Good morning, Dear Readers! I hope this post finds you well.
Living with C-PTSD is such a challenge. I had no idea just how big of a challenge until 2012 when I suddenly developed all of the symptoms of it instead of just some. That is when I learned Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder exists. Since then, I have been learning more almost daily about this wretched disorder.
The night before last, I learned I can no longer read while the television is on. Hubby was watching tv, & I wasn’t interested in what was on, so I got out my tablet to continue reading “The Picture Of Dorian Gray.” (So far, it’s a wonderful book! I love how beautifully Victorian literature is written.) I couldn’t read much- the sound of the television while trying to read at the same time was an information overload for my brain. It didn’t take long to feel overwhelmed, so I put the book aside after only a couple of pages. I don’t even remember what I read. So frustrating!
I’m also learning to accept that even good stress can overload my mind. I’ve got some things happening that are good, but since they are also out of the ordinary, they give me a degree of stress. With my mind being so full of activity (hyper-vigilance mostly) already because of the C-PTSD, any stress, good or bad, can push me into overload. It is much like this- fill a glass 3/4 of the way with water. Anything you add to that glass will fill it up quickly. It does not matter if what you add to the glass is good or bad. All that matters is the glass fills up very quickly since it was already mostly full when you started adding things to it.
Unfortunately not everyone understands the symptoms of C-PTSD or is sympathetic. The lack of empathy & understanding only adds to the frustration of the disorder. If you live with C-PTSD, I’m sure this is nothing new to you- you have experienced it yourself firsthand. (I recently lost a friend because of her lack of compassion. I heard “this too shall pass.. I’ve had my problems too” one too many times from her.) It is important to remember that you do NOT need validation from others, only yourself. Even those who live with you don’t understand everything you are going through. I know I tend to hide most of it, even from my husband. I think because it is a habit I learned early in life- never bother anyone with my problems, & never show any negative emotions I’m feeling because I might upset others. This is a very common thing for children of narcissistic parents like me.
Maybe it’s time to start showing others what we are experiencing inside. Talk about it. Stop being ashamed- we have nothing to be ashamed of! Having C-PTSD doesn’t mean you are weak, crazy looking for pity, holding onto the past, or whatever other terrible things you’ve been told. Having C-PTSD means you have been abused & you survived trauma. Trauma & abuse most people cannot conceive. Your mind did what it had to do to protect you & help you survive, & the end result is C-PTSD.
I see C-PTSD as a sign of strength. It is a sign you survived! It is much like scar tissue on your skin- it shows a wound was there. But, I’m not sure if you know this or not, but scar tissue is much stronger than regular tissue. The same goes for the mind with C-PTSD. Your experiences have given you this “scar,” but as a result, your mind is so very strong now! Chances are, you can handle a great deal more than you could have if you wouldn’t have experienced what you did.
If you are having trouble explaining your symptoms to those close to you, I will include a list below that you may wish to show them. I hope it helps! May God bless you! 🙂
Symptoms of C-PTSD
- Feeling overwhelmed easily.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Memory problems.
- Hyper-vigilance (keen awareness of one’s surroundings & the mood/feelings of others).
- Dissociation (detaching emotionally) or being overly involved in personal relationships.
- Feels too much or too little.
- Love self-esteem.
- Self-destructive behaviors (such as addictions, eating disorders, etc).