"not bad enough"? - probably triggering

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RobinSystem

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"not bad enough"? - probably triggering
« on: February 03, 2017, 02:34:31 PM »
I'm 18 years old and I've had a bunch of "traumatic" things happen throughout my childhood but I can't figure out if any of it was bad enough to cause CPTSD or if I'm just overthinking and making it seem worse than it is...
I was born 3 months premature and spent a long time in ICU having loads of invasive medical treatments (this is all what my mom told me, I don't actively remember it). From what I've been told of my hospital experience it was definitely traumatic but since I don't remember it it can't be that bad right...?
Something I do remember was being incredibly clingy as a child. Like I was so bad that my mother couldn't even shower or go to the toilet, I had to be there with her.
This is the bit that gets me the most because my mother wasn't abusive, or at least, she didn't try to be. She was just trying her best.
I'm also autistic and combined with my clingyness I was a pretty difficult child. I remember clearly, my mother had to go across the country for work and my dad was working away too so my aunt had come over to look after me, I must have been about 4 or 5. I loved my aunt, she was one of the few people I could be with without my mother being there, but I just cried and screamed all night for my mom to come back.

I wasn't diagnosed with autism until I was 15 so for most of my childhood things like need for routine and picky eating just seemed like me being fussy to my parents and I'd often get told off for that. I was also badly bullied for being autistic and deaf, by the teacher as well as the kids.

Me and my mother used to have huge explosive arguments and it would get to the point where she would get so frustrated that she'd threaten to leave or send me away. Sometimes she actually would leave (if there was another adult in the house, I don't think she ever left me completely alone) or lock herself in the bathroom and refuse to interact with me.
I have a better relationship with her now that I'm older and I know she didn't mean those things and just said them out of frustration and I remember sometimes getting violent and hitting her when I didn't get my way so it's kinda understandable that she'd want to protect herself from that.

She was actually a really great mother given the circumstances but despite all her efforts and all the times she was there, I still felt horribly neglected and abandoned when she wasn't there or didn't understand my needs.

potentially triggering sexual content below











There have also been other events such as sexual and emotional abuse by my first partner and sexual exploitation online... Once again, I initiated the sexual contact, I wanted to feel special and make older men want me so I feel responsible for that too....But that's a different topic so..






I feel like since my perception and feelings were different from the reality of how she treated me, that I shouldn't have CPTSD or that I'm overreacting.
I don't feel safe talking to a professional either since my experience has been very bad in the past and I still have an intense fear of abandonment.

I know no one here can give me a diagnosis or anything like that but I'd just like to know what people think, am I overthinking this or was my perceived abandonment actually traumatic???
I feel so lost and scared.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 10:31:39 AM by RobinSystem »

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bring em all in

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Re: "not bad enough"? - probably triggering
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 03:21:47 PM »
PTSD can result from a variety of causes, and you're correct- we can't diagnose you. A doctor would be more qualified to determine if what you are experiencing is PTSD, symptomatic of other causes, or a combination.

What you've described can certainly cause PTSD, and it sounds like you experience the symptoms. Whether you get an official diagnosis or not you would likely find benefits to joining this community.

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Three Roses

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Re: "not bad enough"? - probably triggering
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 04:26:08 PM »
Hello, welcome! As bring em all in said, we can't diagnose you but we welcome you to our community. Is a hug ok? :hug:

Many of us here are self-diagnosed, myself included. Complex PTSD doesn't mean it's "complicated" but refers to more than one traumatic injury as the source, instead of a single trauma for PTSD (such as a car accident, mugging, etc). And medical issues have been stated by experts as a possible source of trauma.

I'm glad you're here! I look forward to hearing more from you. :wave:

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sanmagic7

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Re: "not bad enough"? - probably triggering
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 05:41:38 PM »
hey, robinsystem, hi and welcome.  glad you're here.  those sound like traumatic experiences to me.  even the ones you don't remember.  i believe that since you experienced all these things as traumatic, then that's exactly what they are. 

invasive medical procedures are always traumatic, not only for the body but for the mind.  before i was born, the doc used some metal instrument to pull me out of my mother (this was in the 40's, she was completely under) and it cut me next to my eye.  i don't consciously remember it, but my body does.  i still have the scar.    we don't have to remember it for it to be traumatic.

what i heard in later years from my dad was that i was the ugliest baby he'd ever seen.   all my life i'd heard that all babies are beautiful, but my own dad thought i was ugly.  yep - for most of my life i kept going from one man to another trying to feel pretty.  did my dad mean what he said to be hurtful?  probably not, but that doesn't mean that it didn't hurt me deeply.  it very much did.

our parents may not intend harm, but that doesn't mean they don't cause it.  we're kids, we think with kid's minds and kids' logic.  we take what our folks say and do seriously and to heart.  after all, they are our main source of knowing who we are, what kind of person we are. 

leaving us, trying to get away from us, threatening to leave because of what we say and do can most often leave us with believing there is something fundamentally wrong with or bad about us - otherwise, why would a parent, who is supposed to be the source of unconditional love, want to get away from us?
i'd say that's pretty traumatic as well.  i went through something similar.  it affected me nearly my entire life. 

robinsystem, i believe that since this is all still affecting you in such a negative way, you're in the right place.  i'm glad you're here.  it can be difficult to believe what's happened to you was indeed as bad as it felt.  you're not alone.  here's a hug if you want it  --   :hug:

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Wife#2

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Re: "not bad enough"? - probably triggering
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 06:10:18 PM »
RobinSystem - many of us here don't have diagnosis and many of us believe maybe, just maybe, we don't really 'qualify'. However, I think if you read 'The Body Keeps The Score' you may find that actual memories aren't necessary.

I believe now that being given to my Godparents to raise my first three weeks had a profound effect on me. They were wonderful, caring people, but I had to go home to my very large, very complicated family. My parents are good people who did the best they could, but I was neglected none-the-less. That had an impact on me. There were other complications that I won't go into here.

Anyway, when I first showed up at this site and read around and remembered things from early childhood, I realized that it isn't about having had a 'bad enough' life to still have gone through trauma and developed cPTSD. Do I have it? I don't know. I have had good therapists and thought I might have BPD, even asked one right out - no, in his professional opinion. But, cPTSD? It's possible.

The best thing I've found out about this website, and what I hope you learn here also, is that everyone who wants to post - and follows the guidelines - is welcomed warmly. As you sort this out, or just deal with memories that are hard to deal with - whatever you choose to do - you will be welcomed and supported.

We're glad you're here!

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RobinSystem

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Re: "not bad enough"? - probably triggering
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 06:17:41 PM »
i don't know how to reply to you all but thank you so much to everyone who commented on this! its nice to feel validated and supported <3

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Blueberry

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Re: "not bad enough"? - probably triggering
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 08:15:19 PM »
RobinSystem, you don't have to consciously remember events for them to be traumatising.

Also, I don't think there is such a criterion as "bad enough". Apart from what all I experienced in my family growing up, I was in addition traumatised by a very minor medical event.  Way way more minor than you experienced. In fact what you describe is one of the classic examples given in my country for childhood medical traumatisation.

I used to ask myself if it really was that bad and wasn't I exaggerating etc? But I know that was partly because of years of invalidation on the part of my family of origin. If you feel that your experiences were bad, then I'm sure they were. Welcome here  :heythere: I hope you get as much support and clarity and information as I have found in the past few days. You actually joined up before me.

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Gwyon

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Re: "not bad enough"? - probably triggering
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2017, 04:58:19 PM »
Hi RobinSystem,

I absolutely understand. I was a newborn when my parents divorced and while I was tramatized, as I now know, I often heard "you were too young for it to affect you". 

But of course the earliest trauma is particularly damaging as it occurs as your brain's wiring is developing and your core sense of self and the world is forming. I've no doubt that your trauma was real and impactful.

It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I learned about the profound effects of trauma in the first 2 years of life. It was then I finally entertained the notion that I was not bad--that there were real reasons for my challenges.  It was validating and liberating, and I hope you come to the same realization.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 03:05:06 AM by Gwyon »

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Andyman73

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Re: "not bad enough"? - probably triggering
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2018, 04:53:59 PM »
RobinSystem, Hi, I know this thread has kinda gone cold and stale, but I just saw it and wanted to breathe a little life into it. I am as far removed from mental health professionals as one can be, besides being a patient. The main differences between CPTST and PTSD is that PTSD is usually due to short term or singular events. And CPTSD comes from long term events...so what you have discribed would most certainly get you the "C" with your PTSD.

Pretty much anyone who has experienced any kind of regular abuse during childhood, or DV in a relationship as an adult, will have CPTSD. Some of the most obvious symptoms we can see in ourselves, are things like difficulty maintaining or even forming friendships, or meaningful relationships with others. And things of that nature. People that suffer PTSD from combat or say a house fire or car wreck, aren't likely to develope those kinds of symptoms.

But CPTSD sufferers experienced things that injured, or even destroyed, our abilities to trust and connect with others. Constantly being abandoned by the one who should have loved you the most, would definitely qualify. As one said here, most of us diagnose ourselves...yes, because most professionals in the mental health industry don't know or understand what CPTSD is. And only a few take the initiative to educate themselves, to be a better source of help for their patients.

San....let me tell you...You are Georgious!!!  :hug: