I grew up in a home that was quite dysfunctional on many levels. I fought against the sick games. I stood up to them over and over and over again. I attended several treatment programs designed for alcoholics which helped with the compulsions temporarily but it was nothing more than a bandaide for me. All the while, I suffered emotionally, physically, and financially until I was able to break away to find my peace.
I first remember these dark feelings that I now attribute to my PTSS. Throughout my life, I endured many labels of shame imposed on me by both my family and ‘certified therapists’ and the labels of shame imposed by many other societal systems — all of which I now know are not true.
It isn’t me — it’s what happened to me. As I am relieved of my stress, I am relieved of my life-long compulsions, just-like-that.
A few years ago, my mother passed away in the pain and trauma of self-loathing and disappointment that the children she held up as her “golden children” were the ones who, in the end, wanted to “put her away.”
High-functioning – A High-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is able to conceal their dysfunctional behavior in certain public settings and maintain a positive public or professional profile while exposing their negative traits to family members behind closed doors.
I was not among those. I knew she needed mental health care and I was willing to support her to a better quality of life, even though she was my lifelong perpetrator of abuse.
I’d known for a long time that ‘something’ was not right with my mother. And, I was the only one who was willing to take a look at that.
I lived with her during the last two months of her life and I watched her loose her will to live. She had surrounded herself with alcoholic, adult children of alcoholics, and narcissistic ‘friends’ who all “looked good”.
It wasn’t her fault. It was all she knew for her entire life.
Scapegoating – Singling out one child, employee or member of a group of peers for unmerited negative treatment or blame.
I was the ‘scapegoat child’ so, in her mind, she couldn’t possibly take any direction from me about therapy that – even at her age (therapy at this age is NOT usual) – she could have resolved so many difficult issues that had plagued her all her life.
I asked her to get help for the last 25 years. When I did, she thought I was ‘mean to her’ and spread yet another vicious tale to the rest of the family which they eagerly lapped up and continued to hold me in the usual judgement du jour.
Triangulation – Gaining an advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.
Through my own efforts, I’ve found the truth I sought after since my early twenties when I first became aware that ‘something’ was not right with me. I was negatively affected by my childhood. Either it affected me more or I am the most couragous of five siblings. My siblings all claim to be “just fine”.
People like myself with Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome don’t talk about these things to anyone. Ever. It’s only now, after all these years, that I’ve found my voice. I am so tired of being quiet. I must let my voice be heard at last.
Emotional Blackmail – A system of threats and punishments used in an attempt to control someone’s behaviors.
I still get super-nervous when I think about reactions from others to my ‘coming out’. But, that won’t stop me – not now – not ever. I kept my silence long enough.
With Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), meditation, healthy eating and exercise, I gained a whole new perspective on on my life. I continue to grow and heal daily. I am a work in progress. But now, nothing stands in the way of my light shining brightly for all to see. If you’re interested, join me on this journey and together we will see where this bright light leads.
Together we light the way