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Messages - plantsandworms

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Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Re: Places to actually interact.
« on: October 11, 2017, 07:50:26 PM »
I have used the 7 Cups of Tea website in the past. It's not C-PTSD specific, but there are live people on there who are trained in active listening and available to chat 24/7. It is hit or miss as far as whether you will get matched with someone you connect with, but if you do find people to connect with you are able to seek them out directly in the future. If that site is something you haven't tried, it might be worth a shot? Luck to you.

General Discussion / Ugggg Emotional Eating?
« on: October 11, 2017, 07:47:01 PM »
Hey all, I'm wondering who else here struggles with emotional eating? Whenever I am overwhelmed/depressed (which is often) sometimes the only thing I have to look forward to is what comfort food I'm going to eat that night while parked in front of my Netflix account watching re-runs. I start to think about it partway through every day like clockwork, and I've been this way since childhood (a time when there really wasn't much in life to look forward to at all). Does anyone have advice for how to redirect those feelings? To have something else to look forward to? I'm embarrassed even writing this, because I do have a lot of rewarding things in my life but they just don't hold a candle. In the past when I've tried to rewire myself I've gone in the complete opposite direction of disordered eating. I just want to... not be constantly thinking about food, whether that's in anticipation or guilt or what have you. Thoughts/commiseration appreciated!

Medication / Meeting With Psychiatrist For The First Time - Tips?
« on: October 11, 2017, 04:26:30 PM »
Hey everyone, I am scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist for the first time and I'm wondering whether yall have tips for what I should be looking for. This psychiatrist specializes in treating PTSD and is also from a "holistic" school of mental health treatment. He was recommended to me by my therapist who I like a lot but is a little more of a "hippy" than me haha. This person I'm going to see apparently does panels on my vitamin levels, neurotransmitter levels, etc. and examines both my physical and mental health history to find a treatment that works for me (which may or may not include anti-depressant or anti-anxiety meds). I guess I'm just wondering what other experiences folks have had with first-time appointments and whether there are "red flags" to watch out for or treatment recommendations that are "good signs." Thanks for any input, wish me luck!

Thank you for your post, JamesG. You're totally right that I am grieving what could/should have been. It's funny that I didn't put that together myself, because I even went so far recently as to make a mental list recently of every potential intervention point I had with my grandmother where she failed to step in to what was happening in my home. But most of all I've been caught up in a memory of her taking me to swim in a pond by her house. It was a moment where I felt like a totally normal kid. I'm so comforted/sad to hear that you have been through similar things with your family members. WHY? There really are so many questions without answers in that regard. Thanks again for providing that perspective.

rbswan, thank you for your thoughtful response. I can 100% relate to your description of being a highly sensitive person. I have a network of "chosen family" these days and sometimes I feel such love for them I feel like I might die.

I definitely encourage you to drive through your hometown. I moved a lot as a kid but all within the same city, and last year I did this little project where I drove to every house I'd lived in and took a picture of it. I also drove to the schools I had gone to and my favorite neighborhood hangouts. It was helpful to me to look at those places in real life and think, "These places are real. These memories are real. I didn't make this up." It did take its toll emotionally however, especially because my family still lives in the neighborhood and I was terrified of running into them. Anyway, I kept the pictures and they've helped me to order my thoughts about my childhood in a more linear and less chaotic way. And I cherish them because I don't have copies of any photos from my childhood otherwise.

Thank again for your thoughts, and I actually just ordered that book you mentioned this morning so I look forward to reading more about what you've mentioned here. Hope it gets better for you all the time.

My god, asyouwish, parts of your post I felt like I wrote myself. I also am in my mid-20's and my only longterm romantic relationship was 15-17. I've had some flirtations and minor encounters since then but no matter how much I am initially interested in someone I quickly get to work writing a list of their flaws and stacking it up with the ever-present list of mine. There's always something about me or about them that makes me feel like puking at the idea of moving forward. I have also built a vibrant life outside of the romantic arena, and I do enjoy my independence and the room it gives me to figure out who I am and what has happened to me, but there's also this voice in the back of my mind that says I'm only single because I am not enough - and every day that passes is another strike against me. But I do believe that all of those hobbies and friendships and passions we are cultivating right now are making us really great people to know, and that when we are ready to push past the emotional blocks we will find just what we are looking for (and this time we'll know what that is).  Thank you for sharing this feeling with us.

songbirdrosa, I have also thought for a long time about changing my surname. Mine also comes from a father who really never was much of a father to me. I picked my own surname that I started using on FB and in other non-legal places about five years ago and I have found it to be a really liberating way to take control of my post-traumatic identity. I still haven't made it official legally, and I think that's partially because the compartmentalization of those two identities has been a helpful way for me to process who I am. I totally support you in doing whatever feels right to you! The process, in my state at least, is just to fill a form, pay a fee, run a notice in the paper, and get a signature from the judge. And hey, your name is yours alone.

Hey, just posting to say that I really empathize with what it feels like to get to the point with your own mother where you just can't justify having her in your life anymore. Thank you for sharing this experience. I don't have anyone else in my life who is no-contact with their families and so it's rare that I hear stories that echo mine. I have been completely no-contact for a little over five years now and to be honest I'm still working through grieving that permanent loss, but my personal growth in just about every area of my life has flourished now that I have been given the room to breathe easy. And my relationships with my siblings took a huge hit for a long time as they figured out their own desired level of contact, but now I am finding that those relationships are being rekindled stronger than before because we are finally able to acknowledge the elephant in the room: our mentally ill and abusive parent.

Anyway, I hope that you'll soon find the space to start breathing easy, too.

I've been in a pretty steady downslope/period of regression for the past two months, ever since hearing that my grandmother had died. I am no contact with my entire family and have been for a while now, but her death just brought everything right back to the forefront. Suddenly I was having an overwhelming amount of emotional flashbacks on a daily basis, and in nearly every aspect of my life. I started to isolate pretty badly because it felt weird to grieve someone I hadn't seen in ten years, but it was happening anyway.

Lately I've felt some sense of normalcy returning, but then yesterday I woke up feeling this way that I can only describe as reckless. It felt numb and the lack of anxiety/depression feelings made me feel powerful I guess. I skipped work and drove out to my childhood neighborhood about an hour away, just driving up and down the streets feeling like I was in a dream. It felt nice to be immersed in that nostalgia and see how things had changed. Then I drove myself to the movie theater, and lo and behold The Glass Castle was playing. I watched it and was fascinated by how many of our experiences overlapped. It was a matinee showing and I was the only one in the theater, so I let myself laugh out loud at the worst parts (a coping mechanism of mine when I'm feeling upset by a memory). It felt nice, like exposing myself to a trigger and not being overtaken by it.

But then this morning I woke up feeling more hopeless than I have in a long time. I skipped work a second day and just cried for a long while. I feel a bit like no matter how far I progress there will always be things that yank me right back to the beginning of my journey. But I know I've learned a lot and every time I make that journey it will be easier and I will get further. It's just hard to feel like I'm getting anywhere right now. And most of all I just find my behavior so mystifying, why did I do all of that yesterday? It was like I didn't have a care in the world, and I'm a person who often tries to carry the woes of the whole world on her back.

Introductory Post / New here, stuck in survival mode (TW)
« on: October 10, 2017, 06:37:59 PM »
Hey everyone, grateful to have found this forum. I am a woman in my mid-20s and I was diagnosed with C-PTSD in January of this year, after a previous diagnosis of anxiety and chronic depression. I have been in therapy for ten months now and have had a lot of breakthroughs, but processing all of this has me feeling like I'm barely hanging on to each moment.

The background of my diagnosis is basically this: I was born to a teen mother who was being held hostage in a rural area by a physically and sexually abusive partner. She escaped with me across state lines when I was three years old. I was kidnapped by this man when I was four or five and spent six months with him until I was returned to my mother. What followed was a series of unfortunate events brought on by the fact that my mother was poor, uneducated, and never sought help for her trauma. A lot of the burden of our situation fell to me as soon as I was old enough to help (eight or nine years old). We lived in dozens of places and were sometimes homeless, always living in a constant state of chaos and crisis. My mom went on to have many other children and their care was largely my responsibility. She had romantic partners that turned out to be really * people who put us through a lot. She also had explosive anger and paranoia and directed it mostly at me as her primary support system.

I started running away a lot in my teens and at 17 I cut off all contact. I have gone on to achieve some success in my life, as I channel all of my energy into my work. However, I feel completely empty inside. I isolate from others a lot because I don't know how to love or be loved and I'm afraid to repeat cycles of abuse. I put all of my energy into my work but then most times my work just feels meaningless. The tiniest things make me feel extremely fearful or overwhelmed. People think that I have so much going for me but really I'm barely holding it together. And to top it all off, it has been years since my no-contact decision and my mother is still frequently sending me threatening and/or pleading messages, showing up at my house and screaming in the street, or calling my work and my friends. I am also unable to have relationships with my siblings, because they are still young and under her control. I feel a lot of guilt about that.

I am so ready to do my healing work and reach my fullest potential, but my trauma feels completely inescapable. I can't do anything outside of what I absolutely must do to survive as a human or do well at work. I'm hoping that connecting with others who have similar experiences might help me put the pieces together a little better. Anyway, thanks for reading.

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