Uncontrollable disruptions or distortions of attachment bonds precede the development of post-traumatic stress syndromes. People seek increased attachment in the face of danger. Adults, as well as children, may develop strong emotional ties with people who intermittently harass, beat, and, threaten them. The persistence of these attachment bonds leads to confusion of pain and love. Trauma can be repeated on behavioral, emotional, physiologic, and neuroendocrinologic levels. Repetition on these different levels causes a large variety of individual and social suffering.
Anger directed against the self or others is always a central problem in the lives of people who have been violated and this is itself a repetitive re-enactment of real events from the past. Compulsive repetition of the trauma usually is an unconscious process that, although it may provide a temporary sense of mastery or even pleasure, ultimately perpetuates chronic feelings of helplessness and a subjective sense of being bad and out of control. Gaining control over one’s current life, rather than repeating trauma in action, mood, or somatic states, is the goal of healing.
- Changes in self-perception, such as a chronic and pervasive sense of helplessness, paralysis of initiative, shame, guilt, self-blame, a sense of defilement or stigma, and a sense of being completely different from other human beings
- Difficulties regulating emotions, including symptoms such as persistent dysphoria, chronic suicidal preoccupation, self injury, explosive or extremely inhibited anger (may alternate), or compulsive or extremely inhibited sexuality (may alternate)
- Alterations in relations with others, including isolation and withdrawal, persistent distrust, a repeated search for a rescuer, disruption in intimate relationships and repeated failures of self-protection.
- Loss of, or changes in, one’s system of meanings, which may include a loss of sustaining faith or a sense of hopelessness and despair.
I had a conversation with my mother, right before cutting her out of my life, about my issues with her and my childhood. She said to me, “You cannot continue to blame me for everything that’s gone wrong in your life.” Learning what I am learning in the domestic violence group and learning to apply it to examples in my life, compiled with the fact that I am learning I may have
C-PTSD, I can DEFINITELY say that “Yes mother, you are to blame for my failings in life.” I am not trying to pass blame. I am accountable for my choices and decisions. However, her neglect, abuse, mental trauma, hurtful words have definitely shaped my thinking enabling me to hate myself, vie for attention to “feel” loved, and most of all find what is comforting and normal to me.
I had an argument/discussion with someone who recently posted a picture on facebook that read:
I only post this because I feel it follows my thought thread before. My past has very much influenced my path and choices in life. My choices are based on what I perceive as “normal”. Unfortunately, for me, normal is chaos, anger, hate, violence, and abuse. No, I am not saying that everyone in those environments grow up to be like me. But I am saying, for me, my past has influenced a lot of my decisions, good and bad. I tend to go to what is “normal” for me. I want to kind of break it down better, which is why I’m writing this blog.
Let’s start with the first sentence that stood out the most to me, “Adults, as well as children, may develop strong emotional ties with people who intermittently harass, beat, and, threaten them. The persistence of these attachment bonds leads to confusion of pain and love.” <— Without a question, I am strongly learning that I am way confused on pain and love. I am not a BDSM person, but emotional love and emotional pain are one in the same in my mind. Healthy, normal love does not exist. Therefore, I am walking around as a vulnerable target for people (not just men) to smell the “prey” on me.
The second sentence that I personally think drives home the argument I was trying to make to this person on Facebook about her picture she posted can be easily summed up here, “Compulsive repetition of the trauma usually is an unconscious process that, although it may provide a temporary sense of mastery or even pleasure, ultimately perpetuates chronic feelings of helplessness and a subjective sense of being bad and out of control. ” I am not saying my choices are not conscious choices. I am saying that there is an unconscious process working the gears and cogs in my psyche that influences my decisions.
Finally, the bullet points I posted are all me. So now that I am aware of this, how do I proceed? How do I regulate my mind and reshape it to find inner peace and the proper structure for a “healthy” self love? I did not have the coddling, caring, nurturing growing up. I have pushed myself out there to find love. To just be loved! But, as my past relationships (Romantic/Sexual/Friends Alike) I can see I pull in the wrong people who treat me horribly because it’s integrated into my mental well being.
I will preface this with, NOT ALL of my friends and relationships are bad. I do have some very strong, loving friends as well. It is through those relationships that I am finding strength to heal. I am finding “me” again. I am supported unconditionally. There is positive to my negative, I am just learning to refocus again.