New to the site, so grateful this exists

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ajvander86

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New to the site, so grateful this exists
« on: August 24, 2017, 12:48:19 AM »
Hi this is my first post in this support group.  I am a single 31 year old male and have been struggling with trauma and abuse my whole life living in a broken home with consistent domestic violence, but also with a mother who has some kind of personality disorder.  For those who don't know what it's like growing up with and dealing with someone with a personality disorder it is difficult to describe in a way that will convey the full experience, but rest assured it can be like *. 

That is why I was so thankful to have initially discovered out of the fog.  The symptoms described both of the person with a personality disorder and of the ones dealing with someone with a personality disorder were spot on.  What was more troubling for me, however, was that I have been going to different therapists, doctors and healers since I was 6 years old and none of them ever said anything about personality disorders or could see how withdrawn and in pain I was from the constant chaos and emotional and psychological abuse I endured as a child. 

It can make you feel completely alone and that you are crazy.  After all if your own family and mother try to make you think that their behavior is normal and ok and if doctors and therapists can't seem to spot what's going on or address the real issues, what is one supposed to do?  I lived and continue to live in something of a painful black hole where it's difficult for me to really connect with others in a genuine way. 

Through all my searching and interest in healing I only recently discovered the concept of complex post traumatic stress disorder.  And when I read the symptoms I had this liberating feeling of relief that said oh my God that's me.  One of my issues as a result of dealing with this is avoidance to the point where I don't really have a social life, I don't have a girlfriend or significant other, and my job is actually at night where I don't have to interact with too many people.  For so long I felt so bad that I simply had a social anxiety disorder, but I have since come to realize that for me it's more like my brain has linked people and human beings to intense pain and my nervous system is so overloaded and fried that that is the real reason it's difficult for me to be around people for too long.

Those who have dealt with abuse from someone with a personality disorder or something similar know that abuse and being attacked can come out of nowhere and for no reason at all.  You might try to constantly be on your best behavior and do and say all the right things to try to prevent being attacked or abused but it never seems to work.  And when the attacks are random and your brain really has no idea what causes the attacks and the abuse, it creates a situation in your mind where you might possibly be under threat of attack from anyone from any place at any time.  It is an extremely painful way to go through life, and being by myself and in my own thoughts gives my nervous system a break from the anxiety that I'm going to be attacked at any time for any reason. 

At this point I am learning to trust my own inner voice again and work on having self compassion with myself.  That yes I need to move on with my life, but the first and foremost important consideration for me is healing in a true and genuine way.  It's amazing to me how many people say things like, well you've just got to move on or don't blame your parents, all the while the pain and years of conditioning that you've endured is still with you.  The pain and the behavior patterns must be acknowledged and adequately healed in order to move on in a real way.  Otherwise people will 'move on' but with sort of suppressing their feelings and take on other unhealthy coping mechanisms. 

Coming this far and learning of this condition of cptsd is such a massive relief to me.  Many times I have struggled with suicidal thoughts due to the amount of pain I was in, the fact that I essentially have no family or support system as they are all toxic and abusive, and that it seemed like no matter where I turned in the mental health community no one was able to spot what was going on with me.  What is a person to do?  And honestly I'd really like to know why emotional and psychological trauma isn't more of the core focus in the mental health field rather than so called 'chemical imbalances'.  I've had doctors and other therapists try to diagnose me with different things and give me medication for it and not one of those medications ever made me feel better in the least, only made me feel numb or worse.  I believe the reason is because I am dealing with an intense stress disorder and not a chemical imbalance. 

Anyway, thanks for reading this and listening to my brief story.  I really would like to connect with as many people as I can here as I'm sure many of us understand and can relate to each other in some form or fashion and I'd really like to heal coupled with finding new friends and connections with people who really understand me.  Thank you.

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Libby12

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Re: New to the site, so grateful this exists
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 08:23:59 AM »
Hi to you.

I just wanted to give you a welcome and say that I understand absolutely everything you have said in your post. It's amazing that the stories of the people here are so similar regardless of age, gender,  where we live etc.   It just shows how real it is, what we are going through.

You clearly have a really good grasp of the damage that has been so unfairly done to you.  Since learning of c-ptsd, I have felt such a relief,  just like you have, and I really have started to make progress.

I wish you well in your healing. I am sure you are absolutely on the right path,  and I am sure you will find lots of support here as I have done.

Best wishes.

Libby.

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Three Roses

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Re: New to the site, so grateful this exists
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 12:14:29 PM »
Welcome! I remember the feeling when I discovered there were others just like me, there were names for the symptoms I had, there was a group of people I could share a language with...such an incredible feeling.

I've found strength, validation, courage and vital information here. I highly recommend Pete Walker's book "CPTSD: From Surviving To Thriving" and also "The Body Keeps The Score" by Bessel van der Kolk.

I'm sorry you went through all those years feeling so alone. Thanks for joining!
 :heythere:

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Eyessoblue

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Re: New to the site, so grateful this exists
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 01:36:27 PM »
Hi welcome, this site has been my support all the way through. I too had parents with severe personality disorders and were also alcoholics so life was crazy for me. I'm now doing EMDR which has been really helpful to me, just wondered if it is something that you have heard about?

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: New to the site, so grateful this exists
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 08:36:27 PM »
Hello aj vander
Glad you are here. This forum has been such an effective support for me and the identification and relief it provides is invaluable. I don't feel so alone anymore.
You write so well ! and it clearly shows that you have come far to get to where u are.
Your story and experiences are so similar to mine and also where you now find yourself in your recovery journey ..
I too have started developing self compassion.
Quote 'and when I read the symptoms I had this liberating feeling of oh my god that's me'
Yes that is exactly how i felt ... yrs of depression / anxiety / social difficulties / addictions and so to find complex ptsd as a disorder and a framework/ context to put my symptoms into was such a relief..
That I have been / am experiencing psychological/ emotional damage which impacts on my sense of self , nervous system and mental health.
Quote 'a break from my nervous system that I am going to get attacked'
Yes I def have such hypervigilance, I am always scanning any environment I'm in for threat it really takes its toll on my nervous system ... and then I get to be alone --- ahhh my favourite yet can be a lonely place and I ask myself 'why am I so alone and then I realise why ... fixing it however doesn't seem within my power.
Quote 'and honestly I'd really like to know why psychological and emotional trauma isnt more of the core focus in the mental health field'
Great point ! The way I view it is psychiatry runs on the medical model i.e. Diagnose the mental health problem and medicate as front line treatment. This is the cheapest way to treat people . cptsd has not had an official diagnosis of its own in the clinical manuals thus far and has been put under desnos ( disorders of extreme stress not otherwise specified ) or other broad terms ) I got diagnosed this year and he put it under z61 coding - problems related to negative events in childhood.
Pete walker ( see his website and books) states something along the lines of most diagnosis could be disregarded and the manual shrunk to ' effects of child trauma'
The good news is that in the next edition -- - icd11 - complex ptsd is going to have its own diagnosis - and at long last it will get the black and white print it deserves and a place as a disorder which holds such depth in its psychological/ emotional physiological and social symptoms. What this will do in relation to treatment I'm not sure . Here in the uk the NHS offerings differ county to county. I had 12 wks with a child trauma therapist through the NHS and whilst it was good it was not long enough to integrate and so when I came off of anti dep I 'yet again' became very unwell..
the psychiatrist said there was  nothing else treatment wise to offer me but I very much suspect if I had researched and pushed I would have got more ... I know someone in my area who is having emdr
For complex trauma.
I have just started with a trauma therapist through a charity here in Bristol and they offer long term 1-1 and group work.. I feel extremely grateful, she is highly skilled and I don't have to pay a penny ... I know not everyone is this fortunate ..

Well that's me ... 44yrs old and still walking the road to health ... at 17yrs old when I left 'home' I said I wouldn't stop until I got 'there'. I'm not there yet but what I am learning is recovery really is a spiral I'm on the up at the moment but I don't know if I'll start spiralling down again and if so when that will happen..
maybe one day up will continue that's my aim ... to start shedding more of this immobilising disorder and be the gentle kind creative person god intended