This is gonna be a tough one for me but if I’ve learned anything else from my writing, I know that putting my thoughts down gives me a chance to clear my head. And I need that today.
I’ve been back home from responses for a bit now and the transition hasn’t been an easy one. I do this every situation, every event, every major life change. What do I do you may ask? Well here goes…I kick myself in the ass that’s what! I focus on what I may have done wrong instead of what I did right.
Those of us with Complex PTSD have a hard time accepting that we have any worth. The interpersonal traumas we have experienced can take away our ability to believe we have value and purpose in this world. Symptoms of CPTSD come with all those that PTSD does however there are some added elements – difficulty controlling emotions, feeling hostile or distrustful of the world, constant feelings of emptiness or hopelessness, feeling like no one understands you, difficulty with relationships, and suicidal ideation. Growing up I lived those symptoms each and every day. Imagine being a kid and having that roll around in your head all the time?! No one deserves to feel this way. I will often do a mindfulness activity where I visualize that young girl, sit down beside her, and put a loving arm around her to provide comfort. I tell her that she is not alone and is not worthless.
Journal – April 2, 2006 Will I stay paralyzed by my fear, by my anxiety, and by the voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough?
Now that I have coping strategies it’s so much better in daily life, yet I still have to fight the constant need to go over all my actions and will critique to the point of taking any positive out of them. I could score a perfect game and will still tell myself that it wasn’t good enough. So what do you do with that? Well I play a trick on myself actually. Its something I learned in cognitive behavioral therapy and has served me well. I ask that nasty old CPTSD what evidence there is to support the claims that it makes. Here’s how it looks.
Brain “You are such an idiot for forgetting to share that piece of information. You ruined everything!”.
Me “How did you ruin everything? Show me the proof.”.
Brain “Well those folks didn’t get all the info they needed.”
Me “Sure I forgot but all the other information you provided helped them make a good decision didn’t it?”
Brain “Yes they made a decision but it could have been better if you hadn’t screwed up”
Me “It was busy, I was tired, and the situation was stressful. No one can remember everything all of the time.”
And on and on it goes until I drown out the CPTSD brain and all its negativity. It doesn’t always work and some days I will crumble for a bit before I can get that logical brain working again.
The truth is that deep down, I live with an empty well that I work hard in therapy to fill up. It’s been both internal and external forces that have contributed to that emptiness. Deep down I feel worthless and unlovable. Deep down I don’t understand why anyone wants to be my friend. Deep down I believe I’m a total screw up. Deep down I feel like I am never good enough. Also deep down though, I know it’s really that little girl talking who was hurt so deeply as a child. So I will keep putting my arms around her, stroking her face, and telling her that she is good enough. Because that little girl deserves all the love I can give her.