CPTSD often occurs as a result of being made to feel unsafe because of your identity. Feeling powerless to change who and how I was, made me fearful, anxious, aggressive, which exacerbated my reality as an outsider. I was trapped within a cycle of stimulus- response and I had no support or skills for understanding and changing my responses to discomfort, need, fear (which, while smaller(easy to ignore) reactions may have curbed the need to abuse or banish me, technically would not have been an actual solution). It was consensus that the manner in which I expressed “no, yikes, STOP, or ouch” was THE problem. As well as my inability to move tf on and pretend to be ok, pleased even. These things about me, which seemed to cause the tension, appeared to be unique, permanent and pervasive. Believing in my terminal defectiveness drove a whole battery of other issues.
One source describes victims of early childhood trauma “as a burden to themselves and others and a minefield many would prefer to avoid”. I think that sums it up.
Complex trauma disorder is a psychological disorder that develops in response to prolonged repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in which the individual has little or no chance of resolution, repair, or escape. This way of being is not inborn and is not pathological– but is caused by lack of nurture- within bad relationships with people, on whom you must rely on to be caring, trustworthy, and protective.
I am working closely with a therapist to develop plans, goals, skills that are less insular than me trying to manage my reactions. With peaceful connection as a goal, I can no longer settle for minimizing the outward manifestations of my stress or pain. That failed to yield results worth continuing. Self regulation is essential, for sure, but still just a survival tactic- to limit how upset I might become from a person whom I percieve as intentionally menacing. Response management would have more than satisfied my family and the male version of my sister, whom I married.Much Love,
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