I’m a survivor of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD).
For over four decades, I struggled to find a way to live my life looking like I was doing great. And most of the time I did that successfully. I was the executive producer of the longest-running conservative talk show in one of the top five markets in the country. I had a comfortable savings account and traveled when and where I wanted. I was the eldest of a large clan of siblings–none of whom had the slightest idea of the emotional minefield I was tiptoeing through every single hour of every single day.Broken places. I had plenty of them…and I just didn’t know HOW or WHERE to get help, I didn’t know how to ASK for help.
But I did. Everyday. In my prayers. I prayed the shortest prayer in history:
“Dear God, HELP!!!!! Amen.”
The dark times and my addictions kept me hidden from most people. I was privileged to have a job that allowed me to work from anywhere in the world as long as I had an internet connection. There were weeks when I didn’t see another human being–even loved ones I was connected to.
Because of the narrowness of my world, I kept giving everyone around me the ol’ heave ho, and things continued closing in on me until I was living almost constantly in survival mode – emotionally and physically. I felt ashamed and guilty. In my eyes, I was a failure, unworthy to be alive. No matter who my famous friends were or how great my job was or how awesome my family was, I simply wanted to die.
Broken places. I knew I was broken. Really broken. And I didn’t believe I was fixable.
I’d tried EVERYTHING over the years.
Multiple residential drug treatment programs. Residential eating disorder units. I think I single-handedly supported the families of at least a couple of therapists/counselors over a period of years.
At the end, right before I entered intensive trauma treatment, I was pretty clear on the fact that something was horribly wrong with me and that I was in deep, deep trouble.
Little did I know that God was about to answer my prayer.
(to be continued…)
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I am glad you started writing. I also have complex PTSD which has effected my life so greatly. I am a holistic healing practitioner and Reiki master and want to help others that suffer from this condition.
Thank you for your important work, Kathleen.
I use writing and art, massage and releasing the trauma from the cellular level…..NLP and hypnosis is very useful and brings healing in a few minutes….nobody has to stay stuck all their lives….it is the willingness to go forward that will bring healing and finding the right modality for You.
So encouraging to hear your story, Sandra. Thank you for sharing!
I managed a 7-Eleven store that my parents had for over 20 years……..In a neighborhood I grew up in and love…..Went thru over 15 robberies over the years, I was always the strong one. Finally went in to the ER and was hysterical, and crying and didn’t know what was wrong with me………the ER Doctor told me I had PTSD…….I was later diagnosed with Complex PTSD from all the years of violence in the business. Not only the robberies but the guy driving into the parking lot beating his wife in the car, the drunks, the dopers, the idiots……..I have always believed I am blessed because I have a wonderful son, and was very loved as a child……..lost my birth father in my early 20’s, didn’t want to loose my parents now to idiots or thugs…..so I stayed it was my parents only income……was given a medical award after 10 years of paying for the appts and doctors and therapy. It never goes away. You learn coping techniques of hiding and eluding the public. You find jobs that are minimal because you can’t take the public contact anymore. You don’t go anywhere if you don’t absolutely have too. Your immunity system doesn’t function, your hyper-vigilance wears you out day in and day out………you wonder why, why, why…..and no answers