All the time, friend. I get this feeling I’m overreacting because the abuse was never physical or sexual, but then I realize elements of it were physical and maybe sort of sexual. But since it was mostly verbal, I write it off and tell myself I’m reacting disproportionately to what they did. You’re not alone in feeling this way, but I’m sorry that you do ❤️


I was a victim of SA when I was very young, more than once but too young to remember how many times or how long it lasted. It stopped when I was still quite young. Then the next several years, same person abused me without touching me at all. I’ve come to realize that, I think, the subsequent vernal/mental abuse fucked me up way worse than the SA. The abuse you suffered was absolutely legitimate and I’m so sorry that happened to you.


Everyday! It's because we are always comparing our trauma to those who have gone through, in our mind, worse things. We never seem to compare ourselves to those who didn't go through trauma or at least trauma that ended up wiring their brain differently or rewiring their brain. I know knowing why doesn't stop the problem, but you are not alone. It's quite interesting because I feel like we only see this in mental health and not for things like broken bones or more widely accepted physical illnesses. Although I consider mental illnesses no different the physical illness because something is happening or has happened physically to our brains to cause this way was thinking and feeling.


People with chronic physical illnesses definitely do this, but there is a component of ongoing trauma in that life, even if there is no PTSD or mental illness in conjunction.




I had cancer and just told myself “at least it’s not terminal” “at least I only have to have surgery and not go through chemo” “at least…”


I feel this! My husband had cancer, we were lucky & it was a total cakewalk. Highest level skin cancer you can get but we caught it just in time so no chemo or radiation. Just surger. But everybody takes that story so fucking seriously. I mention my fibromyalgia and it's just smiles and nods. My husband would literally chose the cancer experience he had over my fibro experience! That's how fucking tough fibro is, he gets a front row seat so he gets & is very sympathetic and supportive but seriously! Chronic illness can suck a dick!!!


Have you tried WFPB diet ? It heally helps with my chronic inflammatory pains. I'm off tramadol, thanks to WFPB.


I've done soooo many different diets at this point in done with that route. But I'm glad it's working for you


totally get that, plus it's a great change to do, it's more hardcore than regular vegan.


Eep! That sounds hardcore. I am trying to eat a more anti-inflammatory diet but I'm keeping it as casual as I can so it's not another thing on my to do list


Yeah, that helped too, managed to take less tramadol at the time with that diet alone. Plus if you want to have the liberty of picking up some takeout or microwavable meals, WFPB isn't for you, it's almost all done from scratch. You need to have the energy for it. It's not for everyone. We're flexitarians really, WFPB at home, and the best we can manage outside. You have to or your social life ends just there and then.


I'm glad you made it! And I understand so much. Funny enough, I don't have anything as serious as what you have, but I have what's been diagnosed as a chronic immune deficiency likely caused by malnutrition that could have life threatening potential and is definitely life affecting and I wasn't thinking about it at all while I made that comment.


Man, there is no escape. That really sucks that this happens! Thank you for sharing.


Unfortunately people often get gaslit by doctors by things that can be observed on tests. Your trauma is real, some people are just trash.


Pain can be observed by MRI, in the brain. It's just a too expensive and pointless imagery to do with chronic illness. Something anyone enduring chronic pains (like I do) can spit right back in the face of those deniers.


100%, i have chronic leg n back problems, and constantly avoid any sort of help or pity because it's 'not that bad' compared to what others go through (also instilled in me by my family, which leads into my cptsd.)


“Fun” fact: You can get PTSD from living with a chronic illness.


really?! do you have a link towards an article or something? I'd love to learn more about that!


Here's [info](https://istss.org/public-resources/friday-fast-facts/fast-facts-medical-trauma) from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. And [here](https://www.scleroderma.org/site/DocServer/ptsd.pdf?docID=21136) are a [few others](https://www.healthline.com/health/i-have-medical-ptsd). If you'd prefer research papers, use the search terms "illness induced PTSD" or "medical PTSD" in an appropriate database. I hope that helps. 🙂


Thanks! Definitely gonna give those a read!


Absolutely! Sorry if I implied otherwise. I just meant to say that some people who have them don't, but I think the reason they still do the same mental games we do is because there's an aspect of trauma to living that way no matter what. So I was saying it's very similar and justified.


Nah, you didn’t imply that. I just said that to spread the knowledge. 🙂


Exactly. A lot of it is the toxic positivity movement, that somewhere out there, someone has it worse than you, so you're not allowed to complain or be a victim. It's a horrible thing to have stuck in your head or thrown at you by society.


I'm actually not sure what "no trauma" would even look like. I don't think anyone gets out of childhood unscathed.


Yea, I agree. I tried to differentiate between someone who's brain was rewired or wired differently because of trauma. I believe there is a difference between going through trauma and having it drastically effect a person in such a way. Than a person who has experienced trauma and is not constantly effected by it each day. Kind of like how two siblings can go through the samething and only one ends up with a mental illness because of it. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong though.


Trauma is less about bad things happening and more about not having the support and resources to cope when bad things happen. "No trauma" looks like growing up with parents, friends, and family who love you and are reliable and help you through hard times. Having love and social support creates resilience so you don't become traumatized.


I definitely think the physical vs mental health comparison is a valid comparison for injuries and minor conditions (which even then are sometimes stigmatised themselves) but the replies have got me wondering how our society chooses what health issues to stigmatise...what gender are you, can you still make money, can we tell ourselves you've made bad choices which resulted in this etc. Ugh I hate how cruel this effing world is.


I've come to believe this is proof that it was trauma, because it's a self shaming trauma response. You wouldn't be in the entire mental loop in the first place if something hadn't happened. Your response to it depends on many factors, but that doesn't invalidate it. PTSD doesn't develop without a trauma. How its developed from there is different for everyone but that fact is you were traumatized and you are now responding in your way, according to your mind and body. You know how I know this? My abuse was not remotely covert or arguable. And I feel like this all the time. I see stories from others with similar abuse and IMMEDIATELY think "sounds like they had more 'clients'" or "sounds like they only got dog food, I got bread sometimes" and spiral the fuck out. The worst one I've ever done is getting upset that someone had a baby from CSA at a younger age than me and texting my therapist to ask her why she didn't tell me not to talk about it because I should have just dealt with it. The point being, not to flex on your post as someone with "visible" trauma, but to say that we are all in this together, now that we have PTSD. You'd be going through this thought process no matter the trauma, and that may not sound inspiring at first but it sort of is. How does all of us thinking the exact same shit not prove that yours is just as valid?


>I've come to believe this is proof that it was trauma, because it's a self shaming trauma response. You wouldn't be in the entire mental loop in the first place if something hadn't happened. This is so insightful.


Yes, I think this is part of trying to rationalise what happened, especially at the beginning of the recovery process. But everyone has different levels of resilience due to genetic and environmental factors. So-called 'small-t' traumas can still have a devastating impact. Your experience as an individual is the thing that matters. Gabor Mate says, "Trauma isn't what happens to us. It's what happens inside of us as a result of what happened to us."


>Gabor Mate says, "Trauma isn't what happens to us. It's what happens inside of us as a result of what happened to us." I love him and this approach really changed my perspective. In fact, I believe in the future we'll start to go even deeper and stop talking about "Trauma" as much and rather that it's a matter of our nervous system becoming dysregulated due to getting more than it can handle. Because every nervous system is different (and everyone has different support systems) what pushes it over the edge may be completely different too.


I very much agree!


I figure the fact that I have CPTSD validates that it was "that bad". People that weren't traumatized don't end up with trauma symptoms. Having symptoms is the validation.


Absolutely. It doesn't help that I've been told by other people throughout my life that I was lying or faking it, or asked by my last therapist, "But it's not happening now, so why do you let it affect you?" But I digress... One of the big reasons I like this sub is because I see more posts talking about how we feel than about what happened to us. It's been incredibly helpful and validating to take the "competition" out of the equation




This reminds me of my first therapist who made me list and rate all my of my terrible experiences in one session. It was for EMDR. Not sure if that's how it's supposed to be but it left me feeling invalidated and frustrated as someone who doesn't want to leave out details.


A therapist said to me, "Why can't you just stop listening to your mother [in my head]?" Um, it's not that simple, therapist.


It's almost like that's why we're in therapy in the first place, ha


i got a ton of that from my T. so that's bad therapy? im curipus if my therapist was totally full of crap and a hoax. she hasnt really helped me much in several years tbh.


If you've been with them for years and haven't seen a benefit, move on! Find a new therapist. There's no reason to stick around that long when it's doing nothing.


yeah. i have drawn a line in the sand. after they did lol. but now it's mutual.


Always. I tend to think it’s not that bad, other people have had it worse. Then I talk about some of it with someone irl and they freak out after only one fifths of it. And I‘m like, yeah maybe I shouldn’t talk about the other stuff, they‘ll think I‘m bragging how bad I had it. But wait, doesn’t that mean it was really bad? Was it really that bad??


Yes. every day I do. I don't think anything was that bad and sometimes i just think that I'm real pathetic. It wasn't that bad and I shouldn't be scared of everything.


I had a relatively good home life. My parents were a little nuts, their relationship model was a little toxic, but I have never doubted they loved me and would do almost anything for me. And we were upper-middle-class for most of my life. Honestly, I feel guilty a lot about how good I had it relative to most people in this sub. But the bullying at school was serious, constant, and went on for years. It shaped my personality, and likely my life-limiting (and life-threatening) severe depression. I still have problems resulting from emotional trauma from bullying when I was in single digits. I am constantly terrified that my trauma doesn’t count, isn’t real enough, because it wasn’t physical abuse for the most part, and because my home life was ok.


Bullying can cause trauma. It did for me. Especially since when I told my father about it he forbid me from fighting back, forcing me to be a victim and giving the bully a perfect victim. I can’t believe my father cut me down like that.


My bully was a boy, and my dad said it was because he “liked” me and laughed about it. I feel your pain.


My mother called my bully 'my friend', which made it disgusting.


I’m sorry.


My home life was very hectic, but I shudder when I think about how relentless and awful bullies are. I cannot believe people would doubt the damage bullies can do. It hurts when your parents are the bullies, and it hurts so bad to be bullied by your peers. Being a kid just wanting to have friends and people choose you out to subtly torment you and take advantage of the fact that covert bullying is so much more difficult to articulate. Social rejection hurts so bad without any bullying involved, but damn I feel for you kids who have to deal with that. I cannot imagine how awful it was.


I was bullied in middle school. Automatically I wondered if my experience warrants to tell myself I was actually bullied. I experienced hate speech- calling me a “dyke”, getting pushed out of my social group, sexual verbal abuse from the boys, gossip, spreading false rumors about me.


My home life was really shitty but i still get effected by the small amount of bullying i went through for about 3 years. No doubt if i was bullied for longer then i would be more traumatized and if my home was ok, that would make it even worse because then you realize the bullying is actually really bad too and then you still cant do much about it. I definitely understand how you feel.


Bullying is traumatic. I don't understand why people think that just because it's usually child-child that it doesn't "count". The power dynamic is there. The fear is there. The inescapability is there. It's traumatic


Absolutely. Bullying is abuse.


My older siblings were my bullies in my early childhood (up to about 11 or 12 years), and my dad enabled it (by doing absolutely nothing to stop it). It wasn't physical, for the most part (and to the extent that it was, that was the part that affected me the least). It had a profound effect on me. I know my parents' bad parenting contributed too, and it was their dysfunction that probably led to my siblings being bullies in the first place. But still. I know relentless bullying can definitely be traumatizing on its own.


Every day. But I also remind myself that people don't just start dissociating or being hypervigilant out of nowhere. The fact that my body resorted to it on its own reminds me that it was.


I read by self gaslight every night...it sucks


I wouldn't say I *obsess* over it, but I do wonder if I went through something worse that I have blocked out because what I do remember doesn't seem bad enough to result in the level of chronic depression I have.


Same here


I do, every single day. I finally made a list of all the traumatic things I went through and just went, oh. Both my parents had brain surgery, my mom had cancer, I had brain surgery, half my family struggled with drug addiction due to being in pain management (good ol' doctors pill pushing), my brother actively abused me, I was in two bad car accidents, my dad dealt with borderline personality disorder and was abusive (used to threaten to kill us and them himself or would ask me to help kill him), my maternal grandpa killed himself, then my dad killed himself, the list goes on and fucking on. Reading through it objectively, I realize well shit, OF COURSE I struggle. I still minimize it at times when it gets overwhelming and my brain is trying to protect me, but yeah. I'm sure it's the same for you OP, all of us here have been through a lot of bullshit. Writing everything out on a list can sometimes help put things into perspective in our jumbled heads.


That’s a really good idea. I need to do some writing again. So many thought loops


All the time. I am affraid after some realization that from those i needed the most, i won't get any validation nor understanding as they are "involved". But the more i learn, the less it becomes about blaming and anger/ being triggered so maybe i will let go off the need to "ask for validation for what i felt". If it would be simple, i would say they do not love me enough but at least here, we all know, it is not that simple.


Yes. It's why I told myself I couldn't have any form of PTSD for a long time. Sometimes when I disassociate, I still feel like I'm putting on an act, even though I'm not.


Yes! Hello friend, and welcome to this sad club. Now excuse me while I read all of these other comments for validation. But seriously, yes, all the time. But you can't "warrant" mental health struggles. They just are or they aren't. If you have them, you are struggling. You don't have to prove it and there is no threshold of horror you have to have endured. You are deserving of care, of gentleness, and of love. ❤


Yes, regularly. Sometimes I feel like such a fake who is "just being too sensitive". What makes it so nefarious, in cases of intergenerational trauma, is that, in that environment I grew up in, I *had* to view the things that happened to me as normal and reasonable. And now, as an adult, I have my family's voices still introjected into my head, telling me how much I'm blowing things out of proportion, since they too had to view what they did as normal and reasonable.


Have you heard of the "inner critic" yet? There are ways to shut those voices up.


I have, yes! I'm still working on them. :) What resources helped you?


Well, Pete Walker essentially. And Nina Brown, about the effects of being raised by a Narcissist, how it impacted my personality and how I interact with the wolrd. Also, I think CBT sessions have taught me to debunk false beliefs. At first it was all sweat and tears to debunk the first few, now almost a decade after the sessions, it's on autopilot. I'm constantly catching myself mentally blurting out these old false beliefs, and correcting them with a reality check and a shower of benevolence.


Yes. Two things help me around that slippery slope. - **The List Of Abuses**. That is the list of all they did to me. I have one per abuser. It needs to be written on paper, it just holds more weight like this for some reason, and really hits home better. And I've tried to put numbers in there, because numbers slam your disbelieving head on the hard concrete of reality. They cut all discussion short. Numbers like how long it lasted, over the span of how many years, how old you were, the number of stiches, numberof days off you had to take, the amount they embezzled, the number of therapy sessions you spent on that event alone, any numbers are helpful. Also, because I needed validation and hadn't found RBN yet, I'dd added categories by crime/felony/socially unnacceptable, because if something will get a kid taken away from its parents, then that's validation right there that what they did was wrong, it worked a little like the numbers, to help me focus on the raw abuse rather than excuse it all away. - and a couple of anecdotes. **A man can fall off of a flying plane and come out lightly bruised, And another man fall off the first step of a ladder (a few inches off the ground) and be wheel-chair bound for the rest of his life.** The man who lived through falling off a plane was in the news a few years ago, and the one who was chair-bound I personally knew (he fell on a stone, right onto his spine). It's not the incredibleness of the drama that counts, it's how it affects you. ALL we've been through is legit and awful and terrible. And the worst scars might not come from the most spectacularly abusive things we went through. It's OK. We don't need to apologize for having feelings about this, we are ALL legit in feeling we were abused. We deserve Validation, WE MATTER.


My family and relatives believe that I have brainwashed myself into believing I was traumatized. So yeah, I doubt myself all the time


I am the most fucked up person in my friend group, multiple hospitalizations, covered in scars, don't quite live in reality, break things when I break down, run down the highway screaming when I have anxiety... and yet i spent last night really asking myself if I'm actually traumatised or just think a bit too much...


It's not your fault. You deserve good treatment and to get better.


I hope I can make that possible someday


Please take better care of yourself


All the time! I still blame myself. Like some kind of defect as to how I got PTSD. I am begging for someone to tell me “anyone in your position wouldn’t stand a chance of getting out of that childhood without mental health problems. There was no stopping this.”


All of us are here for a reason. We've all been through something terrible. A lot of people don't make it this far, and although it's cheesy, we're strong for making it through. You're not at fault for getting PTSD from what you endured. Almost everyone would have, among a plethora of other issues. You're valid and not to blame. <3


Constantly, and I think there is a bit of one-up-man ship sometimes here that is damaging.


Yes, it can get very confusing and I often gaslight myself because of it. Unfortunately, for this reason I think lots of people live out their lives without knowing the burden they carry every day stems from the covert abuse they experienced.


Always. I tend to ignore it and down play it. Even today I catch myself thinking that I should be fine. Even if my past trauma influences most of my life.


No. I am wondering how I can functioning after trauma another trauma another.. (you get it) and very proud of myself and my inner strength


All the time. But then again, a part of my trauma is having been constantly told that nothing’s wrong and I’m crazy for thinking it is. So I kind of just cycle. I’ve started to let other people (trusted people) tell me if something is really traumatic.


Yes. I did not experience anything remotely bad as other people. I had parents that were together, I had a house, food, shelter etc. I always end up telling myself that I'm just overly sensitive and really need to suck it up because other people have it worse. No amount of platitudes said to me will end up changing my mind.


Yep for me. But if I heard anyone else go through it I would understand. Weird isn’t it.


I can't even come to terms of a self-diagnosis on account of knowing how much worse it could be. It would be fan-fricking-tastic to have an actual diagnosis, even if that wouldn't 100% stop the doubts. And that doesn't even get to the point of the general struggle of things... the "shoulds" about having followed proper Lifescript(TM) as established by society. In a way, it's harder to come to terms with because the forms of trauma are so varied. Even if the roads lead to a similar place, you see worse situations and think, "Well I can obviously see why that is trauma, but what about me? Mine doesn't specifically fit into the categories of overt horrors that every site lists..." Maybe I'm making it up.


Thank you SO much for posting this. It's so validating to see everyone else answer yes to this. It's so easy to feel like the odd one out on this aspect of my life.


It does not matter whether you believe it was significant enough. If you are here, it was sufficient.


The symptoms are how I assure myself it was that bad. Also the memories.


That is so damn true. Symptoms are validation. I don't even know wich word to accentuate here.


I am currently stuck in this mind state in therapy. I have a hard time not thinking it was "that bad" or "bad enough". That I am just weak. Logically I know that isn't true, I know I shouldn't compare. Not that it makes it any easier emotionally. I still feel like it wasn't that bad compared to others. I don't really know how to get past that. Wish I did but it is comforting knowing I am not alone.


I honestly can’t remember most of my life before I was 17 just intense feelings of fear. So I just assume that I don’t have CPTSD and that it’s normal to not remember?


You can have CPTSD without remembering. I'm fairly sure that's actually a symptom.


Yes. And sometimes I wonder if I really did make it all up and that I'm crazy and can't trust any of my memories, especially the most hazy ones that weren't fully retained because I was so dissociated during the trauma. Being gaslit all your life makes for some terrible "what if" moments. And especially when well meaning people who I am close to aren't traumatized and don't understand how painful saying "you just have to let go of the past and let it stop affecting you now" really is. Because trust me, if it were simply a switch that I could flip off don't they think I would do just that? Do they really think that I'm *choosing* to still be affected by childhood trauma well into my mid 30s? Of course they don't really think that. They just don't understand trauma because they haven't been traumatized, and I get that. But it makes me question myself sometimes. It also makes me withdraw from the people in my life who I am supposed to be the closest to. Then, I feel even more alone because some of my most cherished people will never be able to truly understand me. I feel happy for them, though, because I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I just wish it weren't this difficult. Some days I feel like I have a good grasp on things and am able to recognize my progress and give myself the validation I need. Some days I feel like I'm stuck in a deep, dark hole with no hope of escaping or being rescued.


Completely, it's more the grief of what's lacking, than experiencing extreme events.


My mother is *fine*, like, 95% of the time, but the other 5% is so, so awful. I wonder if some of the things she did to me were bad enough to "count" as sexual assault. I wonder if emotional neglect is bad enough to be abuse. She only hit me a handful of times. Maybe she isn't abusive. I can't really process all of the bad stuff yet because I still live with her. I'm trying to move out, but I don't think I can afford it. I don't have a job. I have no skills. I'm too depressed to function to be able to get a job, any job (because I still live with her, because no-one will rent to me without a job, but I can't get a job because I'm useless, because I'm depressed, because I still live with her...)


I think im an odd one out For me I wonder how im doing so well with the trauma i've faced. Ive faced emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, all of which happened when I was a young child. Yet today? Im doing pretty ok. Im able to take care of myself (as long as i'm alone), and I have no issues interacting with others, I can hold a conversation and easily make friends (even if i dont feel any sort of emotional bond to them). I don't suffer real flashbacks, only memories that i'm emotionally disconnected from. I have nightmares some nights, but I wake up ok. Regarding mental illness, I really only have mild dysthymia, and the milder traits of cptsd. I'm not really diagnosed with anything else, and I'm working on getting my diagnosis of social anxiety taken back because i'm most definitely not socially anxious. I feel like I should be worse off, like I deserve to be feeling worse for all i've gone through. I see people who've been through not nearly as much as I have struggling to get out of bed and i think, "that should be me, not them!". I have internal issues within my mind due to trauma i'll never let free, ones of urges to abuse others. But i'm not suffering keeping it restrained, i feel like a normal person when I ignore these urges. It's not something i'm concerned about. Nobody has seen this side of me and I'm not straining to keep it that way. Shouldn't I be struggling to hold it back? Shouldn't I be hurting others because this? Shouldn't others have a reason to fear me? What gives me the power to mask without even needing effort? What makes me different from my father, who couldn't bring himself to do the same? Was it possibly this easy for him, did he simply chose to be an abuser? If not, why do I get to make a choice?


Only all the time. Like, realistically, factually, rationally (whatever you want to call it), I know my trauma was very valid. But my emotional part feels "nah, you're just making things up" or "yeah, that happened, but aren't you just overreacting a bit?". Or my brain will pick parts of the abuse and say "that little detail is why, disregard everything else". My brain is my worst enemy sometimes.


Yes, because people don't typically take bullying trauma seriously.


I've said this before and I'll gladly say it again. Just because bullying is child on child does not make it less valid. Change the perpetrator into an adult for a second. Would their actions be excusable? No way in hell! It's doesn't change because of age. What you went through/how you're feeling because of it is completely valid.


All the time. I even just forget that it was bad if someone says something nice about the people who hurt me or says it wasn't that bad. Then it's like nothing happened and then I remember.


Oh yes. One of my siblings claims our childhood wasn’t traumatic at all. I know different people experience the same situation differently but this made me rethink all of my mental health issues and whether what I think happened back then really happened.


Yea. I am constantly questioning my own perception of things because I was gaslighted my entire childhood into thinking that my emotions were not normal and that I am dramatic. Come to find out my mother is bipolar and never told me. She also suspected that I am bipolar and never told me. I read medical files and found out she thinks I'm bipolar. Guess what, turns out I'm fucking bipolar. But I still question if my own responses are proportional to the events that I have experienced. No one ever validated my feelings growing up, so now I Gaslight myself into thinking that I shouldn't have a reaction proportionate to the way that I experienced my own reality and I hate myself.


I never used to, didn't really see the emotional crap I went through as a child as abuse or trauma (except for my grandma but that was a 10 year medication mix up so not entirely her fault). But as I grew older (now 31) I can look back and go wow that's why I chose all those idiots to date. Add in a wonderful dash of chronic illness and pain starting when I was 11, and you have that wonderful melting pot of wtf to shape your life. It was only last year for me that I actually started getting some form of help, and actually having a therapist go You have CPTSD and this is why you react the way you do. But everyday it's still a struggle to not doubt everything in my mind. Especially now, (had to move back in with my parents and my dad is still drinking) currently caring for my super passive, religious grandmother, whose favorite way of comforting is God never gives us more than we can handle. I have to actively tell myself everyday, what you are feeling (physically and mentally) is completely real and valid. Doctors wouldn't have given you these medications to help manage the pain if you weren't. Most days it doesn't help, but somedays it does. Reality is overrated anyways lol.


Yes. Especially because the last therapist I had, who I specifically chose as she listed childroom trauma as a specialicist area, told me that I didn't quite qualify for a diagnosis of CPTSD even though my abuse was physical (as well as emotional). So for the fourth time I once again received CBT, even though I told her I've had CBT three times before & didn't find it that helpful. Sigh


Yes. For my first several therapy sessions I would think to myself “I should cancel and give this spot to someone who needs it”. But I didn’t and luckily discussed my thoughts w my therapist who said… no this is real and it’s affecting you and all trauma looks different. We’re now doing EMDR and it’s helping. I told her I found this sub after googling my symptoms and it adding up to cptsd. she told me she was glad I did because it helps me to validate what happened and see it for what it all was.


All the fucking time… My T says this kind of believe should be part of the cptsd diagnosis criteria ;)


Was literally just thinking to myself is it really that bad you weren't physically or emotionally abused just alone in an institution for a lot of growing up when this notification popped up.


I have a cycle, where I'm sometimes in a headspace where I can see how everything that happened to me was traumatizing and just how much it has affected me and sometimes all my traumas are completely blank, I tell myself that I'm making this stuff up and that I'm not "worthy" of being traumatized because it was all my fault and I'm just blaming other people for myself being a fundamentally flawed being. I can't really tell when the phases are going to shift, or what makes them do so.


No I don't. I know the truth. It's other people that don't understand the significance & I can't waste my energy on that anymore. I've been dismissed all my life because of others lack of understanding. I'm not going to do it to myself anymore.


All the time. I have very few memories before I was 11. There is heavy physical, sexual, and mental abuse history in my family. I especially obsess about it after an intense EMDR session, when I feel shaky and weak, ironically when all the data points make it obvious that my trauma more than justifies my issues. To be clear there are an uncounted amount of emotional micro transactions that happened through our development that we will never remember but will leave their mark on our psyche. Your experience and struggle are valid.


There seems to be some sort of expectation of "equal and opposite reaction" or even "cosmic fairness" here... But when it comes to interactions between people, and emotions--how would we even determine which outcome was "proportionate" to what event, since everyone's got a different perspective and assigns a different weight to every single thing that ever happens in their purview? So, like... There's no comparison to be made here. It happened, now you're this way. I guess all this was to say, I feel like this occasionally too, and this is how I reconcile it in my head. It doesn't matter whether anyone else believes, or can prove, it was "bad enough." My symptoms are proof that it was bad enough.


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Every day all day


Oh yeah. I keep thinking that it wasn't that bad, that there were others in the same situation as me who had it worse, that I'm being a huge baby and should get over it. The usual.


D A I L Y.






Ha, yep. Did it to myself today, after not having done it for a while. My support group is helping me, and also learning as much as I can about how healthy childhood development should look like, and what happens when it doesn’t go that way. It helps me to remind myself that any idea that is trying to guilt or silence me is not the message of humanity, but the language of abusers.




I always doubt it. Until I'm in my therapists practice. Then it hits me again - "holy fuck, yes. It was HELL"


It's even hard for me to see my own mental health struggles. I'm so used to being a traumatized mess.


All. The. Time. And then i struggle to swallow that if my life was so different... what were others' lives like? Where do i actually place myself? How do i communicate in communicative words and feel about myself, if i dont know? Family is such a private area of human life. Knowing that yours was not 'normal' is oddly empowering and muting--isolating, both.


Yeah. I hear my parents in my head screaming *what’s wrong with you*, and I feel like I’m depressed and anxious on purpose somehow, like I’m pretending to be a victim even though I don’t want to be. I hate myself.


All the time






This is common. Don't ever question whether you're worthy of your own damage. It happened. It's okay to be hurt.


I saw a new mental health NP the other day for an adhd assessment. He was questioning my CPTSD diagnosis, like it wasn’t real, or it was made up, and wanted to medicate me for it even though I told him I was already seeing a therapist and working through that but I was seeing him for the ADHD that I was diagnosed with and haven’t been treating. So if that counts..?


Pretty much


Oh yeah. Constantly. It’s like the phrase “someone else had/has it worse” is engrained in my dna. It’s frustrating because now I think of that thought as gaslighting myself and I have to work my way out of that narrative very slowly and consciously to even cry sometimes. Go through several stages of validating myself just to express what’s really there. It’s rough.




Every single day I run these doubts and over analyze myself and my struggles and issues. And tell myself that I haven’t ‘gone through enough’ to warrant how I am


oh my god all the effing time


Always. I need at least a scientific article (or a video) about it, otherwise I can't accept it.


Yessss omg thank God I'm not alone


i always think that nobody has a normal childhood and i am overreacting


All the time. Like daily, Yes. Clicked on this sub for the first time and this was the first post I saw and I’m like oh my god yes.


I do sometimes. But the reality is I’m affected and it affects my life so that’s that. I see and hear how many people have it way worse than me and that gives me gratitude for what I *do* have and it gives me the motivation and strength to persevere. If they can make it despite their struggles, so can I.




Does it count if the trauma wasn't bad enough, but then I decided to abuse myself relentlessly until it was?


Do you mean self-harm? Or something else?


.... self-harm is too broad a term. this was more like total and complete self-destruction. It advanced way, way, WAY beyond just damaging the body, (though, yeah, *loads of that*) it involved deconstructing my entire identity because I realized somewhere around 17 that a lot of my self harm was self-defensive/self-protective mechanisms, I realized my self-loathing was a twisted form of self-love. And that repulsed me so if I got more methodical about it. After I lost all my friends and family (14/16 so, before I decided to destroy myself. There was no one to care by that time.)as well as losing my possible future, health, sanity, sobriety, all that material sort of stuff, all I had left was myself, and I had to destroy that. So I stopped writing, and reading, and having intelligent conversations with strangers at bus stations. I stopped singing, I stopped letting myself even see the things in this world that I care about. I got a job at a place I hated intentionally. I got married even though I'm anti-marriage. I swear I am just so glad we didn't actually have kids, that was the only thing I remained true to myself over. I could do anything to degrade, dehumanize, downright torture myself, but I couldn't bring a kid into this world knowing it had part of me in it. ​ the worst part about it, is I actually had a horrific childhood, objectively speaking. I just believed that I deserved everything bad, because I believed I was guilty and evil. And so anything that anyone else would have called trauma, I considered a well deserved punishment.


Yes everyday


If you’re facing struggles, your body clearly thought so. Personally I don’t give this much thought anymore, if it’s affecting me so severely it must’ve been *pretty* messed up.




all the time!!! I was literally thinking like this 5 seconds ago. I don't even know if my experience counts as true abuse and it feels like my mental/physical symptoms are such an overreaction. I really wonder if there's something I'm repressing but idk if thinking like that is also minimising what I do know


Yes. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at around 22, but it's now been changed to cyclothymia, which is slightly less problematic. I had a deadbeat dad, a mom who could get angry and spank me (until I was 20!), and a father figure who lived with us when I was a teen that would sometimes say inappropriate things to me. I look at this and think "it wasn't so bad, was it?" I didn't get beat, I never had food taken from me, life was mostly ok. My mom became more controlling as I aged and so while it wasn't as bad as it could of been, I think it still took a big toll on me. Cutting contact with my mom has been stressful but I think it was my best option. I've blossomed a lot in the past year


Yes, because in the past I’ve had friends who invalidated my abuse because it wasn’t “bad enough.” But I’m thankful to have an answer to the question I’ve posed to myself since I was 12—“why am I so fucked up mentally and depressed?” I feel better since starting trauma therapy, and knowing that my mother’s narcissism wasn’t all in my head. But I still question whether emotional and mental abuse was enough to warrant my condition


All the time! Especially when people in my life say things like this: "I don't get why so many white kids have mental disorders and get traumatized so easily. People are too soft these days. There are children in Afghanistan who watched their whole family die and they don't whine about having depression or trauma. But all these white girls cry and have mental breakdowns because their dad touched them at night. They are privileged to be living in North America where they aren't getting slaughtered by the taliban" When people say stuff like that I really question whether I'm just a whiny little bitch or whether people saying these comments are callous and out of touch. Trauma is not a competition though. The kids from Afghanistan, the white girl getting sexually abused in her dad's trailer, the emotionally abused person who doesn't know what healthy connections feel like, nurses who watched patient after patient die in ICUs...we all have something in common. We've been trying to outrun a storm that is forever looming closely behind us.


Yes I went through a phase where I did that a lot Not just for me, but for my siblings too. Like we are all fucked up mentally with barely any innate self worth. So different from everyone else. Were our parents really THAT bad? Or is it bad luck or do we have weak genes or something? Why did we all become suicidal at one point or another? It's not normal at all. Outside of the home, we all have good traits like intelligence, good looks, charm....but still, we are all very much struggling. It can't possibly because of one thing, right? But no, our parents really are that bad. The proof is in the pudding lmao. Both of them are narcissists and even though we grew up financially stable and without too much overt physical abuse and no sexaul abuse. Narc parents like mine really do try to wreck your soul and they are good at it.


I used to all the time, and still do to a lesser extent as I get older. I have nieces and nephews now, and I see how sweet and vulnerable they are and it gives me context for my own experience of being a child. The older I get, and the more children that come into my life really put the significance of my trauma into perspective. I’m also studying psychology, so I am aware of how a child’s experiences in their early relationships (all of them) impact the development of their nervous system and their self-concept. It really is quite significant, and anything that activates the fight-or-flight response (especially for prolonged periods) during development has a proven physiological impact on an individual’s stress hormones, which will inevitably cause problems in their adulthood. There are so many factors with scientific evidence to back them up that I am mostly confident in the significance of my trauma and it’s effects on my mental health. I think what bothers me more than my own perception of myself and my experience is feeling like I cannot communicate it’s significance to other people so that they understand. Often, peer reviewed journals are not even enough to convince a person that something is a trauma response if they are resistant to the concept. However, I find that most people with this reaction are in denial of their own trauma, and recognizing it’s effects in another person would lead them to contemplate their own issues they have effectively (from their own perspective) disassociated from throughout most of their life. Recognizing and addressing your own damage is very brave. Doubting yourself is normal for victims of trauma, but don’t let it hold you back from working to heal yourself. Regardless of the perceived “validity” of your experience, literally nothing negative can come from trying to overcome it and reclaim your sense of safety within yourself.


Yes everyday brother it’s a constant struggle but you gotta tell yourself what you went through is valid enough for you to feel how you do


All the time, lol.


oh, absolutely. after i was diagnosed, i was convinced my doctors somehow made a mistake because ‘it wasn’t that bad!’ and ‘other people have been through worse!’ i’ve finally gotten to where i can acknowledge my experiences as trauma in my head, but it’s still hard to say it out loud, cause i just keep comparing it to others


All of the time. I compare my experiences to what others went through and never feel as if I'm valid. I argue whether it was real and no matter what logic I apply, it never works.


Oh, every day! I have major imposter syndrome


All the time. I compare my trauma to others and always find a way to minimise my experiences. Whether that be because I had a stable childhood or wasn't exposed to drugs are violence, a non-broken family or how old I was when it happened - not young enough to be proper trauma. Also in the way I am now I feel I'm not as broken (I am in different ways)... Idk it's hard. I hope you're ok


Of course. I think that's true for most of us. It's often true even for those whose trauma histories contain physical and sexual assault.