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Messages - Geneva

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thanks woodsgnome for your reply.

I know personally there have been a lot of tears and anxiety and they often happen together. With the anxiety comes huge amounts of adrenaline - to run - and so it makes sense to try and be closer to some of those difficult feelings rather than to outrun them. It does take a while to learn to be there for ourselves and to be with the messy stuff.

Depression / Understanding depression and anxiety from Pete Walker
« on: May 19, 2020, 07:57:32 PM »
Wasn't sure if this is better placed in books section but directly relates feelings of anxiety and depression.

Have reduced my reading around CPTSD for the moment while reflecting on Pete Walker's understanding of depression and anxiety. I'm tempted to go with a simplistic understanding and my reading of Pete's work seems to offer this, if I've understood correctly. I'm wondering if anyone familiar with Pete's work or similar has reached the same conclusions. My understanding may be too narrow though so would welcome anyone's thoughts on this, as he's a bright light in recovery writing, both as a clinician and someone with direct experience of recovering with CPTSD.

When our developmental relational needs aren't met by caregivers, we can experience abandonment depression. We become overwhelmed by having no one and no place to turn for safety and these feelings will come up for processing again and again. 

If we can allow ourselves to feel this depression rooted in the original abandonment, then it can help transform depression. It will require us to sit with those feelings and acknowledge both the original fears (reassuring ourselves we are now safe), and express grief at the loss of not experiencing loving security at a stage when we needed it. It will often also require us to become angry at the injustice of the situation and with the caregiver who couldn't/ didn't provide. The anger is one way we re-establish boundaries and a sense of ongoing safety and the tears help with processing and release.

Just wanted to check with Pete saying that anxiety is the next stage up, when experiencing depression is something we would rather avoid and so feelings of anxiety develop as a defence? As though it's easier to experience anxiety than go back to re-experiencing the original feelings of abandonment depression, which can feel the most difficult, both originally and now.

I was always struck by Pete describing how even now, he gives himself space to cry at those moments of reconnecting with the original abandonment rather than using strategies to avoid it - like being busy, spacing out etc. Of course the pacing of all of this is different for everyone and everyone's recovery journey is an individual one. It's just got me thinking about things differently. If anyone's wondered the same, would be happy to hear from you.

Introductory Post / Re: LGBT - Family Disownment
« on: June 16, 2019, 08:26:20 PM »
hi Silverhalo

The fear of my parents' outright rejection when I became part of the LGBT+ community in later life really did add an extra layer of shame and secrecy for the most part. In many ways I now wish I'd had the courage to let them know who I was becoming sooner - but I was barely aware of how their personalities had adversely impacted on my emotional development since childhood and how it important it was to still please them. As it was, they turned out to be less than supportive perhaps not surprisingly.

Not sure of your friends' situation - families can and do change their views for the better after initial outright rejection on coming out. It can take time and can come from a number of sources - getting over the shock, positive influences from more extended family  members or significant others, realisation that non acceptance could eventually lead to reduced contact etc. However many of us find ourselves affected by cptsd on account of having families of origin who were and are less than validating - so the validation your friend needs about her sexuality may never come from her family.

I've also witnessed people close to me who cling desperately to families of origin in spite of the invalidation - being supportive as a friend in that situation is a tough gig, but sometimes there's misplaced hope that all will eventually change for the better. It may also be difficult for your friend to go no or reduced contact with her family if cptsd is playing a significant part in her life. Your validation and support for her new identity is crucial though and not to be underestimated. 

thank you for your lovely supportive comment jdog

Introductory Post / Re: New to the whole concept of CPTSD (Trigger Warning)
« on: September 18, 2018, 06:47:15 PM »
Hi Limage and welcome to the forum.

I just wanted to add a UK resource you may want to consider who provide face to face or skype counselling and have an understanding of cptsd. They provide support to survivors of childhood and/or adulthood narcissistic abuse and it sounds from your description that this may well be your experience.

Here's a link to their web page :

With every best wish. Geneva

Glad you found it useful Hope - Iíve been able to relate to the video too.


Peer support, social groups, training, c-ptsd experienced counselling/therapy service, outreach workshops and campaigning :

Introductory Post / Re: Hi, new here
« on: August 02, 2018, 09:38:48 PM »
I'm new to understanding about trauma and grief but just wanted to say that I'm sorry about your loss Starfire 60.

The key part your wife played in your life and her sudden passing certainly makes for huge turmoil and adjustment. Also, 60 is an age where we are often redefining ourselves and there's no real rule book for that - for men or for women.

It's amazing that despite feeling we've got good insight into our situation, our emotions know how to ask for attention when healing is needed. Hope you can lean heavily on your therapist during this time and find your path again.

Introductory Post / Re: newbie starting counselling
« on: July 27, 2018, 06:07:21 PM »
thanks Fen Starshimmer, and what a beautiful name to chose.

I've now come across Pete Walker's book which seems a great place to start to become more trauma informed.

Best wishes and it's reassuring to know there are others walking the same path who are willing to share on this forum.

Introductory Post / Re: newbie starting counselling
« on: July 26, 2018, 12:48:14 PM »
thankyou Fen Starshimmer.

What you say totally makes sense. It's such a minefield to navigate therapy when we feel as we do. I've had to take a step back and consider whether cptsd fits - counsellor thinks so and I agree but it's a very new realisation for me. I was shocked when she mentioned it and didn't expect her to, my primary interest was recovering from the effects of a narc parent and finding a therapist who knew about narcissism. It all makes sense now..and I can now see where other approaches could add some things to this one as the recovery goes along. I'm ready to see where this therapeutic encounter takes me and will hopefully be vigilant to things beginning to not work so well, if and when that happens. thanks again for replying.

Introductory Post / Re: newbie starting counselling
« on: July 24, 2018, 10:21:40 PM »
thanks for replying - haven't worked out how to do individual replies yet.

Blueberry, just remembered I've had four counselling/therapy experiences in adulthood, none of whom were trauma informed, so guess I already knew the journey can be a long one ! Reassuring to hear that in many ways this one may not be the end of the line either, even though I'm delighted she seems 'onto it' at the moment. I'm just so exhausted that having got to the crux of the problem by identifying cptsd, it's almost like I need a break and gather my energy for the new path ahead, now that there is so much more to learn and most of my life to reframe.

Eyessoblue, totally get the cost benefits of NHS treatment and agree too that from where I'm standing, weekly therapy over 12 weeks max doesn't seem enough for cptsd. It's a very soul bearing experience but I hope you've made some breakthroughs with this therapist. I've just managed to pronounce my therapist's name correctly at week 3. About 20 years ago when I first went to the GP with anxiety/depression she suggested a referral to a psychiatrist when I continued to need antidepressants after about 18 months. I was appalled, quit my job and went travelling to have the symptoms resume when I returned.  To think if I'd only understood that she felt there may have been more that just anxiety/depression, I could have been addressing cptsd much earlier - but it looks like many of us have been in that boat. And anyway, 20 years ago it may have been a more difficult condition to recognise too, even in psychiatry. Hope you get something sorted out if you're going to continue with therapeutic work beyond the NHS. I've found the private skype counselling reasonably priced but the price ranges between therapists are enormous.

Introductory Post / newbie starting counselling
« on: July 24, 2018, 06:46:18 PM »
hello, happy to have found my way here. Iím new to the site and the forum and new to recognising that Iím affected by cptsd.

Iím in the U.K. and have started therapy with a counsellor who understands cptsd.  Iím trying to get my head around different types of therapy available in the U.K. - are there reasons why people may opt for NHS psychology services, or psychiatry or psychotherapy or counselling? Iíve gone down the private Skype counselling route and early days but so far so good.

Itís just that I made the decision myself without GP or anyone elseís involvement and before I get in too deep, Iím starting to wonder about what the benefits are of other types of therapists.

Have people found that their recovery journey hasnít been a one stop shop in terms of therapists?

If this should go in the therapy section then please move, sorry. Iím an adult child of Narc parent.

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