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Development of CPTSD in Childhood => Causes => Emotional Abuse => Topic started by: JusticeBeaver on December 17, 2016, 05:25:35 PM

Title: Specific reasons for symptoms
Post by: JusticeBeaver on December 17, 2016, 05:25:35 PM
 My discovery of my mother's NPD combined with my tendency towards being introspective has led me to figure out the reasons behind some of my most frustrating symptoms of CPTSD. I am in DBT therapy, which means that I have to interact with people with BPD on a weekly basis. They trigger me into emotional flashbacks at times. It is both a blessing and a curse, because it is distressing, but I am learning to navigate interactions with PD people without panicking.

Inability to ask for my needs to be met -

Whether it is at the Dr's office, in a work situation or even with my fiance, I can't clearly ask for things that I need without my eyes welling up. This leads to a tendency to never ask for what I need. I just accept whatever is offered to me, and then ruminate on things when they are unfair or stressful. I found that this is due to my being a Fawn/Freeze trauma type. My NM trained me to be her everything - her coach, emotional sounding board, court jester, maid, parent - you name it. If at any time I expressed that this was unfair, or tried to get what I needed out of our relationship I was punished, so eventually I stopped asking and just took whatever scraps she offered. Now I think that asking for things as an adult would be met with the same punishment, so even the idea of asserting myself is distressing to me.

Lack of self-care -

 I feel like I don't deserve to be healthy, like the thought that I'm worth putting on makeup or fixing my hair is laughable. I think people are going to see me dressed up and think "who does she think she's kidding." This is because I was repeatedly told I was not good enough, worthless, a burden, and subtly put down for my looks (I look like my father). I can count the amount of times I went to the dentist from birth to age 18 on one hand. I only went to Dr when I was a kid if there was no way out of it - broken bone, severe stomach virus - or as punishment "You are FAKING and when the Dr tells me so, you are really going to be in for it." One of those times, I ended up having strep throat. I was told to often and for so long that I didn't deserve to take care of myself, how am I supposed to have self-esteem now? I shower regularly and brush my teeth, but I don't want to. I feel like "who cares" about it. I never go to the Dr or Dentist.

I need to "right" the "wrongs" -

I have flashbacks when I am met with a situation that is "Unfair" to myself, or others. Watching a tv show or movie where a person is blamed for something they didn't do. In real life when I am blamed for something I didn't do. In a work or school scenario, where one person is habitually late or doesn't contribute and it goes unnoticed. When a PD person gets away with something by lying to avoid blame. When my NM, who I haven't spoken to in almost a year, is lying about me to people on social media. I  desperately want everyone to know the TRUTH, I want someone who can exact justice to do so. I flashback for various reasons, but in instances of "unfairness" the flashbacks are angry and my brain tells me that violence is the direction I should go. When I was younger, I would break my phone, or throw something - I have never hit anyone, but during those times I want to.

Isolation from others -

My mother's behavior has made me believe that everyone is a threat. They might seem nice and genuine, but she lied about almost everything to me. Surely other people could be lying about who they really are as well. By keeping myself from people I am saving myself from future pain. I feel guilty because people do want to see me and spend time with me, but it is safer to pretend I don't want to hang out with them. I would rather people think I am a jerk than to know that I am basically broken.

I'm sure there are more, but these are what I can think of right now.
Title: Re: Specific reasons for symptoms
Post by: sanmagic7 on December 17, 2016, 10:25:16 PM
well done.  to be aware is the first step - without that awareness, we just stumble in the dark. 
Title: Re: Specific reasons for symptoms
Post by: joyful on January 11, 2017, 05:42:23 PM
I just wanted to say thank you for this post. It was good for me to hear all those things put into words cuz I deal with that stuff too and struggle to remember that it's not just ME, they're coping mechanisms I used to get through life growing up and still use...
Anyway, thanks JusticeBeaver :)
Title: Re: Specific reasons for symptoms
Post by: Dee on January 12, 2017, 01:02:16 AM

Awareness is so hard and so important.  I agree with sanmajic7 WELL DONE!

Title: Re: Specific reasons for symptoms
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 12, 2017, 01:45:17 PM
ya know, justicebeaver, that sense of wanting fairness, justice, for all the lies about me really struck a chord with me.  i can't tell you how many times over the past year i've wanted to write to people, let them know the truth, or write to the people who have hurt me, let my anger out in no uncertain terms.  i had gotten to the point of being obsessively thinking about this, having imaginary conversations in my head with everyone, as if that would somehow soothe me or eventually play itself out.

it never did.  it made me feel worse because i was continually revisiting (as van der kolk puts it) the scene of the crimes, so to speak, that had no resolution for me or the situation.  it was like submitting myself to unnecessary punishment over and over.  i had to constantly catch myself and yell at myself to stop.  it was horrible.

i don't know what might help or work for anyone else, but it was only after i wrote my story here that i was able to put my past to rest, and with that past was the 'fixer' that was inside me.  she was the one who always believed that if she'd only say the right thing, do the right thing, she could make the other person understand, become aware, or somehow get closure on what had been going on.  of course, it never had worked for me in the past - i just only recently realized it wasn't going to work for me now, either.  the fixer had to be laid to rest. 

i feel better for having put her down (yeah, just like a very sick animal), a relief.  but i can so relate to that feeling you described.  i hope you find some resolution of your own for these symptoms.  they're awful.  best to you.  big hug.