Ok so I little rant on the difference between C-PTSD and PTSD from someone who is a phycology student and has C-PTSD.
PTSD comes from a distinguished event (or events) that were traumatic, for example being in a car crash.
C-PTSD on the other hand comes from constant trauma, so someone who was in the war or lives with a abusive family, they were constantly in a state of "emergency". It isn't one memory but a long time (months or years) of abuse/trauma.
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I'm a cPTSD survivor.
Every single day, for a vast majority of my life, I've been trying to cope this situation; living with complex trauma that has been inflicted on me repeatedly since I was a child. Some days I am able to function relatively well. I can work, I can do grocery shopping, I can even be social for a period of time and smile, laugh and put on a mask, so that no one could ever tell what is going on beneath the surface.
Other days I can't even get out of bed, and I spend all day dwelling in the deepest cellar of my conscious, trying to make sense of all the horror I've been gone through and somehow survived over these past years.
Today is one of those latter days. I couldn't sleep last night because of overthinking and overanalyzing all the past events that I had absolutely no control over, and how I should or shouldn't have done something different in those situations. The overthinking lead to severe flashbacks to episodes that still cripple me to the brink of destruction, and when I finally managed to exhaust myself to sleep, I had vivid nightmares about the very same experiences that I had previously tried to make sense of.
The same old story, in other words.
I woke up in excruciating agony, sweaty and afraid. But most of all I felt alone. Because having cPTSD is very often a life of loneliness, where you're constantly at war. A war that is constantly raging inside your own head, against yourself. And there is no one else there to have your back, especially when the enemy is yourself, your subconscious who is desperately trying to survive, long after the traumatic events occured.
It's not like I don't have support from friends or family either, because I certainly do, and a lot of people are quick to rush to tell me that I can talk to them when I feel like the world is crumbling around me. And I love them for it, and truly appreciate it with all my heart. But how do I even begin to explain how I feel, without dragging them down into a deep abyss of misery that is my mind.
This is not something that is easy to talk about, even to your closest and most trusted friends, and for several reasons. One being "how could they ever relate or even make sense of what I'm telling them?". How does one even begin to explain that you're fighting a never-ending battle against what essentially is yourself. A version of yourself that only exists in your head, and is trying to survive because in your own mind, you're still in danger and you need to be constantly on alert of possible worst case scenarios. Another reason is "How can I possibly burden someone I love and care about with these extremely destructive thoughts and expect them to not be so emotionally affected that it might actually ruin their lives?".
When you have cPTSD your mind constantly tells you that you're at risk of something bad happening. That's your default state of mind. Because you've been repeatedly exposed to so countless traumatic events that you never let your guard down, and letting someone in feels like either a breach in your defences or it make you feel like you are responsible for yet another persons safety or well-being, when you already struggle to take care of yourself to begin with.
I still have a long way to go with my healing process. I've only just taken the first steps on a very long road, and it's full of obstacles, uphill climbing and bottomless pits. And even if I manage to find healthy and productive coping mechanisms, I will never be truly free of these demons. I will only learn how to live with them and find better ways to fend them off on my bad days.
cPTSD and PTSD isn't something you recover from. It's not a sickness that can be eradicated. It is a deep wound, which at best can become a fading, but visible scar. Something you have to carry with you.
But just like visible scars, you can learn to carry it. And without being ashamed of what it reminds of.
And we need to talk about it, because there are thousands upon thousands out there who suffer from PTSD and who don't even know what's "wrong" with them. People whose lives are getting ruined because they don't have the proper tools they need to ride out the storm. People who hurt themselves daily, either physically or mentally, out of shame or in confusion, with self-medication or with razorblades, and thus hurting people close to them in the process. In the worst cases, lives are lost. And it happens more than you'd like to know.
They need to be seen. They need to be heard. They need to be found and they need to be cared for.
You probably know someone with cPTSD or PTSD.
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I’m trying to soothe myself through a lot of grief and loss right now and it’s so hard. I’m realizing that a lot of what was modeled for me growing up is just really unhelpful.
My mom didn’t know how to comfort me or handle my sadness. It was unbearable to her. I think the only thing she knew how to do in most situations was to try to “fix” the problem that was upsetting me. Ice cream that melted too quickly got replaced, balloons that popped were replaced, lost toys were replaced. And adults who witnessed this called me “spoiled”. They thought I was just getting everything I wanted.
But what toddler isn’t upset when their balloon pops? And was I really upset because the balloon was gone, or was I upset because the balloon had popped in my face and scared me? Did I need a replacement, or did I need my mom to give me a cuddle and tell me that I was okay. Was I really spoiled, or was I actually being emotionally neglected?
I can’t replace any of the things that I’ve lost in the last year and a half. There’s no quick fix to my sadness. So I’m just here sitting with my sadness, learning to self-soothe from scratch, telling myself that I’m going to be okay and that I’m safe.
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7 reasons adults should have stuffed animals too
1. STUFFED ANIMALS BRING A SENSE OF SECURITY
Stuffed animals offer a sense of security during times of change. These are referred to as “comfort objects,” or “transitional objects,” and they can help us feel a greater sense of security when moving from one life stage to another, or even from one job or one house to another. That sense of security is important when things are in flux, helping us navigate change more successfully.
2. STUFFED ANIMALS HELP EASE LONELINESS
The modern world can feel lonely and alienating for adults, even when we’re surrounded by people. While stuffed animals cannot completely replace the social role that other humans play in our lives, they can help ease feelings of loneliness and alienation, helping us cope with the interconnected and lonely modern world.
3. STUFFED ANIMALS IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH
Live animals have been gaining visibility as a therapeutic tool, but did you know that stuffed animals can help in a lot of the same ways that live animals do? According to one study, stuffed animals helped patients with disorganized attachment styles form secure attachments and even rebuild impaired attachment bonds. Being able to build secure emotional attachments can help people live richer, happier lives. According to Dr. Aniko Dunn, stuffed animals are “... recommended in psychotherapy and for people suffering from PTSD, bipolar and other mental disorders.”
4. STUFFED ANIMALS CAN HELP US GRIEVE
Stuffed animals can represent a connection to a loved one that has passed, giving us a path through the grieving process and easing the feeling of loss that accompanies the death of someone close to us.
5. STUFFED ANIMALS HELP US HEAL FROM TRAUMA
Stuffed animals are used in some kinds of therapy! Stuffed animals can be useful in some kinds of “re-parenting,” in which a trauma survivor learns to care for and love the stuffed animal (and eventually themselves) to recover from traumatic experiences in childhood. This can increase happiness and self-esteem in the trauma sufferer, and decrease feelings of self-loathing. According to Rose M. Barlow, Professor of Psychology at Boise State University, “Animals, live or stuffed, can aid therapy for both children and adults by providing a way to experience and express emotions, a feeling of unconditional support, and grounding.” She extends this to those who are healing from trauma resulting from childhood neglect or abuse.
6. STUFFED ANIMALS REMIND US OF CHILDHOOD
Nostalgia is a psychological state of “pleasant remembering.” While memories of the past can be troubling, those that feel nostalgic typically make us happier, and result in better self-esteem. Pleasant memories of the past can make us feel more connected to our families and friends, and can provide a sense of continuity to a life that may seem chaotic.
7. STUFFED ANIMALS REDUCE STRESS
We know from various studies that interacting with animals reduces stress. In fact, something as simple as petting a companion animal, like a dog or cat, causes measurable reduction in levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol can cause a number of physiological problems, including weight gain and increasing the likelihood of coronary disease. But did you know that touching a soft stuffed animal can have similar cortisol reducing effects? Touching stuffed animals helps to relieve stress, keeping us happier and healthier. In fact, stuffed animals specifically for stress and anxiety exist! Weighted stuffed animals and aromatherapeutic stuffed animals are designed to help relieve stress, giving a double dose of comfort from your stuffed pals.
(We often think that stuffed animals are just for children, but if you can get them to admit it, many adults have stuffed animals too! A 2018 study shows that 43% of adults have a special stuffed friend.)
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your trauma is valid even if
🍀no one believes you
🍀people make fun of you for it
🍀it happened when you were a child or teenager
🍀it happened when you were an adult
🍀you don't remember everything
🍀you don't think about it every day
🍀it's not a common cause
you deserve the help and support you need. No matter what.
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(No mind without mindfulness)
At the core of recovery is self-awareness. The most important phrases in trauma therapy are ‘notice that’ and ‘what happens next?’ Traumatised people live with seemingly unbearable sensations: They feel heartbroken and suffer from intolerable sensations in the pit of their stomach or tightness in their chest. Yet avoiding feeling these sensations in our bodies increases our vulnerability to being overwhelmed by them.
Body awareness puts us in touch with our inner world, the landscape of our organism. Simply noticing our annoyance, nervousness, or anxiety immediately helps us shift our perspective and opens up new options other than our automatic, habitual reactions. Mindfulness puts us in touch with the transitory nature of our feelings and perceptions. When we pay focused attention to our bodily sensations, we can recognise the ebb and flow of our emotions and, with that, increase our control over them.
Traumatised people are often afraid of feeling. It is not so much the perpetrators (who, hopefully, are no longer around to hurt them) but their own physical sensations that are now the enemy. Apprehension about being hijacked by uncomfortable sensations keeps the body frozen and the mind shut. Even though the trauma is a thing of the past, the emotional brain keeps generating sensations that make the sufferer feel scared and helpless. It’s not surprising that so many trauma survivors are compulsive eaters and drinkers, fear making love, and avoid many social activities: Their sensory world is largely off limits.
From: The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk
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A comic about the spectrum of responses to stress - we talk alot about the more extreme ends of this and trauma, but the more subtle and every day responses can be harder to spot. if we can understand our own and other’s responses better, problems Are easier to confront and blaming is less likely to happen :) hope it’s helpful!!
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i just need to get through this week
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If a child is so afraid of getting in trouble that they don't come to their parents when they make a mistake that could possibly put their health or even their life in danger, then those parents have failed.
If something goes wrong, and the first thing that child thinks is, "oh god, my parents are gonna kill me," then the parents have failed.
If a child is afraid of their parents, if the child sees their parents as an active threat instead of a source of safety and guidance, then the parents have failed.
A parents job is to protect, to teach, to guide.
If a parent makes themself a danger to the child, in any capacity, then that parent has failed.
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(I would love to add image descriptions to all my image posts, but hey, guess who is multiply disabled, chronically ill, working a full time writing job, AND trying to help care for a newborn? This guy!)
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every day with this shit
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fun fact: not being able to remember information about people, no matter how much you are shamed for it, does not make you a bad person. you weren't just "not paying attention", you forgot because forgetting is a natural process and sometimes your brain dumps the wrong things out. forgetting does NOT make you a bad person!! especially if you have disorders that give you memory loss!! also, chronic fatigue really does fuck up your memory, and people who say "oh you must not care because you forgot" have no idea what you're going through!! it's an asshole thing to say and you are NOT at fault for not remembering.
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