Please join me in welcoming Zoe, author of both Behind The Mask of Abuse and BuckWheats Risk. Zoe writes candidly about her experiences with abuse, rape, and the after effects she still lives with and fights daily. Zoe has also written a book of poetry: If I Could Write My Heart.
When you hear about PTSD, what’s the first thing you think of? If you’re like most, it will take your mind to soldiers who have been in combat coming back from war. While it’s true that many soldiers (if not all) will battle PTSD to some level, there are many other people living with it who have never been to war.
What causes PTSD or C-PTSD? In short, anyone living through or witnessing one or more traumatic events. There are different levels of severity with PTSD, depending on the event/s and how long one has lived with it untreated. Below is a limited list of events that can cause PTSD.
- Car accidents
- Witnessing a death
- Loss of a child
- Abuse in any form (The reason I live with it)
- Serious illness (Or surgery)
- Violent crimes
- Natural disasters
These are just a few but you get the idea.
One can live with PTSD for a long time without knowing they have it. There are some things you can look for that indicate the possibility. Below are a few.
- Flashbacks of the traumatic event/s
- Hyper vigilance
- Moodiness (rage in particular)
- Easily startled
- Feeling numb or dissociated
I’m sure you’ve noticed that I added C-PTSD, this is a more severe form of it, where one will dissociate (not by choice) in order to cope with the symptoms. It’s not to be confused with DID. The “C” stands for “Complex.” Dissociation is going numb and/or disengaging with what going on around you.
I’ve lived with C-PTSD for years without knowing it. I was born into an abusive family, and I survived all forms of abuse up into my late 20’s. I’m now 42 and it’s only been about 2 ½ years since I learned that I battle this.
Once I knew, my first question/s were, “Can I recover, and if so how?” The good news is, with hard work, it’s possible to recover. I can’t speak for everyone but in my experience, I couldn’t do it alone. I go to therapy. I don’t do talk therapy or CBT, neither have been effective in treating C-PTSD for me, in fact if anything it made things worse.
The two types of therapy that I’ve found to be really helpful are, Somatic Experiencing and OEI. EMDR is another form of therapy that is very effective for PTSD but also intense.
These therapies require you to walk through the pain even sit with it while it’s desensitized. It sounds awful, and that part is, but once done, it will no longer buckle you. The other side feels amazing. I don’t want this to be too long, so I won’t elaborate further on the therapies.
To anyone out there who lives with this or suspects having it, I’m here to say…
There is hope.