A few people have asked my why I talk so much about Complex PTSD, or Developmental Trauma. I am open about my struggles with Complex PTSD and depression in part because I am not ashamed. I have physiological conditions brought on by developmental trauma, a galaxy of cruel and neglectful things done to me as a child and exacerbated by abusive employers and doctors. PTSD and depression do not indicate a character flaw. I did nothing to ask for this, it is not needed for my spiritual development, something God gave me because I can handle it or as punishment for impiety. Nor is it payback for some supposed horrible thing I did in this or a past life. Complex PTSD is the result of disordered attachment combined with traumatic experience and lack of social support. It doesn’t mean I’m deficient. It means I was born into a family with a legacy of intergenerational violence. Complex PTSD does not indicate the sufferer’s deficiency or failure, but that of her early environment.
I wish to help erase the cruel stigma attached to mental health conditions. People with mental health conditions do not deserve ridicule, shame, or abuse. We deserve extra care, just like people with broken bones or tumors. Healing from childhood trauma takes a great deal of effort, courage, resourcefulness, professional help, and community support.
Talking about Complex PTSD/Developmental Trauma helps me and others. Being open helps me affirm through my actions that I have nothing of which to be ashamed. The kind responses to my distress are part of what helps me heal. Talking about it also helps others heal. It helps people understand their loved ones with mental health conditions and people with mental health conditions to understand they are not alone. Once in a while someone will contact me privately and say something like, ”It happened to me, too.” Some say my courage encourages them. Occasionally one will say they never told anyone before but they’re telling me because I’m the first person they’ve felt safe to tell. Telling one’s truth for the first time is the first big step toward healing.
May all survivors find the support they need to heal.