Updated: Jul 19
I developed Complex PTSD after enduring years of unremitting sexual abuse. I wasn't amply aware until 2014 but was diagnosed five years down the road. After analyzing my past with my current physician, it was evident how trauma displayed ubiquitously throughout my life.
For example, in grade school my symptoms looked like having co-dependent tendencies, a strong desire to be in control, impulsive behavior, and a dislike of being touched by certain men.
As I got older and the C-PTSD evolved, impulsivity became thrill-seeking; it was my bread and butter, tried-and-true strategy to fill the void. A void I, at the time, had no idea how to fill. The issue was so deep-rooted inside of me that my brain (quite literally) prevented me from discovering it.
During my senior year at Rockwood Summit High School, I was frequently acting on adrenaline for reasons that I couldn't justify or explain. My actions were so unnecessary, but at the time, it felt good to feel. In the end, my emotions caught up to me; I was triggered, and it all came back.
Memories of the trauma would come in waves; each one as disturbing as the next. Over and over, like visions, they played. And for the first time, as I unearthed this trauma, I recognized that I was a victim of extreme sexual abuse (and for a very long time, at that).
With encouragement from my mom, the only person I had told, I made an appointment with my counselor immediately. However, despite a lifetime of therapy and intensive EMDR; I am still in the process of healing. If I told you that it has been "a lot" for my brain and body to handle, that would be the understatement of the year.
Besides a completely suppressed appetite, recent symptoms I'm experiencing include psychogenic seizures and night terrors. I also experience a lot of gloom due to the constant reminder of it all, shame, guilt, and perpetual fear of it happening to someone I love. It's an all-inclusive trip to the unspoken and bitter, hard-to-see parts of my life - brought to me, by my brain, because of the abuse.
Facing demons of this magnitude has never felt manageable. However, I'm thankful my brain has at least clued me in so I can begin to further heal and renew.
Everything in C-PTSD: including anxiety, depression, and hypersensitivity, has impacted my life with everyone. The abuse I survived stole a piece of me that I am still fighting to restore. Each day I plod forward and claw my way out of the dark because I am worthy of change, a healthy lifestyle, and abundant bliss; my family deserves the best version of me and I'm more than ready to move forward.
Processing my abuse and experiencing (the plethora) of related symptoms, makes for a not-so-great partner at times. I always make it a priority to keep myself together for Carson, but even the best days can be sabotaged by a song, place, person, feeling, or smell. There are times I feel as if I am drowning in the trauma, but I am truly fortunate to have a partner like Kory who is understanding, loving, and kind.
He is both mentally and emotionally supportive. He doesn't hesitate to step in when he sees I am struggling, and he's by far the most compassionate soul I've ever met to date. I don't know what I'd do without him, and I am perpetually grateful for his endless love and wisdom, despite being at battle with his own demons.
I'm still learning about life with C-PTSD, but I have learned to be patient with and to be kind to myself. I have learned how to take accountability for my life, and to love me like I love others. I am an unstoppable, strong-willed force of fight. I am worthy of healing, and I am ready for a future without trauma.
Tell me you are too and your favorite tips for coping with PTSD! For more information about EMDR Therapy, click here.