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I have complex PTSD, which comes from being physically and emotionally abused as a child. It has severely impacted my self-image and self-esteem, my choices in life and the way that I relate to others.

It took me a long time to realize what had even happened. I thought I had had a good childhood for most of my life. All I knew was that I was a deeply depressed person who felt "broken" and couldn't ever figure out why because nothing was obviously wrong. I was still an outwardly successful person.

I stumbled on CPTSD by chance and things suddenly clicked into place. I found the symptoms matched up perfectly to my experience. That forced me to question my upbringing, and on revisiting a lot of memories I began to understand that I was abused and that I had repressed the pain and conflict for my own survival. Children tend to love their parents no matter what as a survival mechanism. It's not uncommon for abuse survivors to convince themselves that everything is/was fine.

That was an important step to healing. I recognized terrible things had happened and I was able to actually start addressing my pain. Part of the healing process for me has been to feel anger towards my family, both for the abuse and for standing by. And that's where I'm at: I don't hate my parents but I have years and years worth of anger, resentment and pain impacting my relationship with them. I'm still working through it but am mentally in a far, far better place.

Trauma can ripple through generations. My parents abused me because they themselves were abused and didn't know a different way to raise me or express their pain. I think a lot more people than we realize suffer from CPTSD. My gut is that it's especially common among high-achieving individuals since many of them were likely forced to perform well as children in order to receive their parents' love. The pandemic has forced everyone to be alone with their own thoughts or confined with family for the first time in a long time and I think it's forcing everyone to confront issues like this.

>It has severely impacted my self-image and self-esteem, my choices in life and the way that I relate to others.

If you would like to share, I would love to hear more about this. My best friend is going through something and many of your points seem to fit.

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