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.

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.

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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.

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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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Me, the shower and my mother: another revision of a narrative

Last weekend I came back to a memory from my childhood that has been tormenting me regularly for decades, but I will never have an answer to it. In this case it all starts with a memory, but the question I ask myself in relation to this memory has no answer. Once again I have to live with creating a narrative for myself - another narrative that I have now revised, just as I recently revised my narrative on the subject of sexual abuse in my childhood.

COVID – Trauma – Depression

For a month now I have been reconnecting with my traumas - in the plural.

Trauma Survivor

Page from my journal from today

Today I wrote in my journal:

Trauma survivor? How does this sound? I have never thought of this term before, it is not used so much in Spanish, it seems, but it makes a lot of sense.

I survived:

  • prolonged emotional abandonment by my parents,

  • arbitrary violence, especially in my early years,

  • psychological violence,

  • permanent intrusions into my intimate space by my mother, completely ignoring my autonomy over my body,

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Sexual abuse and uncertainty: from "I don't know, probably not" to "most probably something has happened"...

Living with uncertainty about possible sexual abuse is a crappy. It is difficult to manage the pain of an unknown past, especially when emotions from your past start to haunt you.

From flashback to flashback?

I don't know if I'm still in my flashback from the beginning of the week, or if I'm going from flashback to flashback. I can't seem to recover, or not for more than a few hours. Yesterday I had my fatal moments, and I was struggling most of the day not to fall completely. I managed in the afternoon, and, in fact, felt quite well during and after the assembly of my beloved queer group at my home.

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