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Frustrated? Set Backs? / Re: Boundaries and border crossings...
« on: January 28, 2019, 03:22:48 AM »
Thanks for all the responses and support everyone. I guess I've settled down somewhat since the experience a few days ago, although still feel shaken up by it. I definitely feel like my eyes have been opened to the dark underside of border patrol operations... and reading some accounts of other people online, there's some really sad and disturbing stories of what people have experienced at the hands of some border patrol agents.

I think it's a difficult situation for most people, but when you have CPTSD it's ten times worse because it feels so much like being trapped in an abusive situation with little or no power.

Was thinking about this statement... I agree that the situation is naturally made much worse having CPTSD. However, I'm not sure if you meant it as I read it, but I disagree with one point. It's not just that it feels so much *like* being trapped in an abusive situation with little or no power, that sometimes (if not often) actually *is* the case.

I can understand how people with CPTSD could potentially see a situation as abusive when it isn't really, or perhaps see it as more abusive than it really is. I think that's a very real struggle that many of us, if not practically all of us, go through.

However, in this sort of situation... when you're alone with border guards who have few restraints (legal or otherwise) on what they're able to do to you, and naturally are in a position of having much more power and authority than you do... that's a situation that's extremely high in potential for easy abuse. The fact that there's extremely little external oversight or accountability on the actions of the border patrol makes the situation even worse.

I suppose you technically have some legal rights when you're detained by the border agents, but as I've just recently found out, lot of the problem with how they operate is that they're in a very murky area of the law and given an enormous amount of power and freedom to do what they want with people crossing the border. They can search you and your property without any given reason, and can ask any questions that they feel are necessary for their investigation, and you're practically obligated to answer them (or else you're "hindering the investigation"), no matter how personal, inappropriate, or insulting (or just outright irrelevant) those questions are.

For example, after the one border agent went through my text messages, he started asking me questions about my friends and family and whether I was in regular contact with anyone, and then sort of indirectly told me he found it suspicious that I only had text messages from one person in the recent past (as if being isolated from other people is a sign you're a criminal). And at one point he basically admitted that he thought I could be a pedophile because of the old cell phones he had found in my trunk, telling me about a pedophile he had caught who also was also carrying a bunch of old phones... as if there was no valid reason a non-criminal could be carrying multiple cell phones with them...

It was pretty obvious to me from the beginning that this border guard didn't like me, and thought I was "suspicious" for some very dubious reason(s), and so he was just looking for any possible reason to detain me, go through my things, and grill me with ridiculous questions.

Eventually when he couldn't find anything after his ridiculous search, he let me go (no doubt very reluctantly and feeling very disappointed that he didn't find proof that I was a pedophile like he thought).

The amount of power these border patrol agents have is something I honestly find excessive and even disturbing... they're not limited nearly as much as regular police officers are, as I found out. I'm not saying all border agents are terrible people, or will take advantage of the power and freedom they have... but when you run into a bad apple... well, things can get bad very quickly, in any number of ways.

Anyway, this post has gotten really long, and I could go on even more... suffice it to say, my views on this whole topic have changed dramatically after that experience a few days ago. It seems to me like the entire system needs serious overhaul, and especially a lot more external oversight and accountability, to limit the potential for easy abuse.

Frustrated? Set Backs? / Boundaries and border crossings...
« on: January 25, 2019, 12:47:52 PM »
So I haven't posted on these forums in a long time, but I had a terrible experience yesterday that I wanted to share with you all, since I felt like most people here could understand this a lot better than the average person.

Just some advanced warning, there may be "triggers" in this post for people who fear authority figures or have had bad experiences dealing with border guards.

Anyway, I was crossing the border from the U.S. back into Canada yesterday when I was questioned by the Canadian border guards. I had nothing to hide, and I'm a Canadian citizen, so I didn't expect anything much... just maybe a couple simple questions and then they'd let me go.

Apparently not. I won't go over all the details of what happened, but basically there were a couple misunderstandings and I ended up driving into an area I wasn't supposed to go, and so I was sort of anxious from the get-go. The border guard took this nervousness as being "suspicious" and then found some old cell phones in my trunk, which he also found to be "suspicious"... etc.

So basically, the net result was that I ended up being detained for very dubious reasons. They went through all my stuff, and even confiscated my phone and computer and essentially told me that I'd be arrested if I didn't unlock it for them and allow them to go through all my private data... Talk about a major intrusion of privacy, and crossing all sorts of boundaries (excuse the unintentional pun...).

The whole thing made me feel so violated that it just sent me spinning and spinning... I couldn't believe what was happening to me or what I had done to deserve such a thing. And in a country like Canada, of all places, and me being a citizen!

It's hard to really put into words how the whole thing left me feeling... violated, angry, incredulous... I couldn't believe that the government of my own country would condone such practices, but it seems they're basically legal.

Anyway, I partially posted this just to sort of vent/share my frustrations, but also partially as a warning to everyone else who might not be aware of this stuff (as I really wasn't before today)... if anyone else is concerned about this sort of thing, I'd suggest traveling with as few electronic devices as you can (especially ones that have private/sensitive info), and perhaps just getting a cheap laptop/phone for travel purposes, if you can afford it and it's worth the safeguarding of your privacy.

Also, if it isn't already obvious from my story, I'd suggest avoiding traveling with more than one phone if you can...

It seems like this sort of intrusive searching at borders is becoming more common from some statistics I saw... in the U.S. and Canada and probably other countries as well. So just a heads up to any of you who weren't already aware of this sort of thing... don't want to unintentionally "trigger" people or make them even more nervous when crossing borders, but I think this is just some stuff we should all be aware of. This is apparently the sad reality of the world we're living in today.

I think part of what made the experience so especially negative for me was I was totally unaware that this was a "normal" thing, or even something that was legal for border guards to do, so I was caught very off guard... hopefully my experience and sharing about it can help at least a few more people to be more prepared than I was.

Other / OCD?
« on: August 08, 2018, 02:40:11 AM »
Hope this is the right place to put this. I was curious if anyone else developed severe OCD along with C-PTSD, and if so how they've dealt with it. I think I remember reading about it in Pete Walker's book, and so was wondering if this is a fairly common thing among people with C-PTSD.

I only really started to have obvious OCD symptoms when I went through a really stressful/difficult period of my life a few years ago, and all the C-PTSD stuff got a lot worse. For me, the OCD was the order/symmetry kind, and it's been hard to deal with since practically anything and everything can set it off (e.g. two things that aren't arranged "just right", etc.).

I know there's specific therapy and treatment for both OCD and C-PTSD, but I've heard different things about how that should be tackled. I even heard cases of where the OCD therapy/treatment actually made the C-PTSD symptoms *worse*, so perhaps tackling it the other way would be better? I don't know.

One of the reasons I haven't gone in for full-blown CBT/ERT therapy for OCD is that I feel like the C-PTSD stuff is really underneath all of it and that OCD therapy on its own is either not going to be successful without dealing with the C-PTSD stuff first, or else it'll even make the C-PTSD symptoms worse.

Introductory Post / Re: Hello
« on: August 07, 2018, 05:18:06 AM »
Thanks for the welcome Blueberry :)

Hi Sasha,

Glad to hear you heard that TED talk too and thought it was good.

Yes, I think I'd agree with what you said, that the burnout essentially made the C-PTSD worse. I went through a lot of other difficulties in my childhood besides just issues with my parents, and developed quite severe depression/anxiety in my teenage years, but it was only much more recently that I started experiencing other big C-PTSD symptoms like significant sleep disturbance. Although thinking about it more now, I actually had a lot more of the C-PTSD symptoms at a younger age than I had previously realized (e.g. difficulty with regulating emotions).

It's an interesting question why some people experience burnout and others don't, even in seemingly similar situations. I can't pretend to understand it all, but I think it's definitely possible that some roots of trauma often exist in people who end up developing what's typically described as burnout (mostly in a job-related sense, but can be more general of course).

Hard to say what posts have stood out to me most or been the most helpful, there's really been a lot. But probably what's resonated with me most are the posts in the relationships section... things like hypervigilance, and just difficulty in being around other people is something that's been a big difficulty in my life and not something I really heard talked about much by other people before (i.e. it seems fairly specific to survivors of trauma).

In terms of what's personally gotten me thinking most, though... well, quite a lot of things, really, over the last year or so. I've been seeing a naturopathic doctor for a while and being treated for what's commonly called adrenal fatigue. I don't know if you've looked into that condition at all, but it's quite interesting in how it often shows up in burnout and similar conditions, and all the negative health effects it has.

I've been taking some supplements for a while that the ND recommended (B-complex, Vitamin D, DHEA, 5-HTP) and have found them help me to feel better to some degree. Also just reducing stress levels in general has been helpful... of course, the feasibility of that really depends on a person's individual situation as to how much they're able to do that, but I've thankfully had a fair bit of freedom there.

Introductory Post / Hello
« on: August 06, 2018, 04:37:37 AM »
Hi everyone,

I just recently discovered this forum, and just reading the posts here has been so validating and encouraging. Itís amazing to read about other people going through so many things Iíve struggled with and felt so alone in. Iíve seen the word ďalienĒ used here by different people and thatís exactly how Iíve felt for so long, like Iím from a different planet compared to most people, and thereís no way to explain to ďnormalĒ people what it is I go through on a day-to-day basis.

As for how I found out about C-PTSD, well, itís a long story, but basically... I was going through severe burnout (job-related and personal-life related) and reading up on it, and watched a TED talk linking burnout and PTSD, and it was like a million lightbulbs went off in my head. I eventually discovered C-PTSD and believe itís the most accurate description of what Iíve been going through for a long time.

I think the roots for me were in childhood, with neglect and verbal/emotional abuse from my parents, but I only really experienced most of the really severe C-PTSD symptoms a couple years ago when my personal and work life just got to be too much (a lot of stress at work, increasingly feeling isolated, ďfriendsĒ abandoning and turning against me, and a bunch of other things I wonít go into here, and all of that happening within the span of less than a year).

Itís sad and disappointing to me how little is known about C-PTSD, not just by the average person, but even professionals (doctors, mental health professionals, etc.). I hope understanding and awareness of this condition increases dramatically. Who knows how many other people out there are silently suffering with this and being misdiagnosed and mistreated by health professionals.

Itís nice to see some progress being made, like the inclusion of C-PTSD as a real condition in the ICD as of 2018, but thereís so much more that needs to be done. Most people donít even seem to know anything about PTSD other than itís what ďsoliders getĒ and most havenít even heard of C-PTSD. And itís obviously hard to tell people about it when itís still not even something you can be diagnosed with in many places.

Thereís a lot more I could say about myself and other things, but was planning to save specific things for other posts.

This looks like a good community with a lot of good people, and Iím thankful to have found it.

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