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holidayay

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Hi everyone
« on: July 15, 2019, 01:12:46 AM »
Thought I'd introduce myself, just signed up to this a few days ago and considered joining to implement this resource as part of my recovery. Well, hopefully.

I've just graduated. And I'm terrified. Because graduating from my degree in this country means taking up work (doctor) a few weeks later. I am almost at a loss as to even know how I made it this far now I have discovered what the monster is that I've been living with all my life (C-PTSD). I guess my degree has aided me - sometimes its felt like studying medicine has given me the 'insider scoop' on mental health. But nowhere did they teach us about C-PTSD. I've accessed the university psychology service amongst other counselling services for years dealing with the symptoms (anxiety, depression, guilt, flashbacks, shame etc) and at best, one counsellor told me I would go into 'ptsd-like symptoms' when things became too stressful.
It was only 2 years ago, when things became stressful beyond belief, that the C-PTSD became a living nightmare. I got it from being raised by a very narcissistic mother. Constant abuse. My dad was very ill from before I was born so most of my memories of him are 'his leaukemia'. I have an older sister who is sociopathic. Extremely abusive. Won't go into too many details yet. Another sister has bipolar disorder and my youngest has a very discernible lack of empathy. I suspect she has gone down the NPD route. Is mostly concerned with how attractive she looks, how intelligent she is, likes to surround herself with people 'of high status' and uses and abuses people's kindness unabashedly. 2 brothers who are dysfunctional in their own ways. One of them is mum's loyal servant and believes her to be akin to the second coming of christ (a narrative she likes to push) and the other - angry, selfish, always out to see what he can get from others.
I spent YEARS and YEARS trying to 'fix' and help everyone. Finally I cut them all out. I'm too scared right now to go into the different types of abuse different members subjected me to but enough is enough. They're all out.

I'm free and yet I'm trapped within the confines of my own mind. The cognitive dissonance is terrifying me. My lack of concentration and poor memory at the moment is terrifying me - how on earth can I be a good doctor if my memory continues like this? I have made plans to find a therapist as soon as I move to my new city where I will start work. I have been putting a lot of effort into healing. Because I do not want to fail my patients, my supervisors, or myself. I do NOT want this to define my life.

But boy is it hard. Just the other day it hit me that I'd forcefully shaped my personality over the years to the whims of narcissistic abuse. Thinking it was normal and that I was the problem - and if i could adapt and get accustomed to that very familiar pattern of idealisation - devaluation - discard and the very characteristic ways of narcissistic injuries, narcissistic rage etc, that I could finally master 'life'. I've effectively been brainwashed and added to that myself. I'd always been told my real self when i dared express it is 'too sensitive'. Of course it would be convenient to call me too sensitive if someone does not want objections to their behaviour - of course it would be the nice way to avoid accountability. This makes me feel SO angry when I think of this and how my delicate child self accepted this and began to self-torment daily.

Well, no more. I don't know what the future holds but i sure know what it doesn't - and that is,  a continuation of living by the rules of disordered people.

Sorry to have just blurted out all my thoughts and ramblings here - I have been in a difficult place of feeling too overwhelmed and yet not wanting to burden my friends with all of my deepest thoughts.

I hope everyone here is having a nice day and it would be nice to get to know some of you. Sending everyone some hugs  :hug:

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Hope67

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 07:38:28 AM »
Hi Holidayay,
Welcome  :heythere:
Congratulations on having just graduated in medicine, that is a big achievement.
I am glad you've joined us here, and hope that you will find this place to be a safe and valuable resource.  I have found it invaluable to my journey with C-PTSD. 
Welcome  :hug:
Hope  :)

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holidayay

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2019, 11:48:38 AM »
Hi Holidayay,
Welcome  :heythere:
Congratulations on having just graduated in medicine, that is a big achievement.
I am glad you've joined us here, and hope that you will find this place to be a safe and valuable resource.  I have found it invaluable to my journey with C-PTSD. 
Welcome  :hug:
Hope  :)

Hi hope67  :wave: thank you for your kind welcome. I'm glad to hear this place have been helpful to you. It seems like its packed full of useful resources. I'm still trying to find my feet with how to progress on this C-PTSD journey, currently experiencing sleepless nights where I don't know if I am awake or asleep and my mind is forcibly replaying difficult conversations where I have been gaslighted or abused and trying desperately to figure it out. I'm wondering if there is a name for this phenomena, its quite difficult to describe. Its not quite racing thoughts. This morning I decided to listen to it and journal out all the difficult thoughts, feelings and memories it brought up yesterday and did find it settled me.

Its odd...a lot of C-PTSD seems to me to be about the body urging my to FINALLY take notice of and take seriously my long-ignored, built-up emotional wounds. There really does seem to be some important aspect of recognising and paying attention to emotional wounding that doesn't simply abide by 'just move on' or 'forget the past'. I am so sick of being invalidated and invalidating myself in turn. No more.


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Tee

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2019, 12:59:15 PM »
Hello holidays,
Welcome a huge congrats :cheer: on your graduation.  I agree Hope there's a lot of info and very nice and supportive.

Yes I agree with you as well I think a lot of the Cpstd is dealing with what we repressed as children.  From what I have gathered since being here it seems it is our inner children needing to be heard and taken care of.  :grouphug:

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sanmagic7

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 01:50:13 PM »
hey, holidayay,

welcome, so very glad you found us.  like you, i've found that the 'get over it' or 'just let it go' kind of stuff never, ever worked, but i couldn't explain why.  i agree w/ you that our wounds need to be tended to in ways that we've never been tended to in the past.  we can't just shove them under the carpet and believe they'll go away.  that's like letting the infection fester on its own, thinking it'll work itself out.  yeah, a little medical metaphor there, just for you, the new doctor!   :cheer:

i've found this forum to be life-changing, with wonderful, generous people who not only care but understand.  take your time, look around, share when and if you want to.  we're here for you.   :grouphug:

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holidayay

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2019, 12:12:25 PM »
Hi Tee and Sanmagic :) thank you for your kind replies.

How's everybody doing? I've now had my graduation and all my certificates and licence have come through. Officially a doctor. Starting work in a week's time. Scary!

I'm starting to realise the fastest and best way for my to deal with the symptoms of c-ptsd - the flashbacks, anxiety, vivid dreams etc - is to not resist. Accept it and give it space. It feels SO frightening and urgent when I experience them as though something ought to be fixed immediately. If I react to it, I'm just pushing it down and distracting. If I try to ignore it, it just gets suppressed and leads to me feeling like my head is full and extremely irritable.

At this stage, the vivid dreams are the worst bit. Its not even necessarily the content that's distressing, more the emotions that come up and which are associated with the dreams. They feel so raw and exactly how I felt as a child, feelings so overwhelming I had no idea what to do with them and no-one in my family allowed my feelings or pain. I could forget about that, that's for sure.

Yesterday I had thoughts relating back to high school in my sleep. I was already full of self-loathing and doubt at that point, and there were nasty kids everywhere (kids can be so brutal and abusive, my god) that it would anger me that they acted as though I didn't hate myself enough and would want to add to that (obviously i know thats not their conscious thoughts but back then it felt like that). I remembered being transferred maths class to the next level up after working hard, and upon being transferred, there was a male student who was extremely annoyed by me joining this class and spoke up in front of everybody: 'why are YOU here?'. It feels just as humiliating right now, typing this out, as it did back then. I remembered my cheeks burned with the shame and my friend looking at me sympathetically and I felt like my entire existence was a huge unwanted, unwelcome presence that was by its nature embarrassing and humiliating. I hated him for doing that, I already felt nervous about joining the class, thinking I wouldn't be smart enough and to be met with that felt mortifying.

I feel embarrassed just for remembering this now and like I should be 'over it'. Harsh inner critic is going mad right now. I wished I could go home and cry to my mum and ask her why he would react to me joining the class like that. Was I really that gross and repellant? Was I hideously ugly that just looking at me was a burden? Instead I went home and quietly buried it deep down, and instead prepared for my mum's volatile moods and trying to meet hers and my siblings' needs.

Well...it feels good to let this all out (though a bit embarrassing)

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Tee

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2019, 12:38:52 PM »
No need for embarrassment. :hug: that's awesome that you were able to bump in math.  I was really good in math in high school too.  I went all the way through to calculus my senior year.  Walked into that class started it was like yeah I don't need calculus to reach little kids and asked to go to the counselors office.  I dropped that class and ended up taking a study hall instead. I didn't want to work that hard. 

Flashbacks and vivid memories come to us with all emotions attached.  You don't have to be ashamed or embarrassed here.  We all get it. Thanks for sharing.  And congrats on completing on your doctorial stuff that's a lot of hard work paying off. :hug: :cheer: :cheer: :applause:

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Three Roses

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2019, 02:00:31 PM »
Hi there! :wave: so glad you've joined us.

As a doctor you may be interested in a book called "The Body Keeps The Score" by one of the early champions of the war veterans who started dealing with the aftermath of the horrors they'd been through. The book goes into the different areas of the brain that are affected by trauma in those of us with CPTSD. Thinking your way out of this is akin to healing a broken arm with daily affirmations. It takes more than just changing your outlook!

The other person I'd like to recommend is Pete Walker, who has written what is effectively the definitive cptsd guidebook - "CPTSD: From Surviving To Thriving". Here's a link to his website's page on dealing with emotional flashbacks: http://pete-walker.com/flashbackManagement.htm

Both of these books can be purchased thru our website, and part of the proceeds go to help fund this and our sister website, Out Of The Fog, which supports those affected with living with a personality-disordered loved one.

https://www.outofthestorm.website/books-1/

https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php

Best wishes to you and I look forward to hearing more from you!
 :heythere:
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 04:18:38 AM by Three Roses »

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notalone

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2019, 02:47:51 AM »
Congratulations on receiving your license to practice medicine.  :cheer:

Welcome to OOTS. I have found this to be a safe site where people understand the feelings, issues, craziness of dealing with c-PTSD.

Thank you for sharing your experience in high school math. I hear your feelings of humiliation and embarrassment. You clearly were smart enough to be in that class. I'm sorry that you experienced that student's rudeness and that you held those awful feelings alone. You are heard now.

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holidayay

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2019, 10:58:48 PM »
Congratulations on receiving your license to practice medicine.  :cheer:

Welcome to OOTS. I have found this to be a safe site where people understand the feelings, issues, craziness of dealing with c-PTSD.

Thank you for sharing your experience in high school math. I hear your feelings of humiliation and embarrassment. You clearly were smart enough to be in that class. I'm sorry that you experienced that student's rudeness and that you held those awful feelings alone. You are heard now.

Thank you so much for your validation. The second paragraph just healed a nearly 15 year old emotional world  :hug:

I'm excited to look around more of this site, it seems like people here really do get it. So happy to have found it :)

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holidayay

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2019, 11:03:43 PM »
Hi there! :wave: so glad you've joined us.

As a doctor you may be interested in a book called "The Body Keeps The Score" by one of the early champions of the war veterans who started dealing with the aftermath of the horrors they'd been through. The book goes into the different areas of the brain that are affected by trauma in those of us with CPTSD. Thinking your way out of this is akin to healing a broken arm with daily affirmations. It takes more than just changing your outlook!

The other person I'd like to recommend is Pete Walker, who has written what is effectively the definitive cptsd guidebook - "CPTSD: From Surviving To Thriving". Here's a link to his website's page on dealing with emotional flashbacks: http://pete-walker.com/flashbackManagement.htm

Both of these books can be purchased thru our website, and part of the proceeds go to help fund this and our sister website, Out Of The Fog, which supports those affected with living with a personality-disordered loved one.

https://www.outofthestorm.website/books-1/

https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php

Best wishes to you and I look forward to hearing more from you!
 :heythere:

Hi! Thank you for your lovely warm welcome :)

Both those titles pop up continuously in all my research  - I purchased the pete walker one, will look towards getting the body keeps the score (the title alone resonates!). Its such a relief to see there's a huge wealth of knowledge out there! You're right about trying to think our way of this is not enough - my god, I did that for years. I don't know about everybody else here but only operating from the head and not the heart only got me so far before I finally collapsed. A collapse that well and truly felt like: Game. Over. There's no way back, no way of un-opening and unseeing the truth anymore.
And as difficult as this initial phase is, I don't think I'd take it back for the world.


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Rainstorm11

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2019, 04:18:47 AM »
Welcome. Congratulations on your scholastic successes. I wish you the best. As I am new, too, hope we both find comfort.

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Three Roses

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2019, 02:31:51 PM »
Quote
I don't know about everybody else here but only operating from the head and not the heart only got me so far before I finally collapsed. A collapse that well and truly felt like: Game. Over.

Exactly! Well said  :thumbup:

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holidayay

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2019, 07:52:57 PM »
Hi everyone  :wave:

So I moved away to start my new job 10 days ago.
I feel like I've been put emotionally whizzed around. Its so weird because a lot of it has been so positive on the job front - the hospital is lovely, the city is so gorgeous (so much nature here and the city centre is beautiful, with little cute cafes and cobbled streets) but emotionally, I've been up, down and left and right. I feel so....I don't even know the word. I've had dreams of some of my fears from childhood, flashbacks, and my inner critic keeps telling me maybe I am the abusive one, maybe I am a narcissist and I feel so guilty and awful. My mind keeps directing me back to moments where my actions could be evidence of me being a narcissist. I kind of have the urge to just write it all out as it comes to my mind, maybe that'll give me a bit of relief of the non-stop pounding thoughts and emotional turmoil/guilt/shame. So, here goes...

For example, I have been deeply heartbroken over my niece and nephew ever since my sister first became pregnant with each of them. Because I knew how horrible she could be. I was deeply fearful from the beginning about the cycle repeating itself. I tried my best to protect them, by encouraging change in their mother through subtle means, by suggesting things like reading to them, taking them to sports/hobbies classes so they wouldn't just be at home, on the receiving end of her wrath, and finally, I called social services when I felt they were in danger. I have cried so much for them, and wish I could do more.
This past week, my mind diverted my attention to a time when I insisted on taking the pram and pushing my nephew because he was being loud, rude and combative and all this did was make my sister go angry and yell at him. I took him with me away from her because I was sick of seeing this constant yelling playing out. I told him he had to stop being rude and he got even angrier and I didn't address this properly. What could/should I have done? Should I have known how to handle his acting out? Should I have been wiser, and asked him to tell me what was wrong and soothe him? He had started to adopt some of my sister's mannerisms and it was increasingly agitating to be around - especially because she would get so angry seeing her behaviour reflected in him that it made her get angry....and his behaviour was triggering off my own wounds.......why was I not more ....perfectly wise enough to know how to separate myself from all of this and just soothe him instead of telling him to stop acting out? Am I just as terrible and neglectful as my own mother?

I honestly don't know the answers anymore. I don't know how to 'be'. I feel like I am doubtful of every fibre of my being. Am I a horrible person? I feel terrified at the thought, I would never be able to forgive myself if I hurt others.

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notalone

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Re: Hi everyone
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2019, 10:45:19 PM »
Regarding your niece and nephew, first I applaud your care and protection of them. With the incident with your nephew, was there a better way to handle it? Maybe. Did you cause him harm in the way you handled it? No. Were you caring for him to the best of your ability? Yes. Don't beat yourself up over that.