Posts Tagged ‘Emotions’

PTSD: A few of my traits


Many of these traits were accepted as old habits, part of who I was instead of PTSD symptoms.

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Distrust: Friendships can be tenuous, any betrayal ends any friendship immediately. This distrust limits deep relationships because of the basic need for protection.

Security: From my earliest memories as a child, feeling safe and supported was missing. All I know is this void. No mentor, no adult has ever gained my trust unconditionally.

Hypervigilance: Entering a restaurant, any group or meeting, my defense mechanism takes over, spotting imminent danger, always on alert. This is automatic, almost subconscious, and quick.

Avoidance: PTSD narrows life, we isolate to avoid triggers firing. Our fight or flight mechanism firing signals danger, this is our chemical version of fear.

In some strange abstract way, I fear and distrust people. Childhood abuse brings a vulnerability that never leaves as an adult. I can not grasp words to make you understand.

Thinking: PTSD brings intrusive thoughts and negative emotional trauma memories. These thoughts are numerous and highly invasive, filled with what we fear most.

Thinking, and dissociating into past trauma memories, fuels PTSD. The more time we spend ruminating into the past the more PTSD powers up.

Mood Swings: Life can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions and thoughts. I can spot the shift at times. My demeanor swings wildly and forcibly without my conscious input.

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PTSD feels like there is another self or being inside my head. A highly sensitive, dysfunctional, and vulnerable soul. That other self has the power to take over the organism and does at times.

Who am I?
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PTSD is Invisible like chronic pain

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PTSD is invisible, others can not see it, including family, friends, or strangers.

Inside my 15-person chronic pain group, predominately spinal injuries, those with low back injuries received the most empathy from strangers.

They used a cane or a walker, strangers could see their pain.

Strangers could not see my neck fusions and nerve killings.

Not many see our mental disorder, PTSD.

It too is invisible.

Even if they did, it’s not their problem or concern.

People are wrapped up trying to fulfill their desires or living their own dysfunctional life.

I learned early on, PTSD is our internal battle.

Healing and quality of life are determined by our actions not others’ opinions.

PTSD is like the boogie man from childhood, no one else can see or hear him.

He has a voice, voluminous intrusive thoughts, and those crisis chemicals of cortisol and adrenaline.

It is why I can be with friends in a mundane environment, where I feel panic for my life while they are carefree and calm..

It is invisible to them, all except my numbness, my quietness and my hypervigilance may give me away.

Do we try to act normal, hiding our panic?

Are we feeling vulnerable, ashamed, scared or angry?

How do we express our condition to a friend?

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PTSD: Relationships

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Abused kids struggle in adult life with relationships.

We bring drama, mood swings, anxiety, lack of trust, and PTSD with us.

If we are married it takes a special mate to navigate our PTSD symptoms.

We can not act normally when triggers explode or PTSD activates with emotional intrusive thoughts.

When we isolate or avoid, how do we explain this to our mate?

We struggle with relationship responsibilities.

Before my PTSD exploded, I was married.

Afterward I was a completely different person, life narrowed for me.

In due time, the marriage collapsed. Looking back, it was mainly my fault.

A triple rollover, followed by spinal fusions, and nerve killings delivered chronic pain to my PTSD.

Hard to have a relationship when you go agoraphobic.

Inside the 15-person chronic pain group, all but one of us lost our mate.

The men left the women immediately, followed by the wives and girlfriends who stuck it out a little longer.

I subconsciously picked the female version of my abusive father for a wife.

We are attracted to familiarity without being aware of it.

PTSD is generational in my family, my dad, my first wife and the father of my grandkids all share strong narcissistic traits.

My life before PTSD exploded was different.

I can not envision that guy in my head anymore.
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PTSD; Feeling Disconnected

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When PTSD is active, life feels disconnected.

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It is like having a barrier between me and the world.

Avoiding or isolating enhances PTSD’s thick fog of confusion.

I inhabit my inner world when PTSD explodes.

A battle of emotions connected to traumatic thought unfolds.

It is high anxiety, and perceived danger connected to perceived fear.

The danger rarely materializes, but it does not seem to matter in this abstract world.

My life before PTSD activated was drastically different.

I did not know what PTSD was before it exploded at 55.

I had mild symptoms that we’re not recognized as PTSD, they we’re just odd habits and strange quirks.

Life changed one night, PTSD exploded, and it has never been the same.

The damage abuse wrought on a child seems permanent.

Like a soldier haunted by flashbacks, it never quite goes away.

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PTSD: Sensing Danger

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How do I describe my nervous system, my mood swings, or my behavior?

PTSD is the reason, the cause, the driving force behind my mood swings, intrusive thoughts, and distrust of this world.

Having attachments is not a priority, safety is number one, avoiding failure and humiliation number two.

I get this foreboding sense of danger, it’s spooky, abstract of course, nothing I can see or touch.

It is not someone shooting me or knifing me, it’s the dark unknown, out there in the mist.

Going out seems risky, I find myself hiding, on edge, and anxiously depressed.

This is like the Mafia going to the mattresses.

This is anxious downtime, days lost in a dark fog, clutching the safety of isolation.

Happiness is a dream, an unknown commodity, like love and trust for abused kids.

Complex PTSD does not end, I am 70, still battling for my sanity.

This is my life.
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PTSD: Expectations

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Does PTSD or do we lower expectations? I am way too close to decipher.

The bottom line, we avoid till life feels safe.

I think expectations are connected to desires. Desires expand expectations, whether satisfaction follows or not.

Complex PTSD narrows our lives, restricts our expectations.

I know why sufferers numb themselves into oblivion or kill themselves.

We have very dark moments, weaknesses and incredibly powerful chemicals that reinforce those negative thoughts.

It is not a fulfilling life, not a happy existence, it is a vast empty desert.

Our lack of attachment is startling, we can exist with minimal contact.

At times we avoid public spaces, crowds, theaters, etc.

Life feels safer this way.

Facing my fears, using exposure therapy for my triggers, calmed my nervous system.

Unfortunately, it did not heal my PTSD.

Any further healing for me will come from opening my heart or a spiritual healing not more therapy.
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Trust and PTSD do not mix.

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I have had three lives, an abusive childhood, an adult life with PTSD inactive, and then a contentious life after PTSD exploded.

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We are innocent victims of horrendous abuse as kids, with no escape, no chance at a normal brain or life.

As an adult, PTSD was dormant till around 55 when all hell broke loose.

Somehow I became a pro athlete, then a successful salesman.

How in the world did I ever exist as a salesman baffles me now?

After PTSD exploded life changed drastically.

That salesman was lost, I can not find anyone inside who could function like that, a guy who excelled at influencing strangers.

Who was that guy, where did he go, how did he accomplish those things.

This PTSD Marty could not be more different.

Those feelings about myself before PTSD exploded are gone, confusing residue from my past remains.

The confidence and courage to be a salesman are lost, and the desire to attach to others is gone.

Trust disappeared when PTSD exploded.

My childhood abuse came alive, I avoided people, out of safety for my being.

I can not describe the fear and distrust my active PTSD brings to my subconscious every day.

Feeling safe and connected is absent now.

I am lucky and grateful for my adult life when PTSD was inactive.

Life with PTSD active is harsh, the danger is always a companion, and we would rather be at home safe than in any social function.

Trust and PTSD do not mix.
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Complex PTSD Workbook: Dissociation

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“Dissociation, like all other symptoms of C-PTSD, is a learned behavior that initially helped you cope with a threatening environment.

A neglected or abused child will rely upon built-in, biological protection mechanisms for survival to “tune out” threatening experiences.

In adulthood, dissociation becomes a well-maintained division between the part of you involved in keeping up with daily tasks of living and the part of you that is holding emotions of fear, shame, or anger.

You might feel that it’s just too much to think about what happened.

When emotions or body sensations come to the surface of your awareness, it is common to instinctively push the scary, yucky, painful, or confusing feelings far away by resorting to learned dissociative patterns.

Symptoms of dissociation exist on a continuum, and can be relatively mild such as feeling foggy or fuzzy, having a hard time talking about experiences, or feeling tired.

You might feel distracted or have difficulty concentrating. You might feel numb or cut off.

More intense symptoms include feeling out of control, having lapses of memory, or experiencing “lost time.”

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My two cents: We have two parts, part of you involved in keeping up with daily tasks of living and the part of you that is holding emotions of fear, shame, or anger.

I feel this division inside, I live it.

How about you?

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PTSD: Is Happiness possible?

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I have read and studied PTSD in the military.

Many soldiers who went through a war unscathed by PTSD develop trauma symptoms later in life.

For me, it took a family crisis for my childhood abuse to explode at 55.

I can not tell you if it is better or worse to get PTSD immediately or 50 years later.

My symptoms functioned under the radar, I avoided without knowing it was a symptom.

My take on this: Serious childhood abuse and the gore of war always follow the victim through life.

The severity depends on many factors.

I never thought about seeking help (therapy), I did not know I had Complex PTSD.

The quicker you address trauma the better your chance at healing.

PTSD does not get better with time, it deepens its devastating hold on the host.

Being a senior is said to be the happiest time in life.

Complex PTSD changes that happiness into a battle for sanity.

Happiness is a strange, almost scary concept for me.

Are we failures without happiness?

PTSD brings challenges, pain, suffering, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and fear, and happiness has very little time and space to blossom.

Are you happy, and healed from your childhood abuse?
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PTSD: stuck on the same Tune!

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Rudid96 opines:

“It seems like I’ve been stuck on the same radio station for most of my life. The same tunes keep popping up, only the volume changes.”
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My two cents: Childhood trauma is intertwined with our brain development.

It’s hidden in the crevices, I know, he sneaks out when he fancies.

PTSD is like a vine that wraps around a tree, damn near impossible to separate the two.

Do they merge in places, embed inside each other a certain depth?

From my viewpoint, separating PTSD and my brain are impossible.

I have only known abuse from my earliest memories, so my brain knows nothing but PTSDs presence.

At one time I tried to escape PTSD, hid in my garage, alone in the dark.

There was no escape, Childhood trauma followed me, a permanent companion.

It is my sirens song, the perceived danger, and unworthiness.

Does anyone share my emotions and symptoms?
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