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Old 07-29-2018, 09:58 AM   #11
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I know all too well what you are describing Purple Heart. It's a lot like being in one of those ongoing television series where a person is expected to play an ongoing role and is type casted and just recognized as that certain character. Marilyn Monroe for example wanted to play different roles in movies and yet continued to be expected to play the same kind of role that proved to be a money maker as a dumb blonde sex goddess. She was actually very intelligent and capable of doing more serious roles, yet kept getting handed the same type of character anyway. Well, that is how human beings tend to be where a person is so young that without realizing it that person slowly gets put into a role that may not be healthy for that person. That can happen within one's own family and there are times where it's just too toxic where the best thing to do is distance completely so the person has a chance to develop their own identity and not have to be stuck in a role where the person ends up being neglected, disrespected when they don't want to continue to play a role that makes them unhappy.
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Purple Heart View Post
Hi just wanting to know from people if their condition of C-PTSD ever ends? Have you got over it? What strategies do you use to cope/treat it?

I've had C-PTSD for several years now and I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

PH
I send cute snuggly teddy bear hugs out to you Purple Heart! You are not alone in this.

Our life experiences can shape and influence who we are and what we do. If we remain aware of this, we can maintain some level of control and not allow past trauma to control us; instead, we can utilize our pain and suffering to create change.

For myself, I have found purpose in my trauma. Even more-so that it was repeated more than once. Instead of letting my abusers rule my life, I have spent countless hours and days researching my particular trauma in hopes of exposing and spreading awareness and preventing others from experiencing it. This has allowed me to channel my negative energy into something productive and positive instead of self-destructing in some other way. I still have days where I will get triggered and have to call distress lines in anger and vent and vent for hours. Sometimes I will crawl into bed and hide under the bed sheets and cry. I will experience emotional flashbacks when at work or while watching movies or listening to music. All of these things remain, however, with less and less severity and frequency.

The important thing to realize is that we are resilient. We may suffer the effects of trauma for the rest of our lives and we may begin to believe respite from trauma's grasp is futile... All trauma survivors relate to this feeling; it doesn't matter where we go or what we do, our trauma is inside us and it won't leave us alone. I remember spending months and months after each re-traumatization in a state of survival, thinking it would never end. But each and every time I was traumatized, it would gradually dissipate to a level that was tolerable.

I am not sure what got me to that place... What I do know is that time (and everything that comes with it) seems to be the only logical explanation. I have called distress lines thousands of times. I had to. I had no supports and I needed help and I just vented on and on and connected with others about the darker side of human nature. I realized I was not alone, that there are others out there who have been through what I had been through and that there are countless more who haven't been through it but potentially could. I thought it would be nice to spread awareness in case someone else landed in a similar set of circumstances. I use age regression as a main coping mechanism for triggers. I literally put on a diaper, snuggle teddy bears under really soft blankets and I will listen to ASMR recordings, bedtime stories. I learned to connect with my inner child and be a parent to it. I had to empathize with myself and rid of toxic shame that my abusers burdened me with. I had to learn to love myself and see myself as a survivor (not a victim or someone deserving of abuse). I had to learn to empathize with my abusers (and this is not something that is necessary or required for everyone). In doing so, I learned that despite the evil deeds they committed, there was a reason for it. (What they did was wrong, period. I will never give them excuses for their actions).

Ultimately, it is a hard road. Anyone who goes through trauma has a different understanding of the word trauma. It carries with it a host of constituent parts, all of which are painful. In short, others have already posted such wonderful insights about accepting the trauma and learning to tolerate and live with it. THAT, I think, is the answer. The process of healing from trauma is different for everyone.

Does any of this seem useful to you? I hope I didn't ramble on too much. I just want to plant seeds in your head.

I also set major boundaries with the abusers in my life. No contact for almost 2 years and now I set limits for toxicity.

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Old 08-14-2018, 11:00 AM   #13
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Thanks HD for sharing your insight on living with mental illness. I too have struggled for decades with complex PTSD. It is exhausting trying to explain to people why I can't just "forget about the traumas I have experienced". I've always considered myself a SURVIVOR versus victim. Since losing my ability to work and support myself I've tried to focus on mental health advocacy by joining the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). I also volunteer for Suicide Awareness & Prevention to educate others about the importance of listening and TRYING to understand mental illness. Unfortunately, I live in a community that still stigmatizes those with mental illness.

Keeping local NAMI chapters alive is a challenge because people would rather ignore the reality and pretend it doesn't affect them and the people they love. My family is ashamed of me & my mental illness and resents that I moved back to the city of my birth after an absence of 30 years. If I had won my disability case when I first applied 9 years ago, I may have been able to return to the workforce. I'm still fighting for my disability, but too much damage has been done in the denial process. Homeless for 19 months now, I feel irretrievably broken despite many gifts and talents. I'm so emotionally fragile that I fear being around people.

Thanks again for sharing!
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: Does C-PTSD ever end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Heart View Post
Hi just wanting to know from people if their condition of C-PTSD ever ends? Have you got over it? What strategies do you use to cope/treat it?

I've had C-PTSD for several years now and I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

PH
I'm just starting and have asked the same question. Thank you all for your replies.

I don't think the muscle armoring will ever go away for me. I've been dealing with it since I was eleven (in my neck and shoulders), and there may just always be where I hold stress and tension.

I also don't think my tendency toward hyper vigilance will ever go away. I want to learn how to use it in good way though. Noticing danger, when someone needs empathy, etc. But I just know that that means I'll always notice those little things that send me into a fear response.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Does C-PTSD ever end?

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Stress is very difficult and that can be anything for example, the cat meowing making my head feel it will explode. I can't take any pressure and I just want to be normal.
Sorry if this is a tangent, but I can definitely relate to the cat meowing making me angry! LOL No one seems to understand how my cats can be so draining to me. I think they are energy vampires! >^,,^<
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:16 PM   #16
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Default Re: Does C-PTSD ever end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Heart View Post
Hi just wanting to know from people if their condition of C-PTSD ever ends? Have you got over it? What strategies do you use to cope/treat it?

I've had C-PTSD for several years now and I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

PH
I will never tell anyone that their CPTSD will never end. Let me tell you about another thing that people often say cannot be cured from my personal experience:

I was also diagnosed with major depressive disorder as a kid and was told it was incurable. I had many depressive episodes that would last for a month or longer at a time. According to the experts, if you've had several major depressive episodes, your chances of having another episode are 90%. I am here to tell you that I have not had a depressive episode in almost 20 years. I believe that I am cured from MDD, in spite of what the experts say. I no longer hold that diagnosis. I have worked really hard and learned a lot of skills that are almost subconscious now that prevent me from having a depressive episode.

I believe the same is possible with CPTSD. If you need to believe there is an end then you go for it! Just know it will be hard work.

For me, I already had CPTSD as a kid, then had another trauma before I was officially diagnosed. The second trauma made things so much worse so I have a LOT of work ahead of me.

Continually having flashbacks really took a toll on my body and now I have adrenal fatigue - which actually reduces my ability to handle stress - so it's a vicious cycle. But I have learned some really great skills that make managing the flashbacks easier. It used to take me three days to recover from a flashback. Now it could take mere hours.

My advice to you is to try to take really good care of yourself. Make yourself the #1 priority. (Or if you have kids, differentiate between their needs and wants and pull in other responsible and safe role models who can help bridge the gap when you can't meet a need). Nurture your health because you are putting your body through a lot. Prioritize sleep but don't freak out if you have insomnia. If you can sustain a good job, that is great because financial resources are helpful. You'll have to balance the need for a good-paying job and the need to minimize stressors.

If you have CPST due to childhood abuse or neglect, learn how to recognize an emotional flashback. They are hard to catch because we don't see and hear things like a military vet would. If you have really intense emotions that are not appropriate for the situation, chances are, you are having a flashback. I know that I am having a flashback when I have the urge to say certain phrases that got me out of the abuse or that are very negative (cause I'm usually really positive). If I am having suicidal thoughts or hopelessness over something that a "normal" person would merely find annoying, then it's probably a flashback. It might be different for you. Also learn to recognize when you are disassociating. This is trickier for me because it's so subtle.

Get yourself a book on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. There are tons of tools from DBT that will help you pull yourself out of a flashback. Learn what works best for you. These tools are also super important because therapy can be really stressful and these tools will help you.

Get the book by Pete Walker about CPTSD.

Learn how to help yourself feel safe and grounded. (Easier said than done, at first!) It was hard for me at first to even be able to understand what being safe felt like. So if you have to start with thinking of it as something else, like feeling calm-ish, that is a start. I LOVE diffusing or sniffing essential oils, especially woodsy ones like frankincense or balsamn fir! Just be cautious if you are on medication. Some EO's can interact with EO's but using EO's aromatically is the simplest and safest method. I also like to wrap myself tightly in a blanket like a burrito if things get bad.

Practicing mindfulness has been super helpful. The book the "Power of Now" is a good resource for that.

Learn about boundaries. I've learned that as I develop better boundaries, I am less triggered by what other people say and do.

EMDR did not work for me. I think it is a good treatment if the therapist does it right and builds a trusting rapport first. My attempts at EMDR failed because the T's tried to rush the process.

Try to find a therapist who specialize in CPTSD. I could not find one in person, but I started talking to one online. I have another in person T that I go to for general support.

Trust your instincts about what it takes for you to heal. Be patient with and kind to yourself.

Some other tools that I have helped me:

Yoga (try to find a trauma sensitive studio - some teachers will make physical contact to adjust you, otherwise)
Tapping/EFT
Mindfulness Meditation
Being in nature
Journaling
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Good nutrition
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:53 PM   #17
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BoBoPeeps, Thanks for all the info in your post. Posts like yours can make a difference for those of us who feel like these symptoms will never end. Since I am treatment resistant, I am always looking for alternative options. Many of the tools that have worked for you also worked for me.....until they no longer did. Reading your post is inspiring.
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:20 PM   #18
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Default Re: Does C-PTSD ever end?

hi all, this is my first post here, so apologies if i break any rules.

while i believe it is true that c-ptsd will never end, and that we can not heal the past, i do believe we can learn to live in a way that causes us less pain. well, let me speak for myself: i believe i can learn to live in a way that causes me less pain.

at least, that is my goal.

i no longer try to be like neurotypical people. i am not. i accept that about myself. i have been traumatized. i canít change what has become hardwired in my brain, but i can make choices that help me stay grounded in the moment. that is the best i can hope to do, and i am okay with that.

last week, i was confronted with a full on trigger of an earlier memory from my childhood. i wonít write about it here cause iím not sure thatís allowed- and it might trigger other people, but the bottom line is that i called my support people, and stayed on the phone with them till i could get back into my body, and into the present moment, where i was, actually, safe.

there was no way to protect myself from the triggering event.

there is no way to protect my past self from the orginating event.

so my goal is to find a way to heal myself in the present moment.

at least for me, having been working with all of the traumatic events, and the subsequent trauma and dissociation for nearly 50 years, i can share that i have come to accept that is the best i can hope for in this world, and iím okay with that.

yes, it gets old. every day, i feel that way. iím tired of it. iím tired in general. it is a lot to live with. but i also know that i am not alone. that as lonely as i feel (and most of the time, that presents itself as a huge gap between me and my loved ones, in terms of their tolerance of my issues, and even more, their underestanding), i am, truly, not alone- because SO many people have experienced trauma.

we are all in this together. and if i can just get over my shame and embarassment in the moment, and reach out, beyond the gap, i know, there is always someone who will accept me as i am, understand me, and love me. because in spite of what i was told when i was little, i am lovable, and i am worthy of being loved.

also, i can love others. and i do. very much.

as long as i can love, i know this: i may be bruised, broken, shattered even, but i am still alive.
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:58 AM   #19
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Heart Re: Does C-PTSD ever end?

... For All Of Us That Could Use One! ...

While I believe that Complex PTSD will always be a lifelong challenge for me, I also believe this too ...

Does C-PTSD ever end?
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:19 PM   #20
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... For All Of Us That Could Use One! ...

While I believe that Complex PTSD will always be a lifelong challenge for me, I also believe this too ...

Does C-PTSD ever end?
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