Working On Us ~ PTSD

Thank you Beckie for hosting another week of Working On Us. The topic this week is PTSD and C-PTSD. If you’d like to participate, head over to Beckie’s Mental Mess for all the particulars.

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Although I was never formally diagnosed with PTSD, I have it. What is PTSD?

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My ex was/is an alcoholic. He also had/has (I’m just gonna go past tense since he’s no longer in my life) had many narcissistic characteristics. Whenever he was drinking, he became a nightmare. He would rage, throw things, name calling, gaslighting, in my face screaming with a finger two inches from my face or chest. Occasionally he would push, shove, smack or throw objects at me. This would go on for hours and hours. He would follow me room to room, he would supply my “side” of the argument and then argue against it… it was torture. Not ‘like’ torture, it was torture.

In a recent post Ursula of An Upturned Soul wrote about feeling like her narcissistic parents were going to explode like a bomb and the tik tok tik tok that leads up to the BOOM! (She wrote a lot more cool stuff too. Go check it out) I understand that feeling. I never knew what kind of mood my ex was going to be in when he came home from work. I never knew what words or actions of mine would set him off.

Beckie recently shared a post from another blogger, Cynthia Bailey-Rug, that describes Coercive Control  very well. Living under those conditions for years left me traumatized. When he finally left the state, I was free from him but not the damage he had caused.

I’ve written other posts about him, the abuse and my eventual freedom. There are five or six. If you’re interested in digging into the back files, they can be found under  Domestic Abuse in my Catagories. I think this post describes my escaspe best.

PTSD doesn’t ever go away. That’s my non-medical, no degree opinion. I think we find a way to make the trauma part of our life story. I didn’t have therapy after he left, but I had had years of therapy over a decade earlier and still remembered a lot of what I learned. I had previous trauma from being sexually abused when I was a child.

I don’t get triggered anymore, but I do get twinges or nudges every once in a while. Little things will remind me of that time; reading a fictional story of a man confronting a woman in an angry way, wondering what kind of mood Ben will be in when he gets off the bus, or reading about the feeling of walking on eggshells.

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Graphic Source

PTSD isn’t a punchline for a joke. It isn’t something only war veterans get. PTSD, like the event(s) that caused it, is life altering. It doesn’t have to control your life though. There are ways to reduce or mostly eliminate the flashbacks and other symptoms. I survived the abuse, I can definitely survive the aftermath.

So can you!

32 thoughts on “Working On Us ~ PTSD

  1. Your honesty and bravery in talking about your experiences always amazes me – it is so helpful for others. I’m still coming to terms with some traumatic events that happened in my family when I was a child and opening up about it is still hard. So thank you. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Talking or writing about it does help to get it out, but it can also be difficult reliving it. For me, it’s about not letting the past have power over me. If my experiences can help others, that makes me happy!🌻💌

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First, Angie… Thank you so very much for participating in “Working on Us”, Week #18, Topic: PTSD/CPTSD. I know this subject matter is a difficult one, as I too have it, and was diagnosed. You write about the emotional, mental, and abuse of what your ex-husband put you through, and I was flashbacking to when my father did the same exact things to my mother, me, and occasionally my brother. My sister rarely ever was affected by the “Torture”, as you aptly stated. I still to this day have nightmares of the abuse, the rage, and anger, the punching of walls, and throwing things. He was a cop/detective in our town for several years, basically my entire life. I remember he’d come home, begin drinking, then out of the blue get up from his recliner and approach me over something (I honestly have no recall), but he would twist my arm around my back and slam me into the wall and call me punk. This was when I was 12-years-old through 17.
    I’d have to call his own police department on him to break up the domestic abuse, we’d have to run away from home to get away from him.
    (The list goes on, and on, and on). Then, the date rape when I was 21.
    Like you stated, PTSD never goes away. We cope. Certain triggers hash up those memories and can leave us feeling vulnerable all over again as if you were sent back in time reliving the experience.
    I have dealt with this since I was a child, it wasn’t until I was in my late 40’s did I learn that there was a name for what I endured. PTSD. I honestly thought that this only occurred to men/women in service, not just an ordinary person. Boy, have I learned so much since then. I learned of so many cases from so many people. It’s heartwrenching to have learned of so many cases, and stories alike. But this is why I wanted more attention brought to this topic.
    I so appreciate you taking the time and sharing your story with all of us, Angie. I truly hope that there are others that will read these stories, and have the courage to break the cycle and get away from the situation and/or circumstances they are in. Lord knows it’s not easy, but there are resources out there.

    Thank you again, Angie. God Bless YOU! 💚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for hosting this topic and the awesome series. I love reading everyone’s responses each week. And big HUGS and thank you for sharing your own PTSD inducing traumas here in my blogspace 🤗💕🥰
      It’s a difficult topic because it needs to be talked about, but talking about it can trigger us and other people. But if we dont talk about the tough things like domestic abuse, sexual abuse (my ex raped me too) and other topics that make a person feel so isolated and alone, how will we ever shine a light into that ugly dark?

      Help is available for sure! Each person has to find the kind of help that is most healing for them. Therapy is a great place to start, or writing/blogging/journaling…whatever feels right.

      Hugs and love my friend!!🤗😍🌻❤🌠🌈

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are most certainly welcome, Angie.
        Again, I know this is a difficult subject, but we do need to bring more light to it.
        I can’t even imagine how many people there are as I type away, that are isolated, abused, neglected, etc…
        If just one person reads what one of us or all of us wrote… And they see we are survivors, they may seek the much needed help they need. That’s what this series is all about… Trying to make a difference by helping others.
        Many thanks again, for being such a lovely individual to share your story with all of us.
        God Bless YOU! 🙏🤗😘💚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Recently I saw a TV episode where there was an abusive husband. It wasn’t revealed WHO he was (the abuse) until the very end. Nobody (not his wife nor his mother-in-law) ever said word one about his behavior, but the the wife described it as “when he gets upset, he gets upset BIG”. If anyone has been a victim (it’s the word, not, perhaps, the FRAME OF MIND), they know what that looks like. And oddly enough (to me anyway), it’s not just the physical abuse of such a person, it’s the mental/emotional abuse – the ‘gas lighting’. Good for you for being a survivor and putting that behind you firmly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Melanie🌻
      You’re absolutely right about the mental/emotional being worse than the physical… for me it was the same. He slapped me a few times, pushed me, threw hardcover books at me… but that was easier to bear than the hours and hours of lecturing and yelling.

      I did take something positive always from all of the torture. I survived it. And if I can survive him, I can survive anything. I am strong! Anyone with PTSD is strong, we are all survivors!
      💌

      Like

    1. Thank you Ursula!
      PTSD is a difficult topic. Your other comments about it triggering the bad stuff and the brain insisting… I thought about that, had been thinking about it since I was having trouble writing the post.

      I had several nudges recently and that told me I needed to write it. My problem was more of…format?… I didnt want to write about the abuse in detail or my symptoms in detail either. I wanted to say “THIS happened, I have PTSD because of it, THIS is PTSD and what it feels like, other people have it too, we’re survivors”.

      Its isolating… first the abuse, then the fear and anxiety of freedom and worry about the abuse returning. Then PTSD wollups you between the eyes and knocks you down in random moments, BOOM! just like the abuser, so you hide again. I feel a need to help people. To be a teacher waiting for a student, but also a student looking for a teacher at times.

      And now I’m off on a tangent…AGAIN… 😂so I will say Thank You again and cue Arnold and wave Goodbye for now👋

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It took me ages to accept that I had C-PTSD.

        Complex PTSD is slightly different from PTSD. C-PTSD can develop through repeated highly stressful experiences without a particular traumatic event occurring and is sometimes classified as an anxiety disorder. Just in case anyone reads this comment and wonders.

        Took me even longer to say it out loud in a post.

        I still was reluctant to admit it.

        And I still don’t mention it to people in RL.

        Even though I wrote about it when I told my story on my blog, but I didn’t realise I was writing about it until afterwards.

        I’m also self-diagnosed. I grew up with narcissists who try to get into your head and who mess with your mind, and my godfather was a child psychologist who was used by my narcissist parents to mess with my mind… so I’d rather do my own therapy even if I make mistakes, etc. and it takes longer.

        What’s the rush… taking care of yourself is best done in your own way at your own pace 🙂

        You rock, Angie!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you👩‍🎤🎸🎶💃
          I would be very surprised if you didn’t have lasting effects from your childhood.
          I can also understand not wanting to admit it. You got away from them, done!, they dont get to still mess with your life. Plus, until recently, the stigma around any kind of mental health issues was bad. It’s still not great but it’s been cracked and it will be broken.

          Self diagnosis and self-guided therapy are the best thing for some people. Just acknowledging an area of pain and wanting to heal it is a giant step in the right direction. Thank you for the compliment of your trust in sharing 🥰😍

          You keep rollin with what you’re doing and I’ll keep on rockin 😉😎🌻❤💌

          Like

  4. Your openness in sharing your story really helps others. All of the information you provided too is great. I really like that – strong emotions are normal reactions to abnormal situations. You are a strong woman. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Robyn🤗 When Ben is going through a rough patch or when a meltdown gets violent it’s so similar in some ways to my ex. My daughter and I both feel a little of the PTSD during those times.
      It can happen to anyone and it can manifest in so many different ways. Like all mental health subjects, it needs to become a regular part of conversation.
      I just want to help everyone😂 My younger daughter’s friend used to call me “Mama Earth” because I was mama to everyone.😁

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😁 I’m still leaving comments on your posts but the still aren’t showing up. I dont understand it and it’s very frustrating to me. I’ve tried three or four times on the same post of yours at times and they just aren’t showing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well written and expressed Angie – can totally relate to the experience of that with my own father and l know my mother went through it with him ten times worse – she too would agree with you. From a personal level – you are spot on correct – IT NEVER goes away, you just learn to cope with it better and give a wide berth to triggers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Angie! I also have ptsd but from child abuse. Its horrific and an awful thing to live with. I’m glad you don’t get triggered nowadays, I wish I ddidnt, but I am plagued by triggers especially at night. I could relate to your post, you are so brave to share it with the world! I hope we can become friends, I have did, and complex ptsd! I amalso blind, andI am living in Ireland! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! You have got a lot of challenges. That sucks that you still get triggered so often. Every once in a while a tone of voice or a smell or even something I read will get my heart racing and my stomach gurgling. I dont think it ever goes away completely.

      Thank you for letting me know that my post resonated with with you. I remember how alone and ashamed and hopeless I felt when things were bad. My hope when i write about those times is that someone will read it and know they aren’t alone, there IS hope, and they have NOTHING to feel shame about.
      Hugs!

      Like

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