Tag Archives: encouragement

Helping Someone With C-PTSD

Helping someone with C-PTSD isn’t easy for either you or her.  The symptoms are so frustrating, & can be embarrassing.  Mood swings, extremely high anxiety levels & muddied thinking are not fun to live with or manage, nor are they fun for someone to witness.

If you live with a partner who has C-PTSD, your life isn’t easy either.  You are living with someone who just wants to be “normal” but can’t be due to this disorder.  You are affected, too, by the awful symptoms.  Watching someone you love suffer yet not knowing how to help is a terrible & helpless feeling.

Below are some ways that you can help your loved one who has C-PTSD.

  1. Research this disorder.  Learn all you can about the symptoms & treatments.
  2. Ask your loved one questions.  Just be sensitive in how you ask questions.  Avoid sounding judgmental or critical.
  3. Show her that you are interested.  If she complains of nightmares, ask what they were about.  If she says she doesn’t feel well, ask why.  She needs to know that she can talk to you about her battle with C-PTSD without fear of you judging her.
  4. Don’t expect her to control symptoms 100% of the time.  As much as she may want to, she can’t hide all of her symptoms all of the time.
  5. Don’t pressure them in the recovery process.  There’s no time schedule. And remember, most people with C-PTSD or PTSD never recover, they only learn to manage their symptoms.
  6. Help her to feel loved, without expecting loving gestures in return.  She probably will offer them often, but there are times she won’t feel able to do so.  It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you- it means she has C-PTSD.
  7. Try to be helpful & supportive.  Do what she asks promptly, & try to anticipate needs.  Be observant.
  8. Offer distractions.  Suggest going out to dinner, or going to a movie, or some other activity she enjoys.  Focusing on this disorder constantly is simply depressing!  Distractions help both of you from becoming too depressed.
  9. Try not to smother her.  Be there, but if she wants to be alone, leave her alone.
  10. Find support for yourself, too.  Talk to a counselor or friend you can confide in.
  11. Take breaks.  You need to take care of yourself so you will stay healthy (physically & emotionally) & so you can be strong for her.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health

Empathy vs Apathy

I’ve had a few conversations lately with people who have shared with me that no one cares about the trials they’re going through.  Some have health problems, very serious ones at that, yet even their own families don’t care.  Or worse yet, their own family members accuse them of faking their illness for attention or for drugs.  Others have suffered great loss, even including death of a loved one, & are reminded frequently that they need to get over it (as if that’s possible when losing someone you love?!).  And still others have endured abuse, either at the hands of their parents or a spouse or both, yet people in their lives act as if it’s no big deal.  They say heartless things like, “Shake it off & move on!”  “What’s wrong with you?  That happened a long time ago- you need to get over it.”

This kind of thing sickens me.  It makes me lose what little faith I had left in humanity.

It also clearly shows the difference between empathy & apathy.

According to merriam-webster.com, empathy means, “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions : the ability to share someone else’s feelings.”  Also according to merriam-webster.com, apathy means, “the feeling of not having much emotion or interest : an apathetic state  1:  lack of feeling or emotion.” 

Empathy should be running rampant in society, especially considering how much suffering is happening constantly in the world, yet instead, apathy seems to be an epidemic instead.  It’s truly sad.

There is such a thirst for compassion from people who are suffering, yet instead they are met with apathy & indifference.  Or, possibly even worse yet, comparing their pain to another’s.  Comments such as, “That’s not so bad.  I had it much worse than you.  You should be glad you didn’t go through what I did!” can be devastating due to their invalidation of one’s pain.

I want to encourage you to work on being more understanding & empathetic.  There is such a great need for empathetic people, & empathy also seems to promote more empathy from others.  (You will get empathy in return for giving it from most people.)  You can’t help everyone in the world of course, but you never know how much you are truly helping another person.  You may be like the first ripple in a lake- one tiny ripple creates more & more ripples that go out into larger & larger circles.

Displaying empathy will help other people, often more than they can put into words.  Why not try it today?  Empathy is also in the BIble- God commands His children to show empathy to one another.  See the following Scriptures…

Matthew 7:12“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (ESV)

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (ESV)

Ephesians 4:32ESV “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (ESV)

Romans 12:15  “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (ESV)

How do you develop empathy?

  1. The most important thing you can do is listen (without interrupting!) to those who are speaking to you.
  2. Watch the other person’s body language for cues on how they truly feel.
  3. Ask questions during the conversation to gather more information.
  4. Consider the other person’s life experiences that help to form their perspectives.
  5. Imagine how you would feel if you were in that exact same situation.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Being Real

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I was thinking about trying to write something positive & encouraging today, & I couldn’t come up with anything. Why? Honestly, I’m in a pretty lousy mood. There have been a lot of negative things going on in my life lately, & all the things I’m learning for the new book are a lot to take in. I’m learning about so many behaviors that are abusive, that I never thought were abusive. I’m seeing clearly just how many people have abused me during my life, even people I never thought of as abusive. It’s really a lot to process! Plus, the heat & bright sun of the summer tends to depress me anyway. I’m so NOT a summer gal! Give me autumn or winter instead, please!

This all makes it hard for me to be positive & encouraging right now. I was starting to feel guilty about that (only adding to my lovely mood), & prayed. God immediately showed me something. People do not need positivity & encouragement only. They need genuine people, which is what I am. While it’s good to be positive, people also need to see that sometimes, you don’t feel positive, & that is ok. Everyone has off days. Sometimes, if people see you as only positive, they feel bad about themselves when they have an off day or two. They feel as if they’re sinning, not measuring up or failing.

We all have off days, sometimes several in a row, & that is OK!  Take it easy & practice good self-care on those days. As for me, I am going to take off this week, & not work on the new book. I’m going to relax as much as possible & help myself to feel better soon. 

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health

You Make A Difference, No Matter What You Do!- January 3, 2014

Good afternoon & happy new year!  I hope you’re enjoying 2014 so far.  🙂

I just thought I’d share a little something…

A few days ago, I was so frustrated with myself.  I want to finish the book I’ve been working on for a while, but I am having such trouble writing it!  I can think of where I want the story to go, but can’t seem to get that from my mind to the document.  My brain just doesn’t work like it once did thanks to Comlex PTSD, & it is so frustrating.  Add in the stress associated with the holidays, & I’ve really had a rough time trying to write.  I’ve barely touched the book in weeks because of this. 

I was praying about it the other day & God spoke to my heart something that I believe may benefit you as well as it did me. 

I told God I don’t want to be just a housewife- I feel useless.  It’s bad enough I was forced out of the work force when I was 19, but I thought I could at least write.  It’s a job, & it’s something I enjoy to boot.  Lately though?  It’s been frustrating & unproductive.  (Yes, I was whining.. I admit it!)  God spoke to my heart in that knowing feeling as He always does & reminded me that although I’m currently not cranking out lots of books, I’m taking care of 9 of His precious cats & 1 dog, which means the world to them, as well as to Him.  If it wasn’t for my husband & I, these sweet furbabies might not be alive today.  (Not trying to brag at all here- just stating facts.  Most of our cats were feral, & our dog was rescued from a puppy mill.)  Ok, I’m not saving all of the animals in the world, but I’m helping 10 of them, which is pretty good!  Including my precious cat, Pretty Boy, who has diabetes & liver problems & many people would have euthanized him long ago.  Instead, God entrusted him to my care & that of an absolutely awesome vet, & he is thriving in spite of his health concerns! 

God also reminded me that writing in this blog helps people- to know they aren’t alone, or aren’t the only one experiencing certain things.  Going through what I do with Complex PTSD is helping others to learn that they may also have this disorder, or, if they are unsure what is wrong, discussing my experiences may help them to understand what is going on.  I also share what helps me, which in turn helps others.  

If you too are feeling useless, or like you don’t make a difference, I believe God wants me to tell you the same thing He told me- little things do make a difference.  Don’t underestimate yourself!  Even if the only thing you do all day is smile at a stranger on the street, that makes a difference!  For all you know, that person could be contemplating suicide, & your smile showed him that someone really DOES care that he exists.  If you still are in doubt, ask God to show you how you’re making a difference, & what your purpose is (or I should say, purposes are- we all have many purposes!).  And remember, purposes can change.  For example, you may be called to be a wife & mother, but those children will grow up one day.  Then your purpose will change.

Just remember, you are loved & special, & no one can fill your shoes.  You are valuable to God, & to your fellow man! 

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

September 9, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!  

My husband & I were discussing something last night & I thought I’d share it here with you..

Have you ever noticed how many people talk about being completely set free from the effects of being abused?  I find this VERY discouraging even though it supposed to be just the opposite.  For one thing, it makes me feel like something is wrong with me for not being delivered.  (Do I not have enough faith?  What’s wrong with me that God won’t deliver me?)

For another thing, while I know God is certainly well able to make that happen, I don’t believe that is the norm.  There are so many people who have survived abuse, & they need to know that they are not alone.  They also need to be aware of  what can happen as a result of being abused, & what to do to heal their suffering.  They need to know what God can & will do if they entrust Him with their healing.  Especially those who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord & Savior.  Those people in particular need hope, & to understand that God loves them & wants to help them.

I’ve also found people respond to those who are real.  People respond to people who admit to their flaws & problems, rather than acting as if they have no such things.  It’s encouraging- it tells people they aren’t the only one who battles depression or was sexually abused or whatever.  

This is why I try to keep everything authentic with my writing.  I want to encourage & help others, as well as let them know they are not the only ones who have suffered the ways I have.  It isn’t easy being open about such personal things, but it is well worth it whenever someone tells me I have encouraged them or taught them ways to cope.  🙂

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers

May 14, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!  I pray this post finds you well!

I just wanted to thank everyone who has been kind enough to send me feedback regarding my blog & site.  I absolutely LOVE hearing that something I have experienced has helped someone else.  🙂  Your comments & encouragement mean the world to me.  Many thanks to each & every one of you!

I also posted links to my website & facebook & twitter pages since many of you have asked for those links.

Thank you again everyone, & I’m praying for God to bless each & every one of you!  

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health

July 10, 2012

What a nice surprise today!!!  Another email today from a daughter of an abusive mother saying my site has helped her.  Two days in a row of these lovely emails.  Thank you to both ladies who contacted me, yesterday & today..thank you for encouraging me by telling me my site & my story have helped you.  It truly means so much to me!  I’m praying for you both. 

I also want all of my dear readers to know that I pray for you as well, whether you came from an abusive background or not- I truly appreciate each & every one of you.  God bless you, & I love you!  🙂

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Miscellaneous

July 9, 2012

Finally, the heat has broken here in MD!!!  What a relief- it is cooler & overcast, with periodic rain today.  A great relief after so many 100* & above days.

Aside from enjoying the weather, I had a lovely start to my day.  A reader sent me a message via my facebook page.  She basically said that she was glad I shared what I have on my site about my experiences with my mother.  This lady experienced similar events to me, & it helped her to know it wasn’t just her, that others went through the same things as her.  I truly appreciate her message.  Sharing the things that I do is difficult.  As victims of abuse know, it’s like you carry the shame of your abuser instead of him or her carrying it.  There is an often unspoken (sometimes spoken) rule that what goes on behind closed doors, stays there.  You tell no one, ever.   As a teen, I broke that rule a few times, & I paid dearly for it.  So even all these years later,  discussing my experiences makes me feel guilty & like I am doing something wrong.  Knowing that my stories help others does wonders for helping those bad feelings diminish. 

If you are one of the ladies who has contacted me on this topic, I just want to say thank you, & may God richly bless & keep you.  You have blessed me tremendously, & I thank you so much for it.  I am praying for you!

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