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Messages - Candid

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Checking Out / Re: See you later
« on: September 29, 2017, 05:36:19 AM »
I agree with everything everyone else has said, Three Roses.  Your presence on the forum has helped me over and over. I've quoted you many times on "what if you saw that happen to someone the age you were at the time?", which was a huge lightbulb for me.  I've pinched your ever-changing signature lines.  Your responses to my posts have never failed in empathy and wisdom, and I consider you one of my closest friends here.

You give and give and give, a gentle touch in everything you write.  Please make your healing a priority, and take just as long as you need.  We'll still be here. 

 :grouphug:, with you right in the middle.

Employment / Re: Need a job but don't want one
« on: September 27, 2017, 06:59:26 AM »
I have no idea how on earth you are managing to work on 4 hours of sleep a night!!

Nor do I.  This is all new to me.  I've had sleep issues since adolescence (chronic) and periodically it becomes acute, but never before for anywhere near as long as this.  It was months building up while I did dangerous things with various sleeping pills, so I can't even pinpoint the last decent night's sleep I had.  What galls me is the people at work thinking I've always been like this: zombified.  It took me days to figure out where I sit in a huge office, so that I got lost every time I left it.  That still happens after no-sleep nights, which are rather less common than the five-hours-max ones. 

This morning I estimate I got about three hours from the two pills I took around midnight -- the ones that feel like I've been drinking whisky all night, so I'm nauseous and headachey.  The previous night was a zero, so yesterday for the second time in a couple of weeks I walked in front of an oncoming vehicle: this one a bus in the town centre.  It hadn't even had time to slow down when I noticed the people in front of me wisely waiting to cross the road, and had my one second as an Olympic athlete.  It made me think, if I hadn't got out of the way in time it would have made the local paper as a suicide.  I really don't want that.

If I remember rightly, that so wasn't your impression going in.

Right as always, Blueberry.  I applied back in April and didn't get an initial interview for months, at which they told me I needed references -- my reason for doing the gig.  I then had to write an application, which took me days, after which I heard nothing (not even acknowledgment of receipt) and naturally assumed I wasn't good enough even for unpaid work.  Finally I had two emails on Friday 1st telling me to show up for work on Monday 4th.  To be fair, both had been sent on Thursday afternoon... and when I immediately replied saying I'd made other arrangements but would start Monday 11th, I got two automated responses with variations of: "I am out of the office until Monday (start date).  If your enquiry is urgent..."  One of the people then texted me at 9.15 on the 4th to say she was waiting at reception and where was I?  So that was truly a :roll: situation, but I got over being mad at them on day one because I saw how rushed they are all the time.

Rooting for you that you get some pay for this after the 8-week internship, if you want to and are capable of staying on, that is.

That would be good at this stage, but it's been made clear to me that the council isn't hiring for that department.  In fact I'm under the impression they get back-to-back interns to clean up the grunt work.  I know I'm fast, accurate, have learned their filing system and show up on time every day no matter what condition I'm in, but I look um... eccentric alongside people who have a good wardrobe and laundry system. 

Anyway, all is well here.  Thanks everyone for your good wishes.

General Outreach & Advocacy / Re: Letter to a therapist
« on: September 26, 2017, 05:48:30 AM »
Today -- coincidentally my mother's 87th birthday -- snail mail copies of this letter are going to
1) the BTSS therapist
2) Doctors' Surgery, which is such a shambles that I never know which GP I'm going to see.  Unfortunately Dr Name1 was a locum and I saw him only once
3) Dr Name6 at Psychiatric Hospital, where I went in despair from sleep deprivation
4) Name10 of the Acquired Brain Injury Charity, simply FYI because he went the extra mile after I told him in week 1 that my symptoms long pre-dated cracking my head open

It has already gone FYI email to
1) Name9 of Mental Health Organisation, who battles mental illness herself -- the only essential qualification for MHO employees.  This was where I did the peer support training, only to realise CPTSD is an injury, not an illness.  IOW, I didn't fit.  Nevertheless, Name9 and I have had nine of twelve free sessions and she's never missed a beat, although more than once I've suggested I'm too much for her.  She has called me more than once between sessions when she was concerned about my state of mind.  At our ninth get-together last Friday she encouraged me to write this letter instead of simply chalking it up to experience again.

2) Name2, the therapist I saw in Australia from early 2015 to my departure mid-2016.  Name2 recorded my stress levels through
a) finding my father's death notice on line;
b) my final legal attempt at redress from the real estate agent who managed to 'lose' the house I owned and the block of flats I expected to be my retirement income;
c) hostile email contact from my younger sister; and
d) the head injury and its grisly aftermath, visiting me twice in the hospital to which I'd been admitted "with schizo-affective disorder".  I had been obliged to nominate a next-of-kin, and hers was the only name I could give them until H could get there from England.

Happy birthday, Mama. 

Nature might have made me rich and famous as an author if you'd let me go to university straight after school -- instead of sending me alone back to England, then having me repay the fare by taking what I earned for the first few months of a dull clerical job.

It might have made me rich and famous as a model, which was offered to me when I was 20.  The offer came with a rider, "Of course, you'd have to lose a bit of weight.  Not that you're fat, but the camera puts it on."  Indeed.  So does having been raped eight months before that offer -- and getting no help whatsoever because your mother immediately told you: "You couldn't have been raped."

Nurture threw a wet blanket over those likely careers, which would not have been incompatible.  But you didn't want me to shine, did you?  You saw that I did, for years, and you hated that -- until you'd managed to extinguish my light with your contempt; and had made absolutely certain Original Candid was quite dead with your unending lies --  about how "difficult" I'd always been -- to absolutely everyone who might have supported me.

But I am not dead.  Thanks to you, I have become Candid the Brave, who will not be silenced any longer. 

Therapy / Re: Still waiting
« on: September 26, 2017, 04:07:35 AM »
Thanks for popping in here, hereforhope, and for your good wishes.

Thank you for the support you gave me. I dont think I deserve it.

You don't need to deserve it, but of course it's up to you what you do with it.

Hope therapy goes well...

For the latest update, see my Letter to a therapist,

Four copies of that letter are going out today; two more have gone out via email.  Activism is where it's at for me now.

Friends / Re: Pushing People Away
« on: September 25, 2017, 06:54:19 AM »
in adult form we do it subconciously, to imitate others, so we wont alienate them. That the others will feel a kind of "kinship" with us. It doesn't really work, either you're insulting or you're being laughed at. But it's not really a concious  thing.

I agree.  For way too long I was so desperate for something approaching a family that I was anyone's.  I think I'm getting better at boundaries.  I sure hope so!

Employment / Re: Need a job but don't want one
« on: September 25, 2017, 06:45:21 AM »
Should have updated sooner, but today I'm starting week 3 of my eight-week internship at the council and I've been kinda pushed for time.  You wouldn't think so, would you, when someone's awake on average 20 hours a day?  But obviously there are times I'm completely incapacitated, eyes open and brain still whirring 800rpm. :roll:

Anyway, I'm enjoying the gig.  They're good people.  I'd happily do it for free. 

Oh wait...  :doh:

I was labouring under the idea that I could finally make them see, if only I had the right phrase, or the right point to make and then, miraculously, we'd all be fine and happiness would prevail. It isn't like that and never will be.

I'm with Kizzie and Blueberry giving another  :thumbup: to this.

Oh, if we'd only known sooner, eh?

moonlightnanana, there are difficult people in difficult situations -- such as you work with them and can't afford to quit -- and there are difficult people in easy situations, where we can and should walk away.

I want to stand up for myself, I wanted to say I'M NOT YOUR PERSONAL TRANSLATOR...

And the fear is -- let me guess -- you'll come across as even more unreasonable than the person walking all over you?  I know.  I have the perfect response as soon as the difficult person has left the room, or I have.  Rehearsing a witty put-down for their last verbal attack has never worked for me; they never say it again, they say something else for which I momentarily have no comeback.

I listen to everyone, say sorry to everyone, move out of everyone's way, like a damn ghost.

I know the pain of that.  Really, don't I matter at all?  To anyone?  Anywhere?

We do, you, and I, and everyone else who feels the same way.  There have been a few times in my life when I've just blurted something out -- and even though the difficult person reacts badly, I've suddenly found bystanders applauding.  That surely is a :yahoo: moment.


Friends / Re: Pushing People Away
« on: September 24, 2017, 02:58:38 PM »
I get it, ToreyP.

  • Having to leave the house.

I can leave the house okay (because H and I are currently 'living' with my MIL, and it's hell) but I refuse point blank to go anywhere unless I know I can get home at any time under my own steam.  IOW, I need to know the way to the exit.

  • It's usually not just them.  They often have their other friends there, too.

Yeah.  Can't do that, nor can I explain why to the people who've invited me.  That being said, I was recently heading to a pub with my bestie when she said: "A gay couple I know will be joining us later.  You're going to love them."  She was right, I did.  So you need the inviters to know you very well, and you need to trust them sufficiently that you know they won't put you with people who are Seriously Crass.  That's a big call -- especially for a non-Australian in Australia.  I lived there for years, and the Ocker idea of humour regularly offended and upset me.

  • the fake me from work is not something that I can sustain for very long and it drains me.

Yes.  My whole life is an acting job, and if I'm tired eg. at the end of a busy work day, I just can't do it.  It doesn't matter if people continue to want to see me after I've broken down in tears; I'm mortified, so I no longer feel okay around them.

I have a fourth: the knowledge that I 'disappear'.  I cringe admitting it, but I adopt mannerisms, accents and even the values of people I spend too much time with.  One time I worked with a woman who pronounced every R as a W, and within hours I had the same speech impediment -- but only when she was present, and I'm sure it must have offended her.  This makes it absolutely intolerable for me to sit in the same room as someone ranting about queers, blacks, or the-holocaust-never-happened.

I'm aware this is a huge boundaries issue, but for now all I can do is be careful of the company I keep.  I no longer feel distressed when I have to confess how few good friends I have.  I tell them I value quality over quantity, because it's true.

I'm too scared to be put on the spot and asked to go out because I know I'll say "yes" even though I don't want to - I'm a people-pleaser.

You and me both, Torey, but I suspect I'm older than you are and I've noticed that my doormat behaviours never pleased anyone.  Quite the reverse, in fact.

Just my thoughts.

Our Relationships with Others / Re: Let's talk about Hypervigilance
« on: September 24, 2017, 02:29:52 PM »
Liminality, you nailed it.   :thumbup:

General Discussion / Re: SAD
« on: September 24, 2017, 02:27:41 PM »

General Discussion / Re: New and Slowly Losing Hope
« on: September 24, 2017, 02:23:19 PM »
Stay with us, Regardz1.  We each have a horror story to tell, and we help each other along.  I'm glad you've joined us.   :hug:

Recovery Journals / Re: let the healing begin
« on: September 24, 2017, 02:06:00 PM »
i doubt that suicide is often the cause of one big event, but rather a series of events that eventually come to a head with the 'last straw'. 

I agree.  It makes me mad when I hear "she owed a lot of money", "his wife left" or whatever.  For me, that's a fighting reason against suicide.  It would be too galling to think of people saying "her library book was overdue" because I'd finally succumbed.

Hair grows back, darling.  If it doesn't, wigs are good these days.  I often wish I'd lose what's left of mine, because colouring it is expensive or a chore, but going about with a head like an expired dandelion is worse.

i was p.o.'d that i was going to have to get back up once again and continue with the struggle (how many times can a person do this?), but it didn't turn out like that at all.  i'm convinced that this beast can be killed with love, and i feel it from all of you.  i know that i'm being love-bombed from all sides, from my regulars, from those who are new here (which is very touching), and from my hub and d. 

It makes me feel warm through and through to be included in the Sanmagical Coven!  We are witches casting love spells, like Samantha Stevens twizzling her nose.  You know what I tell myself whenever I think "Too much. Really, too much. I can't get up again from this"?  I think hey, I'm an old hand.  This isn't what I would have chosen, but it's what I do. What would I be doing with my life if I wasn't showing the world You can't keep a good woman down?

just like you all surrounded me as i was crossing the border and making my escape, you will all surround me again during another harrowing experience. 

One day last week I was in some horrible situation or another -- I've forgotten! -- and I remembered my people here.  Don't take this the wrong way, but y'all make a wonderful adjunct to the imaginary friends I've cultivated all my life.

this is the first time i haven't trusted a therapist, so it's a new and difficult feeling for me.  i want to have an open mind, but a part of me just doesn't know if i'm going to get stomped on yet again.  i've had enough mind smashing to last me a lifetime.

Of course! Me too.  Speaks flattering volumes about our minds, n'est-ce pas? Hope for the best and prepare for the worst is good sense when it comes to meeting a new T.

in the meantime, i'm still reticent to get real involved with the forum right now.  i've got all this other stuff i'm sorting out, and i just don't trust myself to give coherent responses.

Do you honestly think anyone here will forget you?  Ever?  Because I know I won't.  Take the time you need.

(i even feel guilty for not listing everyone's name here ...

Someone needs a hug real bad.  :bighug:

Oh! It was me... :rofl:

General Outreach & Advocacy / Letter to a therapist
« on: September 24, 2017, 12:08:36 PM »
Dear Therapist

I am so very disappointed, frustrated and fearful of what will happen next since being discharged from the Berkshire Traumatic Stress Service because I haven’t got PTSD.  I know I haven’t got PTSD; I have Complex PTSD.  I am now seriously ill due to insomnia that has become acute since my return to England a little over a year ago, and am beginning to experience physical effects.

I regret not making a copy of the trauma tick-box list I brought to you when we met last month.  Please have it sent to me -- or, if it has been destroyed, a new copy which I will complete again.  I expected to be able to elaborate on the traumatic incidents identified, and will do so in writing if -- as it presently seems -- no one is prepared to listen.

The first paragraph of your letter dated 11/9/17 indicates that I was referred to the Berkshire Traumatic Stress Service in March 2017.  I had requested referral seven months earlier (31/8/16) when I attended Doctors' Surgery.  Dr Name1 had not heard of Complex PTSD but showed an interest and said he would research it. 

On 17/1/17 I took a call from a woman at Common Point of Entry asking whether I still wanted a referral.  I had already seen a BTSS pamphlet that made me hesitant, because it mentioned PTSD-simple only.  I did not want to wait eight months, which the caller said would be the case, only to be told: “You haven’t got PTSD.”  The woman assured me the BTSS was familiar with Complex PTSD and knew how to treat it.

Complex PTSD
It is an indictment of the psychiatric-medical establishment that so very few practitioners know what Complex PTSD is.  Perhaps it would be better spoken of as Attachment Trauma, which is widely acknowledged and understood -- but it isn’t.  The chief difficulty seems to lie in what I call the Motherhood Myth: All mothers love their children.  This widespread myth is immensely damaging to those of us whose mothers clearly resented us -- in my case because, as she frequently told me, I “should have been a boy”.  She already had a girl: my elder sister who was declared ‘the sick one’ (munchausens by proxy) and has been ‘ill’ all her life, finally retreating into bipolar more than two decades ago.  My last therapist, Name2 and email, asked me whether I realised my mother “was a very sick woman”.  I remain uncertain of that.

All medical professionals but certainly the psychological community ought to know about Harry Harlow’s cruel experiments in the 1950s with baby rhesus monkeys.  They should also be aware that humans are the only mammals in which the fully formed head cannot pass through the vagina, so that the infant brain is continuing to develop until about three years old.  During that first three years, a mother’s interactions with her baby wire him up for life.  If she delights in her infant, encourages him, mirrors facial expressions, talks in coochy-coo voices -- in short, adores everything about him -- he will grow up knowing he is both valued and lovable. This is the foundation of self-esteem and confidence, the safe harbour that inoculates him against all life’s tribulations.

Conversely, a mother who resents her child will handle him roughly, not talk to him, be irritated by his baby gurglings, and physically leave the room or even the house because she can’t stand his crying. 

Unloved babies have infinitely more to cry about than mere hunger or wet nappies.

If all this is new to you, please see
DIANE LANGBERG Complex Trauma: Understanding and Treatment
“Complex Trauma involves multiple, repetitive, chronic stressors.”


PETE WALKER website and book CPTSD: From Surviving to Thriving

BESSEL VAN DER KOLK The Body Keeps The Score

First memory
I was sitting on a potty in the living room.  Mother had been gone for some time.  I could hear her doing something in the kitchen.  I had long finished and the potty had become uncomfortable.  If I called out, she would be angry.  If I got up and retrieved my own pants, she might be as pleased with me as she always seemed to be with my big sister.  I struggled to stand.  There was a willy guard.  The potty came up with me then fell back, spilling my urine.  I started to cry.  Mother rushed in, shouted YOU BAD GIRL! and slapped my bare buttocks.  I was pre-verbal.

PTSD-simple typically involves traumatic incidents which may or may not be interpersonal. Complex PTSD is a whole life in which one trauma leads to another, and early self-abdication is the only way to survive.  Hide whenever possible and keep quiet; to be seen or heard is to be in trouble.  Do not exist. Do not stand up for yourself.  Do what everyone tells you to do.  Never express a need.  You don’t matter.  Above all, placate Mother -- and go on hoping to win her over one day, for the rest of your life.

Why now?
I asked for help from Dr Name3 of Doctors' Surgery on 23/8/16.  Since then I’ve been ‘assessed’ five times -- by Name4 of CPE on 26/9/16; by the representative of BTSS on 17/1/17; by Name5 of CPE on 24/1/17; by a psychiatrist who called me (on a bad line and with a heavy accent) on 25/1/17; and finally by you last month. 

I’ve had more than 40 addresses in my 61 years and have had intermittent psychological interventions since I was 26.  Until mid-2015 I had always managed to battle on, chiefly on my own, by keeping busy.  When my industry (the print media) collapsed in the Technological Revolution, and at 55 I failed to find other work, I signed up to university.

On 4/6/15 I found my father’s death notice on line around 2am, when there was no one to call.  There was no one to call anyway.  I had not seen my father for more than 15 years, because he and my mother were a package deal. I was never able to tell him about her covert abuse (ie. when no one else was present).  He could see no wrong in her, but from time to time he would call me to talk -- until he developed alzheimers about six years ago.  Knowing I would never hear from him again, I occasionally put his full name into google at the end of a computer session at home.

He had been dead for six weeks when I found out, and no one had told me.  I am now almost universally despised by the extended family as well as by my siblings. My elder sister and our brother had finally abandoned me in January 2013 when the family’s black sheep was once again homeless, unemployed, alone, and drinking too much.  I understand that maintaining contact with me simply got too burdensome for them.

On 17/9/15 I fell off my pushbike going downhill at speed while intoxicated.  I was in and out of hospital for the next five months: the initial admission to assess the damage; reconstructive surgery for a compound zygomatic fracture three weeks later; and finally two spells in the psych ward where I was misdiagnosed with schizo-affective disorder. Recovery from brain injury requires plenty of sleep; Townsville (Australia) psych ward carried out ‘suicide watch’ every half an hour through the night.  CPTSD means I am hypervigilant; no one can enter my room without waking me.  My sleep issue since teen years became acute while enforced medication with an anti-psychotic was disastrous.

I had to abandon university in the third year of my degree, and I no longer had the nerve to ride my bike -- my only transport in tropical Australia where almost everyone drove a car, and buses were unreliable.  My husband brought me to England where I am now confronting a lifetime of apparently irreparable mistakes.

I need help to make sense of my life, to have a coherent narrative. I need to be heard.

What can we do for you?
I’ve been asked this question many times in the past year -- by doctors Name6 and Name7 who prescribed anti-depressants Paroxetine and Sertraline respectively; by psychiatrist Name6 and a doctor from Doctors' Surgery who prescribed Zolpidem and Zopiclone respectively; and by Dr Name8 at Doctors' Surgery who saw me on 24/8/17 when I was highly disinhibited having lain awake for several consecutive nights. I told her I wasn’t there for more pills, but that I believed I couldn’t last much longer and wanted my decline on record.  I didn’t and still don’t want to die without resolution.

What’s needed is acknowledgment and validation, for someone to see and hear me before I die. This I have received from Name9 of Mental Health Organisation, which offers 12 free sessions of support; and from Name10 of the Acquired Brain Injury Charity, with whom I did a 12-week course in living with brain injury.  I have not attempted to go into the emotions of my “multiple, repetitive, chronic stressors” with Name9, because she and I meet in coffee shops and clearly don’t have the time, the venue or the experience to deal with the fallout. Nor can I ask for help from Name10, who has already written a referral letter ‘to whom it may concern’ about the unlikelihood of me being employed in my present condition. I am in any case an impostor at ABIC, because the symptoms of acute insomnia are identical to those of acquired brain injury.  The only difference is that the latter improves over time.

What I have received is dismissal from the BTSS.  Offers of ‘anxiety management’ miss the point, as do the hundreds of offers (most recently from Dr Name8 at Doctors' Surgery) of a printed ‘sleep hygiene’ list.

To say that my family of origin was “not supportive” (your second paragraph) is grossly misleading.  My mother alone, and the contempt I lived with until the last of my family turned their backs, accounts for the traumatic aspect of everything I ticked on the list. 

In your fourth paragraph, Ms Candid “has not noticed a therapeutic effect” from Zolpidem, a sleeping tablet.  What Ms Candid has noticed is that a double dose of Zolpidem -- declared dangerous by the Doctors' Surgery doctor who prescribed Zopiclone as a replacement -- may (or may not) lead to a few hours of sleep before I come staring awake, often before midnight, and then am awake at least until the next night and the next desperate attempt, while scrupulously observing all the rules of ‘sleep hygiene’.

In your fifth paragraph, Ms Candid “believes that others do not want to hear about her difficulties”.  Certainly no blood relative wants to hear it! For decades I have known better than to talk to friends or co-workers about Complex PTSD.  People unversed in the subject and who had good-enough parenting simply can’t understand.  At best they are uncomfortable and immediately want to change the subject; at worst they respond with minimisation, ridicule, or shunning. One continues to hope for better from therapists.

I am highly unlikely to be able to stop “ruminating”, mentioned more than once in your letter, while “multiple, repetitive, chronic stressors” remain unaddressed. Trauma demands to be heard.  For most people, any adverse experience can be a learning opportunity.  We immediately consider how we contributed to what happened. We continue searching until we discover what we did wrong. We learn and grow as a result.

People with Complex PTSD go through this process perpetually without ever reaching resolution. We conclude that what we did wrong was being born. We are suspicious, even paranoid. We avoid unsafe human contact, which increasingly means everyone because the penalty for trying to talk is almost universally harsh. We know from birth that when we cry out in distress, either an abuser will come -- or no one.

“You can’t have any form of PTSD.  Where are the flashbacks?”
Example 1
As far as I recall, I’ve had only one visual and auditory flashback in my life.  I was at work on Monday 6/10/75 when I found myself once again in the car on Friday night 3/10/75 with a man [graphic detail deleted here].  I was trapped with him in his car for five hours.

An affianced couple, of whom the woman was a co-worker, had taken me to a party at the home this man shared with his wife and infant son.  I had been reluctant to accept their spontaneous invitation, but my mother insisted I go out.  We walked into a flat full of rowdy drunks.  My ‘friends’ left without telling me.  I knew no one else there.  The man told me not to worry, he would drive me home.  I said my parents’ home was just around the corner, finished my drink, and tried to leave.

He cut me off at the front door, gripped my arm, and snarled: “I said I’d take you.”  My upbringing had taught me I must never give offence -- to anyone.  Outside, it didn’t even occur to me to get away instead of allowing him to escort me, still holding my arm, to the passenger seat.  That would be rude.

He drove straight past the end of the street where my parents lived.

At one stage I could have kicked out the passenger window.  That would cause damage. I could also have blasted the car horn.  That would disturb people in the darkened nearby houses.

He dropped me outside my parents’ home as the sun was coming up.  I crept in so as not to disturb the family.  My father came out of my parents’ bedroom as I reached the adjacent bathroom.  He said: “One of these days, young lady, you’re going to get yourself raped.”  I had a small cut on my nose, I had lost an earring, and the very high heel of one of my boots had snapped off so I was limping. 

I said: “Goodnight, Dad” and went into the bathroom.

Following the flashback, my line manager told me to go home.  Mother was alone, demanding to know why I was there.  I told her I was ill and went to bed.  She pursued me, demanding to know what was wrong with me.  She persisted until I was forced to tell her: “Mama, I was raped on Friday night.”

After a moment’s hesitation she said: “Oh Candid, you couldn’t have been raped, not with those marks on your neck” -- and left the room, never to raise the subject again. The implication was that the bruises from the rapist’s fingers were ‘love bites’. 

It was seven years before a boyfriend insisted I see a rape crisis counsellor, my introduction (at 26) to talk therapy.  Name11 gradually revealed what she had identified in the initial interview -- and after six weeks I was discharged, having ‘lost’ my mother.

Example 2
For eight years after fleeing my violent first husband (at 28), I had repeated nightmares of being trapped alone with him.  During the five months we were married he had given me a permanent neck injury, as a result of which I continued to suffer regular debilitating headaches.  On one occasion he pinned me to the bed with his knee, holding a broken bottle in my face and telling me he was going to damage me in such a way that no man would ever want me again.   The nightmares stopped when I learned he had divorced me years earlier, and I no longer feared that he was still looking for me.

Example 3
I continue to think regularly of the ‘family mediation’ held in Frankston (Australia) on 21/10/91.  I had organised it, and went there believing my family would finally hear me and acknowledge me in front of witnesses.  There were two mediators: a man who performed the introductions and said he would be representing the family while the female mediator would be representing me.  I had not considered that my mother, when contacted by the mediation centre, would shift the agenda from my hope of being accepted to an adversarial trial.  She finally moved from covert to overt abuse that day; significantly, both siblings later indicated that they hadn’t noticed. The mediation, which we were told usually took an hour or at the most two, ran from 10am to about 5pm, at which point I was exhausted and said what I had to say -- ie. I capitulated -- in order to get out of that room.  It was an echo of the rape, in which I resisted but did not defend myself in any way for hours before I gave in.

This event, when I was 35, turned my brunette hair completely white long before I saw my second therapist a few months later.  It eclipses everything else I’ve been through, desensitises me to lesser traumas.  Apart from my hair and the recent effects on my face of gross stress, people continue to perceive me as both younger and far less troubled than I am.   I’ve got very good at acting -- so good that whereas I used to be the Real Me in sleep at least, I am now estranged even from myself.

This, by far the most traumatic day of my life, was briefly referred to at the end of your “family was not supportive” paragraph. 

I want to make it clear I am not criticising you or any of the practitioners identified in this account, all of whom are well-intentioned people doing their job: reducing the number of people eligible for help from the overburdened NHS.   I am, however, very frustrated that after I’d waited more than a year for help, had been assured that Complex PTSD was within the BTSS remit, and had steadily deteriorated both mentally and physically, Complex PTSD was not once mentioned in your letter advising that “Ms Candid will therefore be discharged from Berkshire Traumatic Stress Service”.

My gratitude goes to Name9 and Name1, both of whom acknowledged ignorance of CPTSD, both of whom were willing to research it.  It is my sincere hope in writing this letter that practitioners in a self-declared traumatic stress service will consider it worthwhile to do the same.

Yours sincerely,

Suicide Ideation/Self Harm / Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« on: September 22, 2017, 06:46:22 AM »
it's good that I'm still not doing the type of nitpicking work that always leads to SI.  :thumbup:

 :thumbup: indeed!

Your T sounds great.  You're doing really well.  :hug:

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