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Symptoms => General Discussion => Topic started by: alovelycreature on November 10, 2014, 02:40:01 PM

Title: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: alovelycreature on November 10, 2014, 02:40:01 PM
I met up with a friend from high school the other day, and we were talking about how we didn't understand that we were being abused as children. Both of us come from comfortable middle class families. We talked about how when we were in high school, even though we felt our parents were saying or doing things that were abusive, we could not see ourselves as victims because our basic needs were being met (food, clothing, shelter, etc.). I remember often thinking to myself when i was a teenager that what I was going through wasn't abuse because there was someone worse off than I was.

I was curious if anyone ever faced these same feelings at any point? Or if you just always knew that you were being maltreated or that your feelings were justified.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Rain on November 10, 2014, 03:07:58 PM
How I relate, Lovely!

The Cori Emotionally Absent Mother book cleared up the mystery fully for me, and Pete Walker's book CPTSD: Surviving to Thriving book clears it up also that this abuse happened in our earliest years even before most of us remember.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: alovelycreature on November 10, 2014, 03:44:26 PM
The Emotionally Absent Mother book sounds really interesting. Someone told me about the Pete Walker book on another forum on this site I think. Thanks for sharing.

My Mom was always about her "image" too. She would always saying, "It's better to look good than to feel good!" which I know is from a movie, and I think the movie has it, "It's better to feel good than look good."

I look back now and know that my experience, feelings, and emotions are all my truth and don't need to be justified by anyone. When speaking with my friend, it was something I hadn't thought about in years. When I was in college I had a professor say to me, "Anyone's most terrible pain is their most terrible pain. Whether it's as extreme as abuse or breaking a leg, that person only knows their worst pain." That has always stuck with me and has been a mantra.

I think lately for me it's not flashback that have been coming into my conscious, but just my childhood thoughts and views of what was going on at the time. I think over the years I spent years in therapy doing exposure, that I didn't ever have the space to consider my actual thoughts of feelings back then of what was going on at the time. It's at points enlightening, and at points saddening.

I'm glad I have the opportunity to talk to other people who understand :). Thanks for sharing.

How I relate, Lovely!


The Cori Emotionally Absent Mother book cleared up the mystery fully for me, and Pete Walker's book CPTSD: Surviving to Thriving book clears it up also that this abuse happened in our earliest years even before most of us remember.

Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: alovelycreature on November 10, 2014, 03:48:05 PM
I think one of the things that I found so terrible was not being believed or others not validating my reality. It sometimes feels that it can be more traumatic to not be believed. I totally agree with not believing in comparisons. Everyone is not only different, but your worst pain is your worst pain. No point in comparing realities. You're not on a soap box, you're at a table with others who are listening :)

Quote
I was curious if anyone ever faced these same feelings at any point? Or if you just always knew that you were being maltreated or that your feelings were justified.

I think everything is relative to what our normal is.  As a child, our parents presented and dictated what our normal would be.  Since I was restricted to them I didn't see 'other' options.  I did see others having a 'better' situation and wished 'better' for myself but that was their life and mine was mine (my normal). I guess you would say I didn't know options.

Within my own 'normal' I experienced just what you are saying and carried it into adulthood.  I saw my mom and my sister abused, felt so bad for them both but had not even considered that I too was living side by side with them in the same situation.  What happened to me was 'nothing' compared to what I know happened to them. 

In my early 20s I was asked to go to my sisters counseling session.  My sister was struggling and we were told that she was molested a lot by our father, that she hated me because it was her and not me and somewhere in the conversation I was asked if it ever happened to me.  I did not want to admit anything, felt so bad for my sister, minimized it to "...one time he tried but it was nothing like what she went through".  That was the first and last time we talked about it until I ended up in counseling (50 years after a event, and having the VF of it).  As I told my counselor, to even talk about what happened to me in my sister's counseling session would have been like going to see my sister in the hospital having just come out of heart surgery and me walking in and displaying my bandaid of a wound when hers was so much worse.   


I believe because of that I completely dismissed my own experience like you did.  I can see that now.  That is why I don't like comparisons about what brought us to CPTSD.  No matter the cause, the injury and effects are just as harmful and should never be minimized.  My heart hurts when I hear people minimize their own experience.

Let me jump off  of the soap box.  sorry....just wanted to say...ohhhhhhhhh how I relate to what you describe.   :yes:
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Rain on November 10, 2014, 04:06:46 PM
Lovely, to add a bit more ...and to NOT take away from what your professor said, but I do not think it is entirely true his phrase.

When pain is so overwhelming, we block it.   We go numb.  We do not "feel it" then.   So, to feel nothing ...be numb ...is to not know ones worst pain.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Rain on November 10, 2014, 05:19:00 PM
I'm glad I have the opportunity to talk to other people who understand :). Thanks for sharing.

What you share certainly helps me, Lovely!!  Thank you.   I'm glad you are here.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: alovelycreature on November 10, 2014, 05:32:23 PM
No, Raine, that is a totally good point. I think at the time it just clicked with me and justified that my feelings were to be mine to had. Feeling numb or dissociative is the worst though. Not feeling connected to your body or self just sometimes feels like a flashback to me. I used to feel that way so much that now when I feel numb it just feels like some horrible flashback. It is retraumatizing!

Lovely, to add a bit more ...and to NOT take away from what your professor said, but I do not think it is entirely true his phrase.

When pain is so overwhelming, we block it.   We go numb.  We do not "feel it" then.   So, to feel nothing ...be numb ...is to not know ones worst pain.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Rain on November 10, 2014, 05:38:57 PM
I understand what you mean now, Lovely.

And, what you write helps me sort it out.   It is re-traumatizing.

So very much to unravel.....
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: alovelycreature on November 10, 2014, 05:46:18 PM
So true. Denying your own experience does continue the abuse. I never thought of that. Thanks for the seeds :)



And, the denial, the dismissing of others in what we went through.

It continues the abuse....
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: schrödinger's cat on November 10, 2014, 09:18:50 PM
Definitely at a table with others who share the same experience. Same here. Or, similar here. In my case, it was my mother's story who always overshadowed my own, but the effect was the same - I decided that I was fine, and that was it. Well, everyone else also decided that I was fine. It felt like a profound, absolute abandonment. Others abandoned me, and then I abandoned myself, too.

I'm kind of glad we have each other. It's such an amazing relief, hearing others talk about their story and it's like my own.

Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: schrödinger's cat on November 11, 2014, 07:28:01 AM
So true. Denying your own experience does continue the abuse. I never thought of that. Thanks for the seeds :)

And, the denial, the dismissing of others in what we went through. It continues the abuse....

Pete Walker keeps mentioning "self-abandonment". That's what this is, isn't it? Ah-hah. I found the word a bit too abstract when I first read it. It's clearer now, thanks to what you both wrote, Rain and Alovelycreature.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Rain on November 15, 2014, 07:12:31 PM
Definitely at a table with others who share the same experience. Same here. Or, similar here. In my case, it was my mother's story who always overshadowed my own, but the effect was the same - I decided that I was fine, and that was it. Well, everyone else also decided that I was fine. It felt like a profound, absolute abandonment. Others abandoned me, and then I abandoned myself, too.

I'm kind of glad we have each other. It's such an amazing relief, hearing others talk about their story and it's like my own.

If there were ever a post that described the purpose of the OOTS forum, this is it, Cat.

Well said, as usual, and English is not your mother language ...amazing.

I love your "Others abandoned me, and then I abandoned myself, too."    There I am in your words, as well.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: schrödinger's cat on November 15, 2014, 07:37:33 PM
Thanks, Rain.  :bighug:
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: lostinspace on November 16, 2014, 03:36:16 AM
Something tells me I have found what was missing all these years! Answers. I could not understand why I let others make decisions for me: like I just went along for the ride! Nothing mattered that much, well I didn't matter very much.  :sadno:
I often cater to others, losing my own identity in the process. But, how could I have not fought to be heard? I was indeed . . . overwhelmed! I believe my siblings still control me, so my trauma continues. . .
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: schrödinger's cat on November 16, 2014, 01:04:40 PM
I could not understand why I let others make decisions for me: like I just went along for the ride! Nothing mattered that much, well I didn't matter very much.  :sadno:
I often cater to others, losing my own identity in the process. But, how could I have not fought to be heard? I was indeed . . . overwhelmed!

Same here. Did you stumble upon Pete Walker's texts on the Fight/Flight/Freeze/Fawn responses yet? It's here: http://www.pete-walker.com/fourFs_TraumaTypologyComplexPTSD.htm (http://www.pete-walker.com/fourFs_TraumaTypologyComplexPTSD.htm). I found this really eye-opening, and very comforting to realize that this isn't who I truly am, it's simply an instinctive response to overwhelming trauma.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: alovelycreature on November 16, 2014, 03:01:46 PM

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14543/4-ways-youre-not-taking-care-of-yourself-emotionally.html (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14543/4-ways-youre-not-taking-care-of-yourself-emotionally.html)

The hardest one for me is NOT making someone else responsible for my feelings-usually happiness.

 :yeahthat:

LOVE. So true. I should print this out and put it on my mirror. Sometimes I put mantras on my bathroom mirror to remind myself to be kind to me. I don't think I realized it until reading the article, but I do have issues with abandonment. I do often not feel good enough, or fixate or the small insignificant social mistakes. When my partner and I used to fight, I would totally go into fight (as opposed to flight, freeze, or fawn). He would always want space to calm down and think, and I would throw a temper tantrum because I was so afraid of him leaving me--even though we would fight about something stupid like the dishes. Now I'm able to give him space when he needs it, but I just feel this big hole in my chest when we get into disagreements, or I think about past fights and feel like I'm ruining our relationship.

I think I'm better understanding what the inner child work is. I'm so glad I found this forum. You all are amazing. I'm learning so much and am so grateful! :bighug:
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: voicelessagony2 on November 24, 2014, 11:52:27 PM
Before last week, I thought PTSD did not apply to me because I've never been in combat, I am not a war veteran. What does that say about the dozens of therapists I have gone to for help? I even filled out a questionnaire a couple weeks ago specifically for PTSD, but the first three questions disqualified me (I thought) because they were about flashbacks, memories, or dreams about trauma. But I didn't know what flashbacks were! I seriously thought they were only about combat! I had never heard of "emotional flashback."

My FOO was verbally/emotionally abusive and neglectful, as far back as I can remember, but since I was never beaten nor suffered ongoing incest like so many unfortunately have, I never thought of that as "trauma."

However, I have had 4 separate, unrelated SA incidents outside of family, and my inability to make friends in childhood was a direct result of neglect. I discounted the SAs as being trauma because I never have flashbacks, memories or dreams about them. I do remember, obviously, but I have always felt completely numb when thinking or talking about them. Still do. I know I have a lot of work to do. :-\


Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: alovelycreature on November 26, 2014, 12:03:13 AM
Hey voiceless. Don't get caught up in the diagnosis. Your experience is real, and just because you don't fit a category for something doesn't mean you didn't experience trauma. Everyone has experienced trauma, and everyone reacts differently. I remember when I got diagnosed with CPTSD I was relieved and also confused. The PTSD diagnosis in the DSM does make it sound like it is for people who have experienced an incident, as opposed to prolong exposure to abuse/neglect. I had the same experience with SA. It didn't effect me the same way as my FOO. From my experience, my perception has changed over time. Sometimes things effect me more or less. Sometimes I have a new experience and it brings up some triggers.

Regardless, we're all on the same journey. I'm sure you'll find some peace of mind here.  :hug:
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Whobuddy on November 26, 2014, 12:58:08 PM
This thread is very helpful to me. I do identify. So many years of denial. Pretending to be normal. Losing myself by putting on a fake "normal" self so those around me would be more comfortable. It has been exhausting.

With the holidays coming up with family get togethers, I am put in the position of having to decide which Whobuddy to be: the fake, pretending to be normal or the real me.  After pretending that things are fine all these years what will they do if they find out that all is not well with me.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Badmemories on November 26, 2014, 02:58:01 PM
@who buddy, Yes this is going to be a weekend of stress for me! I really was so disappointed last year... the first year that My NpdSis and nephew could be here. I was so excited to work on the meal last year.  I don't have trouble with being Myself around and children so I really don't having to put on a mask for them but I don't think Son realizes how sick I am right now!

  I rebuffed NpdSis, the night before Thanksgiving, about how My nephew Never considers How much he takes.  ( poor kid never gets a decent meal) I told her we were having lots of people coming and to ask nephew to please be gentle on the turkey. I felt like I did not have enough although  I had lots of other food for everyone. My NpdSis said that we did not invite her.  :doh: :stars: We told her the time and everything. Both My daughter and Son also texted them on Thanksgiving day.   So she told the church and everyone in MY small town that We did not invite her and that they had to go to the local convenience store and eat.  :pissed: All the flying monkeys came out.  :fallingbricks:  I was in deep fog then and I could not understand why she would tell such a lie! I do understand it now... She was not getting her attention, did not like to be told what to do etc...

I really enjoy My mother most of the time. She is going to come. I have mixed feelings about that.  I have been studying all the abuse issues and I am really bogged down by it. She will probably be the one that will make me feel uneasy. She still has radar about how we feel...and I am not ready to confront her about it so... :blink:This month I have been physically sick. I am starting to wonder IF it is all the things I am thinking through mentally are what is making me sick! Normally I am rarely sick!  :yes:

I do like to cook though. I am starting to cook today! Last year I brined My turkey and It came out so good! Last year I did not get time to make My famous pecan pies...I never heard the end of that! So going to make pecan pies today! ;D
Keep on keeping on!  :wave:

Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Rain on November 26, 2014, 03:31:23 PM
 :bighug: to you, Badmemories!
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Badmemories on November 26, 2014, 04:20:49 PM
Ty Rain... :yourock:
Amazing how having You spend a little bit of time just giving me a hug helps! Actually IT made me cry! I wished I could be more regular right now but I am disassociating a lot these days. Then catching every bug that has come along this month has not helped. I get sick, I get better, and then another bug comes at me.  It does not help that the GD's go to school and bring bugs home!

At first I thought that that is why I am sick but finally it dawned on me that this WORK that I am doing is probably making me sick. So funny too how things are coming back to me. One day one the phone I told My Mom that I had been sick a lot this year. She countered how I was always sickly  :doh:. I said back, "well I am not normally very sick and I don't get sick very often anymore!" PS (my inner child) told me that see how they made YOU sick!

I know that they say that going through this is like peeling an onion layer by layer...for me  ???. I live on the plains. In the area I live in the soil is BLACK lake bottom soil that was left after the Lake  subsided after the ice ages. I feel like I am walking on this black soil That is a mine field. I am standing in this field... I do not know where the bombs are in the minefield. I am standing there taking a step, and then another one then I hit a mine and it blows me away.  :fallingbricks:..I freeze...I try and gather Myself together and then I try taking another step... and then everything blows up again!  :blowup: I know that I have to get to the other side to get well...  :yes: so I continue to walk the minefield to get well.   :cheer: :cheer:The pain I am gong through is excruciating...so I freeze,walk,blow up, and get up again!

Keep on keepin on!  ;)

Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: alovelycreature on November 26, 2014, 04:45:18 PM
So sorry badmemories! I've been the scapegoat for holidays many times before. It really does make you feel like $h!t. I think what has helped me is being the "voice of reason." Already my M has tried to pick fights regarding politics when we have a rule that we cannot discuss politics during holidays. I have made comments such as, "I'm not in the mood to talk about that right now, how's your job?"

When I've "ruined" holidays, I just own it because then the drama stops. "I remember inviting you to Thanksgiving, and are aware that my children invited you. I'm really sorry that you decided to not come over, it would have been nice to see you." I've said things similar to that. I find that using "I" statements and only calling out their actions and not pretending to know their thought process to be most helpful. Maybe only because their actions are evidence... haha.

My M will try to shame me for not using the right fork, my dog under the table (which she feeds scraps then complains about the dog following her), or the conversation I am having with someone other than her. Just controlling behavior. I will usually just say, "Sorry if I upset you," and leave it at that. Then I don't get caught in the BS web. Sometimes it sucks to give them the attention, control, whatever, but you can only control yourself and never them. So I just find little tricks that end the drama.

I hope your Turkey day is more peaceful and fun this year. When your sister upsets you that's letter her have control. Deep breaths! (of turkey, potatoes, ham, whatever you're enjoying :)).
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: schrödinger's cat on November 26, 2014, 05:09:19 PM
Sorry to hear that, Badmemories.  :hug:  I hope your mother will behave herself, and that you'll have a nice holiday. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Badmemories on November 28, 2014, 11:05:31 AM
well, I guess it went well!  :sunny:

I have to say I was really stressed out though.. and I never did get the pecan pies done!  ;D
uNPDM was trying to run the conversations on what we should talk about and interrupted me when I was talking to Son's GF. I probably was a little bit harsh and I told her that I was not talking to her and she backed of and again I said I was not talking to her and She finally quit telling me what I could talk about. So I stood up for Myself.

  :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party:

I was worried about How clean the house was  unpdmom was probably ocd also so of course that made me nervous.. dinner was on the table late.. but GD #2 Dad asked if her could help and he washed dishes for me. Mom peeled the potatoes  ;D Daughter had to work both of her jobs so she only got time to stay for a little bit.

gd's were playing and that made Mom nervous... :stars:

I sent a box over to Unpdsis and totally enmeshed Nephew...She has given Me the silent treatment since June... She might just throw it in the garbage...but I did do the right thing! That's all that mattered!  ;D ???

PTSD Son seemed to be in good spirits...( he was a soldier in Iraq) He helped me fix my computer that had some amount of malware in it..He is totally against me evicting uNPDSis and Nephew.. ( You should not do that to family.) LOL but them he has a roomy that has only paid $380.00 since August.. should be paying $425.00 per month and So I gave him the extra blank eviction papers I had.. :stars: :stars:

I was honest to Son's GF about  Reliving the Sexual abuse that happened from Step Dad...She is going to school to be a social worker... So I used that as an excuse for My rattled nervous behavior! Didn't really want to get into more detail about abuse from uNPD MOM... (blame the dead one right?) :cheer: :cheer: I did tell her about the flashbacks and the triggers..(not the dissociation.) Did not want her to think I was that crazy!  :phoot:

Husband came over in AM yelling to me about how I had not answered the phone all evening last night.. Yes I told him I toke a nap from 6:00PM -10:00PM and cooked all night long.  I did call him when I woke up.. and he did not answer.. :doh: :doh: so I stood up for Myself again.. :cheer: :cheer:

So, today I am thankful that I have all of My internet friends who understand and that I can be real honest with. I am thankful to have Yall who understand.  I am thankful that I must be growing in this minefield of mine that makes me feel crazy right now...I guess the family is a good litmus test. Hope You all had a good holiday also!

Keep n keeping on!

Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Annegirl on November 28, 2014, 11:33:49 AM
I am thankful for you too Badmemories, you and others here feel like real friends, and really support through rough times. And help me see different perspectives.
 :hug:
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: schrödinger's cat on November 28, 2014, 01:17:10 PM
Glad to hear it went more or less okay, and that you were able to stand up for yourself.

:hug:  :hug:  :cake:  :cake:  :cake:   :phoot:  :cake:  :cake:  :cake:   :hug:  :hug:



I found it funny when you said how your son tried to talk you out of evicing your sister, and you ended up handing him an eviction note form he could use for his roommate.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: alovelycreature on November 29, 2014, 03:33:34 PM
Glad your holiday went better than expected! Glad you found the strength to stick up for yourself :)  :waveline:
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Badmemories on November 29, 2014, 07:42:13 PM
TY all! Yeah I laughed to my son about the eviction thing to!  ;D!

Yeah You know for anyone trying to stick up for themselves, I think putting one foot in front of the other helped! I started confronting her on the phone helped. I am of the mind right now that anything that I recognize as a slam, I am going to say something.

 I always go through the guilt of weather or NOT it is being defensive. The other thing I also wonder about is the word blame! I have a hard time figuring out weather or not I am blaming someone or weather or I am giving who is responsible thier crap back! I don't want to be defensive nor do I want to blame someone else for My problems. Generally though something in me is always taking the blame for things I am NOT responsible for!

What do My fellow posters and friends think?

Keep on keeping on!  ;)
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Indigochild on May 04, 2015, 10:46:25 PM
Voicelessagony2-
"

However, I have had 4 separate, unrelated SA incidents outside of family, and my inability to make friends in childhood was a direct result of neglect. I discounted the SAs as being trauma because I never have flashbacks, memories or dreams about them.-
This part-
 I do remember, obviously, but I have always felt completely numb when thinking or talking about them. Still do. I know I have a lot of work to do. :-\

It is very normal for feel numb. Perhaps you have had to be numb whilst growing up in order to survive.
When you start investigating your past, you will probably feel numb (i did in my experience anyway...still do to a degree). Its also your bodies way of protecting you from pain.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: voicelessagony2 on May 08, 2015, 08:49:01 PM
Thank you Indigo. It's nice to know this is "normal" even though it worries me... it's nice to know you understand. I hate that you had to experience this, but I'm glad we can be here to listen to each other.
Title: Re: Well, I can't have experienced trauma because...
Post by: Indigochild on May 08, 2015, 11:13:03 PM
Hey, no problem.  :hug:  It is good to share and to know others feel the same..even though i wish know one had to go through the kind of stuff mentioned on this forum.
Im not sure how to get past this ...still struggling with this. 
Part of me wants to grieve and the other is so afraid so its like...a mixed blessing.
I feel very drunk when this happens...dont know if you can relate to that? Its like a switch has been pressed and my head has suddenly been intoxicated with alcohol as it would have been had i been drinking a lot.  Its kind of a floating feeling but I'm not off to the side of myself or behind myself and i can feel it happening at the time.