I came across this wonderful website & blog known as ‘Beauty after bruises’, which is a voluntary website that provides invaluable support for those with CPTSD and/or Dissociation.
The links I am adding here are very useful for those of you who really struggle with sleeping and generally dread the night time. Please check them out if you think they might help you and feel free to re-blog this post so it also reaches others.
As many of you already know, my journey to qualifying as a Life Coach, was based on my own recovery from my narcissistically abusive parents.
For those of you who don’t follow my more personal blog, I wanted to just give you a little insight into my own struggles.
In the last few days, I have been struggling with contact again from my father, after 1 year and a half of not speaking.
I sent him a letter, so he could stop harrassing me by phone.
I never exclusively told him I wanted no contact, but after a very traumatic time following his attempted suicide, (as a way of stopping his wife from leaving him) he gave me the silent treatment for a year, so I just went along with it.
I was not willing to respond to him and was already in a grieving process, even though there was no closure of any sort.
When he finally decided to start hoovering me back in with his phonecalls and sudden caring, I continued to ignore his calls. This communication from him went on for 8 months. I finally got fed up with the constant calls that I decided to send him a letter to end our relationship. I briefly explained my reasons and gave him the chance to reply.
I received his reply and it hit me really hard! More than I expected it to.
I realised that I still had a tiny glimmer of hope that he might change his behaviour and this was a huge setback for me. I also realised how incredibly strong the trauma bonding is between us, even more so than with my mother.
As a means of coping with my recent distress and the final letter to him, which I am in the process of writing at the moment, I created the below video!
It outlines what I have been going through and what many other survivors of abuse face all the time.
Please feel free to share it, if you think it may help others.
Just visit my Youtube page and embed it into your page.
Can you tell I am ecstatic it’s Friday evening? Well I am..very much so! 🙂
I get to stay in bed tomorrow morning and drink a glass or two of red wine tonight!
I get to catch up on my blogging and go for a meal with a friend.
I get to spend quality time with my hubby which is just perfect.
I am feeling very grateful at the moment, although the gratefulness this time arises after the latest challenge I have set myself.
I finally gave in, after 2,5 years of living in Germany and have just started an intensive German language course. It is exhausting and at times overwhelming. 6 hours of German, 5 days a week is A LOT. 4 hours in the morning and around 2 hours of study afterwards..I have needed a nap twice this week after my course and been getting more eye strain and headaches than usual. By throwing my CPTSD into the mix as well, I end up giving myself one big fat challenge!
In one of my previous posts, I talked about why I didn’t want to learn German. The reasons were many and I have no shame in admitting that I just don’t like the language because it is hard to learn and I just didn’t have the motivation. However, as hubby and I were discussing whether we were going to stay in Germany or return to the UK, I admitted that the only way for me to really know if I could live in Germany long term, was to actually learn the language!
I promised myself that I would give the intensive course my best shot and if after completing the first part, I still didn’t feel like I could communicate in a basic way, then we would move back to the UK.
Germany has been great for me in the last couple of years and it feels like home now.We are settled and the idea of moving back to the UK is great on one hand as I deeply miss it but on the other hand it is a hassle. Constantly changing addresses is tiresome and renting in the UK isn’t as comfortable as it is in Germany!Settling is important when you get to your mid thirties!
I have another 6 weeks of intensive German classes, so forgive me for my absence in the blogging world over the next weeks. I have already lined up some Youtube videos for each Monday.Some are Q & A videos and some are just informational.
I hope you are all doing well and not letting the upcoming holiday season get you too down! Keeping busy is good for me personally at the moment & feeling grateful also greatly impoves my overall mood.
What challenge have you set yourself recently? How are you coping with the upcoming festive season? Christmas isn’t a joyous time for everyone..
This is my 2nd video from my Q & A video series. My followers, viewers & subscribers ask the questions and I answer to the best of my knowledge with a video.
I really hope that this video is useful to those of you who suffer from insomnia in general and I hope it also provides a little more insight for those of you who have specific PTSD related Insomnia.
PTSD related insomnia is a very tough symptom to tackle and is usually managed with a combination of anti-depressants, the short term use of sedatives and talking therapy( all under the watchful eye of a psychotherapist or psychiatrist).
Today I am starting off my series of Q & A videos, where my viewers and subscribers are able to get their questions answered by me, in a video each week. Please feel free to ask me questions on the following topics:
Dealing with emotional flashbacks
I also am happy to answer questions on how to :
Better manage your time
Stop self-defeating thinking patterns
Better manage your workload
Deal with toxic people
Here is the first video on a question asked by one of my viewers:
Please note: **I will always keep the identity of my viewers confidential**
I hope you had a good weekend and have started your week with hope in your heart. I have been unusually busy over the last week, as hubby has been on holiday from work. My mornings have been completely transformed from work & ‘me’ time, to long breakfasts and lots of ‘us’ time. We just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on Saturday and took a mini break away in the wonderful town of Braunschweig. An escape from the usual routine we are well accustomed to, is so incredibly refreshing and enriching.
Although hubby is still on holiday this week as well, I want to make sure I keep up my blogging and Youtube Videos, even if at a lesser frequency.
I have finally managed to set up my new webcam and got the sound on the microphone to the level it should be at. I can safely say that the quality of my Youtube videos will finally be at an acceptable level.Hoorah 🙂
Although I started off my video today thinking it would only be a very short trial one (to test out my new webcam), it ended up being a long one!
The video is about emotional flashbacks once again and how to manage them.
The video below is the 2nd one I have posted on this topic, as I have received a few more requests to talk more about this difficult area of CPTSD.
Love Athina ♥
Ps: I finally received my full & approved ‘Certificate in Coaching’ today after completing the written assignment and waiting a long 12 weeks for the course tutors to correct it.
Unfortunately, they forgot to add my married name in brackets as I had originally requested but despite this, I am very very pleased 🙂
I hope you are all enjoying your weekend to the best of your ability.To those of you struggling at the moment, I hope you are doing ok and reaching out for support. The blogging community is filled with wonderful, caring people and it is important to keep this community positive and encouraging. To those of you who need it, I am sending you a big hug! ♥ Take it one step at a time ♥
As some of my regural readers know, I am off to London tomorrow until Thursday to visit family and friends, while my husband is away for work.My Youtube videos are usually posted every Monday, however due to the fact I am off to London tomorrow, I decided to do this one a little earlier.
I talk about Complex PTSD once again, as there are so many of you who suffer with it and I am pretty sure that you need some hope, to keep fighting it and keep moving forward. Through lots of research and from my own personal experience, I talk about the most helpful things you can do to support your healing.
Are you somebody who struggles to sleep well and ends up waking up exhausted in the morning rather than refreshed? Do you find that you often have vivid stress dreams which can at times disrupt your sleep in the middle of the night?
If you are someone who also struggles with depression, anxiety or (C)PTSD, then this will no doubt have an impact on your quality of sleep.
Both anxiety & depression, involve a thinking style known as ruminating. Ruminating means that we go over the same thoughts over and over again,without any resolution. These thoughts are usually negative and if they aren’t resolved with some sort of action, they will then possibly play out in our dreams at night.
Apparently is has been stated that a memory is composed of a situation orthought, the emotions experienced from that situation or thought and then the actionstaken. If something happened during the day for example, that was upsetting but you weren’t able to resolve the situation in some way, then this will most likely linger until you go to bed. Since ruminating means that our thoughts and emotions are stuck in a repetitive loop, we will then most likely have an anxiety dream, in which we will try and find a resolution to our initial problem. Our mind just isn’t able to switch off properly until our problem has been solved.
So basically, if you have had a stressful day and there is still stuff that needs to be resolved, you will then most likely be doing this in your sleep as well. Since stress and anxiety can be exhausting during the day, then it is pretty similar at night too.If the brain doesn’t get a chance to ‘switch off’ or relax at night, then you can understand why the quality of your sleep is compromised.
This causes a vicious cycle which looks a bit like this :
Worrying/Rumination → Poor sleep quality → Increase in stress during the day & trouble coping → Worrying/Rumination → Poor quality sleep .. etc
Too much ruminating can lead to feeling helpless. If you are too focused on the problem you are ruminating about, you tend to get stuck and this affects your actual problem solving skills.
A few tips to calming your worrying mind at night:
Try and resolve the problem before going to bed (if this is possible).
Talk to a friend or family member about your worries (A different point of view might do wonders)
Write down your troublesome thought/s on a piece of paper or type up a document on the computer..This might help you find a solution, by seeing your thoughts clearly written in front of you..
Another thing you can do is write a priority list (if your worries are work related). By organising your time and managing your tasks into more urgent, less urgent etc..this might help you relax more.
Think about what is in your control and what isn’t..If it isn’t in your control, then try to ‘let it go’..
If you are still not able to sleep, use lavender oil on your pillow and find some self-hypnosis tracks you can listen to while lying in bed..
What are your thoughts on this? Are you someone who suffers with ruminating and poor quality sleep? Do you also suffer with a mental illness? How often would you say you have anxiety dreams on average? Twice a week or more?
****Please share & re-blog this post to help as many others as possible****
This blog post might be useful to anybody out there who suffers with Complex PTSD, who has suffered from childhood abuse or who has a loved one who suffers with a mental illness. I have created the below charts to assist those of you who might need a clearer map of how complex trauma affects individuals and why they might have moments of overreacting to criticism, an angry tone of voice or a stern look. Emotional flashbacks are explained and a list of coping skills are included, which I have used extensively throughout my own healing over the last 4 years. I find that boxes, colours and diagrams are very useful for me to remember things, especially because my own Complex PTSD affects my memory and cognitive function. Forgive me if there are any errors.
Please note that I have also added links under each image, so you can download these diagrams for your own free use.
Below is also a video I just did on YouTube! It is around 7 minutes long, if you can bare it 😉