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    undecided
    Participant

    Say someone has CPTSD. Said person wasn’t even aware of how not okay things were growing up until moving out and far away. And this person is known for making the best of every situation, for being the “eternal optimist” and support for everyone always.

    Say this person started getting help and began realizing just how big and deep some of the holes inside are, and is slowly coming to accept that it’s going to take a while to truly learn how to fill them, is learning how to stay present and not dissociate and deal with flashbacks.

    And over the years, this person has had to go back for various reasons, and each time, the healthier/more cognizant she gets/more she remembers, the harder it is to go back. And each time, she has to “shut down” and just deal, and each time she comes back ok, more or less. But she doesn’t have a choice other than to be ok, so whether she is or isn’t is irrelevant.

    Or it was, but now she’s learning that it does make a difference, that can and can’t do have a place. Except, now she has to go back again, for an undetermined amount of time.

    Theoretically this person will be fine because she has to be and there aren’t any other options. Theoretically she’ll make it through yet again. But this time going back feels like it might kill her-not physically, but like parts of her won’t make it out alive. And she doesn’t know if she can shut down again, if she has the strength to put on a face and be everyone’s everything, if she can do it again.

    And she doesn’t want to hear it’ll be ok, that everyone always has what they need inside to get through and all. Cuz she’s tired of giving herself that speech,and it’s a lie anyway.

    Said person just wants to know if there’s a limit to how much a person can take/do, or if she’ll always be able to do this, no matter how exhausted she is. If this might be the end of some pieces of her, or if she’ll be able to come out perfectly fine cuz that’s the only way

    I think it is a testament to this said person’s growth that they are less numb and they’re feeling their feelings.  What happens with any kind of trauma is that our brains come up with all sorts of protective measures so that we survive the trauma.

    Feeling numb and dissociated from our lives isn’t really living, it’s surviving.  When we learn that we don’t have to and most importantly, don’t deserve to live that way we undergo a grueling therapeutic process of putting down those protections so that we can really live and thrive in our lives.

    I don’t know enough about this person’s circumstances to help guide them in this particular decision, but in general it is dangerous in every sense of the word to expose ourselves to anything trauma related, and the healthiest course of action is self-care which in this case is about avoiding and creating distance from the trauma at all costs.

    The subject of this post cleverly asks if resilience has limits.  I believe that it is a sign of resilience when we truly take care of ourselves and instead of putting ourselves in danger, we put ourselves in environments and with people with whom we thrive.

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    undecided
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you.

    But what about when there are no other options? While this person knows going back is not a good thing and is doing everything she can to avoid going back, it doesn’t seem like there’s a choice.

    What then? Is she supposed to just numb again in order to survive? Feeling feelings is good and being able to is wonderful, but what about when it’s not safe? Is it even possible to go from taking down those protections to putting them all back in place?

    Hi undecided,

    You’re welcome.

    I wouldn’t be able to answer without knowing more specifics around this choice.  I do believe there is almost always a choice, yet that choice is between hard and harder and sometimes the harder option involves giving up some things for the sake of our own mental health.  The question is priorities, how badly do we want to protect our mental health, how does that compare, let’s say to financial needs or housing needs.  It’s a personal choice how we act based on our own unique priorities and values, but it is a choice.

    I think that there are a set of specific tools needed for surviving and a different set of tools needed for living. If a person is a soldier at war for example, he or she may need to toughen themselves and/or numb themselves to get the job done.  However, this ability would not serve this person well once returning to normal life and acting in a healthy way in a relationship.  This soldier can toggle back and forth between survival at war and returning home and trying to live, but the back and forth does exhaust and weigh down a person and at a certain point it can become simply too much so the soldier chooses one way of living and sticks with it.  Oftentimes, the soldier chooses survival because in some counter-intuitive ways it’s easier because it’s familiar.

    Again, I don’t know the specifics of this situation but I think that the number one priority should always be safety first, and oftentimes that’s a choice we need to make though it can be incredibly difficult to do so.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    Wow, this is a really hard question, Undecided.

    Definitely no easy choices to make here. Is there anyone else this person could talk to for guidance? Like an askan? I was thinking that maybe an askan can initiate another, healthier option for this person.

    Wishing this person much Hatzlacha and success!! We’re rooting for you 🙂

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    undecided
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Hi, sorry to bring up an old topic…

    Its been 3 months of trying to fake it to make it and all that good stuff…
    And it’s not working.

    How do you survive when you’re back in the place where every single thing is a memory waiting to come to the forefront, where you can’t pull out of a flashback by telling yourself that you’re safe because you’re not? And what about when you want to do so much more than just survive?

    Is safe just a construct? I believe that it’s attainable and real, but are some people just not meant to ever have safety?

    How do you get your resiliency back? What if you keep trying and trying and trying, and it’s just not working anymore?

    They say the harder you fall, the higher you bounce. I used to believe that, was all for “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” but what if it doesn’t? What happens when your bouncy ball has become so nicked and scratched and filled with dings that it just doesn’t really bounce anymore?

    Sorry if I’m not making much sense

    Hi undecided,

    I don’t think life is all about survival, I think it’s also about living.  Right now, it sounds like you’ve been in this place of survival and it’s hard to live in that reality for such a long time.

    I think it can be incredibly helpful to seek support from a therapist who can better understand the specifics of your experience and best guide you into how to transition from surviving to living.

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    undecided
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you

    Unfortunately don’t have access to a therapist right now, been working on that, but as of yet…
    just working on survival

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