12 signs of Complex – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A long period of time.

First 16 years of life.

  1. Hypervigilance (felling that nothing is safe)
  2. We can never relax.
  3. We cannot really sleep properly. (plagued with nightmares and night terrors)
  4. We hate ourselves.
  5. We are drawn to highly unavailable people.
  6. We are sickened by people who want to be cozy with us.  (I can’t sleep with another person).
  7. We are prone to lose our temper very badly.
  8. We are paranoid and worried things are going to go bad again.
  9. We like being alone.
  10. We find living so exhausting and so unpleasant, we do sometimes long that we don’t exist anymore.
  11. We are rigid about our routines. OCD.
  12. We throw ourselves into work.

The root cause of complex PTSD is an absence of love.

And the cure for it is the same path. We need to love someone we hate…

Ourselves.

June 27th: National PTSD Awareness Day — Art by Rob Goldstein

Originally posted on Addicted To Living: (Image source: http://covingtonweekly.com/2017/06/29/disposable-heroes-ptsd-awareness-day/ ) More often than not, people tend to associate the acronym, PTSD, with veterans returning from war. This is because throughout the years of World War I and after World War II, many veterans faced severe PTSD, or “shell shock.” However, this is only one possible…

June 27th: National PTSD Awareness Day — Art by Rob Goldstein

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — Human Performance Psychology

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma and stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to an event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm occurred or was threatened. People who suffer from the disorder include military troops, rescue workers, and survivors of shootings, bombings, violence, and rape. Family members of victims can develop the disorder […]

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — Human Performance Psychology

C-PTSD

A Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one (or more) of the following ways:
1 Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s).
2 Witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others.
3 Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend. In cases of actual or threatened death of a family member or friend, the event(s) must have been violent or accidental.
4 Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse).
B Presence of one (or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred:
1. Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s).
2. Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s).
3. Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring.
4. Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).
5. Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).
C Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following:
1 Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
2 Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
D Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:
1 Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs).
2 Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted,” “The world is completely dangerous,” “My whole nervous system is permanently ruined”).
3 Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead the individual to blame himself/herself or others.
4 Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame).
5 Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
6 Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
7 Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings).
E Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:
1 Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects.
2 Reckless or self-destructive behavior.
3 Hypervigilance.
4 Exaggerated startle response.
5 Problems with concentration.
6 Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep).
F Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month.
G The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
H The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition.

little goat

i was scared of you from the word ‘go’
you didn’t see me, but you used me as your special little goat
i hid in a makeshift house that followed me from room to room
i was spider-man
swinging from veranda to clothesline

you took away my innocents
you used me for your pleasure
without my consent
you said: “you must not tell anyone”.

from age to teens
you chose me to hate
i hide among the weeds
skipping school, to stare up at the blue sky
the mice were my only friends

when i escaped, i was in a state of pure ecstasy
free from violence, free from hatred
i danced all night
i slept by day, under the palm tree
i was free…

then my demons returned to roost among the pigeons
you tracked me down
to use me again for your own pain
i never went back to live
my neck was frozen
i could not move

i lived a dream of body narcissism
day by day
i stole what i thought was mine

you came along
like a God
you took me in your arms
at last i was loved
and so was my body

when you left i died
then i woke with fierce determination
to learn about the world
to find peace
to find the now
to find God
to find new friends
to find film and history

through crazy eyes
you stalked me to end of the earth
i was shattered
tried hard to stay afloat
dying inside

her i am
standing in front of you
my image machine
finding joy once more
the lens is my new friend
i found art once more
the tree had grown tall…
leading my life back to the soil

sedge808

C.P.T. for PTSD

C.P.T. stands for cognitive processing therapy, and is used for people with PTSD.
CPT is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that helps patients learn how to modify and challenge unhelpful beliefs related to trauma.

I’ve started a 12 week PTSD support group, in conjunction with seeing a PTSD psychologist. Has been very helpful, and I’m already getting the benefits from the group as well as the therapy. This is the first time I’ve had specific help with my PTSD issues, so I am very grateful.

ptsd

For a very long time I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I always had fear in the workplace. Difficulty with anger in intimate relationships. Nightmares and night terrors. Very poor sense of self worth etc. It wasn’t until I stopped drinking in 2003, that I got a correct diagnosis for my condition.
The diagnosis was a blessing (not a curse), because I now new what the problem was and could respond and get help that I needed. I stopped work in 2009 due to strong PTSD symptoms that had been plaguing me all of my life.
I always hoped things would get better as I got older, but the opposite has happened. My symptoms have gotten worse over time.

sedge808.

https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/cognitive-processing-therapy.aspx

nightmares…

the unconscious mind producing horrific dreams…

I’m a C-PTSD sufferer, and have been having bad nightmares since as young as i can remember. around age 2. Has been very hellish.

nightmares

the more stressed i am in my daily life, the more the nightmares seem to come. the worst ones are about old work places, and ones about my family.

i actually thought that, as i got older, they would decrease. but the opposite has occurred…they are just as strong as ever.

it makes me all to aware of my experiences in childhood, have effected my unconscious mind.

how about you? do you suffer with nightmares?

Gavin.

Complex PTSD

…..?????

What is that….  ????

I often say: “someone who has been in more than one plane crash, and survived”.

It’s rather interesting that my disability is not only misunderstood, but not understood.

I’m problem is not my mental illness, but the lack of understanding of my illness, from my friends and fellow mental illness sufferers.

This is the primary problem….even my psychologist wasn’t able to grasp my issues….and wanted me to work on something completely unrelated to my current issues.

This is highly frustrating and disappointing.

So….how do I get other people to understand my disability ????

I’m not even sure how to start…!

It’s just not working, and I’m feeling VERY frustrated.

My experience of victimhood is very real, and this is one of the major issues I face as a person with complex PTSD.

I just don’t really know what to do. What not to do, or any kind of ‘knowing’.

sedge808.
Complex PTSD

C-PTSD

I’m really struggling with the lack of understanding other people have about CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

A good friend hit me yesterday….his way of coping with my bad behaviour.

This has happened multiple times in the past, and I’ve been very explicit about telling him NO HITTING !!!!!! 

I spent the first 16 years of my life being hit by my family, and I don’t cope with it at all!

so now I’ve had to put in some major boundaries in place with this friend, and I’m not even sure we can continue to be friends….which would be so sad.

I’m very much responsible for my behaviour, and I recognise that, but I do struggle with other people’s lack of understanding.

no hitting

Complex PTSD

 

Turmoil and confusion

Yesterday morning my sister received her results and they positive for cancer in the breast, she petrified and we were both filled with sadness as we spoke the possibilities through. ..today she sees oncology and Friday they operate. ..
It’s hard to hear that a loved one is battling it tore me apart, as we spoke of my mom’s journey with breast cancer to and last night she had her 3rd operation on her femur and hip replacement too our brothers tell us mom’s one eye is swollen shut ?not sure yet why …
Last night I kept busy I slept little and then communicated back and forth to south Africa with my brother’s around mom’s progress my mental illness feels agrivates by this change at present my sister isn’t telling any family other than me maybe next week she says I worry but hear to her concerns mom’s not well and dad’s away. ..

The feeling she been through enough in life why more I do not know but god sure had lots thrown at him last night from me:'(

Dreams of a better days

We arrived home late afternoon yesterday and the drive wasn’t quite as bad Hooray for that!Well driving we reflected on our weekend e cried listened to music ,it was hard all in all watching my sister in laws husband battle cancer its slowly popping up in all places and breathing is compressed by his tumor in the lungs that one can hear him breath miles away with much difficulty ..well we were there my in laws phoned they booked there tickets they arrive 20 July with there sister who we haven’t seen in more than 10 years ..excited to see the three monkey to they all under ten and one aged 3 .

So we booked our tickets well at his sister to fly well his parents are here to new Plymouth this is massive for me,but we all excited .This week is huge my mom went in for a third op related to her broken femur and hip replacement last night in south Africa  its hard to try encourage when she battles to .And today my sister will find out whether she has cancer in the lymph nobs as well ,one weeks ago they removed a tumor in the breast and then sent away for extensive testing today she finds out the results .Hubby i must say is very understanding of the emotions right now.

I took my usual meds the whole weekend to satisfy hubby but last night left them and this morning well hubby was searching for his medicine he came across my stock pile and woke me at 5 am with holly crap theirs about three months here for you how fucking long have you not taken Groan its only 4 weeks not thee months relax …i cant do this im only trying to please others and that hard enough ..I NEED TO KEEP REMINDING ME ITS ABOUT ME AND ME ONLY.

This mornings side effects of starting and stopping meds  is one hell of a headache its throbbing,but too a feeling of been isolated from the world i look out side and dream to walk patches by our sea side but the gripping fear some how arises and home i wish to stay rather were its safe ,quite ,and no one can touch me.

You see, it’s like the ending of ‘Psycho’

Art by Rob Goldstein

In therapy today we touched on the weird inner world of the pathological narcissist.

The one that swiped my Flickr group has opened a WordPress account
to fave my  blog entries.

I recognized her face from the Psycho looking selfie she uses as an avatar.

Art by Rob Goldstein You see, It’s like the ending of Psycho

I said to my therapist, “I don’t follow her. In fact, because of my DID, I’ve mostly forgotten her.”

I know who she is and why we don’t speak but those memories are like the memories of a group of snapshots.

If you hurt me, I mostly forget you.

“So why is she doing this?” I asked.  “To get attention?”

You see, it’s like the ending of Psycho,” replied my therapist.  “Norman is gone and what’s left is his malignant narcissist of a Mother who thinks that not killing the fly will…

View original post 78 more words

I’m the Person You don’t know who is Not the Pathological Narcissist Mentioned in Rob Goldstein’s Blog Post that You Haven’t Read

Art by Rob Goldstein

The Medusa
The reason I’ve decided to revive this post is because a friend from Flickr informs me that a pathological narcissist is posting to the streams of people I don’t know on Flickr that I’ve accused her of trolling my art group.

That’s not correct.

I’ve accused her of stealing my art group.

When you keep things that don’t belong to you it’s stealing.

When you lie about people it’s called slander.

And when you feel entitled to hurt people for your own sadistic
amusement you are probably a malignant narcissist.

In October of last year this woman claimed on an unrelated topic posted to The Neighborhood that she was the Narcissist I was writing about on my blog.

I am not sure what to think of a woman who identifies herself on the blog of someone she doesn’t know as one of two unnamed women I described as malignant narcissists

View original post 448 more words

Smokes

Art by Rob Goldstein

SmokesA concrete picnic enclosure on Venice Beach; abandoned except for a weathered old man on a picnic table rolling cigarettes.

A faded tattoo of a sword wrapped in a ribbon on his forearm, the words on the ribbon merge together in blue curlicues, like the blue veins that criss-cross his swollen nose.

He says his name is Eddie.

Eddie has selectively gathered cigarette butts since dawn.

He has searched in and around the enclosure and is now ready to roll a few butts for the day.

Boys on skateboards zip through.

A photographer wanders in and snaps a picture of Eddie as he teases tobacco into a rusty can.

Eddie flicks away the yellow filters.

Pigeons scurry over to peck them.

He rolls two thin cigarettes and lays them out to dry; I offer him one of mine, and he gently declines, “I have enough” he says.

“What…

View original post 164 more words

When the Narcissist is Invisible

Art by Rob Goldstein

Abstract Digital Painting                                        We

In this post I use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ because my subjective experience is that of multiple separate people.

The children of pathological narcissists must blind themselves to behaviors that healthy people consider unspeakable.

Food deprivation, the theft of money, a lack of boundaries, triangulated relationships in which the child must either see the other parent as an enemy or hate the other parent outright, contempt for the achievements of others, the competitive behavior of a child, and the threat of psychological annihilation.

For the narcissist the worst crime is independent thought.

The child has no needs of his own.

He must have no dreams, and no vision of life without the clinging demands of a parent or parent surrogate who is essentially a two-year old with no insight.

The psychological death-blow is that the child must never surpass the parent.

My Mother despised my intelligence and…

View original post 1,105 more words

A Dream About Robert

Art by Rob Goldstein

A Dream About Robert

Robert sits in the Cafe Flore.

He sips a cup of green tea.

He traces words in a note-book.

A stranger flips the table and shouts: “When you are ready to decide who you are let me know!”

His Mother throws poems at me and weeps.

“Such lovely poems,” she says, “but all about me…all about me.”

I wear the black trench coat of mourning.

“Ya know,” I say, “I was taught to be more dispassionate.”

Robert rights the table and smiles: “So was I. We’re Jewish, ya know.”

“Yes.” I sigh. “More tea?”

Robert nods and passes me the cup.

***

“I had a dream about you,” says Robert.

I see all of San Francisco from the summit of Mount Haleakalā.

It is dawn and a dense fog settles as a crown around my head.

There is a scent of roses.

A jagged crack slaps my face.

Then you…

View original post 44 more words

I’m Getting Her PTSD. Pt. 1 [Poem]

How do you relate to the people in your life with PTSD?

This post is part of a series of poems dedicated to my girlfriend. She has PTSD and severe anxiety and you will understand her story with each post. Each time I learn something about the mental conditions she lives with, I add a “part” to the series.

wpid-20150308_180855.jpg

History becomes Her story-

She’s a beautiful soul, trapped deep in her keep,

In a place she won’t let most inside.

So I’ve entered slowly and cautiously here,

Not breaking the trust she confides.

Her levels and layers, her pain and her hurt

Run as deep as the red in her blood.

And I sit and I listen, to all that she says,

Which comes from her core that is good.

She tells me of rape, of the breaking of bones,

And a tear glistens down over my cheek.

For I’ve known the warrior, the battle hardened victor,

Not imagining her soft soul so meak.

Sometimes she gets up, in the middle of the night

She says that it’s just too hard.

She’ll leave then apologize because she’s flashed back

I’m not angry, I’m honored ’cause she let down a wall.

We tell each other, “You get me.” “You understand who I am”,

And we hold each other tight.

And I’ll hold her and treasure her, ’til peace arrives,

And helps her sleep through the night.

She’s grown on me, and taught me her life,

My mouth hangs open in awe.

For I’m getting her condition, her PTSD

I’m beginning to understand it all.

Do you have suggestions for supporting people with PTSD? Will you share them with us?

The Narcissist on the Seventh Floor: Part Two

Art by Rob Goldstein

Plebe                                      Plebe

There is no one as compelling as a selfish woman who covertly wants to enslave and debase me.

Thanks to my Mother, contempt is love, greedy emotional neediness is love, destroying my hopes and dreams is love, manipulating to isolate me from all that is good and healthy is love.

I will always let a narcissist back into my life.

But something has changed because I have made therapy my priority.

This is one of the reasons I must be careful about over-extending myself.

Therapy is working, but it’s painful and I use distraction to avoid pain.

In my previous letter to the narcissist on the Seventh floor I changed gender pronouns to distance myself from my rage.

I have a hard time differentiating between my transference projections and what is real.

My therapist and I are working on my rage in treatment; I can see…

View original post 640 more words

After the Lovin’- Five things a Narcissist will do after a Breakup

Art by Rob Goldstein

Portrait of My MotherPortrait of My Mother

There is self-esteem and grandiose narcissism..

There is the sense that you can accomplish your goals and grandiose narcissism.

My Mother was brutally narcissistic.

In her mind, I was an object, a toy used to control and dominate my father; a thing she used to secure and please new boyfriends.

A thing.

My Mother’s control over my intellectual and emotional life was so complete that when she cried I cried.

Even when I didn’t know why she was crying.

Today’s therapy session focused on the fact that I still “discover” that someone I cared about and admired is a pathological narcissist.

I repeatedly “discover”  that the breach of boundaries, the use of my resources without consideration, the inflated claims of competence and the derision for anyone who dared to contradict these claims are signs that I’m in another cycle of repetition.

I meet my Mother…

View original post 1,415 more words

A Letter from Home: Dear Bobby

 

A Letter from Home: Dear Bobby
A Letter from Home: Dear Bobby

Dear Bobby,

From what I know about your Mother I can understand how you might stumble into relationships that feel deceptive and controlling.

That you have survived to be as loving as you are attests to your strength of will and natural gift for seeing through fakes.

You will have to fight for the stability that many people mistakenly assume is the result of thinking the “right thoughts.”

The compulsion to replicate an abusive relationship is a challenge that adults who were abused as children must understand and overcome.

You want to make it right with your Mother, but she is gone; so you look for her in other people.

The shadows you describe are a good sign, because it means that you can see the replication before it is complete.

Your ability to see that you are in danger means that you are better able to protect yourself.

People yield to each other when they truly accept and love each other.

They yield by mutual consent.

What you are used to is love as warfare and you as hostage.

You look for emotional vampires that call you a hater when you discover that they are dead inside.

You invite them into your life and let them feed on you.

You will always have to guard against the attraction to people who can’t love.

But no one has the right to judge your perception of the difference between right and wrong.

It is true that we must not judge people harshly for being who they are but there are right and wrong actions and not judging people who choose to harm other people places all of us at risk.

You are no better than anyone else is and no one else is better than you are.

This awareness is part of the magic you describe.

When we live in a world in which each of us is respected  as an essential expression of the divine we no longer need to treat each other as enemies and pawns.

Your innate awareness of this fills you with the love that you struggle to express.

This spirit of love makes you seem hateful to the soulless.

But it’s not just you Bobby.

You survived a Mother who in her love for you wanted you dead.

You survived her physically and emotionally, all you need to do now is tell your story because that is how survivors help others to survive.

You must learn to understand how your past affects the present in the past, and the present in the future.

You will have to remember the selfish ignorance that raped your body, it is horrifying, but all of us must do it.

This selfish ignorance tells you that compassion is a failure to mature.

Mistaking parasitic self-interest for maturity is a convenient lie.

With all of our problems and pain, we are lucky because you are our soul and you are intact.

Adults bring the fruit of wisdom into the world.

That is our job and why we must get well.

Know that I love you and that I am here to protect you until you can protect yourself,

Sara

To “I Am Not a Victim”

Art by Rob Goldstein

Audre Lorde We have nothing to gain from silence.

I Am Not a Victim                            I Am Not a Victim

I see that phrase at least three times during an average session online.

I Am Not a Victim

There is what the wordmeansand what it implies.

Various free online dictionaries define the word victim as: an unfortunate person who suffers from some adverse circumstance: a person who has suffered the effects of violence or illness or badluck: anaccidentvictim She’s just a victim of circumstances beyond her control.

Google Search Results

unfortunate victim

I decided to search Project Gutenbergand found a Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary

VICTIM

Vic”tim, n. Etym: [L. victima: cf. F. victime.]

1. A living being sacrificed to some deity, or in the performance of a religious rite; a creature immolated, or made an offering of. Led like a victim, to…

View original post 849 more words

When it Comes to Filling Out Forms

Art by Rob Goldstein

The Problem with FormsThe Problem with Forms

Pattie Duke’sbi-polar illness is not the same as the bi-polar illness of the woman I saw kneeling and praying on Market Street.

Even if Pattie Duke was broke her illness would be unique to her.

People with schizophrenia also have different symptom patterns and different degrees of abilities.

Some of the more crippling symptoms of schizophrenia are directly related to the quality of a patient’s life.

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Quality of Life Research Unit define quality of life as “The degree to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of his or her life” 

Their Quality of Life Model is based on the categories “being”, “belonging”, and “becoming”, respectively who one is, how one is not connected to one’s environment, and whether one achieves one’s personal goals, hopes, and aspirations.

Therefore quality of life is defined as the extent to which…

View original post 736 more words

Ten Tips for Mental Health Bloggers

Art by Rob Goldstein

Blog for Mental Health 2015
The thing about triggers is they don’t have to have any obvious connection to anything.

Something as mundane as finding that I’ve followed someone by mistake can unsettle me for days.

It’s not uncommon for me to find comments about a post that I know nothing about; I often don’t know what’s been posted until I see a comment.

I usually read the post before I reply.

The trigger in this case was that I replied to the comment, went to see what it was about; saw a very nice blog, but not one that I would follow.

It felt odd.

How did it happen?

I told a friend.

She thought that one of my alternates had played a prank.

Why didn’t if feel like something I would do?

Then the trigger kicked in.

Was I hacked?

I rarely discuss the practical problems of being a blogger with Dissociative Identity…

View original post 374 more words

Kaiser’s Department of “We Don’t Do That!”

Art by Rob Goldstein

Blog for Mental Health 2015

The latest episode in my ongoing resistance to Kaiser’s efforts to snuff me out with lethal neglect comes courtesy of my stupid belief that Kaiser would actually give me basic psychiatric services without a struggle.

To understand my anger I should explain that I use words for clarity, not obfuscation; therefore,  when I use the words Case Manager I have the following definitions in mind.

“A case manager helps you complete paperwork and get to appointments. Your case manager may meet with you at the mental health agency, in-patient facility, your home, or another community setting. Case management is usually covered by Medicaid or state funding.

Children’s case management is a similar service that works with parents and caregivers to support healthy growth and development for children.”

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Or

“Case managers help patients live as independently as possible by helping them apply for social…

View original post 833 more words

I am the Government and I am You.

Art by Rob Goldstein

I Beleive I Believe

May is National Mental Health Month
The ongoing sight of our elderly and disabled living their last days in filth on our city streets fill me with shame.
It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t always like this.
Most people aged 60 and over remember when it wasn’t.
For me, the question is not what the government should do about it.
We are the government.
The question is what are we going to do as people to correct a fatal mistake in public policy?
The policy of deinstitutionalization was premised on the idea that human rights and class mobility are a national priority.

“We as a Nation have long neglected the mentally ill and the mentally retarded. This neglect must end, if our nation is to live up to its own standards of compassion and dignity and achieve the maximum use of its manpower. This tradition of…

View original post 739 more words

Having Breast Cancer 4 Times

4 Times and Counting

image

Some people skip my posts as they don’t want to know that breast cancer can strike more than once. They believe that my story must be a real downer as who wouldn’t be depressed to have their cancer come back again and again and again? Others look to find differences in their stories from mine to reassure themselves that this will not have to them. I don’t know how many people have asked me if this whole mess couldn’t have been avoided if I just had a double mastectomy with my first breast cancer at 29? Hindsight is usually 20/20 but even my oncologists aren’t convinced that would have stopped the cancer from coming back. I had new primaries, not recurrences, and it is very possible they still would have grown in my mastectomy scars. I would like to assure you my story is not all doom and gloom and…

View original post 996 more words

Finding My New Normal After Losing My Old Normal

4 Times and Counting

Iwpid-53aeeb4e69e587cd5b9d5a17633ac875.jpg

I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at 29. February,2015 will be 27 years from the time of my first diagnosis. I have spent almost half my life battling breast cancer.

“Finding your new normal” is one of those popular buzz phrases spoken by oncologists, counsellors, and other cancer survivors. I’ve always felt that this word was like a password to a secret clubhouse that everyone in Cancerland belongs to except for me. Although I know this password, I am obviously missing something that would allow me to gain entry. Maybe a special knock or a secret handshake is also required. While I can spout the phrase “new normal” without difficulty, I’ve never quite understood how those words applied to my life.

If we uttered the phrase “changes to your life” due to cancer, I could easily relate to that. I could draw up a long list of the…

View original post 1,833 more words

Parenting With Breast Cancer

This was first published at 4 Times And Counting.

4 Times and Counting

wpid-d4c79ea8cb92132997100d576da20dc8.jpg
When you are a parent, you want to protect your children from all the bad things in life as you love them so fiercely. You feel like this lioness with her cub, trying to shelter them from all impending harm. But when you are diagnosed with cancer, you are the one that sends your children’s world into a chaotic tailspin. Between the shock of diagnosis, the demands of treatment, and the uncertainty of what the future holds for you and your family, your children can’t help but be threatened by this disease that has invaded their lives.

Although I have had breast cancer 4 times, I only had children during the last bout in 2011. At that time, they were 9 and 11, old enough to understand what was going on but young enough that they still needed a parent who could be there for them 24/7. As a single…

View original post 1,626 more words

STICKS and STONES by Topaz Winters

One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. ― Michael J. Fox

Rose and Stone
“I sometimes pretend I’m a Phoenix” – Topaz Winters, from Sticks and Stones

 

It’s my pleasure to bring you another poem submitted by Topaz Winters. Her poem takes us inside the maelstrom of a wounded spirit stuck between feeling the reality of unrelenting anguish from abuse, trauma, abandonment, and the dream of love and life as first imagined. The journey to healing is never swift or without setbacks captured in the line, “I sometimes pretend I’m a phoenix.” Topaz’s advocacy for survivors and awareness is greatly appreciated.  Topaz offered her poem as a tribute to the readers and authors that know abuse and trauma all too well. Thank you for your continued support, Topaz.  And now, dear reader, I submit to you, Sticks and Stones by Topaz Winters. Continue reading “STICKS and STONES by Topaz Winters”

Making Themes Not Resolutions For 2015

Reblogged from 4 Times And Counting

4 Times and Counting

image

                                                                    

Having made and promptly broken every resolution made for New Years in the  past, I’m trying something different this year. I have decided to pick 2 keywords as my themes for the year which will hopefully guide my actions in the 12 months ahead.

The words I have chosen for 2015 are “create” and “giving”.  I want to build up and not tear down. I would like to make something new, whether it is a new blog post, an article written out of my comfort zone, an e-book, or building a sense of community in my online and virtual worlds. I want to share my experiences more transparently and honestly in the hopes that even one reader will say to herself, “hey, I’m not alone feeling this way”. As I wrote in an earlier post, The Winning Ticket, I want to give back to my community, not keep…

View original post 372 more words

Breast Cancer: It Is Going To Be A Bumpy Ride

My newest blog post is on the psychological effects of a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Much of the content would apply to any other significant trauma as it covers anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

4 Times and Counting

A breast cancer diagnosis is a life altering event, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Surprisingly, little attention has been devoted to conducting scientific studies that measure anxiety, depression, and PTSD rates in first time breast cancer patients. Even less scientific attention has been paid to these psychological effects in patients who have experienced a recurrence or a metastasis of their cancer. The statistics available are all over the map but it can safely be said that almost all breast cancer patients will suffer from depression and high anxiety levels sometime on their journey from diagnosis to post-treatment.  

These feelings may be short-term for many, disappearing within a few months after treatment ends. A significant percentage of first time breast cancer survivors (US studies say 25% while European and Australian studies say at least 50%) will go on to develop long term post-traumatic stress disorder. There is very little statistical evidence pinpointing…

View original post 2,629 more words

The End of War

This is a repost of a chapter from one of my short stories.  It wasn’t very popular as far as likes, comments or views. It seems counter intuitive to beat that old dead horse again here.  I replay it because much is said about post traumatic stress disorder in service members but it’s not well understood by the public.  It can manifest years after the event as the memories suddenly drift in like a cold breeze through a forgotten open door.  Internal dialog of scenes long forgotten play out when and wherever they will – triggered by a thought, sound, a vision, a taste or smell. Continue reading “The End of War”

Ways to help

6 ways to help someone dealing with PTSD  (from my prospective anyway)

  • Listen, sit silent and listen.
  • Encourage, them to seek counseling.
  • Don’t assume what works for you will work for them.
  • Don’t give advise, unless it is asked for.
  • Help them Celebrate, their victories, no matter how small.
  • Most importantly, be Patient and LISTEN, sit silent and just listen.

What things have helped you or helped you to help others?

Check out the sites below for information.

Brainline.org

HelpGuide.org

CasaPalmera.com