25 Obvious & Non Obvious Self Care Issues – Complex Trauma Survivors Struggle With ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Self care is so important! Had to reblog this amazing post!

Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

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Self care is something spoken about a lot, and seems so very easy. Well, not to complex trauma survivors and in particular childhood complex trauma survivors.

I asked my Facebook community, what were their biggest self care issues, the were some of their responses, which express the obvious self care needs and the not so obvious self care needs, complex trauma survivors struggle with..

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Waiting for results..

This isn’t the usual post I write about..

It isn’t about the narcissists in my life or the stress associated with them..

It isn’t about my work or my plans to move back to the UK..

It is a raw & honest post about my fear for my health..

Health is always the most important thing in our life and when we are faced with the possibility of ill health or we actually are ill, everything else goes out the window..

On Monday I woke up with a slight lump in my throat. I was walking around the flat trying to keep busy, to distract myself from the anxiety I was feeling about the dermatologist appointment I had been anticipating for 3 months..

The reason I had this appointment was to get 2 suspicious moles removed from the delicate area right next to my nipple and 1 mole under my left arm. Due to my background having grown up in Greece and knowing that as a teenager I had got burnt many times, I had been keeping a very close eye on all my moles over the last few years.

Around 1 year ago, I went to a dermatologist to get my whole body checked for abnormal moles. I got the feeling that she was in a bit of a rush when she was checking me. I pointed out the moles I was concerned about but in the end she told me that I had nothing to worry about and that all my moles were normal.

My gut was continuing to tell me otherwise. I was still noticing changes in my moles in the months after that appointment and decided to ask around for another recommendation. I finally booked myself in for an appointment with a new dermatologist and after several months of waiting, I finally got a proper check up. She said my instincts were spot on and that my moles were definetely showing signs of possible melanoma. That was 3 months ago and the earliest appointment I could book with her for removal of these moles, was 4 days ago.

So on Monday this week, I had the 2 excisions. The dermatologist was very kind during the OP and told me what she was going to do step by step. She was overly concerned that I would complain about the colour of the stitches, the size of the wound and the subsequent scarring afterwards. She had had many clients in the past who complained about everything and anything.

I was very trusting of her ability and told her that I am happy for her to do what she knows best and that as long as I don’t have melanoma, I don’t care about anything else.

The most painful part of the procedure were the 4 anesthetic injections I had before she did the elliptical excisions. Once I became numb, the biggest excision felt like someone was running a pointy pencil along my skin. The biggest excision was 4 cm long, as there were 2 moles she had to take out which very close to one another. These were the ones next to my left nipple. The uneasiest part, was seeing the deep chunk of flesh she removed from my breast. I was lying on my right side throughout the operation and the container for the biopsy was right in front of me, so it was hard to ignore. When I saw how big the chunk of skin was that she removed, I was stunned.  I originally thought I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes open at all through the procedure but her voice was soothing and I focused on her face most of the time.

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As someone who has naturally low blood pressure, I was very dizzy after the procedure. I had already warned my hubby that bringing the car would be the better option for me but unfortunately there wasn’t anywhere to park near the doctors. We ended up getting a taxi home after the operation, as everytime I tried standing up, I would start feeling very faint. I lay down in the back of the taxi which helped immensely and luckily I made it to bed 5 min later.

Hubby sorted everything out once we got home. I had a nap in bed while he went out and got pizza for dinner. He also bought the bandages and the antiseptic spray the doctor had prescribed and sent off the doctor’s note to my employer.

On that first night, I slept in a separate bed so hubby wouldn’t accidentally bump my wounds. I only managed 4 hours sleep, as I couldn’t find a comfortable position to lie in. I spent half the night reading about melanoma, the different stages and what I can expect with each one. It is horribly uncomfortable but I am doing my best not to drive myself crazy.

At the moment, I have been signed off work for a whole week rather than the 2 days I had originally planned to be off. When I changed the dressings 24 hours and 48 hours after the operation, I had to lie down..

I seem to be one of those people who get dizzy whenever they look at a wound with stitches on their body. I guess the idea of being cut open on my breast, was just too much to get my head around.

Today, I was luckily able to change my dressing without feeling faint. I guess I know the wound is improving so I am better able to cope with looking at it.

The hardest thing I am finding at the moment is trying to be positive about my biopsy results. The possibility of melanoma is high, otherwise I wouldn’t have had these moles removed with excision. I don’t get my stitches out until the 26th of this month and that will most likely also be the time that I get my biopsy results too. It is quite a long time to wait and the worrying is just going to be there until I know.

Feeling vulnerable is where I am at. My thoughts are going in all sorts of directions and when imagining the worse case scenario, I feel sad for my hubby who might have to deal with me being sick..

Health is to be valued and our bodies are to be respected.

I just wish I had been a little more careful as a teenager when spending hours on the beach with not enough sun tan lotion on my pale skin..

More drama from the queen I am so used to

 

Today started off well, after a wonderful meeting with the Operations Manager at my little job. She said that they are extremely happy with me at the Chambers of Commerce and that I seem to be doing my job as a facilities assistant for them very well.  There are no complaints whatsoever for everything that I have done so far and it seems that most of the complaints that were popping up before, were actually mostly directed at my friend who introduced me to the job.

Hubby said that they would appreciate my integrity and willingness to do well and it seems he was right! When I started the job alongside my friend, I felt that I would just be helping her out occassionally. Now that she quit, I am working more hours and have a part-time contract. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. I very much enjoy working alone and just getting on with it, whilst also exchanging a few brief conversations with the staff that are there daily.

After my shift this morning, I came home and slept for over 3 hours. Instead of waking up and feeling refreshed and happy, I received a call from my mother who wanted to have a serious conversation about my brother.

She started off by saying ‘I wanted to ask you some questions and I ask that you answer as honestly as possible”.

After this introduction, I knew the drama was going to start..I also knew that she must have found out certain things and wasn’t happy with me at all!

She asked me whether I knew that my brother was researching narcissism? I said yes…

She also asked me whether I was the one that dared to plant the seed of telling him (a vulnerable adult with special needs & limited emotional & mental capabilities) about narcissism? I said yes..

She asked me whether I knew that he was calling her a narcissist? I said yes..

She asked me ‘whether I agreed’ and I said yes.

I also told her though that despite my brother’s special needs and limited mental & emotional capacity, he is still very much able to distinguish between what feels right and what hurts him…That she just needs to accept that he doesn’t feel comfortable talking to her…

She is pissed off I messed with their relationship and helped him see the reality…

She also insinuated in a childish way that she spoke to his carer and that they are discussing ways of protecting him from me, because he is getting so much worse by isolating himself away from his family..(meaning her) and listening to the unnecessary things I am sharing with him..

He hasn’t isolated himself from his family…Only from her…He talks to me all the time about his finds in narcissism, the art classes he does and how I recommended art as a form of therapy and how they have helped him feel better..(of course I didn’t share this with her..) She is so envious of our closeness and relationship..

She said that it is ridiculous that we think she is a narcissist…that her psychologist who she has known for awhile, only told her that she has mild depression…That if she were a narcissist, she wouldn’t be capable of caring so much for her children and hurting so much..that she wouldn’t have friends…etc etc…Any sane psychologist, knows not to confront a narcissist, by telling them they are a narcissist..

3 of my therapists have confirmed to me that my parents are narcissists through psychological testing..

My mother is always either the victim or a mother just like any other, who has sacrificed everything for her children.

Covert Narcissists wearing the Martyr’s mask

There is a special kind of covert narcissist who plays the martyr role so convincingly that most people believe he is an individual of extraordinary integrity, even holy. There is always the implication that this person is special because of their extreme self-sacrifice for others. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is part of the covert narcissist’s well rehearsed performance and an excellent way of being seen as a very fine human being.

Dr Linda Martinez-Lewi – The Narcissist in your life

 

She is pissed off that I wasn’t strong enough to keep my own thoughts to myself and that I had to tell my brother. It’s funny how she still sees me as weak, when in actuality she is the weak one..

I have helped my brother see the light and he has finally made sense of everything that he always sensed all along..My mother has probably harmed him more than she has harmed me, as she has attached herself to him too much because of his special needs. He has been on a pedestal in her eyes due to his disabilities and my mother feels like she sacrificed everything to support him..In part, this is true…Having a special needs child changes everything. It causes a huge imbalance in any family, it causes stress in the marriage and any siblings in the family can feel neglected, unimportant or parentified. She is still a covert narcissist however and nothing will change that unfortunately.

My brother is finally on a healing journey and even if his special needs don’t allow him to completely understand every single detail about narcissism, he at least feels validated, understood, feels that he can protect himself and can make his own decisions..He may be a vulnerable adult with limited intellectual capacities and obsessive tendencies but his heart knows what feels safe and what doesnt! No one can take that away from him…

 

 

 

I enjoyed my Birthday this year!What a nice change :-)

Last year, my birthday was full of sadness, longing and disappointment. I was overwhelmed with the loss of the father I thought I’d had.

This year, although we didn’t fly to Greece as we had originally planned and although I am no longer in contact with my father, my birthday actually felt good! My closest friends from London arrived yesterday on my actual birthday and the timing of their arrival was just perfect. I had no time to feel sad and think too much about my Dad. We woke up, got ready and went straight to the airport to pick them up. After that we went straight for brunch and picked up my delicious birthday cake that hubby had ordered a few weeks before.

When we got home, we had cake and tea 🙂 It was absolutely delicious!

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It was so lovely to catch up after 1 year of not seeing them and we thoroughly enjoyed showing them a good time. Later in the afternoon/evening we headed into town, so they could get some gifts for their work colleagues from the Haribo shop and we finished off the evening with a delicious dinner and some cocktails at Hans im Gluck Burger bar.

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Although my anxiety creeped up on me as it’s been ages since I have actually socialised properly with friends, I still managed to keep it under control so it wouldn’t ruin my day.

Unfortunately, anything that requires leaving my comfort zone or routine nowadays, seems to aggravate my anxiety more than it used to. I have become so accustomed to just spending all my time with hubby, that I seem to get anxious if I feel that I have to socialise for 3 days non stop. Luckily though, we have breaks in between and even though my friends are here for 3 days, we still take some time out throughout each day to just chill and have some alone time.

Today we have a chilled out day doing a nature walk in our local area and although it is 30 degrees, which always increases my anxiety due to the heat, I will be organised with refreshments packed in my little rucksack to ease my symptoms when they get bad.

Love Athina ♥

 

 

The fear of messing up..CPTSD

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Those of us who experienced abuse as children are absolutely terrified of messing up. Although making mistakes is a huge part of learning and of life, in an abusive home we got punished for things we didn’t deserve to be punished for and the punishment was directed at our core as a person. It wasn’t the usual discipline that healthy families use.

We were called names such as stupid, slow, dumb, sensitive, bad, unworthy etc. We were emotionally abused over and over again which led us to develop CPTSD. Now as adults we suffer with emotional flashbacks. Every time someone is disappointed in us, we are flashed back into the emotional state of our childhood. We feel small, defenseless, vulnerable, helpless and devastated.

The reason I am writing about this, is because I had a bad day at my morning job on Tuesday. My friend hadn’t told me she wasn’t working with me (usually she always lets me know), so this distracted me a little from my usual routine. I went into hypervigilance mode, checking the charts & dates of rooms I had to set up for the workshops. When we work together, I always start from the ground floor and work my way up through the kitchens and check the rooms on all 4 floors. We usually share the rooms that need setting up when we work together but on that day I had to prioritise and do things slightly differently.

After checking the chart over and over again, I got on with setting up 4 different rooms on various floors and when I was eventually finished, I was very pleased with how I had completed everything.

5 mins before the end of my shift, one of the ladies that was doing one of the workshops, turned up and said that the rooms weren’t set up. I was puzzled and told her that I had just set up 4 rooms. Luckily this lady, was genuinely lovely and had made me feel very comfortable since starting work there. She pointed at the chart and said it’s the 23rd today not the 22nd. What happened unfortunately, was that I had set up Monday’s rooms instead of Tuesday’s. I didn’t need to go in on Monday morning, so I completely misread the chart, thinking that it was Monday.

I was absolutely horrified and apologised immediately. Luckily she was very understanding and had a giggle saying ‘you are getting old’. Her room was only for 4 people, so it wasn’t really a big deal. Unfortunately on the ground floor however, there was a room that needed a 12 person set up and the workshop had already started!

I ran downstairs, dreading the confrontation with the German speaking lady and when I got there she obviously wasn’t pleased at all. She had already set up a trolley with drinks, cups, coffees and biscuits. I once again genuinely apologised and asked her what I could do to make up for my mistake. She just said help me put everything on the table, which meant I had to walk into a room full of people and the workshop presenter and start placing all the cups and drinks on the tables. One of the gentlemen started mumbling to me in German and I was completely lost in my frazzled state. I didn’t undertstand a word he said. Eventually the lady told me, to not worry about finishing it and I left to make a few more fresh coffees.

It took me another 30minutes to undo all the rooms I had set up in vain and return the drinks, freshly made coffees and cups to the kitchen.

Needles to say, I felt absolutely awful and I could hear that voice in my head saying you messed up, you are a failure, you are hopeless, you are slow..I was in a deep emotional flashback, even though nobody was actually that angry. All it took was the disappointed look on the lady’s face, to send me into a devastating flashback.

When I got home, I had a good cry and comforted myself saying ‘you had a flashback, you are not a failure, you just made a mistake’.

My past unfortunately will keep following me around, no matter how simple a mistake I make or how unimportant the actual situation is to an outsider.

As long as I continue to remind myself that I am only human and it is ok to make mistakes, then my flashbacks should hopefully lessen in intensity. They will always remain a challenge but it is one that I have to keep working at overcoming.

Thank for reading

Love Athina ♥

 

Dachshund or returning to UK

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Hubby and I have been talking more and more over the last few days about how our life will continue when his work contract comes to an end next year..Do we leave our comfortable home and life for a life back in the uncertain post brexit future of the UK or do we stay for the long haul and I just have to continue learning the language?!

My number one choice has always been the UK, mainly because I never wanted to leave in the first place. We only left because hubby wasn’t happy in his job in Bournemouth and he only had a short window to find work elsewhere until our money ran out. Germany was the quickest offer he got, so although I had many reservations, we did it anyway..

After the first few months passed of us settling into our new life in Germany, we decided to get married. Things were going downhill in Greece with my father’s depression and I just had this bad feeling. I knew that if I ever wanted to get married with both my parents there, it would have to be that year. We went through with it in October 2014, 7 months into living in Germany. Although it wasn’t the easiest or smoothest wedding day due to stress and family drama, we at least committed to each other and created a new family unit. Both hubby and I always needed to feel a sense of belogning in our life and we finally managed to find it in each other.

Unfortunately, 2 months after we got married I confronted my mother about her dismissal of my feelings most of my life and 7 months later my father attempted suicide. My first year of marriage was utter shite and I had to go back on anti-depressants just to get through that year!Looking back on it now, I am happy it is over! The only thing that made that year a little better was celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary in New York! I had always wanted to go to America and I finally made it there for our special day!

All in all, Germany ended up being a safe haven for me, so I could work through my feelings of grief and disappointment. Although I was out of my comfort zone, Germany became my best friend. The fact that I wasn’t working for the first 2 years of my life here was a blessing in disguise. I was able to develop myself personally, set boundaries, progress heaps and bounds in therapy and even qualify as a life coach.

I finally said goodbye to my father after all the abuse & trauma and managed to slowly  re-create a civil relationship with my mother again, although only through acceptance of her limitations. Although I know life isn’t ever going to be the same again, since acquiring all this new wisdom & knowledge about my abusive parents, I am finally closer to making peace with the family I am left with.

The cutest thing about life here in Germany has been the constant appearance of the ‘Rauhaardackel’! :-)I completely fell in love with these beautiful little wirehaired dachshunds (sausage dogs) and we have been wanting to get one for the last couple of years. In this last month, hubby sent out emails to separate breeders and we came so very close to getting one this summer. We have so much love to give a dog and are also looking forward to the unconditional love that a dog gives back. Germany has at times been lonely, due to lack of friends or family and we know that this little dog would give us so much joy and friendship.

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Over the last weekend, we had numerous chats about moving back to England. On Friday, hubby just announced that we have to move back no matter what! He admitted that he is fed up travelling to work & back 2 hours each day, being the only one who earns enough to support our family and that he would much prefer it if we both worked average jobs full time rather than him doing a stressful job on his own. This is also something I have been wanting for the last 3 years, as I have missed earning a full time wage but have also been wanting to further develop myself in the area of mental health, through work and studies. I have felt like my desire to work in areas that interest me in the UK, has been on hold the last couple of years.

The hardest thing about living abroad is that you discover that there are so many things that are better than in your country. Renting in Germany is like owning a home. You have more freedom to do whatever you want and the rent is only increased once every 10 years. The health-care system is also very good. I have had great support here for both my mental and physical health. We were also able to buy a brand new car with hubby’s savings and we now only purchase food and cosmetics from Organic sources. There are a lot of things that we have grown accustomed to, so another big move again means that we will have to give up a lot of what we currently have.

It also means that we have to give up on our dream of getting our little sausage dog 😦 Moving back to the UK and finding a property to rent that will also accept a small dog, would be a huge challenge. Landlords don’t usually accept pets, so if we were to actually get a dog, it would limit our choice by 80%. This breaks my heart as I desperately want a dog, especially because we have decided we are not having kids.

This is the way it will have to be however. If we want to move back to the UK for my own emotional wellbeing, then having a puppy will just have to wait..

I admitted to hubby that I am so very tired of being around German speaking people..I am genuinely fed up of feeling uncomfortable and like a fish out of water..I usually enjoy getting to know people but my ability to do this here has obviously been hard. Especially now that I have started this new part time job, I always feel on edge when people talk to me and I know I have to reply in German. I never realised how much I would miss speaking English until I moved here!

Having emotional difficulties is already challenging enough to live with..Battling ill mental health is tough enough with all the limitations that come with it. When you already suffer with CPTSD, pushing yourself even further out of your comfort zone is a struggle..I really feel like I have done the best I could do under the circumstances..

To end this long, babbling blog post, I wanted to say that hubby is much closer to accepting that we will be moving back to the UK next year. We have made plans to save as much money as we can so we are comfortable when we move back and we have decided that we will really try to downsize from a 2 bedroom flat to a 1 bedroom in the UK, so we can save even more money for a future deposit on a forever home. I will have to give away or sell most of my unneccesary possessions (dvd collections/art/home decor etc), to make room for a sensible future life in the UK again.

In all honesty, I cannot wait! 🙂

Thanks for reading! ❤

Why you must stop obsessing over the narcissist

When your relationship with the narcissist in your life comes to an end, you will go through a very tumultuous recovery period. You will feel like your world has been turned upside down and your mind and body will be going through withdrawal.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist is like being addicted to a drug. They take over your life completely and when the relationship ends, the recovery process becomes an endless battle of fighting the obsessive thoughts and questions you are left with. The trauma bond created is excruciatingly hard to break.

In most cases there is no real closure, as you aren’t ending a relationship with a healthy person. When you are not understood and validated and your feelings are dismissed with guilt-tripping, controlling and manipulating behaviour, it is extremely diffucult for your mind and heart to feel peace.

Eventually however, and after you have spent a long time recovering from this toxic sort of ‘break-up’, there comes a point where the obsessing must come to an end. The introspection and deep inner work must begin. The grieving must take a different direction.

This video is about the importance of reaching that point in your healing.

It is of course, far more complicated if you were unlucky enough to also have a narcissistic family but in general the process is the same.

Realisation →Grief→Obsessing→Trying to make sense of their behaviour→Understanding & Acceptance→Grief→Introspection→Grief→Moving on

Love Athina ♥

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10 Damaging Ways Narcissistic Parents Emotionally Harm Their Children ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Another great post by Lilly! ❤

Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

Surviving narcissistic parents, is literally all about survival. Narcissistic parents treat their children like extensions of themselves. The child is there entirely for the needs of the parent(s). The child learns to navigate issues, they are never meant to endure.

A childhood being raised by narcissistic parents, is far from normal. Narcissistic parents are toxic and selfish to the core. They have no regard for the needs of their children. They have no consideration for the harm they cause.

Everything, is ‘all about the narcissistic parent’.

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This article highlights 10 ways narcissistic parents can harm their children.

1. The child is never ‘good enough’.

No matter how hard a child tries, they will never be ‘good enough’. This is shown in words and actions modelled. This often leads to a child having poor self esteem and self loathing, which continue on into adulthood.  The child learns they are only valued for what they do, and not…

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Identifying Selfish People vs Narcissists

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These days, it seems like narcissists are pretty much everywhere.  Yet, many people don’t understand there are differences between selfish people & narcissists.  Selfish people are called narcissists, when the simple fact is, they aren’t narcissistic- they’re just selfish.  And, narcissists are called selfish when in fact, they’re something much darker & more evil- narcissists.

Since selfishness is one of the main giveaways that someone is a narcissist, how does one discern a narcissist from someone selfish?  It can be done..

Here are 10 ways that can help you to discern selfish people from the narcissistic people.

  1. Selfish people are annoying, yes, but narcissists go beyond annoying with their selfishness.  Every single tiny thing can be turned back to them.  Selfish people will discuss topics other than themselves from time to time.
  2. Selfish people are capable of empathy.  Narcissists are not.
  3. Selfish people may not consider your feelings all the…

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Beauty in music

In one of my old posts, I wrote about how much music kept me sane when I was neglected as a teenager..Lyrics have always been very important to me in combination with piano or acoustic guitar..They touch me deep inside and I get chills when I can relate to the song completely-cognitively, emotionally and acoustically..

I also wrote so many poems as a coping mechanism..A lot of them expressed the anger I had to swallow in those difficult years, when I wasn’t allowed to have a voice..They expressed escaping from the pain I was in and being free of the constant invalidation..

I love this song..It is beautiful in so many ways…

Love Athina ♥