C-PTSD – 1


Chapter One

I have my book in hand, Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker, as I work through it and share my thoughts and parts of my life. Just maybe it will be helpful to another reading my blog, or just for me.

Since we are all confined due to the quarantine, I decided to not do the Telehealth offered by my one counselor. Perhaps that is part of the anxiety of what I will be reading and understanding of myself in this book. When offered twice for the Telehealth, I froze and tensed up, basically freaking out within. Thanks but no thanks, I will get through this, which probably is another sign.5948BF28-DC41-42D8-A82F-DD062597C528

I tend to open a new book, skip through and find a chapter or information I was searching and become content with and in understanding. I then put it on the shelf, over and over again, majority of my books not read but I got what I needed, at the time. My books are mostly self-help and informative ones, as this book is, in order to understand and to be a better me. I have no time or interest in reading other books, such as romance, fiction, etc., which totally bore me.

This book, came to my attention from a counselor reading and discussing on Facebook. In her quarantine, she decided to read through this book each week online and discuss further. So, this has been like counseling for me as it feels personal. I believe I need this right now.EA2C9847-8700-474A-93EE-2254571CB86B

First page, a person wrote in her comments, which intrigued me to read page by page.  The comment by ‘DM’ was “I found myself. I found myself in your words. It’s as if you had unzipped me, stepped inside my traumatized inner self, meandered around a bit, come back outside, and wrote about what you discovered inside of me. For the first time in my life….. and I am in my fifties now….. I don’t feel defective…. or crazy…. or “weird”…. or even unlovable.”  Wow!

With that comment and what I have heard from the counselor on the Facebook page, I feel I am going to learn some things about C-PTSD, plus about myself.C0E8C49D-07EA-4C0F-B909-814C438A34B2

I felt somewhat overwhelmed with the Table of Contents, as a lot will be covered within the book. I found it somewhat funny that Mr. Walker even suggests skipping around in the book to where you need to be.  He already knows me so well, but I am going to try my best and go chapter by chapter.

The book he writes is to help the reader ‘create a map that you can follow to heal the wounds that come from not enough childhood love.’ Just that, I thought back to when my former counselor had me do a timeline from my childhood to adulthood. A timeline can be done in many ways, I myself used an excel spreadsheet, just find one that you like. Often, I wondered if she read this book. 9E66D2F6-D2DA-41D0-8647-E11405258942At times, when reading, I wanted to contact her. My goodness, I just got through Chapter One, but to express and say, ‘Look, look at this, this is what we had discussed so many times through the years.’ There is an excitement within me and an anticipation to read more but there is also a fear that I will have to face some issues that have been hidden. As the quote goes, If the Lord brings you to it, He will bring you through it. I want more in life, as too many years have been wasted due to circumstances, some in and some out of my control.

I am one that will mark up my books, even my Bible, as I go with underlines, arrows, stars and if a highlighter is near, I will add color to the areas that speak to me. So far, it is marked up quite a bit. Again, Wow!

I am on a journey, and I have been. At times knowing and feeling an anticipation and at other times the negative thoughts will seep in to take any hope away.

C-PTSD is a more severe form of PTSD of five common and troublesome features: emotional flashbacks, toxic shame, self-abandonment, a vicious inner critic and social anxiety. C-PTSD is a learned, not your DNA, of a failure in developmental tasks. What is learned, can be unlearned. So there is hope!

In your early years of life, it can come from growing up in a severely abusive and/or neglectful family. Traumatizing abuse and abandonment can occur on verbal, emotional, spiritual or physical levels with sexual abuse especially traumatizing.

Emotional flashbacks are sudden and often prolonged regressions to the overwhelming feelings being an abused/abandoned child (fear, shame, alienation, rage, grief and depression). All triggering the fight/flight instincts.F644D5D8-2771-483F-B9A0-ED96A09B92FD

Toxic shame affects the self-esteem with an overwhelming sense that s/he is loathsome, ugly, stupid or fatally flawed. Toxic shame can also be created by constant parental neglect and rejection. It inhibits us from seeking comfort, often isolating. Being stuck in the negative view of yourself is probably causing emotional flashbacks.

Suicidal ideation is common, a depressed thinking or fantasizing about wanting to die, ranging from active to passive suicidality. Passive is more common with C-PTSD and typically a flashback to our early childhood when abandonment was so profound.

In this book, it was noted that C-PTSD is often misdiagnosed with various anxiety and depressive disorders, many labeled with bipolar, narcissistic, codependent, autistic spectrum and borderline disorders. C-PTSD is not recognized in the DSM manual used by mental health professionals.

The Four F’s: Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn, are each B9C72F89-CAD3-41B2-A5DE-FDEA05980DEAmentioned and how they come into play with C-PTSD, in this chapter.

This chapter was jammed pack with information that I could relate to and so many times we discussed within my counseling sessions. While reading, knowing some information already but having it in writing before my eyes, underlining and often writing ‘Me’ was mind-boggling. It took me a few days to get my thoughts in this blog because it was so much to take in and having to re-examine areas I’d rather forget.

As I journal through this book in my blog, if any of it resonates with you or if you know someone that it would, I would recommend the purchase of this book.

I am unsure how I found the counselor reading this book, EB368285-54BD-4F32-9A32-86E0B836EE99but I don’t think it was by coincidence. Just as I was in counseling years ago and my journey moving forward, there was and is a part of me at times when I wanted to just stop. It was too hard.

The Four F’s mentioned, I always tend to fall in the ‘freeze’ mode, and I have felt this come into play already, which is no surprise to me. So if C-PTSD is learned of what was not provided by my parents, as in my case, I can now unlearn by myself with my willingness to walk through this further, by reading this book, continuing with my counselors once the quarantine is lifted and be thankful I had a major jumpstart with my former counselor.




Isaiah 41:10 ESV 
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV 
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.


National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255







C-PTSD – Oh My!


So many times in life, I see things open up before me and fall into place. Timing is everything. I just smile and say or think, I know that was You Lord, thank you.

About a month ago, I found a page on Facebook of a counselor and she was describing trauma and complex trauma, which caught my attention so I liked and followed her page. Each Sunday evening she would read parts of the book, Complex PTSD From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker. I was hooked.546D9801-CA6C-4704-B62F-03E2E21CAD1B

I listened to her read and offer her personal comments, and I listened to it again. I went to the next week’s reading and did the same. This continued for a couple of weeks for me in order to catch up. If I was alone in the office, I would listen while I worked (and may have whistled, too).

All through this listening and soaking the information in, I found myself in awe. Part of me, I felt as though I was in a counseling session, or like an extended session of previous sessions with my former counselor.  It was just odd but awesome, as we had discussed many things within the book. As she read and added tidbits, it made my time listening more personal, just me and her, as if she was reading and talking to me. I just felt this was a pretty cool way for a counselor to do this while also being quarantined but helping others, too.

37AD5A6B-8290-4252-8AB4-AC66E39BD722With everything regarding this book being read and being discussed, I knew I wanted this book before her next reading. This was surreal, too many things were lining up and connecting with this book and my former counseling, as I mentioned earlier. Honestly, I thought many times and wondered why my counselor did not just hand me this book and say, read it. Then again, timing. I would not have been ready to understand, relate or grasp. Amazing.

So, of course, I ordered the book. What would we do without Amazon Prime? I was going to be ready for the next reading of this book.

So as in the title, ‘From Striving to Thriving,’ I really do expect that I will not be the same after going through this book and the quarantine, I don’t want to be. I have been on a quest to be a better me for years now, as I want more. So as the dots connect, I thought it would be fun to work through this book and share, if just for me.





Don’t Tell Me What To Do!


So often through the years, I have found I really get frustrated with my pastor. Yes you read that correctly, but I do. Recently, no different. Apparently, he gets frustrated with the congregation, and me being one. While I understand him and know he is trying to help me and each one of us, I feel he is hollering at me. I don’t know what others think or feel, I don’t dare ask. He probably is frustrated and that is how he wants it to come across but it really makes me cringe and feel less than of a Christian. While that may motivate others, it causes me to stop dead in my tracks, doubt and be cautious.7B690AB6-BE66-429D-AB6D-50D6F4B408DB

As I have pondered this over the years, I still come up with this no-good-for-nothing person, Christian that I claim I am. It makes me sink into a state of unworthiness. I hate this feeling. Questioning if this is condemnation he is placing on us (me) and if so, that is wrong. Or is it condemnation that I am throwing on myself? Does this trigger a part of my childhood I wonder and no doubt it does.

I know he preaches his heart out and is anointed but in this area, I think to myself, here he goes again. Knowing full well that I will have to fight my thoughts of being less than and I will go down the rabbit hole yet again. Whether I sit in the congregation or now as we listen online due to the distancing required.

E4AE16BB-84B6-4678-AB98-086C270E741DI know to pray, I know that the Lord hears my prayers whether in my thoughts, silently or verbally. Had it not been, I would not be here, right now. At times, all I could muster up was, Lord help me. My heart being in such despair and nobody to turn to or trust, He was all that I had. He was all that I needed. Even though I felt alone in the thick of it all, and even felt at times He was nowhere to be found. Although, I know now that my faith grew in those dark, lonely periods, it had to in order to survive.0FD531CE-BD59-4ABF-ABAD-8C1A98FCCA71

I did not have to yell from the rooftops, make a big, elaborate prayer of words that was not me for the Lord to hear my prayers. I am just plain and simple.

We are to praise and worship the Lord and I know that but that also gets heaped into his rants along with prayer. The comment of us sitting like a lump on a log, usually makes my mouth twist and jaws clinch, now in total frustration.  I am not him, will never be him and I do not want to fake my prayer, praise and worship.

As I was cleaning, still pondering this in my mind, realizing that this is a childhood issue that I need to come to terms with. The boldness from his voice at the podium, finger pointing and 7F89A8B9-B371-4116-9A64-EA8D859D3F13to say lump on a log, smacks me. To bring it home to understand and to grasp, I feel he is mad and hollering at me, his finger pointing confirms I am unworthy, to say sitting like a lump on the log is that I am also lazy. End result, convinced I am a good-for-nothing person on the face of the earth or in my family, now church family as a Christian.

77EC128B-21E8-4CAB-BA93-B042464BA8F6In a church service or in our private time, we worship and praise the Lord to usher in His Presence. His Presence is precious and I am fully aware of Him during such times. I do not have to put on a full production of waving my hands, shouting praises and being something I am not. If I do all of that and I have tried but that is my time between me and the Lord. I can stand or sit quietly and feel His presence all over me with tears flowing down my face, dropping from my chin in my worship, praise and prayer. This is my personal time with Him. I don’t need to care what others think or expect of me, although at times I do and accustomed to, which has always held me back.

At times, wanting to speak up and say stop making me feel unworthy and that I will never measure up. I have had that all my life. Is this the rebelliousness within me of my hesitancy, perhaps fear, too. Probably as I dig my heels in and protest as a child saying, you can’t make me and don’t tell me what to do.

Do I know it could be pride on my part? Yes, and intimidation but please don’t add to it and plop on more fear, as I will freeze in my tracks. I have had to wonder if this was conviction, but it is not the same.

4F5CA56F-5565-4E26-9960-1B850F8E1119So as I toss this back and forth the past few weeks due to the COVID19 situation and the seriousness of it all, the finger pointing and preaching returns, of saying do this, do that.  Again, I get it, I really do, but each time, I still get that unworthy feeling. I know, too, that the enemy wants me, us all to feel the unworthiness and to remain stuck. Am I going to act and put on a show just to please the preacher? No. Will I still get frustrated with him when he pushes this down our throat once again? Yes. I do understand he is trying to help us grow in the Lord but it is a big turn off for me. I love my church, my pastor and the anointing. I have considered finding another church at times, which may or may not be any better. I know that the enemy antagonizes me and I realize this could be a ploy to separate me from the church.  So with that, something is about to break, a battle within.  I have been at this church since 1985 so change is hard, too. This is when I need to be rebellious and stubborn, not with the Pastor or even with myself but the enemy wanting to halt my praise, worship and prayer.

I learned while in counseling, it was when I wanted to quit, throw up my hands and many times when leaving and once in my car, saying that I am not doing this anymore. The next week I would return. Thank God I did return because it was in those sessions we broke through some areas that changed me. I saw the pattern as I do now so I will dig my heels in and protest.

Could this all be the shame I have had dumped on me throughout my life? Absolutely, it falls right in line.

Up until the Fall of 2014 and for years later in counseling, I really never knew of shame. Never gave it any thought but as each session occurred, it was obvious that shame had hindered me in life, all of my life, which is sad. Since I now have a word and an understanding, changes and healing can occur as I have gone and go forward.

As I write, I tend to believe all of this frustration with the preacher to make me feel less than, unworthy, etc., is all but shame that I have carried. My issue, not his.

D84FF6C3-1891-41FC-B999-509BE7C3263DKnowing and understanding this, perhaps praying, praise and worship will come easier for me. Still, I know the Lord meets us where we are and He is the one to direct us and help us in areas to get us to where we need to be. To be a willing vessel, He will do just that. I do not need to put on an air to appease the preacher or anyone around me. The Lord is all that matters and my relationship with Him. To acknowledge how this has affected me, I do not need to accept the feelings of unworthiness. I am worthy!




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