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  1. #1
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    Complex PTSD: How to handle internalisations of abusers?

    In therapy just now we are working lots to uncover, understand, and release the hold the internalisation of my father and the bullies have over me.

    I call this internalisation 'The Dictator'.

    It has me where it wants me, depressed, submissive, self-hating, isolated...

    And its a big Controller.

    And its hard work facing it, accepting it, and gaining some strength to oppose its clutches.

    Any tips/advice on coping with/overcoming internalisations of abusers?

    [NB Complex PTSD from Wikipedia -- I've bolded the relevant parts..]

    Difficulties regulating emotions, including symptoms such as persistent sadness, suicidal thoughts, explosive anger, or inhibited anger

    Variations in consciousness, such as forgetting traumatic events, reliving traumatic events, or having episodes of dissociation (during which one feels detached from one's mental processes or body)

    Changes in self-perception, such as a sense of helplessness, shame, guilt, stigma, and a sense of being completely different from other human beings

    Varied changes in the perception of the perpetrator, such as attributing total power to the perpetrator or becoming preoccupied with the relationship to the perpetrator, including a preoccupation with revenge

    Alterations in relations with others, including isolation, distrust, or a repeated search for a rescuer

    Loss of, or changes in, one's system of meanings, which may include a loss of sustaining faith or a sense of hopelessness and despair


    Thanks.

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    Re: Complex PTSD: How to handle internalisations of abusers?

    Just from my gut, I'd say I'd want to try to bring this internalization into the light, look it in the eye, and say to it: "You are not me! You are no part of me! You are of the past, in the past, and for the past. Get back to the past and out of my life!"

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    Re: Complex PTSD: How to handle internalisations of abusers?

    I'm trying ... Am only now starting to separate it from *me*.

    Then there's the instinct to protect 'daddy'...

    Untangling is ... complex ...

    As my avatar says "its not that simple".

    And putting on angel wings won't take away the darkness.

    ... am holding onto what Jung said about making the darkness conscious...

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    Re: Complex PTSD: How to handle internalisations of abusers?

    I have a set of what i call "negative voices" that at time kind of attack me. It is the voice of those who hurt me -- and it evokes shame, disgust, self-hatred.

    I wrote the list of the things it says on one side of my paper. Then, on a day I was feeling good, i wrote what my "positive voices" say when I am most happy and healthy. I showed the list to two close friends. I asked them to help me "talk back" to the negative voices when they got too loud and dominant. My therapist, of course, got the list as well.

    Over time, the voice has diminished quite a bit....partly because of the behavioural strategies of "talking back", but also as the therapy has progress. It is possible to beat the inner tyrant. Hang in there and don't let him win.

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    Re: Complex PTSD: How to handle internalisations of abusers?

    Thank you pocono.

    That's what I'm trying to do, track things. However, because of my lack of friends, its me on my own, and with my therapist.

    I did a drawing last night, and The Dictator very much came out as a Death figure, which, though frightening [and I am feeling practically continuously suicidal at present....I guess the picture clarified that...] does help me to see more clearly, and have more strength to live more...

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    Re: Complex PTSD: How to handle internalisations of abusers?

    That sounds like a good exercise. Anything to "objectify" that voice...get it outside of you so you can face it, examine it, ultimately maybe even befriend and tame it -- if not outright defeat it...

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    Re: Complex PTSD: How to handle internalisations of abusers?

    Thanks pocono.

    I'm feeling slightly more able to handle this.... Its so tiring though... But I think its going to be transformed in the process. Like in The Beauty and the Beast. A story that has always had resonance for me..

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    Re: Complex PTSD: How to handle internalisations of abusers?

    Perhaps, braveheart, the fact that the "dictator" came out as a death figure indicates that you're getting control over that particular piece of the puzzle. Perhaps, it indicates that the "dictator" is, in fact, dying away.

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    Re: Complex PTSD: How to handle internalisations of abusers?

    I wish I had some good advice for you. I think it's important to try to take good care of yourself through all of this. Be easy with yourself and, if you can, take some time to do something fun or relaxing. You deserve a break from all of the hard work you've been doing and from the pain you're going through.

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    Re: Complex PTSD: How to handle internalisations of abusers?

    Hmmmm, thanks TL.... will ponder over that...

    Thanks Janet .. it is hard ... And I'm scared. But I'll make it through..

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