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.

Trauma, sexual abuse and emotions

Note: As this text references mostly English language sources and quotes extensively from English language sources, it has been first written in English and then translated into other languages, such as Spanish and – maybe – German.


Depression and suicidal thoughts

I have had quite a difficult week since last weekend, a week during which my depression has taken centre stage and I have gone further and further downhill, until Thursday, when I hit rock bottom and luckily I had a therapy session with my previous psychologist (my new psychologist who is an expert in trauma and sexual abuse unfortunately tested positive for COVID on Monday - something that caused me to crash brutally straight away. Luckily I quickly got an appointment with my previous psychologist).


Emptinesses. There are many kinds of emptiness. I feel a great emptiness in my life, already since the beginning of the pandemic two years ago. An emptiness of meaning. More than a month ago I wrote about the depression I have been suffering from since the pandemic, and sometimes this depression gets stronger, and I am left without the strength to go on living.

Let's talk about sexual abuse (II)

What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?

Audre Lorde, The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action, 1977

Let's talk about childhood sexual abuse

Since my last blog post about sexual abuse 9 days ago, I have been having a permanent internal dialogue, which in one way is not moving forward, or at least not very much. It is a dialogue between a part of me that does know, that does want to come to terms with the sexual abuse in my childhood in order to move forward, and another part of me that resists a resounding yes to the question of sexual abuse, that wants to continue to protect me, as it has done for decades.

Sexual abuse? - Emotional and mental chaos!

Since my episode of feeling suicidal at the beginning of the year I am getting to the point of assuming a resounding "yes" as an answer to the question of sexual abuse in my childhood.

I don't want to take it anymore! (Let's talk about suicide)

Yesterday I started the day with a brutal downturn. Already the day before - on 31 December - I had a very hard emotional flashback in the afternoon, and it took me a long time to get out of this flashback, going out and relapsing several times. And I'm not even sure if I really got out of this flashback that day. At night again I felt very down, I had a lot of fear in my stomach, and I had a hard time sleeping (and I didn't sleep well or much).

Trauma and fear

In the last few weeks I have often felt a lot of fear. Fear in my stomach. In the worst case as such a big knot in my stomach that it almost caused me pain, in other cases more like a contraction of the stomach.

Fear is the most difficult thing to manage, at least for me. I have had these purely emotional flashbacks without realising it, and the difficult thing is to realise that the fear I feel in this situation corresponds to a flashback, and not to the present.


Who is Angélique? And does it really matter?

This is not the text I thought yesterday I would write today. It has nothing to do with what I was going through yesterday, when I connected with my despair with the world, my depression, but also with the trauma of my adolescence. But everything changed overnight.


An unsafe space

Writing about my trauma in relation to my mother, about her intrusions into my intimate space, I began to connect with another big issue from my childhood and adolescence: the lack of a space where I could feel safe.



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