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Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Trigger warning:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Child abuse
  • Sexual violence
  • Swearing

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.

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 house of my fears

Moltkestrasse 81, 41 Duisburg-Duissern. Here is the house of my fears. Although I lived the first eight years of my life in this house, I have almost no memories beyond this address that remains etched in my memory, as if written in stone. The name of a neighbor. They tell me she was married with a son. I don't remember. I don't really remember the neighbor either, all I have left is her name (or rather her last name). I'm also told that we visited her once after we moved out, but I don't remember anything.

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Restlessness

I woke up very restless today. I didn't sleep well during the night either. I woke up at 4:30 a.m., and from that time on I could no longer sleep, or at least no more than half an hour. Still in bed, I thought about my paternal grandfather, and my anxiety rose, just as it does when I think about the house where I lived the first eight years of my life (I really have no memory of the house, beyond the address and I know quite well where it is in my hometown). But the anxiety went down again when I stopped thinking about my grandfather, or of this house.

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Calmer waters

After a week of much turbulence and storms, today I feel in calmer waters. I feel the anxiety in my chest, but more in the background. It's there, but it doesn't fully occupy me.

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Fear. Anger. Rage

I have to admit that the police drove the fear into my body yesterday. Yesterday, after I came home, my body was tense until the evening. Not even a long, hot bath was able to relax the body. It was tense and my body hurt from the tension. Only at night, after another anxiety attack and crying I don't know how long the body finally relaxed, the tension disappeared.

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Police: fuck off!

I woke up today feeling pretty bad. I got up and started to write out how I feel in a text, and then I went to the river. Already on the way I had to cry from time to time. I sat by the river, where I always sit, but this time after maybe 15-20 minutes a local police car arrived. They asked me for identification and asked me for my justification. I tried to explain to them that I need to be there, look at the water and cry, because of some old traumas. They asked me if I was on medication, and I said no.

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Falling?

Am I falling again, this time into the abyss of my infancy? In the last days I felt that I was coping with my emotions related to the current situation, with the trauma of my adolescence. With ups and downs, yes, but I didn't feel too down, nor did I have to cry too much. I was managing a manageable level of anxiety.

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Emotional roller coasters

After my cry of despair last Monday, I have experienced a week of emotional roller coasters. My cry was heard, and I am very grateful for the support I have received, the concerned calls, and especially the support of my flatmate the same night. I was at such a low point that I was afraid of myself, and I didn't know how to get out of this state of despair.

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I can't take it anymore!

I can't take it anymore! I can't take it anymore without seeing my friends! I can't take it anymore without hugging my friends! I'm crying. Out of sadness. Out of pain. I can't take it anymore! I'm at my limit, or rather, I've already passed my limit. I can't take it anymore!

I have thoughts of suicide, stronger than ever. They scare me. In the bathroom I thought of breaking the wine glass to cut my veins. I didn't (obviously). Last night I thought of cutting my veins with a shackle. I can't take it anymore!

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Overcoming my trauma (Coronavirus and trauma 4)

Normally I write more when I feel shit, but this time I decided to write and share how I feel even though I feel better.

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Untitled (Coronavirus and Trauma 3)

Three weeks of confinement, and today they have announced another extension - until 26 April. Although it was to be expected and I'm not surprised, it did touch me. Moreover, they now say that the "situation of exceptionality will be extended "for a while longer" after that date". This is not surprising either. But it sucks.

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by Dr. Radut