Shame & IC about Sharing

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Ambassador

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Shame & IC about Sharing
« on: October 11, 2019, 12:49:50 AM »
Hello everyone. Lately I've been processing and investigating a lot of stuff about my past, and I find that I want to talk to someone about it. Specifically, there's a lot that builds up, discoveries made, frustrations, loneliness, and I feel like I'd like to just vent and rant about all of it; but, then I feel an anxiety that most people don't want to hear it, others would exploit it, others would criticize it, or it would damage what few meaningful relationships I have. As far as my therapist goes, I only see her for an hour every two weeks, and most of the time we're processing something; it isn't enough to fully vent everything I want to say. As far as this forum goes I worry that I would be too much, and I'm still dealing with the diagnosis being new and an imposter syndrome. By the end of catastrophizing all the reasons I can't share, I end up giving up on the idea altogether, until it reaches a critical point and I vent parts at my friend, then proceed to feel ashamed at being so "overdramatic" and an "attention whore" (inner critic words, not his). On occasion I have the time and focus to journal, which does help, but doesn't do much to help the feeling that I can't talk to others. I have theories about where this issue comes from, but I'd like to hear what advice or insight any of you have.

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notalone

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Re: Shame & IC about Sharing
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2019, 01:16:17 AM »
I understand the feeling of wanting to "let it all out." I felt like that more in the beginning of my journey. There was so much pain, I wanted everyone to know everything and at the same time didn't want anyone to know anything. I have slowly shared things with T, friends and OOTS. Every time I share, it is a risk and it is scary. There are people who are not able to respond well and that is hard. I also have found journaling helpful.

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Kizzie

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Re: Shame & IC about Sharing
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2019, 01:55:49 PM »
What about a face-to-face support group in your area?  There are few if any for Complex PTSD unfortunately but there are usually groups for CSA, children of addicts, etc., and may be one or two in your area like that.

One other suggestion I have is 7 Cups . It offers 24/7 chat "to people experiencing emotional distress by connecting them with trained listeners."   I haven't used it so can't recommend it but it's an option.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 02:00:45 PM by Kizzie »

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Gromit

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Re: Shame & IC about Sharing
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2019, 09:15:47 PM »
I can repeat what Kizzie said, support groups are helpful, if you find one. I go to ACOA or ACA. But even writing, here or in a journal, getting it down so it is not circulating in your head may help.

In support groups you find people who understand, it is not like a friend, these people have had similar experiences. The ACA literature mentions PTSD.

G

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saylor

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Re: Shame & IC about Sharing
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2019, 10:41:28 PM »
I can so relate to this issue--it has been a big one for me as well. And I'll agree that going to support groups can be very helpful. In that type of setting, I've found that it can be as valuable to me to hear others' stories as it is to tell my own. It can even be sort of uplifting for me to be able to hear someone out who really needs to be heard, and to be able to offer them much-needed compassion (even though I'm sometimes later haunted by what I've heard, and there's always the risk that I may start crying as they tell about painful stuff, because I can't help but take on others' sorrow--not sure how good of a thing that part is...).

When we have grown up in homes where we were abused, and where even basic emotional (at least) needs weren't met, I think it can set us up for a lifetime of feeling unheard, unseen, etc., and that can cause a lot of ongoing agony that needs to be addressed... I've seen over and over again in the literature that one of the best sources of healing is to make that human connection (attachment) that was missing or badly formed in our early years, and reaching out to safe/trusted others is a natural means to try to achieve that. It's totally understandable that you feel a need for this.

I know what you mean about the IC stepping in, too, though. Sometimes I want to "let it all out" to another person, but instead I keep it in for all the same reasons you state. In general, it's a battle for me to, on the one hand, give myself the support and acknowledgement that is due (e.g., to give myself permission to talk with someone about my situation) and, at the same time, not go too far down a path of "making excuses" (I hate that term) for what I perceive as my shortcomings. I use that as an example, because often when I feel a need to speak out and try to be understood, it's ultimately because I feel shame about some aspect of dysfunction I have that I suspect is ultimately rooted in CPTSD.

I still don't know where the balance lies between not nonconstructively "wallowing in my own self pity" (I hate that term, too) and at the same time being honest with myself (and others) about how badly the things that were done to me affect me to this day. I tend to think it's better to err toward being gentle with myself, but IC often gets brutal when I've been doing that a lot and I start to view it as a crutch, justifiably or not... Difficult to explain adequately, so I hope that makes sense.

As a final thought, I do think some people are better equipped than others to hear our stories, resulting in a positive/therapeutic outcome. If I sense a possibility that someone I open up to won't care, will feel burdened, or will criticize/ridicule me, there's no way I will ever make myself vulnerable to that person. I did that once, it backfired, and I learned to be exceedingly careful about whom I open up to. Basically, I have only opened up to a tiny handful of people throughout my life, and I didn't even start doing that until middle age, despite all my traumatic stress having occurred in childhood. So that tells you something. I do share a lot with my partner (who, so far, has been unbelievably patient and understanding), but I worry that that could wear thin if I overdo it, and IC is constantly telling me to quit it already.

I wish you well in finding a safe person (or group of people) to open up to, as it is really important. I think it just needs to be done judiciously and cautiously (for your own sake, if nothing else)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 01:58:53 PM by Kizzie »

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Gromit

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Re: Shame & IC about Sharing
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2019, 06:07:20 AM »
Sailor mentioned crying in support groups at another's story. I actually find crying in the groups cathartic. Everywhere else It seems hard to cry, except at the TV, so, for me, being able to cry at someone's story or at a reading helps me to express the grief and sadness I feel, it is a safe place to cry, where no one will ridicule.

G

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Jazzy

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Re: Shame & IC about Sharing
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2019, 11:00:32 PM »
Hi Ambassador,

I don't have much practical advice, but I want you to know you are not alone. I hope you are able to work through this and feel better soon. Be patient with yourself though. This is a tricky thing, and we can be very sensitive when working through it. Maybe trying to force yourself to focus on, or at least acknowledge the positives will help along the way. You are able to talk a bit with your T, and with your friend; every little bit helps.

You might also try asking your T and GP about resources in your area for this kind of thing. Hopefully they will be able to at least point you in the right direction. You also may want to consider starting a journal on this site, if you haven't done so yet. Its more open than a private journal, but less scary than talking face to face. For me, it was a good middle ground... which was, and still somewhat is, a big step forward.

Take care! :)

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Ambassador

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Re: Shame & IC about Sharing
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2019, 07:56:53 AM »
Thank you everyone, for all your replies. They've been helpful, and I've thought about them over the past couple days. I've started looking for PTSD or specific-trauma groups, with mixed success (most are either far away or on working days/times), but I'm sure they're out there. I'm in a major enough city I figure there must be one out there. Jazzy, you mentioned asking T about resources, that's a good idea I hadn't thought of. I've been wanting to go to a group for a while. Jazzy, I'm not familiar with the journaling on this site. Is it a publicly-posted/commented place on your profile where you just write stuff?
Kizzie, I'll try out 7Cups when I am not in a great place, thank you for linking me to that. An issue I'd had before is the other hotlines I know of are for more... critical... moments, rather than just needing to talk.
Gromit, I'll look into the ACOA meetings, I hadn't thought of that, and it looks like there are some in my area.
Notalone and Saylor, thank you for sharing. Your stories are helpful, and I appreciate you taking the time to be open and accepting about all of it.


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Kizzie

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Re: Shame & IC about Sharing
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2019, 02:07:54 PM »
 
:grouphug:

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Jazzy

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Re: Shame & IC about Sharing
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2019, 11:19:22 PM »
The journal section is here: https://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?board=61.0

 Technically speaking, it is just another part of this forum (so it is open to everyone), but the guidelines are at the top: https://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?topic=423.0

There are lots of journals there you can look at in that section for reference too.

Another thing you could try would be to ask your local hospital. Around here they have a lot of mental health groups. We don't have one for trauma specifically, but I wasn't the only trauma survivor in the depression/anxiety group. Hopefully you will find something better, but it may be an option for you.