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Messages - alovelycreature

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Successes, Progress? / No longer meeting the criteria for CPTSD
« on: March 28, 2016, 10:11:43 PM »
I was thinking today about how far I've come in my recovery from CPTSD, and remembered that this website was a huge part in my recovery journey. I wanted to share how I overcame my symptoms and changes that were helpful for me. I know there were so many people on here who had suggestions and kind words that helped me on my journey, and I hope my experience can help others.

I was raised by two NPD parents, who were also both drug addicts. I learned about NPD on here. I was also recommended The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists (MUST READ) and Will I Ever Be Good Enough? When I was previously active on this website, I was also in an abusive relationship with another NPD, and didn't realize it till after I left the relationship. All I knew was I was going crazy, and that my symptoms were being exacerbated.

I learned that it was their life or my life, and I left. Many days I spent lying in bed crying grieving my feelings of loneliness and feeling lost. I had little support, but knew that eventually if I worked on myself things would get better. I also went NC with my NPD mother. I'm sure she still sends me her daily drunken e-mails and texts, but she's blocked. I also realized many of my friends were also NPD, and had to slowly let those relationships go.

I spent much of the past year swimming through the waves of depression, grief, anxiety, and the countless triggers of PTSD. I stopped self-medicating. I started going to a Buddhist temple, started meditating daily, I saw a therapist who specialized in co-dependency and NPD, I returned to my love of yoga, and found new friends. I also attended some CoDA meetings and met other people who were recovering.

A year later, I have the occasional flashback or night terror, but the waves of CPTSD no longer drown me. When I struggle, I have people who I can reach out to, and my dissociation lasts 5 minutes instead of 5 hours, days or months. I am able to sleep at night and avoid panic without having to smoke. I can feel depressed and notice that it is part of healing, and that it is a normal emotion that everyone experiences.

I also was able to meet a new partner who also had NPD parents, and is in their own path of recovery. My new partner and best friend always allows me to feel seen, heard, and is empathetic about my past and my own recovery.

Although I'm still on my recovery journey, I no longer meet the criteria for CPTSD (my therapist and I have been pretty excited about this). However, I am still a co-dependent person who struggles. It takes one small step at a time to learn to take care of yourself. I just want to everyone out there who suffers to know that there is hope and healing when you put yourself first.

Hope the OOTF family is doing well! I'm working two jobs right now so I don't know how often I'll be back on here. Sending hugs and peace.

I was just talking to someone yesterday about how I struggled with this! There is a large sense of not feeling you deserve the kindness. I also wish I didn't feel that way. I also always cry when someone does something nice for me. I hate doing that also. It feels over the top, but I just can't help it.

WF was right about viewing it from the other person's perspective. If I did something kind for someone else, I wouldn't want them to feel bad. Thanks for sharing... will try that. :)

Therapy / Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
« on: February 19, 2015, 02:33:38 AM »
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been clinically shown to have short term and long term success (as opposed to CBT, which doesn't have the same long term success).

It's an open source therapy, so anyone can look on their website:

I'm reading "Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life." The book is pretty incredible and looks at problems completely different than any other approach I've read about.

ACT is based on Relational Frame Theory (RFT). RFT recognizes that the way humans think and feel make us completely different than other species, and has lead to our advancement above other animals. However, these same psychological tools that help us problem-solve and survive cause all of our suffering because we try to look at our uncomfortable thoughts and feelings as something to be solved. You definitely have to take a leap of faith reading the book, but I have found it insanely helpful and had many moments of realization (especially in regards to coping mechanisms). Don't know if many others have read about it or done any work, but it works from stress to anxiety, to depression, to substance abuse, trauma, etc. It's very versatile for dealing with many different problems.

Thanks so much for sharing! This lady is one of my new heros.

I'm 26 and I already have a load of issues. I've always had terrible allergies, and 2014 was the first time in 6+ years I didn't have a sinus infection! I used to get sick every other month, and I've been getting sick less but still a lot. Also have IBS, low blood sugar, memory problems, sleeping issues, etc. All symptoms of high cortisol.

I started taking a bunch of vitamins over the past 6 months and I think they've been helping. A sublingual B-complex, extra B6, magnesium (really helped with muscle aches), vitamin E, and vitamin C.

I found this interesting blog on high cortisol. The link starts on the 3rd part of the blog, so you might want to go back to part one.

Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / Re: Think I may need to leave boyfriend
« on: February 19, 2015, 01:28:39 AM »
Thanks, C. I think that is a good and easy explanation.

I think I have trust issues with him because I feel like he has difficulty at times empathizing. Like, when we have a disagreement I get triggered. I've tried to explain this to him, but every time we have a disagreement he can't see how hard it is for me keep calm. Like, if we're discussing something difficult and I need a break, I'll go upstairs and lay down and focus on deep breathing, or a body scan, then I'll come back. I guess I get very overwhelmed between needing to talk about the issue at hand, and trying to focus on controlling my EF; and usually he pushes me to the point of break. Usually when I break he stops, but it shouldn't get to that point! I feel like he doesn't understand why I set the boundaries I do. I feel like if he empathized as opposed to sympathized, he wouldn't do it.

I can empathize with him not understanding what exactly I'm going through and the difficulty of dealing with a person with CPTSD--but I'm not going to tolerate being pushed to the point of a panic attack or reverting to bad behaviors. I am planning on talking about this with him, because when I start panicking (or whatever) he then becomes overly worried and frantic. Just a big mess that doesn't need to start in the first place. So I guess we'll see how that goes!

Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / Re: Think I may need to leave boyfriend
« on: February 12, 2015, 12:17:55 AM »
Things are going okay. He wants me to work on my lack of trust in others... so my inner/outer critic work I suppose. I'm sure this is something we all struggle with. I feel like that is something that falls into place with time. I can understand that this is frustrating for him since we've been together almost 9 years. I'm doing some reading and considering doing some therapy regarding it. The only person who I unconditionally trust about everything is my best friend (who has uBPDm and uNPDf). It's a struggle.

How have others explained these trust issues with their friends or partners? Or just their CPTSD in general? It's so complex it's hard to explain easily.

Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / Re: Think I may need to leave boyfriend
« on: February 09, 2015, 01:48:47 AM »
Thanks for your response, Mary. You're right, setting boundaries is important. I pretty much told him I was unhappy in our relationship and I didn't want to be with someone who behaved the way he did. He thought about it for a few days and has agreed to work on himself and the way he treats others. I was honestly completely shocked. He also told me he wants to take the time to understand me better and how I view the world. SERIOUSLY? I couldn't have asked for a more sincere response.

I think my IC might have taken over and I fell into black-and-white thinking. He's never going to change. He's not going to see he is doing anything wrong, like in the past. He's going to think this is too much work and be fine with leaving. I think this experienced really showed me that I focus on the negative, my IC, and I blind myself to the possibility of hope and positive change.

Actually downloaded at ACT book. Need to get my IC in line. He's a sneaky one.

Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / Think I may need to leave boyfriend
« on: February 02, 2015, 06:51:14 PM »
I have been thinking about this for months. Maybe even years. I go through periods where I'm happy, in love, and can't wait to spend the rest of my life with this person; then I think, what the * am I doing with this person? In the past, I think that when these negative feelings came up, I felt guilty about them and then tried to be overly loving. How could I think this way about my bf? He does so many great things for me.

Lately though, I feel like I'm growing out of him. I think I have been for years. I'm trying to become an emotionally healthy, positive, and happy individual. Bf went out of town for work for 4 days, and they were great. The house was clean. I was happy to be alone and do things at my leisure. I spent time with friends. I had a good routine. I didn't really miss him all that much. In fact when he came back I felt some dread. Within 24 hours the house was a mess, and everything just felt overwhelming.

There are superficial things I'm irritated by, the cleaning, the way he uses the living room as his changing room, his ADD behaviors. Forgetting things, losing things, etc. I feel like I always say to myself, "I understand this is something he struggles with, and it's not a huge deal, just irritating to me." I know that I can only control my behavior and actions when it comes to things that irritate me.  I have in the past expressed these irritations so he is aware. I feel like I try to be a good partner.

There are a lot of deep things that bother me and I feel I am starting to accept them. That I deserve better. He always interrupts me when I'm talking because he thinks he knows what I'm going to say. Lately when he starts doing this I literally yell, "CAN I PLEASE JUST FINISH WHAT I WAS SAYING?"

When I try to talk to connect with him, even if it is silly like about my day, he seems irritated. He starts looking at his computer, gives eye rolls, seems generally disinterested in what I'm saying. He did this this morning while I was explaining why I didn't have to work today. I noticed his irritation and I said, "Are you okay?" To which he responded, "I'm trying to figure out why this is important." To which I said, "Fine, then I'll stop." I seriously felt like having a crying break down and telling him to leave. Whenever I try to talk about anything that interests me, something I'm struggling with, or pretty much anything he's not interested in discussing he acts this way. I used to think it was me. That I was just an annoying person, but now I see it's him. It's not me. I have plenty of other friends who like the way I am. I can't control his behavior or reactions to me. Whenever he talks about stupid * I don't care about, I actively listen and at least pretend to be interested, because , I don't know, that's what you do for someone you love? You notice that they feel the need to connect with you and want to talk, so you listen. Or maybe as my IC has previously tried to convince me, I'm an idiot.

I feel I cannot be my authentic self in my relationship. I've been avoiding him. I met a couple girls offline who are interested in yoga/meditation and we have been practicing together. I've been going to yoga, meditating daily, and started going to Buddhist services at a local temple. I started going to a yoga class. I'm studying for a test I have to take and nailing my studying. I feel so good about every area of my life except for my relationship. I feel like I've worked really hard to stop being afraid and am starting to make positive changes--no matter how scary they are. Because no matter how much anxiety I have about meeting new people, or looking stupid at yoga, or fear that the people at temple will not think I'm as serious---I'm not letting it get in the way of doing what I enjoy and loving myself. Other than my relationship, I can't remember the last time I felt so good and positive about my choices.

I'm sure it seems obvious and clear where I stand on this break up. We've been together almost 9 years. I'm terrified to break up. I'm terrified of his response. I'm terrified of what to say, because I feel like the reason why I am unhappy is because he just doesn't like or respect me. It makes me think of every time he looks at me and says, "You know I love you, right?" I don't. I've never allowed myself to feel that because I think he loves the idea of me--not me. I'm afraid about breaking our lease. I'm afraid about where I'm going to live. I'm afraid of all the big changes. It's really scary. What if I regret my decision? What if I can't meet anyone else I like?

I feel like at this point I'm just ranting. I know other people on here have posted about their thoughts on breaking up with their partner. This feels so weird because I feel like my boyfriend saved me from my abusive family. We started dating when I was 18 (I'm now 26). I don't know what my life is without anyone. I'm excited to be single and really get to know myself, but I'm scared.

General Discussion / Re: CPTSD being left out of the latest DSM
« on: January 28, 2015, 09:57:09 PM »

Just how the heck are we supposed to "get help"??????

I've been so mad about this lately myself. I have been reading The Body Keeps the Score, and they discuss how they won't study treatments for CPTSD. I have a feeling it's because it's for several reason... but mostly for money. I've also noticed that with other diagnosis that are OFTEN given to people with little privilege (low socioeconomic status, minorities, etc.) also have no clinically effective treatment... but they do prescribe tons of drugs!

I live very close to a city area, and there are no therapists I've been able to find that treat CPTSD. It surprises me that no one has decided to focus on this for treatment. However, taking privilege into consideration, I'm sure many cannot afford to pay for therapy or their insurance won't cover it. It's very sad and angering.

Family of Origin (FOO) / Re: Step-Dad divorcing uNPDM
« on: January 26, 2015, 02:27:24 PM »
Thanks for your replies. It's funny to see the difference in replies from here and OOTF. You all have a good supportive presence :)

Someone on OOTF suggested that this might be a good opportunity to go NC with narent (I love this word). I'm currently going to think about my boundaries I want to set up with her especially.

Over the past couple months I feel like I've kind of been depressed, but definitely in a grief way and not a chemical depression kind of way. Just doing a lot of grief work. I think my inner child was really always in my preconscious, but I didn't realize it. This grief work has helped me feel like I am an adult! I'm hitting 30 and I can make my life whatever I want it to be. It's been a new sort of confidence I haven't had before. I feel like lately I've been stepping back from my FOO and look at it as a thing, with parts, and connections.

I think the feeling of "Where am I in this?" or "Am I in this?" is going to change with the divorce. Just feels like a lot more grief work that I wasn't expecting! I'm feeling a bit more optimistic today that this could be a positive change. That I can set boundaries and not be involved. That I can build my own "family."

Family of Origin (FOO) / Step-Dad divorcing uNPDM
« on: January 25, 2015, 08:33:47 PM »
I posted this on OOTF also, but know you guys are loving and supportive and also could provide some advice/guidance.

I just found out from my Dad (my step-Dad, but really more my father, and only real parent) and uNPDM are getting divorced. My Dad said he wanted my Mom to tell me, but they are going to mediation soon and he felt that she was being selfish by not telling any of her children.

My Dad and I are very close. We always have been. Even when he was just a family friend, whenever there was chaos, drama, or I was scared I always asked him for help. When my parents got married, he made the wedding about us being a family, and not him marrying my Mom. He came in, stepped up to the plate, and really hit a grand slam. He was my "good enough" parent. I was really blessed to have him come into our lives.

As a typical narc, my Mom has always been incredibly jealous of our relationship. My Mom has implied to us both that she thinks we have a sexual relationship. First, we don't. That's sick. Secondly, she would think this of her daughter? Of her husband? My Mom was such a master manipulator, my Dad never saw the abuse. He didn't always believe me when I was still living in their home as a child, but when I moved out and he became the target of her abuse he not only believed me, but felt incredibly guilty about not believing me. He is the only person in my family who has wanted me to educate him on CPTSD and my healing process so he can help me become the person I strive to be.

For years he has been dealing with emotional and physical abuse. I've told him for years to get divorced because he deserved to be happy, healthy, and treated with respect. He tried to get my Mom to go to counseling with him. He really tried. He said when he filed the divorce papers my Mom didn't even try to fight him. Not surprising. She's getting money for a lawyer from some other man that she will probably make her new target. She also hasn't told my siblings, which I find incredibly unfair... but I don't want to tell them because I don't want to get involved in the upcoming whirlwind of chaos.

I'm afraid. My Dad will always be my Dad. I will never not have a relationship with him. I'm afraid that my Mom is going to start taking her abuse out on me again. I live far enough away right now, but this man friend of hers lives only about 10 minutes away from me. I'm going to start going LC now because she doesn't know that I know about the divorce. My boyfriend said he's not going to let her do anything. He's always been extremely supportive and always stands up to my Mom and calls her out on her abuse.

I'm also afraid that this is going to effect my relationship with my siblings. My master manipulator Mom (new acronym? MMM) will probably turn them against me since I am going to continue to have a relationship with my Dad. She has already convinced them that he abuses her (oh, projection...) and that he is selfish and has never kept any of his promises in their marriage. Last time extreme drama happened my Mom convinced my siblings not to talk to me for months. It was heartbreaking. I don't understand how they can't see how sick she truly is. They enable her behavior.

It's weird being an adult and in this situation. My biological Dad and Mom got divorced when I was 5. I was definitely parentalized and cared for my younger sister mostly. I'm sure this situation is triggering the 5-year-old me. This was the time I started having panic attacks. It feels like I'm in a boat on the ocean waiting for a storm that I know is coming. I don't know how to prepare for it.

I don't know if anyone has had any experience with a similar situation. If anyone has advice I would surely take it. It feels like a confusing and unpredictable time. I want to make sure that I continue to put my health first. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Introductory Post / Re: On the road to recovery
« on: January 23, 2015, 02:33:02 PM »
Welcome  :wave:

I'm sure you'll find this a helpful place to connect with others. Very sorry about the loss of your brother, and the abuse of your father.

I'm sure you'll find many other creative folks on here. Art and design are a wonderful to for working with anxiety and depression also. Some of us on here have definitely used our creative skills for working on our traumas. As Rain said, there are also many creatives who don't have anxiety/depression, or at least have good emotional regulation. Nothing wrong with being anxious or depressed at times because our body sends us those signals to help us avoid danger, but unfortunately in CPTSD our emotional responses are a little haywire.

Always go with your gut. If medication doesn't seem right to you, don't take it. I took antidepressants for a very short period of time. For me it interfered with grieving and made me feel numb. Some people also find it incredibly helpful. You know you best.

Glad you're finding the boards helpful. Good luck in school. It can definitely be stressful! Make sure to take good care of yourself :)

General Discussion / International Society for Traumatic Stress studies
« on: January 23, 2015, 12:09:18 AM »
They have links to clinicians who focus on complex PTSD.

Has anyone had trouble finding therapists who specialize in CPSTD? The therapist who diagnosed me with it showed her true colors and appeared to have NPD, so I can't see her anymore. I'm finding it incredibly difficult and frustrating to not find the help.

Therapy / Re: Re: Brainspotting
« on: January 22, 2015, 07:54:33 PM »
I did some reading about brainspotting, and it is a type of EMDR. The therapist who developed brainspotting was a EMDR therapist. The technique sounds different than EMDR, although they both utilize eye movement.

General Discussion / Re: Is this grief work?
« on: January 20, 2015, 05:19:29 PM »
Cat, that was helpful and insightful.

What we grieve is something we have never known, but it is still a loss. I feel that the grief that we experience with CPTSD (and other mental illness) is disenfranchised by society as a whole (at least here in the U.S.). We're told to "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps" or to "suck it up and get over it." So, with these messages we might not even know that we need to grieve, or that these uncomfortable feelings that still effect us from our childhood need to be grieved. I still run into to many people with the thought process of *trigger*, "I was hit as a child and I turned out okay. SO it is okay for me to spank my kid."

Grief is something we do as humans constantly. We grieve things we don't have, opportunities that have passed, loved ones that are now gone, and the way we change and grow. There are so many things that we're not allowed to grieve, but it is important to healing and finding a happiness and joy in life.

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