Affirm: "I can grieve my childhood and mourn the loss of those who failed me."

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C.

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Note:  Your recovery is unique to you.  These topics and activities are suggestions.  Please feel free to do and respond to those that work for you at this time.

STEP FOURTEEN

I am able to grieve my childhood and mourn the loss of those who failed me.

This is a step that asks you to recognize your losses and helps you resolve them once and for all.  Grieving your childhood losses and mourning the loss of the "ideal" parents will require a great deal of patience and self-compassion.  Be prepared for this step to take time.  You can't be rushed into healing these deepest wounds from childhood, and the healing won't happen all at once. More likely you will heal the wounds in layers throughout your recovery, coming back to this step several times. You may always have a scar, but the scab covering your painful losses eventually will disappear.
Many survivors tend to avoid this stage after one pass or so, preferring to avoid its dreadful pain ever again. After working through some of the pain in Stage One, you may feel much better than before but still have not fully resolved the grief.  You may find that your life has improved but now feel that your growth has stalled. You can get past this block by sharing the most vulnerable parts of yourself with others, thereby turning your fear of being hurt into the building of trust. Ask yourself if you can allow yourself to be comforted by your spouse, lover or friends. Healthy dependency means letting other people take care of you at times like this. You need caring, and you need to be able to accept it from others.

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Kizzie

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This is one step I feel fairly comfortable with.  It took a long time and a lot of pain but I remember understanding one day with every fibre of my being that my parents were not the mother and father I wished them to be (and deserved), and that they never would be.  The last part was the hardest and the easiest oddly - hardest because I had to give up any faint hope I had as an adult about being loved and supported, and easy because it was this insight (that it wasn't about not loving me, it was about the fact that they could not because they were PD), that allowed me to let go and move on in recovery.

I do find when I am tired, stressed or ill though I can still feel quite vulnerable or susceptible to old thoughts and feelings. At least I know now to be mindful of the past and its effect on me, to rest and soothe/comfort myself, and to give voice to what I am feeling and ask for support and care. I have a small circle right now but I am trying to expand it and that's something as a year and a half ago I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder. Much of my progress is due to finally being open about my CPTSD and finding support. Way too many of us with CPTSD out there unfortunately, but I'm glad I'm not alone any more.   
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 07:11:11 PM by Kizzie »

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VeryFoggy

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Kizzie - I totally agree.  I too think I have completed the mourning stage with my parents.  But what happened afterwards is what threw me for a loop.  After I said goodbye and went through all of the pain of mourning that loss?  I found out that the losses were just beginning, and I keep having to go through that process with other family members and my ex as well.  Really just start over and go through the whole thing again.  The whole "They can't be the person I need them to be because they are PD" thing.  One at a time I keep going through the same thing over and over, and it is really hard.

And mostly that makes me feel crazy. That every single person I picked out to be super close to turned out to be a PD.  It makes me feel doubtful and I do keep wondering sometimes if it really is me after all.  But then I look at their behavior and I lift myself back up and tell myself it does not matter who is the crazy one.  I cannot tolerate their disrespectful behavior, and I will not be treated this way and if it means I lose everybody?  Then I lose everybody. 

And I start over.

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Trees

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I have mourned and grieved, and mourned and grieved, . . . and I do think I have an almost bottomless reservoir of stuff to be mourned and grieved.  But that being said, I feel better now than probably ever in my life.

I have a therapist who is extremely good in helping me grieve safely with him.  A person who can sit calmly and warmly with someone in their grief is a treasure indeed.  He has helped me come to see grieving as a beneficial process, something to be encouraged and welcomed.

And though I can't really yet imagine myself as someone whose "scab" has dropped off (!), I do believe that the continuing process of expressing my grief has hugely enriched my life and increased my ability to feel gratitude, peace, acceptance, love.

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Kizzie

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VF - I just posted in another thread about how big and sticky the spider's web of PD behaviour is and how keeping that image in mind lets me see and understand that it isn't me, PDs create a web, a big one of family (and friends because PDs pick flying monkeys as friends), people with PDs and those who are codependent/enable.  Then there are a few of us who are trying to get off the sticky web, crawl off it before we are eaten.

That's the image I bring up in my mind whenever I question myself.  I decided to go NC all in one fell swoop so I didn't experience the pain of letting go one by one that you are.  I can hear the grief in your post and I can only say that it is not you, it never was - and send a cyber  :hug:  your way.

Trees - I like the sounds of your T.  It isn't every T who can sit with the grief.  I'm thinking here of all the T's who are so invested in pushing CBT to think your way out of CPTSD. Like Pete Walker, I really believe we have to make room for the good stuff by bleeding off (feeling) the anger and grief. It sounds like that's what's happening for you.  :thumbup:   Me too - yay!

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Trees

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Yes - yay!   Thank you, Kizzie.  It's so wonderful to feel understood here.    :hug: