Category Archives: Complex PTSD

Abuse Survivors Complex PTSD Effects of Child Abuse Effects of Emotional Abuse Free Writing My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse

What’s ME and What’s from the Abuse- Free Writing

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This might only make sense to me and that’s ok. Free writing is me getting out what is in my head. I’m trying to make sense of myself and my feelings. As always if you read something on my blog that triggers you, please stop reading and take gentle loving care of yourself. Many of my posts are very raw and an expression of my pain. You don’t have to read this if it’s hurting you.

Free writing:

When I was 10 years old, I remembered some of the sexual abuse I suffered at 3 years old and it shattered my life, my identity, my self worth. My life wasn’t what I thought it was. It was like living in a horror movie except the movie doesn’t end with things wrapped up neatly in a bow at the end. Now I deal with the aftermath of that time that was like a horror movie. I have been rebuilding myself since. Sometimes daily. Well, mostly running and being a sort of chameleon that was an excellent fawner and I preferred it over fighting. Many times I had to fight. Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn are the trauma responses and I’ve had them all with the different traumas I suffered. At times, I couldn’t even always tell if I was trying to not get hurt or I really did like the person. I am attracted to predators and they are attracted to me.

I ran and blamed all manner of things for the physical symptoms stemming from my CPTSD instead of confronting it. Most of the time I was able to keep going. When my symptoms got worse a few years ago I didn’t have a choice anymore. I had to heal or perish. I chose to stay and fight this. This means taking a very in depth look at myself that I don’t like doing. Up until a bout 2 years ago I didn’t even like myself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to love yourself 1st before you can love other people. I love others very deeply and didn’t like myself. I used to warn people to stay away and not get close to me. I claimed I was a bad person even though I realize now that I am not. Thoughts are just thoughts and humans have all kinds. It matters what someone acts on and does with those thoughts. Now, I acknowledge those dark thoughts like I do the suicide thoughts. Ok, it’s there. My brain, the bio computer spits out a lot of weird thoughts and imagery. Why wouldn’t it? I now think it would be unreasonable to think I’d just be OK after all that happened to me. Maybe if I never remembered but that’s not my reality. There is no going back. There is only forward. Death awaits me if I don’t.

I have experienced gender dysphoria as long as I can remember. I wonder if this is from what happened or if that is just me? Does it matter? I could just accept it as part of me regardless of why but it seems important. If I wasn’t abused at that age would I feel like this…like I don’t have a gender. I played up my more femme attributes but I didn’t really feel it. I was a tomboy growing up and was bullied for it in school constantly. I was always doing things that were considered for boys. Sometimes I do feel like a woman, mostly I don’t. Not my body so much(my body is female) but it’s my mind and how I feel in my body. It’s very difficult explain. I don’t feel like I’m a man but sometimes I do feel more like a boy. Many times I don’t even feel human. I feel like a spirit that lives in this body. My out of body experiences probably contributed to this feeling. When I dream, I can shift bodies or hang out and watch what’s going on like an observer instead of a participant.

I’m pansexual as well. I have been attracted to various humans of all genders for as long as I can remember. I had crushes on male characters on tv, my friends that were girls, fictional characters in books. I wasn’t aware of all the genders until later. I thought I was bisexual for a long time until that just didn’t fit either. It’s more fluid like everything else in my life. The few memories I do have that is pre-trauma me was only like 2 years old and before that I was in a little walker and no sense either way at the time. I think that is before someone forms as a person and many times, I feel stuck there.

I have never wanted children. Since I 3-4 years old I told my whole family that I wasn’t going to have children. If I did change my mind I would adopt. I am now very happy with this decision. My family would be raising my kids and they would have a lot of problems because of growing up around me with CPTSD.

My traumatic amnesia can hinder me from remembering myself. Sometimes I can remember a lot. Most of the time, I can’t remember though. Sometimes I remember when my family mentions something about the past. Most times not. It’s confusing and makes me upset. It’s painful that I can’t remember me. Luckily I have some great family and friends that assure me that I am still ME and being the ME they know even if I can’t remember who that is. This could be depersonalization. Part of dissociation. I lose time and black out. Sometimes I find writing that doesn’t look familiar or thing I don’t remember purchasing. This is all part of it. I think this may be why when I take antidepressants I change into someone I hate and hates the world. It is a different part of me that I have kept away from the forefront of my mind and behavior. That part of me conflicts with my values.

I am working very hard become a whole me. I know it’s small steps at a time. Parts of my that aren’t integrated yet hold tons of trauma. My brain will let me have at it when it’s ready, when I’m ready for it. I understand that all at once would cause massive destabilization. One step at a time. One day at a time. I hope one day I feel more solid and less confused.

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Child Abuse Stories Child Abuse Survivors Complex PTSD My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse ptsd

Abuse Survivor Blog Wins an Award

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My abuse survivor blog has won an award! They gave me a badge for my website.  I have the #8 out of top 15 blogs about child abuse. This was unexpected but it’s encouraging me to keep going. Sometimes I post a lot, sometimes very little. It is still difficult to stay consistent. My healing is still up and down but I’m finding my way.

Here’s my award ribbon!

Child Abuse Blogs

Other blog news: I’m going to be working on posting my video posts that I took off of YouTube. You will find them in the corresponding posts here where there are missing videos. Thank you for your patience.  More audio posts and other helpful videos are on the way as well. I’ll be sharing what I have learned along my journey. Thank you for reading and subscribing!

Big THANK YOU out to my Patrons on https://www.patreon.com/sarahgarlits You help fund things around here and that keep this blog possible.

Abuse Survivors Complex PTSD Effects of Child Abuse Effects of Emotional Abuse My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse

Coping with Anxiety

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Since the weekend I have been dealing with a massive amount of anxiety.  On Saturday I had one of the worst anxiety attacks that I can remember. This was followed by many smaller anxiety attacks as it cycled back down. I would have seen this as a set back but I don’t believe that anymore. It wasn’t a set back because anxiety is part of my life living with Cptsd. As I integrate myself into a more healed and solid individual, there is going to be destabilization. The parts of me that hold the trauma memories are being integrated and it’s painful.

Instead of seeing this as a setback I observed myself putting into action many techniques I have learned over the past few years. The hard work paid off because I was able to get myself through it. I did everything I could to comfort myself and reassure myself that I was safe. Some things only work some of the time then I switch it up. I feel stronger now. I proved to myself that yes, it’s going to get bad sometimes and scary but I can get through it. Keep going!

Some of the things I did:

I talked to myself out loud that I was safe and going to be ok. This is an anxiety attack. I am not going to die that super high heat rate. I was wearing a heart rate monitor and breathing to get it down but it scared me more so I took it off. I told myself, “I am here. It is 2018. I am 38. I am a grown adult that can defend herself. I am safe.

More deep breathing and I tried to slow down as much as possible.

Cold cloth on my face and rubbed my arms and legs down with it. Turned on a fan. Laid in front of it with my feet up.

I let myself curl up and then uncurled myself. Like clenching all my muscles up and then releasing them. I then took up space and changed my body language to a more confident TAKE UP SPACE instead of trying to be small. I also stretched to try to stop my body from muscle armoring.

I cuddled with my dogs and they were more than happy to give me kisses.

I turned off the TV and turned on some music.

I smelled some of my aromatherapy oils.

I engaged all my senses to ground myself and get my panicked part of myself to realize where and WHEN I was again.  I feel like this is a big step toward being able to manage my anxiety in a better, healthier way. I’m still dealing with it on a daily basis and it will get bad again some days. Like today I am having a hard time with food. I vomited up the food I tried to eat for breakfast. Food doesn’t even taste good right now. Tt will pass though. The good news it that everything changes so this isn’t forever. This is just extra difficult right now.

The healing process is very slow but I see the progress I am making. It is extremely frustrating and overwhelming but there is good coming from all this pain. I’m going to be ok. This process of helping myself to heal is going to take years. I wish I could just magically get over it. All the people who lied to me telling me this or that, get over it, really didn’t know shit. Ignorant asses! I may be always dealing with it the rest of my life to some extent. I survived every day up until now no matter how bad the abuse was so I know I can get through the healing part too. Like I said before, SPOILER ALERT! CPTSD doesn’t kill me. I have faith in myself that I will get through this.

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Child Abuse Stories Child Abuse Survivors Complex PTSD My Story Sexual Child Abuse

Traumas I Can Remember

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Trigger warning on this. My entire blog is difficult and can trigger survivors of abuse. If you feel triggered, please do not continue to listen. Press stop, exit out of my blog and practice some good self care techniques.

Every time I say it out loud I feel stronger and more confident that I no longer have to hide what happened to me. It’s empowering for me. I’m still getting new memories but this is most of what I know so far.

Complex PTSD Free Writing My Story

Free Writing – I’ve Made Contact- Integrating the Me’s

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In the attempts at soothing myself I have done fucked it up(this is a good thing, keep reading). I made a doll to represent my child self. I wrote as the “points of view” and I’m remembering more of myself now, not just the parts. I have contacted some of the parts of myself that I had previously not allowed to be in the forefront of my mind. I feel guilty about that now and accepting I was doing what I thought best to survive. I feel strong enough to move forward in integrating myself more and living more as a whole me. Those parts that were held back aren’t happy about it. I get it.

I didn’t remember what happened to me until I was 10 years old. I locked away the memories of abuse so that I could go on. Parts of me did go on. Parts of me died. Parts of me became hidden. There are many parts of me. I’m remembering more of my life now. Modes, perspectives, that joke I always made about me and my 13 personalities, people sitting in a room discussing how to proceed and what to say. Mixed feelings, opinions, simultaneous feelings that contradict each other. Almost constant conversations in my head but not all with words, with pictures, mini movie reels, emotions, body language. Sometimes, it’s quiet and there is just pain. Sometimes there is just nothing. I call this the nothing.

I’m really in a lot of confusion and no fucking wonder I need so much rest with all that going on! It’s not that I can’t multitask, it’s that I am ALREADY multitasking. That’s why I can’t focus. I’m dealing with so much plus I’m really freaked out about things I’m remembering. Writing in a journal as my different parts. The handwriting changes. Que the ANXIETY! Write, delete, write, delete. Stop that! UGH! I do this with twitter tweets a lot. Sometimes, I almost share the conversation in my head, especially if it made me laugh.

What am I afraid will happen if I accept this about myself. Mental institution? Irrationally yes, realistically no. I’m more afraid of myself and getting in touch with more pain. I’m afraid of the parts of myself that I locked away because of what they carry. I’m afraid of who I might be if I let myself be more fully myself and not very carefully moderated, held back. You know what though, fuck it. It hasn’t killed me yet. I just have to go slow and honor/protect/love those other parts of myself. I relate to DID (Dissociative identity disorder) a lot but I don’t think that is what I have. I don’t have 2+ distinct personalities as in people in my head. They are all me. ALL THE ME’s! Talking about it in this way helps me to make sense of it.

I’m afraid of who I am when I take antidepressants. I stop feeling empathy. That part of me shuts down. Mostly for other people but coldly for myself as I’m more willing to sacrifice myself. Not for my animals and family but everyone and everything else goes to the guillotine to cut the ties, the threads, the connections that link from my heart. Off with their heads! I lost time. I wrote notes about having to destroy myself and tear myself down that I don’t remember writing. I do things that are not in my best interest but in the interest of revenge. I started trying to figure out how to get away with murdering people that had hurt me. That was no happy pill. There are over 120 antidepressant medications and a doctor would have me keep trying them all until I shut up or die. The reality is worse. The reality is that I could hurt other people. there’s a good reason I locked that part of me away. I’m in touch with that part now but I still chose my actions. With the medication, I couldn’t do that.

I’m afraid really all the damn time. I live in the brain chemicals of CPTSD. It is painful but I’m working on it. I’m integrating. I’ll make it through this too. I’m scared but I’m doing the damn thing anyway because fuck it, the alternative is death.

 

 

Complex PTSD Effects of Child Abuse Effects of Emotional Abuse Free Writing My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse ptsd

I Have a Lot to Live For

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I could tell you about my suicide attempts, the thoughts of wanting it to end, and the events that led me to want to die. I have a lot to live for though and that is more exciting. Yes, I suffer, but whatever, I’m a human. I’ve been through a lot of terrible things but I am still here. For much of my life I didn’t want to live. I did it anyway. I carried on. Four years ago I crashed hard. I made it through. Changes were made. I moved twice and I’m moving on again to another career field. I am making my life livable again and it’s exciting! I still fight every single day.

With the recent celebrity suicides in the news I realized that I WANT TO LIVE! I am not feeling suicidal or scared that I will hurt myself lately. I feel like I am on my own side and will get through whatever CPTSD throws at me while I’m healing. It’s all healing, even the shitty things like memories of abuse, nightmares, flashbacks, disassociation all part of processing trauma. I know I will get a but choked up with emotion and gratitude but here it goes…

What have to live for(in no particular order):

Pets – Have you seen my good rescue Doggos? Lily and Buster are amazing and help me so much by just loving me. They were also abused in their pasts but we all have a good life now. The good doggo life with lots of love, cuddles, hugs, play, FOOD, and peace.

Family- They love me unconditionally. I feel the same. It’s a fierce love that doesn’t seek to control but support and allow me to be me, whoever that is or what I’m going through. I know hurting myself would also hurt them and fuck that. I am the joking silly one. I want to make them laugh as much as possible with my silliness and love themselves as much as I love them.

Books to read- Since many were held back by bullshit discrimination, I’m excited to read new authors that are not the traditionally published. Dumbass humans that can’t figure out that other humans come in different colors, shapes, sizes and genders, sexuality, preferences, and it takes all kinds of people for the world to work. Anyway, there are blogs and books from people I would have never been able to learn from before producing content that I am excited to pure into my brain!

Books to write- I have a story. It will be healing to tell it. Maybe my life can help someone else.

Positive contributions to make like- Yes, I have an agenda if I am going to stay. My aspirations in life have to do with helping others to heal, sharing info, teaching healthy coping methods. I have a lot to learn still but that’s also another exciting part of life for me.

Art to create- I’m a sculptor at heart and I am making my ceramics studio happening. I’m also painting more and enjoying the chaos of watercolor. I have notebooks of sketches and ideas.

ME! – I am still figuring out who I am underneath all the dissociation, coping, and other CPTSD symptoms. Who I am is nothing like the abusive people told me I was. I don’t need anyone to tell me who I am anyway. Now that I love myself a little I want to go shout it to the damn rooftops! I LOVE ME! I’m already a loving person but I feel like my heart had grown even larger. That also means I’m more protective of myself and my own well being.

Future- Who knows what opportunities will arise? I plan to be here for it.

People(YES,REALLY? I KNOW,WTF!?) Yes, people. There are amazing people out there. We focus on the jerks but there are also people that are just well, flat out fucking amazing human beings. They inspire me to learn, grow and love. They inspire me to live. Some of those people are reading this post right this very moment! Thank you to everyone that comments and shares my posts as well as their own experience.

There is more but that’s the short version. This could be a book all in itself.

Abuse Survivors Complex PTSD Free Writing My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse ptsd

Free Writing May 26, 2018

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I miss touch. I don’t trust touch, but I miss it. I’m afraid of kindness and nice touches. I’m tensed up for the worst, the pain, the coldness and the searing pain. I am armored against it. I am afraid of touch. My sense of safe touch is not accurate. Like language, abusers used soft touch to lure trust and cultivate the want for safe loving touch only to take advantage of that trust. That is grooming. How can I tell who is grooming me? I realize my solution was to go extremely slow in connecting with someone and allowing closeness. I’m doing that, but I don’t think it is intentional, I’m realizing I’m doing it. Anyone frustrated with my pace can go find someone who is more compatible with what they want/need.  This left me confused. Abusers gaslighted me further. Society reinforced it. Society gaslights me. All the mixed messages and bullshit and excuses for abuse.

My feelings about being a human: (This is disassociating.)

I don’t like it. I don’t feel good in this form, in this shape, with these horrible thoughts.  I feel like an imposter human that must fake it, but I can’t fake it any longer. There is all the pressure to be this or that or achieve, change, grow, heal when I can barely remember my life some days.

All this pressure, all these expectations, how can one keep track. So many conflicting messages and demands and judgments that conform or die mentality. Make it stop. I can’t make the thoughts stop. The run in my mind like rabid angry squirrels fighting for territory. They shriek, and they scratch. I scream inside but no one can hear me but me.

I’m cut off from remembering much of my life. I can’t remember names of common things, not names, and…what was I talking about. Some shit anyway.

I realized lately, AGAIN, that I seem to lose connection. Like lose connection with people I care about. Like it is just gone sometimes, or fuzzy if my brain is trying to determine if they are dangerous. It is awful. I must rebuild connections a lot to keep them. It embarrasses me. I feel like people won’t understand. Some people seem to act so familiar to me and that freaks me out too. Like already assuming friendship and closeness before much discussion. Fuck that, people that try to decide how close I am to them get cut out. Cut. Connection lost. At least there is a reason there. This happens to myself. I lose connection with loving myself.

CRS…can’t remember shit. More disassociation. I just kind of freaked out about what I wrote. I write and can see how someone could take it wrong, misinterpret, see some malicious intent in my words but there really isn’t. It’s difficult to be close to me, even for myself.

How can I feel bad about what I wrote when I’m basically leaving everyone alone and not hurting anyone just trying to live a peaceful quiet life? Let me count the ways. Wait, those words in my head about how I can feel bad aren’t even my words. I’m not even saying them. It’s an echo from another time. Who said it? Who cares, it’s fucked, and I will not accept that negative talk as the truth. This is a symptom of my CPTSD. What is real? What is a symptom and what is just part of what everyone else feels that doesn’t have cptsd? Do I really need to parse that out? Nahhhh.

I think I am fractured. I feel many ways, not just the binary 2 extremes, but all sorts of ways. The different perspectives talk in my head and discuss things. They interrupt each other too. They are good at problem solving. Many times, I get overwhelmed and confused. Then I disassociate more and feel like I am the nothing. My mind spins and the thought and emotions are spinning too fast for me to keep up. This paragraph was scary to write. Post it anyway! Fuck it!

Just tried to go back and fix what I wrote so it wouldn’t piss anyone off to make some shitpost troll comment or discouragement. I’m vulnerable. I can’t tell criticism from people being assholes. I added more to the 1st paragraph but I didn’t go read what triggered the bad feeling about myself. This is honest and my feelings right now. I don’t have to edit them for anyone. If someone hates me now well then good, that means I’m still alive to piss someone off by being myself. Spits venom that I just figuratively coughed up instead of chewing on it.

May 28,2018- I hesitated about posting this but fuck it, I’m just going to share. It is mine. It is what it is. I don’t feel like the writing above today but there are a lot of days that I do feel like that. Writing it down helps to get it out of my head and can sometimes quiet it down a little. Like a release of the pent up whatever that shit is. I don’t like it, I don’t even like writing about it but it’s part of how I’m healing myself. I write a lot and don’t share much of it. Reading what I wrote on the days I’m suffering more helps me to be more compassionate. I can step aside and see myself as a person suffering. It is still very difficult for me to be compassionate in the moment but I am working on it.

 

Abuse Survivors Complex PTSD

I’m Still Blaming Myself – Misplaced Blame

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What I believe about myself and what is the truth can be two very different things. I keep believing that if I “do this set of actions” or “the right things” then I won’t feel like 3 day old ran over dog shit. Like life is a puzzle and if I just find the right pieces, life will be wonderful. I realize I am blaming myself for believing. I’m also treating myself like a computer or a machine instead of a human. More like a vending machine. Put these 3 pieces of silver in and get a nice life out! What a CROCK!

The truth is that it’s fucking fantastic that I am recognizing a behavior or belief system that no longer works for me. Instead of blaming myself and being nasty, mocking, and rude, my strategy now is to just go with how I’m feeling and to take care of myself. I cannot keep trying to live as though I don’t have Complex PTSD. It is a difficult adjustment.

I’m not blaming myself for being abused. That ship has sailed! The only people to I blame are the ones that committed the abuse. I’m not angry or blaming myself for loving someone or being vulnerable. The best things in my life are the result of loving people. Love is not the problem.

The point is that I’m not feeling well due to having Complex PTSD not because I’m not doing something I should be doing. The dreaded “Should” that I actually do hate. I’ve been working on not using “should” as it is part of how I compare myself to others and shame myself. The 1st part of correcting something is recognizing it. It is progress. Progress like I put in multiple fucktons of effort and a 1 little granule of golden healing squeaks out. I immediately weld it into my soul of course! Healing is slow.

Abuse Survivors Complex PTSD Effects of Child Abuse Effects of Emotional Abuse Free Writing Insomnia My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse

My Best Effort is Good Enough

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I am very strict and hard on myself. I usually feel like I am not doing enough even if I am doing the best I can at the time. Yesterday, I felt worthless and that I wasn’t doing enough for myself to make a living WHILE putting in hours of work and getting a lot done. This goes back to my self-worth and my low opinion of myself. Through research I learned that this attitude towards oneself is common with survivors of abuse and very common with survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

To combat these feeling I write down what I accomplished. I measure my results. This is one way I can quickly document and prove to myself that I am, in fact, making progress. It’s a fact that I am a very capable person that is able to make shit happen. My strict non-compassionate self view conveniently forgets that I am battling Complex PTSD. This crappy self view is part of my Complex PTSD.

What I accomplished:

Put groceries away

Paid bills

Food, water, bathroom stuff for the doggos

Uploaded many gigs of video content

Edited 3 videos and rendered each in 2 different formats

Wrote a blog post

Created 2 animations for modulated class

Reread some marketing information/did some research

Schedule updates for 8 days with descriptions and keywords on 1 passive income stream website

Completed my Top 50 Project

Somehow fixed my wireless mouse

Took a bath and washed my hair

 

My takeaways from writing this list is that I am getting a lot done. That negative attitude towards myself is not based on my current reality. I can, with work, change my perception of myself by reminding myself that I am doing the best I can in my current circumstances. I am not lazy nor worthless when it comes to handling business to make a living despite all the challenges my mental health throws at me. I’m still surviving every month. My symptoms of Complex PTSD worsening temps me to be cruel to myself and berate myself for backsliding. The truth is that there really is no backsliding. There is no back. There is now. Waking up every day and doing the best I can is good enough.

Remember when I said that I am very strict with myself and I framed it as a bad thing. Here’s where I can turn this strictness into a good thing. I can be strict with how I’m allowed to talk to myself. I’ll show myself the proof that I am enough over and over again. Catching myself doing it is the key to changing that behavior. I have to stop the abusive cycle in my head. The “not good enough” feelings also have to do with anxiety and safety. It’s complicated and there are a lot of layers to everything. Life is all kinds of bastard that way.

 

 

 

 

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Complex PTSD Effects of Child Abuse Effects of Emotional Abuse Free Writing My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse ptsd

PTSD Episode

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My anxiety and insomnia are back again. I’m in another PTSD Episode. This happens and will happen again and again as I move through my life. The duration of the episodes get shorter and recovery time from the episodes grow shorter. I am becoming more resilient by practicing self care and self compassion like my life depends on it. Because it does. I feel more prepared to take care of myself now. Knowing what is happening and having a plan to take care of myself helps me so much during times like these. I’ve got this and I’m cranky about it all the same. I’m surviving on meditation, love, coffee, and a Spoonie/Goonies Never Say Die attitude.

I hope you are having a better day, dear reader, than I am. If you are having a crappy day too, know that I stand there with you in solidarity. Deep breathing and mindfulness meditation have been the most helpful for me. Art and writing in my journal when I need to express myself more. The insomnia has been creeping back as my anxiety worsened. I’m going to have to focus on sleep more this month. People talk about healing as some wonderful spiritual positive experience but the reality is that it hurts.

This month’s mantra is “Keep it Moving” and I plan to do just that. I am being more active and focused on myself. I refuse to let Complex PTSD kill me. Like I said before, I live.