CPTSD: When The Monster Leaves A Gift Behind

A Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one (or more) of the following ways:
1 Directly experiencing the tA Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one (or more) of the following ways:

1 Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s).
2 Witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others.
3 Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend. In cases of actual or threatened death of a family member or friend, the event(s) must have been violent or accidental.
4 Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse).

B Presence of one (or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred:
1. Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s).
2. Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s).
3. Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring.
4. Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).
5. Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).

C Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following:
1 Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
2 Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).

D Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:
1 Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs).
2 Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted,” “The world is completely dangerous,” “My whole nervous system is permanently ruined”).
3 Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead the individual to blame himself/herself or others.
4 Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame).
5 Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
6 Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
7 Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings).

E Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:
1 Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects.
2 Reckless or self-destructive behavior.
3 Hypervigilance.
4 Exaggerated startle response.
5 Problems with concentration.
6 Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep).

F Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month.

G The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
H The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition traumatic event(s).

Today was a bad day.

2 Witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others.
3 Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend. In cases of actual or threatened death of a family member or friend, the event(s) must have been violent or accidental.
4 Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse).
B Presence of one (or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred:
1. Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s).
2. Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s).
3. Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring.
4. Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).
5. Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).
C Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following:
1 Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
2 Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
D Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:
1 Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs).
2 Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted,” “The world is completely dangerous,” “My whole nervous system is permanently ruined”).
3 Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead the individual to blame himself/herself or others.
4 Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame).
5 Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
6 Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
7 Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings).
E Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:
1 Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects.
2 Reckless or self-destructive behavior.
3 Hypervigilance.
4 Exaggerated startle response.
5 Problems with concentration.
6 Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep).
F Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month.
G The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
H The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition.

The Beginning

I’ll be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t even think i expect anyone to read this. I’m not trying to develop a following. I just felt the need to write. In the past notebooks were my go to. I filled pages and pages of notebooks with poetry, random thoughts and feelings. And it helped. Maybe that’s what I’m seeking. To recapture that expressive part of myself. As a 30-something mom of 3, I push down more of myself than is probably healthy. I eat my feelings and I’ve shut down inside. Which leads me to me writing this in my bedroom while my family goes about their lives without me. Do other women feel like this? Do their “I just need a minute” moments turn into all day in bed? Do other women go all day without speaking a single word to anyone in the house, drifting in and out of their lives like a ghost? How is this my life? I feel like I’m sitting in the eye of the storm. It’s quiet here, but its still raining. Its still lightening. There is still a storm inside me.

I’ve tried to seek help, and medicate. It seems to help the lack of motivation. I even started going to the gym and eating better. I’ve lost some weight. But still my brain doesn’t understand that we’re different now, that we’re trying to be better. No one explained that all the medication in the world won’t help a negative mind. A mind that has been negative so damn long it has no idea how to change. A mind so filled with resentment, envy, fear and anger I can feel it choking me most days. I’m well aware of my shortcomings and right now they’re killing me and all the relationships I’ve managed to hold on to. I don’t even know if knowing I’m not alone in this is enough anymore. I know I can’t be. But knowing someone else is stuck here too just makes me hurt for them too. How can I be perceived as the funny girl at work, the one that’s not afraid to speak their mind, yet as soon as I get into my car I drop the mask on the seat next to my ID?

This may never go anywhere. I’ll probably get maybe a week in and forget all about this blog. Scratch that I won’t forget, I’ll lose motivation, desire and become apathetic. Where did I go? When did I stop being a me I recognize in the mirror? Who is this person who wanted children so badly, who still cries because she can’t have anymore, that ignores her children in favor of laying in a dark room? Sure they are fed, clothed, and want for nothing, but when did I stop giving them hugs? When did I stop knowing their favorite colors? What their favorite gifts would be? When did I stop knowing them? I’m so far from the mom I thought I’d be. How. Did. I. Get. Here.