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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The “trauma” list

The list of traumatic events I am sharing with you are not going to contain dates nor specific details. I feel that the details are not important to discuss with anyone at this time, I may share some details down the road, but I need to protect myself and my recovery process. Plus I need to protect any one person or group of people involved, as I have not asked for their permission to use their names nor do I choose to want to.
The list will be in chronological order, but again dates will not be used. I also know that I am opening myself up to judgement, criticism and doubt; which has played a huge role to hindering my recovery process in the past. However, if you are reading this and find it to be fake, false, pathetic, ridiculous, shameful, ignorant, you can’t agree with it or some other form of negativity; do yourself a favor and stop reading my posts and don’t waste your time sending me an email or comment.
This is my story, my experience and my truth; no one can take that away from me. I am not here to convince anyone of MY truth. I am here to hopefully help another human being suffering like me to not feel alone.

 

Deep breath…..holy shit……here it goes:
  1. Father moved out / parents divorced
  2. Abused by narcissistic & alcoholic     mother
  3. Date raped as a teenager
  4. Infant son kidnapped by his father under false motives for 3 months
  5. Stalked for 2 years by an acquaintance through work, convicted, served no jail time
  6. Mother died of cirrhosis from alcoholism
  7. Attacked & strangled by unknown  assailant
  8. Casualty of domestic violence / verbal  & physical
  9. Personal addiction from PTSD relapse
May I never have to add another item to this list. I believe it would be the final straw to break this camels back.

Welcome to the pig

Welcome to the pig

Upon being newly diagnosed with Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I did what any person would do that never heard of it before; I Googled it. There were a myriad of websites explaining what it is from a professional standpoint; but nothing from the afflicted standpoint.  

I am thrilled that there is finally a diagnosis that fits me! It’s as if this diagnosis was made just for me, because let’s face it, when you read the list of all of my traumas combined…it makes me look like a pretty fucked up individual.

With that said, I’m tired of hiding in the shadows of multiple levels of PTSD, depression, anxiety and panic attacks. My disease is not an anomaly; for some it’s down right frightening or overwhelming to know it exists. For others, like me it’s a way of life.

So here I am, newly diagnosed with C-PTSD and I want you to join me on my path of recovery, treatment and my ups and downs. I’m hoping my voice can help another person afflicted with this not feel so alone in doing so. Hopefully if you have recently been diagnosed or thinking you have this, you can read my blog and maybe have some moments of “me too” or “yes that’s me”.

I have had to walk around for years with this disease, doing my best not to “look” like a train wreck. Trying to keep it together because so many people wanted me to fail, yes people wanted me to fail. Fail as a mom, as a person, as a co-worker or as a wife. The standard people are held to by others is jacked up!  Which is why I am calling my blog “Lipstick on the Pig”. Because no matter how much makeup, facades, costumes, degrees, initials after your name or plastic surgery you get…it doesn’t change how dead or gross you can feel inside. Like lipstick on a pig. 💄🐖

Welcome to my blog and adventure, as I’ve never done anything like this before. Deep breath….holy shit.

“Everything we change changes everything- We need to stop cursing the darkness and start lighting some candles!” (Batterson)