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Welcome to OOTS - New Members Please Start Here => New Members => Introductory Post => Topic started by: Dutch Uncle on May 14, 2015, 12:02:17 PM

Title: Introducing myself (quite long)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 14, 2015, 12:02:17 PM
Hi all,

only yesterday I signed up at Out of the FOG.
Today I thought it could be a good this to join Out of the Storm too.

I'm not sure if I'm CPTSD or not. It's a line of inquiry for me, that I might pursue in a therapeutic setting with psychologists.

I'll copy the introduction I wrote yesterday on OOTF. I hope this is not a breach of a policy of 'spamming the boards'. It does relate though to joining OOTS, which I will elaborate on below

--- from OOTF ---
 "I'm a man from Europe of around 50.
I'm a recovering alcoholic, and currently in the process of looking for a good therapy to deal with underlying problems that (most probably) triggered my alcoholism. The booze is under control, and since a couple of months I have been visiting a psychology-centre in order to determine 'what's wrong'.

That's been quite a quest, and about a months ago I took the SCID-II test to see if I had a personality Disorder. The good news is: I have not. I did score a few 'points' on various traits of various disorders, but well below the threshold. And when I scored, they were solely in the domain of my family. Thus the psychologists determined that a PD is out of the question.
Soon I'll have another meeting with them on what path I would like to follow, what kind of follow-up, if any, is wanted.

For years now I've been looking around on the internet, primarily for self-diagnosis, but as well for family-diagnosis. I still am, and I found this site/forum only yesterday. I do think this forum could be a worthwhile addition to speaking with psychologists/therapists and my support group: my friends, many of whom I know for decades and who have been hearing my stories for that time.

My mother is a therapist, of the New-Age variety. Can't say I'm very happy with her. She's been telling me for I-don't-know-how-long that I should go into therapy, and how something always is wrong. I've long held the idea that she's the one who actually makes me 'sick', and it was only through the talks I had with the psychologists recently that I actually voiced this suspicion. Which led to me getting the SCID-II test+interview.

I come from a dysfunctional family, that much is sure to me. I once looked up the page on Wikipedia, and I could immediately tick-off half the traits mentioned. The day after, I could tick of another 25%, with just a little effort. After that I quit. I knew enough. Took quite a while still before I sought professional help though.

As it is now, I'm convinced my mother has a personality disorder, probably Hystrionic PD. Didn't know it even existed, only to find out when I read the report on me from he SCID-II, and looked up the 9 disorders that this test is about. Previously I suspected NPD. Or perhaps even Munchausen by Proxy.
My dad has possibly Asperger. At first I feared I was the one with an autistic trait. I did some online tests, that turned out negative. Then I found one that was apparently also good to test 'others', and did it 'for' my dad. I'm aware it's notoriously difficult (if not outright impossible) to diagnose others with a PD or such (Asperger/autism isn't a PD), a fact underscored by the psychologists I now see, but I think it's save to say that at least from my perspective my dad shows a trainload of characteristics from the autism spectrum.

One of my siblings shows traits of HPD as well, I think. I'm a no-good in her eyes as well, and she has said for decades now that I "don't EVER take into account ANYBODY". A few years ago I was so baffled to hear this again, for the 15th time or so in as much years (we meet twice a year, apart from family gatherings), that it send me into a downwards spiral. How could this be true? It couldn't be. Unless I was autistic, I thought. Hence my quest in that topic.

I think that pretty much sums it up. In a nutshell.
A tiny nutshell. For a big nut.

Thanks for listening, Hysperger."

--- End of OOTF ----

So I will have another session at the psychology centre in a few days, and the focus of that talk is: Now that we've established you don't have a Personality Disorder, now what?
In a sense I'm afraid to bring up I could be suffering from CPTSD. "Here I go again", I hear myself (and them) saying: "I really crave being 'sick' or 'wrong'. Why can't I simply walk out of here, happy in the knowledge there's nothing wrong with me?"

Well, first of all I feel I still have a few issues to fix. I've become an alcoholic, and even though I'm recovering, the thought I even went that far is still a scary memory. I never want to be there again. So I now have a symptom under control, but what about the causes? I'm afraid I will do some other stupid thing if I don't get a better handle on what has led me into alcoholism.
And given that substance abuse can be a sign of C-PTSD, I'm worried.
Or glad, I'm not really sure.

The basic feeling I have now, after having had addiction-counseling and the SCID-II test is: I'm still in the phase where a diagnosis needs to be established for my dysfunctional behavior. Because after I had the booze under control I was moved forward to the psychologists (with a primary diagnosis of an anxiety disorder/problem. OK with me, I was anxious and they need something in order for the insurance to cover treatment), but now it's been firmly established I do not have an Anxiety disorder, nor a PD.

Now what? The psychologists still have my best interest at heart, hence the talk I'll have soon: they too want an appropriate follow-up, now that they know I'm not at the right place (they are anxiety disorder professionals).
I strongly feel I need something, if only a healthcare professional that I can talk to now and then. I'm in a process, and that process will likely continue for a while, while I make alterations to my past behavior.
An interesting remark was made by my primary psychologist (a whole team has been wrestling with me  ;D ) after the SCID-II that there are more patients "who have (had) parents that are therapists". I do think that's a worthwhile avenue to pursue. There might even be an established therapy/treatment for 'us'.

And like I've said: I have spotted traits associated with PTSD in my behavior and (twisted) feelings, so I seriously contemplate to at least put my suspicions on that on the table. I was 'right' about not having a PD (despite the insistence of my 'therapist' mother) after all.


Thanks for reading,
Title: Re: Introducing myself (quite long)
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on May 14, 2015, 03:15:41 PM
For me I did and still do my alcohol recovery through 12 step programme AA - and now have gone on to treat my food problem through another 12 step programme- v grateful and have grown ALot ..
I don't know if my foo made me an addict or if I was already genetically made that way - I don't analyse it to much but I know I need a supportive community to keep growing -
I have experience enough now without fixing on said things to know in myself the problem centres in my mind and when feelings arise or life gets tough the re activating of it can come in different ways -
 Addictively using Internet , spending and other things outside myself to fix on-
Hence a programme of recovery helps me not do this and keep my life manageable and get good support -

Re the cptsd I don't have diagnosis but I rock most of the boxes I am now seeing a child trauma therapist and she is v good and I see I have made good progress in a sort time - she says labels can be both things positive and negative and so she relates to it as child trauma and the symptoms I experience now and how to grow - it's wonderful

I also ' diagnosed' my mother with bpd and dad aspergers ages ago - whether they are or not I don't know but it has helped me read and understand -

Seeing our progress is important I feel and enjoying life alongside - it can all get heavy and sometimes I need a break from it - I mean a lot a people out there are damaged goods and just live life - I'm v grateful I have deeper awareness though and a real chance at recovery
Title: Re: Introducing myself (quite long)
Post by: Kizzie on May 14, 2015, 04:03:52 PM
Hi Hysperger and welcome to OOTS.   :wave: If you're not quite sure whether or not you have CPTSD I'd suggest you have a good look around the site, in particular the symptoms and see if they resonate with you.

I'd als recommend you visit Pete Walker's site - .  He is a therapist in the US who has CPTSD so he knows it from the inside out and the outside in so to speak. He also has a great book called "CPTSD: From Thriving to Surviving."

I'd also ask that you make sure to read over the "Guidelines" at the top of the page. When you're ready please feel free to post in any of the forums that seem relevant to you. Glad you found your way here and to OOTF  :yes:

Title: Update:
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 20, 2015, 06:01:37 AM
So I went to the psychology centre.
They are 'done' with me. They can't find anything wrong, so there's nothing to treat.
In a way that's OK. I came there for an anxiety disorder (premature diagnosis at the addiction treatment centre), I haven't got one. Then I did the SCID-II there (see story above) and I don't have a PD either. So they can't do anything, I'm not 'sick', NHS wise.

I'm cool with that.

I had a good talk. I told the psychologist I felt I still needed some sort of 'rehabilitation'. The confirmation of my long held suspicion that my (uHPD)mom/therapist has implanted the idea I needed treatment whenever I had a (minor or major) setback in life IS a major breakthrough, and it has lessened a very deep seeded anxiety.
But like a physical injury: now that's it been established I don't limp because of a pelvis fracture, but because I've lived my whole life walking on just one shoe, I still limp. And just putting on a second shoe will definitely not make me stroll along easily now. I'll feel awkward walking 'straight up', and probably my spine has made a few unwanted modifications. It needs straightening out.

So, my psychologist will send me an official letter to close my 'case' (and to the NHS, and by my request also to my GP), and I'll make an appointment with my GP to talk about what help I can get with the rehabilitation. He should be my best advisor on what therapist I could visit. I'll have to pay for this myself, which is fine. I Can't change that in any case, or I would have to fake something in order to get the NHS pay for it. Well, I'm through 'faking' (albeit unconsciously/implanted), so I'll take the good (no 'hospitalisation') with the bad ($$$).

I asked her opinion on joining group-sessions with co-sufferers. I did some research on 'children of autistic parents' (my Asperger(?) dad), and I have found some groups on that issue "living with an autistic family member/SO" (I've kept that on the back burner: "me first" was my motto for the past half year or so). She thought that was a good idea. Didn't mention this site. I know that's a good idea myself  ;D .
I still would like to have the backing of a Mental Healthcare Professional. I'll probably get EF's in the group sessions and quite possibly any professional present at those meetings will have limited resources in the group-session itself to deal with those. So I hope I can find one that can address my rehabilitation, as it has become pretty clear what I do need to rehabilitate from. She agreed.

So, as soon as I get the letter, I'm off to my GP!

Title: Re: Introducing myself (quite long)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 20, 2015, 11:00:50 AM
I also ' diagnosed' [...] dad aspergers ages ago - whether they are or not I don't know but it has helped me read and understand -

Thanks a lot for your reply. Should have said earlier, but was distracted with my upcoming meeting.

Could you elaborate a bit on 'Dad the Asperger'?
Since OOTF is really focussed on PD's, Aspergers don't feature much in the conversations there.

I'm especially interested in the "it has helped me read and understand".
It seems to me that life with an Asperger is manageable, while life with a PD is a lot harder/complicated. The Aspergers at least do not have a hidden agenda! (At least, that's what I've understood so far.)
Title: Re: Introducing myself (quite long)
Post by: keepfighting on May 20, 2015, 11:41:46 AM
I know nothing about living with a person with Aspergers - no can help, alas.

Have you heard of Simon Baron-Cohen? He has done lots of research in the field of autism and his book "Zero degrees of empathy" is truly eye opening even for us as layman in understanding the possibilities and limits of different conditions in human interactions.

It explains about the different aspects of empathy, cognitive and affective empathy, and what the consequences to a person's behaviour are if you lack the one or the other (or both).

(Oversimplifying here): He states that empathy in humans can be measured and it is a bell curve, with "zero positive" empathy on the one end and "zero negative" empathy on the other end (and most humans are somewhere in between). "Zero positive" conditions are mainly autism and Aspergers - both are conditions where people suffering from it have little to no empathy but they would never willingly hurt a  fly let alone another person. The "Zero negative" conditions are the 'cluster B' conditions: Psychopaths, narcs and BPDs. Their empathy quotient is also (close to) zero, but they do use and abuse people for their own purposes and without remorse.

It's a really good book and also helped me to understand more about the PDs that have hurt me in my life (mainly narcs, I think).

Here's also a 30 minute interview with him about the subject:

I don't know if growing up with a parent who has Aspergers could cause/be at the root of CPTSD. Intent makes a huge difference in how we perceive a person's actions towards us, but helplessness and (emotional) neglect can also be unintentional and still be hurtful if you are on the receiving end of it  ???.
Title: Re: Introducing myself (quite long)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 20, 2015, 12:00:12 PM
Thanks a lot, @keepfighting.

I'll look into and at Simon Baron-Cohen (I'm already a fan of his brother, Sacha ;) ).
edit: that was great video! thanks a lot, again.

I'm not sure how my (perceived) Asperger dad might have contributed to any (C )PTSD, but only yesterday I realized (quite similar to the Bell-curve you just described) that:

- MY emotions (or emotional state) DOES NOT COUNT in my relation/dealings with my uHPDsis and uHPDmom, since theirs take precedence.


- MY emotions (or emotional state) DOES NOT COUNT in my relation/dealings with my dad, since… well, they simply don't get processed.

I can 'see' how these two complete opposites, and off course having HAD to deal with both extremes (growing up), did make it hard to find the 'healthy' middle ground... :stars:

A sort of bizarre "damned if you do, damned if you don't" plot.
Title: Re: Introducing myself (quite long)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 20, 2015, 12:27:48 PM
OMG  :blink:

I just had a look at Sacha Baron Cohen's wiki entry (just to check if I spelled his name right) and it turns out he is actually Simon's cousin  :stars:

Now how creepy is that?

Is there a connection with Sacha's (definitely autistic) characters? Ali G. and Borat? Boy, do they have no clue about the emotional effect they have on others! They truly are oblivious to the input they receive...
Title: Re: Introducing myself (quite long)
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on May 21, 2015, 06:13:10 PM
I would recommend tony Atwood literature

Here is a link to checklist

I did a family constellation workshop with a therapist some yrs ago. The premise is that I got to stand in various family members shoes so to speak and gleen information that is unconsciously stored in the body - I learnt a lot about my family in that session..
It came through that my dad has aspergers and it does fit -
He is/ has been very solitary in his life style - always felt like a big brother not a dad ( an aspergers trait - child like qualities - lack of empathy but in a way like he doesn't own any not in a pd way -
Lack of emotional connection  and expression ( I've never heard him express an emotion -
No taking responsibility for my seemingly bpd mother and so he was as abused as I was -
V repetitive in his language and his interests - no interest in my interests
Misplaced repetitive humour and a extreme passive personality with odd social awkwardness and lack of skills

I know he is a good person inside with a heart but it just doesn't come across that way
Where as with mother it felt more like ( as u said ) manipulation / cold and cruel
I don't know if any of my labels are true per se- but to me they are and have helped me really get perspective on the unwell family - and my fight for health

I have a v loose and boundaried relationship with my dad - I don't have any expectations now and accept he is the way he is - I don't feel much love for him now - but I love him by being loosely the kind of daughter I want to be ie I am there if he needs anything - and I call him sometimes -
I think without his difficulties he would have been a good father and in some ways he has been a good dad - he worked hard and provided for us -
It's an odd place coming from this type of family - my mother was really extreme very bpd and abusive - I'm 42 now and I finally feel I'm really getting somewhere in my recovery - to reclaim parts of me that were fragmented - to learn who I am aside of that family and to finally start liking and loving myself - emotional intelligence is something I've looked for for so long and i am now starting to see what mine looks like -
I feel I have a good life now and I wish that for everyone

Title: Re: Introducing myself (quite long)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 22, 2015, 05:33:46 AM
Dear Boatsetsailrose,

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

This so resonates with me. Spot on.

I was tempted to write: "I could have written that."
But I don't. Because my dad has an 'annoying' trait: If he has a problem, and I offer help, it gets rejected. If I give advise, he rejects it. In a very grumpy way. I don't think 'grumpiness' counts as an emotion, but if it is, THAT's an emotion he hows, regularly.
Then a few weeks/months later he tells me: "Listen to this, now I have come up with a great idea! And I have put it into practice already." And that was the very help I offered or advised.
I then feel so 'robbed of myself', it makes me feel empty inside. I then do applaud my dad. Because his plan IS a great idea, and I'm happy a solution is reached. But it's also because it's the only way I can get some respect/validation/compliment for my problem solving skills, and the love I show towards him.

Is that something you recognize?
Title: Re: Introducing myself (quite long)
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on May 22, 2015, 06:53:04 PM
No I don't identify that per se - but it is an aspergers trait - 'copying behaviour' - not that I'm diagnosing your dad in any way --
But yes the getting no validation that has been very true - always
It's good to be at the point I am at I literally don't have any expectations and none of my emotions get pressed - I am completely autonomous from him - but then I see him very rarely and speak infrequently ..

I don't give my father advise anymore or feel responsible for him - I used to a lot but I don't now -
I guess I care for him like an older brother and am there if anything big happens -

My main focus in life now is my emotional health and I have to put me first to keep well