PTSD & Self-Care

Here is another blog post written by my friend, Jill Lillis. Read this one slowly and a couple of times over to make sure you really catch the fullness of what she is saying. There is brilliant insight in this.

On the subject of maintaining your self-care practices when Complex PTSD symptoms are overwhelming and you are just plain TIRED of always having to work harder than you should to maintain normal living conditions and relationships:

Most of the people in my life have no idea how much extra processing I have to do just to sit at a table and eat a meal with them.

Bathroom routines are fraught with triggers.

Normal life is disrupted frequently, on an internal level, by flashbacks on the subconscious and the conscious level. On the unconscious level, they cause feelings of anxiety and it’s accompanying physical and emotional symptoms to varying degrees without one’s being able to discern why those feelings are arising. When the flashbacks are conscious they are all-encompassing and often result in varying degrees of disassociation as a coping mechanism for overload of reliving the original trauma point.

This is actually your mind’s way of buffering and protecting you from something that was unendurable when it happened, and overwhelmingly difficult to relive.

Flashbacks are a re-experiencing of an event or events that left an indelible crater of destruction in your soul and spirit. The body also remembers and will relive physical pain and trauma. This results in experiencing normal behaviors that most people find comforting or pleasurable as unpleasant or uncomfortable, all the way up the range to completely terrifying.

Often when the trauma occurred there was no support or comfort or healing for the victim.

Often those who should have provided these were the ones perpetrating the trauma.

Or they were so enmeshed with the abuser that they were unable to acknowledge the damage done to you, and revictimized you by their denial and even anger at you.

They were most probably also victims and having a difficult time processing their own trauma.

The trauma that is denied is never processed and remains like a painful abscess that infects your entire system.

There are constant symptoms of illness and your sense of worthlessness and self-hatred increases as you struggle to understand WHY you cannot function normally as you see others are able to.

Much of the reason for my persistence in the practice of my self-care is the direct result of my anger.
I AM NOT LETTING YOU WIN, MOFO! I WILL TAKE BACK EVERYTHING YOU STOLE FROM ME!
Anger can be your ally when you direct it towards healing as an act of defiance against those who tried to destroy you.

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