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Living with Complex PTSD

Hi all,

I'm writing a memoir about living with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I ultimately want it to be useful to warriors going through this torment and beneficial to supporters who want to know more. What areas would both supporters and survivors like more information on? What questions do you have? What would you like to ask but hesitate to question? Is there anything you wish you had known sooner? No offence will be taken as long as it is written with respect. Looking forward to hearing questions from you all. Cheers, Liz


Re: Living with Complex PTSD

Hi @-Liz- , no questions, just wanted to say its a great idea and good on you.  Smiley Happy 


How much of your memoir have you written?

Re: Living with Complex PTSD

Hi @-Liz-  we haven't met before.  I live with complex PTSD (and Bipolar 1) and have done for most of my life (56 now).  I wish many things - just one of them is that I'd heard of EMDR sooner and found my trauma-informed psychologist sooner.  


You might be interested in the book Traumata by Meera Atkinson.  I did a writing trauma workshop with her early this year.  She's a person with lived experience too and an amazing author.


Best wishes with your memoir.  I have many short stories, poems and prose that might turn into some sort of publication at some stage.

Re: Living with Complex PTSD

Just a reminder @-Liz-  that if you want to talk to a particular person (e.g. talk some more with me) use the @ symbol and then type the name you want - you will see a drop down box where you can click on the name you want  @eth (for short names sometimes you need to type it slowly),

Re: Living with Complex PTSD

Hi @Gazza75 ! Thanks for the support Smiley Happy I've written 249 pages and for the bulk of it I think it's done. Now editing away!! I also learn with each question (because I find words to a response which is hard to do unprompted). Do you think it is something people would want to read or is it something people will avoid because of mental health? Keen to hear your thoughts Smiley Happy

Re: Living with Complex PTSD

Hi @eth !
Thank you so much for your response its hard to know if anyone ever reads posts!

I've heard so many great things about EMDR but when it comes to where it is actually available I haven't heard of any locations/providers nearby.

I will definitely have a look into Meera's work thanks for the tip! It wasn't until I started looking that I realized how scarce resources are for CPTSD.

Perhaps you could share your short stories, poems and prose onto Instagram? I too was very skeptical about a social media platform and mental health though I have found some very useful accounts that just "get it" if you know what I mean?

For you personally what would you want in a CPTSD memoir? What would encourage you to read one?

Looking forward to your insight and thanks for linking name tip!

Cheers, Liz

Re: Living with Complex PTSD

Hi @-Liz-  if you go into your settings you can set them to send you a notification every time someone responds on a thread you are in, and even to let you know when someone supports a post by you (which they will usually do when they read your post).  Mine are set to only tell me when I am tagged so bear that in mind if you want to chat with me.


I'm not into putting my work on instagram or other forms of social media esp fb.  I like going into competitions and doing live readings and with both of them the work often needs not to have been published anywhere including online.


Good question re what I'd want in a   CPTSD memoir - don't really know.  I guess all I can say is it would need to be a good read and I know how general that sounds.  Some sort of journey of recovery - which has different meanings to different people - the definition here Recovery Model  works for me - or process of realization and learning to manage it .... just thinking out loud here.  I guess what I have asked myself is 1. why am I writing it? and 2. who is my chosen audience?  What's in it for them?

@Silenus  is a brilliant writer who might have some tips for you.  There's a thread he started called Writing As A Form Of Therapy  that you might find interesting and worth a look where lots of people on the forums put pieces they've written and feedback/responses.   Just remember to keep it all anonymous and non-identifying.





Re: Living with Complex PTSD

Hi @eth

Absolutely understand the avoidance of social media and I was surprised myself to find some of the greatest information/support has actually been from instagram myself. You have to do what is right for you.

Thanks for the tips re: the recovery model and the work of @Silenus I'll be sure to do some homework.

I love your questions! They seem so basic and yet so to the heart of a memoir. I'm not sure the following responses will be "good" enough but it's what first comes to mind.
1. My truth has been silenced and there was a deep need to know when I die my truth does not die with me - that's at the core.
2 and 3:
Chosen audience:
a) survivors: I thought I was completely alone in this BS. I had no idea it had a title. I had no idea there were "others". I really want others to know it is a hard road but your not the only car on it
b) supporters: it can be so hard to ask the questions when it comes to mental health so I would like to provide an insight into the world so that those supporting have more pieces to the puzzle.

Re: Living with Complex PTSD

Hi again @-Liz-   the challenge for me with writing about cPTSD and my experience of it (with bipolar 1 and how they interact) is to feel like I am 'contributing something to the body of knowledge' that's already out there (which is quite considerable these days).  And trying to put a humourous spin on some of the extremes I've lived, which I believe will widen the audience.  At least that's where my thinking is at the moment! Also what I've found when doing the live readings.  


I do feel that my writing is limited by not having studied literature at an academic level,  even my vocabulary.  Can't help comparing my output to those with tertiary level knowledge - I was raised by academics and am not one myself.  But I try to balance that by accepting that I can only write in my own authentic voice.  Sometimes a good exercise is to re-write a piece in the 2nd or 3rd person and see how that changes it. 

Re: Living with Complex PTSD

In a way @Sherry you are contributing to a body of knowledge but it's a body of knowledge that in my experience is severely lacking contribution from the first person.

I too put a humorous spin on many of the things that have occurred to the point where it's been said I abuse sarcasm but interestingly I've found this is a common coping strategy amongst others who I resonate most with.

I have tertiary education and the last thing I want to read is writings by academics. In reality they have all of theory but none of the practice. You have what they will never have. You have lived it! I too have focused on writing authentically and in editing the memoir I'm working on I found I did what you just suggested. Some paragraphs are written switching perspectives which I didn't even realise I was doing at the time.

If you have the time please continue chatting. It's lovely to get your messages Smiley Happy

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