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Development of CPTSD in Adulthood => Causes => General Discussion => Topic started by: jamesG.1 on March 07, 2020, 01:30:04 AM

Title: recovery updates
Post by: jamesG.1 on March 07, 2020, 01:30:04 AM
Hi all,

quick update and a bit of a braindump.

Recovering very well now, perhaps enough to cover some of the reasons why things have so dramatically picked up in the last few months.

Firstly, the death of my alcoholic ex, whilst traumatic for a month or two has brought considerable closure. Whilst not abusive in the way so many of you are sadly familiar with, she was definitely a bomb waiting to go off and the final sad chapter had the effect of ending the unpredictability which had been hanging in the air. Since then I've had to work hard to nail down the realities of who, what and why, and really cannot make excuses for her anymore. I'd tried hard, too hard to fix things and she had no intention of doing that. It can feel very harsh for someone like me to harden up that much, but the reality is that you cannot carry such imponderables forever. Some people seek their own destruction, often to the extent of taking you down with them. I let it go.

Secondly, the narcissism of my brother and inexplicable support he had from my mother made no sense, but then it is not a unique story. Most of us here, came here because of narcissism. We know it exists and yet we take such time admitting to ourselves that these aberrations are tearing us apart. In aliens 2, the little girls says, "they told me there are no monsters, but I know there are.' Thats how I see it now. It's a loss of innocence, but it's realism. These monsters walk amongst us, perverting our trust, love, duty and compassion. They parasitise what we love about ourselves until we cannot see ourselves as whole beings anymore. We want to live in paradise, but we don't, we live in a wild landscape where there are mostly good animals, but hidden amongst the giraffes and zebra there are hyenas.

Of huge help to me has been reading about the stoics. Stoicism is a great tool for reconciling the inexplicable. What is the worst that can happen? Imagine it. Could you cope? Yes, of course you could. If you expect the worst then you are prepared for it, don't expect paradise, expect reality.

Another huge thing has been to force myself back to work, push into a relationship when I felt like running and to make and maintain new friends made as I am now. Older friends have been very destructive, in most cases. Finding new people who are enthusiastic for how you are now is significant. You are fine, you are likeable, you are kind and deep. The only reason you doubt it will be because narcissism has shaped your perception. I'm not saying getting back to work, new relationships and loves are easy, they are not. I have had a very hard time lifting my head out of the bunker... yum, cozy nice bunker... safe... but it was going to be the death of me if I kept my head down. Getting back out there replaces the doubts and fear with direct experience that contradicts the bad messages of the past. It works, but it hurts.

And read the Science. Read it as much as you can, as often as you can. 90% of what you are going through is a natural response to utterly unreasonable stimuli. Stress of that magnitude does physical damage to the brain, it's like any other injury. Don't beat yourself for being foggy-headed, having the memory storage of a pocket calculator and the attention span of a toddler, these are symptoms of a stress damaged brain. NOT YOUR FAULT.

And making sense of things.... well you can't. Not always. Some things that happen to us go against everything we've been taught to expect from this candy floss universe. We were all handed a highway code, put on the road and we believed that everyone would obey these rules because... hey... rules.. right?  Wrong. People need rules because they are actively seeking to escape the controls that keep civilised society civilised. We are not as far from the animals as we wish to be, some of us are below animals in our morality. Which brings us back to narcissism.

It's not the same for us to be looking after ourselves and putting ourselves first, as it is for the narcissist. Nothing we could ever do would approach the self-centric ugliness of the abusive manipulative narcicist. They take what they can to mask their weakness and fear. They throw those who love them in front of the bayonets without a second thought, and they gaslight, twist and bully to balance a world they think they deserve with the minimum of emotional effort. But we need to put ourselves first too. We need to eat what we need, make money, love, sleep enough, look after our health... live.

That's not wrong... it's human.
Title: Re: recovery updates
Post by: Bella on March 07, 2020, 08:57:41 AM
It was lovely reading your post! Thank you for sharing! You are turning everything that happend to you into strengths. I admire you for that.

In my world, even though I know intellectually that it can be done, doing all of this seems impossible. Getting back to work, stepping out of my "bunker", searching out new possible friendships... the mere thought is to overwhelming. But then again, staying like this for the rest of my life is scary too.. I often feel like a bird in a cage, but with the door open! I know which steps I need to take to make things better... it's just all to scary. I'm stuck!

One day though, I've chosen to believe things will be better. I will see more good days than bad days. I have hope now... something I didn't have for a long time.

Your post contribute to that sense of hope, so again thank you!
Title: Re: recovery updates
Post by: jamesG.1 on March 07, 2020, 09:16:20 AM
Bella, you just need to trust yourself enough to weather the testing of life outside the cage. It can't materially hurt you as much as you feel it will.

Stoics say that we can't control others or the world beyond us, but we can work to control the emotion we apply to it. How we react is our battlefield, and it is a battle we win in the end, but only if we fight how we've been conditioned. In reality, nothing about the cage we have been in is real.. nothing. That's the battle, seeing how non-existant our boundaries really are.

Really recommend the stoics, smart cookies.