CPTSD Recovery & Emotional Flashbacks

It’s been one year of no contact between myself and the narcissistic mother. I have only had contact in the past year with one sister, but sadly that also ended last month.

I have basically been mourning for a family that lives in the same small town that I do. Weird, but also necessary. I can’t have contact with them. There is no question about that.

Can I remind you that just a little over two years ago I moved here because I felt strongly that it was what I needed to do for my mental health to improve? I thought I was dealing with complicated grief over my Father’s death, along with depression and anxiety. Everyone (me, my husband, my therapist) thought that I could use the support of my loving family. Boy, did I get an awakening!

As it turns out, I believe my mental health issues following my Father’s death in June 2010 are a result of narcissistic abuse, as my mother and golden child sister were devaluing me, and not long after I moved back here, they finished the job by discarding me in June 2015.

I haven’t posted any videos on my youtube channel since Mother’s day, because I have felt too emotional. Every time I have tried to make a video I would get frustrated with myself for crying. I wish I could get past that part, but I suppose what I have been avoiding is still waiting there to burst forth, so I’m going to have to allow it. After all, it isn’t shameful to cry and have feelings. That shame over something so normal is something the narcissistic mother instilled in me, so that I wouldn’t mess up her mood with my feelings.

CPTSD Recovery Chat & Crafting Therapy Sessions

I have decided that I’m going to make Youtube videos of myself working on a project and chatting about whatever it is I need to talk about. You know, the way it is when you go and see a therapist, and they start the session with “What would you like to talk about today?”. Like that. Only it will just be me and my video camera. Who knows, I may even come out from behind the camera someday soon.

Sometimes, I may have a topic in mind and that is the direction it will go, but other times it is going to be me chatting about what has been burning a hole in my guts. I may not even know what I’m going to talk about until I start talking. For this reason, I will not be posting a transcript for these videos.

CPTSD Recovery Chat

My latest youtube video ended up being about Emotional Flashbacks, something that those of us suffering with CPTSD have intimate knowledge about. We just may not be able to put a name to it. I know I wasn’t able to. It wasn’t until I found videos on Youtube about healing from CPTSD, that I learned what an emotional flashback was. I knew what it felt like though.

Finding out about CPTSD has been a game changer for me. I felt hopeless before. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I just knew there was something different about me, and it was something I felt shameful about.

Emotional flashbacks are the most significant symptom of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD). It is the one symptom that sets it apart from regular Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Emotional flashbacks can make life difficult when we are triggered, because we regress emotionally to the “feeling states” of the traumatized child, and as a result we react to the “unnecessary triggering of our fight/flight instincts” (Walker, 3). The tricky part is that there is no visual component to the emotional flashback, so you just feel all the feelings, and usually think something in your present environment is to blame for those intense feelings, so you react. When I let that last bit sink in, I had a huge lightbulb moment. I’ve always felt like my emotions and reactions were out of whack with the situation at hand, and this is because they were. I have been getting triggered and having emotional flashbacks my whole life!

Crafting Therapy 

The craft project I am making is face scrubbies.  They are basically a crocheted flat circle using 100% cotton medium (4) weight yarn. The hook size I used is 5.0mm (H/8), and the yarn is Sugar ‘n Cream in sage green.

Crochet Face Scrubbies Tutorial:

  1. Start by making a magic circle, or you can ch4 and join to the first ch to make a circle.
  2. ch3, then 11 DC into the circle (12).
  3. Join with a slip stitch into top of the ch3.
  4. ch3, 1 DC into the same space as the ch3, then 2DC into each stitch (24).
  5. Join with a slip stitch into top of the ch3.
  6. ch3, 1 DC into same space as ch3, then 1 DC in next st, 2 DC into next st (inc), alternating (36).
  7. Slip stitch into top of ch3.
  8. If you want to make yours bigger, or make them into coasters (for eg.), you can continue increasing by 12 st each row. The next row would be ch3, 1DC into same space as ch3, 1 DC into next 2 st, 2 DC into next st (inc), alternating (48), and join with a slip stitch in the top of ch3.

Let me know if you want the formula to continue increasing. 🙂

20161026_174033

Resources

Walker, Pete. Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. USA: Azure Coyote Books, 2013. Print.

www.pete-walker.com

Poking Holes Youtube Channel

Advertisements

I’m the Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother

I recently started a YouTube channel. I am going to post the video transcripts and a link to the videos on this blog. The following is the first video I uploaded to YouTube.

Video Transcript: Welcome to my Channel: I’m the Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to my channel.

I’m a wife and a mother,                                                                                                                              an educator, a bit of a craft nerd,                                                                                                                   a tree hugger and a dog lover,                                                                                                                 and I’ve recently discovered that                                                                                                               I’m the daughter of a narcissistic mother.

What prompted the discovery is that I recently moved back to my home town after being away for 9 years. I moved back “home” because I was having problems with depression and anxiety, and I felt like I needed my family. I felt like I needed my mother. My father had passed away 4 years prior to this. My husband and I both agreed that it would be for the best if we moved here. We sold our home, where we lived for the past 5 years, and moved into my childhood home with my mother. Now, this was on a temporary basis, until we could get jobs, get a mortgage, and purchase our own home. It took 9 months for me to discover and to realize that my mother had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and my closest sister is her Golden Child, and she is actually also a narcissist.

What ultimately brought me to this discovery is being discarded by my narcissistic mother and narcissistic golden child sister. I was told I was crazy, by both of them, that I needed to be on medication, that I needed to see a counsellor, and basically, what it felt like for me is like I was being kicked when I was down. I felt like they were ashamed of me. I felt like they didn’t know how to deal with me, and that I made them look bad because I was going through these problems. These were two people that I loved dearly and who I though felt the same about me. It was really devastating. It’s been a rough 10 months since that happened and since that discovery about my family.

I picked up crochet during that time, and it has really been a very useful tool for me as a form of meditation, to get out of my own head. Especially during times of intense anxiety, which came with feelings of shame and guilt, and outright fear. These feelings came about following the discovery that my mother has narcissistic personality disorder.

Once I discovered that I have been staying away from them, and I actually went no contact. So, I know that the feelings of shame and the guilt and the fear, and those feelings are there because I’m going against the family, and I’m going against my mother. I’m speaking out about things that you shouldn’t speak out about. That they think you shouldn’t speak out about. It’s the untold thing. We’re not allowed to talk about what’s really going on. And, I mean, I just found out. I mean, I feel like I just discovered it, but ultimately (I’ll discuss this more), I feel like I have only just covered it up from myself. Like, I hid it from myself sort of, just so I could go on, and still have a family. It’s not a great feeling to have this discovery and then realize that I can’t be around them. I’ve always been a big family person, so for this to happen, and for me to realize that things weren’t the way that I thought they were, and for me to realize that I can’t have that close family unit that I thought I had, is a harsh reality.

Lately, I feel like I am stuck. I’m currently in a place of needing to face it and to face my past. I am here to tell my story. I realize I need to get my story out in order to heal. I need to talk to others who get it, who’ve been there, who will understand. I need to put into words what happened. I need to tell my truth for my own health and well being.

I really hope in doing so that my videos are helpful to others. I know when I watched other YouTubers’ videos, or when I read other peoples’ stories, about narcissistic abuse, it really helps to see your story, for somebody to verbalize, to put into words, what you feel.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to share my story, and hopefully it can help me to become unstuck. Help me to heal and grow, and move beyond this.

Like I said, I hope in doing so that I’m able to help others in the process.

Thank you for being here.

End Video Transcript***

In case you are interested in the crocheting part of the video. 🙂

Crochet Wash Cloth

Click for the Free Pattern I used.

Materials I used:                                                                                                                                                 Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter cotton (Crown Jewels OMB)                                                                         Crochet Hook: Size H/8 – 5.0mm                                                                                                                    Yarn Needle                                                                                                                                                           Scissors

Here is a picture of my finished crocheted wash cloth. I love the colours. 🙂

WIN_20160413_154702 (3)