So, now that I’ve started this, what do I have to say?
Living with CPTSD is hard. Living with it from abuse that started from the day you came home from the hospital is complicated. This is not to say that I have the hardest life. I don’t. I know people who had it easier, and people who had it worse.
I’m to a point in my journey where I don’t want the past defining my future. Do I have to deal with my symptoms every day? Yes. Do I have to be aware of my mental state? Yes. Do I have to let it control my future? No! I see so many beautiful souls that have really suffered. What makes them so beautiful to me is that the suffering doesn’t define them. It doesn’t rule their world. I won’t let it rule mine either.
I am married to someone who has PTSD. The symptoms displayed can trigger so much, and with the triggers now I’m able to see a lot of them as memories. I still have the flash, that moment of pure terror, and the mind numbing body freeze. I’m fortunate that most who don’t know me would just see it as an odd moment. If I can work through it, then I can view the memory. Decide to face it at the moment, or if that one needs more work than I can apply to it at that time. As I heal, for me this can take just moments, or if it’s a bad one days or weeks.
Today’s memories are more focused on my past personal relationships. For me, memories and flashes from the abuse I was dealt from previous spouses and significant others play out before me. I have worked through forgiving myself for those poor choices. That does help the flashes be more of a learning experience. A reminder of the learning curve that they were. What it doesn’t help is trusting myself to make the right choices for my current situation.
The doubt of myself that was driven in hard and deep by my family for too many years, it can play like a bad movie. With so many traumas layered over each other, once the memories start, they can lead so many other places. One dark memory that isn’t quite so bad can lead to the others that were. This is the struggle on a daily basis.
I use the method that I’ve found for me. Nothing works all the time, but this one I have used so many times it can help ground me and redirect my focus. I create a thankful list of things that have happened today (so nothing general like home, children, etc). On bad days I may just get to one. On good days I have to remind myself to stop while I giggle at myself.
Today isn’t the worst. I found two leads for new housing (we have to move because of a city change in ordinances). I spoke about the hurt I was feeling to the person causing the triggers, and made sure my voice was heard (easy to say but hard to do). I made sure to connect with someone outside of my current situation for a good dose of everything that is not in my world (therefore getting out of my own head). This is a list I can be very thankful for!