Feeling trapped by trauma

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Rainagain

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Feeling trapped by trauma
« on: January 11, 2020, 06:42:22 AM »
I had time as an adult when I wasn't traumatised.

Thinking back to those days I had a sort of mental freedom, I could deal with things, could interact with anyone without worry, I was mentally free.

I didn't really notice it, that was just how things were.

Now i am fettered, so many situations are uncomfortable and therefore avoided, nothing seems to work out in a satisfactory way, i have little ability to cope with even small challenges.

I may not have noticed my old mental freedom, but I am more and more aware of my current much reduced ability to get on with life.

As I have gotten older I have less physical strength and stamina, that is normal and to be expected/accepted.

It is hard to accept losing my previous mental freedom, it isn't a natural part of growing older. It happened quickly whilst I was in my 20's, not natural.

Not sure why I am posting this, probably lack of sleep makes me think it is some sort of insight.....

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Blueberry

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Re: Feeling trapped by trauma
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2020, 01:46:09 PM »
I hear you and I empathise. It didn't realise that you were traumatised in your 20's, I thought it happened later, so that is some new information about you for me.

As one of the prolific posters on here :whistling: I do find that writing gives me some insight into my own process, which is helpful no matter how small the insight. So go ahead and post when you have the impulse. In a way that's one viable and valuable use of the forum, though of course there are more.

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bluepalm

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Re: Feeling trapped by trauma
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2020, 09:34:27 PM »
Thank you Rainagain for posting. Your taking the time to set down your understanding has helped give me my own insight.

You say: "Thinking back to those days I had a sort of mental freedom, I could deal with things, could interact with anyone without worry, I was mentally free." and you explain you "didn't really notice it, that was just how things were". And then, cruelly, trauma took this state of mind from you and you became aware of what you had lost.

In my work with my therapist at the moment I sense that I am starting to feel this the other way around.

For most of my life I have struggled with being and staying alive but, in a strange way, I didn't really notice it; that was just how things were. I sought therapy for depression and various crises and believed that I was 'neurotic', but I had no appreciation that my inner world was so very different from that of others around me. I had never felt any other way.

Now, through working with my therapist, I'm coming to understand that my experience of abandonment and abuse was, to use her word, 'extreme', and with the framework of complex PTSD to help me analyse my experiences, I'm realising that the painful confusion through which I've lived most of my life was imposed on me; was not who I could have been.

And with this realisation and through the experience of 'being held' by my therapist, I'm starting to feel a new 'mental freedom'. I'm starting to feel how life can be lived with the expectation that I can actively look after myself and protect my inner freedom. Mind you, I'm doing this while staying alone and sheltering myself from people, including family and erstwhile friends, because I'm afraid my inner freedom could disappear again under attack. Nevertheless, this is the healthy and actually quite wonderful process through which I'm working.

Thank you again Rainagain. Your articulation of your experience has helped me understand mine. I dearly hope that you can regain some of the mental freedom you lost. You say: "As I have gotten older I have less physical strength and stamina, that is normal and to be expected/accepted." and "It is hard to accept losing my previous mental freedom, it isn't a natural part of growing older."

No, it is not a natural part of growing older. Please may I encourage you: I'm 71 and yet I feel my mind is clearing even as I know my bodily strength and stamina are diminishing. In fact, the need to protect and conserve my physical well-being more as I age has, I believe, helped me to put energy into healing and understanding the trauma that has affected my body, mind and soul. My therapist, this lovely community on OOTS and reading all the literature on the effects of complex, relational trauma that's become available now, are all helping me on this journey. These last years are precious and I'm really focused on living in this world with some inner peace before it all ends. 



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Rainagain

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Re: Feeling trapped by trauma
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 06:41:49 AM »
Thank you for your replies. bluepalm, your post is so hopeful and brave, I loved reading it.

I hope you keep on gaining your mental freedoms  as a reverse process to the one I described, things can be turned around.