Coffee is therapy. Read along as I relate and offer affirmation to the struggles of living with Complex PTSD over my morning coffee.
A recent post of mine on Instagram has caused some debate and while initially triggering, I appreciate the conversation. I believe it is an important one.
I asserted that PTSD is an injury to the soul, and that for many it is a wound that never heals. There was some vocal contention, but the more I reflect and think it through – the more firmly I stand by my words.
Before I get into this – I would also like to make a very clear distinction as we move into this topic together. There is a substantial difference between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The difference between the two injuries and what the “complex” part signifies for childhood trauma survivors in quite clear in the differing responses to the following quote:
Some found comfort in the words because they have been in the trenches of their healing journey their whole life. Others found the words limiting because they have been able to regain control of their wounds and they believe everyone can.
I’ll take both answers as correct simply because our healing journey is about us individually, it is about what what feels safe and right.
For me, healing is fluid, it is not absolute.
I choose every day to make decisions that heal pieces of me. Some wounds have healed, and some are healing as I type this. I also have wounds that will always bleed a little when touched (and you don’t get to tell me that I am wrong).
I am not limiting myself with this acknowledgement, rather I am offering myself the compassion and understanding of the journey that I am on in this lifetime. Healing is a constant in my life, something is always present as I grow, learn, and evolve as a person.
I understand that for some the idea that there is a final destination of “healed” brings hope – but there is also room for others, who struggle with a deep internal belief they are a failure because they cannot achieve this “healing” like others do.
It was said that I am perpetuating brokenness, but I am not. I am not broken.
I understand deeply how much we all deserve to “heal” but I will always meet survivors where they are at and validate them there. Validation in the darkest moments of this journey will speak far louder to the healing process than promises of hope that feel disingenuous. It also tends to give the fuel needed to take the next step.
I have accepted that my journey is one for a lifetime. Healing for me is something I do every day; it is not a final destination I will reach.
If you have achieved this healed destination, I applaud you.
If you haven’t, that is okay, tomorrow is another day.
On goes the journey…
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Totally agree about absolutes, they are used too freely and it feels to me that there’s been a trend to abuse them more. That quote would be better, and the debate from it avoidable, if it said: “it’s a would to the soul that may never heal”.
Still, I recognise the debate would still be there, just not necessarily spurred by this quote. For me the idea of debating things as personal and subjective as this is kind of pointless, because whatever your situation you deserve to be met and validated at that point in your journey, as you say. Your personal experience of your internal state isn’t up for debate! Haha.
Your personal experience of your internal state, and quantum mechanical state measurements, I’d say are the few things in life not up for debate 😆.
I agree that healing is a process! I have done well in life and succeeded beyond my imagination but there are still times when I am back to my childhood with my abuser. For example, the smell of Old Spice (a scent worn by my abuser) will still transport me back to the exact time and place in my mind. At least for me accepting that my healing is fluid and not static was very freeing and allowed me to forgive myself more easily when I “slipped” up.