I think I am pretty typical of a daughter raised by a narcissistic mother. Like many children of narcissists, I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which means I fight depression, anxiety, insomnia & agoraphobia every day. I am constantly over-aware of the emotions of people around me, on the guard against potentially being hurt (hypervigilance) & have flashbacks & nightmares. I also have a list of insecurities a mile long, I don’t trust people easily, & I expect nothing less than perfection from myself, partly so as not to be a burden anyone.
Because of that feeling of I should be perfect, it has made the C-PTSD even more difficult than it already is. My own husband doesn’t even know how hard it is sometimes, because I don’t tell him much. I can’t burden him with my petty problems, after all. *sighs* I also never have had anyone take care of me, so I have become so accustomed to taking care of myself & my own problems. Leaning on him is almost completely impossible for me. This also means I even have trouble talking to God about it, & asking for His help.
Anyway, I was thinking recently about this & I have no doubt I’m not the only person with C-PTSD like this. I decided to write up a
C-PTSD Bill Of Rights- something I could look at to remind myself I don’t have to be perfect all the time. I thought I would share it here.. I hope it helps you too! ❤
C-PTSD Bill Of Rights
- I have the right to talk to God about my struggles and my pain. He understands, and will help me as no one else can. He is not angry with me or disappointed in me for having C-PTSD. He loves me no matter what.
- I have the right to have a bad day sometimes. When living with this disorder and working on healing, there will be very good and very bad days- that is completely normal.
- I have the right to talk about my pain and frustrations with supportive, loving, caring people.
- I have the right to accept my limits. Sometimes my best may not be very good no matter how hard I try. (Remember- PTSD causes physical changes in your brain. You are going to forget things sometimes or have difficulty regulating your moods or even finding the right words. This doesn’t mean you are crazy or stupid- it means you have C-PTSD.)
- I have the right to say no.
- I have the right to ask for help.
- I have the right to walk my own individual walk with this disorder. My journey will not be like everyone else’s. That does not make me right or wrong- it makes me an individual.
- I have the right to remember painful events from the past. I can learn from the past, and it has made me who I am today. (Remembering the past is NOT the same as dwelling on the past, not letting things go, etc.!)
- I have the right to give myself the gift of forgiveness. Not to erase the horrible things done to me, but because I deserve better than carrying around anger and bitterness inside of me. I also need to understand that forgiving my abuser(s) does not mean I will be healed completely- there is some damage that must be worked on, even when complete forgiveness has happened. I also must forgive myself for any wrongs I have committed.
- I have the right to take care of myself. I must not only take care of my body but my mind as well. That may mean reducing daily activities or taking more time off. Self-care is vital to my mental health. I must do this for myself as well as those who love me. They deserve the best me I can give them.
- I have the right to reject unnecessary negativity and drama in my life, in all its forms, as much as possible to protect my mental health.
- I have the right to be who I am, the person God created me to be, no matter who approves or disapproves of me. Just because I have a mental health issue does not mean I am not still a valuable member of society.
- Other people have the right not to understand what I am experiencing. That does not give them the right to mistreat me, however, and I have the right not to tolerate their mistreatment of me.
- Other people have the right to ask me questions about C-PTSD. I have the right to answer those questions or not, depending on my ability to answer them, and depending on how I feel God wants me to respond.
- I have the obligation to make my pain count for something. God is not into waste, and I am not either! I have the obligation to ask God how to use this pain for His glory. He may call me to raise awareness of C-PTSD, help create stricter laws against child abusers, write books or something entirely different. Whatever He asks of me, I always have the right to say no to- He will not love me any less. However, doing what God asks of me will not only bless others, but me as well. God will reward my faithfulness.