Lack of Child Abuse Resources for Survivors

by Tracy

I have been in therapy many times over the years and no one has been able to help me with my haunted past. I have had a number of traumatic experiences in my adult life since leaving my childhood home where the initial abuse happened and the later experiences have created further problems for me. It seems the cycle can never be broken. I can go along quite well for awhile in my daily living but as soon as something comes along to cause me any kind of internalized anxiety or stress, I become immediately incapable of coping and start a desperate search inside myself for any means of relief. This in turn creates a great rage within because I feel so helpless to fix myself.

If I have done my research correctly, I appear to suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is a disorder that is different from simple PTSD and I think that is why I have never been properly diagnosed; most therapists are familiar with the latter, but less so the former. Case in point: I went to a therapist who specialized in PTSD and she told me I do not suffer from it. But if I look at the "Complex" version of this disorder, which is a relatively new concept, the pieces all fall into place for me. The key is that the trauma suffered in Complex PTSD happens over a prolonged period of time (eg. prolonged periods of abuse by a parent over the course of one's childhood) rather than a spiked period of trauma which more closely defines the classical definition of PTSD (e.g. Fire, death of spouse, war, etc.). It is very frustrating to have to rely on professionals in the field of psychology who allow themselves to become fixed in their concepts and diagnoses of mental illness. They must learn to keep themselves open to new ideas. We are a constantly evolving species and we certainly don't as yet have all the answers to the internal workings of the human mind.

Here is another example to prove my point. A number of years ago I went to a (different) therapist for treatment after leaving my job on stress leave. After a number of weeks of treatment, she told me if I didn't get better soon, I would be accused by my employer of "malingering" (i.e. "faking it"). Because I did not want my employer to have this perception of me, I went on medication that did nothing but fog up my brain so I could be "cured" enough to return to work. My employer forced me to take a demotion as a term of re-employment and then, almost one year to the date of my return to work, I was let go from my position under the guise of redundancy. So the answer to my trauma was more trauma. Since that happened to me more than six years ago I have been unable to secure permanent full-time work. My confidence in myself was destroyed.

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