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Messages - woodsgnome

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Introductory Post / Re: Greetings from London
« on: August 27, 2020, 11:19:08 PM »
 :wave: Hi, CherryTree,

Cptsd can indeed be a very lonely trek. It's especially hard to locate others who've wandered the territory, so congrats to your finding OOTS, an oasis of folks sharing as best they can with peers who are understanding and supportive.

Successes, Progress? / Re: "Getting your feelings back"
« on: August 27, 2020, 02:23:35 PM »
 :cheer: ... good to see you've found new territory, and it hasn't scared you back, either. If it does, you at least know the feeling of having seen the new prospect.

I remember when I started with my present T, I informed her that feelings were mostly inaccessible for me. I realize that was a bit off the mark in denying any feeling. I couldn't/didn't want to access some areas, from fear more than anything. I knew there's stuff (still is) lurking around the edges that might indeed trigger me into feelings I was terrified of.

Though the road is still rocky at times, muddy at others, slowly I've been able to find feelings again, and it does free things up a bit, and having done that it makes the rest of recovery seem less foreboding, and I even ran into some surprises that have helped me turn the corner. I hope it can keep doing the same for you.

Inner Child Work / Re: Feel child like most of the time.
« on: August 26, 2020, 05:56:56 PM »
I think I recognize some of your mindset. I still find myself rather child-like, or is it turtle-like? I'm always shrinking back under my protective shell. Slowly, I'm trying to poke my head out, but it rarely works for long, until I find myself still stuck under the hard shell. It's very slow to try and undo so many years of trauma. Patience can run in short supply, but it seems necessary (is that adult-like? I'm not sure).

Child-like? Definitely it can be taken that way, this reticence to take any steps forward, let alone bold ones. All's not lost if one can adjust their thoughts about it, at least a little. Child-like does suggests an innocence -- a beginner's mind -- and this cptsd struggle is nothing if not a new beginning.

In some ways, my own story was built around never wanting to be like the adults I was around when young. Growing up never seemed real to me, given all the anger and worse that I saw in those adults (and peers who mimicked their meanness).

From what you've said, yes you feel scared and still like a child in some ways. But that's not a flaw, only a characteristic of being a survivor. It's taken me a long time to re-discover that I'm okay, though. I have quirks but they needn't defeat my growth into whatever it is; I just don't call it adulthood, apparently (also for obvious reasons).

So first up, it might help to give yourself credit as a sensitive survivor who will find your way forward. Maybe it helps to allow the good parts that seem child-like, or don't even label it, as sensitivity is not a flaw to be ashamed of, but a strength to build upon.

This seems contrary to what's expected -- the growing up stuff we're all fed. Or maybe it's more like a maturity, and some people who seem child-like are really more mature in some ways. 

Introductory Post / Re: Here I am, from Indiana.
« on: August 26, 2020, 05:08:42 PM »

Checking in here involves learning and sharing with peers who won't start by judging; usually there's a sense of empathy,  which can be awkward given that many here were unloved and had to learn on their own how to make it through (or are still trying).

Again, Welcome!

Sometimes it's as if the mind is like a big roaring waterfall crashing down around one's being. Tumbling out of this roaring tumult certain memories can fall and, with no apparent reason, resonate and/or interact with memories buried deep within. So whether it's precisely like the original event, some little trigger -- a look from someone, a comment, even hearing a certain word (this often happens to me) or something seemingly not related -- can cause these sorts of reactions.

I'd definitely not expert in this, as to whether this fits the precise definition, but words in this area are hard to come by anyway. Yet they're affecting you, and somewhat like my reactions, they can even be delayed, but they often ring a bell. To me, that's emotional flashback territory. I just try and not allow them to overtake the rest of me, that says I'm still OK, safe, and a survivor but not a victim. I hope you can find similar portals in which to be, if not fully soothed, at least tolerant with the temporary effects.

I suppose that temporary quality does, after all, make them flash-backs, in that they come and go, sometimes even when it doesn't seem like they're directly connected to a present situation. Bottom line is -- they're still there, and it sounds like you're at least catching wind of some of them and emotionally flashing back.

Anyway, welcome aboard and here's hoping you'll continue the process of learning and growing from this all.  :hug:

Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: August 25, 2020, 11:57:28 PM »
Elphanigh, what you say touches on an important point -- that yes, the work is meaningful but defies and/or stretches one's comfort zone beyond measure, and really bears no logic either, making it harder to deal with.

There are also limiting factors that are ultra hard to navigate. In my own therapy I've noticed so often that yes, I can delve into sexual trauma on the feeling side, but can slip into panic, horror, anger and rage which I didn't sense (didn't want to) I was still buried in. This could further descend into absolute chaos with regards to anything like trying to be cool and analytic about what was so horrific and, more to the point, totally senseless, shameful, but sadly and deeply absorbed into one's core sense of self. Even finding these words to describe it all boggles the mind, causing me to stop, revise, and try to explain what is very difficult for reasons already touched on.

There truly are no words adequate for it. Our interpersonal communications may be built around words, but often there is no vocabulary that comes close to touching the reality of the unreality of abuse and trauma.

I'm hoping your current experiences will allow you to climb a little further out of the hole into which you were dragged. May you be well and I hope it's alright to share this with you -- a gentle  :hug:

Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: August 23, 2020, 12:19:07 AM »
Thanks for your recent really wise reflections (e.g. noticing the abuse starts/end points but not the middle -- it's the same with lots of my own pain/dissociation patterns).

No grand words, though; my biggest wish for you is simply this:
                                   :zzz: Take care, friend.

Hmmm ... that is a challenge but also an opportunity to share something about what's almost impossible to share: what this condition is really like on the inside, beyond the clinical lens which only sees 'us' as a problem to be fixed, when we see 'us' as ordinary people lost in an unending maze of mysteries and too much potential misery.

Yet somehow we're still looking about for a way home ... to ourselves, to beauty, and some sense of worthiness we can know for real.

Thanks for the notice, Kizzie; as Blueberry noted, there's at least some time to think on it. It's tricky, though; as many of us will hang back waiting for the 'perfect' time and theme to chime in on.

One key word for me has always been the complex part -- it's like when one part (or trauma) is pushed down, sure enough another pops up somewhere else. It is all so complex. And tiring. And more open to hopelessness than we should have to have. And won't go away.

   :spooked:    :Idunno:

Something I'd like others to know about c-ptsd:

Don't assume it's at all like ptsd. It can be, but not always, and its name is only an attempt to generalize what might include multiple damaging traumas.

I'm being honest about what happened, and I need the same sort of response. Listen to what I'm really saying, without judgement. The worst is when you pretend you're listening but then treat me as if I'm too damaged for you to want to be around.

I'm not a damaged victim, though judgemental sorts of people -- even if they consider themselves as 'caring' -- can make me feel like one. I'm sensitive, yes; but also very curious about some things that badly hurt me and how I can live in spite of that. These hurts were senseless to begin with, and their results can be incredibly hard to deal with even decades later.

Please, I don't need false comfort or pretend analyses or top-down sorts of advice. I only need honest listening. And a response as if I'm human, not some weak simpleton who couldn't handle life.

Sometimes I think we resist flashbacks because we don't want to believe how bad it might have been. Bottom line is if its bothersome now it can drag down a lot of current attempts to heal. The main thing is it occurred then, not now. If it's having an effect now, however, it indicates there's still room for healing.

For me, flashbacks indicated that something occurred, even if there's still huge grey areas I don't always know -- in some instances don't want to know -- the 'exact' story precisely, but know enough to realize that there's likely fire behind the smoke. Indeed it's like the flashback is the smoke.

Flashbacks may not be like some precise historical record (although sometimes they are). Mainly it's like they're indicators that need attention, and that they're not being made up out of pure imagination

I think it's too easy to get hung up on what really did or didn't happen. In my stuff, I was able to verify that yes, the worst abuse was as I suspected; although I still hated, and hate, when flashbacks occur. But I did survive -- the important part -- and can change, grow, or heal only from right now. Flashbacks are like photographs of varying quality. Some may indeed fade or be slightly distorted, but they provide a trace of what was out of focus.

Chopping down all the words I'd say, based on my own experience, that flashbacks may not be necessary but they definitely aren't neutral, and are active pointers to damage that can still be healed.

I hope that tamps down any panic you might have been feeling about this.  :hug:

Introductory Post / Re: Intro
« on: August 11, 2020, 01:59:00 AM »
Hey, Dontaskme495,

I offer a hearty welcome to this forum  :wave: -- you're bound to run into lots of people with similar and maybe not so alike, but most of it valuable and for sure honest about how difficult this ride can be.

It's a pretty big place and easy to get lost in sometimes. It's probably best to wander around at your own pace and by all means feel free to speak up where you'd like, whether it's just an observation, a helping suggestion, or a question it would be hard or awkward to ask elsewhere.

General Discussion / Re: I'm over 50 and have never had anyone love me
« on: August 10, 2020, 10:59:27 PM »
I sense the utter pain, desolation and confusion in your sharing here. That's sad, but also it's important that you just let it rip. It hurts even more having traveled loneliness' path. It's hard -- but important to see if we can take a step towards finding help or at least someone to hear us out.

I don't know what to say, but that's so usual in these situations. It's kinda like speaking in a vacuum. What I do know is there have been peeks out from the valley of despair. Somehow something, a glimmer of hope perhaps, survives -- an interest, a passion, a feeling that, though vague, seems to point in another direction.

The only certainty I found was more uncertainty. I know that may not sound great, but in my own stumbles it's all I ever found. I'm just hoping you'll find the gift of you for the world to appreciate. But at least you've come on here and made a start, even if it seems very vulnerable for the moment. It's not perfect, but it's the start of emerging from the wound.


Every word of your post, edenjoy1, resonates per my own experience. Mine involved all of what you've mentioned, with several perpetrators involved. To the point where I was, and am, always suspicious and wary of trusting anyone. I'd stop this on occasion; trouble being I was burned so often when I opened to trust and was easily taken advantage of. Hence, more anger, though I labeled it as grief.

Recently, I've shifted, and accepted, that for me grief doesn't cover my deepest feelings. Anger does. For years I've resisted this, mostly I think just to be somehow civil. I still abide by that, but realize that the grief was really disguised anger all along.

I don't feel ashamed (anymore) about this. I try to work things through my inner being where it would never affect or harm others. Trouble is, I still feel very vulnerable, but have tried to compensate with a more balanced inner life.

I'm actually considered as an affable, if mysterious and remote (partly by choice), person with no friends but am an easy-going and extremely helpful sort. On the outside. I don't feel compelled to worry about that anger/peaceful disparity a lot, but I am constantly in some process of trying to ramp up (or smooth down, I guess) the self-love and self-compassion. I can only deal with me, even if that's inconsistent and feels too vulnerable sometimes.

Okay, I'm spiraling into a bit of a rant here, but I did feel drawn to what you said so well. The early treatment you describe was just so senseless but so achingly devastating in stifling lots of life that others appear to have an easier time with. Or maybe I just don't get it -- something else I've noticed is I didn't really want to grow up, based on the adults I experienced -- never, ever did I want to resemble those monsters.

Edenjoy1 -- I'm hoping your life will experience more contentment as you work at clearing out the debris of so much trauma.  :hug:

It sounds like your experience could in part be a symptom of hypervigilance, going back to when you were closely watched around simple tasks like folding laundry. As you note, you have felt 'watched' before, so even when you're not thinking about the old circumstance you had to deal with, your memory is lurking around the edges of your thoughts. All it remembers is the scary before-times and it can translate now as an unexpected trigger-point. It's awful.

That sort of thing seems to prevail in lots of cptsd reactions to almost anything. There can be the vaguest resemblance to the original trauma and bam, the triggering effect will explode.

I'd love to say those sorts of reactions go away after awhile, but it hasn't been my experience. The best I can say is that I'm quicker to realize what's happening sometimes, but at other times the damage is done and I'd like to escape to a hole in the ground. I do think it's a side effect of being hypervigilant as a regular part of life.

I hope you start to do better with these uninvited shocks to the system.  :hug:

Recovery Journals / Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« on: August 08, 2020, 05:31:59 PM »
I'm probably risking being misunderstood, but here's how I've come to regard this self/Self territory in my own stuff. It could get complex in a hurry, so I'll try and simplify it. And remember -- I'm not suggesting it's cast in stone or even logical (although it is to me). It does resemble, though, some of what 20th century psychologist Carl Jung (and others) wrote about self-Self, but again it's rather lengthy to go into within a short space.

Basically, I view the (Higher) Self as a sort of overall guiding observer type, but not directly involved in one's everyday affairs. I guess that could also be called an energetic presence, like Snowdrop noted. However, the language about it can be mucked up once certain set-in-stone rigid beliefs come into the picture. Maybe that affected your mother's approach?

The lower-case self is the personality ego/mind, which can include several parts and may not be a unified whole. Except in the sense that the Higher Self can provide guidance if needed.

At least that's how I've come to regard the self/Self issue in my own struggles with forging a way forward. I'm only pointing to my own take on this, and in no way suggesting it's applicable to others.


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