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.

 

 

Posted in c-ptsd, complex ptsd, healing from childhood sexual abuse, ptsd, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in c-ptsd, childhood trauma, complex ptsd, healing from childhood sexual abuse, incest, mental health, mental illness, ptsd, sexual abuse, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!

 

 

 

 

Posted in c-ptsd, childhood trauma, incest, mental health, mental illness, trust, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

I Struggle…

I struggle to feel.

I struggle to feel nothing.

I struggle to feel something.

I struggle to feel like everyone else.

I struggle to feel like myself.

I struggle to feel like I fit in.

I struggle to feel special.

I struggle to feel.

I had it right the first time.

 

Posted in c-ptsd, childhood trauma, complex ptsd, feelings, healing from childhood sexual abuse, incest, mental health, mental illness, ptsd, self harm, sexual abuse, substance abuse, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World’s Greatest Time Traveler!

I take exception to those who do not believe I time travel. Thanks to my PTSD I feel like I am able to travel back in time at a moments notice. These trips are often not pleasant  but one moment I can be my usual 51 year old self and then within the hour I am a five year old wanting to throw a tantrum.

Many can understand that statement but only others with PTSD can truly feel that statement.

Recently, I was with a client who was having a full blown panic attack which included much yelling, crying,  arm waving and running around the large group room at work.

I sat calmly and spoke softly to her as she worked through her process. I felt some fear but tried not to let that dictate my response. The client hugged me when it was over and thanked me for being there for her.

The time travel began following that incident. My supervisor stated she had walked by the group room, heard the yelling, went to the front to see which staff had which client and figured out it was me and the client who is not allowed to attend my supervisors group because of her erratic behavior.   That was the end of her conversation with me.

My supervisor’s response did not set well with me. But I moved on that is what I do.

Later that week, I engaged in self harm, had lots of intrusive thoughts about wanting to not be alive….. I was feeling out of control….sort of like a five year old wanting to throw a tantrum. Five year olds do not understand grown up things. I couldn’t connect what I was feeling with the incident earlier in the week. Five year olds can’t do that and I was in five year old world.

When I discussed it in therapy, we were able to discuss feelings of abandonment that were triggered. You know being left at the mercy of someone who is out of control. Mom walked away during the abuse, just like my supervisor walked away and left me to deal with an out of control client.

Once I made the connection I was able to travel forward in time and get back to being a 51 year old adult. Part of me wishes I could throw that tantrum….just once. But I’m not five anymore, I just occasionally visit five year old world.

 

 

 

Posted in c-ptsd, childhood trauma, complex ptsd, healing from childhood sexual abuse, incest, mental illness, ptsd, self harm, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh…the irony of it.

Since the seventh grade I have wanted to be a social worker.  I went to a workshop on child abuse for my health class and my brother (my perpetrator) was the police officer providing part of the workshop. Oh the irony of it!  Most of the memory is a blur but I remembered hearing that a counselor also needs to empathize with the perpetrator.

What!   You have to be  (enter your own swear word or words here) kidding me!

So after my goal changed that night and I wanted to become a nun. I even sent away for information about doing a summer program to see if this was for me. I never went.

Ever so slowly I went to school and ended up with a bachelors psychology which does not mean a whole lot in the work field. Then my therapist asked if I was going for my masters and I said….

What!  You have to be  (enter your own swear word or words here) kidding me!

But I did get my masters in social work and all that time my goal was to open a private practice. I just rented my own office that I will use part time until I finish my clinical hours.

I guess I have always been goal driven in my own way but never in a million years did I think I would accomplish any of this.

I think back on all of the times I wanted to die, the hate , the fear, the loneliness the confusion, the not knowing, never knowing how strong I really was.

Don’t get me wrong I still have my moments and I still go to my therapist but my biggest challenge today literally is what will my next goal be. Granted it took 30 some years to reach this one but I did.

I write this  because I know somewhere there is someone considering ending their life because of the damage caused by sexual abuse and incest. I know I have been there many times in my life but I am not there today. If others had not told me this is possible I would have never known. That is why I write this.

Please know there  is a way through this, it does get better. Healing is possible!

 Please reach out and find someone who will listen. It won’t be easy but it is definitely worth it.  

 

 

 

 

Posted in c-ptsd, childhood trauma, complex ptsd, healing from childhood sexual abuse, incest, mental health, mental illness, ptsd, sexual abuse, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Addiction

It seems like forever since I have posted. Life just gets so busy that my mind does not clear enough to write. For those who do not know, I am a substance abuse counselor. I write the following as I struggle with an overdose death of a client.

 

A young girl, 26 full of hopes and dreams

A future delayed due to heroin addiction

She fought and she won

It was temporary

Addiction is so strong,

It called her name

She tried to resist,

Addiction is so strong

It called her to the edge

She knew the dangers

I imagine her saying “just one more time”

Addiction is so strong

There is no more time

Addiction took her life

That is the cause of death

People will say she overdosed as though she had a choice

Addiction is a disease

She fought and she lost.

 

 

 

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