Recently Diagnosed With CPTSD - Sister's Cruelty Is Crushing Me

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VeryFoggy

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Dear All, I have recently been diagnosed with CPTSD.  I have been so stunned I haven't been able to post much.  I've mainly been sharing the news with friends and family and hoping finally!  Everyone will believe me!  I really was abused and treated so badly I was warped for life!  Most people have been very compassionate about it.  But one person has been incredibly cruel, and I couldn't even write about it until today. It is my sister. We've friends for many years. 

Some of these responses were in answer to my invitation to sit down with my therapist and I and discuss things.  I need some validation, I'll be honest.  I am shameless today.  I need some support.  So I am going to list some of the things she has said on our email exchange and I need to know if you would be hurt by these or am I overreacting?

Extractions From Our Emails

Me:  I have CPTSD which I feel validates that I have been abused by dad.  Now maybe you will understand why I am NC.

She: I am saddened and disappointed that you let him have so much power over you and your emotions. Sad that you can't love yourself enough at this point in your adult life to brush off any * that he might have tried to dump on you.

She: But you are you and I am me and....that's why you are in therapy. We just approach and react to things differently. You seem to think I'm going to just crack up at some point like you have

She: I have chosen as an adult, to maintain a relationship with both of my parents because I care about them

Me:  Will you come to counseling with me?  I think I need my therapist's help explaining this to you.

She: Do you think I'm going to just jump your * if you ask me for something or tell me you need something? That makes me really sad and tells me how desperately important it is for you to be getting this help if you are at that point. I do need to tell you (which I would think you would know this) but that would have made me super uncomfortable and WOULD have felt like an ambush. I don't know....some kind of weird intervention, yucky, ick factor situation.

Me: I misunderstood a story but my therapist said it didn't matter because if dad saw me as competition for his father's love, he still did resent me.

She:Making up stuff is very important because if you are not functioning from truth but rather your own interpretation or version of truth is, you are not working with real data...so the outcome or treatment cannot be accurate. If you told your therapist that your dad said he didn't love you, resented you and was jealous of you but it was really his dad that he had said those things about....that detail matters quite a lot.

Me: CPTSD is caused by child abuse when a person is helpless. It was caused by dad.

She:  I really hope that you will also explore with your therapist in just as much depth and detail as you are focusing on your family dynamics how your boyfriend has brutalized and traumatized you emotionally for such a long time. Just my opinion but that has had just as much impact on your past and current emotional state as any Dad issues

Me:  I am just not feeling any empathy or compassion, so I am sending you a fantasy response.

She:  When I read your fantasy email, my immediate reaction was: WOW seriously, I have said almost ALL of those things to her IN MY OWN WAY AND IN MY OWN WORDS, in both phone conversations and emails.But because I did not say them in exactly the way that she wanted, using all her newly learned little phrases and terminology ....I didn't mean them or wasn't serious/sincere enough and it wasn't good enough for her. It seems that whatever support or encouragement I try to offer, it is just never good enough or satisfying enough to her. I will not be trained like a circus seal to give the "right response". You know what....f**k it, I'm done.

Me:  I just don't feel like you are being respectful to me.

She:  How do you think that makes ME feel to have you constantly telling me those things and basically implying that I am just a mean, *, sadistic person???

Me:  I just need you to make some small changes and treat me with respect.

She:  You are the ONLY person in my entire circle of friends and family that tells me you feel that way about me and that I need to change myself fairly dramatically in order to get along with you....I have to think that it's not all me and perhaps your perceptions are the major thing at play here.

Me:  Here's some things that trigger me: being yelled at, angry voices and angry faces, being destructively criticized, being judged, being told what I "should" do, screaming and loud voices, even if it is not directed at me, feeling like I am being left and abandoned, being mocked,  sometimes sarcasm if it is directed at me, monologing, being treated disrespectfully, seeing children being mistreated, being treated like I don’t matter, sly deceitful attacks, being unexpectedly cornered and verbally attacked.

She: I read your long list of "triggers" and thought, I'll do at least half of the things on that list at some point in time. I won't mean to and won't do things with intent to hurt, but it will happen. Because of my PERSONALITY and who I am. I cannot change my fundamental sense of self and being in order to make you feel safe and happy.

Me:  Whatever it is, I hope you get it worked out in your mind. I was just looking for empathy and compassion, but it feels like I mostly just got anger.  So, I am sorry you are so stressed out, and it is causing you to think so many things that are just not right. I hope you change your mind and want to come in and talk about it.

She:  So just saying...some of the things you complain about or take as a sign you weren't loved are what they are for a reason. And it is up to you to change it if you really want it to be different. Instead of just sitting around going whah, whah, whah...my daddy didn't love me enough. Granted you have to be in an adult frame of mind to do that and I think you are in a different place

This last one sent such pain ripping through my heart I had to go start back up on my antidepressants that I been quit of for a year.  But it was either that or try to find a doctor make a house call and sedate me.

After this last message, now I am being Hoovered, but I am not biting. I think she knows she went too far. But I am insisting she come sit down with my therapist and I to discuss our issues. Would these things have hurt any of you? Sent you into flashbacks?  Because I've been in flash back for 2 weeks as this has been ongoing for 2 weeks.

Am I over reacting?

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C.

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Re: Recently Diagnosed With CPTSD - Sister's Cruelty Is Crushing Me
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2015, 08:51:15 PM »
Honestly, I couldn't even read all the way through these, they are cruelty wrapped in shiny paper.  All of them.  Comparing how great she is to how wounded you are, invalidating you, lacking empathy.  Selfish.  I'm sure others could add to the list. That's my perspective.  The hardest part of my journey has been the pain when I find out that some one who I thought loved and accepted me unconditionally, who could provide support, instead insulted and/or ignored me.

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Phoebes

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Re: Recently Diagnosed With CPTSD - Sister's Cruelty Is Crushing Me
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 03:28:23 AM »
It really sucks your sister did that, and that it is "just her personality". Sounds like if that is the case that she may not be a healthy person for you to be around after all. She sounds really mean and spiteful.  :hug:

I have recently started steering clear of a "friend" of mine after learning that he does not talk to his sister or brother, because of "some accusations they made of his dad (sexual abuse)". I could not believe that he would be so unsupportive as to go NC with them for 20 years, but that is the case, because he says even if his dad did something to them when they were young, why are they bringing it up now (in their 20's). I explained to him how that could be, and he just slammed his mind shut and was having none of it. I guess my point is, that level of invalidation has no place in a happy, functional relationship.

Re: Recently Diagnosed With CPTSD - Sister's Cruelty Is Crushing Me
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 11:10:12 AM »
I couldn't even read these all the way through at first. Then I got so angry that I commented on every sentence of hers. It got too long so I cut it out (PM me if you want it, I'll paste it into wordpad and keep it for a few days). But the bottom line is: oh my goodness, VeryFoggy, you are NOT overreacting.

Your sister is constantly reacting to things you DID NOT ACTUALLY SAY. Like this:
VF: "...so we went to McDonald's. It was fine. I found their sundaes a bit on the sweet side, but the---"
VF's sister: "I'm hurt and saddened that you want to join those other nutcases who are wrapping their heads in tinfoil so McDonalds can't read their minds."
---maybe I'm overdoing things, but not by much, I think. It was seriously dizzying to read. I read your bit, then hers, and constantly went: "Wait, WHAT? What is she--- what the---- what is she talking about??" Isn't that seriously crazy-making?

Then there are the veiled insults. So many veiled insults. After a while, it began to surprise me if a sentence of hers did NOT include a veiled insult. And the victim blaming? Plenty of that, too. It seems very important to her to live in a world where you're defective and she's not, and where your CPTSD is your own fault and could so easily be fixed if you made the right choices, and where she is the Calm And Reasonable Innocent who keeps on getting attacked for no reason (but she's not angry, oh no, she's simply just hurt). And in order to create that world, she misinterprets your words, twisting half of the truth and denying the other half. It was very creepy to read. Chilling. I think I need to bleach my brain now. Your sister kept crossing line after line after line. It was like watching a football homerun. She could only have been more offensive if she'd told you that CPTSD can be cured by offering one's firstborn to the volcano gods.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 11:12:56 AM by schrödinger's cat »

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VeryFoggy

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Re: Recently Diagnosed With CPTSD - Sister's Cruelty Is Crushing Me
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 02:09:30 PM »
C - Thank you for that analogy, "Cruelty wrapped in shiny paper."  The thing is I truly do not remember her treating me this way until I went NC with my Ndad, who is the source of my CPTSD.  This is new behavior and it is almost impossible for me to comprehend that my baby sister could be so cruel.  I've been thinking lately how starved her Inner Child must be for any kind of love, compassion and empathy. She must be starving to death and has to scream this cruel litany to drown out the cries of her own poor little girl.

Phoebes - Thank you for the validation.  I am having to make some very serious decisions regarding this and I do not want to make a mistake.  I may very well have to go NC with her.  I don't want to, but if she won't stop doing this I may have to. So I appreciate and thank you for your validation.

SC:  Thank you So Much for your empathy and understanding.  Yes, I would like see your Wordpad list of responses, please do send them to me via PM and thanks you!  I do appreciate the time and effort you put into that.  Like I told C.  My sister must be drowning out the screams of her own Inner Child.  To speak so to me, she must have to speak very loudly to try to shut up her own Inner hurt and wounded Child. I feel a lot of compassion for her, but I cannot put with this treatment and the flashbacks it is causing me.  I have asked her to come to counseling and answer these questions:

What are you so angry with me about?
Is it fair to be angry with me about that?
If it is fair, what do I need to do differently?
If it is not fair, who do you need to be angry with?
What do you need to do differently?

I hope she comes and I hope she is willing to be honest. If she can't we will to be either LC or NC.
That makes me very sad. I love my baby sister.

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C.

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Re: Recently Diagnosed With CPTSD - Sister's Cruelty Is Crushing Me
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 07:11:39 PM »
I too am sorry that you've experienced her attack and may need to go NC or LC.  Your empathy for her is admirable.  Also your wisdom about what you need to do to stay healthy your self.  I am glad that you've found support here and hope that you continue to reach out.  There are many eyes who can see beyond the pretty wrapping here....

Whatever happens I wish you the best and hope that things continue to improve, in whatever form that needs to take.