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Messages - keepfighting

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Introductory Post / Re: Hi, I'm Mary
« on: September 11, 2014, 06:25:52 PM »
Hi, Mary,

nice to meet you!

I am so sorry for everything you had to go through in your life.

I do hope you'll find support and peace here on this site.

Best wishes, kf

Medication / Re: Self medicating
« on: September 11, 2014, 06:20:29 PM »
I comfort eat and I was once addicted to painkillers. Ate them like candy.

Most of the time I eat well nowadays, but when triggered it's still my first line of 'defence'.

General Discussion / Re: People telling you how you feel
« on: September 11, 2014, 06:10:10 PM »
eo, thanks for sharing your brother's experience. Hearing that others have gone through similar things and that they are doing well now is actually comforting - DD sucked up that kind of personal stories in the first months after her accident. I'm sorry your brother had to have the more painful treatment because of earlier neglect by your mom.

DD is 10 now, 1st anniversary of the accident coming up. We're very proud of how brave she's been in handling it. She's a tough little girl! We've been very careful in letting her deal with it in her own way and at her own pace. For example, we discussed if/how and when she wanted to revisit the place of the accident. DH and I also needed to see the place - together and individually - but that was part of our learning to deal with it. She didn't go for months and then she went together with one of her best friends (who had been a witness to the accident). She told us later that they'd been and we could see that she had laid her 'ghost' to rest and was no longer scared of the place.

The emergency dentist turned out to be associated with the university dental clinic (works/teaches there one day a week). He personally made sure that the best trauma dentist took her on as a patient. That was so kind of him.

There are also legal issues surrounding the accident. About a month later we started asking for  legal advice and now DD's got a lawyer looking after her interests so at least she won't be saddled with having to pay herself for whatever treatments will be necessary. That's a relief.

sacha - your DD is very wise in her observation; what kind of s****y  words was your ex trying to put into your mouths! Sheesh!

I must try your Ts trick next time, see if it works (...and if I can remember it on time and not three days after the conversation like I usually do :( ). Thanks for sharing!

maybe it's time to tell myself "I'm innocent." or "She's innocent."

Has anyone ever tried that?

There were times when I've played Billy Joel's "Innocent Man" so often that if it were still an old fashioned record, it would be broken by now.  ;)

It feels good to shout loudly (in the car, by myself): "I am an innocent man - oh yes I am!"

I think it's one of the most liberating and positive messages you can treat yourself to.

Thank you for reminding me - I really needed to hear that today.  :)

So... now time to parent myself. It's hard though. I gave my kids value and valued them: treated them with love, safety, loyalty. Gave them a safe space to live.

It's probably time to be as nice and understanding towards yourself as you've been/still are towards your children. You deserve it just as much as they do!

Maybe put up a picture of yourself as a little girl and tell her every day how wonderful she is, that it isn't her fault how she's being treated and that you (the older version of yourself) will be there to take care of her once she's grown up.

I really hope you can find a way to take away the shame and guilt that weigh her down.

Sending good thoughts your way!

General Discussion / People telling you how you feel
« on: September 11, 2014, 12:28:20 PM »
Earlier this week, I had a phone conversation with en sis. The anniversary of my DDs accident is just a few weeks away and I'm dreading it. DD was catapulted off the backside of a jumping cushion last year and landed on the electric cable's drum, face first. She suffered a concussion, her front teeth were knocked out and minor fractures in the nose. Long story short, she has at least 11 years of specialized dental care ahead of her (it happened when she was 9 and she needs regular supervision of the developments of her upper jaw till it is fully matured by the time she's 20 and may end in the necessity of having reconstructive surgery of the entire upper jaw).

In the first weeks she was in so much pain and the pain meds barely took the edge off. DH and I took turns sleeping in her room because she needed new meds and constant care. It was a horrible time for all of us, most of all for DD, of course.

We are fully aware that we can also be grateful that she landed the way she did - if she had landed any other way, she could have suffered brain damage or even have died. But that doesn't take away the severity of the injuries she did in fact suffer nor the long way to full recovery with quite painful procedures in between.

Anyway, I was talking to en sis about it and telling her how DH and I feel quite over protective of her and still need to fight the urge to forbid her quite normal activities for kids her age (I'd like one of those bowls that the squirrel Sandy in the Spongebob episodes wears to feel better about DDs safety  ;) ). Then my sis kept saying: "Oh, you're just feeling anxious because she is you 'baby' and you don't want her to grow up."

I tried telling her that this dread we feel is completely different from how we felt before the accident and has nothing to do with my baby growing up but she kept insisting that that was what I felt. I stopped trying - she  was so insistant that she knew my feelings better than I did that I decided it was better to let it slip and change the subject...

Even though she probably meant well, I soooo hate it when people are trying to tell me how I feel. Just listen!

Depression / Re: Not motivated
« on: September 11, 2014, 06:37:07 AM »
Now there's a thought! I have Cleaner's Block!

 :D :D :D

Finally! A name for it!  ;)

General Discussion / Re: The recovery spiral
« on: September 07, 2014, 01:37:42 PM »
why I hold onto my self-hatred.  Pretty soon after I got home, I figured out that it had something to do with defending my mother and being loyal to her.

This was one of my major breakthroughs in t: In one of the sessions I had been defending my mother's treatment of me towards my t, apparently ( was so much of a habit at the time that I didn't even realize I was doing it...) and my t said: "Children often defend their parents even when it's not deserved." I left that session furious like * - how dare she call me child! (I was 27 at the time) Then it hit me: She wasn't calling me a child at all - she was telling me that I am a grownup and do no longer need to defend my parent's actions!

It has taken quite a bit of practice to stop defending hurtful and mean actions - even to myself - but it has definitely been worth it and helped reduce the self hatred a lot.

I realized most of this intellectually a couple of years ago.  But somehow, today I'm starting to realize it on a more emotional level, and it's like being shocked all over again, like someone has just picked up the earth and used it like a salt shaker.  In general the past couple weeks I've been having more emotional responses to my childhood, feeling some of the pain I've repressed all these years.  From 2011 on I've been realizing intellectually that my childhood was "that bad" and I was emotionally/verbally abused, but now I'm actually feeling some of the pain of not being allowed to exist as I really was.

Spooky! This is precisely why I went into t in the first place: I wanted to be able to feel what I knew to be true intellectually.

In retrospect, I think that knowing stuff about my childhood intellectually has also been keeping me from seeking help for a long time: I think I over rationalized and got myself deeper into the spiral. Allowing myself to feel emotions - especially the 'negative' ones - was just too scary to contemplate.

Good luck on your journey out of the spiral! You may be revisiting 'places' you've been before, but you are no longer the same person you were then and maybe by revisiting, you can face the demons that were too scary the last time around.

Thanks for posting this, kizzie.

EFs are still quite hard for me to recognize, especially the subtle ones with no obvious triggers. Sometimes I just feel unaccountably tired even though I had had enough sleep.

Those 13 steps are great!

Hi, annegirl,

funny you should be able to read Dutch  :).

The book is called "Niemandskinderen" and the author is Carolien Roodvoets. I hope you can get hold of a copy.


Depression / Re: Not motivated
« on: September 01, 2014, 06:56:57 PM »

I am so sorry you're feeling so low right now.  :'(

I have had a severe depression last year - pretty much the way you describe it. I felt crippled and went back to bed most days as soon as my kids had left the house. I am an absolute foodie under normal circumstances, but I hardly ate anything and didn't even fancy a Belgium chocolate any more (...that's when even my DD got really worried...).

Like you, I was in therapy at the time. I told my t about my depression and how severe it had become. She put the CPTSD treatment on hold and just helped me through my depression first. Which turned out to be a good call.

I had to be really really nice to myself - like I was the most important and most precious person in the world. I had to get out of the house every day and force myself to do/buy something which I would normally enjoy and feel it/them. Next session, I had to report back to her.

On my way home, I made myself stop at a place where they sell the best handmade Belgium chocolates in town. I bought a box of them and forced myself to eat one chocolate that night. Next day, I bought myself a cussion for my couch - fluffy and nice and totally my own. The next day, I bought a psychology magazine that was full of positive thoughts. Then, I went to a musical event with my family in the next village.... but each night, one chocolate until I started enjoying them again (took weeks, literally). They were a kind of lifeline for me (along with the other things and activities of course).

Then, when I started feeling a bit better, I didn't need my one chocolate a day any more (...which is a good thing because those little buggers are quite costly  ;) ). But I still have a box in the house with a few left for 'emergencies' - to remind myself that even in black days there is something nice and that I can find it if I keep hanging in there.

eo - hang in there! Be nice really to yourself and ask your t for help!

Sending good thoughts and hugs your way. kf

Another fawn-freezer here!

This is actually where I paused in the Walker book when I read it this summer. Major triggers...

Now, re-reading the therapy section on freeze, I understand why therapy only got me up to a certain point:

It dealt mostly with my fawn tendencies, they are less intense and less painful to deal with for me.

Right now, I am kinda stuck in freeze over a situation - soon as I find the nerve to do so I will post a seperate thread about it.

Anyway, this is a good thread - even though it's painful for me. Helps to know there's a lot of us here ready to offer support.

Hi, Kizzie and globetrotter,

thanks for the warm welcome!

Kizzie, you're absolutely right when you say that getting the diagnosis CPTSD was a lot to take in - but also kind of a relief because it made sense.

I'm not sure how much some of the books might mean to you since two of them are in Dutch. As far as I can tell they haven't been translated into English. For one of them I think it's a shame because it's very insightful and validating and offering (realistic) perspectives of a brighter future for adult survivors of a toxic childhood.

Some of the exercises that helped me a lot were:

- Exercises to help me differentiate more emotions than the 4 basic ones (fear-joy-desperation and sadness). They were aimed at recognizing the different physical symptoms that accompany different emotions and to bring down the intensity of (negative) emotions into recognizable sizes that are easier to deal with. Basically, 'jittery' is easier to deal with than fullblown 'fear'.  It was surprisingly difficult - still haven't mastered it completely.
- Exercises that let you feel the (negative) emotion but at the same time knowing it's in the past and you're safe in the present. My t called it the 'cinema experience': The emotions are real but there is no actual hurt or danger to your person.

I'm reading Pete Walkers book right now (little pieces at a time). I think it has a lot to offer.

Well it's a long journey and I'm glad there are people here who understand and are willing to offer support and validation.


General Discussion / Re: Slow Go
« on: August 27, 2014, 05:12:07 PM »
Wow, it sounds like you're taking a lot of steps to get better. Good going!

I am reluctant to give any tips, just share what works for me:

- volunteer work (I help immigrants with the language)
- exercise (for me, walking and cardio exercise work very relaxing and help take my mind off things)
- taking a nice warm bath
- reading chicklits (blushing now - ;) )

For me, engaging in activities and helping people with a completely different set of problems than my own actually helps with my own (ongoing) recovery. Clears my head or something... 

Hi, everyone,

I grew up in a family with an overt NPD father and a covert NPD mother.  I was the oldest of 4, the SG, the maid and 'mother' to my siblings. At an early age, I was already saddled with a lot of responsibilities (I started writing a journal on my 8th birthday and it already speaks of me having to cook for the family when my mom was away because my father refused to do 'woman's work').

When my oldest kid was 2 years old, I went into therapy. My earliest memory of abuse by my mother goes back to the time when I was about 2 1/2 years old and as my child approached that age, I could no longer deny (to myself) that I had had a bad childhood and that I needed help.

I was diagnosed with PTSD and mild depression. When I first heard that, I was soooo relieved - I had thought there was something 'seriously wrong' with me and this sounded harmless enough (my mother had often told me when I cried over something that had happened that I was a total mental case and would be committed to a mental unit should I ever look for help). I got CBT and that stabilized my symptoms. My t also gave me some tools to battle on. All in all I was happy with the results of the t.

Last year, I had some minor medical problems that were misdiagnosed and maltreated by my GP. As a result, infection spread through parts of my body and left me (nearly) immobilized for a few months and I went into a major depression. So I recontacted my therapist. We discussed a lot of things and she told me that I did in fact have CPTSD and recommended a few books and exercises to help me some more - as well as help me get out of my depression.

By now I understand that there is nothing harmless about CPTSD. It is a lifelong struggle and even though there are times when I feel quite ok, it doesn't take much to let my old fears and insecurities destroy my inner peace.

I'm glad I found this forum (through Out of the Fog). IRL I hardly ever talk about this.

Thanks for reading.


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