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i've asked what caused your ptsd before, but what makes you feel healed and whole again? for me, selling my dad's house and closing his estate were huge steps in healing. his suicide is finally starting to get behind me now, at least as much as i can ever expect it to.

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  • 3 weeks later...

People impressing upon me that it's okay if I'm not healing as fast as I expected has actually really helped me. Irrational guilt about being raped is bad enough without the addition of irrational guilt about how I can't be trying hard enough to get better if I'm not all better already.

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I have, as most of us do, multiple sources of PTSD...horrific childhood for starters, fucked up drug addled decades til I got clean and took my MI serious, finally, in the nuthouse--suicidal for realsie.

How I deal with it is therapy, therapy and more therapy. I have been with my therapist whom would die for me, and vice versa longer than any of my husband or LTRs. That's saying something. Sept. 18 is my wedding anniversary to my dead husband who was my soulmate and while our time was brief, I know it's not over. We've been dancing together for lifetimes, but the grief has kicked my ass royal. But on my 2nd anniversary, wedding that is, I started therapy with Dr. Greevy (goddess has a sense of humor) and we've been together for 3 years.

Bradley's death anniversary is number 5 on October 16th, and only those who have been through a devestating loss can grok how timeless it is. I can't BELIEVE it's been 5 years. But I cry and it's not for as long, I'm not in my bed (a rule I set for myself) and I'm dealing.

Which to summarize, for me, the best way for me to *deal* with the PTSD shit is to talk to like minded folk--people who have BEEN THERE, as the folks who have not don't get it. In my widow circles we refer to them as the DGI's. And the world is full of DGIs. "what you're not over it YET??" I've gotten down right rude and say "fuck off" and take my leave and find someone who does "get it". I dont spend time anymore (which I used too) ruminating over the DGI's and how much of a disappointment they are. Because I have found them to be the closest people to me usually, unfortunately. Bleh.

Never give up, never surrender. Be a warrior for your soul and do everything you can to wrap your head around whatever thing horrific that has happened.

That's my 2 centavos.

S9

S9

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I tried being in a group for adults molested as children and it was too traumatic. I have a friend who is a Viet Nam vet with PTSD - also sexually abused as a child. His friendship and the fact that he is gay and his understanding of my bi-sexuality/asexuality has been very healing to me. I think he has BPD as do I and we've both had a lot of therapy. Our friendship can be very volatile because of that but we are managing to deal with each other and understand each other very well. I cherish him as a friend and we are very careful with each other as we now know the type of things that are triggers. Trust issues are huge with both of us and it's revealing to see how that all works with him because he mirrors so many of my own behaviors.

For the most part my therapists have seemed overly cautious with me and I've had a hard time sticking with them. I'm too aware of how negatively they tend to view people with BPD and I get hurt so easily! I tend to give them only very shallow material to work with....some day maybe I'll find one that I can trust.

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I had to get past my needing permission to grieve before I could begin to heal. I decided I was going to hurt forever, and be fucked up forever, and that was just the way it was going to be. It didn't matter whether it was right or wrong, or whether anyone approved, and I didn't have to go through the correct anger-denial-bargaining-accepting phases in textbook order. Once I reached that point the pain began to recede.

It also really helps to have someone you can talk to who understands what you are feeling, or at least accepts what you feel without judgement. People who expect you to get over are so harmful.

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  • 1 year later...

People impressing upon me that it's okay if I'm not healing as fast as I expected has actually really helped me. Irrational guilt about being raped is bad enough without the addition of irrational guilt about how I can't be trying hard enough to get better if I'm not all better already.

Just knowing that I have PTSD helped me so much. Before that therapists saddled me with Bp and I knew that I did not have that. I think instead of GAD I had PTSD all this time. I think the triggers were not as severe as the last trigger which was more of an "episode" that lead me to seek treatment. All of those panic attacks that were said to be the result of Mitral Valvle prolaspe were PTSD small episodes. The depression that followed those attacks were terrible. I never felt completely SAFE no matter where I was or what I did. I thought because of the past abuse I would never feel safe again but I am feeling better every day. Reading the Courage to Heal was also a healing milestone for me. I did not suffer like those women did but I understood how they felt. I know what is like to feel broken and to be afraid. I have triggers now but I know that I can stop them and I can remain level headed and not totally freak out. Finally a diagnosis!!! This is great news to me!!

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  • 10 months later...

A little backstory first: I have OCD and have done since childhood. In middle/high school I became convinced I was a danger to children after recovering some baaaad memories- what happened was my OCD brain latched onto a note in a psychology class that said "abused people become abusers" and it said, "well, you were molested, so you're gonna grow up to be a molester."

So for the next decade or so I was petrified of being anywhere near children, and I hid this feeling even from my husband. In therapy I finally told someone, and we started working on it. But the big thing that healed me, that let me start to see an escape from the obsessional fear, was this:

I used to have neighbors on the upper floor, across from me. Two young parents and a three-year-old boy. The father was an alcoholic and liked to get into loud arguments with his fiancee in the middle of the night. One night though, I saw them fighting in the parking lot.

They'd got out of the car and were yelling, the man suddenly kicks the woman - as she's holding the child. He's crying, she sets him down and he runs up the stairs. He's howling on the landing, right in front of my door.

I opened the door and looked at him. Suddenly, my brain clocked out and something primitive took over. I found myself engaging him in conversation, to distract him from the awful scene below. I ran into my spare room and found a stuffed animal for him to hang onto. And when his father had scurried away from the scene and he wanted to go back to his mom, I carried him down on my hip rather than let him go barefoot down the stairs and possibly get a splinter. It was like someone else was operating my body and voice, someone who knew what to do for a child in pain, and afterward, I felt like...I don't know. Like I was lighter than air, full of something bubbly and joyful. I had surprised myself. I had proved the OCD wrong.

The final proof, though, came when I had to take care of my niece and nephew's bathroom duties while babysitting. I realised I could look at a child in a vulnerable position and not feel anything unsavoury, that those feelings were NEVER part of me. I would change my nephew's diaper and think "I'm making him comfortable and happy again" and that was ALL I thought. I don't know what Bad People think in these situations, but I don't think they give a shit about a child's comfort or safety!

Of course, now that I'm free of that obsession, OCD has decided to teach me a lesson by giving me suicidal thoughts 24/7. Yay, I guess.

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@tenthdoctor: That's a beautiful story. I think when you are situations where you can confront your fears (and win), you realise you were never as bad as you thought you were.

I guess what has started me on the journey of healing is slowly accepting that a) what happened to me was actually that bad and b) it wasn't my fault. I think I have a while to go yet but I'm getting there!

Something else that has helped me is finding people and places - CB for instance - where I can feel safe about talking about my experiences, and feeling like I can finally open up. A very good friend of mine used to remark on several occasions that it was hard to know me because I would often not reveal much - if at all - about my personal life. Over the years, I'd built up so many walls around myself that I had quite an impressive inner fortress. It was helpful in the short term because I would feel protected, but it was also isolating because I was holding everyone away at arm's length. Finally being able to talk about the past has been an absolute relief.

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