Mayo Clinic Connect
Catcatanzaro60 I have PTSD. It helps to know you have it. It explains why we do the things we do
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@catcatanzaro60– Welcome to the PTSD group Cat. As you can see there are many of us. Can you tell me more about your history with it?
Hi, I just recently found this site. I originally was in a discussion on another page but decided to look to see if there was something similar for PTSD. I was diagnosed in 2008 at Homewood Health Centre in Ontario, Canada with Complex PTSD, major depressive disorder and addictions. I live in PEI, which is a small province in eastern Canada. I went through addiction treatment here over and over but always failed because of the un-diagnosed PTSD. At the time PEI did not understand that addiction was typically driven by an underlying condition. My story is long so I will try to break it down! Ironically, during my using I would have told you I had no trauma! My mother raised my brother and I herself after my father died when I was 16 months old. My mother was severely abused by her father, brother and sister growing up and then entered an abusive relationship with my father. When I was 12 she was the first person on PEI to be diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder, now called Dissociative Identity Disorder. (First remembered trauma) then I went on to an abusive relationship for 10 years, eventually I was treated for both the PTSD and addiction uncovering other earlier traumas related to a border we had when I was 4. I have been clean and doing well for several years but this last year has been challenging and now with the Covid-19 virus changing all our routines, I am lost again. Many of my symptoms are back…over-active startle reflex, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, depression and anxiety. On top of that I feel like I don't have the right to complain as I am not sick nor is anyone close to me. What are others doing to stay regulated? How are you dealing with the panic? Thanks for giving me a place to vent…take care!
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director, Jim, Volunteer Mentor, Parus
Hi @deidre, I'm glad you found this discussion on Mayo Clinic Connect too, and shared your story. You are certainly not alone with PTSD. I'd like to introduce you to @parus @jimhd and @smilie (who is also Canadian, by the way).
Only this morning, I was listening to a CBC broadcast about liquor stores in Ontario selling higher volumes of merchandise since COVID-19 and thinking addiction relapse related to COVID-19 would be a good topic to start in the Addiction & Recovery group. Would you like to start a new discussion and ask that same question about how others stay regulated here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/addiction-recovery/
Liked by Parus
This is indeed a hard time for those of us who are having to deal with covid19 on top of mental health issues. I'm depending more than usual on my service dog, Sadie. She is sticking close when I move around. When I go out to work in my shop, she lies on the step by the door, or lies on the lawn, watching for me. I walk to the barn, and she's walking next to me.
You've done some hard work to get where you are today. I know how traumatic it is to deal with the things that have caused our PTSD. I've told therapists things I've never said to anyone. I didn't realize that the things I've lived through all added up to PTSD. I thought that was something that happened to people who fought in wars – I'd never heard about civilian PTSD, but it's certainly real, isn't it.
It's interesting to see how addiction interacts with PTSD. I've never had a chemical addiction, but reading your story kind of gets my brain thinking about other kinds of addiction, such as behaviors and attitudes. I need to follow that train of thought. I appreciate that you brought it up.
We deal with difficulties in different ways. Some of my therapeutic coping skills are focusing on my yardwork or jobs I need to do in the shop. I'm working on some old chairs that are wobbly, regluing dowels and tightening screws, cleaning them up so we can use them again. They've been sitting in the shop for years. It's been helpful to do some of the old jobs. I feel more productive.
One other thing I do to cope with the stress is meditation. There are numerous methods of meditation. I focus on a paragraph in the Bible and let it fill my mind, at the same time letting the other thoughts clear away.
I have to stop writing. I'll be looking forward to hearing how you're doing.
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director, Parus, Ginger, Volunteer Mentor
@catcatanzaro60. My father was abusive and Bipolar. My mom had Adhd. I was married to a man of 30 yrs. He had many secrets. He was narcissistic and a psychopath. I lost my children to him. I have never been the same.
My dearest Cat, I am Peach who has posted a number of times as I am Afflicted with PTSD.
from the moment I was born it started. I was not wanted and am sure I was the product of a rape. More info on that later. Not only was I abused by both parents but also by my older and two younger sisters. Very seriously so. This was both a mental and physical abuse. Hitting, screaming I am a nothing, etc., etc. All day long and every day. Told to kill myself as I was not wanted. Beatings by all constantly. I lived in the streets most of the time. I was the one to clean the apartment, wash the cloths, shop. I suffered all my life from this. Left out of all family matters, etc., etc. This still continues so I stay away and do not respond. On top of all this it is clear my parents are insane but functioning. It is a lonely life, no relatives. Both my parents are dead now and just today I foul letter cane in the mail from my older sister stating the youngest sister died January 29th, more than a month ago: and that the other younger sister is keeping all of the dead sisters belongings and that I should get a lawyer and look into this. I will grieve but will not enter in to contacting, It would help to know how she died (perhaps from this new virus?) I am grieving now even with all the hate that enters into anything that happens with this family. I want you to know that I think this is common among many families. It will affect you, me and millions of others but I find that some how, some way you must believe in yourself. No matter what, believe in yourself. It does work. After a long while, but yes, it does work. We are the strong ones and the understanding ones and do help to make the world a better place. Remember, memories are what we make them to be. With the most understanding and love. Peach
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director, Jim, Volunteer Mentor, Parus, Ginger, Volunteer Mentor
I grieve as I read the tragedies of lives torn apart by unimaginable abuse at the hands of people from whom we should receive love. It reminds me of a book I read several years ago, I think the title is A Boy Named It, by David Peltzer. As you said, some abusers have undiagnosed mental illnesses, and could be very different people if they got help. Unfortunately, by the time they do find help, the damage has been done. Could you tell us what has helped you in surviving the trauma? Therapy and education have been key parts of my own recovery. You have the support and understanding of a bunch of people here at Connect.
Hello Jim and all others. This is Peach. The most help of all was and is to speak to a person who really, really cares and wants to near your woes. To try to understand the why? Why me? What for? To help the abuser find their relief? And why bring in the rest of the family to do the same to me? It has taken my entire life trying to understand this. The person who is doing this must, must do as much damage as possible and wants me out of their life but I think most importantly wants me and all that reminds anyone the fact that I had and did actually exist. In a way I do understand this and feel sorry that this person suffered through this. This was my mother. Believe it or not I have forgiven her and that she had also suffered through this. This took many years to do and it is now a good feeling of understanding. The last part of my journey is the rest of the family. Why did they and still do continue to treat me as a person to hate? They have been so indoctrinated by our mother so as to have her love which is needed by everyone. But why does this continue? I am still alone in this world without family. I have learned to accept and love myself and others. I do not think my siblings (three sisters) can ever change their ways so I must continue on in life alone. I love myself and God. Thank you for listening. Peach
Liked by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor, Jim, Volunteer Mentor, Parus
@deidre, how are you doing today?
Liked by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor
I am still trying to enjoy the rest of my life at age 82 in my loneliness. There is insanity in this family so perhaps my sisters have a touch of it. I can give and accept love but I do not think they can. So who wants to wait for eternity? It would be good to know of a group group of people who are looking to be part of a family. Is or are there such a group in existance now? Quite important I think? Peach
Liked by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor, Jim, Volunteer Mentor
What lovely thoughts, @peach414144. It sounds like, to some extent, you have made peace with your past. You have an understanding of what you have come through and you understand what you need to do in order to be whole and functioning.
You deserve to be congratulated for not getting in the middle of the legal battle for your sister's belongings. That would undoubtedly be a difficult trip back in time.
I appreciate you offering insight and wisdom to others suffering from PTSD!
@peach414144 I am far better off without my 2 younger siblings who were so heavily influenced by our mother's lies. Same here, they chose to remain faithful to our deceased mother. Has set me free.
Hello everyone, I am not sure how or where to begin so I am going to just jump in there and see what happens. First of all I want to address those who still struggle with PTSD. I have had PTSD most of my life. It began with my father who at one time told me i was never wanted and placing a loaded gun in my hands, suggested I do the world a big favor and just pull the trigger, I was 10 years old, all because my sister was 4 years old and had had a nightmare, her crying disturbed his poker game. I told him that it was me that had a nightmare, I couldn't bear the thought of her getting into trouble. Anyhow, as I was growing up my mother lost her battle with cancer, I was only 1 week 16 years old and I had invested 3 years tending to my younger sisters and brother. I married 3 months after my mother died. I had my first baby at 17 and my second at 18. 2 beautiful, healthy baby girls. just what I wanted. Over the next 30 plus years, I lived with nothing but abuse. Being attracted to men like my father, as with a lot of women , the abuse simply begins with your father but ends with someone just like him. One day I was able to escape a dangerous situation, like most battered women, I was lost. I made it to a telephone and dialed 0. within seconds a woman called me back and gave me direction to someplace safe. It turns out it was a shelter for battered women. I didn't even know such a place existed. I was so traumatized I spent most of my time in a corner just watching and wondering how the other women could smile, and go about cooking, cleaning and taking care of their children like nothing ever happened. I jumped at every little noise. Finally, I was introduced to a counselor. I must have looked terrible because she gasp when she saw me. I liked her, slowly I began to apply some coping skills I had been taught. One day I was sitting in the living room and noticed I felt very strange. The feeling was completely foreign to me. As I pondered over this strange new feeling, I come to realize it was "safe" , I actually felt safe, probably for the first time in my life and I liked it. I was in complete awe over my new found feeling, I began to get stronger, like my battery was being charged. I felt fully aware of my past abuses and right then and there decided I would never be abused again. It took me years to recover but I was strong enough to fight for my sanity. I was determined to get control of the flash backs, the anxiety and the depression, I cried, I was angry, I was hurt, and I was afraid, but over the next 20 years I did what ever I had to do to put my past in the past and live for today. I became a successful nurse and my goal in life was to be the best grandmother and great grandmother that I could be. I bought my own home in the country, I had made it. I MADE IT. I was free of the past, no more flashbacks, no more looking over my shoulder, no more nightmares, NO MORE FEAR. I had not only won the battle but I had won the war. I forgave my father and all my abusers, I was no longer bitter, angry or fearful of them. It was a long journey but well worth it. I truly believe my purpose in life, my reason for living aside from being a good grandma was to help people in any way I could. I have sacrificed a lot and I am ok with that. I give till it hurts but I am ok with that too. Not long ago my son moved in with me and brought a homeless friend with him. Naturally, I took on the job of fixing both of them. Recently I had to ask the friend to leave. I really hated to do it but he was smoking pot and his behavior was down right psychotic, I did everything I could to persuade him to get some help but he refused so as hard as it was I had no choice. He came back the next day and wanted to talk, I told him no there's nothing to talk about. My grandson had to come over and ask him to leave.. I have gone through a lot since my recovery, I lost my youngest daughter to a motorcycle accident, more than a few friend have died. my house burned down and I lost everything, but I provaled . But because of the young man and what he put me through with his psychotic behavior, I have been experiencing PTSD symptoms all over again. I am very vigilant, I don't even take a shower because I would be too vulnerable. I lock my doors and yet at night I lock myself and my dog in my bedroom as well. I bought security cameras that I have placed at my front door and one at my back door, I have a camera in my kitchen and one in my living room and can monitor all 4 from my phone. It's been a week today since he was ask to leave. I really don't think he would hurt me but then again I don't know that for sure. Right now I am trying to figure out why this was so disturbing for me. He didn't threaten me. He has never hurt me, and yet I feel I am over reacting to the whole thing, but these PTSD symptoms are very real indeed. The flashbacks, the anxiety, and the depression are at times almost unbearable. I thought these feeling where over and done with, I fought so long and so hard to get to where I was a week ago. I was on top of the world. I feel like a failure. Is it going to take me another 20 years ? and why did this trigger such feelings? I am 72 years old and I don't have 20 more years to gain control. I am depressed because of my failing. I must have let my guard down for just a second, how could I allow something like this to affect me in such a horrific way. I am fighting this with everything I have in me. I will win this battle again but I don't know that I will win the war. I also quit my job today doing private duty once a week. I am in pain most of the time with a bad back and retired 6 years ago so because of my back my Dr. suggested I retire full time. God I am going to miss working. I have been in the medical field for over 50 years and I feel a loss of something I always held dear. I no longer feel safe, I am uncomfortable in my own home, I am constantly on guard, I am not sleeping well, I can't eat without feeling sick. I am in so much pain that I can't relax. Standing outside myself, I think I am over reacting to something that is not what I am making it out to be. I honestly feel that no harm will come to me and my better judgment tells me i am okay. BUT I don't feel okay. I have a DR. that wil be calling me next week. I am a Navy veteran and go to the VA for all my medical needs but since the virus is here things are being done a little differently so this is a real struggle for me right now. I am so grateful for this site, I feel a little better having been able to vent. Thank you so much for being there when I needed you the most…
@jeanie26 I am glad you posted your worries. You wrote about your triumphs over past events, and that is certainly something to be proud of. Perhaps you are doubting yourself for allowing the man to move into your house, as he came with your son. Can you change the locks on your house, would that give you a measure of comfort? Are you in a situation where neighbors or friends are nearby, if there is a reason to call for assistance in a hurry? Your life right now has been topsy-turvy, leaving your job, now having someone [your son] move in. Your world has shifted. Perhaps writing down your thoughts and concerns each day, like you have done here, will help you. Choose to address what you practically can.
We are here for you!
How brave to share your story. My thoughts are that we as women tend to be caretakers and want to help regardless of what's happened to us in the past. Then subconsciously we gravitate to people that are familiar alcoholics or abusers because that's what we know although that's not necessarily what we want. I agree with Ginger and change locks. You are observant in that you noticed familiar behavior that happened to trigger events from your past, recognized it, took measures to correct it and keep yourself safe. You are a conqueror!
Liked by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor, Jim, Volunteer Mentor, Ginger, Volunteer Mentor
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