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Welcome to OOTS - New Members Please Start Here => New Members => Introductory Post => Topic started by: Ambassador on September 17, 2019, 07:26:58 PM

Title: Hello
Post by: Ambassador on September 17, 2019, 07:26:58 PM
Hello, I'm new to the forums (of course).

Recently I've discovered I very likely have CPTSD. My therapist sort of confirmed it, by saying she agrees, but doesn't want to use labels, so... that's sort of a diagnosis? I find it difficult to say I have it, both from self doubt (worried I'm making it up to get out of blame) and from worrying that to accept it means I have an inescapable condition or have to view myself as a victim. So for now I'll just say I have a lot of symptoms that match up with it, that I'm looking for support for from this forum.

I'll keep my background brief, and say that I have a history of being treated poorly in childhood, struggling with depression and anxiety "coincidentally" starting and worsening in parallel to that, and finally, recently, a long-term relationship that went sideways and led to me discovering CPTSD. The concept that my childhood was abusive is new, as I had always believed that unless physical violence was present everything was fine, and that I was just doing things that resulted in the behavior, so I still hesitate to call it that. Same goes for my relationship.

So far I've lurked a bit, and have seen some similarities in experiences. My biggest concern first is that what happened in my past isn't "bad enough" for me to be here.
Title: Re: Hello
Post by: Blueberry on September 17, 2019, 07:36:47 PM
A warm welcome to the forum, Ambassador  :heythere:

It seems that many, many of us are worried about our experiences not being 'bad enough' so you fit in right there.  :yes: And you're very welcome of course. I'm just sorry that you need us.

Title: Re: Hello
Post by: Three Roses on September 18, 2019, 01:42:56 AM
Hello and welcome, Ambassador!  :wave:

Yes, it's very common for us to think we didn't have it "bad enough" to be here. And, common to think if it wasn't physical, we can't call it abuse. But that is not the case at all. In his book "CPTSD: From Surviving To Thriving", Pete Walker devotes an entire chapter to this very subject (chapter 5 to be specific, which is entitled "What If I Was Never Hit?"). In the first paragraph he states, "It appears to me that just as many children acquire Cptsd from emotionally traumatizing families as from physically traumatizing ones." (p. 89) On page 91 he further states, "Unrelenting criticism, especially when it is ground in with parental rage and scorn, is so injurious that it changes the structure of the child's brain."

I can back this up with my own background, having experienced both. I've often said I would rather have been hit than suffer the soul-murdering comments that were flung at me so carelessly. Bruises and cuts heal but the messages I received are still swimming in my head.

I'm sorry you have reason to be here but glad that you are. Everyone needs support, validation, and a listening ear for the voice you will reclaim.
Title: Re: Hello
Post by: Snowdrop on September 18, 2019, 05:46:27 AM
Hello, Ambassador, and welcome!  :wave:

I'm another one who wondered whether my experiences were bad enough. It helped me when I found a list of abusive behaviours categorised by types of abuse, as I could then see in black and white that things I'd experienced were objectively abusive.

I'm sorry that you need to be here, but I'm glad you found your way to us.
Title: Re: Hello
Post by: Kizzie on September 18, 2019, 02:48:58 PM
Hi and a warm welcome to OOTS Ambassador!  :heythere:   I echo what others have said here, abuse comes in many forms, but what happens to us at our core is the same and it's why we share the same symptoms. 
Title: Re: Hello
Post by: woodsgnome on September 18, 2019, 02:56:54 PM
Those comparisons of abusive patterns don't really matter -- it all hurts. Sometimes exact labels are sort of interactive, with overlapping effects per each individual's circumstances.

Regardless, you're welcome here to a place where you are free to wonder, question, share, and ponder a way forward past the old roadblocks.

Title: Re: Hello
Post by: Bach on September 18, 2019, 03:45:49 PM
Ambassador, one of the most difficult things I had to learn and accept about my life is that I was abused even though I was never hit or molested that I know of, and that my experience was not merely "bad enough" but genuinely horrific. It was tremendously upsetting and disorientating to have to deal with the idea that I'd had far worse than "kind of a hard childhood" with "not the greatest parents", as I had referred to it all my life. Somehow it was much less frightening to blame it all on being fundamentally and irreparably defective per my family's narrative, rather than accepting that none of what was wrong with me was inherently my fault and it had been foisted on me by covert abuse and neglect, the ultimate betrayal. However, once I got used to the idea that I had not been born with inherent mental and physical illness, I discovered hope for healing and have been on that quest ever since.

I don't have a formal diagnosis either, but when I found out about CPTSD earlier this year, I realised that it was the only explanation for my struggles that added up.  I've been trying to understand for years how I could understand so much about why I felt certain things and had certain reactions and be so unable to find the approach that would enable me to change those things, and for me, CPTSD explains it all. 

It's truly painful and upsetting to accept that yes, what happened to you really WAS bad enough, that's it's not you, you're not malingering or making things up, you're not bad or wrong or stupid or crazy or culpable, that you really were abused by people who were supposed to love and nurture you and it was not your fault.  One of the most helpful things that I have found here in this community is that people understand that, and perhaps most importantly, BELIEVE me when I talk about what happened to me, not try to minimise it or justify it or turn it against me.  I hope that you will be able to find that, too.  Welcome, and best of luck with your struggle for health and healing. 
Title: Re: Hello
Post by: Kizzie on September 18, 2019, 06:02:51 PM
Title: Re: Hello
Post by: Ambassador on September 20, 2019, 12:42:09 AM
Thank you for all your replies and warm welcomes. Each one has been helpful, and I'm hopeful this community will be a good place to come to.