Here we go again, I think?

This is a question more than anything that I really need the answer to. To make a very long story fairly short, I have had long term repeated abuse ever since I can remember. Every one of my family members struggled with alcohol, and or pills, and were all physically , mentally and sexually abusive. With the exception of my grandma, (who lived with us until she died, she was an alcoholic but not abusive). My real dad died when I was 11. I also became the the parent for my younger sister and brother, till I turned 18 and got the hell out. I was raped twice after moving out. I also had a very close friendship that turned out to be emotionally and verbally abusive for 21 years. Also my youngest adult son is very verbally emotionally and sometimes physically abusive. I was only officially diagnosed with ptsd about 2 years ago, although I was pretty sure that, that's what my problem was about a year before that. I am on meds. now and see a counselor once a week. My question is ,( and im not quite sure how to word this, but ill give it my best shot). Once having gone through everything and being exposed to all that I was, is it easier for more things to become traumatic? Im trying to make sense but not sure I am. Ok let me try this. They say once you have had pneumonia, that your body becomes more susceptible to it and you can actually get it more often. Is it possible, that having been through all this crap, it makes it easier for my brain to view things, or situations as traumatic, and there for create other traumas with different triggers, and more stressors, and everything that goes with it?

Last edited by

8 Replies

oldestnewest
  • I am so sorry that you are struggling with life right now. You pose a very intriguing question that I am certainly going to be following. Unfortunately I don't have an answer for you. Only perspectives. Things that happened to me as a child is what I struggle with today in life, and the way in was never handled by an adult. Later as a teen, what some would think should be a traumatic experience, doesn't' bother me nearly as much as the earlier childhood stuff does. So I guess that would be technically saying it has been processed as just a memory? I drive past the house the incident took place almost every day of my life. It's not a trigger for me, just a memory. That is how I see it. So at some point my mind must have been able to properly process things like that. Without much help from the medical field. So that is my perspective on your question. But we are all very different. It should be interesting to see what others have to say. Hope you can get some useful answers you're looking for here.

  • Wow, I'm so sorry, Jackie! You have certainly been through hell and back again. I don't know if I have the right answer for you, and I'm certainly not a professional, but for me, I do find that new things add to the traumas. I wasn't traumatized as a child at church. It as a huge part of my life, and has continued to be.... until the last year or so. I have been forced to run from several churches because of a perceived threat or danger. I'm no longer able to attend services - the first time in nearly 50 years that I haven't been involved in my church. My faith is strong, but the church itself has become a threat. It's strange....

    There are other areas that have seemed to add to the stress, but tonight, my brain has died and I can't remember what they are. lol I just know that there are several areas that have nothing to do with my actual traumatic events that caused my PTSD, but are not strongly involved in it.

    I hope that helps a little? Perhaps Michelle will have a much better answer than I can give, but that's been my experiences, anyway. I'm learning to accept it where it is, follow my instincts and allow myself to find my safe places. If that means I have to run from church attendance, then so be it. I pick the things I get involved in now, the places I go and the things I do based on how safe I feel I will be, if there will be escape avenues should they be needed, and how much I will enjoy myself. So far, so good. I, too, am medicated, but am not able to see a counselor or therapist.

    I wish you well, safety, and peace. :)

  • Hi

    I'm sorry to hear how much rubbish you have had to live through. PTSD involves lots of behaviour and thinking that worked really well when we lived in a jungle and were trying to avoid being eaten, but is less helpful in our complex world now. Everyone experiences some trauma in life, but for a trauma to begin to trigger ptsd it has to leave you in fear of your life, well you met that criteria repeatedly.

    Experts can predict with some success which army recruits will suffer from ptsd, sadly they are the type of young people that the army most wants. People who learn not to trust, who did not feel safe as children are more vulnerable in later life, along with other risk factors.

    Trauma then normally but not in every case accumulates and in effect fills the space available. If we dont process these traumas they stay on the side of the brain where the in tray is and the details stay fresh and raw, they build up and stop us dealing with everyday stuff. In the end the bit of the brain that we need to deal with today is so full of yesterday that we are looking at everything through those events.

    Counselling can help organise the intray but the only treatment clinically proven to move the memories across the brain to the archive section is EMDR.

    This can make us far less likely to be triggered, for flashbacks and nightmares so far more able to cope. Sadly hyper vigilance and and similar anxiety behaviour is habitual as well as a symptom. It makes us see and feel danger everywhere so we may well feel traumatised by new experiences that may not feel so bad to someone without PTSD. Cognitive behaviour therapy can help some people with unlearning this way of thinking but only after the PTSD is starting to heal.

    I hope this makes sense, it can be a minefield trying to understand this condition and apart from us all being different there is always the problem that if you are paying for therapy the therapist has a vested interest in "selling" more therapy, which can cloud the issue.

    I find sharing my thoughts and uncertainties very helpful and this site is very friendly and helpful. I also attended a course of lectures run by my health authority on PTSD really useful. It made me understand the mechanics of it, and it helped me forgive myself for having it. Hope you find understanding and peace

  • As I read your comments, I noticed that you may have noticed how the cycle continues. During my intense first stage, I just let my feelings flow with my counselor... my built up anger... screamed, cried and kept on feeling... releasing a little of the fear.

    I was for the first time taking care of me. What others did was their problem...

    A step or 2 later one can get to letting go of the unfairness of how others treated us.

    It takes time, it is a process. Your counselor is there to help you take care of you... and feel some relief! Congrats for starting the journey...

  • Hi Jackie,

    You might want to lock your post to "community" only. That way it's more private. A lot more people would respond to your posts and you would feel safer hopefully.

  • Thank you very much, can I still do that with this post?

  • Nathalie99 do you think it would be ok if I copy and pasted it? I think that is the only way that I can get it to the community page. :)

  • Sorry Jackie I couldn't reply earlier

    Just click underneath the post on that arrow then you have the option edit. Click on edit then you have a choice "who can see your post" and click in "community" save changes and done...

    You can do it for all existing posts.

You may also like...