Recovery From CPTSD

Triggered by Husband’s Face

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Yesterday, the look on my husband’s face threw me into a doozy of an emotional flashback.

I was crying on the beach during our walk.

Permeating the flashback were thoughts of my dad.

Nothing specific, just kept thinking of him.

I always think that when somebody’s facial expressions put me into an emotional flashback that it is a bout my mom. I’m beginning to think it is more about my dad

My mom would often say how the look on dad’s face could change her mood instantly. She once said it made her feel shaky inside.

Laying in bed, because I was suddenly exhausted, body aches, and blurry eyes.

I felt like my heart was breaking. That was how it felt. Like I was experiencing heartbreak, and permeating that was thoughts of dad.

Then my husband came to lay in bed with me and when I snuggled up to him the smell of his aftershave made me feel like I was choking.

He was wearing Old Spice. My dad wore Old Spice.

When my husband wears it I usually have pleasant feelings.

Last night, I had to make him wash his face and neck or I couldn’t be close to him.

I’m confused because as usual I don’t have a specific visual memory to go with this feeling of having my heart broken twinged with betrayal.

The only clear memory I have of anything inappropriate with my dad I talk about in this blog post about a partial memory. It is a memory that I believe preceded sexual abuse. I don’t know this because I have a visual memory. No. But, a part of me believes that is what happened next and that is why I suddenly can’t remember any more. Because I dissociated.

It always feels like I go back on my recovery progress when this happens, but I need to realize that this is part of recovery. I am going to remember stuff. If not visually, I am sure as heck going to remember emotionally. I just need to accept that.

I love my husband so much. I know I can’t blame him for his facial expressions making me have an emotional flashback, but yesterday I did just that. I did tell my husband I was having an emotional flashback though, so he gets it. I’m very lucky to have him.

See the following video where I read this journal entry, and add a bit more commentary at the end.




Watch “CPTSD: Part of My Morning Routine” on YouTube

Just a bit of my morning routine.

Earlier this morning I took a walk with the dog around a lot of nature. I took a pic and posted it on my new instagram account of some berry bushes budding. I made it the main image for this blog post. So pretty.

The coffee is full decaf starting today. 😨

I’ve had these gemstones and crystals for years. I’ve always been drawn to them, but because of how they are made by nature. I’ve decided to surround myself with things I love, especially those made by nature. Most of these are polished up to look nice by man, but that helps to appreciate the natural beauty more.

I am putting lavender essential oils on the lava rocks, because they are natural diffusers. Sometimes I wear the bracelet, but lately I’ve been wearing a single lava rock around my neck inside a metal cage with the tree of life on it. I love it. I don’t wear it all the time, but when I need to I’m glad I have it.

Peace and Love.

~ Poking Holes ✌❤

8 Ways to Naturally Reduce Anxiety

Here are 8 things that I am doing to help reduce my anxiety naturally.

  1. Eating clean – watch what you put into your body. For me clean eating means not eating those things which cause inflammation in the body, because inflammation in the body can also affect mental health.
  2. Quit Caffeine – I am quitting drinking my 2 mugs/per day of dark roast coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant which can increase the likelihood of anxiety.
  3. Exercise – Aerobic exercise can diminish anxiety, and help with depression, because endorphins kick in which help you feel calm.
  4. Go Outside – Look around you and notice your surroundings. Allow yourself to appreciate the beauty you see.
  5. Writing/Journalling – Writing on a daily basis about my worries and fears and writing out different scenarios to walk myself through that which makes me fearful.
  6. Breathe – Often when we are anxious we are not talking deep breaths. When you notice you are beginning to have an anxiety attack, take some deep breaths to calm yourself down.
  7. Awareness – Acknowledging the anxiety can take its power away.
  8. Affirmations – Say daily affirmation to yourself, preferably in the mirror and out loud.

I hope this was helpful.

I expand on each point in the video below.

I will be following up in the near future with a video and blog post with the check list that I will be using to keep myself accountable and on track.

We have more control than we realize.

Depersonalization Disorder

After much research, I have realized that I have depersonalization disorder, also known as depersonalization/derealization disorder (DPDR).

DPDR is a form of dissociation, which can be triggered at times of high stress/anxiety.

In the following video I share information about DPDR and talk about my specific symptoms.

I filmed parts of this video on different days, the final portion was done today.

Here is the wikipedia link I read from in the video.

I hope you find this information helpful and I hope it helps you discover new ways to aid you on the path of recovery from CPTSD, or whatever the cause is of your DPDR.





Why We Need to Share Our Stories

Why do we share our stories?

Why do we NEED to share our stories?

For me, I think the key is that these stories are sources of pain.

We need to tell the stories to work through the pain and process the emotions.

If we ignore it, it stays.

If we address it, talk about it, it lessens.

Anything that causes us pain needs to be expressed in some way.

“Verbal ventilation is the penultimate grieving practice. It is speaking from your feelings in a way that releases and resolves your emotional distress.”

Pete Walker in Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving

Some of us write stories, songs or poetry.

Some of us vlog or blog about it.

Some of us have been fortunate to find a good trauma therapist that we can trust.

Some of us have a good friend to talk to that gets us through.

I am finding the stories that I feel compelled to tell are sources of tremendous pain for me. Pain that has been there since that first time my mother, the one person that is supposed to be there to protect me from all harm, inflicted intentional, confusing, blistering emotional harm upon me.

Each time it occurred I went through a trauma.

Ongoing emotional abuse.

Ongoing lack of empathy.

Ongoing lack of unconditional love from the one person that should hold the market on such a valuable resource.

My struggle is that I keep going into freeze response.

I keep saying that I need to snap out of this and get moving, but it’s not a matter of will power or laziness, or lack of motivation to change my circumstances.

I get triggered and my brain literally goes into freeze mode.

When that happens the frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for controlling important cognitive skills, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviour, is basically non-functional.

I am functioning on the monkey brain.

All the monkey brain cares about is survival.

Physical survival.

Mental survival.

That’s it.

I can go days like this.

It is days like this that I watch and listen to other survivors’ videos.

I think their stories help me to pull myself out of my frozen state.

The commonalities that I find in other survivors’ stories are like a life line to me.

I hear my story in other survivors’ stories.

It is as though we are telling each others’ stories.

This tells me that if I tell my story, maybe just maybe, somebody out there is experiencing the same confusion and pain in their lives due to narcissistic abuse, and they will hear my story and realize that they are being abused and they will realize they need to get out of there.

At the very least, I hope it helps them feel validated and less alone.

People like me, the lost children, don’t usually do things like this.

We stay back in the shadows. We watch, but don’t usually participate, if we can help it.

Sometimes, when we’ve felt particularly comfortable we might let our guard down and write out a comment only to later go back and delete it, because we’d rather not get involved, or we feel threatened by our own vulnerability.

Sharing such buried parts of ourselves is scary.

We long to, but at the same time, it is terrifying.

If I could not hide my identity I would not be doing this.

If I recognize myself on video I apply another filter to conceal my identity further.

Some of us feel compelled to share online because we have experienced what it is like to be in the dark and then to be awakened.

We know the pain of the awakening, but also the necessity of it to heal. Being awakened feels like you have literally been asleep. My whole life feels like it’s been a lie. Like, the opposite of what I believed to be true actually is true.

It is from this place of feeling cheated, feeling like “why didn’t anybody tell me?” that I come to you.I want to help, warn, encourage, validate, and do whatever I can to help you because I understand, and I know that understanding means something.

It means I am not alone. It means you are not alone. It means we are not alone.

It means somebody else out there might actually get me. It means somebody out there might awaken sooner and can begin their journey of self discovery sooner.

I’m not mad it took me so long to awaken. I’m just glad I did.

Thank you for letting me share my story with you all.

Thank you for sharing your stories with me.

Your stories have saved my life.


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