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Messages - keepfighting

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Introductory Post / Re: new to the board
« on: June 24, 2015, 02:32:58 PM »
Hi, tiggerpsych,

nice to meet you on this forum!  :wave:

It is so sad that your wife has had to endure so much in her life. Not fair at all. She sounds like a remarkable woman, facing her demons head on, and it is great that she has you on her side to support her.  :thumbup:

There is a sub-forum here on this forum dedicated to people whose partner has CPTSD. This might be a good place for you to start asking all the questions you might have:

Lovely to have you on board. I hope you and your wife can benefit a little from the information that is available here.

Introductory Post / Re: Finally Getting Online Help for CPTSD
« on: June 20, 2015, 08:08:22 PM »
Hi, CPTSDChild,

nice to meet you on this forum!  :wave:

Thank you for trusting us with your story. It is great that you have found the courage to reach out like this on an online forum and I do hope you'll find support and understanding here.

I am so sorry for all the abuse you've had to endure. It is not fair and totally undeserved. Thank heaven for the nanny/live in maid who gave you as much support as she was able to under the circumstances. She sounds like a warm and courageous woman.  :yes:

Welcome and we're very glad you're here.  :hug:

General Discussion / Re: Negative mind - wanting to change this
« on: June 20, 2015, 08:01:35 PM »
FWIW: It does sound a bit like Outer Critic issues to me.

Have you read Pete Walker's piece on Shrinking the Outer Critic yet?

CBT might also be helpful. Worth a try.

It is so great that you're at a place now where you are willing to be vulnerable and meet new people. Huge step and takes a lot of courage. Kudos to you!  :hug:

Ideas/Tools for Recovery / Re: Finding the right support
« on: June 17, 2015, 10:29:01 AM »
Hi, HopefulSeeker,

it is a huge step to reach out on a forum like this and start to open up about (parts of) your past.  :applause:

My two cents (based solely on my own experiences and the mistakes I have made) about finding support in your community:

- Don't try to look for one person to share the lot with. It might be too overwhelming. One person might be supportive about selfcare issues and another about work related issues and so on.
- Start with the 'lighter' issues with IRL persons first. Watch how they react, listen to your feelings and try to find out if it's faked sympathy or real empathy that you're getting. Have lots of 'normal' conversations in between so your friendships/relationships don't get too strained.
- Discuss the issues that you can't discuss (yet) with a IRL person or you wish to have more than one opinion on or something on a forum like this where you don't have to explain your whole story in order to make people understand and be supportive. It's a good alternative and sometimes it's easier to open up to strangers than to your loved ones/friends.

Don't know if any of this is of any use to you. Like I said, it's not meant as advice - just sharing what I have learned through my own mistakes. In hindsight I even lost some friends which were perfectly willing to be supportive by leaning too heavily on them when I was very raw and before I started t. I also had some bad experiences in trusting some friends too much who later turned out to be narcs and used the information I had shared with them to hurt and humiliate me and those experiences threw me deeper into my shell rather than helping me deal with my CPTSD.

Hopefully you'll be able to find some IRL support as well as online support. We're here for you if you need us.  :hug:

Frustrated? Set Backs? / Re: It gets better then it gets worse
« on: June 16, 2015, 04:56:05 PM »
What a roller coaster ride CPTSD puts us through...  :stars:

I am very sorry that you were thrown into a bad EF after a period of feeling better. Those buggers always seem to strike out of nowhere, don't they?  :hug:

FWIW: Your ability to analyze and put into perspective your feelings of frustration and anger, and to know exactly which part contributed how much (like the warning and the job situation), where the origin of both are and why it was (multiply) triggered now is amazing. Shows how far in your recovery you've already come. Mountains behind you, mountains in front of you, but already you are better equipped to conquer the ones ahead than you were to conquer the ones behind you - yet conquer them you did.  :thumbup:

Hope you're feeling better about yourself today. You deserve it!

Family of Origin (FOO) / Re: Sick and vulnerable
« on: June 16, 2015, 04:37:39 PM »
Hi, Foresaken,

what a sad situation you are in. All I can give you is a cyber  :bighug: but it comes straight from my heart to you.

I am sorry you have so much pain, have to wait for surgery (which in itself is a bit unsettling) and feel lonely and vulnerable.

Do you have any sources of support other than your FOO? (They do not sound like the kind of people who have magically grown some empathy and are rushing to help and support you). FOC, supportive friends and/or neighbours, church group... something like that?

I have never been in your exact situation so I won't pretend to know how you feel. You know best why you needed the boundary of NC to protect yourself and your little ones and only you can decide in how much it is still needed to keep you (emotionally) safe.  About two years ago, I have been brought so low that I was on the brink of recontacting my FOO after 12 years of NC (nasty Ns - m, f and one sis). The moment I started to even play with that thought, I realized I needed real empathy and warmth and my FOO would never give that to me, so I recontacted my old t instead. She was warm, kind and patient and helped me through the crisis.

Sending good thoughts your way.  :hug:

Neglect/Abandonment / Re: It wasn't THAT bad, right? (triggers)
« on: June 12, 2015, 10:50:01 AM »
Hi, tiasarah,

first off:  :bighug:

Kudos to you and your younger self for being a fighter, a survivor, a person. You did well in bad and loveless circumstances.

I know there are people who've had it much worse than me, and sometimes I feel bad that what happened to me hurt me as badly as it did.

For years, that's the way I felt/thought as well. Luckily, my t caught this invalidating way of thinking and my tendency to minimize the impact of my own experiences. She taught me that it's ok to grieve the love and affection I never got, to grieve the childhood I was denied and to feel compassion for the teenager struggling to survive, to find love and friendship.

You have every right to feel and acknowledge the hurt that you have experienced in your life. My heart goes out to you when I read your story. So many betrayals by persons who should have protected you - and so much pain that was not allowed to surface and be tended to.  :hug:

I hope you are in a place right now where it is possible to grieve and to start treating the old wounds with (self)compassion and (self)care.

General Discussion / Re: Someone please help...
« on: June 11, 2015, 06:21:24 PM »
Hi, HS,

I am very sorry that you are going through all of this and feel so alone in it.   :hug:

It sounds to me like you might be experiencing an EF (emotional flashback). Are you familiar with Pete Walker's work on CPTSD?

Here is a link to his website, in case you don't know it yet:

There are some very helpful tips on how to deal with EFs (and other symptoms) on his website.

On this board, there is also a childboard that is entirely dedicated to dealing with EFs.

The only 'tips' I can give you is that it often helps me to do a grounding exercise to feel connected to the present again (I like to take a large sip of cold water and concentrate on the sensation when it slides down my throat). It also helps to know what the triggers are/were. Some are rather obvious and relatively easy to avoid, but sometimes I get triggered by something unexpected (like a smell or a particular shade of light or something like that) and that's harder recognize as a trigger. Not sure if this is of any use to you???

Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone any more.  Glad you have found us. :hug:

General Discussion / Boundaries
« on: June 06, 2015, 01:58:22 PM »
Growing up in a narc family system,  I never learned to set personal boundaries. I also never learned which boundaries were normal, accepted and expected. Any (feeble) attempts I made at setting boundaries in my FOO were shot down on the spot, I was being called, 'selfish', 'unreasonable', 'egotistic' and many more words that were meant to be hurtful and degrading. If words weren't enough, I got the ST until I caved and abandoned all ideas I had of setting personal boundaries. There were no locks on our doors - even the bathroom door keys were confiscated; so no privacy ever, anywhere in the house.

This week, I had a lightbulb moment:

I have to learn to set boundaries because toxic people don't have any.

For so long, I have taken my cues from other people and adapted myself so I could please them instead of listening to my own needs first. But the problem with toxic people is that they will never set boundaries and are thriving on the people who were primed (by themselves or other toxic folk) not to set boundaries, either.

So in order to make any kind of ongoing recovery possible for myself, I need to set boundaries. They don't have to be reasonable, I don't have to justify them to myself or others - they just have to make dealings with other people pleasant for myself. They don't have to be set in stone, either: different boundaries for different occasions/persons. It's about respecting myself and listening to my needs - and it's normal that they vary from occasion to occasion and between different persons. Recently, I have started to find some healthy friends and guess what - none of them ever asked for an explanation let alone a justification if I set a boundary! They have theirs, I have mine and we get along just fine. Plenty of things we have in common and are willing to share that do not involve making one another feel guilty about setting boundaries. What a relief!

For now, these are my affirmations on the issue of 'boundaries':

- You're worth the effort of negotiating new boundaries.
- Set your own boundaries because toxic people won't.
- Boundaries may vary according to your needs. Be mindful of the moment/situation you're in and the people you're with and set them as needed.
- Don't be discouraged if it takes practise before you can set effective boundaries. Observe, learn, adapt.
- Boundaries are not set in stone. Set them as you need them in order to feel safe in the situation.
- If a person rages at you for setting a personal boundary, they have exposed themselves as a toxic person. Healthy people are used to setting boundaries for themselves and have no trouble accepting yours.

I think a lot if might also be the healing work I have been doing and I am finally really seeing them for their true colors.......

FWIW: I think your analysis is spot on: It's a sign of becoming aware and starting to heal. So yay!  :cheer:

Next step in my healing journey was/is that I started to waste less of my time, my energy and my compassion on self absorbed people. I now preserve those precious resources to work on my own recovery and to connect to people who are kind and honest and reciprocating. Still at the beginning of that step....

Hi, ZevM,

sorry for the hurtful remark your wife made. You know her best: Do you think it was meant to deliberately hurt you or more like accidentally hurtful?

Some ideas that might help your w understand CPTSD a bit better:

- See if you find an article/a book that explains in general terms how it feels to have CPTSD.

- Explain to her that it's not a condition you can just 'snap out of' - if that were the case, you'd have done so already. It is however a condition on which you can work to get better and develop more and better coping strategies. Discuss which steps you're already taking in your recovery process and where you want to go next. I find that this helps a lot in discussing CPTSD with my h - him seeing that I am taking responsibility to work on my own recovery. He can also see an improvement in how I cope with unpleasant situations now in comparison to like a year ago. Baby steps but definitely improving.

- This might sound counterintuitive: Don't discuss everything about your CPTSD with your w. It can feel too much for her. Instead, share bits about it with a variety of people you trust like your t (if you have one), on a support forum, maybe occasionally with a friend or family member who's supportive (I don't know your exact situation),.... Dispersing a little takes the pressure off your w a bit. At least that works well for me.

Hope any of this is helpful.

Good luck to you and your w!

Introductory Post / Re: Newbie here
« on: May 28, 2015, 08:16:05 PM »
Hi, DM,

nice to meet you on OOTS!  :wave:

Hopefully, you'll be able to leave some of the drama behind.  :hug:

Best wishes and hope to get to know you better, kf

Hi, little fish,

nice to meet you on this forum!  :wave:

Thank you for sharing your story. It is so important to raise awareness of the different kinds of abuse and their long term effects on the survivors. In my FOO, there was also sibling abuse; one of my sisters has a PD and our little brother was her main target. I didn't become aware of the concept until about three years ago, when I started learning about the narcissistic family system (m covert narc, f overt narc) and how sibling abuse can flourish in such a toxic environment.

I hope you'll find people who understand and validate you here on OOTS. It's such a blessing to get out of the isolation and meet people who 'get' you and helps so much in recovery. Sending many good thoughts your way.  :hug:

Good video, thanks for the link!

The Cafe / Self care activity of the day
« on: May 26, 2015, 11:26:22 AM »
Today, I cleaned out a large part of my wardrobe. Two large bags of clothes ready to go to charity. 

With every piece of clothing that I handled, I asked myself: Does this make me happy or not? If it doesn't make me happy, for whatever reason, it went into the bag for charity (some clothes with the price tags still on - one particular blouse I had only bought to please my female (N) friend...  :doh:).

I am particularly proud of myself for finally getting rid of one dress: It seemed to tell me I was fat and ugly because I could no longer wear it and I don't know why I kept it so long in the first place. Well, it can no longer torture me now.  ;D

I did keep some comfy old clothes and also some clothes which I only wear if I have to do chores in the garden. They make me happy: I like comfy and I like doing those chores so they get to stay.  :yes:

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