Blue Rose's Journal

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Blue Rose

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Blue Rose's Journal
« on: March 31, 2021, 07:53:41 AM »
I am starting Spring 2021 by working through Arielle Schwartz's 'The Complex PTSD Workbook'.

I read it through from start to finish last week, and I feel like there's a lot of useful stuff there.

I've now re-read the Introduction and there are two parts that I want to hold in my mind as I go forward.

First, "Healing childhood trauma involves a balance: attending to the wounds of the past while living in the present."

 Second: "You are not broken, in need of fixing. Rather, you are deeply hurt, in need of care."

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CactusFlower

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2021, 02:52:47 PM »
I just got that book too and resonated with those same sayings. It looks like it will be quite interesting. You are not alone. :)

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Blue Rose

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2021, 07:44:43 AM »
Thank you CactusFlower  :)

So I got to the first 'In Practice' exercise which is about the ways you relate to Diane's story and any associations you have. I decided to think back to 2017 which is when my symptoms overwhelmed me. Thinking about that year has brought a lot back and I have had a really bad night lying awake thinking about it all. So I really hope this is going to help and not make things worse...

Anyway, in 2017 my anxiety was getting worse and worse and I had a constant lump in my throat, was waking suddenly in the night with a choking/not being able to breathe sensation, which would then cause a panic attack. I became incredibly jumpy and would startle very easily. I also felt irritable at home with my SO. I think I might have been dissociating when I fell down last few stairs at home. I thought I might have broken my ankle but it was just really badly bruised. I felt relieved as it meant I didn't have to go to work for a couple of weeks, but it also made me realise I needed to go for counselling. Luckily I found a great T who I ended up seeing for a year. I also saw an occupational health doctor at work who was first person to mention the trauma word. So although this was a terrible time it was also perhaps start of my healing journey.

Lately I have had periods of overwhelm again. It is partly to do with my job which I think can retraumatise me. I have decided to finish my current contract (runs until and July) and then take a break. Having made that decision I feel better. But I also recognise that I need to do some more recovery work. Feeling daunted, but my anxiety, hypervigilance and dissociation or withdrawal are signs that I do need to rebalance.

One other thing I have noticed is that drinking alcohol, even very moderately, is not good for my symptoms at all. I had 90 days sober at end of last year and am considering doing that again.

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Blue Rose

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2021, 08:15:52 AM »
And also, like Diane, I don't think my parents should have had kids, the fact they had four makes me angry. My M never signs cards or text messages to me with Mum, she just puts her name. She has two grandkids (not mine, I didn't have kids, I wonder why?) and they have to call her by her name, she refused to be grandma.

Last year I mentioned the little house where I was born and M said she hated it there. I asked her about it and she said it was dark and she was really unhappy there. She also had serious dental problems at that time and was in a lot of pain. This was when I was a baby. I acknowledge it must have been difficult for her. And I acknowledge that as a baby right up till today, I didn't have a nurturing, maternal mother. There, I said it.

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Blue Rose

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2021, 09:42:28 PM »
So I've gone a little further in the chapter and I've been looking at the types of experiences that can result in CPTSD. I relate to five of them. I find it helpful to acknowledge them so that I don't minimise what happened.

Childhood relationships with parents that are frightening, unpredictable and/or overwhelming.
Ongoing or repeated experiences of neglect, or physical, verbal, or sexual abuse.
Growing up with exposure to domestic violence.
Being raised by a caregiver who has an active addiction or untreated mental illness.
Experiencing abuse at especially vulnerable times of development, such as early childhood or adolescence.

These things happened to me. This was my experience.

I like what Arielle Schwartz writes after this: However painful it might seem at first, unpacking the burdens of your traumatic history can be thought of as profound self-care.

When I was a child I had terrible tummy aches. Then as a teenager I had globus sensation - it got so I felt like I couldn't eat at all, and I got really skinny and weak. The doctor prescribed diazepam and referred me to mental health services at the hospital. I can remember going to an appointment and being terrified by the sign in the corridor, 'Mental Health'. I don't remember anything about the doctor, or whether I went more than once. I recall feeling despair/depression as well. I guess these were ways my mind and/or body was communicating my distress then.

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Blue Rose

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 04:56:53 PM »
I found this article just now and I think it's really helpful. I have only realised recently, and with the help of reading other's experiences on this forum so thank you, that I have a narcissistic mother.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/eating-mindfully/201804/how-survive-narcissistic-mother

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owl25

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2021, 10:40:39 PM »
Hi Blue Rose, thank you for sharing those two quotes at the start of this post. The first one is so true, and also very hard to achieve in my experience, but a good reminder. I really needed to hear the second quote. I will be carrying that one around with me.

Welcome to OOTS :)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 10:43:07 PM by owl25 »

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Blue Rose

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2021, 06:09:41 PM »
Thank you for the welcome Owl. I am grateful to have found this forum.

I have been much more relaxed this week for not being at work. I returned to work (a new job but same type of work) in late 2019 after taking around 18 months off. This was following a period of sick leave before I resigned from a job. But very soon after returning to work I felt similar to how I had felt before, full up and overwhelmed. So I think I really know now, after trying again, that maybe the type of work I do isn't good for me. And that maybe it's okay to acknowledge that, and it's not about giving up or not being good enough. It's about self-care.

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Blue Rose

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2021, 10:14:56 PM »
Things are a little difficult right now. A week ago my Dad was admitted to hospital after a sudden decline. He is back home with my NM which is a bit of a worry. My sister has been brilliant and I've been helping as much as I can but am now back at work. We are trying to model empathetic care to my NM but not sure how much we can rely on her to step up. Also on Friday I had to go to hospital myself for tests on breast lump. They did two biopsies and then found another lump in other breast. I get results in 10 days. Surgeon said it was likely a fibroadenoma but on ultrasound said it didn't have typical appearance of fibroadenoma. What to think?

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Blue Rose

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2021, 07:53:23 AM »
So my F has been diagnosed with later stage Parkinson's disease and me and my siblings have been doing battle with my NM to try and get her to accept my F is ill and in need of care and support. We have got a little bit of home care in place, just two mornings for 2 hours but at least that's something. I feel a bit conflicted because my S has been brilliant but she also does some crazy (to me) things like encouraging my F to walk without his frame to "help his confidence" and I just want to help that he has later stage Parkinson's and that's just such a silly thing to do.

I have now had a diagnosis for one of my breast lumps which is possible phyllodes tumour. So it's got to come out. And they think another lump in other breast is also that, got biopsy on Monday, and that might have to come out too. And the surgeon said they might have to operate twice to get clear margins. So while it's not nasty, just fast growing, it is a bit complicated and can come back so it's a bit daunting. It's also rare, like 1% of all lumps. I feel unlucky and at same time, well that's just my luck.

I'm quite tired of feeling intense anxiety all the time. I hate my job too. Also worried because when I had surgery before I had panic attacks afterwards for years because of  (I think) my CPTSD hypervigilance means I panic when coming round instead of relaxing. I know I have to have the surgery because this thing will just grow, but I find it very hard to submit to care of others. It does not feel safe.

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Armadillo

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2021, 08:13:02 AM »
That's quite a lot to be dealing with at once, Blue Rose.   :grouphug:

Make sure to focus at least 60% of your care and attention on your own healing, ok?

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Kizzie

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2021, 10:05:33 PM »
Oh dear Blue Rose, so much going on for you. :grouphug:

Really sorry to hear you need to have surgery, that's scary for sure. Maybe you could ask your surgical nurse to let recovery know you have PTSD (if you say Complex PTSD you'll have to explain it  :blahblahblah:), and may be anxious upon coming out from the anesthetic so a bit of reassurance/comforting/calming wold be helpful?   :Idunno:

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Blueberry

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2021, 10:29:11 PM »
 :yeahthat: all of it!

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Blue Rose

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2021, 09:41:49 PM »
First, I want to say thank you Armadillo, Kizzie & Blueberry. Your messages have really helped. So my second biopsy came back as fibroadenoma so that can stay there. I got that result yesterday. But it's full speed ahead with surgery to take out the phyllodes tumour. I had to go in today for pre-admission appointment and was able to say I have PTSD and hypervigilance which they have flagged up on the system. They also encouraged me to tell the surgeon & anaesthetist on the day (next Thursday). Thank you Kizzie for helping me to give myself permission to not just say everything is fine. It's a relief to be able to say I might need a bit of extra support.

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Armadillo

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Re: Blue Rose's Journal
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2021, 05:38:01 PM »
That's so huge!!! To be able to say that and give yourself permission to ask for gentleness. Before I knew I had PTSD I had an extremely triggering medical procedure like a to z trigger...the whole thing. Oh it was awful and I wish  I could go back in time and advocate for myself that way. If you need to, even write it on a paper to hand the surgeon and anesthesiologist if you are at all afraid you won't be able to speak up. I'm glad there is good news on the fibroadenoma at least.