My life now with complex ptsd


Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

cPTSD for me is something that is with me everyday, day in and day out. I'm not talking the trauma, flashbacks and nightmare side today though, read more about that here. I'm talking about what I have been left with because of it. The ways in which I am as a person and the world I live in my head.  This to me is a new thing because I have learnt about it during therapy and also some self care by which I looked at myself as a whole and not just one part of me. Everything bad that happened started from around the age of five up until I was eighteen, the perfect storm as my husband likes to say. For me what I am now is just a part of myself because there are other parts within me, my split parts.  I'm not talking about personality disorders here, I'm talking about the inner child or children in my case. 

When a child is affected by trauma at a young age a way in which it is dealt with is to split. This is because the anger, sadness and pain is to much or the child needs to be strong so it splits. The act of splitting puts all the bad into another form of the child, hidden away and in some cases forgotten by the child so they can carry on with their day as normal as possible. As you grow up other parts become split (if the trauma is still ongoing) and there you have it,  inner's. These inner's stay the same age, same mentality at the time of the trauma and have the build up of all the bad on their shoulders. They follow you alive throughout life.  To explain this simply, people grow up from birth and keep changing and evolving into an adult and they carry skills and memories with them till they die.  For someone with inner's it's the same process but the split child parts don't age or grow or learn, they just follow the journey into adulthood. 

For me my inner's range from very young to teenagers. It's more like a family of people in the back of my head and I'm the home. It's quite a strange way of living but it's the way it is and I don't mind. My inner's are the past me at times in my life when it was hard, scary, confusing and down right odd. They live within me hidden away most of the time only to pop out at times when I'm feeling strong emotions. To be honest before I knew what was going on I thought I was going crazy when it came to my emotions and reactions. 

Daily living is hard work. My emotions and moods are unstable at times and I don't know what is around the corner with them. My inner's pop out at times when I feel weak, ill, threatened and tired or down right pissed off! If I find myself feeling ill, say with the flu, my smallest inner will show herself. I will be constantly going on about how ill I am. I will follow my husband around telling him how much my head aches or that my chest hurts. I turn into a child, mentally but as well as that kind of physically with the way I hold myself and act. In those moments it's how I am. You will find me curled up in a ball on the sofa with a blanket watching cartoons shouting how ill I am. Once this time subsides I'm back to my 24 year old self looking at what I have been doing and thinking to myself not again! Once this moment has passed where the inner feels less threatened I'm back being a 24 year old with the flu and I just get on with it, the best I can. 


I have a teenage inner that is stuck also and she presents herself when I'm irritable with something or someone. If we are at a family event and someone has said something not that great to me she will come up. This inner has a large chip on her shoulder and doesn't take things in right. Her walls her up, like most teenagers. She has a black and white thinking pattern and one moment someone can be the best thing since sliced bread and the next they are nothing. I guess this teenage part wants her voice heard and she goes out of her way to get it and if someone goes over her she goes into a mental melt down, all in my head.  I have found myself in situations talking graphically about sex with two old people and about how they do it and I'm up for it! I have that buzz, excitement and the rebellious streak pumping through my veins. The whole Fuck it attitude. This part isn't a bad person, far from it. Shes just stuck in that mentality and shes rebelling after a tough life. This part of me can cause a lot of raised eyebrows and a few words but I honestly can't help it and deep down, she doesn't mean any harm. When this moment has passed I feel so embarrassed and it's like "but that wasn't me god dammit!" I as a 24 year old can talk about sex but god, to this level is way too much for me! The switch can be very fast. One moment it's "ah and how are you" and the next it's "ha, your mum".

These two inner's, the child and teenager are the most active ones within me. I can switch between adult, child and teen in a matter of hours and they all have their own way of looking at things. If someone hasn't contacted me for a while the child part will become me and I will be worrying what if I have done something wrong, "what if they don't like me, am I a bad person".  Then the teenager takes over and she does to protect the little one and has her whole Fuck it aura. I'll then be back to a 24 year old who has just had all these emotions regarding a small, tiny thing that doesn't really matter to me. Pretty darn confusing right?!  

It's not all bad though, far from it. These inner's present themselves at times during the day and at times it can be quite funny. My teenage inner is drawn to the grunge/goth style, like me but way over the top. If I have a family event she sometimes comes up and wants to really show she isn't part of the gang, she is her own thing. I'm talking black lipstick, black eye shadow and backcombed hair. It's all very "Yeah look at me". I then am on the way and look in the mirror and think "ah, right". Then sometimes the younger one pops up and I'm  in a blush pink skirt, turtle neck and leggings with blushed pink eyes and a nude lip. If you looked in my wardrobe you can see the grunge side and the more formal, girly side!  The teenager also presents herself with hair dye. It's a huge thing to her and she has left me in such messes. Like when I bleached half my hair and it was falling out. My husband kept saying "are you sure" and the reply was "well duhhh, god I know what I'm doing" and I was sure of it. The excitement and joy that came from me doing it was like nothing me and the husband had experienced, I was a teenager. That night I had the biggest panic attack because I hadn't had had the reassurance I needed to do something that caused anxiety for the little inner because the teen had taken over completely.  The next day I was on the floor having a melt down because I didn't want this and my hair was falling out  and the texture was like bubble gum.. thanks inner. 

  maladaptive daydreaming

I also with my cPTSD go off into a world inside my head. A make believe world that is forever changing and adapting, The term for this is Maladaptive Daydreaming.  I go there when I'm feeling low or having a bad time. In this world anything is possible and everything is as good as it can be. I did this a lot as a child also, a way of coping with stress and hard times. For me personally it helps me deal with things better because I escape from my own issues. Sometimes I can lose hours within this world and other times I just pop in and out. Music is a key with this as it helps distance myself from reality. I have lost a lot of time doing this and I'm trying my best to stop but sometimes I just can't help it. In this world anything is possible and all your problems just drift away. 

cPTSD has left me with many problems that affect me everyday. Sometimes they are okay, even funny but other times they are dark and depressing. For me I'm on a mission to help look after my inner's and stop spending so much time daydreaming. When you think of all the things I do and then think of a child you can see why this happens but when your 24 it's really hard to go about life, turning into a child then teen is hard work! Childhood trauma is something that affects adults so hard and I don't believe enough is done about it. There are so many aspects that come with even the "drip-drip" trauma that can cause issues and I don't think they are explored enough. 

Are you affected by cPTSD with inner's or do you think you suffer with Maladaptive Daydreaming? Let me know down below!

Stacey Barberptsd