It's hard for people I know to accept that I might have problems

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betamax524

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Hello, I'm Max. I'm currently 18 years old, and I've been struggling with the symptoms of C-PTSD for quite a while now. My memory is quite inconsistent, but I do remember a sense of isolation, fear of abandonment, shame, and the idea that I should "keep it all inside." In school, I was considered a model student, and my teachers had many expectations for me and would get disappointed (and tell me so) if I made a mistake. I distinctly remember being 16 years old and crying in front of my homeroom teacher because of extreme stress, to which she simply said (this is mainly paraphrased): "That's silly, just concentrate on your studies for now." When I entered college at 17, I admitted to my mother that I wanted to see a therapist, and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (mostly mixed episodes), but I've been doing some research and the symptoms of C-PTSD apply very strongly to me.

Through discussion with close friends, I've realized that my childhood (what I can remember) was mostly built on emotional neglect/abuse, gaslighting, pressure to be perfect, and an overwhelming unspoken rule that I should never bother people with my problems. Most of this came from my grandparents and teachers in school, because my mother is a single mom who works long hours...

I do have love and support from my mother and close friends, but other family members and acquaintances stubbornly insist that I'm "too good" to feel like this. I guess it's just disheartening, in a way? So many people I know see me as "delusional" and are more interested to know when I'll be able to function "properly." :/

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: It's hard for people I know to accept that I might have problems
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2016, 02:49:05 PM »
Hi betamax524  :wave:

Welcome to Out of the Storm. Young as you are, quite a history you have had already. Kudo's on reaching out.  :thumbup:
All this pressure being mounted on you and not being allowed to make a slip or worse: not being the "model student", what a weight on your shoulders. I can relate.

At OOTS, we welcome people who are dealing with cPTSD through a variety of life's events that befell us, from any age.
You seem to have quite a good idea already what is bothering you:
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a sense of isolation, fear of abandonment, shame, and the idea that I should "keep it all inside."
In the cPTSD Glossary you may find a lot of other stuff that may resonate with your experiences. A few highlights to start your journey with:
On cPTSD
On Boundaries

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other family members and acquaintances stubbornly insist that I'm "too good" to feel like this. I guess it's just disheartening, in a way? So many people I know see me as "delusional" and are more interested to know when I'll be able to function "properly."
Yes, I can relate to the "disheartening" feeling. And it's a valid feeling you have: You are functioning properly. You are functioning as YOU, and that's fine.
Your post has reminded me of an article I once read that relates a lot to 'external pressure': Discover your core commitments. Perhaps that article can be of aid to you too.
Our forum Our Relationships with Others Friends has some threads where we talk about similar experiences as you just mentioned.

I hope, wish and trust this place and community will be a pressure-less environment for you and be of aid on your journey through cPTSD. Our Guidelines for All Members and Guests may help you in keeping this a safe environment for you and to get an idea of the community we create with each other.

Welcome again,
 :hug:
Dutch Uncle.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 02:55:01 PM by Dutch Uncle »

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betamax524

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Re: It's hard for people I know to accept that I might have problems
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2016, 03:03:23 PM »
Ah, thank you so much! I'm actually on a break from college, since I want to try and become better by any margin before going back to school. Just thinking about any sort of academia makes me panic, which is a shame since there are so many things I still want to do, and friends that I want to be with!

In a way I'm very excited to be here, since even with my closest friends I'm extremely anxious about opening up. Hopefully here I can understand myself better and stop feeling shame for having emotions!

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woodsgnome

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Re: It's hard for people I know to accept that I might have problems
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2016, 03:42:51 PM »
Beta, this is somewhat familiar; I'm older now but at your age felt totally alone. I wish I'd had the friendship/mom base you mention, but alas such was not the case. But I can relate to the "shame of having emotions" well, even with some you think might understand. The 'getting through' to them about what you truly feel is discouraging, as you've indicated.

In my case, the discouragement caused me to isolate further--part of me needed that as it felt safer that way; but other issues like 'dissociation' snowballed to where the original 'good' sense of escaping my pain resulted in some habits and patterns I didn't recognize were even present.

As an 'older' person, it can even be trickier as the habits settle in, but if you stick with listening to your 'best' friend--YOU--that could be what's most needed; not just now but as a general principle. So by your taking time off to consider a little bit where you're at seems very apropos; interestingly, many don't or can't take that time for themselves; and that can feel worse.

Visiting here fits well into your search to discover what's going on inside that you can't share with friends or mom, for the reasons you indicate. This is like landing in a spot with fellow travelers who know the struggles firsthand. There aren't easy or apparent 'answers' all the time, but it might be easier to relate those feelings you can't get out otherwise. And there doesn't seem to be a 'perfect' way, either; which means risking more discouragement, but we're still here, still trying, however our path unfolds.

You didn't mention if you have a therapist. Perhaps one might  available through college? My experience with t's is mixed, but they did (sometimes) provide one outlet when I had no other--one mistake is in college I got into the solo trek exclusively, and didn't trust any outsider, including t's, as an option for help. I was so discouraged I could trust no one.

So here's hoping you do feel safer here, in whatever way you choose to use these resources--by reading, contributing, or just realizing that yes, you're not alone with this.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 03:48:14 PM by woodsgnome »

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betamax524

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Re: It's hard for people I know to accept that I might have problems
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2016, 05:47:41 PM »
I do have a therapist, but I can't meet with him as much as I would like to due to money and distance. However, he did point out that I tend to be very emotional during our sessions, which I sheepishly admitted was because I'm not usually able to talk about my feelings with people. When I was younger, there were a lot of times when I would be scolded for crying, or gaslighted into believing it was all my fault. I'm slowly trying to open up to people, but it's still a fairly intimidating feat. I'm a very sensitive person at heart, and while I'm always welcoming when people open up to me, I start clamming up when they (generously) offer to do the same...

I'm very thankful for the messages I've received so far, and even this early I feel like a weight has been lifted from me, actually :)