Oh hey Peter Walker! For those that don't know this is a direct quote from CPTSD: Surviving to Thriving. If you'd like to learn more about freeze types and other symptoms, situations, and obstacles facing people with CPTSD I cannot recommend the book enough.
Link to amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Complex-PTSD-Surviving-RECOVERING-CHILDHOOD/dp/1492871842
I know this both personally and professionally. I've had PTSD symptoms since I was about 13 years old from an emotionally abusive and neglectful, toxic home environment. I'm in my early 30s now. I have been given the same responses and more. What's been really validating aside from my own therapy is this book:
Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide and Map for Recovering from Childhood Trauma https://www.amazon.com/dp/1492871842/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_qL.bDbK0WS0P2
I highly highly recommend it.
I'd recommend this book as it goes into depth about different trauma types and PDs: https://www.amazon.com/Complex-PTSD-Surviving-RECOVERING-CHILDHOOD/dp/1492871842
TLDR version: "The flight-freeze type is the least relational and most schizoid hybrid. He prefers the safety of do-it-yourself isolationism. Sometimes this type may also be misdiagnosed as Asperger's Syndrome. The flight-freeze type avoids potential relationship retraumatization with an obsessive-compulsive/dissociative "two-step". Step one is working to complete exhaustion. Step two is collapsing into extreme "veging out", and waiting until his energy reaccumulates to relaunch into step one."
Flight types develop into OCD. It says "they are obsessively and compulsively driven by the unconscious belief that perfection will make them safe and loveable. They rush to achieve. They rush as much in thought [obsession] as they do in action [compulsion]."
Just mentioning it as it seemed relevant to your question.
Walking up in a flashback is a normal symptom of CPTSD.
You can read about it in Pete Walker's book available for purchase here: https://www.amazon.com/Complex-PTSD-Surviving-RECOVERING-CHILDHOOD/dp/1492871842
This book described flash backs like that in great depth. Highly recommended.
Look into inner child healing as well as C-PTSD. I think learning about C-PTSD will help you understand what is going on internally that is causing your anxiety and fear. A really good book about this is C-PTSD from Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker.
Also, here is an inner child healing technique. While the exercise says to think of yourself like you are 4 or 5, you can apply it to your 12 year old self. You are essentially going back in your imagination to the Trauma and supporting yourself through it with Unconditional Love. This changes the emotions you experience when the traumatic event is triggered from fear based to supported and loved. It really is life changing.
Inner Child Healing:
Start by imagining yourself as you were when you were 4 or 5 years old. Use a photo initially if it is necessary. Then as your adult self imagine checking in with that inner child that you have identified. Go to them. I think you will see that your suffering is at root their suffering. Give them unconditional love. Hug them, talk to them. Sit with them. Soothe them. Tell them that now that you've found them you will strive hard to always be there for them. That you're inseparable. Develop a deep relationship with yourself in your heart center.
Do this frequently. When you wake up, when you go to sleep, several times during the day. Go to your inner child when you're feeling down, anxious, stressed, depressed. Heal their wounds. You can't fix what happened but you can reassure with love that they were in an impossible situation and give them the love to help them rise above it. You're getting a chance to re-parent your inner child.
After you begin to build a foundation of Self love you can then expand the practice to have your inner child bring yoy photos (which are more like snapshots of memories) of the events that were terrifying for them. And you can use inner child healing to tell them how unfair that situation was, that they are not wrong to feel this way, but now that you have found them that they are safe and loved.
After a month or so this exercise morphed on its own to just directly loving myself (adult self loving adult self). I started to be my own best cheerleader and friend. My inner critical voice too has changed to one of unconditional love.
I really hope this helps ������
Complex PTSD From Surviving to Thriving and The Body Keeps the Score are great places to start.
This is a topic that is explored very well in the topical book from Pete Walker "From Surviving to Thriving". I already knew quite a bit from my own experience but this book was validating, if you know any friend who got through childhood abuse I could not recommend any better resource.
Treatment of Schizoid Personality Disorder:
Youtuber I came across that I think is pretty spot on:
Most material on SPD is pretty old so I personally don't really bother with it. You are better off focusing on CPTSD and the freeze response as there is much more material on that. I'd recommend Pete Walker's book:
Trauma-informed therapy can really help, but if you can't afford that there are lots of good books and free resources around. EFT tapping is a great tool you can learn for free and use for healing trauma. I'd also recommend this book: https://www.amazon.com/Complex-PTSD-Surviving-RECOVERING-CHILDHOOD/dp/1492871842
About CPTSD in general? This book by Pete Walker is a pretty seminal work.
This other one also helped me a lot, because the physiological crap that comes along with CPTSD is every bit as terrible as the emotional component:
Ultimately though, therapy and journaling are going to be your best starting points for your personal recovery. If you can find a therapist that has experience with trauma, that’s your best bet. I would also recommend seeing a general practitioner and a psychiatrist because of the aforementioned physical issues.
Disclaimer: This is purely my remote read on the situation. Please take anything useful from this post to your therapist and priest for a second opinion. Apologies if you've heard any of this psychological or spiritual advice before. I read this post and your previous one, that's all that I know about you.
Quick background on me: I am recovering co-dependent / son of a narcissistic Mother. She was sexually abused / child of alcohol parents. In my mid-20s I had no idea I'd been the victim of abuse and was the codependent in a very toxic relationship that saw me end up getting fired, arrested and abandoned in deep debt. After beginning to pray the rosary, I entered therapy and discovered I had C-PTSD caused by almost 29 years of deep psychological abuse. I have also worked with two separate integration / trauma coaches specialized in narcissistic personality disorder and have totally transformed my life. I became Catholic , sober and chaste. Still have a long way to go but your story breaks my heart because in some ways I've been there. In so many way, I can't even imagine what you're going through!
I'm so sorry you and your family have to deal with this! Please message me directly if you need anything. You are not alone my friend! xx
Please don’t apologise for your pain, it’s as legitimate as anyone else’s.
Narcissistic abuse is often covert (hidden) leaving victims unaware of the actual cause of their woundedness (and questioning their sense of reality).
From what you describe it appears your mother may be covertly narcissistic.
Check out the following and see if it fits:
Dr Judy Rosenberg also discusses covert narcissism here:
Much narcissistic abuse is subtle, and covert (ambient). It is often also structured and delivered in a manner that makes it deniable.
The following book by Shannon Thomas, Healing from Hidden Abuse discusses such dynamics (cover quote):
‘Psychological abuse leaves no bruises. There are no broken bones. There are no holes in the walls. The bruises, brokenness and holes are held tightly within the target of the abuse’.
I am no contact with my family. This wasn’t an easy decision but I am emotionally better off for it. Any no contact decision is of course individual.
The reality is people do not arrive at the point of considering it if there isn’t something seriously dysfunctional occurring. Meredith Miller describes ‘toxic hope’ keeping us bound to the 'cult-like' system that is the narcissistic family. The 'If only' thoughts are the product of being conditioned to seek validation from the narcissist. They don't however oblige us to accept an ongoing dynamic of abuse (this is ultimately a choice).
WHEN TO BURY THE HOPE - Meredith Miller
THE NARCISSISTS FAMILY CULT - Meredith Miller
There is an excellent book by Pete Walker on CPTSD (you might well be experiencing its effects):
More generally .
http://parenting.exposed/enabling-partner-of-a-narcissist-parent/ THE ENABLING PARENT
http://parenting.exposed/no-contact-when-the-scapegoat-walks-away/ WHEN THE SCAPEGOAT WALKS AWAY
http://parenting.exposed/the-relationship-between-the-scapegoat-and-the-golden-child/ GOLDEN CHILD/ SCAPEGOAT RELATIONSHIP
http://parenting.exposed/the-family-scapegoat-set-up/ THE SCAPEGOATED CHLD - SET UP
Please check out Dr Judy Rosenberg's YouTube channel - Dr Judy WTF (What the Freud!). It's a powerful resource for those wishing to understand and heal from narcissistic abuse. She also hosts a weekly online radio show. I'm sure if you watch her words will resonate.
Before we can begin to heal we firstly need to shine light on our wounds and understand their cause.
Hi! I hope this is okay, but if you haven't already read it I really recommend this book. I got my diagnoses just over a year ago it has been an incredible help. (If you have already read it and I'm being a dope, my sincere apologies!!).
Also your job sounds v stressful :o
Diagnoses help when they help, and validation is one of the ways that they can help. Have you read Pete Walker's book?
Np, unfortunately most therapists are not very educated about complex trauma, so I would advice you to do some research and see if you get along well before picking one (if you have the opportunity). Same guy has an article about finding a therapist, which could be helpful.
Yes, it's very validating seeing how your past and current problems are all interconnected. Makes you feel less of a freak. I'm posting some book recommendations in case you would like to know more. Just reading one of them will help you a long way in understanding why you are the way you are:
Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker
The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller
Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors by Janina Fisher
So, from all the other replies you know that therapy is highly recommended. It made a world of difference for me as well. I'd add that you should try to find a trauma specialist that is familiar with childhood emotional abuse and CPTSD.
However, I also know that you may not feel able or ready to pull the trigger on therapy for some time. You may think that what you went through still wasn't that bad, that you will be fine, that therapy is for people who can't hack it or are broken. Those things are not true, but you can only benefit from therapy when you are ready and want to heal further.
In the meantime, check out the book Complex PTSD: from surviving to thriving. My therapist recommended it to me and I found it really really helpful. https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1492871842
There's new treatments for complex trauma. Grounding techniques and EMDR are really effective. You might have been misdiagnosed. I would look into C-PTSD. Medication and therapy are different.
I feel you. It takes a lot of courage to learn what healthy relationships are all about. The great news is that you evolved to have love and connection, and you can do this.
I highly recommend these two books:
“Not the price of admission“ by Laura Brown
“Complex PTSD: from surviving to thriving“ by Pete Walker
Pete Walker also has lots of helpful resources on his website:
I wish you well!
I really feel for you. I also grew up with a narcissist parent. I've been no contact for 4 years and my life is now so much better. The behaviour of where your n-parent doesn't "remember" the abuse she has caused to you is often a form of denial, most common ego defence mechanism that allows a narcissist to never take responsibility for their actions. Projection is also what they like doing. While all people use ego defence mechanisms to a degree, narcissists often use only the most immature ones and so often and to so over-the-top that most people recognize that what they are doing is neither very normal nor healthy. Some also use gaslighting which is a very fucked-up thing to do for one's own child (or anyone in that matter, but especially for one's kids).
If you ever need to read only one book about recovering from childhood trauma, I wholeheartly recommend reading Pete Walker's book C-PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving . Reading it is was almost like someone were recording my whole life since childhood and just reading it through in itself is a very catharhic experience. It gives an explanation of how trauma is formed, how it affects one in the adulthood and gives a guide and a map for resolving the issues (abandonment depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, insecure attachment styles, emotional flashbacks etc.) of which is often are the result of narcissistic upbringing and of which fall under the disorder C-PTSD. Even "just" emotional neglect can cause it and in some sense it's worse that way given that when someone is like physically or sexually abused it's so much easier to point out what went wrong when emotional neglect/abuse in itself feels such a vague thing that is "hard to put finger on what went wrong" and makes it difficult to validate for oneself that abuse did really happen and thus makes it more difficult to advance in the recovery progress.
I wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing your story.