If you’re dealing with COMPLEX Post Traumatic Stress I want you to know you’re not alone.
Quick recap of acronyms: COMPLEX PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) refers to a person who is overwhelmed by emotional sensations, as compared to the visual memories that overwhelm people with “regular” PTSD. Judith Herman coined CPTSD in 1995, so that’s the popular term. But many people today prefer the acronym CPTS-R. R is for RESPONSE, not disorder. Peter Levine, founder of Somatic Experiencing, uses the acronym PTSI. I is for INJURY.
When a person feels overwhelmed by an experience, either physically or emotionally, feelings of powerlessness can multiply the overwhelm. Like a tidal wave or a fog. Like a vicious cycle, feelings of powerlessness often keep the post traumatic stress response active and alive.
This wouldn’t be such a problem EXCEPT that powerlessness is such a taboo topic in our culture. It takes a huge amount of courage to even admit that we feel it. But what we don’t feel, we cannot heal.
“The feeling that cannot find it’s expression in tears will cause the other organs to weep.” Dr. Henry Maudsley
The INVISIBLE nature of CPTSD’s emotional overwhelm and emotional flashbacks can make it super difficult for “normal people” (or neurotypicals) to understand. The fact that it requires so much damn explanation and all these acronyms – just makes it more complicated and frustrating. More alone. More isolated. More cave-time.
It can feel really lonely. But there are solutions and I don’t ever want you to think you’re alone because that only adds to feelings of powerlessness! Your path has given you superpowers and I want you to flex them and enjoy them so you can enjoy your life!
Powerlessness can be a gateway to access your power. The following posts can help you see “powerlessness” as the lead that you will transmute to gold. I published the following posts recently but didn’t spotlight CPTSD in them, so you may not have realized they were written for you. That’s why I’m summarizing them here.
Please feel free to share your experiences, your strengths, your hope in the comment area. Also, if you have any questions or if there’s something you’d like me to focus on in a future post, just say so!
Debbie Happy Cohen, Founder of Joy-Based Living
and Connoisseur of the Human Repertoire of Emotions
HELL YES there is light at the end of the tunnel of CPTSR CPTSD and codependency!
(a 9 minute video)
And last but not least, an oldie but popular goodie