For me, my life tree is growing ever so abundantly; however, when the roots of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder grow over its roots, there becomes a bigger issue at hand.

ANYONE can have PTSD.  ANYONE can have Complex PTSD.  Sometimes, I feel like the little me has to shout these things because I often get told, "Well you weren't a prisoner of war, so you don't know what it's like to experience true Complex PTSD."  Yes, there is a difference between general PTSD and C-PTSD, but if there's one thing I want the world to know, it would be that everyone's trauma or experience of traumatic events is valid.  Just because someone didn't experience what I went through makes it no less traumatic and that goes for every person or animal in this world.  That being said, stereotypes are one of many hard things to cope with when it comes to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

 

Another thing I find it hard to deal with is encountering similar circumstances of the PTSD trauma years after it occurred.  I can give you an example: 

My trauma has to deal with bullying, neglect, and irresponsible people of some authority.  So when getting on the bus and dropping my bus card resulted in the driver screaming at me and a bunch of disrespect when I, who can be clumsy at times, wasn't expecting it, that resulted in me avoiding the bus driver.  The inner child inside was frightened by two things: her tone of voice and the fact that she displayed such disregard for what I call "natural order": the way things would be in an ideal situation (or the fact she shouldn't disrespect her riders, in this example.)  If PTSD wasn't involved, I could've easily called her supervisor and had it sorted from there; albeit it would've made for a very miserable bus ride, it would be the proper chain of command I was utilizing.  However, PTSD clouds judgment, placing me back into BOTH the "inner child" who was disrespected and disregarded by authority figures I once needed help from and partially into the mindset of the adult I've become, set with all of the anger from the past and the "I'm never going to tolerate being mistreated again" attitude.  From the outside and not in the moment, I can see that clearly it's not the same situation and that she shouldn't be the target of over 7 years of anger and abuse I went through; however, in the moment one of the hardest things is taking a step back with the words "This is not the same situation as it was x amount of years ago" and identifying the differences.

 

Lastly, perceiving or experiencing the same type of trauma from a mental health professional meant to help with PTSD has been single-handedly the hardest thing I have faced.  I am still dealing with this, and have yet to discuss it with my current psychologist (my therapist).  Let me explain:

Around mid-2018, my therapist asked me to try EMDR.  I have been asked by previous psychologists, and my skepticism waned which allowed me to try it for one session.  I recall it being a very hard yet helpful session.  In the start of September 2019, both my therapist and I were at our wits' ends as to what would help.  I finally (reluctantly, may I add) told her that ONE session in 2018 helped immensely, so we wound up restarting EMDR.  I trusted her fully, as you have to trust someone to a great degree when doing EMDR.  Not only were the sessions hard but helping, it also forced me to take better care of myself and I grew even closer to my therapist as a result.  A lot of childhood gaps started to fill (as my trauma happened in childhood), and I started feeling more like a whole person.  Because it often left me hyperventilating and in tears at times, I started eating on time and drinking plenty of water as it helped with the 24-hour fatigues I would get.  My sense of identity started to solidify while my self-esteem grew, and I started experiencing what it meant to be alone yet not be lonely.  I was taking my medication on time more.  Things started to get better as I was certain these practices would be a regular thing.  I was sure to show up on time to the best of my ability, and significant progress was being made.  

In the end of October 2019, she moved practices.  I didn't have an issue with her moving to another place, as I planned to see her at her new practice; however, she forgot to include my insurance in the paperwork.  When she broke the news I couldn't see her for a month or pay thirty or thirty-five dollars per weekly session (which I couldn't afford), it devastated me.  I had finally found help only to go without it again.  When she saw me in December, my progress had downgraded even past where I was before I started.  It felt like that box we used to close with all my monsters and my past in it had been ripped open by every feeling and thing that was left untouched in that month's time.  She was convinced that it was because she "was harder on me than usual" but I hadn't even noticed if she was or not; I just felt abandoned when I needed her most.  I forgave her for forgetting the paperwork but I couldn't trust that it wouldn't happen again.

It is now September 2020 and I am still working to build trust with her- or should I say, my "inner child" still has a hard time trusting her.  I really want to give it another shot, but I am fearful something will come up and break it all again.  Of course, during my trauma I had a lot of neglect, abandonment. and broken "promises" or people going back on their word for whatever reason... because some of these people were of authority or in mental health, it's been hard to even tell her how much it's affected me.

What do you find to be the hardest thing to deal with when it comes to living with PTSD?

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