Out of Egypt

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Out of Egypt
« on: April 30, 2015, 11:41:45 PM »
Not sure how to begin this, but after spending a little time on OOTS's sister-site, OOTF, I'm becoming increasingly sure that I have C-PTSD.

My father almost certainly has an (undiagnosed) case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which he took out by being emotionally abusive to my mother and emotionally and sometimes physically abusive to me (no beatings, but he made it apparent from a young age that he was quite willing to slap, hit, push, and grab me roughly when he wanted).  My mother had a tendency to identify me with my father and take her anger out on me.  On top of this, my father's severely troubled mother had an increasing amount of influence in our family, and the three of them all acted in emotionally abusive ways to me.

I was told repeatedly that I was lazy, treated like a perpetual child who couldn't take care of himself.  My father would rage at me frequently over minor things (like not wanting to practice guitar at the age of four, or mispronouncing "sausage" as "saushits").  Some of my earliest memories are of him screaming at me.

When I was in kindergarten, I developed a fairly serious case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and I spent most of my childhood living in a state of deep anxiety.  My parents did nothing about this except once, when my father raged at me for "playing games" and getting THEM worried.

My parents divorced when I was 19 (after a weekend in which my father attacked me for having the temerity to stand up to him for telling me to be quiet at the dinner table), but my parents really wanted us to "stay a family," so it didn't really matter.  What finally broke me away were two things:

1) Meeting my amazing wife, who helped me realize that the situation was not normal.

2) I went to Egypt in 2011 to study Arabic and found myself in-country for the start of the Egyptian Revolution.  I was treated very well by the Egyptian people (in fact, I've never been treated better in a foreign country), but this was still a very stressful time.  There were several instances when we thought the dorm was going to be attacked by looters (false alarms, thank God).  I spent the evening of January 25th, the famous "Day of Rage," standing on top of the dorm roof, listening to machine-gun fire echo across Cairo.

It was a very hard decision, and times were very uncertain, but I finally decided to accept an evacuation flight to Istanbul.  My parents supported this.  I spent the week in Turkey trying to decide whether or not to fly back to the US and start my semester of study another time.  The news showed nothing but riots and Molotov cocktails in Cairo, so I finally decided to go home.

My father called me the day after I got home and berated me for leaving, essentially calling me a lazy coward.  My mother and grandmother agreed.  I gave in and told them they were right because I was so shocked and confused and hurt.  They were not right.

I ultimately went back to Egypt later in 2011 and lived for two years with my wife.  We are now back in the US.  The fourth anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution brought back some strong feelings, and I kicked my parents out of my life.  I was absolutely savage with my father--cursing, using names his abusive father called him, anything to make it hurt as keenly as he hurt me.  I think he was caught completely off-guard.

I'm still coming to terms with all this.  I never thought of my childhood as abusive.  My dad had a temper.  My parents were under a lot of stress.  We were just a really intelligent, strong-willed family.  Then a friend of mine recommended me to OOTF, and the more I read about C-PTSD, the more I realized that it matched what I was going through.

Things have been very difficult lately: serious anxiety, depression, confronting uncomfortable issues from the past.  But OOTF has been immensely helpful, and while I'm sorry to see so many familiar faces stuck on this hard road with me, I couldn't be in better company.

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keepfighting

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Re: Out of Egypt
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2015, 11:29:33 AM »
Hello, ZM,

welcome to OOTS!  :wave:

FWIW: I'm very glad you made it out of Egypt! That comment of your f's certainly revealed a lot about his true nature - there is just no excuse for it!  :sadno:

I am also glad to read that you are in a safe situation now and have found a wonderful and supportive wife so you can heal and enjoy the good things that life has to offer.

A part of having CPTSD is also not recognizing how hurtful the different kinds of abuse we were subjected to as children or by untrustworthy partners really are. Many of us CPTSD survivors have no trouble recognizing it when others describe their experiences but downplay the severity of our own. Like you, it took a while for me to recognize and acknowledge that my childhood home really was an unsafe and abusive place and that I had to survive and grow up with no stable and loving adult in my life. 

Have you checked out Pete Walker's site on CPTSD yet? http://www.pete-walker.com/

But OOTF has been immensely helpful, and while I'm sorry to see so many familiar faces stuck on this hard road with me, I couldn't be in better company.

 :yeahthat:

Very, very true.

I hope you'll find this a great place to work on your recovery.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 11:51:54 AM by keepfighting »

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Rrecovery

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Re: Out of Egypt
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2015, 01:53:54 PM »
Hi ZevMordekaisson and Welcome  :wave:  Thank you for sharing your story.  My heart goes out to you.  I feel happy that you have a loving wife  ;D  I feel really glad that you found your way to OOTF, identified the Cptsd and then found your way here.  It was so courageous of you to tell your Dad off in a major way; I see it as a big step in reclaiming your right to exist, your right to be you  and to be treated with respect and care.  Going NC with abusive parents is a big step in reclaiming your rights and well-being.  I know it can be stressfull/difficult at first.  As time goes on things get clearer and clearer and we get freer and freer.  You are healing, you are recovering, you deserve that.  I'm glad you are here and look forward to getting to know you better  :hug: