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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.

Untitled (Coronavirus 2)

I still have my ups and downs, although I felt a little better today. But high? Far from it. I have my lows and my mid-lows, but no highs. At least today I didn't feel the need to sit by the river and cry. And I've been able to concentrate enough to read a few chapters of a queer novel. High only compared to low. And meeting a comrade on the street and not being able to hug caused me another low, in fact, recalling this back home I was on the verge of crying. Not high. Although emotionally better, I spent most of the day in my room doing little more than listening to music.

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Confinement and trauma

A week of confinement: anger, ups and downs, and retraumatization

We have already been in confinement for a week, and today our government has announced the extension of the State of Alert for another 15 days, until 11 April. It is likely that another 15 days will follow.

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We are fucked

On climate anxiety and the need to rise up

Without title (post Christmas blues)

I didn't wake up today wanting to kill my parents (nor anyone else). I didn't wake up today wanting to scream all my hate and anger into their faces. Nor have I woken up with this feeling in my chest that something is crushing me. Finally. Merry Christmas!

The last few days have been hard, painful. Christmas blues. Today I see some light at the end of the tunnel. A sunny day. An emotionally calmer day.

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Christmas Blues

Christmas. This shitty season. Family. Shit. Every year, Christmas in me triggers a depression, and this year the Christmas depression comes on strong. I usually try to escape, visit friends, and better yet escape to a country without Christmas (i.e., a non-Christian country). This year I haven't done that. Shit.

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Images: Fantasies, experiments of my mind, memories?

Lately, some images have been appearing to me, and I'm wondering: what do those images mean? I don't want to call them 'memories'. But what are they? Are they just fantasies? Are they experiments of my mind, like 'what do you think of this image, do you remember anything?'

I also have my doubts because of the context in which some of the images first came to me. However, some of the images stay with me and I can reproduce them outside the original context, while others are already being lost.

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Looking for: the child that was I

I am looking for a child that has disappeared, and neither an advert in the “looking for” section of a newspaper nor reporting the child as missing with the police will be able to help me.

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Have I been a victim of child sexual abuse?

This question is tormenting me again, and more frequently lately (in the last 2-3 years). Before, when I asked myself this question, it was usually at night when I had trouble falling asleep, and after a few days the question disappeared again. I think that many times the question appears after reading a story about a child sexual abuse case in a newspaper. It came up strongly at the beginning of July, and for the first time I thought about talking to a person. I didn't, and I went on holiday, and after a few days cycling through the Pyrenees I stopped thinking about the question.

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by Dr. Radut