PTSD’s voice: what does he say?



This is my PTSD’s voice, maybe part inner critic, part judging mechanism, he is my flawed narrative (Ego). When PTSD is active my ego feels like this guy.

I am a lost soul, wandering through life, the demons of childhood haunt me, companions for life.

Life from my earliest memories was always coming way too fast for an abused kid to handle.

I had the burden of navigating physical and emotional abuse, a task like surviving in a war zone, my dad, on top of living and functioning at school.

Criticism is a major flaw for me. I know we should not take criticism personally, ever.

My issue stems from never having an early memory without criticism.

Violent criticism was my father’s way of raising me, an everyday regiment of abuse.

Oh, I have struggled with the inner critic my whole existence.

I avoid places that remind me of past criticism or future risk.

That avoidance is seamless, almost involuntary with little thought, my nervous system alerts me.

I force myself, overriding PTSD’s symptoms, to engage in some activities amid these perceived dangers.

We have to balance the risk versus reward in our life.

We want to participate more but we do not want to suffer more.

How do we navigate life like this?

That is our daily dilemma.



12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Deb on July 3, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    How do we navigate life like this? That’s an excellent question. I think we each muddle our way as best we can–just as we did as abused children. We find some things don’t work as well as others, and even the things that work don’t always work. That’s how it is for me, at least. So I can’t depend on any one coping mechanism to see me through difficult situations.

    Sometimes I force myself to face something; I numb out so I can do so. And then I have to pay the price for doing so. You express this so much better than I could, this balancing act we must face every single day. Aside from everything else, it’s flat out exhausting.

  2. Expressing it well does nothing to calm the battle

    Remember hippocampus is smaller
    Emotional regulation and placing memories in chronological order is hampered

    Amygdala is larger where implicit memory (trauma memory) is stored

    Then left ore frontal cortex is compromised

    That means our ptsd brain is different from others

    We can not just let thoughts go or act like ptsd is not there

    I cope but some trauma haunts me everyday

    Doubt and worry have such a foundation in a childhood
    Like ours

  3. Posted by Deb on July 3, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    I think I’ve always been in denial about what you said here: “That means our ptsd brain is different from others.”

    I imagine I can manipulate my ptsd, get a handle on it, control it. But if my brain is actually different from others then who am I kidding?

  4. It is wired different and two organs are physically altered

    And the ACE study says we die young

    Suffer more addiction cancer mental illness
    Suicide etc.

  5. We can improve and fight

    But we will never completely repair our brains

    My opinion

    That’s why childhood trauma is so devastating

    Our prisons are filled with adults abused as kids

    Society really does not care about some souls

  6. “Our prisons are filled with adults abused as kids” …

    “It has been said that if child abuse and neglect were to disappear today, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual would shrink to the size of a pamphlet in two generations, and the prisons would empty. Or, as Bernie Siegel, MD, puts it, quite simply, after half a century of practicing medicine, ‘I have become convinced that our number-one public health problem is our childhood’.” (Childhood Disrupted, pg.228).

  7. Birth is the ultimate lottery

    Some of us were big losers

    A seriously abusive childhood lasts a lifetime

  8. Posted by rudid96 on July 6, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    “…Balancing the risk versus reward in our life” and “We want to participate more but we do not want to suffer more” is what drives my engagement and then retreat into anxiety & shame for connection. I’ve mastered the superficial – like a friendly “Hi” to the person behind the counter or at the cleaners. Even a smile and wave to a neighbor. However, it’s the longer contact; the one where a deeper, meaningful connection is sought. Abusive childhoods always seem to leave a residue of shame and sensitivity to being used and/or manipulated.

  9. We crave attachment, approval , support, trust

    We are vulnerable and reactive

    We suffer

    Whether we participate or avoid

    Even if we attach

    We are always conflicted and wonder what love is

    After college I never trusted and knew the chance of betrayal compromised all other emotions

    Yes shame lives

  10. I have mastered the superficial, that’s a great way of describing how we navigate at times, hollow inside, trying to say the correct responses,

    Getting satisfaction never enters my consciousness

    I look forward to getting back to emotional safety

    We do not attach so things others reap enjoyment have no rewards for us

    I do not miss being in any group

    Having to do things that bring nothing but risk and little reward lacks desire for me

  11. Posted by rudid96 on July 6, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    This is why I’m friendly but heart-to-heart connections are so few. And yet, I believe they’re possible. Limited with pauses for trauma flare-ups but still possible.

  12. I am an extrovert and can be talkative and funny

    Engaged but I crawl back into my cave

    Trusting them is the issue

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