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Messages - keepfighting

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Hi, Redd,

these sudden anger outburst are a 'normal' part of PTSD (I was treated for PTSD first and later diagnosed with CPTSD).

I used to have them quite regularly. The worst part for me was how ashamed of myself I felt afterwards - just wanted to sink myself in hole after each one. Like you describe, I also used to direct them at 'innocent' persons -  people who really did nothing to deserve or provoke such a violent reaction from me (my anger outbursts manifested themselves in shouting or mean remarks and I HATED the person I became when I felt this sudden surge of anger).

What helped me control these was a combination of CBT and exercises that were specifically directed at reducing the suddenness (is that even a word?) and the intensity of the anger attacks. My t told me that I needed to direct that anger at the person(s) who caused it. As a child it was simply too dangerous for me to show any forms of anger and even as an adult no longer living a home there was no possibility to tell my Narents (chief people to cause my hurt and my anger) how I felt and why. So my t made me write letters to them - half an hour a day, no restraints in my choice of words, but I had to set a timer for exactly 30 minutes and stop midword if it went off. Next day, I could do the exercise again. I had to collect all these letters in an envelope and put them in a safe place in my home. For weeks, I wrote many of these letters - to my Narents, my PD sis and some of their enablers. After a while, the need to write them receded - I had said more or less everything I needed to get off my chest - and in the last letters I wrote I couldn't even get to the full 30 minutes any more.

I kept that envelope in my house for a while and at some point decided not to send them. No point and it didn't matter for my recovery process whether they read them or not. Some years later, while moving house, I threw the envelope away. I didn't need it any more.

My t explained to me that it was necessary to find a way to express my anger towards the right people - the ones that actually hurt me and caused this anger in the first place.

More than a decade later I can positively say that I have not had as many anger outbursts in 14 years than I used to have in a single year - and at the few occasions when I had a relapse into old behaviour, I looked for the real cause of the ourburst and wrote just one more letter....

The best part about it is that I no longer feel the shame about my own behaviour after an outburst. That shame was like acid on my soul.

Maybe something like that is going on in your life as well, Redd? Your anger must come from somewhere and is probably justified - maybe the solution might be to find a way to express your anger towards the people who caused you all the pain and the hurt behind your anger in the first place?

Please be very kind and very good and forgiving towards yourself and I hope you'll find a way that works for you that will make your anger attacks more manageable.  :hug:

Checking Out / Re: Busy Mar to mid-May
« on: March 30, 2015, 05:51:47 AM »
Congratulation on H's job! Must be the new way to retire....  :bigwink:

Good luck on organizing the move and everything else in your life right now - and thanks a million for all the work you do here on top of it. It's greatly appreciated! 



Recovery Journals / Re: Convalescents journal
« on: March 29, 2015, 03:14:40 PM »

I am so sorry you are feeling so alone and vulnerable right now. That's a horrible feeling.  :hug:

Please be very good to yourself. You are taking very important steps to go from surviving to thriving. It's a long and sometimes (very, very) painful process but you have the strength and the resources within you to help you get there - and you also have professional help (only a few more days now!) and empathy and support from all of us here on OOTS.

Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. Hang in there!  :hug:

Letters of Recovery / Re: A letter from the child inside
« on: March 29, 2015, 10:44:06 AM »

I'm sending the child you a cyber  :hug: and a cyber cuddly toy. What an exceptional spirit!

Even though the pain still feels so raw, I am glad you two have 'found' each other again.  :hug:

Lots of love and many hugs to the both of you.  :hug:

General Discussion / Re: scared
« on: March 24, 2015, 03:58:07 PM »
most of my childhood is a big blank, wondering if trying to change will make me remember things that are better left forgotten? I have always hated that i can remember, but right now im not so sure

 :hug:, lostronaut. That's exactly how I felt before I started t in 2001 and why CBT was the right choice for me at the time: It concentrates very much on the present, stabilizing your symptoms and getting (emotionally) stronger and more resilient and barely scratches the past and the source of the hurt. Maybe CBT would be a good starting point for you, too, or have you tried it already?

One though just occured to me:

When it is safe for you (eventually) to allow some of your memories to resurface and you will 'meet' the younger lostronaut, you will probably meet a scared and lonely little boy who needs the comfort and reassurance the adult lostronaut can offer him; but you will also meet a survivor, a fighter, a brave little chap who managed to survive and keep his head above water in almost impossible circumstances - in other words, you'll also meet a person who can teach the adult you a thing or two about courage and never giving up hope. You won't 'meet' a stranger, you'll meet your best friend who helped you get this far.

Be really really nice and compassionate towards yourself right now. You're not alone.  :hug:

Introductory Post / Re: So Grateful to have found this Forum.
« on: March 24, 2015, 08:31:42 AM »
Hi, Sable1,

glad you've found us on this forum.  :wave:

Cheers, kf

Introductory Post / Re: Hello, new here!
« on: March 24, 2015, 08:29:59 AM »
Oh, lol, Kizzie: "I have a penguin" would certainly explain why "I have no money" - it's all going to the upkeep of my penguin, of course  ;D.

So sorry, Con, that it didn't work out with your t. For what it's worth, I think you did the right thing in not continuing with this one if it doesn't feel quite right and that you didn't start the EMDR with a t with whom you have no good chemistry. It must have been a tough decision, though, especially with all that's trying to resurface into your life right now.  :hug:

Introductory Post / Re: Hello, new here!
« on: March 22, 2015, 05:57:08 PM »
Yeah, it's so hard. And today is one of the harder days. Or more like one of the impossible ones.

So sorry to hear that.

Do you know what triggered it?

Introductory Post / Re: Hello, new here!
« on: March 22, 2015, 03:06:42 PM »
Hello, Convalescent,

nice to meet you on this forum.  :wave:

No need to be nervous about chosing the right words here - luckily, people 'get' what you're trying to say, even if English isn't your first language (mine isn't either).

I was born in Norway but my parents left for another European country when I was 4 months old. I only know one Norwegian sentence: "Jeg har ingen pengar"  (....which happens to be the truth most of the time  :bigwink:).

CPTSD is a tough diagnosis and quite an isolating one so a forum like this is heaven sent for many of us. I hope you'll find support and understanding here.

Cheers, kf

General Discussion / Re: Expecting the worst... unsure of myself
« on: March 20, 2015, 06:16:06 PM »
Has anyone else experienced this situation where you find that there are instances when it is important to learn from your emotions rather than try to soothe them in the moment?

Yes yes yes!

Sometimes validating the emotions, acknowledging that they are natural and justified in the circumstances, is the best thing you can do for yourself and your recovery.

One time, when I was between a rock and a hard place, I tried to meditate, to soothe and comfort myself etc etc - tried to use every trick in the book that I had learned through T - nothing worked. Instead, I felt worse and worse and very helpless. When I told my t about it, she said: "KF, you're trying to use it for the wrong purpose. These things are not meant to be used as a flight response." Then she explained to me why exactly they worked against me in the particular circumstances and how they will be working for me again.

It is a process and I'm still at the very beginning. But I think it all starts with daring to acknowledge and validate our feelings - for ourselves and for one another (like on this forum).

But there are a lot of people who are manipulative and don't respect boundaries...and lack that self-awareness. 

And when they are being abusive or disrespectful for me, I think it's in my best interest to feel my anger in that moment so that I know intuitively to avoid people like this.  The key thing is not acting aggressively or with hostility but still acknowledging the anger and feeling it in the situation...

Exactly! These feelings are a red flag to be extra cautious around a person who makes us feel that way.

General Discussion / Re: Afraid of perpetuating abuse
« on: March 18, 2015, 11:51:38 AM »
Sometimes the best parent you can be is not to have any kids.

That doesn't mean that I think you don't have the potential to be a good parent. It's good that you are honest to yourself and your SO about this subject; if anything, this honesty and knowing your limitations has the potential to make you a great parent and ask for the help you need in raising your kids.

I have 2 kids myself with a big age gap in between. When my oldest was about two years old, I sought T and found a good one who helped me a lot. Raising kids and not continuing the cycle of abuse was something my T and I frequently discussed and she helped me develop the confidence to believe that I could break the cycle and make a good enough parent.

It's a tough decision but I think that you are being a responsible parent already by the way you're tackling this - whether you'll end up having kids of your own or not.  :thumbup:

General Discussion / Re: Group therapy
« on: March 17, 2015, 07:31:47 AM »
Ask your T (if you have one). That's my best guess. Even if s/he doesn't run a support group him/herself, s/he might know a collegue who does.

It's not the kind of thing you can find through the internet, I'd imagine.

Your GP might also know who to ask in your area.

Good luck!

I courtesy to thee, princess C.!


I am so happy for you; for the way you handled the situation and the way it's being handled by your supervisor.


First off: A BIG cyber hug for you, C.!  :bighug: :bighug: :bighug:

(Ok, make it three - you deserve them!  :yes:)

I didn't want to say it when you mentioned it in your other thread but considering to leave and find another job might be the healthiest option for you in the long run - and in the meantime ask for any help and support from your supervisors you can get (might be less than you hope for but hopefully enough to get you through for now).

I do think that you've got some great ideas already to help protect you from her attacks as much as possible (like never being alone with her, making sure you have witnesses to every conversation and such).

You don't deserve to be her target and you didn't do anything wrong!!!! AT ALL!!!

Another cyber hug just to be on the safe side  :hug: and I hope you can think of an activity to help you reset and relax for now (walking, exercising, cleaning - anything to relief some of the hurt  and the frustration and the stress this situation causes you).

Apparently, what I experienced is called Sleep Paralysis. I found a link that describes it:

Is this what you are experiencing, colourfulrain?

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