cPTSD and coping with daily reality (dp-dr)

zaatarHoney

zaatarHoney

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Lost in the Sauce
#1
Background info: I moved across the country and I had health insurance from my state, but no longer have it now because I moved to a state that doesn’t have expanded medicaid. I am currently not seeing a therapist. I am currently not taking any medication. When we move again soon, I’m applying for state healthcare and continuing seeking out behavioral health aid.

If I went to explain my entire life up until now- at 27 years of age- I’d have you reading for 27 years. I’ve never really known a life without violence, sexual abuse (molestation/rape), verbal/emotional abuse and toxicity. I never experienced one year of my life without it since my earliest memories. It’s what I know. As many of us are familiar, what we grow up with- we subconsciously seek out in our environment because it feels familiar, even if we can’t realize why until the huge red flags start to show up very announced.

It’s hard not getting into the details to explain exactly how I ended up where I am. I also don’t want to trigger anyone here. But after my last abusive relationship, I had to undergo a severe emotional cleanse. Asking myself why I keep attracting such physically/emotionally/sexually abusive people had me begging God, “why me? why does this keep happening to me?” In search of this answer, my entire past came to the surface in very powerful, vivid ways. As someone who got into alcohol and other substances very young to escape my home life, I was no stranger to gravitating toward it again in a deeper way. Where I used to live, substances of all sorts are available constantly, and for low prices (we were very close to the border). I hit an all-time low. I dropped out of school, I was living out of my car for a few months. Life was so different. The facade fell.

Before that ex, I thought I was “okay”. I had a great social life. I performed music, and poetry. I hosted art & music festivals. I hosted my own open mic for a few years. Behind-the-scenes, I fell apart. Often. Always “delirious”, when I’d try to talk about how my “mind” was feeling with my friends, they looked at me sideways. I started to realize this wasn’t a shared experience. Before that last relationship, I found something on Tumblr about dissociation and PTSD. That day, I’d discovered how much I self-identified with the symptoms of DP-DR, a natural coping mechanism for PTSD. After that relationship, I’d had gotten really deep into that ‘deliriousness’, and still do.

I guess that’s why I’m posting today.

I’m in a better space now than I’ve ever been. I moved across the country a year ago, to be with my best friend of 5 years (the man who actually helped me through and getting out of my last abusive relationship). My reactions to triggers are still incredibly debilitating, but they are less frequent. I’ve been sober for a year (minus a few occasions where I drank with my boyfriend and his family, or “consumed cannabis”.) but have been 100% free of other subtances I used to heavily rely on and found in all my previous regular social environments.

I still feel anxiety on a daily basis. It varies depending on the day and how it goes. I’ve learned my baseline is just: on-edge, and that’s my “comfortable” place to be. Though my tolerance for dealing with daily life is high, once things start stacking (as they often do as an adult trying to navigate thru life) I’m so vulnerable and shut down so easily.

I’m feeling good today. This means, I’m not stressed. I always feel a strong uneasiness, but nothing in particular is causing it, or exacerbating it.

When my day goes horribly, or my boyfriend is expressing his anger in ways I am unable to process, I can’t feel my body whatsoever. It’d be a miracle, at that point, to be able to move at all. I tend to hide in very ‘claustrophobic’ type spaces and once I’m there, I’m t h e r e. It can take hours of being calmed down to try and move my legs.

But every day, regardless of how great, I feel detached from myself. A general deliriousness.
I’ve noticed drinking coffee/5-hr energies help with the symptoms of not being able to focus, but I still look around my familiar environments with a sense of “where am I? These people love me, and I know I love them too, but I feel like I have no idea who they are, or who I am.” Being in a new environment makes this feeling worse than it was for me back in my home state. Because, I don’t have many memories to back up my experience here. And as people from home contact me less and less, my feelings of detachment seem to get worse.

After 6 years of my boyfriend being my emotional support, I wasfinding myself feeling more and more guilty that he won’t open up to me because he thinks I’m already going through enough- that he shouldn’t bother me with what is going on in his head. So, for months, I stopped talking about........ until things stacked too high, and I fell apart. This was 2 weeks ago.

He was so hurt that I played off being fine. I guess he thought my anxiety was just “better”, and things were ‘normal’. But I’d put the team on my back for sooo long... being responsible for all the laundry, for grocery shopping, for cooking, for cleaning the dishes and the floors, tables, dusting, sweeping, mopping... feeding the cats, contributing the most financially, being a full-time online student for my home state university, driving him to and from his job (which was 30-40min away each way, and bringing him lunch mid-day)... it was just too much.

I cracked.
We had another really big fight, and things are okay now.
But something doesn’t feel right.

Before I learned it wasn’t a totally universal experience for everybody, I used to find joy in it. It inspired so much of my art and music. It felt so ethereal. I could read people because while hearing their words, I’d really be analyzing their tone, their body language, their eyes. I connected with so many people in deep, meaningful ways because I could see through their walls, so to speak.

But now, it’s impacting our romantic and daily life together. I can tell he feels hopeless, and unable to “cure” me... because we’ve had conversations about this. I’ve told him- all I need is reassurance and love, and I’ll do the rest. We fought a LOT last year. A lot. It was hard to believe the long-distance best friend I could always count on to get me through tough times in my life was the same man who was berating me and punching holes in the wall. He’s come a long way.

I’ve expressed my boundaries to him and before, he would express that he feels like he’s “not allowed to be human and feel emotions,” I remind him that- of course he’s allowed to feel anger, but that- it’s his responsibility to decide how he expresses it toward me. Especially when, I just do the most to love and nurture him. His anger is for his past. I don’t take my anger out on him for my past. So I won’t tolerate being spoken to rudely, loudly or disrespectfully. That, if he couldn’t respect my boundaries 100%, then I couldn’t stay. Ever since, he’s made lots of better decisions, but we still hit a dip every now and again. It used to be a few times a week. Then, once a month. Now?

Two weeks ago was our first big fight in months. The correlation I see? I didn’t talk about my mental illness for the same amount of time.

I wish I could go to therapy. I wish I could stop feeling so detached, distant and vague. Grounding techniques don’t work for me. Sometimes the temperature trick helps when I’m in total panic, but for the most part- I have to hold my breath til I pass out, or I stare blankly into the void until I pass out. I am still very friendly, affectionate and intuitive- but he can tell when I’m feeling ‘blank’. I tend to zone out throughout the day. My boyfriend has his problems, but my anxiety keeps trying to convince me he would be happier with someone more neurotypical.

Does anyone else go through this? What works for you? Has medication ever helped (bc back home, I never found one that helped me)? Even to hear someone relate to this feeling would be incredible. I am so tired of feeling so alone in this when I know I’m not

Thank you. ♡
 
zaatarHoney

zaatarHoney

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Messages
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Lost in the Sauce
#2
Note: when in panic, I do have lapses in memory. I suspect I may have multiple personalities, or DID. Sometimes, I talk like a child would when I’m being affectionate. Or I act very motherly. There’s not much of an in-between. This makes socializing w peers difficult, I feel like I have to put on another mask to seem like a young adult. Which gives me feelings of inauthenticity, even though I still stick w my morals and sense of humor.
 
SunnyDaze

SunnyDaze

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#3
Hi there.I could relate to much of what you said about not knowing any other way of life.Is there any way at all that you can get into therapy?Have you been diagnosed by a professional with PTSD(or cPTSD) and/or a dissociative disorder?

Your past and everything you've been through sounds so complex I hope you can somehow get back into therapy so that you can get help processing your issues and traumas.There's not really any mediations that can help dissociation but there are some that help with the depression,anxiety,etc.

It sounds like your BF could benefit from therapy so he can address his own issues,especially his anger.And I hope he realizes it's not his job to "cure" you,that a professional is needed and it's not something he can do or should even try.

IDK if you have DID or not,only a professional would be able to diagnose that,but wearing different 'hats' in different situations is something we all tend to do.Nobody acts the same with friends and family as they do say at the doctors office or out in public.But if you feel you might have DID it's all more the reason you should try to get into therapy.

Sorry for everything you've been through.Hugs
 
zaatarHoney

zaatarHoney

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Lost in the Sauce
#4
Hi there.I could relate to much of what you said about not knowing any other way of life.Is there any way at all that you can get into therapy?Have you been diagnosed by a professional with PTSD(or cPTSD) and/or a dissociative disorder? .......
Thank you so much for hearing me out. Yes, I've been diagnosed. I finally "snuck" into therapy after that relationship ended in late 2015. In my culture, it's forbidden and punishable.
It took several months to be seen though- my appointments kept being cancelled by the office, and there was a lot of disorganization it seemed like. I never quite found the right meds, or therapist, but I never stopped trying once I started that path.. until I moved, and it's impossible to be seen without coming out of pocket... and finances are my greatest obstacle currently.

Yes, I agree about my bf going to therapy. I've mentioned it with him, but I don't push it- it's his decision and he seems to be doing a lot of self-development for the time being. But he's also very well-aware that he cannot and shouldn't 'try' to fix me. I tell him just to love me, and I'll figure out all my insides. Maybe he focuses on "fixing" me at times, to avoid the inner-work he still has to do.. I know he loves me though. I've never been with anyone who removes my self-doubt on a daily basis. Fighting drastically less has been really nice. So healing in itself.

It doesn't feel like 'many hats' but I've never been diagnosed. I've also not really mentioned it. It's only a suspicion as of late. I appreciate that though, you've given me much to think about.
 
SunnyDaze

SunnyDaze

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#5
Maybe he focuses on "fixing" me at times, to avoid the inner-work he still has to do
That could be.Or maybe it's just a guy thing,trying to fix.I have been doing a lot of reading about that lately,how men and women have a hard time communicating because a man is automatically thinking of ways to fix problems.

It doesn't feel like 'many hats' but I've never been diagnosed
You would know yourself better than anyone else.I can't really say what I think about that because I was shocked when I was diagnosed with DID,I thought my therapist was a quack and didn't know what he was doing,I had absolutely no idea I had it at all.So I honestly don't know what it's like or understand when people say they suspect they have it.The strange thing,which contradicts what I just said,is I knew I had a teenager inside of me but I had no clue it was anything abnormal,she had always been there and I had talked to her before i ever even started therapy.But never knowing anything different,I thought it was that way for everyone.So to find out it wasn't normal and that I had many,many more inside was pretty shocking and I had a hard time believing it.
 
SunnyDaze

SunnyDaze

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#6
Also I wanted to add that you're just 27 years old,you have your whole life ahead of you,I hope you can get back into therapy and get the help you need now and not wait until you're older.Like I did.I wish,oh how I wish,I would have got the help I needed when I was young like you.I truly believe my life would be completely different than it is right now.