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I wonder if I have this

jajingna

jajingna

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Seems like the more you explore these mental health problems the more you wonder just what is going on. Some of the problems are easy enough to notice. Like if you're anxious or depressed or have obsessive thoughts, you're aware of all that stuff happening. But trauma is more tricky. It sorts of sits there in the background but definitely has some sort of influence. You might be wondering why things have been hard, and not have anything to really pin it on. Wonder if there's a way to find out what the problem is. I mean, how do you know about this one? Seems like a lot of the symptoms are there.
 
Racer

Racer

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maybe talk to a mental health professional with experience in cptsd.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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I only realised I have cPTSD last year after watching a Youtube channel called The Crappy Childhood Fairy. I felt weird even watching it at first because my childhood was overall good.

I didn't even realise I'd experienced trauma, but I definitely did, 100%. I am an "Adult Child of an Alcoholic" which is my main source of cPTSD.

I also have BPD and I find the feelings that come along with this are very similar to cPTSD.

Emotional dysregulation, fear of abandonment and rejection, hyper-vigilance, trust issues, various triggers specific to the trauma(s) that make me freak out (panic, withdraw, explode, etc)...
 
jajingna

jajingna

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my childhood was overall good.
I was reading a book by Gabor Mate earlier this year. He gives talks on trauma and addictions. As a doctor he said many patients say they had a good childhood, but then getting into it a little further they see that maybe it wasn't that great. You might have had lots of good things going on as a kid, and lots of bad things too.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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I was reading a book by Gabor Mate earlier this year. He gives talks on trauma and addictions. As a doctor he said many patients say they had a good childhood, but then getting into it a little further they see that maybe it wasn't that great. You might have had lots of good things going on as a kid, and lots of bad things too.
Yes, very true.

THE GOOD

- Lots and lots of love
- Respect
- Support and encouragement
- Lots of attention
- A comfortable, nice home
- 2 beautiful cat "brothers"
- A very good school and good education
- Quiet time to myself as an only child
- Nice friends
- Many fun times
- The ability to do activities like Brownies, have tennis lessons, piano lessons, ballet, art classes, etc
- A small and mostly nice extended family (including 3 cousins I got on well with)
- An "easy" life without having to worry about money or any student loans or having to work whilst studying

There's more of course, but I can't put it all here.

THE BAD

- My dad was an alcoholic from when I was 4 until I was 14
- He was verbally abusive to my mum during that time, when he was drunk, which was every weekend
- I lived in fear of my dad hurting my mum, and as I got older I lived in fear of them getting divorced
- My grandma died of alcoholism when I was 5
- I was not popular at school though was ok with my few good friends up until age 11 when my best friend drifted away and then none of my other friends were in any of my classes so I never saw them so then I had NO friends
- I got nice friends again at age 15
- I was painfully self-conscious ALL the time
- I developed a stutter at about age 7 and that was problematic
- I developed insomnia from about age 5
- I developed anxiety from age 4-5 including picking the skin around my fingernails
- I developed OCD at about age 7
- My 15 year old cousin died when I was 18 of a heroin overdose
- I started a relationship with my best friend (same sex) that I had to hide which was so stressful
- I lost all my other grandparents and my 2 cats I'd grown up with my whole life in the space of 4 years

There's more, but mainly the alcoholic stuff.
 
Mom_To_Two_Too

Mom_To_Two_Too

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Seems like the more you explore these mental health problems the more you wonder just what is going on. Some of the problems are easy enough to notice. Like if you're anxious or depressed or have obsessive thoughts, you're aware of all that stuff happening. But trauma is more tricky. It sorts of sits there in the background but definitely has some sort of influence. You might be wondering why things have been hard, and not have anything to really pin it on. Wonder if there's a way to find out what the problem is. I mean, how do you know about this one? Seems like a lot of the symptoms are there.
A famous expert on cPTSD says in his book (Pete Walker maybe?) that if cPTSD was recognized officially then the DSM would be the size of a pamphlet. It's true. Childhood trauma is the cause of anxiety--if a child lives in fear then the part of their brain that recognizes danger (the amygdala) grows "bigger" in an effort to keep that child safe. It means the child's brain is already forming to be constantly aware of his/her surroundings at all time, which is basically anxiety. It's not a controlled awareness that someone learns, like special forces or SWAT teams, for instance. It's an out-of-control heightened sense of awareness.

And if someone lives like that they will feel out of control so may revert to other mechanisms as an outlet for that feeling of not being in control, like obsessions and/or compulsions, or self-harm, or eating disorders. When we are faced with new situations we might freak out, and that would be seen to others as being unstable.

I was labeled as a problem teen, then given different diagnoses like borderline, cyclothymia, bipolar, and drugged accordingly, by docs who don't understand how important a role trauma has on a developing psyche.

I was labeled as crazy, unstable, emotional, needy, weird, high-strung by the family members who abused me. They made me the way I am and blamed me for it.


So I think the most important criteria for cPTSD would be living one's formative years in an unstable, chaotic and abusive environment which makes them feel the need to protect themselves in every situation, because they didn't ever feel protected in a situation where their caretakers should have been looking out for them and loving them.

I had several traumatic events happen throughout my childhood and adolescence that, yes, left a mark, but weren't what I would consider the cause of my cPTSD. That was put into place by the beatings, screaming, gaslighting and neglect. The other events (seeing friend's suicide, car accidents, robbed at gun point, rape, etc) caused PTSD on TOP of the trauma.

I feel that if I had been raised in a loving supportive home where I felt safe I might not have been in the situations where the other events happened. A person who grows up with constant fear cannot spend resources developing a sense of self as easily as someone who grows up in a safe and loving home. I was always searching for acceptance and love from the wrong people and I got involved in bad shit. I never tried to make an identity; instead I took on identities based on the people around me. What kind of people are going to accept a person like that? Other broken people, that's who.

Anyway, sorry if it's a ramble but I think cPTSD is the core of so much suffering. People can call it what they like but I can guarantee that if every pregnant woman was required to take SERIOUS and EXTENSIVE parenting classes our societies would see a lot less mental health issues.
 
Mom_To_Two_Too

Mom_To_Two_Too

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Oct 21, 2021
Messages
118
Location
Italy
Yes, very true.

THE GOOD

- Lots and lots of love
- Respect
- Support and encouragement
- Lots of attention
- A comfortable, nice home
- 2 beautiful cat "brothers"
- A very good school and good education
- Quiet time to myself as an only child
- Nice friends
- Many fun times
- The ability to do activities like Brownies, have tennis lessons, piano lessons, ballet, art classes, etc
- A small and mostly nice extended family (including 3 cousins I got on well with)
- An "easy" life without having to worry about money or any student loans or having to work whilst studying

There's more of course, but I can't put it all here.

THE BAD

- My dad was an alcoholic from when I was 4 until I was 14
- He was verbally abusive to my mum during that time, when he was drunk, which was every weekend
- I lived in fear of my dad hurting my mum, and as I got older I lived in fear of them getting divorced
- My grandma died of alcoholism when I was 5
- I was not popular at school though was ok with my few good friends up until age 11 when my best friend drifted away and then none of my other friends were in any of my classes so I never saw them so then I had NO friends
- I got nice friends again at age 15
- I was painfully self-conscious ALL the time
- I developed a stutter at about age 7 and that was problematic
- I developed insomnia from about age 5
- I developed anxiety from age 4-5 including picking the skin around my fingernails
- I developed OCD at about age 7
- My 15 year old cousin died when I was 18 of a heroin overdose
- I started a relationship with my best friend (same sex) that I had to hide which was so stressful
- I lost all my other grandparents and my 2 cats I'd grown up with my whole life in the space of 4 years

There's more, but mainly the alcoholic stuff.
So anyway, the main thing that sticks out to me about what you wrote is how you grew up feeling fear. That will mess you up forever unless you are made to feel safe.
 
jajingna

jajingna

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They made me the way I am and blamed me for it.
This rings a bell. Brings the old man to mind. Full of criticisms and complaints making the entire home unhappy and on edge. Not that mother helped much, she was too ill a lot of the time, but she had some compassion. But basically you get treated poorly, or disregarded, or put down a lot, made to feel lousy but having no choice where you live or who your parents are. Then when you misbehave or just aren't doing well, you get more of the same. A kid can't thrive like that, all that moody angry stuff, the putdowns and so on, with little support or encouragement. Then he's blamed for having problems? Of course he has problems after living in that sort of home for 20 years while he's just a youngster.
 
K

Keesha

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I also have BPD and I find the feelings that come along with this are very similar to cPTSD.

Emotional dysregulation, fear of abandonment and rejection, hyper-vigilance, trust issues, various triggers specific to the trauma(s) that make me freak out (panic, withdraw, explode, etc)...
Absolutely. When I first joined this site I couldn’t help relating a lot to member with borderline personality disorder yet I’ve never been diagnosed with it. I have been diagnosed with cPTSD as well as plenty of other things but emotional dysregulation, fear of abandonment and rejection along with the rest of the list are identical.
A famous expert on cPTSD says in his book (Pete Walker maybe?) that if cPTSD was recognized officially then the DSM would be the size of a pamphlet. It's true. Childhood trauma is the cause of anxiety--if a child lives in fear then the part of their brain that recognizes danger (the amygdala) grows "bigger" in an effort to keep that child safe. It means the child's brain is already forming to be constantly aware of his/her surroundings at all time, which is basically anxiety. It's not a controlled awareness that someone learns, like special forces or SWAT teams, for instance. It's an out-of-control heightened sense of awareness.

And if someone lives like that they will feel out of control so may revert to other mechanisms as an outlet for that feeling of not being in control, like obsessions and/or compulsions, or self-harm, or eating disorders. When we are faced with new situations we might freak out, and that would be seen to others as being unstable.

I was labeled as a problem teen, then given different diagnoses like borderline, cyclothymia, bipolar, and drugged accordingly, by docs who don't understand how important a role trauma has on a developing psyche.

I was labeled as crazy, unstable, emotional, needy, weird, high-strung by the family members who abused me. They made me the way I am and blamed me for it.


So I think the most important criteria for cPTSD would be living one's formative years in an unstable, chaotic and abusive environment which makes them feel the need to protect themselves in every situation, because they didn't ever feel protected in a situation where their caretakers should have been looking out for them and loving them.

I had several traumatic events happen throughout my childhood and adolescence that, yes, left a mark, but weren't what I would consider the cause of my cPTSD. That was put into place by the beatings, screaming, gaslighting and neglect. The other events (seeing friend's suicide, car accidents, robbed at gun point, rape, etc) caused PTSD on TOP of the trauma.

I feel that if I had been raised in a loving supportive home where I felt safe I might not have been in the situations where the other events happened. A person who grows up with constant fear cannot spend resources developing a sense of self as easily as someone who grows up in a safe and loving home. I was always searching for acceptance and love from the wrong people and I got involved in bad shit. I never tried to make an identity; instead I took on identities based on the people around me. What kind of people are going to accept a person like that? Other broken people, that's who.

Anyway, sorry if it's a ramble but I think cPTSD is the core of so much suffering. People can call it what they like but I can guarantee that if every pregnant woman was required to take SERIOUS and EXTENSIVE parenting classes our societies would see a lot less mental health issues.
Oh my ! Please ramble more. You completely NAILED it. You explained this better than I ever could.

Spending your life from a baby onwards with people who were toxic and abusive on a daily bases.

My mom didn’t want kids but especially didn’t want me and let me know this continuously, in her words but mostly her actions.

Born a blue baby, with projectile vomiting for months, my mom hated me.
She let me know I was hated. When my dad liked me, she’d mentally torture me while he physically and sexually abused me.

The abuse was so severe that many bones were broken and many questions from social services were asked. Living with my parents was absolutely horrific. When I became a teenager and was apparently acting out , I was scape goated as the wacko in the family.

After my brother died and I was diagnosed with bipolar they then pointed the finger more. Even after my dad broke his hand in 3 places hitting me, he placed the blame directly on me and the rest of the family had no problems blaming me also.

I left as soon as legally could but without severe mental disorder.

Like yourself, I spent my entire life craving the attention of my parents.

That out of control heightened sense of awareness. OMG!!!!! That is horrible!!!!!
That’s exactly what I’m like now and have been my entire life.

Later in my mid 30’s , I was gang raped in my home. It set me back so very much even though I’d forgotten about it. It was until I was kidnapped years later for 8 months.

If it weren’t for the mental disorders I accumulated as a toddler, young child, none of this could have happened.

When I try talking about this with my mom who Im caring for because nobody else is, she laughs at me. Laughs at me.

Here I am busting my butt caring for the both of them ( which cost a fortune in time , money and mental and physical health ) knowing full well that they’d disinherited me.

Of course I wasn’t supposed to know. It was meant to be one of those finally stab me from the grave hurt but it all backfired in their face when their golden boy abandoned them.

I had every chance to become their power of attorney but basically told them where they could stuff it .

I did however take my dad to see my mom in hospital over 40 times in a wheelchair, pay their home bills, bought groceries, cleaned their house, did their laundry, put their garbage out which needed to be driven to the garbage dump, mowed their lawn, cut down trees, trimmed hedges, cleaned windows, got rid of the mice, put Christmas lights up, Christmas tree, made cookies, fed them, cleaned up after them, cleaned my moms clothes from the hospital , took them to appointments as well as driving to snd from various nursing homes cause nobody else was doing it. The irony was phenomenal!

Then to be blamed by society for things that happened to me while being raped, and abused is beyond mind boggling.
Humanity can be complete immoral savages but the human remembers everything in incredible detail. It might not be a conscious memory but it’s there.

Most people don’t understand the power of the mind and how it automatically adapts to trauma to save its host. It’s actually miraculous in so many ways cause it works beyond time or space and can change molecular if needed. There’s so much it can do that’s beyond the hosts understanding.

Your post describes the torture and agony at its core like nothing I’ve ever read before.

I’m not surprised I’m messed up.
I’m surprised at others for thinking I should be normal after all that.

Having said all that my parents were good providers..They both have very good genes and good dietary habits. They allowed me to go on expensive school trips , bought me an instrument when I was younger, bought nice presents at Christmas, we had a nice house, were well fed, had decent enough clothes. They were well spoken, intelligent, had great jobs, took us on vacations, bought a cottage. On the outside i appeared to be spoiled from an upper middle class family with nothing to complain about.

I definitely have cPTSD. It’s not something that you explain to extended family or friends. It’s something you usually keep to yourself but when you find others who understand you, it’s such a relief.
 
losingme1989

losingme1989

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This may be a stupid question but does anyone here think it's possible to have traits/behaviours of multiple mental health conditions yet not qualify an official diagnosis? I've wondered about this for a long time now... 🤔 Maybe overthinking though
 
Hello513

Hello513

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My billion dollar high tech malibu mansion
This may be a stupid question but does anyone here think it's possible to have traits/behaviours of multiple mental health conditions yet not qualify an official diagnosis? I've wondered about this for a long time now... 🤔 Maybe overthinking though
I don't know, but I have been diagnosed with multiple conditions

depreesion with psychotic tendencies then bipolar schizoaffective then schizophrenia then back to bi polar schizo

I think mental health is far to complicated for a one size fits all, but what do i know.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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So anyway, the main thing that sticks out to me about what you wrote is how you grew up feeling fear. That will mess you up forever unless you are made to feel safe.
Yep. And it certainly has. I NEVER feel safe. I'm not anxious about specific things, like I don't fear going out, I don't fear crowds, I don't fear heights, I don't fear new experiences, I've happily walked around London and New York on my own, and was perfectly fine. If I got lost, I had my google maps or I could ask someone, easy! I once got stuck on the New York subway going the wrong way. lol. I just laughed, got off at the next stop and got on again, going the right way this time. No biggie.

Anyway, my TYPE of anxiety is a sense of constant fear. Doom, dread, foreboding. Like something bad will happen. Not to me. I'm not worried about my own self. I'm pretty confident and capable. But I constantly fear my parents will die.

All my life this constant fear has been there, since age 4. That's when I started picking at my fingernails (and a few years later also my scalp, then a few years after that, my upper lip, and now for the last few years, my ears. I do all of them as attempts at "self-soothing".

My fear back then was that my dad would hurt my mum (physically, even though he never did that), and with words (which he did do, most weekends), and then as I got older and hid all my negative emotions, my fear remained the same but I was also constantly scared they'd get divorced. Then after my dad stopped drinking when I was 14, it took me a year to really start to believe he wouldn't start again. I often had nightmares that he'd started again, and still do occasionally.

I never went to sleep until after my mum and dad had gone to bed, as it felt safe then, as probably nothing horrible would happen at that stage. (hence my lifelong insomnia and hyper-vigilance).
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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Absolutely. When I first joined this site I couldn’t help relating a lot to member with borderline personality disorder yet I’ve never been diagnosed with it. I have been diagnosed with cPTSD as well as plenty of other things but emotional dysregulation, fear of abandonment and rejection along with the rest of the list are identical.

Oh my ! Please ramble more. You completely NAILED it. You explained this better than I ever could.

Spending your life from a baby onwards with people who were toxic and abusive on a daily bases.

My mom didn’t want kids but especially didn’t want me and let me know this continuously, in her words but mostly her actions.

Born a blue baby, with projectile vomiting for months, my mom hated me.
She let me know I was hated. When my dad liked me, she’d mentally torture me while he physically and sexually abused me.

The abuse was so severe that many bones were broken and many questions from social services were asked. Living with my parents was absolutely horrific. When I became a teenager and was apparently acting out , I was scape goated as the wacko in the family.

After my brother died and I was diagnosed with bipolar they then pointed the finger more. Even after my dad broke his hand in 3 places hitting me, he placed the blame directly on me and the rest of the family had no problems blaming me also.

I left as soon as legally could but without severe mental disorder.

Like yourself, I spent my entire life craving the attention of my parents.

That out of control heightened sense of awareness. OMG!!!!! That is horrible!!!!!
That’s exactly what I’m like now and have been my entire life.

Later in my mid 30’s , I was gang raped in my home. It set me back so very much even though I’d forgotten about it. It was until I was kidnapped years later for 8 months.

If it weren’t for the mental disorders I accumulated as a toddler, young child, none of this could have happened.

When I try talking about this with my mom who Im caring for because nobody else is, she laughs at me. Laughs at me.

Here I am busting my butt caring for the both of them ( which cost a fortune in time , money and mental and physical health ) knowing full well that they’d disinherited me.

Of course I wasn’t supposed to know. It was meant to be one of those finally stab me from the grave hurt but it all backfired in their face when their golden boy abandoned them.

I had every chance to become their power of attorney but basically told them where they could stuff it .

I did however take my dad to see my mom in hospital over 40 times in a wheelchair, pay their home bills, bought groceries, cleaned their house, did their laundry, put their garbage out which needed to be driven to the garbage dump, mowed their lawn, cut down trees, trimmed hedges, cleaned windows, got rid of the mice, put Christmas lights up, Christmas tree, made cookies, fed them, cleaned up after them, cleaned my moms clothes from the hospital , took them to appointments as well as driving to snd from various nursing homes cause nobody else was doing it. The irony was phenomenal!

Then to be blamed by society for things that happened to me while being raped, and abused is beyond mind boggling.
Humanity can be complete immoral savages but the human remembers everything in incredible detail. It might not be a conscious memory but it’s there.

Most people don’t understand the power of the mind and how it automatically adapts to trauma to save its host. It’s actually miraculous in so many ways cause it works beyond time or space and can change molecular if needed. There’s so much it can do that’s beyond the hosts understanding.

Your post describes the torture and agony at its core like nothing I’ve ever read before.

I’m not surprised I’m messed up.
I’m surprised at others for thinking I should be normal after all that.

Having said all that my parents were good providers..They both have very good genes and good dietary habits. They allowed me to go on expensive school trips , bought me an instrument when I was younger, bought nice presents at Christmas, we had a nice house, were well fed, had decent enough clothes. They were well spoken, intelligent, had great jobs, took us on vacations, bought a cottage. On the outside i appeared to be spoiled from an upper middle class family with nothing to complain about.

I definitely have cPTSD. It’s not something that you explain to extended family or friends. It’s something you usually keep to yourself but when you find others who understand you, it’s such a relief.
Oh wow. This is just horrendous. I feel like I would be a shell of a person if I'd had to go through all that. You are SO strong. But you shouldn't have had to be. And you're STILL dealing with it even now!

I also appeared (and was) spoiled and from an upper middle class family, went to an elite all girls private school, had a holiday home on the river in another state and such.

But...(and this is why I didn't even realise I'd really had any trauma)...my parents were ALWAYS loving to me. My dad was never a disciplinarian and kind of let me do what I wanted. I feared him when drunk, but loved him as he was never abusive to me, he was my dad, and a GOOD dad when not drunk. I felt guilty for hating when he was drunk. I loved him but hated the behaviour. My mum was (and still is) my best friend, and I was loyal to her and very protective also. I used to wish my dad would say the hurtful things to me instead of her. My mum was perfect in my eyes. They both worked SO hard to give me a good life. They were always supportive and encouraging. I ALWAYS felt 100% loved.

I think my specific type of cPTSD is ACoA (Adult Children of Alcoholics). Because apart from that, and my own hyper levels of hidden / masked anxiety and self-consciousness and difficult and stressful times at school, there was nothing overly traumatic.

I mean, yes my grandma died (my dad's mum) when I was 5, but that's not a highly unusual thing. It freaked me out to walk into the kitchen one night at age 5 to find my dad sitting at the table alone in the dark, crying and drinking a cask of wine. I stayed silent and backed slowly out of the room, not knowing what to do. I felt scared. I knew she had died way too young, that my dad was only 35, that she'd been an alcoholic like my dad was and had now died from it, that it was a really sad...thing...that was beyond my full comprehension.

And yes, my 15 year old cousin died of a heroin overdose, but to be completely honest, it was more of a shock and scandal rather than something that upset me. We'd been fairly close as kids, being only 3 years apart in age, but by the time she was 13, she was refusing to go to school, running away from home, living on the streets (much to my aunt and uncle's distress), then getting into drugs, stealing and offering sexual services to pay for drugs. She had a pimp who was 40 years older than her. My aunt and uncle desperately tried to get her off the streets and into some kind of care home. She still refused to come home, though she would visit sometimes and steal stuff from the house.

Eventually she was made a Ward of the State, as my aunt and uncle simply had no power to protect her themselves. So she was now SUPPOSED to be living in a group home for minors and under the care of the government. These kids were supposed to be supervised and not allowed out after 6pm. Well. No. They did what they wanted at all times. My cousin stabbed a knife through a door there to scare the staff and she also made friends there who were not good influences. She was living, not there, but in some abandoned warehouse with other drug addicts and prostitutes, when she died. She'd tried a few times to get sober, but always succumbed. The last time was too much for her body. Her "friends" didn't realise she was dead until 6 hours later when one of them called an ambulance and then they quickly ran away, leaving her there.

So...it was quite horrible. It was in the newspapers at the time. But as sad as it was, I wasn't overly impacted by it. We weren't close anymore and I was too busy being obsessed with my then Favourite Person and best friend.

My grandpa dying when I was 17, my 2 cats dying within 6 months of each other when I was 19 after I grew up my whole life with them, my other grandpa dying that same year, and then my other grandma...I remember feeling relieved that I didn't have many people left to lose. I became scared of phone calls after 10pm because it meant someone must have died.

So yeah...I was 17 when that began though, so I don't think all that is cPTSD. I think it's PTSD. And I have a few other adult onset PTSD events too, after that.

I see my cPTSD as it having shaped me and as my brain having grown WITH it. So it's an intrinsic part of me. Whereas the PTSD happened TO me so it also shaped me, but is not PART of me.
 
jajingna

jajingna

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Was watching a video last night till sleep time. It's an hour long and is just part one of seven, a series of talks titled "Shame and Complex Trauma" -- The speaker makes some good points. He calls shame a core belief about yourself. He believes all people with this complex trauma stuff have some shame, but most are not aware of it. And so they might not know the role it plays in daily life. It's only recently I've become aware of it myself, a sense of shame that sometimes hits me. Not a pleasant thing. So I've wanted to investigate it a bit, see what it is about. Not sure where to begin when it's a big part of what I am and always has been, though kept hidden from awareness most of the time.

How to even look at shame? What's it all about? Not something I've ever talked about, or heard anybody talk about. Yet if it's something we carry around with us, it sounds important. Like part of our identity I guess.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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Was watching a video last night till sleep time. It's an hour long and is just part one of seven, a series of talks titled "Shame and Complex Trauma" -- The speaker makes some good points. He calls shame a core belief about yourself. He believes all people with this complex trauma stuff have some shame, but most are not aware of it. And so they might not know the role it plays in daily life. It's only recently I've become aware of it myself, a sense of shame that sometimes hits me. Not a pleasant thing. So I've wanted to investigate it a bit, see what it is about. Not sure where to begin when it's a big part of what I am and always has been, though kept hidden from awareness most of the time.

How to even look at shame? What's it all about? Not something I've ever talked about, or heard anybody talk about. Yet if it's something we carry around with us, it sounds important. Like part of our identity I guess.
I don't even know what shame is supposed to feel like! If someone says they feel "ashamed", what do they actually feel, and is it the same as "shame"?

Is it a combination of guilt, embarrassment and feelings of failure?
 
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