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Complex PTSD -from surviving to thriving

Book recommendations and book reviews. Please add reviews of any books you found helpful during your limerence recovery.
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David
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Complex PTSD -from surviving to thriving

Post by David » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:20 pm

Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A GUIDE AND MAP FOR RECOVERING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complex-PTSD-Su ... mplex+ptsd

Just started reading this book. Easy to read and looks like its got a lot of advice on how to heal.

Ill post snippets as i go along.

I like this descriptor of cognitive awareness and its limitations:

COGNITIVE HEALING

The first level of recovery usually involves repairing the damage that Cptsd wreaks on our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves.

Cognitive recovery work aims to make your brain user friendly. It focuses on recognizing and eliminating the destructive thoughts and thinking processes you were indoctrinated with in childhood.

Cognitive healing also depends on learning to choose healthy and more accurate ways of talking to and thinking about yourself. On the broadest level, this involves upgrading the story you tell yourself about your pain. We need to understand exactly how appalling parenting created the now self-perpetuating trauma that we live in. We can learn to do this in a way that takes the mountain of unfair self-blame off ourselves.

We can redirect this blame to our parents’ dreadful child-rearing practices. And we can also do this in a way that motivates us to reject their influence so that we can freely orchestrate our journey of recovering. This work then requires us to build a fierce allegiance to ourselves. Such loyalty strengthens us for the cognitive work of freeing our brains from being conditioned to attack so many normal parts of our selves.

Cognitive work is fundamental to helping you disidentify from the self-hating critic with which your parents inculcated you. As I am writing this, my son’s friend synchronistically tells him: “This Lego creature I made spreads brain attack and eats away at the person.” I marvel at this synchronicity and think: “What a fitting image for the trauma-inducing parent”

Cognitive healing may have begun or been reinforced by reading what has preceded this. Hopefully you are having some epiphanies about what is at the core of your suffering. Some readers may have been searching for cognitive answers for years, and through their reading and therapy already created a sizable foundation for doing this work.

At the same time, those who have only tried a Cognitive-Behavioral Approach [CBT] to healing their trauma may feel great resistance to hearing that cognitive work is important. If you are like me, you may have been introduced to it in a way that promised more than could be delivered.

Cognitive tools are irreplaceable in healing cognitive issues, but they do not address all the levels of our wounding. They are especially limited in addressing emotional issues, as we will see below.

In early recovery, the psychoeducation piece of cognitive work typically comes from the wisdom of others: teachers, writers, friends and therapists who are more informed on this subject than we are. When psychoeducation reaches its most powerful level of effectiveness, however, it begins to morph into mindfulness
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

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Re: Complex PTSD -from surviving to thriving

Post by David » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:25 pm

Accepting Recovery As A Lifelong Process It is exceedingly difficult to accept the proposition – the fact – that recovery is never complete. And although we can expect our flashbacks to markedly decrease over time, it is tremendously difficult, and sometimes impossible, to let go of the salvation fantasy that we will one day be forever free of them. Yet when we do not loosen our grip on the salvation fantasy, we remain extremely susceptible to blaming ourselves every time we have a flashback.

Understanding this is so crucial because recovery typically progresses in a process that has many temporary regressions. Moreover, most recoverees often have the unfortunate subjective experience that the temporary regression feels as permanent as concrete. This is especially true because of the interminability feeling of flashbacks. When we flashback, we regress to our child-mind which was incapable of imagining a future any different than the everlasting present of being so abandoned. So how can we come to bear the knowledge that our awful childhoods have created some permanent damage?

It helps me to see my Cptsd as somewhat analogous to diabetes, i.e., a condition that will need management throughout my life. This is a piece of bad news that naturally feels offensively unpalatable, but the good news, as with diabetes, is that as we become more skilled at flashback management, Cptsd can gradually become infrequently bothersome. And even more importantly, we can evolve towards leading increasingly rich and rewarding lives. Even better news is that Cptsd, when efficiently managed, eventually bestows gifts. It comes with significant silver linings - unavailable to those less traumatized - as we will see at the end of the chapter.
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

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Re: Complex PTSD -from surviving to thriving

Post by David » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:52 pm

Emotional Hunger And Addiction

The emotional hunger that comes from parental abandonment often morphs over time into an insatiable appetite for substances and/or addictive processes. Minimization of early abandonment often transforms later in life into the minimizing that some survivors use to rationalize their substance and process addictions. Fortunately, many survivors eventually come to see their substance or process addictions as problematic.

But many also minimize the deleterious effects of their addiction and jokingly dismiss their need to end or reduce their reliance on them. When the survivor has no understanding of the effects of trauma or no memory of being traumatized, addictions are often understandable, misplaced attempts to regulate painful emotional flashbacks. However many survivors are now in a position to see how self-destructive their addictions are. They are now old enough to learn healthier ways of self-soothing.

Accordingly, substance and process addictions can be seen as misguided attempts to distract from inner pain. The desire to reduce such habits can therefore be used as motivation to learn the more sophisticated forms of self-soothing that Cptsd recovery work has to offer. As we will see in chapter 11, grieving work offers us irreplaceable tools for working through inner pain. This then helps obviate the need to harmfully distract ourselves from our pain.
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

For Coaching, Mentoring see www.drdavidperl.com

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Re: Complex PTSD -from surviving to thriving

Post by David » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:01 pm

Nerdling wrote: I would also like to find a way to communicate this need for learning to cope and manage this "condition" throughout my life to my DH. But obviously I'm crippled by the fact that he doesn't know exactly what it is I'm dealing with. And my T feels strongly it is something I should be addressing alone, that asking for his understanding is a selfish thing.
My T was of the same view. I never agreed with my T and was more of the view of wanting an honest relationship with my SO. Maybe that's because i grew up in a family chock full of lies and secrets.

My belief is (and that's all it is) if we are going to have honest intimate and vulnerable connections, our partners need to know what we struggle with. BUT and its a BIG BUT, our partners need to be in a place where they are looking at their own stuff and taking responsibility for their 50% of the relationship. Every book i read on affair recovery talks about full disclosure even if the infidelity was decades before :o

When i disclosed my L to SO, she was not yet in her own therapy training but has always had a kind and big heart. I was unable to hide my pretense, such was the pain and confusion i was in. I've noticed as SO's progressed with her own training and now works in an addiction clinic (which she loves) , she is far more understanding towards me, my insecurities and early life trauma / cPTSD and how this acted out through limerence.
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

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Re: Complex PTSD -from surviving to thriving

Post by JohnDeux » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:36 pm

@Nerdling: "....my T feels strongly it is something I should be addressing alone, that asking for his understanding is a selfish thing."

I have to agree with David on this but also feel that his situation is a bit unique with having an aware SO who is also a therapist/trainee. Just this morning over coffee, SO and I had an unusually (for us!) frank discussion on one little itsy bit of our respective complementing pathologies. I consider the discussion a small victory, not only for us but for my ability to raise the issue first, being such a professional's professional at avoidance. At this point, I still can't imagine disclosing my recent LE to my SO. But that is the whole point of change within,....that we become things late that we can't see *now*, in our current unhealthy state. Not being able at this time to disclose to my SO does not mean we can't discuss mutual problems that impact our relationship....AND have some level of mutual understanding of where each of us is coming from when we react in an unproductive manner. SO revealed more of her "knowing" about her anger (she normally is **REALLY** defensive about her anger issues) and I revealed to her how she could not have known, since I never explained it to her, how that anger shuts me down and causes blinding, acute anxiety. So little bits of revelation after 30+ years of being together.
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain...."~ The Wizard of Oz

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Re: Complex PTSD -from surviving to thriving

Post by David » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:50 pm

JohnDeux wrote:So little bits of revelation after 30+ years of being together.
Don't get me wrong JD, our path to conscious communication is equally slow and full of regression on both sides. The more i open, the easier it seems to get to show my vulnerability and admit to my crazy and distorted thinking patterns, that are loosening their grip on my psyche.
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

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Re: Complex PTSD -from surviving to thriving

Post by David » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:06 pm

Just finished this book. I can highly recommend it if you feel you are grappling with cPTSD.

There are a few appendices at the rear - this one i particularly liked:

HUMAN BILL OF RIGHTS
GUIDELINES FOR FAIRNESS AND INTIMACY


I have the right to be treated with respect.
I have the right to say no.
I have the right to make mistakes.
I have the right to reject unsolicited advice or feedback.
I have the right to negotiate for change.
I have the right to change my mind or my plans.
I have a right to change my circumstances or course of action.
I have the right to have my own feelings, beliefs, opinions, preferences, etc.
I have the right to protest sarcasm, destructive criticism, or unfair treatment.
I have a right to feel angry and to express it non-abusively.
I have a right to refuse to take responsibility for anyone else’s problems.
I have a right to refuse to take responsibility for anyone’s bad behavior.
I have a right to feel ambivalent and to occasionally be inconsistent.
I have a right to play, waste time and not always be productive.
I have a right to occasionally be childlike and immature.
I have a right to complain about life’s unfairness and injustices.
I have a right to occasionally be irrational in safe ways.
I have a right to seek healthy and mutually supportive relationships.
I have a right to ask friends for a modicum of help and emotional support.
I have a right to complain and verbally ventilate in moderation.
I have a right to grow, evolve and prosper.[/i]
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

For Coaching, Mentoring see www.drdavidperl.com

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Re: Complex PTSD -from surviving to thriving

Post by daydreamer » Fri May 17, 2019 4:10 am

i'm going through the book and the part that made a huge impression on me is this:
Emotional abuse is also almost always also accompanied by emotional abandonment, which can most simply be described as a relentless lack of parental warmth and love. Sometimes this is most poignantly described as not being liked by your parents, which belies the many Cptsdinducing parents who say they love their children, but demonstrate in a thousand ways that they do not like them. “The sight of you makes me sick” was very popular with such parents when I was growing up. It can still bring tears to my eyes to remember my emotionally abandoned young sister secreted in a corner of the house begging our family dog: “Like me, Ginger, Like me!”
we are just like that kid begging our LOs: ""like me, love me, rescue me."

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Re: Complex PTSD -from surviving to thriving

Post by mamasita » Fri May 17, 2019 2:21 pm

Thank you for sharing about this book, David!
Very helpful as I have been learning about PTSD in all of it's forms lately, reading a different book on the same topic.
With only so much time in the day, I appreciate when someone can sum up a book for me. :ymhug:

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