Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A letter to someone who is struggling with CPTSD and recovery.

First off. You are enough. You are worthy of love.

Secondly. Things can get better. And, no, not everyone will leave.

Thirdly. I could have written this post a while ago - and it isn't out of the picture that I might do something like it in the future.

I also have CPTSD. I also never thought I would live to see 30. And yes, I have felt that unfairness, I have railed against it.
I don't know what I can offer you. I wish I could save you, but we both know that filling the void that exists at the very center of our being is something only we can do. I can cheer you on. I can tell you my story, but you must do the work. Which, you already know.

I can tell you this much.
You are still climbing because despite all that crap, despite everything you experienced and suffered, despite all the feelings of loss and emptiness - there is something within you that is stronger than all of that. It is tiny, but that does not mean that it isn't there, nor that it is weak.
You are digging, fumbling to find it. Keep going. It is there.

You may not know it, and you may not feel it, but you have made progress. How can I tell that? By the things you say. You know you have CPTSD. You know your past. You know you want help.
Those are NOT small things. They are a mountain range within themselves. So, don't dismiss the progress you have made by only looking at how far you have to go. You have already run a marathon. Give yourself credit for that.

I'm going to ask some questions. I don't need to know the answers, but they might help.
Is your therapist trained in working with CPTSD?
Is your therapist trained in EMDR?
Personally, I found that EMDR helped - although I felt intensely silly at the time.
If talk therapy (CBT) isn't working - perhaps there is a different type of therapy that could.
DBT, EMDR.
And, importantly - there are forms of therapy that do not need to retraumatize you. They are worth a look.

I still have ups and downs. But, now when I have those downs - I can sift what is emotional flashback and the CPTSD talking from my real reaction. That is a huge step forward for me. I'm learning my triggers. That is another important step. I talk about my journey and the bumps and setbacks.

Hang in there.
And remember, seek and you will find.

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