Vacation

Vacation implies a sense of freedom from the every day..People look forward to it all year

The difference for me is what?    ………….That’s right PTSD

PTSD means I don’t always feel safe in my own home with people who love me

So just for fun lets take her Disneyland and tell her have the….. BEST  TIME  EVER!

Am I the only one that sees a flaw in this plan?

Either way ……I am on a plane at  6 pm tonight and come back in 6  days

Why go along with this plan that others think are fun?

Because my partner is  there for me all year long and this what she looks forward too

Besides it is not the first time in my life I have had to fake having fun!

Wish me luck!

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The curse of facebook and PTSD!

I have been working at living a life where I manage my PTSD well. That is code for I try not to let it  interrupt everything do. It has only been a couple of years that I have been convinced I can not cure my PTSD… and not for lack of trying. It can not be cured, the symptoms have to be managed.

I know this  logically so then why do I torture myself with looking at family pictures on Facebook. I have been feeling down for a little while. My therapist moved away in February, I changed jobs sites in May and my doggie of 12.5 years passed away in June.

It makes sense that I would have a flare up if my world changed so much, I understand that part. But why would I add salt to the wound by looking at my brothers website when he is one of my perpetrators. From there I looked a couple more sites one which included a picture of my father. He looks old and frail nothing like the monster I remember. Family news states he is not remembering much of anything these days. Society tells me I should feel bad for him. Part of me wants to feel anything but hatred when I look at him.

So I guess the alternative is to look at Facebook and long for what I never had. I know better but sometimes I am still very much that little girl wanting to be loved. Sometimes i feel I have been shown this lesson a million times. The  part of me that holds out some shred of hope is much smaller than it used to be and yet it’s power can be so debilitating.

No more facebook today Tomorrow will be better.

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I notice little things….

Changes make me feel unsafe in the world no matter what. I tried to think of another ending for that sentence but the truth is big changes or  little changes make me feel unsafe in the world. I recently changed job sites and realized my PTSD makes change much more complicated. I have begun to realize how much I notice all of the little things in an attempt to feel like I have some control over my environment.

I am noticing  every sensory interaction that I had incorporated in my day to make myself feel safe.  Sounds of shoes walking in the hall, voices in the waiting room, smells of different colognes on different clients, location of safe spaces in the building, what raised voices to be concerned about and which ones not to…..I knew what to expect when I got out of my car and the sounds and sights on the walk into the building. The smell of the coffee in the waiting area, the demeanor of the three secretaries which can make or break your day. So change location, building, people, smells, sights, sounds,  temperature and there a million new sensory interactions to learn before feeling safe again.

Most would say it is not a big deal. I am doing the same work in a different location. Actually it is a much slower paced office and I should be happy. And I would be if I could feel safe in my skin. I would tell my client it will just take time. UGH! the one thing worse than change is waiting!

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I Hate PTSD!

It has been a year, maybe more, since I have written. I have forgotten how therapeutic  it can be. I also forget that there are many on the same path with me. Sometimes fighting this fight can be the loneliest of journeys. Sometimes i need to be reminded that when i say I hate living with PTSD… there are others out there need no more explanation  than that. They understand the pain, the darkness, the struggling, the wanting to just be calm.

I don’t know why  it has to go on forever. I try to out think it, out run it,name it I have tried it. And it still here i  am at 52 having a really bad day.

why you ask, i don’t know.

Maybe because when i was 3………  life was turned upside down and i have never been able to turn it back upright.

 

 

 

 

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My logic is hidden in fear today!

For the last week and a half I have been dealing with a “bad bout” of my PTSD. Most times I can use logic and reason and remember that I will be okay.

A bad bout is different. In a bad bout, my brain freezes on scared and I can not access the part of my brain where safety lives. I am afraid of everyone and everything. My brain does not allow me the comfort of understanding or caring from others. People I  love are there but inside I am unable to discriminate between them and a perfect stranger.

My body becomes numb to all touch, even my own, no comfort seeps through.

I  shut down inside and go through the motions on the outside. Well I mostly go through the motions. I did fall asleep while my nieces where here. I could not help it.  I just needed my mind to shut down. This is extreme for me.

Of course any new input comes in cloaked in fear instead of reason. So when my sister posts about my brother being  a saint, I wonder. Maybe ignoring what happened was the way to go, she still has our family in her life. I chose truth and it cost me my family. When my logic is working I am able to know I am much better off today because I am working through my issue and they remain in denial. But that message is so far out of reach right now. First I need to feel safe in my skin then I can apply logic to my wounds and regain my strength.

Thankfully the fear is starting to lift, ever so slowly. So, so slowly.

Maybe tomorrow I will be able to see  more clearly. Maybe i will find that place in my mind where safety lives.

 

 

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Scared…….again

Soooooooo…….last week I felt like I had everything together!

Then this week one of my clients felt as though he could hug me….no invitation, no permission given, but he hugged me.

My head buzzed with words…no, please back up, boundaries , please don’t block the door.

He had no ill intentions but in my head that didn’t matter. What mattered was the fact that he had just told me about why he is on the sex offender registry!!!

At age 33 he sexually abused a six year old girl! And now he was hugging me and blocking the door.

Do I stay in social worker mode, survivor mode, scream, freeze or play along.

I stayed in social worker mode, walked the client to the front office and went back to my office and proceeded to crash.

i flew so far back in my head I was afraid of the world! My fragile sense of safety shattered in an instant.

Back to that place where logic and reason does not exist!  I can’t see the world where I am whole again …..it is too far away!

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As i turn 52 years old today ! I think back at where i came from and where i am today. Never in a million years would I have expected to be in a happy and healthy relationship. I could not have told you  20 years ago that by age 50 i would be a licensed social worker working in the field of substance abuse and opening my own private practice.

I would have never guessed that in order to do all of this i would have to separate from my family of origin. I miss having a family that i can call and go visit. They are there but it is not healthy for me today to engage with them. Today i am a priority in my life.

It also took me years to figure out I could not cure my PTSD.

I tried …oh how i tried.

I would eventually accept that this was a disease that i needed to manage but there really is no cure. What i was doing was the same as if someone broke their leg 20 times and expected it to go back to exactly how it was before.

The problem with trying to do that is i went to bed each night feeling like i had failed once again, because i had not made the PTSD go away.

Accepting that PTSD is life long and needs to be managed helps me to go to bed thinking

I did the best i can do today and it is absolutely enough!

 

 

 

 

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