Saturday, October 9, 2010

IPV and PTSD

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event.

Originally it was accepted as something that happened to returning soldiers. Then around the time of 9/11 we learned that it was common to anyone from any background who had gone through a physically life threatening situation.

Now it is also accepted as being caused by emotionlly threatening experiences.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event.

When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in PTSD, this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.

IPV stands for Intimate Partner Violence and includes physical, sexual and psychological violence. read

The following quote is quite astounding and has a direct association with my life.

In particular, the psychological component of intimate partner violence was the strongest predictor of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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This week a friend of mine left her husband after years of trauma at the hands of her husband. Completely different, yet amazingly the same, this weeks acknowledgement of her situation and the immediate resulting actions have sent me back into a downward spiral.
I have been living in a vague tunnel, aware of what I was doing but spending my whole time madly mentally trying to solve her problem. I've made many stupid mistakes, cried convulsively anumber of times and spent dream time abusing my ex and defending myself in indefensible situations.
Very draining.
It is all too close to what we have been through.
Finally I have been able to tell her some of my concerns and things to lookout for and the fear is going. I am coming to terms with this week now because I have learnt to recognise the cause of my distress although it could recur because my friend is still here in town dealing with her immediate needs but it has been an interesting lesson that even after 6 years it is all still very much there and I have to be wary of how I tread.

One of the most important things you can do for people in any sort of emotionally abusive relationship is to let them know that you believe them even if you don't understand or relate in your life experiences to anything the are going through and you CAN'T see any evidence that they are telling the truth.
Please don't make the mistake of minimising their experience by comparing it to your own. It is amazing how many friends thought I had just had a husband who was occasionally out of sorts and that I was being insensitve in not accepting his foibles.
What we have been through is as individual as our personalities but completely different to your average relationship trouble.
To have to fight the results of the abuse without the understanding of fellow humans is incredibly hard and only reinforces the trauma we feel and the length of time we will be stuck with the PTSD.

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In happier news I was able find these scraps of purpley fabrics which will end up in a tiered skirt for a ten year old.
In searching for a free pattern online (totally lazy of me because who needs a free pattern for such a skirt) I came upon this wonderful tier calculator on jcaroline creative.


9 comments:

  1. Hi Cherrie,
    Thank you for sharing this very personal experience. You are very brave.
    Thinking of you. Take care,
    Anne

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  2. Take care Cherrie.
    Believing and listening to people's stories is so important - your words capture this so beautifully. A great post Cherrie. You're in my thoughts.
    ***HUGS***

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  3. Thank you for bringing this issue up. I am glad for your friend that she is looking after herself and also that you have gained some peace despite the stress being brought to the fore first. It is definitely something that cannot be understood unless experienced and I commend you for bringing it out into the open.

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  4. Hi Cherrie, this is a deeply intense and brave post, yet very generous. You are very right with encouraging others to believe the victim.

    PTSD is a serious and difficult condition for most people to understand. It takes time and treatment to overcome. Self care is pivitol to the process, so look after yourself. Remember recovery requires you to take risks and failing and taking and then taking more risks. It is part of the healing.

    enjoy your sunday and be kind to yourself first and others second.

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  5. Hi Cherrie
    Thank you so much for what you have done. You have impacted me like I have never felt before. Big hugs to you, Elaine

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  6. A very brave post. Thank you for sharing some of your story. I hope it helps with your own healing.

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  7. Thanks for this post.
    And I appreciate your kind words on my blog xxx

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Thankyou for your kind thoughts. I appreciate and read everyone even though at times I may not be well enough to reply. Thankyou.