Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Trigger warning:

In this part I publish texts about my own process of dealing with my complex trauma or complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and other related topics. These are texts that I wrote at the time, and writing these texts was almost always a therapeutic process as well.

It all started in the summer of 2016, when my childhood trauma made it impossible for me to continue "functioning", and the question of whether or not I was sexually abused in my childhood was dominant, an obsession. With this began my search, for the child that was me, to reconnect with the pain and fear of my childhood. It was the beginning of a rather painful process of dealing with complex PTSD. And I am still in the process of figuring out how to deal with the issue of childhood sexual abuse, but I am ever more clear that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

The confinement during the health crisis caused by COVID-19 in the spring of 2020 caused a prolonged flashback, and I especially flashed back to my adolescence, to the feeling of impotence, of not being able to escape from a painful situation. But I also flashed back to other aspects of my early childhood: texts like Falling? or The House of My Fears are results of this process. Thankfully, this prompted me to get more to the ground of my complex trauma, and allowed me to make huge steps towards recovery.

I now understand my trauma as a complex trauma, and putting a name to it helps me to understand what is actually going on. I am now on a long journey of recovery.

The process is not over, and I keep adding new texts when I feel like it.

The first paintings of my inner child

Trigger warning:
This text contains images and descriptions of sexual abuse, violence, thoughts of suicide, among others.

About three weeks ago I told my psychologist that whenever I connect with my inner child I always feel something in my stomach that I am not able to identify. She suggested "why don't you let your child paint?" Easy to say, but at first I found it very difficult. Although I have done a lot of work with my inner child since the end of February, as I wrote a month ago, until then all my work with my inner child had in a way been done in my imagination. Now, how can this child, who exists in my imagination, actually paint in the real world? I understood clearly that it was not about imagining paintings, but about painting for real, through me.

Aftershocked – trauma and activism

Aftershock is a term coined by pattrice jones in her book of the same name. She writes:

Aftershock is my word for the reverbations of traumatic events endured by activists. Aftershock may include posttraumatic stress or depression as these are experienced by people who have undergone other kinds of trauma but it may also involve reactions related to the context of activism.

Sexual abuse and healing my inner child

Deviant Daeva writes in an article on complex PTSD and Healing your Inner Child: “Victims of complex trauma have often gone through long-term abuse, neglect and abandonment during childhood. That has left them with an extremely hurt and wounded inner child that has never felt the safety to just be a child, that has never felt the love and care they needed, that has never learnt about boundaries or self-protection.” How true.

Who is Angélique? And what does she have to do with my gender identity?

Angélique comes to my mind again, and this time in the context of my gender identity since childhood, which is the issue that has been agitating me all week. But, in reality I have almost no memories of Angélique. On 23 December last year I wrote about Angélique:

My gender identity since childhood

For the past few weeks I have been reflecting more on the development of my gender identity since childhood. Seven weeks ago I wrote about my questions regarding the gender identity of my inner child, and a few days later about reconsidering the development of my gender identity since my childhood.

Sexual abuse and healing

A little over three weeks ago I wrote about coping (badly) with sexual abuse, and although I felt I was coping badly, at the same time it was the end of my permanent internal dialogue about sexual abuse in my childhood. I wrote:

Sexual abuse - and beginning to heal

A fortnight ago I started to accept the sexual abuse in my childhood as a reality. I wrote a fortnight ago about my difficulties in dealing with this reality - the sexual abuse. And, the reality is that I am still in a lot of pain, and more and more anger, more and more rage. But, my permanent internal dialogue is definitely over.

Rage! (and insomnia)

Rage!
What do I do with my rage at one o'clock at night?
I imagine going to my father's house. I guess he still lives in the house. I really don't know. I don't even know if he's still alive. I hope not. Although I'd like to know so I can celebrate.
Rage!
I imagine going to his house in Germany, I imagine knocking on the door, and when he opens it, pushing him inside, hitting him. Punch him until he's unconscious.
I imagine taking a hammer and smashing the windows of every window in the fucking house.

Coping (badly) with childhood sexual abuse

Sexual abuse? Sexual abuse! Fuck! I feel abused, violated. I feel disgust, fear, pain and anger. I feel... I don't know what. I feel that I inhabit a body used by others - by my father, my brother. I feel their invasion into my body, this body of a seven, eight, nine year old kid, but I also feel my "cooperation", my "participation" in my own abuse. I sucked the cock. An active act. With disgust, yes, with fear, yes, but I sucked it.

PERMANENT INTERNAL DIALOGUE

Images
Shitty images
Me, as a child
Seven years old? Eight? Nine?
Me, as a child
Looking at an erect cock
Looking at it
With fear
And I cry
I cry, cry, cry

Images
Shitty images
Intrusive images
But what do they tell me?
Are they real images? Fantasies?
Are they telling me something from my past, from my childhood?
Sexual abuse?
It is my permanent internal dialogue

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