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Topics - Kizzie

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What is Complex PTSD? / Survivors and Transcenders
« on: September 14, 2019, 12:52:43 AM »
By Andrew Vachss -

I believe that many people who were abused as children do themselvesóand the entire struggleóa disservice when they refer to themselves as "survivors." A long time ago, I found myself in the middle of a war zone. I was not killed. Hence, I "survived." That was happenstance ... just plain luck, not due to any greatness of character or heroism on my part. But what about those raised in a POW camp called "childhood?" Some of those children not only lived through it, not only refused to imitate the oppressor (evil is a decision, not a destiny), but actually maintained sufficient empathy to care about the protection of other children once they themselves became adults and were "out of danger."

To me, such people are our greatest heroes. They represent the hope of our species, living proof that there is nothing bioĖgenetic about child abuse. I call them transcenders, because "surviving" (i.e., not dying from) child abuse is not the significant thing. It is when chance becomes choice that people distinguish themselves. Two little children are abused. Neither dies. One grows up and becomes a child abuser. The other becomes a child protector. One "passes it on." One "breaks the cycle." Should we call them both by the same name? Not in my book.

Announcements / New Blog Article
« on: September 14, 2019, 12:01:36 AM »
Tk you to Blue Palm for allowing us to use her post about feeling entitled to breathe for our current blog article!   :grouphug:

SOT - Sense of Threat (eg Hypervigilance) / Hypervigilance is Exhausting
« on: September 12, 2019, 04:43:09 PM »
Read a good article today - Trauma Isnít Lazy. Here's an excerpt:

The traumatized brain is anything but lazy. In fact, it is over-worked, over-stimulated, over-active, and over-stressed. Trauma survivors have an enlarged amygdala, which triggers the fight-or-flight response. In a survivor, this response goes haywire. It cannot perceive between something that happened in the past with whatís in the present. The brain remembers trauma in the form of flashbacks that constantly re-create the experience.

A traumatized brain is always on alert. Hypervigilance is constantly running in the background, assessing the situation and trying to report back to the rational brain what it finds. In order to keep up with everyday situations, it often must work hotter and harder than a brain without trauma.

Announcements / Complex PTSD at Nov ISTSS Annual Mtg
« on: August 19, 2019, 06:46:30 PM »
The ISTSS 35th Annual Meeting Nov 14-16, 2019 in Boston doesn't have much on its agenda for the meeting dealing directly with Complex PTSD/Trauma (mostly PTSD and developmental trauma in CHildren & youth), but here are two sessions involving a number of the clinicians/researchers who are pushing to conduct research and spread the word about CPTSD in adults.  You may recognize some of the names, especially Judith Herman who was the first to identify Complex PTSD in the 1990's:

Complex PTSD: Charting a Course Forward - Concurrent Session Three Thursday, 3:00 p.m. Ė 4:15 p.m.Salon J/K, 4th Floor Panel: Discussant: Carolyn Yeager, Judith Herman, Elizabeth Carll, Christine Courtois, Thanos Karatzias, Denise LeBoeuf

Assessment and Treatment of ICD-11 Complex PTSD - Concurrent Session Eight Friday, 4:30 p.m. Ė 5:45 p.m.Berkeley/Clarenden, 3rd Floor Workshop: Marylene Cloitre, Philip Hyland, Neil Roberts, Thanos Karatzias

Hopefully as time passes there will be much more about Complex PTSD in adults because treatment and services round the world depend on these researchers, academics & clinicians. 

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Too Close to Home
« on: August 06, 2019, 09:51:04 PM »
This is a post is by one of our members who lives in one of the locations where the most recent mass shooting took place.

I can only imagine what a traumatic situation this is for you  and your family and friends, my heart really does go out to you.   Wrapping you and yours in care and support  :grouphug:

Hey everyone, I wanted to keep my anonymity so Kizzie agreed to post this for me because Iím having a really hard time.

Things are a mess here in my home down.  Just minutes away there was a mass shooting.  Itís just on the north end of town and Iíve been to that place so many times. My college, parties, dinners, movies it was a fun lively place to have a night on the town. Now what!?!? Itís ruined.

2 of my friends were there during the shooting. They were inside a building that the shooter didnít make it into.  They are safe but both shaken.

Iím even more shaken. Iím so upset! People are saying crass things, blaming mental illness for all of these shootings.  Trump called him a ďmentally ill monsterĒ.

I am tired of the stigma! We canít brand someone their whole lives for having a mental illness and most with mental illness are not violent!

Iíve heard things from people in town that the signs were there... there were red flags for this boy.  I even heard someone say he should have been locked up long ago.  Locked up for what? How about helping him!? Politics is politics but shouldnít we try to help people so they donít see this behavior as an answer?

Itís so hard to turn on the today show and see my local donut shop in the pictures.  My sonís school is about 100 paces from it.

I want to cry, scream something! But instead Iím stuck.... the tears wonít come.  Someone has put a knife in my heart and they keep twisting it.  I mostly just feel like Iím going to throw up and the overwhelming sadness.

Please hug the ones you love

Australia / RU OK?
« on: July 31, 2019, 05:06:16 PM »
RU OK is a suicide prevention through connection not for profit organization serving Australia. 

Our mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.

Our goals are to:

1. Boost our confidence to meaningfully connect and ask about life's ups and downs
2. Nurture our sense of responsibility to regularly connect and support others
3. Strengthen our sense of belonging because we know people are there for us
4. Be relevant, strong and dynamic

Birthday / My Birthday
« on: July 31, 2019, 04:39:02 PM »
So my birthday is on Fri (Aug 2) and I was doing fine until my NPDM emailed with a laundry list of who is coming to celebrate her 90th and what they will be doing. It's just short of a marching band and fly over as befits a 90 yr old who has NPD.  (Her birthday is on the 3rd so it's another loss to NPD b/c mine was spent worrying about whether I would please her on hers.)

Anyway, my H is away on business right now and after I read her email I had this profound sense of loneliness, loss, anger and grief  - there it was again, the naked truth and pain a/b living with a parent who has NPD.

I talked about it by phone with my H who is so supportive (and equally po'd after years of loss due to her disorder), and decided to talk about it here because I know that is what I need to do to continue to recover.  This feeling would have knocked me to my knees emotionally and caused me to dissociate in the past to keep from feeling, but it hasn't and that is progress.

AVAIYA Univ is hosting a free online class "Healing From Childhood Trauma" Jul 29ĖAug 6. 18 physicians, therapists & psychologists will present/talk a/b strategies to understand & heal from childhood trauma.  For a list of presenters and to register go to

United States / US - A Survivor's Guide to Sexual Assault
« on: July 27, 2019, 06:33:29 PM »
A Survivor's Guide to Sexual Assault - information and a list of state resources for survivors of sexual abuse to get the help they need. Includes a guide to help loved ones understand sexual assault.

Grieving and Complex PTSD - by Pete Walker.  This article has a lot to say about anger which layers on top of grief according to Pete.

Other / The Healing Porch - Part 6
« on: July 26, 2019, 03:57:34 PM »
The healing porch thread was started back in 2017 (

I would like to make this the official home of the healing porch.

This is an idea several of us have come up with and want to maintain.

What we already know about the healing porch - first, it is imaginary. But, based on some real facts. It resembles the photo in my profile picture (an actual house I wish I could buy... ahh, if wishes were houses, I'd own it today).

Second, the porch wraps all the way around the house. Those who enjoy sun can sit in the un-roofed section, those who don't so much can even enjoy the screened in section. There are chairs, tables, swings, sofas, easy chairs.

Third, there is a beach and ocean just off the one side of the house. This ocean has crystal blue water, the sand never gets too hot to walk on.

Off another side of the porch is a middle/large concrete area for chalk expression and art. Hopscotch is popular over here.

Forest and lawn are represented off the other two porch sides. This is a magical healing porch, so it can shift as is needed for your healing time with us.

We have board games, bug lights, blankets of healing, peace, comfort, acceptance, rest and many other necessary emotions. They are scattered about the porch and you are welcome to wrap yourself in whichever blank you need. Fear not, this is a magical porch - if everyone needs acceptance, there will be enough to go around.

Refreshing beverages are always available - sorry, folks - one thing I feel strongly about, no alcohol. It blocks healing. Otherwise, all drinks are just waiting, cold or hot as is best for that beverage.

Snacks and light meals are also all around - fruit bowls, vegetable trays. Any vegan can be as well fed as the omnivores (including me) on this porch. If food is part of your challenge, there will always be a 'food-free' side to remove that as an issue during your time on the healing porch.

We've just had the suggestion that my puppies join us on the porch. I think it's a wonderful idea. In fact, if anyone has a pet, please bring it! We have shelving to hold aquariums, window jambs that would hold 20 pound cats, places for puppies to run and fetch, and whatever your pet wants or needs. Because this is a magical porch, messes clean themselves and no pet would DREAM of harming another pet.

All suggestions are welcome!! This is a place for all of us. It started as a mental image to help some of us remember to relax, breathe and enjoy each others' support. It's a great place to get acquainted with your inner child - everyone is safe here. There are games and friends to play them with. There are journals that nobody would ever dream of reading. There are phones and friends waiting on the other end to hear from you.

It is a place of healing. And community (I hear hopscotch is THE game this summer). Welcome.

Each part runs for 5 pages and then it's locked and a new part is started so it's easier to load and read.

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