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Topics - MellowMelody

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Hey community,

It has been a while since I have been on this site. I only made a few posts, mainly in the introduction section. I have been doing really great at healing, mainly by moving forward with my goals in life, avoiding re-traumatization, and achieving self-improvement for the preparation of better events in my life. I was doing very well until I got a text message from one of the main people who abused me, my father.

I did not have an emotional reaction to his message, which included him calling me a "disgrace" for getting married "without family consent" (I am mid 20s, educated, and have a decent career, mind you). Somehow I am used to his words and attitudes, and I retorted by calling HIM a disgrace, a response that made me quite satisfied and proud, actually. Yet, when I retold the situation to my brothers and my husband, I definitely felt re-traumatized. It reminded me how I should not feel ashamed to totally avoid all contact with my abusive family. I have learned, from several psychologists who specialize in trauma, that re-traumatization is only hindering healing. Many of us will always be re-traumatized if we are around the people or places where repeated trauma occurred.

Basically, when I told the story to my brothers (who never believed that I was abused anyway) and to my husband (who was really hurt by the message, and asked me more questions about the whole abusive environment with my family), I remembered that hopeless child, and I felt very sorry for her. I didn't go into a full blown spiral of darkness, but I realized that my "inner-child" needed the present, adult ME to protect her from the constant attacks of my father, and the vile disbelief and denial of my brother and other family members.

I moved to a different continent to be away from my family, and it was the best decision for me. But a small part of my sympathetic, adult mind wanted to be "nice" to my abusive family, by allowing channels of contact. This incident with my father made me realize that protecting my "inner-child" is still crucial to my healing, and protecting her comes first, comes before "being nice".

Healing is number one priority for those of us who experienced CPTSD, and many professionals who study trauma know that we must get away from the people and places that abused us, even those who didn't believe you.

What is your experience with this?

Thank you for reading/sharing

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Introductory Post / Hello, New Here
« on: May 16, 2018, 06:42:57 PM »
Hey there,

I joined this forum because, like everyone else here, I am dealing with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (cptsd). My cptsd started in childhood. I don't want to go into to many details, but it involved physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. I never really knew that what happened in my childhood was abusive, until I had a serious emotional meltdown about 3 years ago. I went to a therapist because I felt like nobody liked me. I felt deeply alone. I considered myself to have no friends and to be utterly unlikable no matter what I said or did to please others. This caring, amazing therapist starting asking about my family, and suddenly it all came pouring out.

At first it was an enormous rush, a relief. Finally I had someone who believed me. This was huge for me. I remember crying like I had never cried before because for the first time, someone actually listen to me, believed me, and cared about me. For my entire childhood, my negative experiences were minimized and ignored. I experienced intense gaslighting, and also I was told to not tell anyone about my negative, traumatic childhood experiences. I'm sure many of you can relate to the intense brainwashing that gaslighting causes in those who are its target. So from that breakthrough moment with my therapist years ago, I finally realized that I had suffered a terrible childhood pain.

Recovery has been long, slow, and sometimes cyclical. I am mostly able to mask that there is anything wrong with me. Most people would be shocked to know of the deep pain that is inside me, the deep pain that childhood abandonment causes. Sometimes I think this pain can never go away, but instead, my task is to learn how to move on from it.

My biggest trigger is when I share my pain with others, only to be met with disbelief, minimizing or gaslighting. That really sets me off into a negative spiral. My go-to response to triggers is to isolate myself, just as I would hide in my room as a child, to avoid the crazy home environment that I grew up in.

Nowadays, I live with my fiance, in an entirely different country from I grew up. What can I say--running away, hiding, and distance are my go-to responses! This time though, I realize that I need distance from my parents (and those who gaslight me) to finally set a proper foundation for recovery. Lately, I am struggling with my fiance, who also has his own childhood traumas to deal with, but now HE is the one who doesn't really listen to me and often minimizes my experiences. Sometimes, I wonder if I am meant to be alone forever, closing myself off from the rest of the world.

Anyway, thank you for reading this introduction. I really appreciate this space, and I feel less alone when I talk to others who know this pain and know the long arc of recovery.

Thank you!

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