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General Discussion / job interview today
« on: July 20, 2020, 05:07:52 PM »
I have a phone interview in 45 minutes for a job that I hope will finally enable us to be financially independent and move away from my BF's family.  Most of them (uncle, cousins) have been helpful, but his mom is the worst - narcissistic, critical, always saying things to stoke anxiety and distress, constantly telling my BF that he's 'embarrassing' her and 'everyone' is upset with him over petty things.  I get less of it, but I've had my share of her negativity, too, because she can't seem to help herself.

It's been a long time since I was young enough to walk into a job interview with bravado and innocent/ignorant confidence.  I did a positive mindset/self-esteem meditation, which helped.  I would like to go into this interview feeling confident, self-assured, acting like I already have the job.  I am trying really hard not to let my habit of pessimism and self-defeatism and anxiety run away with me.  If anyone has any words of advice (or encouragement!), I'd be grateful!

General Discussion / How do you cope?
« on: July 04, 2020, 10:47:59 PM »
I feel like no matter how much I try, no matter how good my intentions are to practice self-care and take control of my life, I can't manage anything.  I can't manage my time, my budget, make decisions in a timely manner, can't decide what to do to make myself feel better when I'm struggling.  Sometimes it doesn't take much for my anxiety to kick in - I hear something relatively minor (or sometimes not so minor, like my boyfriend getting tense on the phone with his mother), and the fight-or-flight response is there.  I can only spend so much time breathing when there's work, bills, housework, making food - all the mundane life stuff that is unrelenting no matter how good or bad I'm doing.

I know I'm not alone - that other people have been through similar traumas, sometimes worse.  Yet other people seem so much more capable of getting their life together, having families, having time to focus on themselves, being able to be independent of their families.  My boyfriend and I still have to rely on the very people who traumatized us for financial and practical support, which beats us down and keeps us in a constant state of fighting against despair and hopelessness and shame.  How do other people do it?  How do you manage to keep a stable job and home and take care of your family and still be able to focus on/take care of yourself and learn to love yourself and counter-program all the negativity you were raised to think about yourself?  How do you make progress when every inch you fight for usually ends in getting beat back a foot?  It has been hard enough without the emotional static of the people who have traumatized us, but those family issues haven't been helping.  They really haven't.

Introductory Post / A hello
« on: April 04, 2020, 06:16:04 PM »

I turned 43 earlier this year.  I'm a female in a monogamous relationship (12 years) with a man who also has CPTSD issues.  My trauma is related to sexual molestation by my dad and physical, emotional, and verbal abuse by my mom.  We have just moved out of their house after living with them for about six years because of a variety of circumstances, most resulting from trauma-related issues.  We are now living in the middle of nowhere in a house owned by one of my boyfriend's relatives, in a state we don't want to stay in, still struggling with all the same self-esteem and emotional regulation issues we had at the other place, unsure where to go from here or how to get there.

I'm one of those people who throws myself into work to avoid dealing with anxiety and other uncomfortable feelings, and (fortunately or unfortunately) I have the kind of job that takes up a lot of time and pays barely enough to make ends meet, which keeps me preoccupied with (and stressed about) work most of the time.  This keeps me from working on self-care stuff, which I had started a couple of years ago - stuff like meditation, writing, exercise.  It had been helping until a sequence of events disrupted my life, and I've spent the last full year trying to get back on track, which doesn't make me feel terribly resilient. 

Again, because of the circumstances of our life and our issues, we do not have a lot of friends to turn to.  Of the friends we do have, several are severe alcoholics who cannot provide adequate support or understanding, and many of the others simply don't have understanding of our issues.  The few who do understand live states or countries away and have life issues of their own, which makes it hard for us to communicate with and get support from each other.  Most people don't call or email us either way, although I have tried reaching out a few times since we've been here.  Especially with the social distancing stuff going on now, I've just been stuck in this small house with my boyfriend and all our CPTSD issues rubbing up against each other. 

I had big plans for us to get into therapy when we got here, but there isn't enough money (or, truth be told, time).  I have been struggling to get back on track with exercise, meditation, writing, eating well/hydrating, working through various workbooks on anger management, emotional regulation, stress management, etc.  We bought a few books on CPTSD to try to work though, but we haven't gotten around to looking at them yet.  I do the best I can and try not to feel like a constant failure every day that I skip a workout or writing or have a flashback/meltdown.  It's hard.

I could really just use someone to talk to now and then, on the days that are harder than others.  My boyfriend tries to be supportive, but he can't always respond the way I need him to because of his trauma-related issues.  On the days that are particularly bad, I can't always respond to him the way he wants, either, which leaves me feeling guilty, ashamed, blamed, frustrated, angry... all the bad feelings, which never seem to help but which also seem inescapable.

Today is one of those bad days, so I may have written different things than I would have on another day.  Anyway, this is the introduction I can make today. 

Thanks for reading.

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