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Complex PTSD- Surviving Emotional Abuse and Recovering Normalicy

So, I stumbled across a fun little tidbit the other day, apparently, Complex PTSD actually changes the physical characteristics of your brain. I have been reeling a little from this, and also re-examining the way I view my relationship and the name I’m giving the abuse he is inflicting on me. I mean, technically, he is changing my physical being in a hateful way, so is that not then, physical abuse?

The research did study soldiers, not the victims of abusive partners, and having never been in actual war zones, I cannot compare our experiences, though I would imagine their is much worse. But then, I have been betrayed by someone I trusted with my entire life, my heart, my children, they are fighting a known enemy. Would the damage be worse psychologically for someone like me, or for them? I don’t know. All I know is, I feel depressed, empty, like when someone asks me what I like to do for fun, sleep is the only thing that comes to mind. I don’t want to die, but sleeping for a few years, that doesn’t sound so bad…

Do I have Complex PTSD?

Here’s a partial list of the symptoms for Complex PTSD:

  • Persistent anxiety, anguish, and depression
  • Feeling suicidal
  • Exploding with anger or being unable to express anger.
  • Forgetting traumatic events or remembering them in a fragmented way
  • Being preoccupied with or reliving traumatic events
  • Feeling helpless, powerless
  • Experiencing shame, guilt, and self-blame
  • Feeling different from others; utterly alone
  • Experiencing isolation and withdrawal from others
  • Persistent distrust of others
  • Repeatedly failing to protect yourself
  • Loss of a faith that used to sustain you
  • Having a sense of hopelessness and despair

I have or have had all of these, and on the quiz HERE I scored 24. Which puts me WAY over the line of probable Complex PTSD. That seems to be really hard for me to wrap my head around. Its like I live in this fog, and I don’t really see how bad it really is. I tend to live every day trying to make TODAY better, and often I find myself willing to compromise my future just to make things a little better now. Which is crazy, even knowing I’m planning on leaving, I still do this! Its like a horrible habit, and I don’t even see myself doing it most of the time.


Last night was really tough, and I haven’t been able to shake the depression totally as of yet. I am so sad, I cant even cry. I wish I could just SOB my heart out, but I feel like I have maybe shoved it down so deep, just to function and try and keep going, just to try and not let him totally swallow me, that I cant even get to my feelings. I guess that’s part of the Complex PTSD.  I hate it, but I know its probably best, for now. I have always been iron willed with my emotional self control, that has helped me keep my mouth shut and not keep fighting with him, and also helps me not lash out at my kids when they’re just being kids and I have had all I can take for the day. But I worry I’m maybe not all here for them. I just try all I can to make sure they know I love them.

So What Now?

I’m trying. Every day I feel like I’m doing a little better. Not always emotionally, but there are victories every day. Today, my victories are taking some pride in my appearance, starting a new job, and seeing I had a huge amount of page views on my last post. That really made me feel less alone and stronger somehow. So even on a bad day emotionally, I am still climbing out of this pit. I am going to get better, I am going to get away from him. And if God is merciful, I will be able to help my girls keep away from him as well.

I found some good advice from others online, I’m going to do my best to follow it:

Resources for Complex PTSD Recovery:

Reconnecting to Your Lost Self

4 Phases of PTSD Recovery- Dr Phil

10 Principles of PTSD Recovery 


Research Information on Complex PTSD:

Complex PTSD leaves physical footprints on the brain

High Conflict Relationships can lead to complex PTSD




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9 thoughts on “Complex PTSD

  1. Gwynn says:

    Score of 28 and CPTSD is hell to live with. I feel your pain.

  2. c w says:

    I just want to say it takes a lot to be to be kind in the face of cruelty. It takes a lot to not be swallowed up by hate becoming bitter and distrustful of everyone. It takes incredible courage to get up each day. It is amazing to be able to smile and not fight back. it takes a lot to care about others when you yourself are in such pain. its amazing to be able to move on and still love knowing you are a survivor. Most people see themselves as a victim and must fight back in any way possible to never be a victim again. They won’t trust anybody. It’s all about them because they are the only ones who care about themselves. Everyone is lying to them or using them and they just can’t let it go. They don’t realize they have become a monster. Even if they do see something they see themselves as a winner. They made it. They are no longer a victim and they never will be again because they will fight tooth and nail to protect themselves. But they don’t realize they are a victim of themselves. That fear has engulfed them so completely that they will never get back up and have hope again.They don’t have friends or family. They won’t let anyone care for them. They are all alone on the top of their world. One day you hope they will wake up and see what they have done and what has been done to them. Lonely abusive people living in their empty homes with their fake friends or captive families realizing nobody will care when they die. As a matter of fact most people will rejoice to see them gone. The thing is no matter how much people try to love them they won’t let it go. They will destroy you. A person wether a codependant or a narcissist has to have a hope in a higher power. They have to have a hope that things will get better- Psalm 37. They have to be able to let that person go and know that if their truly is something good in them god will be able to get through to them somehow. But if not you have done all you can. That can mean you getting help and telling others what happened so the abuser can experience the consequences and the victim gets comfort . Because if you stay and your just angry your not helping anyone and you run the risk of being bitter and destroying yourself and those around you as well all in the name of just trying to make things better. You get sick. Your kids see you as an angry person also. But if you can control yourself sometimes when you show enough kindness while not enabling you kill that abusive personality and set that suffering person free too. They can finally see maybe the world isn’t that bad. They can let it go. You can’t do that unless you let the anger and fear go. Leave anger….trust in god with all your heart…. Sometimes that means walking away and sometimes that means stay. It’s up to the individual. It’s not weak to endure. It’s not weak to walk away. It takes an incredible amount of love to love someone who is hurt. When you love someone you let them learn and you can’t learn for them. Let them face the consequences. Each one will carry his own load. But you can be the best person you can be no matter what you choose. You don’t have to be conquered by evil…. Ecclesiastes 4:1. That describes a person striving after the wind wasting away who never reaches his goal but another who thinks he has won but never really does. Mathew 18; Galatians 6: 4,5,9. “For all things I have strength through the one who gives me power”. “Trust in god with all your heart…” -proverbs 3. That’s not easy and to some it’s foolish. But without that hope what do you have? The world isn’t getting any better it’s actually getting worse. You spend your whole life trying to figure it out and one day you wake up and realize for what? What was I fighting for? It’s over. It’s better to trust god, put it in his hands, do your best to be peaceable and look to the future with hope. Revelation 21:1-4. Mathew 6:9,10, 33,34.

    1. Jva says:

      Have you ever dealt with a narcissist? Lived with one? Experienced it?

  3. mmm3610 says:

    Thank you so very much for the heart felt post. I’m proud of you for letting yourself be vulnerable in order to heal and help others. I just started a blogg last night. I’ve been wanting to for sometime now but it’s difficult to put a sentence together most of the time. lol.
    Trust me when I say this, you will 100% help inspire others.
    I’d love to chat w you at some point.
    All the best,

  4. Vania Rhym says:

    I scored a 27…all this from a long tiring 2years that ended in divorce & me barely escaping alive. Now I feel crippled & lost pretty hopeless thanks to all that I have endured & my poor children..there are days I literally can’t function. I am in counseling but this is the first time I ever heard of Complex PTSD so Thank you for the courage & strength to share this let alone write it down.
    I was diagnosed with Secondary PTSD prior to my ex trying to kill me 6 months later on our anniversary. Now I am at a total loss of knowing up from down but each day gets a little better not easier but a step forward in progress….and other days all I can manage to do is sleep.. I often question how is this showing my kids what a good parent is like ..but I remind myself that I need to have & practice self love because me not being here for them wouldn’t be showing them right from wrong, what a parent & family are suppose to be etc…
    Again I thank you for this read…I didn’t even know I had this much to say & there’s so much hurried inside just to get by daily. Prayers for you & your girls thank you so much

  5. theytakethestrong says:

    Thank you.

  6. Holly says:

    Can’t leave my real name or email.
    Can you or someone please tell me if the name calling is normal? stupid, too dumb to breathe, need to go bck to presxhool with our daughter. is this the type of thing your husband would say?

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Yeah, pretty normal I think. His favorite was to call me lazy. No matter I was running our business all by myself, he didnt have all the money he could want so I was lazy, obviously.
      Narcs are masters of projection, so often, whatever names hes calling you is more a reflection of what they themselves are doing. Same with whatever he accuses you of. Go on high alert if he starts accusing you, and check into what HES doing.

    2. Jva says:

      Some similar things.

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