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C-PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving



The newest book I've read.  A lot of good information.  Considering that C-PTSD is like PTSD but with the added caveat of ongoing abuse with the idea that the abuse is inescapable.  Adding hopelessness into the mix.  I definitely felt that way.  In this book, the author says that at the core of C-PTSD isn't necessarily the trauma itself, but the emotional neglect that comes with it.  In my case, my parents not believing me when I told them about my brother.  Having that confirmation that I wasn't important, that I was a liar, or that I was essentially unloved, was totally emotional neglect.  Spending the rest of my teenage years in the same house as my abuser with my parents who didn't believe me and my other brothers who somehow didn't have a clue. . . I felt worthless and unimportant.  I caved in on myself in order to not feel all the suicidal feelings that I had.  Kept me going until I could find the hope for myself to keep going and find happiness.  The author also talks about emotional flashbacks and how when that happens, its due to repressed feelings of abuse coming to the surface and that you need to have grounding items to remind you that you are in the present.  Those feelings aren't necessarily how you feel now.  He also talks about Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn responses and the positives/negatives of each state.  He has a table where you can see how to look at other positives of the F responses and take inspiration from them.  Like myself, who is a Freeze response, can look to Fight responses to get emotions that aren't there in your own response.  I have a hard time standing up for myself in the most minor of situations.  Not idealizing the F responses as how you should react but just to self reflect on what you may need in order to get out of your own response reaction.  That there are also mixes of them as well.  The Inner Critic and Outer Critic are also important in C-PTSD.  The Inner Critic criticizes yourself like for me, "I'm so stupid." That those statements that act like innate sentiments are actually feelings that others made you feel during your trauma or emotional neglect.  The Outer Critic being the voice that tells you bad things about everyone else.  "Everyone is going to hurt you." Etc.  Because of my dissociation, I have daydreams that take me from reality where I imagine me escaping from people trying to hurt me.  Or worse, where I don't escape.  It is like a visual Outer Critic.  The book gives advice on how to shrink the critics.  The next big takeaway is about healing.  Acknowledgement and grieving is essential.  Having empathy for yourself, compassion leading to forgiveness (if possible and he admits some scenarios where that is not possible), becoming your own parent for the inner child stuck in the past, having insight and understanding for your story.  Just to be kind to yourself.  


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