD, a few years ago.

I recently went through, got myself into a situation spanning several months that slowly ate me up. I knew something was wrong but didn't know what it was and it kept getting worse. I was digging myself into a deep hole daily while looking for responses from others but hearing only crickets. My efforts were based on good intentions but wrong headed - never let a child do an adults work without supervision and at my age, there is no supervision available.

Yesterday I gave up, quit the situation and within an hour or two of removing all interaction with the others involved in that situation, I began to feel better about myself. Didn't know why but I felt relief from something. It was then, while scrolling back through some saved stuff on my phone, that I came across something I had received from Roland Bal months ago, began to read it and discovered what I had gotten myself into and why. I also realize that elimination of the traumatic effects of living with cPTSD does not mean one is free and clear of that disorder's deleterious impact on ones life. He wrote (these 3 paragraphs taken from a longer message from him):

"A pleasing response isnít just used to minimize or avoid further abuse. It is also a way of getting approval, feeling adequate and useful, being seen, and feeling loved and appreciated; so the pleasing response, through being directed continuously outward, serves as a dissociation. It serves as a dissociation for you, so you donít feel constantly overwhelmed by the residual pain of neglect and experienced lack of love in your early formative years.

As with all emotions and feelings, there can be a healthy aspect to receiving appreciation and feeling good about yourself and your accomplishments, though when you are continuously looking outside of yourself for acknowledgment, and you have a lost a sense of containment, it becomes destructive. You are actively devaluing yourself by continually seeking validation from others, and this will make you emotionally unstable and dependent.

On top of that, it becomes harder and harder to interpret other peopleís intentions and responses due to your lack of containment and self-reference; this, in turn, will create a lot of self-doubt and overthinking. Guilt and the fear of having done something wrong can easily take over."

He nailed it and when I first read this months ago, I didn't "get" it but I sure do now. The points he made that perfectly describe the situation I created for myself are in bold above - he said it so much better that I ever could but what he said is a 100% fit to what happened to me over a few months time. I took a giant step backward, fell victim to the disorder once again.

So even after having realized the source of my cPTSD, had all of the parental tapes removed from my head, understood where I came from and why I was the way I was for close to 70 years, I now realize that while the cPSTD affects and pain from my first few years of life set me on a life's course that can now, with active mindfulness, be to some degree minimized, the pattern of living as a fawn that I learned in my first 6 years of life is still there, will always be there and is ready to let me quickly fall into the same predicaments I experienced, I unknowingly got myself into, during my whole life living with the fawn, the "please" typology.

I guess life was going too well for me and my carefree, thoughtless day to day behavior created that situation, opened the trap door, and let me fall into a very bad event. Mindful is now a word that I understand much more clearly and I must be much more mindful of what I do from now on, mindful of what I get involved with and what I expect out of everything I do going forward. And while it is devastating for me to still not have any feelings other than anger, hate and sadness, it is comforting to know that I do not have any feelings for if I did, today would be so much more worse for me thinking about that disastrous situation I got myself into and hopefully am now out of.

All of this recent event just makes me sick to think about what can still happen, can in very subtle way, creep into my life and if not recognized and stopped, can and will take me back into the throws of everything that was wrong with my life. It seems that can happen quickly without constant mindfulness. Children need guidance and I guess the only guidance I can expect at my age is learning from mistakes. The one feeling that I have today is that of great sadness, sad for what I got myself into, sad at how it went down and sad to know I made mistakes. Hopefully, when the sadness goes away, I will have learned something.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Not Alone on August 12, 2019, 01:47:29 PM
Wow. You have some very big insights.

You said the only guidance you can expect at your age is learning from mistakes. That is part of learning, but even my friends, who are fairly emotionally healthy, seek advice and guidance from others. I rely heavily on my family, friends, therapist, and OOTS to support me.

Want you to know that I hear that you are sad.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: woodsgnome on August 12, 2019, 06:41:20 PM
Thanks, Regret ... an excellent summary of falling into waters so deep it's sometimes hard to fathom a way out. Mindfulness definitely helps, although everything has its limits, and it takes time to build the internal strength up to a point where we can at least withstand, if not entirely overcome, those innocently derived habitual responses to this confusion called life.

 Those habits which were planted so early by the first set of people in our lives, often ironically identified as 'caregivers'; when they were more like naysayers who contradict our own yearnings just to be ourselves; just to be cared for decently and honestly. As you note, we end up spending a lifetime having to become our own 'care' givers.

There's lots of wisdom to digest in your post, but my takeaway seems to zero in on a major part of my own mindfulness these days -- "Guilt and the fear of having done something wrong can easily take over."  :'(

Thanks for reflecting so well on all of this. Sometimes being mindful only piles on the misery of what's best left behind; but on the other hand it takes lots lots out of a person to get a handle on the scope of what has dragged us down.

In the end, balancing it all remains the big challenge. All the difficulties may not be totally overcome, but we can at least smooth out the roughest spots ... and live. It's all any of us want, and fully deserve -- that chance to just live, as ourselves, reflecting what is our heart's deepest and most needed desire.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Tee on August 12, 2019, 08:44:38 PM
 :hug: my T says it's our human right to make mistakes.  I'm not sure I believe her but I'm trying to.  It's ok to be sad. I'll sit with you a while if that's ok. :hug:
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on October 27, 2019, 02:06:42 AM
I've been wondering what's worse lately, living with but unaware of having cPTSD from very early childhood emotional abuse (surviving a constantly somewhat out of whack stolen life) for 60+ years or living a life in recovery filled with remorse, embarrassment and regrets for all that I did in my life and all that I missed out on because of this horrendous disorder.

No matter what I am doing now, I find myself virtually locked up in a 24/7 mental jail of sorrow and sadness knowing my life was stolen and had it not been, it could have been so much better, so, so, so much better.

Before discovering this disorder, its cause and its affect on everything I did for 60+ years, I was "happy" awkwardly muddling through life as it was "taught" to me with each day being a "what's next" adventure, for good or bad or both.

Now that my highly effective inner critic, the one and only that nagged me constantly with parental tapes all my life, is gone, that mind space has become occupied by distressful memories of what was, what happened and why. Each of my reactions to those thousands of spontaneously recalled events turns into a profound sadness as the wistful thoughts of how good each of those events could have been had it not been for living a life stolen by that devastating disorder.

I was awkwardly disconcerted but "happier" for 60+ years (back then). I am closer to my true but remorseful self now being forced to mentally reconcile my past. That's a sad, constant process for me now which after several year of this makes me ask if I'm better off now or if I was ignorantly better off, and much more happy, haphazardly wondering through a stolen life back then.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Jazzy on October 28, 2019, 11:34:31 PM
That's a tough one, there are pros and cons to both sides. I wonder the same sort of thing,  because I'm very aware of my life being stolen, but my sister, who went through similar, seems to be ignorant. She claims to have no memories of childhood, she just sometimes wonders why she feels certain ways, or has such strong reactions. I wonder which of us is better off; I just hope that everything doesn't come crashing in to her reality one day... I think?
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Heart on January 20, 2020, 09:27:33 PM
Regret, I am so sorry for your losses as a child.  Can truly relate to this.  Myself, well I  - I kind of taught myself what love is. Started to do this in my teens - by being together with animals. To see the joy and love that puppy's or kittens have. I use to think that "I will mimic that until it feels normal. " My contacts with children have also given me insight into my own heart and mind. Giving to myself what my FOO never could. At 54 years of age and having been married for 26, I still have to work on this. I still have to explain to myself that I am loved. I am accepted as I am. Feelings of not being worthy, not understanding how love is when felt freely and with ease. Puppy's and kittens they just are. They don't pretend. And I think that love and joy goes together. Don't you think? And at a beautiful day outside in nature. Enjoying fresh air. Beautiful trees and waters. The skies always changing in colours and cloudy shapes. When you feel light. You can breathe. You are at peace. How do you feel then?

Suddenly the mystery is clear, that love is only letting go of fearĒ but is it that easy?

In a way  - I think that it is necessary to let go of fears. But it takes time for the mind to change accordingly...

My husband is a trustworthy person and I trust him when he says and shows me that he loves me. And I love him too.
But I don't think that I love him as freely as he loves me. That was stolen from me.
But practice makes perfect right?

Thank you so much for sharing. Hope you find some release in being heard. I heard you.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on January 21, 2020, 04:23:41 AM

Thank you for that great insight. I never thought of it that way but when I read what you wrote, it rang true and parts touched on what I have been experiencing lately.

You wrote "And I think that love and joy goes together." and I think I may be warming up to that in that, oh, if I could only put it into good words, I am having new feelings of happiness and joy but don't know why that is happening. Maybe it is "the mystery is clear, that love is only letting go of fear" and on some level I am more accepting of myself and trusting of a few others close to me.

I have a lot to work on or a lot much change to get out of my hardened shell that's been protecting me for a very long time. But maybe, without my direct knowledge, something is happening inside that is eating away at that shell from the inside out. My dreams continue to in some way cleanse me of bad relationships and events and maybe it's my sleeping mind/self that is helping me to recover from this horrendous disorder. Until than, I seem to be a happier basket case.

Thanks again for a lot to think about and hopefully help my dreaming self work to quicker to that end.

Regret . . .   
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Heart on January 21, 2020, 11:31:50 AM
 :grouphug:Regrets I had a old blue eyes sang... I thought of another thing that I have learned from my own pets. And as well rescued animals. What I have found is that they have a wonderful way of letting go. When having a unhealthy trate, you can help a animal to change it very quickly. Humans have a tendency to keep holding on to "bad habits " - which often means what we believe to be true. It doesn't matter if it is accurate. We keep going on the same road (=thought/belief). So I mimic my darling pets when I realise that noone is going to come to my rescue or apologise or show a sense of respect for me as a fellow human. I tell myself to let it go. Because they are feelings/dealings/actions- not belonging to me. I didn't choose.  I was in a "train wreck " - of someone else's life. Trying to find out when feelings are truly mine or given to me by a narc. To put it plain : when someone handed over a piece of **** to me. And I figured out what it was.  Why hold on to it? It stinks.  Emotionally it brakes me to the core. I would not have done the same to no one. How is it for you?  The big 3 and other events in your life?  I want to heal by analysing not only myself but also  - in a distance see them FOO, who throughout my life choose their own behaviour. Their...behaviour.  Not mine. Do I make any sense?
Your reasoning upon your own life is so helpful to take a closer look at parts of my life.  Many times the shared looks  - is such a great way to make sense of cptsd...

Take care of you.
Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on February 16, 2020, 11:23:36 PM
As life moves on these days, sometimes forward, sometimes backward, more is always learned. The moving backward part is mostly what I call mini-triggers, memories that instantly arise from a past event triggered by something someone says to me or I see on TV or that just surfaces on its own.

I call them mini-triggers in that they don't result in a major crisis, just a sad feeling of deep regret for having done something or missed out on something due to this nasty disorder. Memories of my past life.

One recently came to be when someone I work with told me she's been married for 30 some years and she loves her husband more today than she did when they got married. I thought how nice for her as it immediately reminded me that I never had a chance to experience love like that even once, much less over time, and to see it grow.

Love for me is a an absent feeling, one of many I guess having it and all the others driven out of my life almost 70 years ago. Stolen from me by parents who didn't know better, did the best they could but raised a child that was not ready from prime time life when coming of age.

There is no hate in me, just deep regret and sad feeling of loss until they dissipate setting me up for the next mini-trigger minutes to hours to days later. My biggest challenge is dealing with mini-triggers brought on by others in conversation is to keep mindful of it being their life, wishing them well for their having that ďnormalĒ experience and changing the subject quickly.

So much was missed for so long, so much of my life was wasted living as I thought others wanted me to live and so much was not learned, put into my toolbox for life to help me live my life as an adult.

I am finding more moments of happiness that seems to arise for no reason other than being in a nice state of mind. I guess itís me beginning to live my own life, a life devoid me trying to do what others would want me to do, and that leaves time to relax, to let my mind unwind and become happy. And then comes another mini-trigger along with its sadness and regrets. Just the way itís been lately.

Title: Re: A life stolen Ė Whatís love?
Post by: Regret on April 12, 2020, 01:42:00 PM
I haven't forgotten about this topic for it still holds true. I have so much I would like to say but can't seem to put it into the right words each time I try. I just wanted to say I still have no real feelings. Love is unknown but regrets are everywhere. I may have crawled out of that 60 year long tunnel of depression and dumped the parental tapes a few years ago but the shadows of this horrendous disorder are long and persistent. There is little that I can do without having a memory of old of a similar event come forward to remind me of the things I did, or had done to me, so many years ago and to regret having had to undergo those now embarrassing, regretful times thanks to the emotional trauma I experienced in my pre-teen years. It presents as a sinking feeling, a sad feeling, a realization of opportunity lost. The only things I can do that are free of regret are things that I did for the first time since discovering and understanding cPTSD. While I no longer suffer the day by day debilitating affects of this disorder, as so many on this forum do, I anguish in the shadows of regret given to me forever by my parents so many years ago. I hope that makes sense and will leave it at that, for now.