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CPTSD and Others => Our Relationships with Others => Friends => Topic started by: SurfingUSA on April 13, 2015, 09:57:48 PM

Title: Sharing True Feelings With Friends
Post by: SurfingUSA on April 13, 2015, 09:57:48 PM

This semester I went away to college, and I began seeing a therapist for my CPTSD. I joined Campus Crusade and have made one close friend along with many acquaintances, but I find myself pretending to feel happy and upbeat around others - which is exhausting for me and probably a burden to others. I'd like to let others know how I truly feel, but I don't want to burden them with my pain. So I guess I could tell a few people (mainly my one closer friend and possibly my Bible  study group) that I'm dealing with depression and anxiety and could use some prayer. I honestly feel deeply depressed as I've started realizing how much abuse and manipulation I experienced in my FOO. But I know I'm in the grieving process, so I know this pain is temporary and will lead to my recovery. If I were to share my pain in a milder way, that would relieve me of some of the pressure to appear happy, which is what was expected of me in my FOO. I don't want to put any pressure on others, but I would like to have some compassion and understanding. Does anyone have some more insight or suggestions for my situation?
Title: Re: Sharing True Feelings With Friends
Post by: Sandals on April 14, 2015, 12:49:39 AM
Sharing here is a great idea, it gives you a safe outlet. BH's advice is sound, if you're worried about feeling unheard.

On the other hand, you could also be bold and just choose to share it more widely, with the acknowledgement that there's a risk you will lose some people but may find unexpected allies.
Title: Re: Sharing True Feelings With Friends
Post by: hypervigilante on April 16, 2015, 12:29:46 AM
Surfer, Firstly, I am here for you!  I feel as though I can relate to what you may be experiencing as a recent college graduate.  I was not as self-aware or perceptive of you my incoming year, it was my senior year (Fall 2013) that I finally returned to therapy and was diagnosed with C-PTSD.

It's a serious challenge, developing new friendships and being so aware of your process.  I commend you!  Firstly, you've taken a step into college which is no doubt one step further away from things that may have brought C-PTSD into your life.  And it's terribly tragic to invite an opportunity for rejection-- I can see why you're concerned.

But hey- from what Be mentioned about the burden mentions, s/he's got a point that you probably natively put others first.  While we chameleons very well do this to a fault, let me be a huge promotor of the fact that you've probably always been the greatest friend in the world to have.  The same events that led to your diagnosis has probably allowed you to develop traits like resilience, empathy, and independence.

I think it's hard to separate ourselves from our diagnoses, but really I believe it can be simpler than we allow our lives to be.  Friends that are worth your heart and your level of care had ought to be people who can really love you for all of you.  Even when- no, ESPECIALLY when you're figuring out who that person is.

--You have a beautiful open slate that you personally sought out! You're in college, congratulations! You are making your own safe haven and finding your own resources- the independence that you probably acquired through the same troubles that brought you C-PTSD tells me that you're really going to make your college experience shine.

I think there is a risk of over-share.  And not just for our company's sake.  You might learn that people have had other traumas that are relatable and some may not.  You might feel lonely if you learn that families don't communicate feelings to one another the way yours might have. So, I encourage you to brace yourself for that.  But of course we know that we didn't get anywhere we are today by blatantly avoiding possibilities of pain.

Also- Some people might suck, Surfer!  Some people really look out for only themselves.  And just somehow we have a nasty habit of sticking ourselves to self-servers like glue!  Prepare yourself for that in a balanced way- as balanced as you can.

What I'm saying is: trust your gut. It brought you to this website, and it brought you to a higher level of education!  It's taken you places, and I think your inside speaker - the calm, knowing, and patient speaker - deserves a really good listen.  Ask yourself if you can handle the negative reaction.  Maybe don't share much unless you are positive you can bounce back from that.  But there are ways to leave snippets to test empathy levels in friends before you make a big dive.

You'll ultimately surround yourself with people who accept you for you the more your beautiful insides demand acceptance from yourself.   I love that you're open and willing to share vulnerable sides of yourself with your friends.  Just be sure they're worth it. Because you're worth so much more than you know!


LAST THING, I PROMISE! Don't forget that you are not a sum of your experiences, but an active participant! Your experiences are strongly linked to identity, no doubt, but don't be afraid to live by a new set of rules and make a new story.  Someone who is shaped but not limited by the way they'd been previously treated.

Also - as you get healthy and practice healthy each day.... you might see some stubbornness on the home front! Some jealousy even if your new friends can love you in a way people at home may not know how to communicate just yet.  Please keep in touch with me if you experience any of this! It is nearly impossible to face alone, I'm still learning about it all the time.