Trauma #1 – Discovery of CPTSD
Trauma. This is a popular topic these days. And thank God (or Universe, Spirit, Divine Presence). Trauma has affected most people in some way. It certainly has been a thread in my life, one that has been the source of pain and fear. Unrecognized trauma has driven my behavior and relationships, both with myself and others. I have begun a road to healing and will share with you what I have learned so far, how I have healed til now and my journey as it continues to unfold.
I have always identified with the symptoms people talk about when they describe PTSD. But I haven’t been to war, raped or physically/sexually abused (at least overtly). So I simply believed that these things couldn’t really apply to me, let alone seek the kind of treatment others who suffer from it have.
But one day, while surfing YouTube, I found a video of a woman who described CPTSD. She referred to a PTSD-type condition that people suffer from series of little traumas. She also went on to describe the basis for a diagnosis. It included things like the source of some or most of the traumas being a parent, that the parent was still alive and a few others. These issues I totally related to. I was fascinated. I started to research this condition, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She had identified a constellation of symptoms that I knew I suffered from – An Inner Critic, A Perfectionist, an automatic, involuntary stress response to things with no idea why or how to manage them.
I also learned to understand the term flashback not only as the reliving of a specific trauma, like war or rape, but as the experience of emotional reactions to things in the present that couldn’t possibly be explained by present circumstance. This phenomenon is characterized by a panicky feeling that what is happening now is unsafe and needs to be changed or altered for me to be “ok”. It happens suddenly, beneath the level of my conscious awareness and drives my behavior in the present. I begin to see the people and circumstances around me now as painful and dangerous. It comes with a propulsion to do or say things to “fix” it. This has almost always resulted in unnecessary stress for me and the people around me. And I have never had the skills to deal with this, no matter how much recovery I experienced in the other areas of my life.
As we go, I will share the various methods and experiences I have learned, the things that have given me the tools and ability to find a road out of this painful and destructive way of being in the world.