*Possible Triggers* I have to let a little off of my chest...

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CVictor

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*Possible Triggers* I have to let a little off of my chest...
« on: February 19, 2015, 09:03:55 PM »
It is so hard to explain to people why I stayed in the relationship for so long.  It seems so cut and dry for those who never were in that type of relationship.  My history of abuse is a long one - going back well before my horrible marriage.  Men being abusive to women was something that I was used to.  I had to become tough and mask my fear.  I'm the youngest of 5 children.  The oldest is a female, the three in the middle are male, and then there is me.  My mom was abused by my father and he hurt some of my siblings too.  My dad hit me once but my brothers were very protective of me...until I turned into a teenager.  I have memories of my mom being very abusive to my older sister.  I remember crying and hiding under an afghan hoping she would stop.  Then I turned in to a teenager and started to get the same treatment but much worse.  My sister just had my mom; I had my mom and the rest of my siblings, including my sister a couple of times.  I think back to how protective they were of me and just like that, they could harm me like it was nothing.  One used to torture me, pinned me down by my arms as I sat in a chair while he repeatedly told me I was a "Welfare *" because I was just short of 19 and pregnant with my first child by my ex.  He loved to try and set me off.  I know now that my lack of tolerance for repeated sounds of any kind comes from those moments.  Just thinking about it makes me want to cry and beg him to stop.  It literally was torture for me.  Each and every one of my brothers had their own unique ways of be violent.  One was drunk all the time.  He used to like me and would call me down to his room to solve the puzzles on the caps of his bottles of Mickeys.  I used to think it was hilarious that he is 7 years older and he needed me to figure them out for him.  I appreciated any interaction he gave me because I just wanted to be paid attention to.  Then I turned 15 years old. He would get so drunk, drink all of his beer, come home and forget and then accuse me of stealing it.  One of my best friends was there for the first time when he came up to me and punched me right in the face while I was sitting on my bed.  By then I had already learned how to go a few rounds with them so I got up and punched him right back.  He grabbed me by the head and kneed me in the face knocking me clear out.  When I came to, my jaw was crooked and locked so I knocked it back in to place and begged my mom to not take my friend home.  You see, my mom never protected me.  She not only stood there and watched the whole thing, but at times she would sick them on me while she sat in her recliner rocking and knitting.  All of my siblings out-weighed me and were much taller than me.  I just don't get it.  How can a mother do that?  I know each person is affected in their own way by their experiences but as much as I have been through, I could never sit back and watch any of my kids hit like that.  No matter what they did to me, I still stood tall and acted the better person.  I have been there for everyone of them when they have needed me.  I want to scream to them at times when they comment about my ex and what he did to me.  Who the heck are they to talk?!  If it weren't for them, I would probably never have accepted the abuse! 

So much abuse I have been through.  So much!!!!  I honestly think I'm an abuse magnet.  Everything....all of it, it has all happened to me.  It makes me wonder in my darkest moments if it was all me to begin with.  Maybe I bring the ugly out of people.  Maybe it IS me.  But it can't be.  Because I know that nothing I ever could do would justify the things that were done to me.  I didn't deserve it.  I say that and I type it but I just can't absorb it.  Shouldn't I feel emotion from some of the worse memories?  My ex tried to kill me at least three times.  I remember those moments so clearly but I'm null of emotion about them - Like most of my memories.  They make me sad and embarrassed that I stayed but I have not mourned them or felt the horror I should have felt.  Why can't I get that to come out?  Why can't I just fricken feel it?  I want to feel it so it can be over with but that other side, that scared little mouse, will not let me feel it.  I need to deal with it and I get a sensation in my throat but my mind stops it short and will not let me release it.  What do I do?

Re: *Possible Triggers* I have to let a little off of my chest...
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 08:06:31 AM »
CVictor, there really are no words for what you went through. You deserved none of it.I can't think of any possible excuse for a half dozen stronger, nastier people to gang up on the youngest.

I didn't have feelings either, not for the longest time. I was just numb. It's only now starting to trickle back. So I can tell you the conclusions I've come to about my own situation. Yours is going to differ, obviously, so maybe some of those things are helpful to you, maybe not. You'll know best. So here goes.

Those feelings about what caused my CPTSD are so overwhelming, the fact that I'm not feeling them is a blessing in disguise. I'd be paralyzed by rage, grief, and fear. I'd probably be having a lot more flashbacks. So I'm guessing my subconscious, like the wise helper it can be, is sending me things up in bite-sized itty-bitty pieces. At least for now.

Usually (at least with me), those feelings come up once my subconscious decides that (a) I'm safe, and (b) I have all the resources I need to process all that. Sounds sensible, no? But it often means that I'll be happy and fulfilled and enjoying life - and then WHAM, a huge feelings vomit from way back when. But eh, what can you do. It has to come out somehow.

Moreover, there are many ways to process trauma. So if the feelings won't come, what I can do is process things mentally. Simply just remembering my adolescence and childhood is a bit of a task. And then I have quite a few introjects - little inner voices that echo things my abusers said. Getting rid of them, it's a bit like tidying up my mental furniture, making my psyche a safe place for my traumatized ego states. And like I said, they do emerge once it's safe. Sooner or later. Most times later, but they come eventually.

Conclusion four: We look at our trauma and realize at once that we should feel something about them. And instead, we feel nothing. So it's tempting to just think of this as an absence. Something failed to function, as it were. But numbness is an emotional response to trauma. It's not a non-reaction. It's a BIG reaction, a very big change in our psyche. We had to batten down our hatches to survive. And hatches that have been battened down for a few decades take quite a while to come unstuck.

Did you ever watch "Field of Dreams"? Now, maybe this is too fanciful - but I'm sometimes thinking that CPTSD recovery work is a lot like that. "If you build it, they will come." So we go on chipping away at our trauma, doing all those little things that seem to only let us get ahead so slowly, always trusting that one day we'll see the fruits of our labours. And it happens. There are breakthroughs. But quite often, we have to wait for them for a long time.

Right where you are, your situation as it is now, that is a triumph in itself - that you're able to stand tall and say "this happened to me" and "it wasn't my fault".  :waveline:   I was stuck for ages in the stage where I thought "nothing happened... and if it did, it wasn't really bad... and if it was, it was all my fault anyway". So kudos to you for seeing things so clearly.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 08:09:31 AM by schrödinger's cat »

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pippapop

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Re: *Possible Triggers* I have to let a little off of my chest...
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 12:04:31 PM »
Oh Cvictor, so much of what you have written about where you are now could be written about me! I am so so sorry for your past. Nobody deserves to have the trust of family broken like that, or to be hurt by trusted partners. My path to where I am has been different to you but maybe knowing I feel myself much of what you describe may help you feel you are not alone. As schrodingers cat said we are all different so some of what i write may not fit for you.
Having said that I relate to the feelings, or lack of that you describe. I often wonder why I thought yesterday I had cptsd, nothing much happened to me, did it? Then little memories come back, for me the term flashback doesnt seem right. They are more like a very distant, faint memory, almost like its of someone else. There is very little emotion at all and no anger. I know I must be angry, my narc husband has hurt not only me but my daughter. Ive come to conclude that the feelings which had to be hidden to survive are so well wrapped up inside that they almost feel like a hole inside. A while back sadness started to bubble up, I often cried with no knowledge of why. Im guessing it was my body purging some of the emotion. I think to feel my anger, to let it out I need to find a way to feel that I can shut it down again. In short, im scared of how intense I expect it to be.
You also talk of how people dont understand why you stayed. I too have had that thrown at me. Ive found that hard. I try and remember a couple of things, you do the best you can at the time, my narc and for me wrong legal advice had me in a position where I was trapped with invisible walls stronger than steel

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pippapop

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Re: *Possible Triggers* I have to let a little off of my chest...
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 12:16:14 PM »
Oh Cvictor, so much of what you have written about where you are now could be written about me! I am so so sorry for your past. Nobody deserves to have the trust of family broken like that, or to be hurt by trusted partners. My path to where I am has been different to you but maybe knowing I feel myself much of what you describe may help you feel you are not alone. As schrodingers cat said we are all different so some of what i write may not fit for you.
Having said that I relate to the feelings, or lack of that you describe. I often wonder why I thought yesterday I had cptsd, nothing much happened to me, did it? Then little memories come back, for me the term flashback doesnt seem right. They are more like a very distant, faint memory, almost like its of someone else. There is very little emotion at all and no anger. I know I must be angry, my narc husband has hurt not only me but my daughter. Ive come to conclude that the feelings which had to be hidden to survive are so well wrapped up inside that they almost feel like a hole inside. A while back sadness started to bubble up, I often cried with no knowledge of why. Im guessing it was my body purging some of the emotion. I think to feel my anger, to let it out I need to find a way to feel that I can shut it down again. In short, im scared of how intense I expect it to be. I wonder if on some level it is the same for you?
You also talk of how people dont understand why you stayed. I too have had that thrown at me. Ive found that hard. I try and remember a couple of things. You did the best you could at the time. I had walls trapping me, not only from my narc husband but also wrong legal advice around child protection. I stayed to protect her, it might have been wrong but was right with the information I had. Lastly I try to be grateful that they dont get it, as it means they've not lived it.
Hang in there.

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Rain

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Re: *Possible Triggers* I have to let a little off of my chest...
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2015, 12:48:51 PM »
Welcome CVictor!   You have found a wonderful forum to sort things out here at OOTS.

Grace and healing in your Journey.

Rain   :hug: