Ptsd is crippling

Hey yall.
I have crippling ptsd from an abusive relationship that lasted 5 years. I was slowly manipulated into a puppet and kept from my friends and family. They made me mentally and emotionally dependent on them, and taught me to not trust my own feelings or thoughts. I fought back in the beginning, but it happened so slowly. By the time i realized, it was too late and i couldn’t get out.
Now almost a decade later, I’m still plagued by panic attacks and extreme anxiety from ptsd. And the attacks don’t even make sense. They occur at random times. Usually when i just feel unsure of myself. I don’t trust myself. I’m in a constant battle with my own mind to get myself back.
I can’t work or even drive anymore. Just existing like a normal person is a struggle. Its not fair. I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy.
I just want to be able to work and take care of my loved ones again. Drive to a job or the grocery store. Live.


Oh, friend. I can relate to you so much. And I honestly wish I had some advice for you that would help. I just want you to know that you’re not alone in this struggle. PTSD is so intense and so isolating.
One thing my therapist always tells me is that it’s important to acknowledge the feelings as they arise, to observe them, but not to entertain them. It’s so much easier said than done. Do you have a therapist or a professional that you talk to about your ptsd?
I know my reply isn’t much. But please know that I see you and I hear you. It’s such a tough battle. I hope that you’ll continue to post here. There is a whole community of people who would love to support you and walk along side you through your journey. Wishing you nothing but the best.

Hey friend, Welcome to HeartSupport!

I’m terribly sorry to know that this has happened to you. but I’m going to share something with you.

I went through this exact same kind of relationship and experience bouts of extreme depression and episodes of PTSD when dealing with certain situations that I’ve come to understand are a biproduct of that relationship.

I was with my partner for 6 years and at first things were great, but just like you I was sucked in and completely lost my identity. They made sure they were the only element in my life and would even scream at me for spending time with my friends and I spent less and less time with my family, among many other things. I beckoned to this person’s wishes as I loved her, but I finally realized I was a victim of a true narcissist. I wont go into details as it sounds like you may already know exactly what I’m getting at. though, I was told on a few occasions that I suffered from Stockholm Syndrome.

After a violent and extremely toxic seperation, I thought I was free and started moving on with my life and started a new, incredible job. Though, I ignored the baggage (ptsd) that came from that time in my life and it came to head in extreme fashion. Within a year of my divorce, I hit absolute rock bottom and ended up in a psych ward for a week. It’s been more than a year since that happened and here’s some things that I’ve learned.

Revisist that version of yourself that you were when the relationship first began - what were the things you loved doing when before you met that person? What were the things or the people that brought you pure joy? I ask this because in my journey, I realized I gave up who I was to be a person my partner wanted me to be - thinking that’s what love was supposed to be I guess. But because I lost my own identity I didn’t even know who I was and had nothing to fall back on when things really caught up with me. Since then, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time revisiting those things and have really started to enjoy myself again. I repaired old, lost friendships, started going to metal shows by myself again, talking to people who are like that version of myself that I lost and reconnecting with that foundation.

Like you, I would get panic attacks, specifically in public, because I found myself around people I didn’t relate to and couldn’t find a way to feel confortable around them. As a result, I became reclusive - which is one of the main factors in the hospitalization. I realized spending time with myself in sincire relfection as to why and asking myself hard, and sometimes scary questions, revaled to myself that I needed to, again, find myself. In doing this, I’ve found confidence and steadfastness when out in public. I’m not who others tell me I should be. I am my own person and I love myself. Therefore, nothing outside of me can influence how I feel inside with out my consent.

Give yourself some love. Be your own care taker in this sense. It’s important to note that what you went through and are going through was/is hard. To remind yourself that it’s a process and that it’s important to know that it’s going to take time to get back into living a life that is truly fulfilling.

Give yourself something to accomplish. Start with small things like cleaning your living space and setting it up in a manner that makes you happy and confortable. Gradually introduce things that you can do that are slightly more challenging. Our body and mind is a muscle that can be trained into doing greater things. For me, where I’m at, I’ve turned to lifting heavy weights and am training to compete in the near future. I chose this because I actually hate working out, but getting through a workout gives me a sense of extreme accomplishment - that I did it regardless of how I felt and it makes me proud. It also gives me mental fortification that helps me handle everything else even more. You don’t have to do this exact thing, but choose something that suites you that you can overcome and be proud of.

Lastly, it sounds like you have a lot of things to sort through that are sitting in your subconscious that really makes your life hard to handle at times. find a therapist, specifically one that deals with relationship abuse. These individuals will help you by putting together roadmaps for you to follow to help you grow out of what’s holding you down now and into a life well lived. Talk to friends, reach out to this community, and honestly try and put yourself out there. Its been nearly three years since I’ve dated anyone, but I realized that one girl I started having feelings for triggered my PTSD because the emotions I felt were those I felt when my relationship with me EX first started. I learned, through self reflection, that I labeled this girl as someone to avoid because she brought pain to me…but it wasn’t her. It was what I subconsciously labeled those emotions to be associated with because of what I experienced. This isn’t fair to that girl, though I never told her anything about it -just kept it to myself - It gave me something to learn from and to grow further into being the person I ultimately want to become.

You’re on a journey my friend. It will be painful along the way at times, but I truly believe that you coming here is an amazing start to healing your heart, calming your PTSD and growing into a thriving individual ready to live life on your terms.

I believe in you. stay strong. I’m proud of you for taking a step into the direction of happiness.

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