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A Child’s Lament

I don’t remember much of my childhood.

The memories I do remember are best kept hidden deep inside.

They swirl around my insides like a whirlpool of dead stars into a black hole.

But my dear reader, I can’t hide them anymore.

It’s all too much.

These dead stars poison my body and soul.

Please take them from me.

Reach into that black hole and hold them for awhile.

And then, please stay awhile.

I cannot be left alone with them, again.

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PTSD Nightmares: The Nightly Battle

Over the last year, after losing my Mom and my two cats all within the year of one another, I have had nightly nightmares that have me re-live the worst times in my life thus far.

My dreams consist of seeing my mom pass away, become sick, or injure herself.

Last night, she choked and had a seizure in front of me.

My dreams consist of nightmare scenarios: being stuck in the ocean, shark attacks, losing friends and loved ones, falling from high altitudes, plane crashes…..

Last night, I fell through the sky, off of a skyscraper, and I felt it. I felt the roller-coaster feeling for a long time.

Will I ever recover? Will these ever go away?

I’m stuck in my trauma, awake and asleep.

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Dear Me At 23

I am sorry you felt the need to binge tv shows nightly and eat fast food to soothe yourself.

You stopped seeing friends except on the weekend when you would get wasted.

I am sorry you slept with numerous men who did not care about you.

(Remember the one who slept with you, took your cigarettes and then left and never talked to you again? Shout out to Kyle from Longmeadow, Mass. You reignited my trauma, yet I feel sorry for you. I saw those sadness in your eyes. I hope you are ok.)

I am sorry you let your mother, who loved you and who you loved very much, to control your emotions like a light switch….so badly that self harm and disordered eating became a part of your life.

I am NOT sorry for these experiences. They taught me lessons.

I am sorry for the hurt they caused my sensitive soul though.

Now, we will heal, but it’s up to me when.

When?

I don’t know.

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My Doctor Failed Me Today

I have been trying to get off of the fake love of my life, cannabis concentrate, for the last few years.

I have worked with substance abuse teams, therapists and group sessions.

I am now in an intensive DBT program at this place I’ve received all of my care. In order to be in the program, it is required you see one out of three of their doctors.

I’ve been seeing Dr. I* for over a year. Overall our relationship was cordial. She has a heavy accent and sometimes I can’t follow along with what she is saying, and I end up letting it brush by because, well, I have social anxiety.

Today, I came into the session planning to inquire why she dropped by antidepressant dose in half overnight, and maybe that is why I am struggling weaning off of 1gram of cannabis concentrate.

My partner was sitting next to me when after I approached the subject and let her know my feelings politely, Dr.I basically said “we have tried everything and at this point we are back at square one.”

Square one? I’ve been busting my ass getting clean. I gave up nicotine and alcohol! Why does she just seem to always tell me, “you just need to stop.”

That doesn’t work. Period.

To Be Continued.

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A Thank You Note


When a mental health professional that you’ve been working with leaves, it can feel devastating.

These people can provide what we never had.

Validation, reassurance, appreciation and love.

When they leave, it can feel like we are no longer validated, reassured, appreciated, or loved.

What we can try to remember is the gifts they have left.

They left us with new skills, new ideas, new outlooks.

They gifted us with a new way to travel on the road called life.

And while we can feel grief, sadness and whatever emotions come up over them leaving, we can carve out some time for gratitude.

For without these professionals, our lives can feel lonely, unreal and incomplete.

So, today, I am sending love and kindness to my particular mental health professional that is leaving in a few weeks.

Thank you.

Thank you for being there while I stopped drinking, and when I grieved for my mother. Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for always validating me and providing me with comfort and laughs.

Thank you for teaching me about death and dying and your times in hospice. We knew my mom brought us together somehow.


“I appreciate you…especially your heart.” —Anonymous

https://pin.it/3UEFyUw
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Trauma

Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality

Bessel A. Van der Kolk, Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society
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Love Endures

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”

Haldir, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
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i’ve always been someone who hangs onto perishable people, far past our expiration date.

The little girl that still lives inside of me, who is a part of me, is always in the background of my mind, reminding me that people cannot be trusted, and people will eventually leave.

This little girl is restless and relentless, she paces through my mind, tripping over every legitimate thought that flows on around her.

For years, I have been trying to quiet her through a variety of tactics.

Weed numbs her out the best, while alcohol comes in second.

I have taken away the latter from myself, and this little girl is now sneaking around and peeking around corners.

With the threat of shedding the rest of these tactics, her voice becomes louder.

“Take care of me.”

That’s all this poor little girl wants.

That is all she speaks.

How can I care for this part of me, who attaches herself to everyone I meet?

She consistently plants the seed that I will be neglected and abandoned, again.

This thinking worked for me then, when I was her age.

Now, her thinking is no longer serving me.

She is no longer serving me.

It becomes instantly clear.

We must live together, combine forces and coping skills, share stories and memories, and become friends with one another, in order to survive this life.

Now, the challenge will be fighting my fears, and meeting with that little girl, so eager to speak, so eager to connect.

Wish us luck.

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Surfing the Wave

You don’t choose to be depressed.

In the time of ‘be positive!’, it can be difficult to validate our own feelings about our mental state.

In reality, it’s okay to feel however you feel. If you are feeling sad, happy, lonely, horny, or rageful, those feelings are coming from somewhere; they are valid.

What we do with those feelings shows where we are; how long the kettle can boil without exploding.

We really need to choose better ways to cope, better ways to communicate, and better ways to surf the waves.

Let’s be kind to ourselves. We deserve to feel these emotions, good and bad. That is the complexity of this weird life; we love, we hurt, then we learn.

So today, instead of choosing positivity, choose to cope.

Choose to surf the waves.

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What is Complex Trauma?

According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2021), complex trauma (c-ptsd) describes both children’s exposure to multiple traumatic events—often of an invasive, interpersonal nature—and the wide-ranging, long-term effects of this exposure. These events are severe and pervasive, such as abuse or profound neglect.

In the article “Understanding Complex Trauma, Complex Reactions, and Treatment Approaches”, written by trauma expert, Dr. Christine Courtois, she summarizes complex traumatic events and experiences as stressors that are:

(1) repetitive, prolonged, or cumulative

(2) most often interpersonal, involving direct harm, exploitation, and maltreatment including neglect, abandonment, or antipathy by primary caregivers or other ostensibly responsible adults

(3) often occur at developmentally vulnerable times in the victim’s life, especially in early childhood or adolescence, but can also occur later in life and in conditions of vulnerability associated with disability, disempowerment, dependency, age, infirmity, and others.

Symptoms of complex trauma can include but are not limited to:

Reliving the traumatic experience

Avoiding situations with reminders of abuse

Changes in beliefs about you and others

Hyperarousal

Inability to regulate emotions

Negative self perception

Difficulty with relationships

Dissociation

Distorted perception of abuser

Suicidal Ideation

Treatment for complex trauma (c-ptsd)

psychotherapy

  • -internal family system work
  • -exposure therapy
  • -cognitive behavioral therapy
  • -dialectical behavior therapy

eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

medication

support groups

Complex Trauma Resources

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Posttraumatic-Stress-Disorder

https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/complex-trauma

https://www.verywellmind.com/using-mindfulness-for-ptsd-2797588