Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

My actual diagnosis of Complex PTSD was in Mar 2006 but the Date I use is Nov 2008, my “crash and burn date”, was when my employer forced me to go out on Disability.   Honestly the first two years were spent in shock, denial, and lack of acceptance which is why my journey feels so much like the those who experience grief over the loss of a loved one.

The symptoms did start the end of November 2005 when my anxiety started to increase and I was experiencing sporadic nightmares/flashbacks.  It was actually my therapist who in March 2006 told me I had all the symptoms of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Over the next two years, despite my effort to frantically “get it together”, finally in Nov 2008 my employer “forced” me to go out on disability because I was experiencing episodes of dissociation when triggered by a variety of things from a very dirty look or a nasty customer on a conference call.

That just did me in.  I started to drink pretty heavily to numb what I consider to be the worse pain I’ve experienced as of yet in my lifetime.  I did get on a list for intensive outpatient program but that quickly went from 3 weeks to 3 months and may have gone longer but in June 2009 I ended up in the hospital because I had consumed a lethal amount of alcohol.  Once stable I was moved to inpatient followed by the intensive outpatient program which I was on the waiting list for.

The next two years I was very committed to my recovery and saw my therapist religiously every week for two weeks until my private insurance ended in 2011.  I am still very committed but it is hard when you are doing it on your own but I am finding my way.

I am much better than I was in 2008 … I don’t recall the last time I went into shell shock and the episodes of dissociation become less and less but I still feel like a “prisoner” as I am very limited to what I can do outside my home and every day brings the same struggle of  trying to self regulate to at least keep my anxiety level to a minimum which right now is about a level 3 when I’m calm.

Controlling emotions is very difficult and that has been the priority of my efforts in recent months and also the reason that I’ve decided it is time to start healing my inner child, that little girl who was so hurt and damaged over 50 years ago.


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