Monday, June 3, 2024

Healing CPTSD by ignoring the manufactured crises of narcissistic abuse

 Hi friends. For the past few months this blog has diverged from weight loss down a path to healing from CPTSD (or at least just addressing it). Today I'm looking at how the manufactured crises of narcissistic abuse have driven my life. I can't remember a time when my life wasn't controlled by other peoples' various self-created drama. Looking back, I see that these "emergencies" weren't genuine but contrived by manipulative adults to keep me in a state of perpetual chaos, uncertainty and fear. Weaponized chaos is very useful in controlling a nervous, eager-to-please kid like me.  

What got me thinking about this was noticing how I feel in the morning. Lately, I've been doing things differently. Instead hitting the ground running, I've been taking 30 minutes to wake up with my coffee. I've actually been (gasp!) playing a little online game. This is a universe away from how I used to do it. Since I can remember, I've woke up to an impending sense of doom and feeling behind the 8-ball to fix it NOW!

So why is that? Well, to start with, I don't and never have slept well. I dream/ nightmare all night long. And that is due to CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder). I have the craziest, most complicated and disturbing dreams and all in vivid detail. I'm always in bizarre situations in which all kinds of things are expected of me. There are always countless children, unknown to me that I have to care for. I don't know what exactly is expected because it isn't communicated. I don't even know who expects it, just that they do.  I don't know how to do it. I lack the resources. Everyone is mad at me for failing to do what I don't know what or how to do. 

Allowing myself to recall my child and teen and young adult years, I see that these aren't dreams but memories. This is exactly what happened: tons of manufactured "crisis" which I was expected to magically troubleshoot and fix, without help or tools. I was expected to know what needed doing without being told. And it had better be done yesterday, with a smile and no hint of objection. Which of course explains the sense of panic and doom. 

So this is what I dream because this is what I lived. And nightmaring all night long shot my sleep to hell. So waking was and is difficult to impossible. I often sleep to the last minute, trying to scrape up enough to  get by. I never do. And then it repeated all over again. Expectation, demands over constant crisis that came out of nowhere. Which of course, they did. 

And there's the irony. All the crises I was gaslit into believing we were in, were preventable. Financial troubles were down to very crazy spending. Homes were lost due to non-payment. We moved all the time on my dad's whim. Their babies were my job to care for. Their foster care homes were my job to run. All this housework, mine. Angry parent? My fault. Lazy, vindictive spouses, my problem.  None of it was their or their kids' responsibility. 

So now I'm asking myself what was so damn important that I had to sacrifice my childhood, teenhood and young adulthood for? Where was the effing fire??? Actually there wasn't a fire, but not because of any care on their part. So often I was left in dangerous situations with no forethought to safety. 

But back to mornings. All this time I was gaslit about how other people needed their "quiet time" "space" etc, to wake up. I always respected that. My dad had to have his time at a coffee shop (which I was expected to provide childcare for). My mom's husband just slept all day, woke up mad and stayed that way. Literally, mad as in nuts. No one could talk to my dad's wife while she "woke up." Funny, I was the one sleeping with her babies. She had her spacious waterbed to herself while I slept on a tiny youth bed in the baby's room. And no one worried about how I slept or what I might need to wake up. 

Well, now I'm starting to respect my needs. Fortunately I have a husband who applauds my self-care. He even makes my coffee. I need space to come to terms not only with the day but also with the terrible dreams that disturb my sleep. I need my wake up time. And my game. I can't wait for someone to give me permission. That's never going to happen with the people who stole it from me. So I take it. 

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