“PTSD is a whole-body tragedy, an integral human event of enormous proportions with massive repercussions.”
― Susan Pease Banitt
Most people go through life with broken wings. They often dont share for fear of resentment or rejection. They dont show the hurt they feel or burdens they carry with them. Most times, you wont even know it exists. I was taught, not only by my mother but as a survivor, that to show your feelings was a sign of weakness and defeat. weakness was for wimps..and I could not show it. Even to this day, its hard for me to open up, although Im learning more and more daily. I learned early on in my life of abuse, that when I did show it, or want to share, nobody cared, and to those that were the abusers…it made them more angry, and they had no problem pointing it out. You often times feel as though you have no voice, or nobody hears you. You feel alone and isolated. Ashamed and fearful. You are anxious and afraid. Your emotions may even be on a roller coaster, and you dont even understand why. Its possible that you deal with depression and withdrawal…possibly to cope, and are addicted to drugs and or alcohol, maybe even something else, like food, shopping, or gambling, ect. ect. so as not to feel, or think about what your feeling.. You wear a invisible mask so others cant see the real you…your worried if they do you will be outcast. Nobody understands you. Your lost and unreachable. Your heart hurts and you dont know where to turn. Sights, smells, sounds, or a person, place , or thing, may trigger flashes, emotions, and panic attacks. Some days…you hurt. The pain feels so real, but nothing is physically wrong with you. You experience night terrors, and may have had thoughts of suicide or have already tried…maybe you cut yourself to release the emotional pain your feeling as a way to release those inner feelings. You were and maybe still are a victim of abuse. Its quite possible that you are now a survivor but still experience these feelings daily or quite often. Your unsure of why you still have these thoughts or emotions, because some days you feel fine. Others are so hard to get through. Maybe you are snappy towards others and edgy. Its alright. It doesnt mean your weak and you have lost. It means its possible you are experiencing CPTSD or PTSD. Its common in victims and survivors that have sustained traumatic events beyond their control. Your not alone.
“The symptomatology of PTSD.
In PTSD a traumatic event is not remembered and relegated to one’s past in the same way as other life events. Trauma continues to intrude with visual, auditory, and/or other somatic reality on the lives of its victims. Again and again they relieve the life-threatening experiences they suffered, reacting in mind and body as though such events were still occurring. PTSD is a complex psychobiological condition.”
― Babette Rothschild, The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment the Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment
(A couple brief accounts)
On a gorgeous sunny day I was in the bathroom grooming myself. I had the door double locked to ensure my privacy and safety. My mother and “him” were outside working in the yard. It was the weekend, and I had to get ready to go to my best friends house! I was so excited! I turned on the shower, got undressed, and opened the small window that let out the steam, and let in the fresh crisp air. Turned on the fan and let the steam fill my nostrils, and the hot water run down and cover my body in warmth. I let it wash over me…and I let go of my inhibitions and fears, letting it drown out the world and rinse it all down the drain. I soaked my head under the faucet and closed my eyes and melted into the goodness that surrounded me. In our house…we were allowed 5 minute showers! No more. if we did they would pound on the door and turn on the cold water to freeze you out, then you got grounded. I took advantage of the fact that the boys were gone and my mother and “him” were outside. They couldnt keep time, so, I took an extra few minutes and enjoyed myself, humming along making my own tune. I washed my hair..letting the suds work themselves in and the lather drifted down my curves into the small of my back. …… I got a uneasy feeling. It settled deep in my belly and I became sick to my stomach. I looked up and to my surprise “he” was standing on a chair or log outside the window watching me. He made noises and grunted…saying inappropriate things to me. I immediately opened my eyes with soap in them to see him standing there hovering in the window. It was very narrow…about 9ft off the ground and you needed to stand on something to see in it. I slammed it shut and rinsed my hair and got out. To this day…I hate having soap in my eyes…brings me back to that helpless time and I have a fear of not seeing. I still have nightmares and night terrors. I hate taking showers unless my hubby is home. Then I get paranoid someones here and gonna hurt me. All because of him.
Another time for example was…..early on in my abuse with “him”. “he” would tell my mother “he” was gonna take me with him to go run errands. i never wanted to go, and begged not to. My mother said she needed free time. He took the truck and forced me to sit next to him. While driving he would force me to touch him and grope him. Some times he would stop at places and force me to give him oral sex. When I drive by those places even now as an adult I have flashbacks and get sick to my stomach. To this day due to the trauma being that I sustained I barely can be intimate with my husband. It has caused irreversible barriers. Im glad I have such an understanding loving husband. Due to that…it has caused intimacy issues behind closed doors. For that I am sorry. I hate that BASTARD!!! “he” took that and stole that from me….and from my husband!!!
These are just 2 brief accounts. I wont go into any horrible details as Im sure you get the picture. There were many more like that…and Im still processing them on a daily basis…It will continue for the rest of my life.
What I wanted to say was that, most people associate PTSD with mainly Military. While PTSD is often times associated with it, I wanted to share that there is a second one most people are not aware of as well. Im not saying one is worse then the other or disclosing that neither is as important as the other. Just that the two are different, and in this case putting yourself in one category is not necessary. You may think that you dont have it for fear of being like a Military person or persons, dont label yourself just yet. Thats not so. Even if you think you do have it, my suggestion is that you go to your Dr and get a referral for help from the appropriate Dr. A PCP is not a qualified professional to deal with such cases and in no way be giving you or prescribing you medicine. Its not in their scope or practice. If they are a good Dr they will admittedly refer you to some one that is accredited to help you in the way that you need! Please remember this!!!! Pharmaceutical Companies and Health Insurance Companies are pushing PCP’s to prescribe antidepressants and other pills with out sending you to the right DR’s. Be wary. A good Psychologist or Psychotherapist will see you a few times to feel you out and adjust to your specific needs at that time. Do some research on your own. If you or anyone you know may fall under this category please do not hesitate to ask questions and get pointed in the right direction. Often times PCP’s arent treating the patient with the right medicines and it may not even be the problem. Again, ask for a referral. A good PCP will do a work up on you to see if there are any other underlying problems and give you a referral to see the right mental health professional! I am in no way telling you to self diagnose, or claiming to be a Dr. I am however, giving you advice if you think that you fall under this criteria. Im a survivor and was a victim. I can only speak and give advice from this first hand perspective, and my accounts or life!
“Whenever you need a listening ear, we’ll be there. Don’t let PTSD get a hold on you. Seek help.”
I included for you some informative information to help you distinguish between the 2. You might take a moment and read it. Its interesting and you will find it to be very helpful.
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) also known as multiple interrelated post traumatic stress disorder is a psychological injury that results from protracted exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma in the context of either captivity or entrapment (a situation lacking a viable escape route for the victim), which results in the lack or loss of control, helplessness, and deformations of identity and sense of self. C-PTSD is distinct from, but similar to, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), somatization disorder, dissociative identity disorder, and borderline personality disorder.
However, C-PTSD was not accepted by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental disorder. It was not included in DSM-IV or in DSM-5, published in 2013.
Though mainstream journals have published papers on C-PTSD, the category is not formally recognized in diagnostic systems such as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). It may be included in the upcoming ICD 11 However, the former includes “disorder of extreme stress, not otherwise specified” and the latter has this similar code “personality change due to classifications found elsewhere” (31.1), both of whose parameters accommodate C-PTSD.
C-PTSD involves complex and reciprocal interactions between multiple biopsychosocial systems. It was first described in 1992 by Judith Herman in her book Trauma & Recovery and an accompanying article. Forms of trauma associated with C-PTSD involve a history of prolonged subjection to totalitarian control including sexual abuse (especially child sexual abuse), physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence or torture—all repeated traumas in which there is an actual or perceived inability for the victim to escape
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was included in the DSM-III (1980), mainly due to the relatively large numbers of American combat veterans of the Vietnam War who were seeking treatment for the lingering effects of combat stress. In the 1980s, various researchers and clinicians suggested that PTSD might also accurately describe the sequelae of such traumas as child sexual abuse and domestic abuse. However, it was soon suggested that PTSD failed to account for the cluster of symptoms that were often observed in cases of prolonged abuse, particularly that which was perpetrated against children by caregivers during multiple childhood and adolescent developmental stages. Such patients were often extremely difficult to treat with established methods.
PTSD descriptions fail to capture some of the core characteristics of C-PTSD. These elements include captivity, psychological fragmentation, the loss of a sense of safety, trust, and self-worth, as well as the tendency to be revictimized. Most importantly, there is a loss of a coherent sense of self: it is this loss, and the ensuing symptom profile, that most pointedly differentiates C-PTSD from PTSD.
C-PTSD is also characterized by attachment disorder, particularly the pervasive insecure, or disorganized-type attachment. DSM-IV (1994) dissociative disorders and PTSD do not include insecure attachment in their criteria. As a consequence of this aspect of C-PTSD, when some adults with C-PTSD become parents and confront their own children’s attachment needs, they may have particular difficulty in responding sensitively especially to their infants’ and young children’s routine distress—such as during routine separations, despite these parents’ best intentions and efforts. Although the great majority of survivors do not abuse others, this difficulty in parenting may have adverse repercussions for their children’s social and emotional development if parents with this condition and their children do not receive appropriate treatment.
Thus, a differentiation between the diagnostic category of C-PTSD and that of PTSD has been suggested. C-PTSD better describes the pervasive negative impact of chronic repetitive trauma than does PTSD alone.
“In my mind….C-PTSD is like a mental, emotional, and physical prison. I may be in prison, but at least in there I can find my way around and Im safe. Here on the outside…..I feel lost, alone, scared,and invisible with no voice.”
I know its a scary road out there. Its a scary enough life to just be “normal” with no trauma or illness. To have it, is a very isolating feeling and adds more undo much unneeded stress in your life! Most of us ignore it for as long as we can. However, knowing that there are places, people, and resources out there, you no longer have to live in fear or feel rejected. Your NOT alone. I AM like you…I AM one of you! There are countless others as well! C-PTSD isnt a death sentence, neither is PTSD. Dont let it run you and your life. Its tough, I WILL say that. EVERYDAY brings new challenges. Find someone or somewhere that you can open up, and talk. Learn to be yourself. Find that strength inside you and just try. There WILL be unbearable times when you feel like you dont have it in you. You do. Butterflies go through an amazing transformation. I think those of us that have had such horrible nasty lives are like them. Those of us that have experienced such horrific tragedies deserve to grow into something so beautiful and prosper. We deserve that much. I think after those things we experience we are stuck in this cocoon….we marinate in it. Living in it for comfort. Possibly afraid to come out for fear of whats in store for us, or the unknown. However, when we get the strength, the courage, and someone to help us through, we blossom into this beautiful creature, our wings form, and we begin to open up and fly free. Free of all the things that bind us and keep us into ourselves, shut off from the world. The world never gets to see us, to see us fly or be ourselves…to be free to fly, to show them what we are made of and how strong we are! We are adventurous, and brave. We are survivors! We are Butterflies! BOLD, BEAUTIFUL, and BRAVE! If I could reach through the computer and hold you and squeeze you and say “its ok, Im here” I would. Letters on a screen will have to suffice for now. There are many reasons that a person suffers from these debilitating issues. The list can go on and on. Every one is different. No 2 people can suffer from the same trauma and feel or cope the same. Neither should be judged on how or when they cope either. This is REAL…its life altering and a game changer. It affects millions of people EVERY year.
- 7.7 million Americans age 18 and older have PTSD.
Relationships, Trauma, and PTSD
Trauma survivors who have PTSD may have trouble with their close family relationships or friendships. Their symptoms can cause problems with trust, closeness, communication, and problem solving, which may affect the way the survivor acts with others. In turn, the way a loved one responds to him or her affects the trauma survivor. A circular pattern may develop that could harm relationships. Read more from the National Center for PTSD.
Get educated. Learn more. Help those around you if they come to you. Listen closely. They just may be coming to you. Take it as a compliment, if someone is suffering and thinks of you and trusting you, that says a lot. Be there for them! Dont turn them away and make them feel even more alone. Bad things happen everyday to those that feel like they have no voice. Dont let them feel isolated like nobody loves them and make it worse on them. Show them respect and that you care. You may be surprised on who is experiencing it and who has suffered great trauma most have many stories to tell like me. Open your heart and mind. Show love. Show you care
- April is Mental Health Awareness Month
- Wont you support me and others like me?
I wish for you this day, Peace, Balance and inner Harmony. That your mind, body, and spirit be cleansed and free from debris. That your soul can heal in the spiritual garden and grow to move up and on, by letting go of those things that are holding you back that plague you so much. I wish for you that life treats you well, and that you find comfort in those around you that support you in good health, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
Peace & Love ❤ until next time my friends…thank you for reading and your continue support, with out you this wouldnt be possible. You are, and always will be my rock! ❤
Now go out there my pet….and spread your wings………..and fly!!!!!!!!