The impact of Childhood PTSD

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At 67 I have finally found a calling that interests me.

My childhood abuse stole my life for decades. So much time was spent avoiding, denying, trying to make sense of PTSD’s symptoms.

I felt unworthy, flawed, shamed. I hid by overworking, trying to accomplish things that would give me status, worth.

That external search was misguided and uneventful, the real search was an internal one.

PTSD distorted my sense of myself , hid my strengths in plain sight, covered them in a cloudy anxiety blanket.

I think childhood abuse hides our true nature from ourselves. I had no clue who I was.

When I healed my therapist said your fathers abuse hid your true identity, an extrovert. My life was lived as an introvert until I was in my 50’s. I was quiet, easily shamed or embarrassed in a public setting.

All my emotions were aimed towards the bias of PTSD, making me a stranger to myself.

How could a shamed little boy, beaten and criticized, think he could be normal.

Now at 67, I have the desire to be a healer, a therapist.

First time in my life I know what I want to be.

Better late than never and I can find gratitude in my journey, not regret.

Life is not easy for any of us, challenges are given to every one of us.

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8 responses to this post.

  1. I’m going through the same thing. I’m only 36, so probably aren’t as far along in my healing, but I’m trying.

  2. You are aware at 36 and can change the trajectory.

    As I mature and heal, things have cleared up and I see how trauma sort of highjacked my mind and life

    I did not know what happiness was or how to attain it

    I avoided my triggers, distracted myself while always on the run, moving away from my fears.

    I guess the trade off is the satisfaction of healing after five decades of being lost and suffering

    Thank you for your input and good luck in your journey

  3. Marty, I replied to your latest (awesome) post, but I can’t get my head around whether or not is “took” or posted. Impossible to tell. Can I assume it doesn’t go live until you approve or moderate the comment? Help me out here. Mick

    >

  4. I guess it did not
    Please resend

  5. Never too late to find your true calling and passion in life Marty! Well done 👏

  6. We do our best then relax

  7. Your post completely inspires me, Marty. I want to share with you my story (hope it’s not too long), which in many ways is very similar to what you describe.

    I left home at 18-years-old to get away from my family and the town I was miserable living in, as there was nothing there for me but bad memories and disconnection. I moved 400 miles away and went to a 2-year graphic design school that I was not very committed to attending. I had no real plan or goal, it was just the best excuse I had to leave home and go somewhere else. As I am not a quitter, of course, I pushed through the two years and successfully graduated – but did nothing with the degree.

    Many odd jobs later later, I discovered a job that I thought was perfect: I became a bicycle messenger and lived the wildest and craziest lifestyle for about 15 years. I had as much sex as I could get, did as many drugs as I could find, and never looked back. 100% carefree life. I had finally found my thing, or so I thought. Actually, I had just distracted myself really well. Looking back, I realize I wasn’t happier, just free of constraints.
    Truly I am lucky I never caught a nasty STD, became addicted to hard drugs, or landed in behind bars.

    When I was 40-years-old, I truly fell in love for the first time with a woman for whom education and having goals in life were primary values. For the first time ever, someone was willing to assist me in creating a “real life” for myself. She said, “Mick, you are smart and talented, have you ever thought of going to college and creating a meaningful career?”

    One thing led to another and we were married the same week I started college. I graduated cum laude from my undergrad and went right into one of the top ten graduate schools of social work in the United States! I graduated with the goal of becoming a therapist, which I did well for 8 years, working with children and their families, committed to empowering children to being able to grow up free of the limitations that their screwed-up families can impose upon them.

    My stand has been to work to ensure children can become adults who are fulfilled, who contribute to society, and are able to express their abilities fully.

    To back up some, the many years I was “a wild and crazy mother***er, I worked hard at trying to fix what I perceived as my broken-ness, to alleviate my shame, to prove that I WAS worthy, etc, etc. But it never worked. I still was always aware I was tragically flawed, no matter what I did.

    For me, the turning point in my life having meaning was when I dedicated myself to working on behalf of others, not for me, but to help my fellow humans. At this stage in my career as a social worker, I have recently shifted from being a therapist, to being a Service Coordinator (formerly called a Case Manager), where I ensure that children and their families identify and have access to the services and supports they need. As that is a critical part of recovery and strength in life – being able to get the right help.
    I love my job, I love my wife, and I am learning to love my life. Still have much work to do to still my demons related to the emotional terror my mother caused me as a child, but I can truly see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is getting closer all the time.

    Marty, you don’t know how important your blog has been to this process.
    Thank you again!
    Mick

  8. Incredible story
    Our paths take crazy turns but it how we finish

    Thank you for your gratitude and keep healing

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