You’ve been with me for the journey so far, so I’ll take you along for this ride too 🙂
First up, I’ve been reflecting a little on what this blog is all about. In business usually the blog is used for training purposes, but that’s not really my style for writing. That’s why I do video content. The other version I know of is the personal stories from everyday life blogs, which I’ve always found a little boring.
Then the other night I was looking through some saved files on my harddrive and found some of my journaling from about 7 years ago. Where I wrote something along the lines of “I’d really love to share some of my thoughts, but I think people would hate it and find it really boring…” – and the ironic thing is that looking back and reading what I had written, I thought I had some pretty interesting thoughts and life stories to share.
And with the feedback I’ve been getting here so far is that a lot of people are interested and really enjoy reading what I post, so let’s get to it then 🙂
One step deeper 😉
This blog started because I wanted to share some of the horrors I went through as a kid, because I wanted to break the taboo and silence surrounding it.
Further it became a place for me to tell some of the things, I usually don’t bring up in conversation, but that I actually would like those close to me to know about me. Again. Breaking the taboo and silence.
This whole thing has been an onset of 2016 being a very crappy year for me. I ruined my health, my wealth and my relationship through my self-destructive behavior. And looking back, I couldn’t understand why I’d behave like I did. It really wasn’t me. And with how much my mood swings up and down, with how my mind switches back and forth, then I figured it must be bipolar. And I so I went and got diagnosed with bipolar.
And I was pretty grateful actually.
Thinking: “Yeah! Now I know what it is, I can overcome it.”
But there was still some things left unexplained. Still some behavior, thought patterns, beliefs and more, which the bipolar just didn’t quite cover. One of the bigger things being my ongoing pull and attraction to extremely narcissistic and abusive people. The kind of people who only care about themselves and couldn’t give a single fuck about your well-being. Why did these selfish bastards keep finding me and why did I keep chasing after them, offering them everything from my wealth, health and soul? Why didn’t I learn my lesson and stop myself?
Then I stumbled over the term CPTSD. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
For now I’m not going too in-depth with explaining what makes up a narcissist (ie someone who has an actual personality disorder) or the deeper stuff of what CPTSD is, which I recently did a training course on.
I’ll probably make a post about both of them at some point. Let me know if you’re interested in reading about that as well in a comment or write me. For now. Let me just explain the difference between PTSD and CPTSD.
PTSD is the disorder you’ve heard about which soldiers get after coming back from war. They’ve suffered some extremely traumatic event and they keep reliving that memory over and over. Usually a single or several events have been the trigger.
Now CPTSD on the other hand is usually caused from prolonged and ongoing trauma, typically in the childhood – and so no, I wasn’t stationed in Afghanistan during a war or something, but you could say I grew up in a warzone.
And the symptoms of CPTSD are very similar to that of bipolar, which is why that diagnosis made sense. Truth is though, CPTSD goes a bit deeper and darker than bipolar. So let me take you for a trip down memory lane to tell you how I ended up with those symptoms and why it makes more sense with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
And hey, if you’re wondering: Why’s it so important if it’s bipolar or CPTSD? Or why is it important at all?
Let me explain it like this. If you’re near sighted and need glasses with -2.00 on both eyes to see properly and someone gives you +2.00 instead…
You’re gonna be left wondering a lot why your vision is so messed up and would probably be better served without the glasses all together 😉 It’s a good idea to have your eyes checked, so you can get the right kind of glasses.
Anyways. On to the story…
Just another typical Tuesday.
I wake up without wanting to go to school like every other kid. I eat breakfast in silence and alone. I’m feeling down, but I’ve come to expect that’s how life is.
At school I’m distracted in class and play with my pencils, it’s disturbing, so the teacher sends me outside to sit by myself. During break time I’m either getting bullied by some of the older boys or I’m leading a squad of kids in our own little bullying frenzy. I don’t know why I do this. I just feel angry.
When the bells ring the school day over my stomach drops. I have to go home now.
I’m not in a hurry. I walk past the duck pond, my head hanging down, kicking rocks on the ground. It’s a sunny spring day, but I couldn’t care less. I’m filled with dread.
As I get closer to my home, the fear intensifies. I walk up the stairs and prepare myself for battle. I open the door and enter our apartment home. Feeling the chill as I enter. It’s not a physical cold. My stepfather calls my name. Loud. Rough. With a hint of menace. His voice fills me with more fear and anger.
“What?” I bark back.
“Would you just do the dishes.” he commands.
“I just got home. I’m tired.” I answer, trying to explain. I just want to be left alone.
“Just do it now.” he answers coldly.
“No, I don’t want to!” I say both defiantly and fearfully.
“Just you wait until your mother hears about this then…” He replies calmly.
I go to my room. Filled with a mixture of rage, fear and hurt. I push down the emotions and the tears. They won’t see me cry. Never show vulnerability.
Later when my mother returns and has talked with my stepfather, she enters my room.
“Why didn’t you do the dishes?” She asks, there’s a hint of love in her voice, but I dread it.
“I just didn’t feel like it…” I answer meekly.
“You know your stepfather really cares about you and he makes you such nice food. The least you could do is do the dishes.” She says.
“Okay then…” I answer. I walk through the living room. My stepfather is still lying on the couch watching CNN. He doesn’t look at me, but there’s a hint of a smile on his face. I do the dishes in silence and then walk back to my room.
The best is yet to come.
Time for the big show. When the whole family gathers. My mother, stepfather, stepbrother and me.
My mother fuzzes around the dining table and asks me to put on the plates. I oblige. My stepfather has his back turned finishing the food. My stepbrother walks in tense, angry and ready for a fight. The perfect catalyst.
We sit down to eat. All proper, like a normal family.
My stepfather brags about his life over a glass of wine, telling stories about how amazing he is. My mother fawns over him and how impressive it all is.
My stepbrother attempts to tell stories too, but his father isn’t impressed. Neither is my mother.
I say nothing. Nobody talks to me and it’s better just to stay quiet. I know and fear what might be coming next.
The tension around the table seems to escalate as the glasses empty. My stepfather makes some jokes about my hair being a funny color, my mother laughs playfully with him and says “Oh, don’t tease”.
I say nothing. Keep my eyes on my food. Don’t show vulnerability.
He goes on to joke about my stepbrother being a fool – another harmless joke of course – but my stepbrother fires back at him with an insult. The tension builds. The wine bottle stands empty.
“What was that you said?” my stepfather says coldly…
The tension explodes.
Things seem to happen in a blur. The fight moves to the rest of the house. The arguing escalating further and further. From spoken to physical.
The two wolves going at each other’s throats. Insults flying back and forth. My mother is on my stepfather’s side, telling my stepbrother what a naughty child he is and trying to calm my stepfather down. But really she’s just fueling the fire. And once his drunken predatorily eyes have spotted a target, he doesn’t stop or back down. He never has. Why would he? For almost a decade, he’s never had a reason to. Nobody has ever dared to fight back.
I stand by passively in a corner, watching. I fear for my stepbrother, but I fear even more what would happen if I dared interfere.
My stepbrother is being pushed violently around, but he’s learned from the best and he’s got the same look in his eyes. The same predatorily eyes have developed over the years.
He fights back. A fist connects with my stepfather’s jaw. A tooth flies out and lands on the floor. Blood stains the white walls. A picture frame hangs shattered.
I run and hide in my room. Soon after I hear the front door slam as my stepbrother escapes to freedom. I stay in my room and say nothing.
It’s just another typical Tuesday. Tomorrow we start again.
I’m sorry I can’t give you a happy ending to that story, but there isn’t one.
Other than the fact, maybe, that my stepbrother and I got out of there eventually. Both at around the age of 15. We got to make our own path in life.
But I guess you don’t go through a childhood like that without some scars and lasting problems.
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder sounds just about right in my eyes and ears.
And on the bright side, where Bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain, CPTSD is in the mind and memories. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, is that you can work on that. The mind can be healed. So let’s get to it then shall we 😉
Time to learn some healthy boundaries and radical self-love. Time to stop chasing abusive people and take care of myself. Time to heal.