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Thread: Does anyone else have these issues?

  1. #1
    Member Megs49's Avatar
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    Does anyone else have these issues?

    Hey all,

    I'm going through a very rough time in my life-- lots of transitions, chronic illness, financial instability and fairly bad depression and anxiety disorder. I've always had trouble dealing with my past childhood abuse at the hands of my parents, particularly my father. But lately, and I suspect because of all the stress I'm under, I'm experiencing even more vivid flashbacks, and nightmares, not to mention the mood swings and sometimes rage that accompanies these flashbacks.

    Does anyone else here who has suffered abuse as a child have these problems, specifically when experiencing life difficulties, and do they ease up when your stress gets better? These flashbacks have really taken me by surprise as I haven't had them in years, but it's the rage and immobilizing depression/anxiety that follows them that has me really scared. I've snapped at my boyfriend a couple times recently, only to go apologize profusely and explain to him what is going on; he's being so understanding about this and that somehow makes me feel all he more guilty. I don't recall being this bad before, not since the abuse ended...

    How did any of you get past the intrusive flashbacks, the rage, the depression?... It's like they're stuck in my head on replay, over and over... in fact, it's making it harder to work on the problems I'm already having in my life. They just come out of nowhere sometimes, or something I see or experience will trigger them.

    Also, I should mention that as a result of my dad's particularly violent physical abuse, I have permenant physical disabilities to this day : I'm partially deaf, especially in one ear and will need hearing aids soon. I've been told by my specialist that I may be almost completely deaf by the time I'm in my 40's or 50's. This is particularly hard to deal with though I've known about it and have dealt with it since childhood. But now I feel such rage over it, much more than I ever have before.

    I'm also legally blind because of what he did to me as well ( both hearing and visual impairment are a result of repeated head trauma-- my dad used to punch me, kick me, or hit me with heavy objects on my head, or sometimes slam my head into walls or the floor when he'd go on violent rampages) I don't think his intention was to cause me to be saddled with disability in my future, but I can't seem to stop these particular flashbacks and rage when I run into everyday difficulties regarding my hearing or eyesight-- not to mention that these problems cost me money that I don't have right now; those hearing aids will cost me thousands of dollars, so I put off getting them as long as I can. I have to have dental work done on one side of my mouth a lot because he knocked several of my molars loose, and that costs me money. I also have a shoulderblade that healed incorrectly when he displaced it during another fit of rage when I was about 10 or 11, and that means I can't move my arm the way I can the other one, and it's starting to affect some of my hobbies that I use to keep myself calm and focused. It's just so hard not to trigger a flashback when one of these physical problems happen now, or when I wind up paying a lot of money to deal with them, because I'm constantly reminded by my own body of what he did to me and that I'll forever have these problems to remind me until the day I die...

    Also, have any of you ever felt the urge to self-harm when reminded of your child-abuse? Sometimes when I have a flashback, or when I do something that I get angry at myself for, I have to really fight the urge to not self-harm...and I'm so ashamed to say that a few of these times, I wasn't successful in stopping myself. I feel so awful when it happens, it makes me feel so crazy, ashamed and unstable... I hadn't self-harmed for YEARS until these flashbacks started up again. The few times that I wasn't able to stop myself, the flashbacks of my dad beating me and the verbal/emotional abuse he'd scream at me while doing so, telling me I was worthless and deserve to be hurt and punished, will play in my head as it's happening. I'll even hurt myself on whatever particular part of my body that he'd hurt me on during the specific flashbacks...like if this particular flashback that made me lose control involved him hurting my wrist or arm, that's where I'll hurt myself. If the flashback was of him hurting my leg, that's where I'll focus on. It's like whatever the flashback contains when I lose control, controls how I harm myself...

    ...this is leading me to believe that the reason I've always self-harmed is because he got into my head and subconsciously made me believe through his actions and words that he made me endure for so many years, that I deserve that hurt and punishment...and since he no longer can abuse me, and since no one else is giving me what he taught me I "needed", that I pick up that role and harm myself-- I'm so used to having someone hurting me and terrorizing me at all times that my brain just reverts back to that, thinks it needs it or that it thinks it's normal and is trying to make me do what my subconscious mind sees as normal? Does that make sense to anyone, and have any of you dealt with this?

    I guess I just thought that I was past all of this, I'd been doing so much better and now I feel like I'm right back to square one. I feel so hopeless and it feels like a heavy weight has been added again. Any support, advice, or words of comfort would be so appreciated if you're able.

    Thank you so much for your time. It helps to have this site to turn to when I need it, so thank you for any help or support any of you can give.
    Last edited by Megs49; 11-16-2014 at 08:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member mhowe's Avatar
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    I am sorry for all your trauma....and while you can't change the past...you can change your present and your future.

    PTSD is real and as rebated by stress. However, it won't go away when the stress goes away and newer things may trigger it. You need professional therapy to learn how to cope with it...it will likely never go away 100% but you can learn tools to diminish the severity.

    Before you completely lose your hearing...learn sign language and encourage your partner to do the same. The same for your eyesight. Look into learning some Brraille, and prepare your home. In addition, research federal disability payments. You will most likely not get it on the first try, but it would be good to familiarize yourself with the process.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member SooSad33's Avatar
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    Hi Megs,

    "Does anyone else here who has suffered abuse as a child have these problems, specifically when experiencing life difficulties, and do they ease up when your stress gets better? These flashbacks have really taken me by surprise as I haven't had them in years, but it's the rage and immobilizing depression/anxiety that follows them that has me really scared. I've snapped at my boyfriend a couple times recently, only to go apologize profusely and explain to him what is going on; he's being so understanding about this and that somehow makes me feel all he more guilty. I don't recall being this bad before, not since the abuse ended...

    How did any of you get past the intrusive flashbacks, the rage, the depression?... It's like they're stuck in my head on replay, over and over... in fact, it's making it harder to work on the problems I'm already having in my life. They just come out of nowhere sometimes, or something I see or experience will trigger them."


    _ Yes, sounds like PTSD.. with the triggers and all. Been there.
    I have needed therapy throughout my years. Basically since my teens and ongoing, when i experience these triggers.
    I went well up into my 40's before it became unbearable and i quit work and started dealing with it more.

    I am also on anxiety med's.. for over a year now. (Cipralex)

    Re: Self harm? Yes, I've also been there. When I hit my 'rock bottom' last year, I was at the point, I didn't care anymore. I had 'thought' about it but didn't go there. Instead I found other ways to 'vent'.
    This is where some 'group therapy' may be helpful.
    DO get int to to talk with yoru family doctor about therapy.. soon!
    It'd be good for you to learn 'grounding' techniques, self control and even emotional well-being.

    As mentioned, by Mhowe ^ look into getting one Dissability. You should have a past record of your chellenges and how you're also being affected now. Get on that right away.

    I wish you well.. just don't give up. You're not alone.

    take care.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    I am so sorry, sweetie!! I do relate on a certain level. And there are others here as well who have been treated for PTSD. Each of our stories is unique, of course, but the nightmares..the flashbacks...the anxieties...all familiar. The times of feeling hopeless, and powerless, and trapped.
    Oh and the anger?! Yes, yes, yes.

    Sometimes it has felt like doing so much better, only to revert back again, but trust me...if you have experienced some relief and things have been better, it does mean you have made some head way. Like mhowe said, stress can bring it out again. Or sometimes... things going so well can bring it out. triggers sometimes catch us when we least expect it.

    My own experience was, that it has gone through periods of getting worse sometimes in order to get better. Does this make sense? As I have worked on my healing, sometimes it got what seemed almost unbearable. Yet we keep emerging at the other side, strong and more whole and more in touch with who we are underneath all this pain.

    Are you seeing someone currently? Are you open to it? I can't recommend it enough. Someone who specializes in treating PTSD.

    Sending you so much love and peace.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Hello Megs,
    Have you ever sought treatment with a therapist for this before, and would you consider it now?

  7. #6
    Super Moderator HeartGoesOn's Avatar
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    This truly breaks my heart, and i'm so sorry to hear of all you've gone through. I agree with others as to trying to find some sort of therapy, and/or a support group to begin with.

    I sincerely hope you find your way, and my heart goes out to you. All the best...

  8. #7
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    I read your post and what really struck me was your self insight. A friend and I were talking about this, and I talked about it with my therapist as well - While self-awareness is a gift, usually those with the awareness suffer the most. It is kind of a double edged sword.

    ...this is leading me to believe that the reason I've always self-harmed is because he got into my head and subconsciously made me believe through his actions and words that he made me endure for so many years, that I deserve that hurt and punishment...and since he no longer can abuse me, and since no one else is giving me what he taught me I "needed", that I pick up that role and harm myself-- I'm so used to having someone hurting me and terrorizing me at all times that my brain just reverts back to that, thinks it needs it or that it thinks it's normal and is trying to make me do what my subconscious mind sees as normal? Does that make sense to anyone, and have any of you dealt with this?
    It makes a lot of sense. And the fact that you have such an awareness, is amazing(and awful at the same time, when you're feeling it, I know). And you know, I don't know if it's of any comfort to you, but it's very common for it to happen that way. My therapist explained, that people who have been repeatedly victimized tend to leave themselves vulnerable and low boundaries to keep getting revictimized. Even though it all feels horrible, it also becomes sort of your way of life, your own "normal". As there is no one there to 'give' it to you, yes what you say makes a lot of sense.

    In my experience, unrelated stressors or just any time I am put in a position where I feel powerless, for example - A lot of old things come to light. Stress management skills are even more necessary for us to learn.

    I hope that you have a professional that is able to teach you coping skills as well as give you a safe place where you are able to express yourself.

  9. #8
    Member Megs49's Avatar
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    Hey mhowe,

    I'm so sorry it took me so long to reply-- I have a lot of health problems and wound up in the hospital again for a few days. But thank you so much for responding.

    I think your'e right about the PTSD. It makes a lot of sense, but whenever I bring it up, I'm told that that's not what I have. Every counselor I've seen, every person I've confided in, but I swear I do have a form of it. I'm absolutely in search of a new counselor right now, but when I lost my insurance in the divorce I've had a hell of a time finding someone I can afford. That's a good idea about learning sign language, and I think I'll go ahead and look into just in case the doctor is right. It does terrify me, to be honest. Knowing I'm slowly aging toward a future with no music, no voices...going through the disability process right now and hoping to hurry and get my first rejection letter so I can go ahead and appeal (don'tcha just love that system? lol).

    Thank you for all of your support and suggestions-- it helps to know that you read it and care. <3

  10. #9
    Member Megs49's Avatar
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    Soosad33,

    May I ask if you had trouble getting people to believe you when you say that you have PTSD? I seem to run into that a lot and don't know why-- it's a legitmate thing to have when you're gone through prolonged trauma, but that's the one thing out of depression, anxiety, etc. that people seem to wave me off about, including my mental health counselors.

    Thank you so much for responding, and your support, I appreciate it so much.

  11. #10
    Member Megs49's Avatar
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    Itsallgrand-- I'm so glad to hear I'm not alone on the anger, that's what's making me feel the worst about myself right now; it makes me feel so guilty, like such a bad person. It's comforting to hear that you've gotten to good places before and are positive about your own experiences. I'm absolutely open to seeing a counselor, but am struggling with finding one that takes the specific insurance I just got-- I lost the good insurance I had when I was married during the divorce and that's when I had to stop seeing my therapist. I got progressively worse after that...I think the worst thing is, despite knowing that there will be good times and bad times with these traumas, that I thought it was over. For quite a few years I did so well with no flashbacks or angry/rage out bursts, but then all of a sudden...I'm trying not to lose hope but it's worse now than it's ever been.

    Catfeeder-- Yes, I was seeing a therapist for quite a few years and looking all over for one I can afford now. The one I had before was fantastic and really the only one that ever really helped me, so it was hard to lose that weapon... Thank you both for responding, again, sorry it took so long for me to read these and reply! Thank you guys for all of your support.

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