WTF is CPTSD?

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CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder) is what a person can suffer after being traumatized or victimized over and over and over for long periods of time; or repetitive traumas that aren’t related and a person never gets a chance to heal in between them, which puts the person is in a constant state of victimization.  PTSD usually refers to 1 to 2 events in a person’s life that they experience. CPTSD can be a number of things a person experiences long term such as:
  • Prisoner of war
  • Concentration Camps
  • Child physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Sex trafficking / Prostitution
  • Child exploitation rings
You read my list of traumas and some of them went on for years. The symptoms, pain and self destruction that came with it made it all even worse. Like myself, people with CPTSD experience symptoms and difficulties such as:
  • Zero Emotional Regulation. Consistent sadness or anger outburts and rages.
  • Dissociation. I detach from my feelings as if having them is too painful to have.
  • Self destructive beliefs. I carry shame and guilt like it’s super glued to my body. I don’t feel like a normal person or that I fit in.
  • Vengeance takes control of me. I plot in my mind how I could physically hurt my abuser, stalker or perpetrator. Become obsessed with wanting to know where they are.
  • I have no REAL friends. I’m afraid to be close to anyone, just to protect myself. I’m afraid to leave my home because something bad might happen to me or my child. No one I know can relate to me.
  • Short term memory doesn’t exist. In as little as 24 hours I forget what we talked about.
  • Body image. I’m ugly as sin on the inside so I must be on the outside.
  • I’m the butt of every joke. No one takes me seriously.
  • Psychosomatic physical ailments. I have physical pains with no real cause identified. I want to be saved so maybe someone will find what’s physically wrong with me.
  • I’m an addict. Percocet and Ambien are incredibly awesome in my eyes, but are incredibly destructive to me.
  • Hypervigilance. I’m on edge at ALL times. Always over aware of my surroundings, who’s behind me, where the exits are and what the atmosphere of the room is. I will not sit anywhere with my back toward the door. I must be sitting on the end of a row at church, never the middle.
For me, I’m an alien living on this earth. I take everything way too personal. I’ve been called a drama queen by my family over and over. Been verbally & emotionally attacked so many times the minute someone yells at me I shut off like a light. If you walk up behind me and unintentionally startle me by touching me you are most likely going to get physically assaulted by me. I can’t attend concerts or large crowd events. I believe I’m insignificant and don’t matter. My friends are surface friends, no one includes me in anything. I can remember moments in my life like they happened 5 minutes ago, but forget a conversation we had 24 hours ago. I feel like no one believes me nor cares. I cry because no one ever just asks how I’m doing, and if they do then they wish they didn’t. I’m a brutally honest person, my honesty comes in punches, soft and kind or served on a silver platter. I’m not “normal”…whatever that means.
Welcome to my hell.
Photo credit:
Molly Strohl
 
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2 thoughts on “WTF is CPTSD?

  1. So sorry this has happened to you. I’m living this nightmare through my daughter. Her most recent abuse/exploitation was from and employee at a psychiatric facility we admitted her to after one of many suicide attempts. At this point we don’t know where to turn to for help and she has lost faith in those who were supposed to protect her.

    Like

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