What does C-ptsd and PTSD healing really mean?
One year ago I reached a point where I could not handle my life anymore. My depression was so strong, for me, and I was falling apart. I would be wracked with emotional flashbacks. I would be hit at any moment without warning with pain, grief and loss. I would start to feel the rage that had plagued me when I was a child. There would be times when I would put up the emotional bubble, the shield that protected me from feeling when I was a kid.
I think for me that emotional barrier and the rage were the worst. Because I am an emotional person. I show it, I display it here for all the world to see and fuck the assholes who think that emotion is a weakness. It is not. I was unable to feel. I could not access the emotions I knew were there. The love for my family and friends and yet I could not access it. It was lodged behind a impenetrable fence and I knew that all I could do was endure, because my brain had snapped into protective mode and all I could do was wait for it to stand down. But knowing this did not help with the pain the it caused.
What if I lost who I am? What if all the relationships I had were mere figments of my imagination and everything I thought I knew was wrong? What if everything as the notes in the Big Box Of Pain said were true?
As a child I was repeatedly told:
- I was worthless.
- I was never enough.
- I was too much.
- I talked too much.
- I was too loud.
- I was unlovable.
- I was manipulative.
- I could not see beyond my own experience to empathize with others.
- I was incapable of having “real” relationships with people, they would only ever be superficial.
- My emotions were fake.
- I was a liar.
- I was a thief. (In truth I would steal with the other kids and then throw them the goods because it was never about the crap, it was about proving I was fearless) and I never lied about it.
- I was overly dramatic when telling what my biological mother did to me.
- I was overly dramatic when I told what foster parents and their kids did to me.
- When I was sick, I was lying.
- When other foster kids stole my belongings I was lying.
- I needed to work harder to be better.
- I needed to work harder in school, even though no one helped me and I moved over 42 times by the time I was 12.
- I slept too much.
- I swore too much.
- I was a dirty foster kid that was worth nothing.
- I was evil.
- I was a sinner.
- I was going to hell.
- The beatings were my fault.
- I. Was. Never. Enough.
I have carried this with me throughout my life. 40 years of these voices screaming at me, telling me I am worthless. I am not enough.
One year ago, I stood in my kitchen and I realized suddenly that nothing was ever going to change. I turned 40 this year and my struggle with my weight and health, my struggle with my depression and anxiety and panic, the patterns of doing well then flopping, they were never going to change.
I had a decision to make, several in fact.
- Was I going to settle for this life that made me want to fade away into nothing, allow the darkness to consume me and follow in my biological mothers footsteps?
- Was I going to just keep struggling until I dropped, unable to function anymore?
- Was I going to allow the past to continue to define me and continue to destroy my future?
- Stay the course or accept that it was time to seek help. Real help and find my way to whoever I truly am inside this bloated and damaged body.
Years ago, back when my biological grandmother was alive, I remember a phone conversation where I had asked her if she was happy. She said No. She had not been happy since my grandfather had been alive, that was the year I was born.
I ask myself if I am happy and although I have moments (usually prescription drug induced) the answer is no. Happiness is this ethereal thing that was once more prevalent in my life. I felt beauty and love and compassion and I saw what we as a species were capable of and that filled me with a light that I could fill through my entire being.
I think happiness is relative. What makes one person happy, what heals one person may not be the same for another. My process, may not be one that works for you, you have to find your own way, but it can help to know you are not alone and that we all have to find our own way.
We fight to break the patterns of abuse. We fight to open ourselves up where we want to isolate and hide. We are the Trauma Survivors who have decided to keep fighting. Fighting against the patterns, against the gaslighters and abusers and we keep putting one foot in front of the other and we keep pushing on because that is what we fucking do. We stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and we do the best we can.
But what is healing? Healing from C-PTSD, PTSD?
What the fuck does that mean? Again, I think this is different for everyone. We have some similarities but we make them our own and we find our own way. I have been thinking a lot about this as I have been struggling and as I have had to tell the people in my life I am not okay.
It is okay to not be okay guys. There is no shame in that. Conformity is bullshit and being like everyone else is bullshit. You, I, anyone who has suffered trauma are fucking normal. We are human beings trying to recover from what human beings should not have to endure it can affect everyone; the armed forces, the police and firemen, the abused wife or husband, significant other, the friends and family, the abused child, the abused and the traumatized.
We are a fucking tribe. My tribe, the one I am building here may not be for you and that is okay, keep searching and you will find your own tribe. But we are a tribe my friends because we are united by trauma. We are united by being stigmatized and by ignorance and by blaming ourselves for who we are and how were respond to external stimuli.
What the fuck does it mean to heal?
Have you ever thought about that? I mean we have these people dedicated to helping us heal but what does it truly mean? How the fuck does it work? Seriously?
Lately I have been having these moments, I think they are from the medication I am on. I have these sudden flashback and suddenly connections are made and I think is this it? Is this a part of my healing process? I am writing again. I am trying to work through things the only way I know how. I started my digital art again. How will this help? I do not know.
I have no fucking game plan guys.
I am going to keep taking the medications and I am going to keep working on my projects and my analyzations and trying to reconsider what I think to be truth and I am going to fight back against those voices from the past, from the fucking abusers and from the gaslighters. I am going to keep writing and sharing and doing videos and trying to understand and figure it all out.
I do know this. For me. Forgiveness is not necessary for my healing, but trying to understand is. Trying to see the world through the eyes of the woman who caused me so much pain and through the eyes of the foster parents who did not give a fuck and the caseworkers who did nothing to truly help me.
I feel like I am on the verge of something but I am not sure what. Some realization. Some understanding. It is so close and I think it will make a difference in my process.
What do I want to get from this painful fucking process:
- I want to feel human.
- I want to have real close relationships where I am not doing all the work.
- I want to be loved and I want to love.
- I want to find someone to share my life with.
- I want to be happy. I want to be the bubbly me that I once was before the darkness settled inside of me.
- I want to be “normal” whatever that means to me.
- I want to be able to sit and talk and have conversations with friends.
- I want to build real friendships but I fear it may be too late. I think they may have given up on me.
- I want to lose the weight.
- I want to be healthy and feel beautiful again.
- I want the energy to exercise and eat healthy.
- I want love.
So, to me, at this moment, that is what I would like to get from the healing process. The truth is I am just putting one foot in front of the other. I have no game plan. All I think is that the medication, once we hit the rights mix will help me with the main side effects of the C-PTSD which are depression, panic attacks and anxiety attacks. It is all related.
Then hopefully my analytical side will help, figuring out what my triggers are, how I handle then and how I want to handle them. I want to try to see the other side of my biological mother. I want to see more than the monster. I would also like to try to understand and accept how my biological family abandoned me and my siblings.
I want to find a way to forgive and accept that my biological siblings will never be what I want them to be nor I what they want me to be. Not everyone is going to be a part of the healing process and I have so many regrets in my life. I have to accept that we are all doing the best we can and that family is not always about blood.
We choose. My friends we choose our family. Our friends. You know, we suffer, we want revenge (some of us do) we want them to feel the pain we suffered and we want them to apologize and mean it and we want them to love us but the reality is that in most cases that is a fucking fairy tale. Life is not a damn story. We do not all get the happy ending or middle or conclusion we want and think we deserve.
You have to find the strength within yourself to heal yourself. Get help. You are not alone. I promise you that. But you need to drop the desire to get revenge, because they do not have a fuck to give. They are abusers. They are gaslighters and they just want to hurt you. Others are simply clueless and frankly I do not need that shit in my life. Do you?
What the fuck is healing?
Frankly my fellow trauma survivors, I am working on it and when I have a better understanding I will let you know what I come up with. In the meantime, (to me) it is about accepting what happened to you. It is about accepting the side effects of your trauma and it is about accommodating and analyzing and figuring out what your triggers are so that you can come up with game plans on how to deal with them. Keep in mind this takes work and time and effort and is not easy.
I am doing the best I can, just like all of you. I hate this guys. I hate the way I feel. I hate the pain and I hate the grief and the feelings that can overpower me at anytime.
But, I love you guys.
You are not alone.
You are valid.
Your story is valid.
Just because someone says or believes something, it does not make it true.
You define who you are my friends.
I am a loving, caring person who is struggling and feels ill equipped to exist but I am doing the best I can. I want to help. I want to take the pain away. I wish I could just heal everyone. But I cant. All I can do is work on my story and hope that people relate and that they can take something positive from what I am experiencing. I was never what those people saw me as. I was always so much more than what they saw.
So are you.