Childhood PTSD is like herding cats


At my worst, my fight or flight exploded 15 times a day, things were out of control.

At one point, my mind and nervous system were not under my control, I was numb, frozen, shaken, and terrified.

Being overwhelmed, terrified, anxious, furiously trying to avoid further suffering, I would risk my life to escape that hell.

It’s easy to see how addiction and suicide are the solutions too many choose to stop the pain.

Ptsd was like herding cats, wholly irrational to try and corral trauma or felines, thoughts would escape from the pack.

Without notice intense emotional terror would arrive in an instant, my fight or flight would violently fire, I was in survival mode, sometimes in public, frozen, unable to speak.

I never wanted to be vulnerable around people.

Childhood taught me being powerless will get you abused.

It is almost impossible to not think, to try and stop thoughts.

Try to stop thoughts and they will proliferate like rabbits.

Focusing on the breath intently, letting thoughts fade on their own, can be accomplished.

When I played pro baseball, intense concentration was a skill all hitters possessed.

Sometimes, 30,000 screaming fans, along with the pressure of performing, the real danger from getting hit, possibly failing, creep into our minds.

If I could not block out everything else except that baseball, failure was assured.

You learn to spot spin, seeing the seams of the ball rotate quickly, knowing a breaking ball is coming.

If your thinking you fail. Thought is way too slow.

It sounds easy but you only have .4 seconds to locate the pitch, recognize it’s not coming towards your head, then have the hand-eye coordination to hit a round ball with a round bat.

On top of that, the sweet spot of the bat we need to hit the ball is about 8 inches long and maybe an inch wide at the barrel of the bat.

I had a head start on being able to meditate and did not know it.

Now instead of a ball, I focus on my breath, looking inward. All the while whether it is a ball or my breath, cognition has stopped.

Victory is unattainable, we fight for this moment, then the next, this simple, small, mundane existence, it is our life.

The ultimate goal is not healing, it is never giving up.



Is writing this blog bad for my wellbeing?



I have been told that writing this blog is detrimental to my health.

I should not be focusing on my trauma, giving it energy.

It’s like they think we can turn PTSD off and not think about it.

When I was agoraphobic and my fight or flight was firing 15 times a day, terrified out of my mind, PTSD dominated my thoughts, my body, my nervous system, and my sanity.

Is PTSD like being fat, others feel entitled to tell you why you are a failure and how easy it is to fix their fatness.

My trauma has morphed into a volatile existence.

That little boy was always dialed into his abuser (father), always trying to survive. My brain shuts down normal thought every time a scary trigger erupts.

Ptsd has jolted my nervous system violently, has frozen my mind and body in place. Mundane thoughts cease, PTSD thoughts proliferate.

I try to placate people, navigate back to my safe space, keep conversations shallow and benign.

I have no interest in becoming part of their narrative, no interest in being obligated to them in any way.

Ptsd anger comes quick and powerful, once triggered you become an enemy, trauma does not forgive.

Survival mode means exactly that, mundane life is a battlefield for abused kids.

We have always had danger outside and inside our heads.

I have found with age and my body deteriorating, being weaker, PTSD has gained power.

When your beat violently and mercilessly for just being a kid, that is hard-wired in my brain.

How much of that do you think therapy is going to fix?

What percentage of seriously abused kids, suffering extreme violence or sexual abuse heal?

The world is filled with people suffering from PTSD who had decent childhoods but later suffered a crisis.

Many of them never heal, so we are the extreme cases.

Some abused kids end up in jail, addicted, dysfunctional as outcasts, having anger and emotional regulation issues.

My emotional regulation issues are increasing, I am more reactive and sensitive as I age.

Ptsd exploits any weakness it finds.



Different impressions of Ptsd


My daughter has a child psych degree and years of experience in the research of children.

We differ on certain things, her impression of intrusive thoughts is much more benign than mine.

She sees control with practice and the pattern of thoughts changing over time. I agree until we get triggered, survival mode tells a much different story.

Intrusive thoughts become the monster.

She thinks community and trust are important while being a loner, being more isolated, and not trusting have a negative impact.

Can not say I disagree with that, how many seriously abused kids trust or have a positive community around them.

Many abused kids go to prison as adults, is that the community that helps heal? Check out the ACE study detailing all the extra diseases, mental disorders, and early death.

She thinks the brain has plasticity but changing hard wiring from childhood is near impossible.

Plus thinking we can reverse the damage of abuse, the larger size of the amygdala or the undersized hippocampus is never going to happen.

I agree wholeheartedly.

As she says hurt people end up hurting other people.

There is a percentage that repeats the abuse of childhood on their kids.

She pushes me to find a hobby, join a group, take a class, make attachments and go meet people.

This terrifies me as I hear her words, the risk sends me in the opposite direction.

I am not like others, I am not part of the crowd and have no desire to participate.

I can give you a list of groups that ended with me leaving, triggered, and pissed.

My trust has the depth of the kiddie pool, I have a toe in the water but the other is ready to bolt for home at the first sign of PTSD.

We must see how irrational we are, how frustrating being our friend can be.

My daughter told me it was hard putting up with “My Crazy Ass.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

It is so humbling that damage in childhood still steals my well-being at 70.

I did not sign up to be abused when I was the most vulnerable and dependant in my life.



How do I escape being a loner? .


My father isolated me as much as possible, that narcissist wanted total control regardless of the damage.

Abused and frightened as a kid, awkward socially, I had no close attachments.

Someone ask me who I confided in as a kid, myself was the answer. That has not changed.

This was an advanced class in being a loner that lasted 18 years.

No other habit has had such a sustained period of dominance. It has trauma as an anchor, a power source, which brings thoughts, anxiety, depression, and fear.

How can I describe my inability to trust except on a superficial level? My kids and grandkids are exceptions, I have no fear of betrayal with them.

The only safe place in my childhood was inside my head.

I did not let anyone near my thoughts, it’s all I owned.

I did not express them, I was mostly mute, opening my mouth could get me beat.

For me, “Marty” was my dad’s production, he told me who I was, what I was going to be, and how I would act.

My dad had more influence on the creation of my Ego than I did. My “Marty”, my father did not allow to exist.

You have to be sick to do this to a child.

Inside my head, alone is where I feel safest.

It’s how I have survived, I do not desire what normal people crave.

If I did, life would be miserable.

At 70, thinking I can change and feel safe and trust people would take a miracle.



We have come to call these shattering experiences trauma.

Sometimes we encounter experiences that so violate our sense of safety, order, predictability, and right,


that we feel utterly overwhelmed—unable to integrate, and simply unable to go on as before.

Unable to bear reality.

We have come to call these shattering experiences trauma.

None of us is immune to them.

—Stephen Cope

Violence inside my head

Pixabay Pavlofox



Do normal people have the violence inside their minds that childhood abuse people experience?

It feels dangerous, harm seems imminent, screaming and confusion are out of control.

How can I describe terror in my inner world, an unsafe place for me when trauma erupts.

Yes my mind is a dangerous place for me when it is active.

More appropriate, my minds defense mechanism is broken, perceiving danger everywhere then marking traumatic memories as so important, they need to be avoided at all costs.

Think a normal friend will understand our life, our challenges.

Hard to be included with a damaged brain like this.

We need to navigate whatever works best for us.

I try to be honest, almost blunt, in my writing.



A look at my PTSD at 70

I consider my PTSD to be matured after a decade-plus of activity.

Fear and high anxiety are a thing of the past, currently, PTSD brings hopelessness and depression.

To navigate this mess, I have reduced my desires then accepted the suffering.

I have a decade-plus of therapy and intense practice, further healing will be small incrementally if at all.

Now, I try to sit in the middle of my unworthiness without judging or trying to escape.

The more willing I am to accept and surrender to the hopelessness, the better chance I have at lessening its power and duration.

Healing is a pipe dream for abused kids, our lives, mental and physical health will be compromised and we will suffer much more than non-abused (normal) kids.

Lots of empirical data to support this assumption.

The Adverse Childhood Experience proves this:

Trusting people will always be an issue, as joining any group is a big risk.

When PTSD erupts my inner world becomes a confusing battlefield, the fog of war numbs me.

Fear and anger mix, low doses of adrenaline and cortisol are secreted, then sadness overwhelms me, my past is alive again.

I sit in the middle of this old trauma, succeeding to stay present somedays and losing the battle other days.

This is my life at 70, I have the perspective of a complete life on PTSD.

It has negatively impacted every decade of my life.

I fight for free moments, healing is a pipe dream.

The most important thing is that I continue to fight.



I am Triggered

Pixabay vainodesositis



Life changes, I find myself back in that terrified little boy’s body.



Ptsd is a curse.



Will we ever feel Included, Safe?


Childhood was a time where violence and criticism reigned supreme, never a time to enjoy a safe moment.

These trauma memories unconsciously haunt my soul, impact my behavior, and steal my sanity.

I got beat and criticized enough that I trusted no one.

Life was dark, filled with failure and loss, my nervous system was always a mess.

Spotting and surviving the next crisis is how I navigated my childhood.

My purpose was self-preservation. Not very lofty, not a lot of well-being, and not much of a future.

From my earliest memories, I depended on myself, trusted no one.

Hard to rewire all that damage.

We are different, isolated, and conflicted, always an uneasy, unworthy feeling permeating life.

My bucket list has one item, being healed from Ptsd!

Will we ever feel safe, included?



Understanding and Exploiting PTSD


Ptsd is like chronic pain, she fluctuates, intensity changes and our behavior can influence the outcome.

My behavior also fluctuates, during intense activation, I play defense.

Ptsd can be overwhelming in the beginning or when another old trauma surfaces, intrusive thoughts proliferate.

With daily practice, we gain some mastery over PTSD’s power.

The stronger my ability to focus, the more power I attain.

Letting go and diffusing trauma thoughts are at the apex of our wellbeing.

It’s a simple calculation, the more time I spend in this present moment focused, the more well-being, is earned.

The more I grasp and entertain trauma memories the more I suffer.

Time spent in the past is detrimental unless we are integrating the trauma to the present moment.

Questions to ask: Can I stay present today, can I enjoy well-being?

Just for today.

Easier to fight a one-day battle than the rest of our lives.

I have an impact on today, not tomorrow.

We gain well-being by winning these small moment-to-moment battles for control.

It’s a marathon, the journey is the reward, only permanent things count.

I love the sound of us Exploiting Ptsd.

We can develop skills to exploit PTSD!



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