Posts Tagged ‘Complex ptsd’

How do abused kids ever trust again?



Even if my healing is miraculous, I will never trust, never risk being betrayed at all costs.

The damage betrayal did to me was profound and immediate, my male ego never quite recovered from the lies, manipulation and coldness.

Of course my abusive childhood, made me extremely vulnerable to be used and impossible for me to endure.

All of my abuse that haunts me now happened before I was 20, starting at age five, when I was helpless and ending in such a horrific public betrayal in college.

In my head, I do not want to be the betrayed or ridiculed , ever, ever, ever, ever again.

In fact, I do not want to be me.

It has changed my whole outlook and value, or should I say life has lost its value for me.

How do you replace value and worth when it is destroyed.

How do you make it ok for me to Trust?

I have went to a decade of therapy, practiced on my own, meditated for at least 10,000 hours, read everything on trauma, neuroscience, ptsd, therapy and war I could devour.

For five years I spent 8 to 10 hours a day devoted to healing.

I trust less now after facing my fears and improving.

Yea, I know, just distract myself or let the past go.


Can we ever rewire what was hard wired as abuse in childhood.

I do not think so.

I think psychology tries to act like they have answers for serious abused kids, cures.

I think they have hard enough issues trying to help those heal with regular PTSD.

How do look at therapy and healing?



Pressure from others to act normal



A high overachiever would be the moniker on my gravestone.

Marty, my Ego is expected to always be strong, always overcome, always outperform, and never be discouraged or overwhelmed.

For the first time in my life, I have given up for now.

Overachieving has done nothing to heal me, so why not try something else.

My trauma constantly haunts me, thoughts proliferate with more humiliation than I can withstand.

All my tools, mindfulness skills and all the therapies have failed to lessen its intensity.

I have faced a whole abusuve childhood and improved, however public sexual humiliation is something I have no answers for.

Now, I have no way of ever trusting, ever feeling intimate, or even a desire to be in a situation where I can be betrayed ever again.

As I said before, my trauma makes it easier to be alone than ever risk a relationship, an opportunity to be betrayed. This is a fact for 50 years as I take a look back at my life.

People around me are demanding I be the old me, energetic, upbeat and very active.

I was told I need to find something I desire, a hobby to distract me.


For once in my life, I do not care, desires to do anything besides be safe and fed are gone for now.

My constant search for approval has also died, I could give a shit what others think for the first time in my life.

That is the most refreshing thing in a decade for me.

My desire to isolate has reached its apex.

My room is only place I feel safe on this planet.

I am amazed how long I have lived this way without concern or sadness.

Everything they say about needing all these relationships has never been true in my life or never been part of my life.

Am I that different than others?

I feel free to share both my triumphs and joy along with the tortuous times trauma steals life and brings worthlessness for a substitute.

Any thoughts?



I know a life is not supposed to be lived like this

Pixabay: wgbieber



Thanksgiving has sent my mind racing, searching for explanations why others seek family get togethers.

Wellbeing (happiness) has all these great trusting relationships and deep family connections.

My life is void of that, I am connected to a daughter and three grandkids.

I feel safe loving my grandkids, they will never betray me. I do not love anything else.

That hits me as extremely sad as I write it, but it is my reality.

I am a loner who is not lonely.

Betrayal is far worse than not having any deep attachments in my life.

Criticism cuts deep into our soul, betrayal rips our hearts out.

Unless you have been severely abused as a kid, my feelings make no sense to you.

That use to bother me, now I could care less if anyone understands me.

Luckily I have shed my guilt for believing I was unworthy, or at fault for my abuse.

Adult children of narcissist are haunted, not attached in healthy relationships, then confused at feeling like an outcast.

We stick out, we see danger when others feel secure, we see betrayal where others see opportunity, we isolate out of fear while normal people attach, enjoy, even trust.

We are shocked others can trust and feel safe.



Trust, is it possible for seriously abused kids.



I am just realizing some of my habits were created from childhood trauma.

My Childhood was void of trust, it was a violent struggle for a little boy to survive. No attachments were created with my parents, I hated my father, my abuser.

After leaving the household for college, the first person I trusted betrayed me in a horrendous way.

Consequences: Life was much better not trusting people, being dependent on myself, especially when a crisis occurred.

How do you trust after a childhood where I was brutalized emotionally and physically until I left that house?

Childhood did not turn out ok, I was severely damaged and isolated from healthy connections to my peers. I was not allowed to dilute my father’s control with having close friends and a girlfriend was forbidden.

My brain lacked social skills to trust and bond with the group.

Do I cry about lacking, become a victim or do I learn to live without people’s help. That answer is quite obvious.

PTSD is an irrational disorder, we make decisions in survival mode that do not work in normal life. Things are extremely distorted inside our damaged brains.

How does a person like me get to therapy and then trust a therapist?

Trust is a shallow connection to another for me. I just realized how sad this is.

How do we trust on a deep level?

My only touch I received in childhood was getting beat. That does not promote trust or closeness.

Who do you call?

69 years of not trusting is a big mountain!



I have two significant traumas in my life: a pattern has emerged



My traumas waited many decades to explode, coming alive in my consciousness. Usually a crisis, death, cancer, another trauma, etc. activates our stored trauma.

For me, this has happened twice, a decade apart, one with my whole childhood, second a horrible public betrayal in college.

During childhood, my brain wired under duress, fear and survival shut down many normal developmental circuits.

As a child, my complete focus centered around my father (my abuser).

Instead of developing healthy attachments, social skills, all my focus was spent on my fathers mood.

When a caregiver places you in imminent danger, even digestion is interrupted.

So the pattern of being consumed by trauma thoughts is a habit practiced from such an early age.

Now, a second trauma, not childhood but a college tragedy erupted a couple months ago.

Now my mind haunts me night and day playing a short video of the trauma.

My inner world tries to change the outcome. The wounded me in college, does not want to endure this a second longer.

I never felt this humiliated and worthless in my life. We feel the emotions at the time of the event, like reliving a real horror movie.

Of course my trauma from childhood made this new trauma far more damaging.

Abused kids lack emotional regulation skills and healthy coping mechanisms , making us vulnerable the rest of our lives.

Realize, if you have Complex PTSD from childhood, a new trauma will be far more damaging to us than a normal person.

I am finding that two big traumas like this can be overwhelming, so much more power in combination.

Yes, frustration and resentment share my mind with fear and humiliation in the midst of this past trauma.

You can see the rollercoasre ride our traumatized mind takes us through.

This is not an easy life. We isolate to protect our damaged souls.

Not everyday is jubilant on this journey.



Healing the Shame of Childhood Abuse Through Self-Compassion (excerpt). Psychology Today



If you were a victim of childhood abuse or neglect, you know about shame.

You have likely been plagued by it all your life without identifying it as shame. You may feel shame because you blame yourself for the abuse itself (“My father wouldn’t have hit me if I had minded him”) or because you felt such humiliation at having been abused (“I feel like such a wimp for not defending myself”).

While those who were sexually abused tend to suffer from the most shame, those who suffered from physical, verbal, or emotional abuse blame themselves as well.

In the case of child sexual abuse, no matter how many times you’ve heard the words “It’s not your fault,” the chances are high that you still blame yourself in some way—for being submissive, for not telling someone and having the abuse continue, for “enticing” the abuser with your behavior or dress, or because you felt some physical pleasure.

In the case of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse, you may blame yourself for “not listening” and thus making your parent or caretaker so angry that he or she yelled at you or hit you.

Children tend to blame the neglect and abuse they experience on themselves, in essence saying to themselves, “My mother is treating me like this because I’ve been bad” or “I am being neglected because I am unlovable.”

As an adult, you may have continued this kind of rationalization, putting up with poor treatment by others because you believe you brought it on yourself.

Conversely, when good things happen to you, you may actually become uncomfortable, because you feel so unworthy.

Complete article here:




Risk factors for PTSD



▪ Estimated risk for developing PTSD for those who have experienced the following traumatic events:

Rape (49 percent)

▪ Severe beating or physical assault (31.9 percent)

▪ Other sexual assault (23.7 percent)

▪ Serious accident or injury, for example, car or train accident (16.8 percent)

▪ Shooting or stabbing (15.4 percent)

▪ Sudden, unexpected death of family member or friend (14.3 percent)

▪ Child’s life-threatening illness (10.4 percent)

▪ Witness to killing or serious injury (7.3 percent)

▪ Natural disaster (3.8 percent)

My two cents: Again Complex PTSD and childhood abuse are not listed.

Growing up with an abusive parent has to have a high rate of PTSD.

We have the least amount of skills to survive a first caregiver.



The Inner Drugstore: Adult Children of Alcoholics or Dysfunctional Households



2. Inner Drug Store:

“For every emotion we feel, a corresponding biochemical substance is automatically released in our bodies. Think about how the felt sense of anger is different from the felt sense of calm or amusement. Especially for those of us who have trouble connecting with our bodies or our emotions, these chemical changes may happen below our level of awareness. But they still happen.

The inner drug store is not all bad. There are bottles of joy, peacefulness, and spirituality to name a few. But we Adult Children often gravitate toward the drugs of negative excitement.

Growing up in dysfunctional households, our everyday state can become one of hypervigilance. Am I safe? What mood is Mom in? We walk on eggshells trying to be invisible. Dad’s car just pulled in the driveway, is he drunk? We scan the house for things that might anger him and quickly try to neutralize them.

Or perhaps we were ignored or emotionally abandoned by our parents, creating anxiety and the general feeling of being alone and unsafe. Our normal can become anxiety and fear. And since it is perhaps all we have ever known, and since we may already have learned to shut down access to our feelings and our bodies, we may not even be aware of our anxiety.

Hypervigilance creates a stress response in the body, it even releases dopamine in our brains. As children, our small bodies are marinated in those chemicals. Even if we have never taken a drink of alcohol nor any drugs, we are all addicts. We, as Adult Children, learn to be addicted to our own inner drug stores. We can subconsciously seek out situations which recreate these feelings.

Emotional Intoxication is getting high on our inner drug store.

The more I understand it, the less it controls me. – (Jarvis)

“Subconsciously” is an important concept here. Generally, we don’t consciously choose to take these actions. It may be like breathing. Our minds are in control of that process, but normally we aren’t consciously aware of taking each breath. If we were we might have trouble thinking about anything else.

The subconscious mind takes over certain processes. I think maintaining our “normal” level of emotional intoxication or sobriety may be one of those. If we were raised in a dysfunctional home, our normal can be anxiety and fear. And we seek to re-create what is normal for each of us.”



We do not want to suffer!



We do not want to suffer. For much of life this desire steers us away from danger.

If we have a mental disorder, (PTSD, depression, etc) avoiding brings more suffering.

I started out avoiding a few things to control my fight or flight firing. The adrenal stress response is preparing us for a lethal threat.

This state is filled with fear, anxiety and unrest.

It scares us because we seem to have no influence over it.

Mine fired when it wanted, my effort did nothing to stop it.

This behavior made things much worse. At bottom I spent six months in my dark garage, agoraphobic.

My fight or flight still fired ten plus times a day.

Escaping my mind was impossible.

My nervous system was upside down. Cortisol and adrenaline were at extreme levels, a day felt like a week.

Healing came when I faced my triggers, sitting still, focused on my breath.

I learned to sit quietly in the midst of my suffering.

My fight or flight mechanism became a friend not the enemy.

I learned to feel all the emotions fully, then release them.

The volume decreases as we face them, integrate them.

I discovered my fight or flight could fire on its own, but my breath could calm the upset, dissipating the cortisol and adrenaline.

How do you react to a trigger firing?



4 Possible Subtypes of PTSD Powerful statistical tools advance our understanding of critical issues. Grant Hilary Brenner MD, FAPA Posted Jan 30, 2020



Except: Full article here:

Precision medicine” leverages technology and mathematical tools to individualize care. Precision-medicine approaches are on the cutting edge of medicine, and as such are not always ready for primetime. They are often the subject of controversy. Some clinicians and patients are eager to try new things right away, while others prefer to wait to see if they work and if they cause unexpected adverse reactions, also known as “side effects.”

The current study used “latent class analysis” with the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC III). This survey collected data from a representative sample to reflect the general U.S. population. Of the over 36,000 participants, almost 2,400 met criteria for PTSD at some point in their lives.

1. Dysphoric (23.8 percent): Intrusive thoughts; avoidance of situations and thoughts related to the trauma; negative thoughts and feelings; isolation, numbing and irritability; and difficulty with sleep and concentration.

They were more likely to be younger, and male. They were less likely to have experienced combat. They were less likely to receive medication for PTSD. They were more likely to be diagnosed with depression, and less likely to be diagnosed with anxiety. They were more likely to use nicotine.

2. Threat (26.1 percent): Increased re-experiencing symptoms; high self-blame and negative emotion; lower levels of loss of interest, numbing, isolation and irritability; and high levels of physiologic arousal (“hyperarousal”). They were more likely to be older, and less likely to have recent homelessness or unemployment.

They were more likely to have personally experienced natural disasters, and had illnesses or injury to people close to them. They were less likely to report childhood sexual abuse as their worst trauma, and reported better mental health. They tended to have fewer additional psychiatric diagnoses.

3. High Symptom (33.7 percent): Elevated levels of all symptoms except trauma-related amnesia and high-risk behaviors. They were more likely to be female, less likely to be White, reported lower education and income levels, and were more likely to have recent public assistance, homelessness, and unemployment. They were more likely to report combat and childhood sexual abuse as their worst trauma, were younger when they developed PTSD and had it longer, and reported worse mental and physical health.

They were more likely to have received therapy and/or medication treatment for PTSD. They had higher rates of other psychiatric conditions, including anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, chronic depression, marijuana and alcohol use disorders, and personality disorders including Borderline, Schizotypal and Antisocial. This group most closely resembles cPTSD.

4. Low Symptom (16.3 percent): Lower levels of all symptoms, except for intrusive thoughts, negative emotions, and hypervigilance. People in this group were more likely to have higher income levels. They were more likely to report the worst trauma to someone close to them, rather than to themselves personally, and were less likely to report personal war trauma.

They tended to be older and have PTSD for a shorter time, and to have better mental and physical health. They were less likely to have received treatment with therapy and/or medications. They were less likely to have other psychiatric diagnoses, and less likely to have personality disorders.



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