Category Archives: Free Writing

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

Take Me with You

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A letter to Myself. I have written many of these over the years. The post pic of some of those letters. It scares me sometimes because all the selves in my start talking at once in my head. It scared me that I was all these selves before. I’m really trying to accept this about myself and love myself. RADICAL ACCEPTANCE! So, here’s a love letter:

Dear Sarah,

Take me with you when you need strength. Know that someone loves you and hold a safe place for you to be yourself. Your playful, tearful self. Take me with you when you need me. Most importantly take yourself with you and all of us stand behind you that believe in you. You can do this. You are doing this. You have survived every single day no matter what the world threw at you. It’s ok to be hesitant in receiving help, just keep going! Day by day, step by step, and layer by later you are making a life for yourself that you get to live for yourself. It’s yours! The abuse may have held you back but you are bursting out now.

Take all your friends and loved ones with you through everything. Let them stand behind you and be your foundation along with your own love for yourself. When someone walks over your boundary, ask yourself, “What would Mom, Jeff, John, the support group, patrons, and your twitter friends tell you if you told them about this?” What would you tell them if this happened to them? You don’t deserve to be treated badly EVER! Everyone that cares about you wants you to have healthy boundaries and not go over them or hurt you. If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries after you state them or make an effort to do better, have a block party and dance about your freedom from another asshole! You don’t have to give them a chance either. You can do what you like. You don’t owe anyone attention, friendship, or whatever. Even if they give you things or money. You don’t have to play tit for tat.

Allow yourself to have more fun and be your silly self. That’s the good shit and you deserve more of that. Years of not letting yourself unfurl are over. Go as slow as you are comfortable. Extend your wings and let yourself be whoever you are that day. Remember that you aren’t changing, you are remembering. This is all still you. You will grow but you are always still you. No need to fear that. The core of you is good and loving. That really small voice, the real you, doesn’t think you suck. It loves your very much. I love you very much. All of me loves all of the you’s. Even if we never integrate into a whole self you are wonderful just like this. Just think, you most likely will grow and be even better because I know you. You won’t just stop here. You will go get ALL THE THINGS you want because that’s who you are.

That voice telling you all those cruel things that the abusers did is wrong and stupid. The abusers were stupid to do what they did. They could have had so much but they had to be abusers. They didn’t pick you because you were weak. They picked you because you are full of life and love. They wanted to eat your life force. They will live on having their miserable lives. They aren’t happy people even when they get what they want. You, however, will grow into a more loving giving person or rather wake up those parts you had to hide away to protect them. You get to have love and happiness in your life and you are already finding loving people!

It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be scary, but you can do this. I believe in you. Your loved ones believe in you. You don’t have to fight this alone anymore. If and when you doubt yourself ask your loved ones and they will tell  you that you can do this. They have your back and so do I, all of the parts. The goal is to have a better life and be yourself, whatever that is! You will have it too because that’s what you do. You do the damn thing! Keep going!

Love Always,

Sarah Garlits

 

Abuse Survivors Child Abuse Stories Complex PTSD Free Writing My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse

Dark Thoughts- Free Writing

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I wrote this closer to when I started this blog(Feb 2015). I wanted to share it because I still have these thoughts and they are just that. Thoughts. I couldn’t write a new entry today due to not being able to concentrate for long.

When I am having a difficult day and there seems to be no escape from the memories and emotional/physical triggers I sometimes sink into dark fantasies. Sometimes I write about them and I used to write short stories as a teen. I fantasize that I am a serial killer, a vigilante that tracks down people to abuse children/rape and remove them from the world. My methods for removal are often violent and some of these thoughts are disturbing as I really enjoy this fantasy.

I would see myself as some sort of dark super hero but in reality I was ashamed of this. I am not ashamed now of this way to cope but I fear sometimes that it is too enticing. I stop myself from tracking down my abusers. I stop myself from searching out sex offenders. It is an urge I have to put the fantasy into play in a real sense. I do not consider myself a violent person but I know that I am perfectly capable of carrying things out once my brain starts cooking on an idea.

The healthy thing is that I wrote about it instead of acting it out. That says a lot to me about myself. Even though I made a kill list and I even planned out a few murders and methods of torture in great detail, I have no plans to carry any of it out no matter how tempting it may be. Sometimes when I am triggered I go to these fantasies to then rewrite the end of the memory to have my dark superhero self come save the day and kill my abuser on the spot.

As far as some future abuse, I don’t trust myself to not fight to the death with the intention being that the person attempting to rape me will die. I don’t feel bad about this and its just a fact. I will in the very least permanently damage someone who tries to rape me. Eyeballs and ballsacks are my targets should this happen. They will come at me walking or running, but if not die, they will limp away holding various places where their parts once were.

When I write about these things I can feel a change in myself. I start to dissociate a bit, the feelings I normally have of compassion and empathy are nonexistent.

I have considered taking certain classes to learn how to fight with a knife or some sort of hand to hand combat further than the self defense classes I have taken in the past. I find myself during strength training being proud of how strong I am becoming in order to fight someone off and become extremely self reliant.

I plan to talk with my therapist more about this to help understand this but to also talk about it instead of pursuing some sort of behavior or course of action that will negatively impact my life or that of my family. I feel like I need to keep these feelings in check or lack of feeling at times because its scary to me. Fear seems to drive many things and maybe its unreasonable fears. It could be the fear is preventing me to really accept this side of myself and what I’m capable of. Everyone has thoughts like this, I’m told.

Maybe this is something I need to explore further in my art and videos. Some sort of expression of these feelings and urges can be put to better use in creative ways to be shared with others instead of acting out the violent thoughts in real life.

I want to be clear to say that I do not have a fear of murdering someone. I have a fear of fucking up my life/losing my freedom and hurting my family. I don’t believe removing these people from the planet to be a bad idea. They ruin lives and even though they may have been abused, I cannot fathom in my mind the justification of hurting a child or raping someone and then being allowed to go on with their lives while the victim is left in shambles and shamed into silence.

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.

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 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.

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

Completely Healed Complex PTSD?

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healing from complex ptsd

I used to think being healed from complex PTSD and child sexual abuse meant that I didn’t have any lasting effects and my symptoms would be completely gone. I was told by many uneducated people to just get over it, move on, let it go, ect. Here’s the thing though: I’m not choosing to hang onto anything. Complex PTSD is not a choice. I can choose to recover but healing from trauma is a long messy process. If I could just choose to be healed, I SO WOULD! You have no idea how much I want it to be as simple as choosing wellness but the reality is that takes more time than anyone has the patience for. Relearning how to human and to learn(possible for the 1st time) healthy coping techniques takes time.

When would I consider myself healed? I wouldn’t. I know that may sound harsh but stay with me. If I could acknowledge the trigger or memory without it ruining my day or take longer than a few minutes to get back to life before the trigger. To be able to set it down as soon as it jumps on my back with love for myself and not the seemingly automatic reaction of anxiety, fear, and negative self speak. I don’t think that healing means that I forget. It will always be there. Being healed is handling the triggers and feelings in a way that is not detrimental to myself is the goal. Healing from child sexual abuse along with the other traumas that make up my complex PTSD is a lifelong process. It’s a journey and not a destination.

My focus now is to be compassionate with myself through all of this. It’s what I have denied myself thinking if I wasn’t hard on myself, I wouldn’t do it. I had and still have a whole myriad of untrue reasoning about myself that I’m working on. Basing goal posts according to someone else’s standards or their timeline is counterproductive. They aren’t me so they don’t get to judge or dictate what healing looks like for me. I get to do that. I have to do the work, ME, not them. It’s so easy to sit and judge someone’s behavior or doing the recovery work rather than fixing your own crap, right? Other people can be supportive and compassionate or shove off. There is no need for tough love, criticism of how I live, recover, suffer, live, or achieve my goals.

I am happy to report that I have been doing a LOT better when it comes to putting myself 1st and sleep. According to my tracker technology, I have been getting an average of 9 hours a night for over a month now. I still wake up a lot but the amount and quality has increased. My life and mental well being have greatly improved. In fact, according to my tracker technology I am averaging 9 hours a night. This is a huge change from the rest of my life. I’ve had chronic insomnia for decades. This is proof to me that things can get better. It just takes work and dedication. I can do that. I’m doing it! More sleep has reduced a lot of my complex PTSD symptoms including anxiety and anxiety attacks. I have a self care sleep routine that is working.

There are a ton of other things I do which I mentions in another blog talking about my Complex PTSD toolbox pt1 and  Complex PTSD toolbox pt2. Check those out for more info. All the things at once are overwhelming for sure but focusing on thing at a time works for me. I focus on 1 thing and then build on that. I know I’m going to have up and down times now but I have a plan and several plans depending on what is going on.

Knowing what is happening so I can help myself has been life changing. Before I practiced mindfulness and check-ins with myself I was living in a reactionary state that was extremely difficult. I really didn’t know what was happening or what to do. I would just suffer and wait for it to pass. Taking action to help myself through whatever symptoms arise has lessened the amount of time it takes to be functioning again. There are still times when it seems like nothing helps but in those times I can practice compassion with myself.

 

 

 

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

Rewriting My Nightmares

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Last night I had fitful sleep filled with nightmares. My brain is working on healing 24-7. Lack of restful sleep makes my daytime symptoms with complex PTSD flare up and become more difficult to deal with. One method of working through what I’m experiencing in my healing process is to talk about my experience. Share it, write about it, make a video or audio and talk. The other is visualization with “rewriting” what happened in the nightmare. While pacing around my house trying to cope with the energy that anxiety dishes out I decided to rewrite my nightmare. I said what happened but then I talked myself through visualizing a different set of actions that I took and a different outcome than the dream. It’s also MY visualization so I can control the whole thing start to finish.

In this new version of the now fading memory of the nightmare I was brave and stood up for myself. I did not cower behind the door and look frightfully out the window. In my rewritten version of the nightmare I opened the door, walked outside and faced the scary person in the dream. Already it went from a nightmare to a dream. I’m the hero in my dream and I tell this (no longer scary) person that I snatched their identity to make them basically faceless to piss off. I take the gun from them and they leave. I went over and over the story until I was able to tell the story out loud without getting upset. I pushed past upset and went through the dream until the end. This helped me feel more empowered and strong. The original nightmare doesn’t matter now because I rewrote it.

Visualization is very powerful and I use it a lot to help me cope but also see different perspectives of the same issue. This is my way of problem solving. This was not easy for me at first but like everything, practice creates new pathways in the brain making it a little easier each time. I think my nightmares are a way for my brain to process multiple traumas and stitch the details together into something confusing and terrifying. Even if the nightmare is something that 100% happened I can still visualize and talk myself through. The more I do this, the more confident I am with my ability to help myself. It can take what would be possibly days of being upset to a few hours. This doesn’t always work but when it does I feel like a super hero. As I said before SPOILER ALERT, I don’t die due to my CPTSD, I recover and live well.