PTSD: Beyond Symptoms

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Most of my harsh PTSD physical symptoms have faded or been reduced to a low level through my healing efforts.

Hypervigilance, triggers firing, high anxiety and raging fear have subsided.

Besides depression and low-level anxiety, PTSD’s impact shows up in avoidance, isolation, the lack of desire to trust or bond with people.

What relationships I have left on this planet are shallow except for my kids and grandkids.

You will not find me on Facebook claiming 100’s of friends in a relaxed setting.

I do not have family pictures on my walls, or self-portraits, my ego was obliterated by my father’s abuse.

My life does not contain what normal people crave. I am ok with that.

My daughter tells me Facebook is for connecting to all your friends and family, keeping them apprised of our life.

I have had no use for this platform at any time in my life.

This blog is my outreach. Trying to share and support other traumatized people is my Facebook, I guess.

I do not trust putting myself out there in a public forum.

My life deals with the danger and possible betrayal posed by people, not the joy of needing small talk with others to feel included.

How am I supposed to trust, be relaxed enough to risk being vulnerable, when I fear what people will do to me?

Am I supposed to care about attaching to others more than my safety?

What is the benefit for me? Does it overcome the risk of betrayal?

No!

We avoid, lack the composure to feel safe around people.

Being seriously abused as a kid has a lifetime of suffering and isolation waiting for you.

I may heal but I will never trust people.

I am ok with that.

I am not a victim, by necessity I have had to learn to need very little to navigate life.

I fear people way more than Ptsd. Trust was something that I used once, with one person, and that public betrayal changed my life forever.

Happiness and trust do not mix in my mind or life.

My happiness does not contain what others think happiness consists of.

That’s alright with me also.

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12 responses to this post.

  1. I can relate to most of what you said. My daughter says I have to admit that my father was an evil man. A charming evil man. I’m getting better at that. Where I’m at now is your description of low level – depression, anxiety, trust issues, and all of that. I’m finally working on allowing people into my life on a more regular, casual level. I’m very intense and my habit was to relate to people on an intense level. It never worked out well for me. I’m working on changing that. I’m practicing reaching out to people on a – hi, how are you- kind of level, it’s working. I’m feeling happier and increasingly more willing to relate. Humans were built for connection, it’s like fuel to our emotional well being. Trust does not come easy. That is my biggest hurdle in life, even with my family if I’m honest. I’m finding we can learn to trust in small ways, and it’s making a difference in unexpected ways. It took a long time for me to reach this place but I’m grateful for the difference it’s made. My wish for you is that you could at least discover the joy of a smile or a “good morning”, even with a stranger, on a regular basis. 🙂

  2. Oh I am fine with the shallow conversation

    That brings little to my life

  3. But I commend you on risking and having courage to expand

  4. I agree with that part about shallow. I think the thing making a difference for me is the intentionality of my interactions with people. I can go days and weeks never leaving my house, never speaking a word to another person. I’m working on changing that. Putting myself out there more. So far it is changing my perspective in a positive way. Commenting more freely is a big positive change too.

  5. Good for you

    I live with my daughter and three grandkids

    I am attached to them

  6. Good for you! You are definitely not a hermit.

  7. If I lived alone my isolation would be harmful I bet

  8. Yeah, it would. It’s not an easy thing and it’s harder for men we’re told. On the plus side God is a big part of my life. He has been with me my whole life, I couldn’t do it without him. It’s not quite the same as living with someone with skin on but it’s still good. And, my trust issues run so deep, I go to great lengths to keep any chance of connection from happening. My alone-ness is not about to change anytime soon.

  9. Posted by rudid96 on October 14, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    I’ve been following this blog post. The quote seems to fit well. The sad part is so many of us on some level, have a desire to engage differently. Some days I do wish for that and then, when I have the opportunity to do so, I discover with frustration that my tolerance is minuscule. It’s the Ying and Yang of this desire for engagement, this connection that leaves me feeling broken. My narcissistic parent is aging without grace. I do not want to follow suit. I do not the spillover of intergenerational trauma.
    I fight to create something different; to live the latter portion of life with integrity. I’m still trying to define what that means and how that looks. Any ideas?
    This is what urges me forward.

  10. My Ptsd has manifested as social anxiety

    Who knows what physical event will be our trigger

    For some it’s a car backfiring

    Or the smell of diesel

    Or a confined space

    Or many if us do not trust

    Social anxiety

    I have lived with a form of it my whole life

    It exploded when my ptsd exploded in my mid 50’s

    I applaud you for trying to plan

    Living life with integrity

    What is that Rudid96?

    What does that look like?

    People do not understand being raised by someone who treated you like a thing

    A violent angry narcissist

    I am supposed to just move on

  11. Posted by rudid96 on October 15, 2021 at 12:31 am

    I hear the damage that your childhood trauma has plagued you with all your adult life. It’s a terrible burden. I met with my somatic coach today. I explained that I wrestle with both my Ptsd and C-PTSD symptoms. One step forward, two back, and the dance continue. Who knows if any of us will ever break free. Mindful Marty, I really don’t know what “living the final years with integrity” looks like. My therapist said that phrase to me. She said it was the only thing that’s left when we approach life’s end. I think she mentioned the name “Erikson” or something similar, who wrote about this. I just know that it would be too horrible to finally wind up like one of the people who abused me.

  12. Oh I do the congenial greetings and small talk, I can find a conversation on many topics

    But I do not trust, I was not attached to either parent or anyone else in my childhood

    The only person I ever trusted was a girl in college and she betrayed me in a publicly humiliating way.

    I have never trusted another person after that

    I have depended on myself

    I do not get those warm and fuzzy feelings, other people, seem to receive from the interaction.

    I would rather be by myself

    An example to put some perspective on my childhood

    Every Thursday my mom fixed lima beans.

    I puked them every Thursday my whole childhood

    I was forced to eat them and after failing

    My dad made a special large paddle he drilled holes into creating more speed and pain

    He beat me till he was too tired to swing anymore

    My mom shopper bought those lima beans and cooked them, then watch me get brutalized

    She sent me to catholic school

    I guess that was going to make up for the home life

    I grew up in a violent atmosohere

    My dad never said a kid word to me and criticized me cinstantky

    Twice I was most valuable player n he sate if Ohio in baseball

    He criticized me in those days

    Perfection is what he demanded

    I was a thing, a pit bull to take to the fght

    Yelling the whole time at me

    I learned to never cry, never let that son of bitch know he hurt me

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