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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Questioning some things

Topic: Questioning some things

  1. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    23 December 2020

    Those of you who know me know I have been bouncing from one rough life event to another for years, without really any time to take a breath in between. I can state well enough the things that have happened to me, but haven't had much energy to delve deeply into what those things have done to me. In the time off work since my partner had major surgery (yup, another fun crisis), I had time to start pulling at threads, to get a Mental Health Care Plan, see a psych and talk to a counsellor. As much as I always knew my life has been a steaming pile of crap, the threads I am pulling are connecting dots and giving rise to possible clarifications of events and what has arisen in their wake.

    My childhood was severely neglectful. Mostly emotionally, but also in some physical ways. We kids didn't sleep in the (perfectly good) house, we slept in a caravan nearby - Mum cleaned up her and Dad's bedroom and the kitchen after the mouse plagues, but apparently our rooms weren't worth the effort. He carries on about her "unfit" parenting, but it's not like Dad did anything about it either. We were fed and clothed well enough. Never a lot of attention from either of them. I don't remember a single hug from either one during my childhood. Mum would immediately disinfect her hands if by some chance she came to touch one of us. Some years later, post parental divorce, Mum's settlement money ran out and we endured a brief stint without a home, a much longer (years) stint of inadequate food and no hot water.

    I actually became pretty functional after moving out. Worked, studied, maintained a place on my own. Went through a couple of less than healthy relationships and endured with surprising resilience. Then came the last relationship. First two years, no major problems. Then bam, he's unfaithful. Enter ol' Blue's depression, that's the straw that breaks the camel's back. Damn fool remained in contact with him and we tried again at the relationship. To be fair, he didn't repeat that particular mistake. He tried hard to redeem himself and be a better partner. Until the ring was on the finger. Engagement in place, all effort fell away little by little. Dear gods did the neglect become overwhelmingly severe. I kind of got that there was a theme, but it's literally only now, years after breaking up with him, that I see why it was that straw that began my depression - just how closely what he did mirrored my parents' behaviour.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    23 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    With that thought, I followed the trail, reading about adult survivors of childhood neglect. I stumbled on something that I had not even vaguely considered before today, and yet after that woefully failed relationship and its terribly close parallels with my upbringing, the description fits.

    - Reliving the traumatic event through thoughts, memories and dreams.

    - Experiencing emotional or physical reactions such as chills, hyperventilating, or panic/stress when faced with reminders of the event.

    - Avoiding reminders of the trauma including people, thoughts and memories, situations, and places that remind them of their trauma.

    - Being on guard or hyper-aroused at times, excessive emotions, difficulty relating to others, such as showing or feeling affection, difficulty sleeping, irritability, increased temper, inability to concentrate.

    These things have been very slowly diminishing, but are bang on how I have responded to both his infidelity and neglect. To a lesser extent the same thing with a previous ex who was abusive. Am I experiencing PTSD?

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  3. Jstar49
    Jstar49 avatar
    824 posts
    23 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hi Blue,

    I've not been around the forums very long, so I don't know very much of your story.

    I'm so sorry that your childhood was so emotionally neglectful- thats so sad. The physical neglect is one thing, but not to receive affection or care....I think that would be really scarring.

    Do you have any contact with your parents or siblings now?

    I would like to know more, if you want to talk about it.

    My dad was very emotionally absent and used physical punishment as a form of abuse- I knew he was taking his anger out on me when he did it- so I can relate to how damaging it can be to not feel loved and cared for. Your situation tho was way worse than I can imagine anyone doing to their kids. Have you met other survivors?

    Big hugs,

    J*

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    23 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Hi J*,

    My story has come out slowly over about four years on here, I wouldn't expect you to know a lot of it. I have a thread in Long Term Support Over the Journey - no pressure to read, but it's there if you want to know more.

    Thanks. I tend not to think of it as sad, but I guess I still don't engage normally with emotions like that - it's nothing or it's full scale out of proportion clinical range sad. Mostly it just makes me tired. As for scarring, most of my life I didn't have much to compare it to, I didn't really know the difference.

    My siblings and I are actually quite close. Ironically I get along fairly well with my parents. Neither of them has changed really, but they relate a whole lot better to an adult who can look after herself. There are definitely emotional barriers there, I know not to expect too much from those relationships.

    I'm fine with talking about it, though not sure what to add other than answering your questions.

    Sorry to hear you experienced that emotional absence and abuse. Our parents have a lot to answer for. I can say from my first "relationship" that the physical side of his abusive behaviour isn't what stayed with me. That said, it was infrequent and I gave it straight back. It was by no means the worst of what he had to offer.

    Your last question really got me thinking. I bet I know more survivors than I think I do. It's really not something you advertise. I think there's an element of Stockholm Syndrome to it, you're stuck with these people and there's some twisted loyalty there as a child, and confusion and shame about that loyalty when you realise that crap ain't normal. I think someone I know has had experiences along the same lines, there have been indications of it. Might be worth reaching out to him - I'm pretty good at starting awkwardly personal conversations. ;)

    It took me years to get comfortable with hugs, or to comprehend them. I'm getting there. Hugs back to you, J*.

    Blue.

    3 people found this helpful
  5. Truc
    Truc avatar
    38 posts
    24 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues
    Hi Blue’s clue
    To be honest, I am not an expert here, but I'm just trying to give something that as a perspective, opinion or anything you name it as a recommendation or a suggestion but nothing more. Life is a long journey right ? and of course we are not sure what we may encounter in life related to friendship, relationships, work, career...etc. we may not know who we are and become in the next 10 years, therefore, I mostly spend my time to focus on what I have to do and experience right now more than put my mind into other things, things happens, sometimes it is out of our control but that does not mean it is our fault or other’s fault, maybe it is just how things meant to be, things meant to be ? such a cliché right ? but anyway that cliché has lived may be longer than us, the leaf falls from the tree in that position and someone steps on it, the other leaf falls but nobody steps on it but the wind flew it away, such a lucky leaf in my opinion, however, is the leaf had been stepped on unlucky ? I do not think so for sure, both leaves are so lucky to me, one can fly away to see what happens everywhere on the ground, such a beautiful view, one can stay on the ground be around with his old leaf friends had fallen and welcome new leaf falling to sing with the wind, such a great thing,... so with or without a relationship, which is luckier, both are good, one has more time for family and friends and work, one has more time for his or her lover. Life is beautiful that way, is breaking up a bad thing ? hmm.... Maybe I will just go back to my cliché.
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  6. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    24 December 2020 in reply to Truc
    Truc, I'm not sure I follow your line of thinking. Is breaking up a bad thing? With certain people, no. When I speak of PTSD or what may be that, I'm taking about very real, very present here-and-now involuntary responses to past trauma. Living in the moment is one thing. The moment includes consequences from moments gone by - they don't get to go unaddressed if one means to move on from trauma. Am I particularly unlucky compared to others? Beats me, but I'm still living with what I'm living with and I have a right to be feeling and functioning better than I am. Again, sometimes that requires retrospection, also identification and work. This little leaf can't just float along, some control of where I'm going matters.
    3 people found this helpful
  7. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
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    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    25 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hey Blue

    Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier. Hugs!

    Thankyou for sharing some of your childhood and some of your adulthood experiences too.

    In answer to your question about whether you have PTSD or not, IDK.... it's not the experiences we have that guarantee we have PTSD or C-PTSD but our reaction to them.
    The more traumatic these experiences are, like on an OBVIOUS level eg War etc, then the more likely one could say this person could now have PTSD.

    ***TRIGGER WARNING***
    I phoned so many helplines this year omg & spoke with Trauma Psychs.... they ALL said I had PTSD and needed a formal diagnosis and treatment like asap. One even said "With all that's happened, how could you NOT have PTSD? and I think it's the Complex version".

    My Counsellor and her head Psych told me I had it maybe 6y ago. But no formal diagnosis for IRL reasons.

    The info I've garnered about PTSD, paired with my own experiences of C-PTSD is that it comes under the "umbrella" of "Anxiety" but is far more extreme. IME it's like being locked in a cinema vault with no windows (or air) and having full sensory experiences of the trauma being replayed in full surround sound and full visuals and quite often full physicals.

    I've had bruising re-occur where past injuries were, extreme vertigo with vomiting and slipped discs after sleeping reactions because of these "episodes". And more.
    No other description but HELL.

    That was nice and light wasn't it?
    lol sorry! But that's a little of what it was for me.

    No matter what diagnosis you may receive from a psychologist, to me you're clearly having trauma responses. Intrusive thoughts are one indicator you mention. Not sure if you suffer nightmares also?

    In no way would I ever diminish anyone's experiences of trauma.
    The effects can be life long unless we get help and do the work!

    I found Googling things extremely traumatic. It triggered C-PTSD full swing this year also.

    I hate comparing childhood abuses as what's the worst!
    It's ALL BAD. All of it stinks!

    Yet... here I go parroting (yah a bird pun just for us lol) what I heard in a Seminar a few years ago and I was shocked.... that neglect is the worst form of child abuse. I was also severely neglected in childhood. But I thought I was getting a break from the other abuses TBH.
    Apparently research has shown that the effects of childhood neglect MANIFESTS worse in adulthood for victims. IDK but that's what they said. They gave reasons.

    Hope I've helped somewhat!

    Love EM

    4 people found this helpful
  8. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    25 December 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hey EM,

    All good. (*hug*)

    It's surprisingly helpful that you said that, I find it all quite difficult to talk about.

    Yeah, I know there's no definitive answer to come from a forum, but it is a good place to ask the question and reflect on the nature of things on a personal level, with the help of insights from others. Yeah, it all makes sense now. I never considered it was a possibility in my circumstances, but all those symptoms I listed in italics earlier... they do fit. It's worth asking the questions, exploring the possibility or identifying it all as something else. Honestly, I am guilty of shoving this stuff aside like it didn't matter (lesson learnt from my parents and exes, I guess, hardy-freakin'-har). Ol' Blue hasn't had a lot of room for vulnerability.

    Hm, probably should have added a trigger warning to the thread title. Who do I ask, to put that on?

    I would have to say your experiences have been far more acute than mine and come with more extreme reactions. Understandably so. The bruising coming back up is extraordinary, I'm sorry you have been and are still going through all that.

    By all means do not apologise for sharing your experience. I assure you, you are helping me understand the condition - whether I am suffering something similar or not, this knowledge is a tool for understanding and I value it.

    Yeah, intrusive thoughts is the biggie for me. Likewise intrusive emotions, and images of events. No nightmares for a long time, had a fair few early on re the infidelity. Mostly I barely slept for years, you don't dream much when you don't sleep. I've had the chills, hyperventilating and acute stress (not panic exactly, more like despair) set in with reminders. Avoiding people/places/situations/any reminders because of the strength of these reactions. The high incidence of infidelity-based songs (and a few abuse-based ones like Luka - which is actually a really good song and ground-breaking for its time) at work made being there outright traumatic for a long time - still is, to a slowly diminishing degree. Very highly sensitive to anything that looks like it may lead to a repeat of same, the hyper-alertness thing.

    I don't talk about it much, but I can't hide my avoidance of certain things. My last ex would joke I had 'Nam flashbacks. Maybe he wasn't so far off the mark.

    You're right, all abuse stinks. I'm interested in that (parroted) seminar, is it on YouTube?

    You are definitely helping.

    Blue.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
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    4567 posts
    25 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hey Blue

    No the seminar is not on YouTube. It was a Departmental Conference on Mental Health but that specific seminar was given by a Child Psychologist, the Head Psych here.

    I hope you can find some evidence of what she spoke of.
    It should be out there bec it wasn't HER research.

    The reasons she gave for neglect manifesting worse effects were because the incidence of substance abuse and other stuff was higher in these victims.

    I found Googling childhood schemas and even doing my own research with books I no longer have gave me incredible feedback to why I react very strongly to certain situations.
    Also "trajectories" of the types of abuse children suffer and where these trajectories PREDICT we will all end up, how we will be as adults etc.

    You and I smash those trajectories out of the water, mind you, I'm sure PLENTY of ppl do!!
    We're not alone just according to such research we're in about the 5% yeah because the research is NOT comprehensive. I'm sure they're doing the best they can lol 😉.

    I was remiss in not attending to the infidelity you mentioned. Hey I TOTALLY get your reactions and I completely understand them! Blues there's been so much infidelity in my past, I've been divorced 3 times bec of this betrayal. My parents did too.

    Infidelity is a complete deal breaker for me and I say that unapologetically too lol.

    I found the greatest learnings about being a betrayed wife through another forum but there's awesome (even FUN yeah fun!) learnings through Chumplady.com
    She ROCKS!
    "Leave a cheater gain a life" is her motto and I enthusiastically agree!

    I know you well enough to know that you have a strong sense of Justice.
    I do too.
    THIS is also a "thing" for us to learn about since it's not really very apparent out there in our society, probably never was IDK.
    I Googled this and learnt more about this about myself also.

    Reverting back to the HUMOUR in Chump Nation via Chumplady.... yeah I know, I never used to laugh much either BUT I can have a full on belly laugh now, even through near tears, when thinking of the circuses I endured.

    Nice stuff to talk about on Christmas Day hey Blue!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS dear friend and we may as well HIGH FIVE too!

    Hugs right back at ya!
    Love EM

    3 people found this helpful
  10. Jstar49
    Jstar49 avatar
    824 posts
    25 December 2020

    Big hugs.

    I'm just going to sit silently in support at this time.

    My two sisters, you are awesome, and awesome support for each other. And both of you so supportive of everyone else here also. It blows me away.

    Love,

    J*

    2 people found this helpful
  11. Jstar49
    Jstar49 avatar
    824 posts
    25 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Thanks Blue,

    for your answers to my questions.

    It's good to know that you are close with the very ppl most able to understand and relate to what you're experiencing, tho perhaps they may be reluctant to go there if it's triggering.

    All I can say is, tho what you experienced was normal for you, it wasn't great, and you deserved so much better. That doesn't make it any easier, I'm sure, but it may allow you to be righteously angry about what you didn't receive, from the ppl who were tasked with caring for you. They failed in their duty of care, and that's why you feel let down. You have the right to be safe, and loved and cared for. It's a basic human need. And I'm very sorry that need wasn't met.

    The PTSD- the only thing I can compare it to is my delayed shock after a car accident with a truck. For days I replayed that event, and was so very tired I could not move or take care of my daughter.

    Our mind is a sensitive thing. It can do wonderful things, and also horrific, unhelpful things. I wonder if the teachings of Dr Caroline Leaf would be interesting to you? She talks about the malleability of the brain, and how we're often run by root thoughts that unknowingly control us. Very scientific- her presentations are easier to grasp than the books by themselves. I liked it, but not sure if it's suitable for you at this time.

    I can understand why neglect can be called the worst abuse. There are stories of infants with 'failure to thrive' syndrome, because of never being picked up, or cuddled, and cared for lovingly, affectionately. We need this stuff, and without it, our development could be stunted.

    Maybe you got cuddles from your sibs? Is there anyone else who you can remember being loving?

    My aunt was a great source of comfort, esp later in life as I looked for role models. We saw her once a year, but it was enough to open up my loving caring nature. My memories of those visits are golden and backlit, like in the movies lol.

    With care, and not exactly silent after all,

    J*🌻

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    25 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Thank you EM and J*, you guys have helped me through today. It's been a busy day and I have work ahead of me first thing, tomorrow. Will reply properly when I can spend the time and focus, I'm staying over with my partner's family for a shorter drive to work in the morning, they live closer than I do.

    Kind thoughts to you both, I think you're pretty awesome, too.

    2 people found this helpful
  13. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
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    4567 posts
    26 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hey Blue and a wave to J* and everyone reading,

    Blue, I want you to know that you're not alone at all. As sad as this is to say, childhood abuse and neglect is a 'shared human experience' for so many of us. That quote is from Kristen Neff who is a gentle psych and researcher in healing from trauma and espouses self-care as the ONE thing we can do to promote healing. This is found in her research.

    But I see you trying to process not only how the childhood experiences played out but also very importantly how your adulthood experiences played out. Both contributing to WHO you are now. Moreso how you are REACTING to them ie how you "are" now as an individual.
    Is this correct?

    I think it's far too much to try to process and work out at once.
    If you took one traumatic event OR one of your reactions now OR one thing you'd like to work out now, that would be plenty!

    I think it's kinder and more mentally healthy to PICK ONE.

    It seems the infidelity of your past partner has really deeply affected you (and this all intensely affected me too). Seeings as you're in a new relationship, it could be the most relevant to process?
    IDK that's up to you entirely.

    It's easy to feel overwhelmed when we look at it all in one bucket lol.

    Lastly, just as self-care covers SO many things to help us heal.
    So does forgiveness. No I'm not going all religious on you! LOL! It's actually a THING outside Christianity too!

    Forgiving ourselves first being the most powerful.

    Just as our parents are not perfect, neither are we. No one is!
    And I find when reflecting upon our own lives and those who've harmed us, we compare every single person to some idea of perfect.
    Perfect parents, perfect partners, perfect co-workers saying "they weren't supposed to do that!" etc.

    But they do and they did and we do because NO ONE'S perfect.
    This is where we can forgive all others if we forgive ourselves first.

    I think you'll find Brene Brown's online talks eg her Ted Talks very entertaining and VERY useful.
    Another researcher but one that straight talks in stories.

    Love EM

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    27 December 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hey there EM,

    I'll start with your first post. I'm sure I can find related research. Do you recall any names articles she may have cited? I suspect the incidence of substance abuse in neglect survivors probably has a bit to do with lack of parental guidance, or mixed signals in what guidance they got (actions not matching what they say). My lot were at least consistent about that, and didn't hand down any genetic predilection to substance abuse.

    You remind me a lot of myself in some ways, EM. All the research you do, and that bull-headed determination to beat the odds. I've read a bit about those trajectories you mentioned. I think there aren't many people avoiding them because of just how bloody hard it is to get anywhere with so little support. At the risk of tooting my own flute (and yours), it takes a hell of a lot of strength and discipline to get through the crap we have in more or less one piece. Most people just don't have it.

    I appreciate your understanding re the infidelity, and I am sorry you have been through that even once, let alone multiple times. Seriously, what is wrong with people? I would have to say that event is the possible PTSD for me - the other stuff is solid trauma but events too numerous and muddled to have quite the same individual effect. Definite reactions to them, it's going to take time to sort out what reactions mean what.

    I'll have a goosie at that site at some point. I think tackling it with some humour is good. I've been known to laugh at my own pain from time to time, if not on that subject at this point. Still too raw, though it wasn't recent.

    I completely agree about your unapologetic stance. It is a deal breaker. For me at this point, not just in a partner. It is rare for me to turn away from a friend, but I did end a friendship not so long ago because she committed adultery. It's not like she didn't know he was married. She made the choice to do one of the most destructive things a person can do and I won't have that influence in my life. Just no. The people we keep in our lives reflect our own values.

    Merry Christmas indeed, my friend. What light banter we deal in for the festive season, haha!

    Blue.

    2 people found this helpful
  15. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    27 December 2020 in reply to ecomama

    On to the next one, EM,

    Thank you. Not being alone is a good thing, though the fact abuse and neglect are so bloody common, not so much. Added that name to my list of research tools.

    Yep, you've read me quite right, at least to a reasonable extent. I'm not necessarily trying to process it all at once so much as following the daisy chain of interconnectedness. I pulled one thread, it led to another, which led to yet another. So my mind is a bit of a jumble of all this stuff that is related. It started with little perceived social slights and with trying to get financial help and being let down by the system, feeling like I was being told I don't matter. That led back to neglect from my ex, and further, back to my parents. That back to the infidelity - same reactions but stronger. It seems to me that reaction came from infidelity being the biggest shout of "YOU DON'T MATTER!" of them all.

    You make sense re looking at one thing at a time, but I'm sure you'll see my point that it's hard to isolate just one thing when they all play a part. Not sure yet how to narrow down my focus, it keeps expanding again.

    Would you not say forgiveness falls under the banner of self-care? Honestly, I'm pretty lousy at it, and frankly have found a lot of religious types (not all) to be worse at it than me, if you'll excuse my saying so - all dogma, no commitment. Forgiving myself is no easy task. I do hold the perpetrators responsible for their own actions but I'm not a believer in being a victim. I'm one of those people who holds onto shame and judgement of myself for allowing myself to remain in those situations. I didn't have control of it in my childhood, but later... Damn, but I screwed up good. As for expecting others to be perfect... I want them to manage at least a quarter of the standard I hold myself to. I have learnt to expect less than nothing. They still disappoint me.

    I've heard the name Brene Brown around the place, usually attached to sappy inspirational quotes. I hate inspirational quotes. But maybe her stories are good.

    Kind thoughts to you.

    Blue.

    2 people found this helpful
  16. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    27 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Hey J*,

    No problem. Gotta learn to talk about this stuff eventually, right? Keeping it to myself got me into this mess.

    My siblings and I don't talk in detail about all this stuff, it's just a tacit understanding I guess we didn't feel needed talking about. Bits of it come out at times. I think I would have no trouble broaching it further with them - a outcome from the lack of physical expression is that we are all very proficient with verbal communication and able to discuss pretty much anything.

    Thank you, I agree I deserve better. I thought so at the time, and all the times in my adulthood. Believing better from others was possible, that's where it all fell apart. Just hadn't seen an example to know it existed. I have my moments of righteous anger, but mostly it just makes me tired.

    One of the articles I read said vehicular accidents was one of the big things that results in PTSD. It's entirely possible you were experiencing it. They went on to say with support it generally eases up and becomes manageable fairly quickly - I hope you had that support.

    I'll add Dr Leaf to my list of resources. Partly because she has a fun surname. ;) I'm always interested in the mind's processes, and how it works. Knowledge is power, and all that.

    Yeah, I've read about failure to thrive. I don't remember anything before I was 4 or so. Whether I got any affection before that, I couldn't say, but it sure seems doubtful.

    Nah, no cuddles from the siblings, we had no model to know that was a normal thing to do and didn't figure it out until adulthood. No family members or anything that were affectionate. Bunch of cold fish, the lot of 'em. I made some friends in adolescence that like to hug, quite the eyebrow raiser for me. I ran with it if someone else initiated, though it was faintly perplexing at the time. Glad you had someone in your environment at an early age that could model affection for you. Me, I found covid a bit of a relief in some ways. It still doesn't feel natural to run around hugging everyone, and it's kept people off me - ol' Blue is selective with her affection.

    Hope you had a good Christmas.

    Blue.

    2 people found this helpful
  17. Jstar49
    Jstar49 avatar
    824 posts
    27 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hi Blue,

    So much to process, it may take a few days for me to do so properly. Your story is so very different to mine and I don't want to assume anything.

    Yes maybe it was PTSD, and I did recover, tho I didn't have much support. I remember struggling to care for my small child and my baby father (not even an ex really as it just never really was like that) came and looked at me, perhaps he took her for awhile IDK. Altho he did drive up and get us both after the accident so I guess it could have been worse. I remember anytime I was near a truck on the road after that, for years, I felt awful and moved away as fast as possible, even to the point of getting a speeding ticket once. The cop knocked it down because of my explanation which was nice. Goes to show the power that strong experiences have over us I guess.

    I've tried to catch up a little on your other thread, but my eyes aren't good tonite. I think you've commented that the PTSD has shown up more in recent experiences which resemble the original trauma and neglect..?

    That makes sense.

    I can imagine that as achild and a dependent, you were too busy coping and surviving to fall apart. Your brain labelled life as 'normal' and hence possibly why they seemed to repeat in later life- it's said that we seek out whats comfortable, not necessarily healthful.

    I personally am comfortable being misunderstood. It's not what I want, and I feel desperately disappointed at being misunderstood or misread by others, but I seem to recreate it. Then I feel like I'm not being heard and that I'm not important, disliked, have nothing useful to offer- you get my drift. (I'm basically thinking aloud here- sorry!) I guess what I'm working on now is valueing what I have to say, even when it is misunderstood. And recognising that many ppl in history have had important things to say, and had to fight very hard to be heard. The popular viewpoint is not necessarily the 'correct' or most useful one to a problem.

    So I guess I can see that sometimes the thing which we try to remedy, and feel most unloved about, is our superpower. if we can manage to turn it around.

    The interesting thing about Dr Leafs work( yes it is a cool name lol) Is her work on the root thought. So maybe, if you are pretty self aware, ( and you seem to be) you can begin to track the thoughts you have, which are bringing you down. It might even be helpful to journal or draw a tree- start at the thinnest branches. A branch is a thought.take your time.

    I'm out

    J*

    2 people found this helpful
  18. Jstar49
    Jstar49 avatar
    824 posts
    27 December 2020

    Also Blue,

    please forgive yourself for staying in bad situations. It wasn't your fault. There was obviously something in them which met a need at the time, or a reason you stayed.

    It's really important to be your own best friend. Tell yourself the things you would tell someone else you care about and can see suffering. Give yourself the love you needed and deserved as a child.

    Which reminds me of a rebirthing excercise ( sorry if this sounds too far out)

    To lie in a safe place and visualise your own self at a young age. Spend time doing this, listen to her, find out what she needs, what hurts etc ( it's funny, the language may even be quite childlike and pictural)

    AND THEN... give your inner child what she needs. Hold her, if you can. comfort her, tell her that it's ok, that you're sorry you couldn't be there at the time to make it better, and tell her that you're here now, and you will protect her and care for her.

    Don't judge yourself or be critical, and just let the experience be whatever it is. But make your surroundings as safe as possible, and as supported as possible. A blanket, soothing music, and time to rest after wards. Water.

    Does this sound hopelessly trippy and hippy? If so I apologise- that is my background. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (and I suspect you're quite practical Blue!)

    Also I can relate to covid being a bit of a relief- I felt ok about not being incredibly social, I didn't feel the need to perform and get out of my comfort zone, which meant I felt more 'normal'. Isn't it funny how we do that? Judge ourselves based on what seems normal for others? The pack instinct to conform!

    Still, ....HUGS!

    (You may raise your eyebrows at me, I'm the type who will hug you anyway lol)

    J*

    2 people found this helpful
  19. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    27 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Hey J*,

    All good. Not assuming things is a wise fallback.

    That all sounds understandable. I still get a bit uncomfortable seeing motorbikes coming toward me after one slid out on a corner, straight under my wheels (the rider survived, if somewhat the worse for wear, and totalled my car). It's pretty normal I think, for something like that to stay with you. An incident with a truck would likely leave you with a lot of unhelpful "what if" thoughts. Are you doing better with it, now?

    I have a few threads on the go, do you mean the main one, in Long Term Support? Honestly, I am rather verbose, I wouldn't expect anyone to keep up with more than one of my threads at once, if that. I would say that trauma responses have been showing up recently, I don't think as severe as PTSD, but related to neglect. Still muddling through the experiences and reactions, trying to make sense of it all. Noticing disproportionate dismay at minor situations that might not have hit me like that in years gone by. Too many layers of bad atop each other.

    As an adult I did consciously look for relationships/friendships that didn't resemble my upbringing. Methinks something in my subconscious may have been sabotaging my efforts for a long time. Though honestly I'm not even sure that is true. Everywhere I look there are people in unhealthy relationships, I do think there is a huge failing in our society in teaching people to communicate and value each other, so neglect and abuse do come up an awful lot for possibly the majority of people.

    Your attitude to being misunderstood is good. That said, your communication is perfectly straightforward and easy to understand in my opinion. I've never been a fan of popular opinion, I'm always the one pointing out the elephant in the room while everyone else is desperately ignoring it. I actually really relish that role.

    I wonder if you are not being misunderstood at all - I have learnt that people rarely see what is in front of them. When they seem to be responding to you, they are often responding to their own thoughts and fears and memories, their perceptions and just plain crap they've made up. It just isn't about us. That is what I find so infuriating. I believe that is at the root of my experience with people and why it is so common. I have sought all my life those who can actually see what is real and acknowledge it. Uphill battle, I can tell you!

    Blue.

    2 people found this helpful
  20. Jstar49
    Jstar49 avatar
    824 posts
    28 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hi Blues,

    Yes I think long term support is where I tried to read up a bit.

    I like that bit about the elephant in the room- Some wierd moments when I've realised that no-one else seems to see or acknowledge said elephant.............I think it usually leaves me tongue tied. I'm better at writing my thoughts I think, but tbh the thoughts that are returned still seem to indicate a muddled message. But yes, ppl have their own agenda, and it's not usually about trying to answer your question or concern. Politicians ! Spin!

    I'm totally fine now, that happened nearly 20 yrs ago. And the closest memory I had to be able to relate to your experiences of PTSD. I think it was probably more just delayed shock tbh. I berated myself heavily for all the decisions I made leading up to that accident believe me! And I have never since exhausted myself cleaning the house before a long trip! So I learnt something!

    Gosh yes! Communication is not taught at all, conflict resolution needs to become compulsory, and valueing ppl- I know I have not valued ppl nearly enough in my life. Perhaps it is a consequence of getting older that I now do. Then again, I come from a generation where men were supposed to be distant fathers and husbands, and this generation has a totally different story. Do you see communication skills changing in younger ppl? Fathering expectations def seem to be changing.

    Did you spend Christmas with family?

    Cheers

    J*

    1 person found this helpful
  21. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    28 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Hey J*,

    Funny it's a Dr Leaf talking about roots and branches, haha. It does actually seem to be a useful technique, tracking the thoughts. I haven't specifically journalled about them, but the threads I'm following (or branches, for this analogy) are the very basis of this whole line of conversation. I'm big on self awareness, always try to be honest with myself about where I'm at and where it's from.

    Thanks. Yeah, I had my reasons for staying. I don't rate them as good reasons from this end of events. Forgiving myself is a big ask, it's hard to get my head around. I'm definitely not my own best friend. Don't get me wrong, I'm no self-hater, but I also hold myself to high standards. You're not the first person to suggest treating myself as I would treat someone else in my shoes. Intellectually I can do it, emotionally, not so much. Just can't get the feelings to follow the logic, the little buggers do what they please.
    The rebirthing exercise does have a bit of hippie essence to it, but that isn't a bad thing. I've heard about it before, though somehow didn't relate it to me or my situation at the time. Dunno how I'd go trying it, the whole concept is pretty alien to my experience. I've only ever thought of my past self in terms of "here's how to not *&^% this up".
    Hm, can't say I relate to performing or wanting to be normal. Just the word "conform" makes me cringe, haha. It's given me something to tell people other than "I'm too tired to go out", though. I do find it tricky maintaining connections when I have such sparse social energy.
    Don't worry, I'm mostly good with hugs these days, it's largely dependent on the person (I may still raise an eyebrow, haha). You have been kind and supportive, I'm good with hugs from you. :)
    Blue.
    2 people found this helpful
  22. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    28 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Yeah, that's my main thread. It's huge, and a lot to follow if you've just come across it.

    I think I'm better at writing than speaking my thoughts, too. Still, communication is a two way street - if you can string a sentence together the other person has to be willing to listen and ask for clarification if they don't get it. I don't think it's even political spin. I think people are genuinely oblivious to what isn't coming from inside their own heads. It's scary how unwilling they are to engage with actual people.

    Glad you're doing okay with it now. And some learning came from it. Not a nice way to learn.

    Completely agree. I guess I learnt to value people through knowing what it felt like not to be valued. Why would I invite someone into my life to treat them the way I'd been treated? That said, getting close enough to someone to value them significantly is another matter.

    I definitely see better communication skills in younger people. It's a slow process, they're nowhere near where they need to be, but each generation is clearly better than the one before. Funny you should say that, my partner is you get than I am, definitely better at respect for women than people my own age.

    Yes, Christmas was with family. Lunch with my siblings, dinner with my partner's extended family. It's a bit more quiet and chilled with my lot, we both found things a bit rowdy at dinner. It was good, though, just wish I could have slept for a week after, instead of working the next day.

    Blue.

    3 people found this helpful
  23. Jstar49
    Jstar49 avatar
    824 posts
    28 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hi Blue,

    I'm glad you're ok with hugs from me. Thats nice.

    your Christmas sounds lovely but busy, so I get why you wanted some time to recover. We used to have Christmas Day and then Boxing Day, and that always felt a bit too much. But better than turning up to someones place not very hungry and a bit over Christmas everything because we'd only just finished lunch. This year was no in-laws as they moved away, so much more relaxing. I'm still recovering tho!

    What does your partner think of your family?

    there is very few ppl that seem willing to really communicate. Which is sad for me as a communicator! But has also led me on a path of polishing my communication skills. Even to soundbites for the 'unwilling to listen'- my H gives me plenty of practice as he is very stubborn and won't accept my wisdom unless he thinks it comes from himself. Or another man lol.

    Nice that your partner is younger- I think I read that right. Yep, mine is older and much more stuck and anti-feminist. It's been a work to get him to change. He still lokks put out when I have a good suggestion and he finally follows it and realises....LOL! At least we can laugh about it now. The older I get the more male chauvinism I see. I expect less tbh, but see more.

    Haha lol leafs and braches LOL I din't see that one. Oh dear. too caught up in my own thoughts!

    I had a good one last nite, I'll put it on my thread,

    Cheers

    J*

    2 people found this helpful
  24. Jstar49
    Jstar49 avatar
    824 posts
    28 December 2020

    Feelings are funny things.

    Sometimes I tend to treat them as their own experts, and follow the feeling, so to speak. It may be a more powerful indicator of the block to energy flowing than anything. The thing is to be accepting of your feelings I guess. And respect them, after all who you are is why you have survived as well as you have. Our coping mechanisms are really pretty clever, even if there comes a time when we need to recognise that they are no longer serving our purposes.

    It sounds like you might be a bit emotionally shut down, which is totally understandable, given what you've told me. You are still you, a wonderful caring intelligent human being, capable of love and capable of receiving love, if I'm reading between the lines of your current r/ship correctly. Thats nothing to be sneezed at. 💚 (green is the colour of the heart chakra- more hippy sh...t lol ) It probably makes you very capable and practical. Am I anywhere near the mark?

    It depends on what you want. Or maybe it's what you want to not be present in your life...? Such as the PTSD symptoms...?

    Cheers,

    J*

    2 people found this helpful
  25. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    28 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues
    Hi Blue's Clue's, I just came across your post. I started tearing up reading it, I'm so very sorry you went through all of that. I hope you're doing ok. You don't deserve any of that.
    3 people found this helpful
  26. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    28 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Hey J*,

    :)

    Yep, it was busy. I'd normally not have more than one social thing in a week, never mind more than one in a day, so that's a lot of energy spent for this little introvert. Doing Boxing Day as well sounds a bit much to me. We actually had a nap at his dad's in between, before coming out for dinner. If I hadn't had work the next day I think I would have been fine. Glad you had a more chilled Christmas.

    My partner likes my siblings. He hasn't actually met my parents though we've been together for years - one is a hermit, the other lives too far away. He's a little reserved with my bro and sis I think because they haven't spent a huge amount of time together, but he sees their caring natures and intelligence and appreciates them.

    You mirror my own thoughts about communication. We've both spent a bit of time on polishing it, methinks. Sorry to hear your husband doesn't do so well with listening. I know how frustrating that is, even without the misogynistic aspect.

    Yes, my partner more than a decade younger than me. Mum jokes that I'm a cougar. Who cares? I've been on the other side of the same age difference in a previous relationship, I like it on this side better. I think that chauvinistic attitude does just get worse the longer a man carries it, that really sucks.

    Hehe, I do love some good wordplay.

    Accepting feelings... Oh, I have so much to learn on that front. Not my greatest strength by any stretch. They do have something to tell us, though. Like a sore leg with no bruise may indicate a deeper injury, hurt feelings do the same. A lifetime of being taught it's not okay to feel, or getting hurt further if any vulnerability is displayed unfortunately does give one a blockage with trusting or allowing feelings to do their thing.

    Yeah, I'm the first to admit I'm a bit shut down, emotionally. Working on it, with much help from my beautiful partner, but there's a long way to go. But you're right, I kick bottom at being capable and practical. ;) All good with the hippie stuff, I appreciate different perspectives.

    The (possible) PTSD symptoms have watered down over time, but I sure would like to be done with them. I would like strategies for dealing with them when they come up, mainly, and ways to constructively face the root causes. I'll be better in myself and in my relationship with a bit more in my toolbox for that.

    Thanks for being around, J*, I value your input.

    Blue.

    2 people found this helpful
  27. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2238 posts
    28 December 2020 in reply to Missing user

    Hey Tayla,

    Thanks for stopping in. Sorry my story is upsetting to you. I'm a tough piece of work, you needn't worry too much about that, mostly I'm trying to find answers and augment my strength through this thread. It is helping a lot to speak openly of some things I never really have, and to have some validation that what I went through isn't normal and my reactions to it are justified. That's probably what I've struggled with most. You're right, I didn't deserve it. It's nice to hear it from someone other than me, though, that bit of kindness goes a long way.

    Kind thoughts to you, Tayla.

    Blue.

    3 people found this helpful
  28. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    28 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    No your story didn't upset me Blues, I meant I was teary eyed in a sympathetic way, like I feel sorry for you. Sorry I didn't word that right.

    2 people found this helpful
  29. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    29 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hey Blue and a wave to J*, Tay Tay and anyone else reading...

    Busy thread since our D&M Christmas morning lol! I THINK I'm caught up!

    Gosh where to start.... I took note of you feeling averse to hippie things and inspirational quotes etc LOL!! Omg I think those are me manifested in human form hahaha ("ecomama"!).
    I'll try to communicate in a more grounded way.

    But when we're trying to put experiences and feelings and reactions to trauma at any age into WORDS then it is quite "lofty" in itself do you think?

    Tracking back, I think your only question of me, albeit in convo... was "what's wrong with people?" in relation to cheating ppl.

    Btw my BF doesn't like me describing myself as a hippie LOL! Bec he thinks that signifies a "free-loving" person. But I call myself a tree hugging hippie and tbh 2 of my psych friends are hippies too. One has exited my life (I think she also had "relations" with demon - how distasteful blerghhh and perhaps she's suffering the same sexual health issues as it and so we move on lol). The other I'm related to being Alexa.

    2 other significant friends who are psychs working in the industry.

    Ok just had to let you know for the back story a bit.
    Sorry that Conference about abuse / neglect in children and trajectories was years ago, so IF I still have notes on that, it may take me a while to find them. TBA lol.
    Their research HAS to be skewed but whatever. ALL research can be.

    demon threw out any book I was learning from so I don't know the titles of some, sorry.

    BUT there's a wealth of info online about Childhood schemas. Formed by 3yo and solidified by 7-8yo they say.
    SO MANY of our reactions to things as adults are because a childhood schema was triggered.

    I did a Schema checklist and scored both myself and demon at the time.
    OH YEAH they turned out to be SPOT ON with what was being triggered.

    "Know Thyself" is very important.
    Knowing our closest ppl is less important but I find that if they caused harm or trauma then understanding their psychological make up and just categorising them myself is SO HELPFUL to me.
    I thought demon was a Narc but had other tendencies. UNTIL Police did a checklist with me and they scaled him as a psychopath.
    So it's a narcissistic psychopath = extremely dangerous. (Ya think? YAH!)
    I digress...

    Just remember that when I'm describing "cheaters" it's from a mix of research lol, psych sites and my own experiences.

    I'll be back, driving kids all over.

    EMxxxx

  30. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    29 December 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hey Blue

    Re: cheating. I have my OWN confirmed theories about why but they're works in progress lol.. & would offend so many ppl bec they're about the cheater's childhood.
    I was forearmed with knowledge about the 8 things cheaters DO before I joined Chump Nation & read up on Chumplady. She always refers to them, she's BRILLIANT.

    Chump Nation was like my spiritual home, I ALWAYS felt understood there & always saw my reactions played out (not to mention demon etc).

    Stephen Covey says in his AWESOME book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" & other online clips.... basically there are 2 types of people:
    1. Personality based (or completely UNbased since they have no or little foundation), &
    2. Character based. Not as in Disney lol but in character traits like empathy, fidelity, trustworthiness, honesty, truthfulness etc etc etc!

    Covey does a better job lol.

    1s need SO MUCH attention all the time. It's like an empty void they can't fill & seek all sorts of everything in attempts to fill it. They can't, hence the mousewheel & wash / rinse / repeat of their lives.
    Unrepentant cheaters (lol I laugh at anything remotely religious now with you!!), let's say unremorseful cheaters have zero character IMHO.

    They don't have the capacity to feel guilt, never remorse, nor do they EVER accept responsibility for their actions or themselves IME either lol.

    Blue it wasn't that YOU weren't special.... it's that NO ONE ELSE ON EARTH is "special" to them except for themselves. NOT even the affair partner. No one.
    Clearly you're AMAZING so if anyone's blind to that then too bad too sad really.

    This is ALL ABOUT THEM.

    Never about you.

    This can buoy you if you see it that way!
    You most definitely dodged a bullet NOT marrying that one.

    You'll see cheaters blame shifting their actions on to their spouse.
    LOL! omg how pathetic & juvenile (we might be mammals but I use my frontal lobe lol!).
    You'd LOVE to hear what I SAID to demon mil when she did that to me... I gave it ALL back.

    Then there's smoke screening, rug sweeping, future faking the list goes on with ALL these things WE would never do.

    Because we have CHARACTER. We are 2s.

    2s like us have standards, codes of Ethics, morals etc that play out in our lives BECAUSE we have character. Being faithful is one of them.

    As far as I'm concerned the 1s can go eat themselves.

    A sturdy 2 is what we seek in a partner IF we are a 2 also.

    Blue, the actions of that ex was nothing to do with you.
    Nothing.

    Love EM

    1 person found this helpful

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