For those of us also recovering from childhood trauma/PTSD

My response to a member going through the "growing pains" of change and self awareness, the letting go of the hopes and dreams and feeling those gut level emotions of intense grief and loss:

Each step and stage has many levels of emotions and awarenesss. I can remember sobbing from the depths of my soul for days when I realized how very sick he was (my X PD) and that he could NEVER be for me or give me what I wanted and needed.

I equated this with my Dad, brother, and many other men I had tried to get something from who had nothing to give to me.

While grieving the loss of him, I felt like I was completely falling apart and in a million little pieces and when the grieving lessened, I actually began to feel more complete and whole than I had since I was a little girl, full of hope and innocence. I don't feel so innocent anymore, yet somehow I feel stronger and more in touch with my adult self and the realities and truths in life. The truth will set us free. The truth is that this was NEVER our fault; not as children and not as adults. This was a pattern established early on in life by suffering through a PD parent or parents which allowed us to repeat these patterns with emotionally unavailable men or women.

For those of us who grew up with this abuse, the recovery will emcompass the past and the present and this can be often overwhelming as we look at our patterns and learn to let go of the unhealthy relationships and learn to let in the healthy ones. New behaviors are not easy to incorporate when we are adults.

Very painful process and from my experience, I will say that this is an excellent sign that you are on your way to a deeper healing and understanding and while it is probably the most painful thing we ever go through, us adult children of abuse, in the long run you will be much better off when you make it to the other side.

I look at these PD's in our adult life as the catalysts which while horrific, actually do prompt us to do the work and my dear if anyone has been doing the work, it is you. Since you have arrived here your honesty and willingness to digg deep and look at all aspects of this has been quite amazing and a strength to all of us. This stage is a reflection of all the hard work you have been doing over these months, looking at him, looking at yourself, looking at your past.

I know it hurts and sucks, however, just remember that the feelings which we have tried for years to avoid are the very thing which will at last set us free from the bondage of childhood trauma and allow our adult selves the freedom to live in peace.

God bless,

I am so proud of you right now for hanging in and sticking it out, no matter how painful this has been for you!!!!
YOU ARE a POWER of example to all of us. Hang in and keep sharing. You will make it to the other side. I have faith in you and all of us. We will become the men and women God intended us to be. We will have our strength and dignity restored to us as we journey through this together. Together we can do what we cannot do alone!!!

Jul 14 - 5AM
daisygreen's picture

I needed to hear this

I so needed to hear this- that the intense pain is a pathway to somewhere- to healing.
Jul 13 - 5PM
Susan32's picture


I trusted the ex-Psych prof because he was a teacher. I'd tell him how I had been bullied in school, and how happier I felt in college, and secure. I thought I could trust him BECAUSE he was a teacher. I was always the "new kid" in school. Tho I wasn't an army brat, I moved from California, to upstate New York, to Vancouver (Canada), to California (again), then to Oregon... back in California again. I never really had a chance to develop roots&get to know people. By the time I was 12, I had moved at least 6 times. Being the "new kid" meant being picked on- and add to that overprotective parents (I never did go to prom,and when I was in high school, my mother wouldn't let me go on trips with the school orchestra to Portland because she was too scared) who are dismissive- and you've got big time vulnerability. I wanted to settle in New Mexico so I wouldn't have to move again. Thank God there was divine intervention so I didn't stay THERE! The ex-P knew I longed for stability&saw him as a trusted authority figure... and he took advantage of that.
Jul 17 - 2AM (Reply to #5)
cre8ive's picture

Trusting authority figures

Susan32, I also trusted an authority figure. He was my physician (surgeon). At one time my very life was in his hands. I am usually cautious about trusting others because of some past experiences. I was coming out of a very emotionally challenging relationship (how ironic) at the time of my appt with him. I actually gave him all of the information that he needed to manipulate me, and he did just that. I feel like he stole my love for him. He used all that he knew about me to make me love him, which clouded my judgement and caused me to make some really bad decisions. It took me some time to realize that he used his power, position, my vulnerability, and things he knew about me to manipulate me. I can remember, during the relationship, thinking how amazing it was that he was so attuned to me. It was unlike anything that I'd ever experienced. It felt like it was meant to be. Well, little did I know that I would end up with my heart shattered into a million pieces. After all of the tremendous pain I have given my shattered heart and broken spirit to God to make me whole again.
Jul 8 - 1PM
jen79's picture


Thanks for your encouraging words. I am an adult survivor of childhood abuse through a PD parent. I know exactly what you talking about, all this pain we avoided all our life, to digg deeper and to really heal. It is so painful to drop all this little escape fantasies that helped numbing the pain for so long. Very painful process, and though I am not healed yet completely, I can feel already now how important this whole process was for the rest of my life. Thanks for reminding us.
Jul 7 - 8PM
tresor2's picture


Thanks for this post and words of optimism and support. I had such a hard time figuring out what happened to me, early on. Both my parents survived WWII...fought Nazis, lost family in concentration camps, were left to raise themselves as teenagers, etc. When they married after the war, both suffered from untreated PTSD and Depression and who knows what else. My parents weren't abusive; they worked hard and came to this country as immigrants. The problem was, to no fault of their own, they couldn't show love in healthy ways and weren't able to support me emotionally. My dad was especially rigid and disconnected. I became as F'd up and insecure as those who suffered other types of covert/overt abuse and it took me until recently to understand. Early on, I was prime material for the N "kill." The abusers in my life have been catalysts for my changes and the journey has been long and difficult. The big thing for me is finally accepting that I didn't do anything wrong and there's nothing wrong with me. I've been the victim of my own negative beliefs about myself and I've been living life as if those beliefs are true. N's zero in on vulnerabilities and kindness and I've paid the price. Confronting my irrational beliefs has been key in my recovery. The negative voices are still there but, they're loosing power.
Jul 7 - 7PM
strivingforhealing (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Thank you for these wise words

yes, I know all this pain has a source- and it is from the pain and longing of my little girl from so long ago. I choose my father in my N. The hot and cold, the lies, the manipulation, the unavailability....This is the deepest darkest pain I have ever experience- and I also have faith that with continued introspection, therapy, support, and nurturing my little girl- I will heal the very core of my broken heart, the heart the broke in my early years. I can mend it now- with self love, self acceptance and only giving of myself to those that truly can honor and nurture my precious heart. No more abuse, it stops now. I have had 5 weeks of NC and those are 5 weeks that I give my little girl what she has been longing for- a parent that will protect with all her might and a parent that will nurture and love and honor always. I can be that parent now.
Jul 7 - 11AM
Giggles's picture

thank you

Your words are so appreciated Goldie. I am taking a hard look at why I have chosen abusive men my whole life. Twice divorced and the last three years with a Narc. I just started therapy, but I have always tried to self analyze. I know my childhood is the key. I never felt loved by either parent and it set me up for a lifetime of wanting someone to love me and trying to prove to someone that I am a good person. Worthy of being loved. Worthy of being treated kindly.Worthy of sharing a life with. I have exhausted myself in this effort only to be physically, verbally and emotionally abused. I was so fooled by the Narc. He was a wonderful mirror. I thought I could show him what it felt like to be loved and accepted. Cared for in every way. I think my second husband was a narc too. Now that I know what one is. Lol. I'm hoping going back to the childhood trauma and making peace with it will allow me to find that self respect thing people talk about and I will one day have a healthy relationship with a real man.