• Easter and how I survived with PTSD

    Ah, the holidays. The home where most trauma triggers meet. Easter, this time. Whether you are still in contact with your family or not, they are an annual full blown reminder of abuse. When I met other child abuse survivors, I realised how lucky I am. I was able to go no contact and not see my family. Part of that was easier to do, due to the fact they abandoned me a long time ago. I never realised this and always missed them because I just wanted a family like everybody else. To me, the holidays were never about nice family dinners and spending good time together because the…

  • What happens when (C)PTSD and an abuse free future meet

    Chaos happens. It’s a new type of chaos, that doesn’t feel as heavy as the old chaos. Whoever follows me on social media already read or noticed I have been doing amazingly well lately. Not that PTSD is gone and that I am cured; it’s more of being able to deal with triggers, stay in the present and more importantly: look in to the future. It’s been going so well, I don’t even need EMDR therapy for now. What does this mean for my blog? Not much, apart from the fact I realised I want to start to write about my progress and my future. This means I will write…

  • Behavioural Wednesday – Freeze response

    Monday I had the perfect example of what the freeze response does in a person with (C)PTSD. Whether other people notice or not, I noticed my behaviour. I noticed how my body felt as if there was a threat. And to be honest, there was. The only problem is that my body reacts to it like I’m still a child and I can’t respond like the adult that I am. My Instagram poll showed a 100% of other (child)abuse survivors react with the freeze response too.   My earliest memory of the freeze response is from when I was 11 years old (but I have most likely frozen a lot…

  • Behavioural Wednesday – Dependency

    In recent conversations with my mentor we discussed how independent I am in a lot of areas, or I wouldn’t have managed to live by myself for almost 12 years now. I am not sure how I learnt to do this, maybe because I had to. Maybe it was pure survival. I have been taking care of myself and the family ever since my dad has had different types of strokes, heart attacks and a life threatening accident at work (he had another accident at work which killed him 12 1/2 years ago). This started when I was 10 years old, this was also the year I was stopped being…

  • Behavioural Wednesday – Eye contact

    In this first post of my behavioural series, I want to talk about one of my behaviours I never realised I struggle with. Eye contact. I think it’s one of my key behaviours that shows I was abused, but only other survivors and people who understand the effects and affects of abuse will see this as a sign. That is exactly why I want to start off with eye contact. It has nothing to do with self esteem issues (though that is another issue) or autism (in my case), it has everything to do with fear. My Instagram poll showed 88% of my following abuse survivors have difficulty with eye…

  • When we have to say goodbye to our therapists

    Goodbyes… Everyone has dealt with them and everyone is going to deal with them again. Saying goodbye is a part of life. Whether you or someone you love moves away or when someone dies, goodbye is inevitable. Right now, I am facing them again. It’s time to say goodbye to both of my therapists.   Goodbye gives closure. There have been a lot of moments in my life where I wasn’t able to say goodbye. Surrounded by mostly toxic people these “friendships” where either cut off by me (because I saw that the person was using me or trying to control me) or by others (because they saw that I…

  • Do we really mourn our childhood?

    It’s been a while since my last post, a lot has been going on and I wasn’t able to blog about it. Anyone who follows me on social media will know bits and pieces of how I’ve been dealing with everything. I have been dealing with a lot since I started EMDR therapy. I thought it would be easier to handle than Exposure Therapy and in a way, it is. There is still the fact that trauma is trauma and no matter what type of therapy you get to help you heal from them, they are not magically less difficult. I am stuck with the trauma I am working on…

  • Dissociative subtype of PTSD or Dissociative Identity Disorder?

    Last week I saw my dear friend T. again. She was in the neighbourhood and invited me for coffee or lunch in a place nearby. I opted for coffee but, and we should have known, it turned out to be both. We have so much to talk about, that next time we should just go for lunch straight away! At some point during our many conversations, she asked me how she can spot the dissociation signs, both obvious and less obvious. She told me she doesn’t want to send me home by myself when I am in a dissociative state and afraid. Honestly, this is the first time anyone cares…

  • Dissociation part 2

    It has been almost a month since my last blog post, I honestly thought it was close to two weeks. A lot has happened in the last month and  I have severe dissociative episodes. A lot of people have been telling me they don’t notice anything when I am dissociating, part of that has to do with the fact that I have used this coping skill since I was little. I go on auto pilot and go to work and meet with friends and do all my normal things. So here it is, dissociation part 2.   I can feel outside my body whilst I work (like I’m watching myself…

  • Uncovered Emotions

    The last week my thoughts and emotions have been all over the place. Opening up about the sexual abuse after 20 years, is extremely difficult. Together with my therapist I have been exploring how I must have felt whilst I kept everything to myself. This uncovered a lot of hidden emotions, which at times scare me.   Being an emotional dumping ground for everyone, I have difficulty to recognise my own emotions. My first responds to “What are you thinking?” and “What are you feeling?” is, “I don’t know”. Followed by “Sad?” or a different emotion. I never learnt to recognise my own emotions because I wasn’t allowed to have…