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Has anyone experienced difficulties with people/family members discounting, denying or not believing some of your traumas?

-How did you maintain your strength and sense of what truly happened?? What/how did you deal with it?


I would imagine this would be really hurtful and difficult to deal with if someone were to dismiss something that happened to you... but I've heard of people doing that, maybe in part to protect themselves and cope w/ their own pain? or maybe b/c it's too difficult of a "thing" to deal with? I don't know but I'm sorry that people do this. It must be confusing. I don't have PTSD but I know that w/ certain things people (aka family) do tell me that so and so didn't happen or that it wasn't so "bad" etc. and after hearing it so many times something bad becomes something normal and even though it's not good, you come to accept it- blurring the line between fact and fiction and normal and abnormal even more... in terms of not believing things, that's one of my biggest fears- that people wouldn't believe me if I were to be open & honest w/ them about certain things in my life. or discount it in terms that it's not really a problem and only one I make out to be one or imagine...I know none of this is specifically answering your questions but maybe some of this relates... I think deep down you know what happened and what didn't and if someone tries to tell you otherwise it's b/c it serves a purpose for them to deny/discount what happened or not believe you...


It's my feeling that if you examine your feelings closely, you know exactly what has happened and what hasn't happened. You might have a detail crossed here and there, but you know what has happened to you and how that event touched your life. Nobody else but you can know this. While others might not see a given event as traumatic, their view isn't really at issue. The only view with importance is YOUR view, since the event happened TO YOU. When you're working hard to get past these hurtful things and get on with your life, it's important to realize that you are the only one who knows how you feel. Nobody else can possibly know, just as you can't possibly know, for sure, how anybody else really feels. We might be able to empathize with one another, but we can't read one another's minds and hearts.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
It's my feeling that if you examine your feelings closely, you know exactly what has happened and what hasn't happened.

The problem is that people suffering from PTSD are vulnerable to doubting their own perceptions and memories - and sometimes the people close to them take advantage of this for their own reasons.

Part of the therapy for PTSD is to help the individual learn to trust his/her instincts again. What may be easy and clear for the rest of us is anything but easy or clear for them.
Great points Eunoia, TL and db.

I find it challenging to recognize and trust my own instincts sometimes. I also tend to sometimes "buy into" those who are "tricking" me or those who need to deny for their own personal reasons.

For example, the guy who cheats on his wife. The wife finds out, but doesn't have the complete story and therefore is quick to believe the husband's lies/excuses. And the wife's parents who "don't do divorce" and therefore need to also believe that their daughter is simply blowing things out of proportion or making things up.

I'm going through something similar except in a different capacity.

Have you guys seen North Country with Charlize Theron? It was based on a true story and it was excellent. The main character, Josey portrayed a woman who had incredible strength and stuck to her truth even when everyone (including her parents) distorted her intentions, actions and stories. It was a great story about resiliency and having the courage to endure all the repercussions of fighting for truth and justice (I love those kinds of movies :)).

Anyway, there were things about the main character that I really identified with. Mainly, having an "injustice" done to her and then being blamed for it. And further being ridiculed and "punished" for speaking out about it and doing something about it.

Even though I periodically have challenges with denial, I always seem to need to come back to doing what I believe to be "the right thing". And experiencing these conflicting perceptions can be pretty confusing sometimes :blank: But, when I really stop, and ask myself what truly matters to me in my life - it isn't everyone elses opinion. It's doing what feels right to me for me and my son (and sometimes it's been about doing the right thing for others too - ie: charging the chiropractor).

I'd like to become stronger and more consistent with acknowledging my instincts and that passionate part of me.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
We almost rented that movie tonight - hadn't heard anything about it though and it sounded like it could either be quite good or just cheesy...


I too looked at renting it but I didn't realize what it was all about. Thanks for the information Healthbound, I will definitely have to rent it now.



I was too afraid to recount my memories to anyone in my family. My abusive father died before I realized I wasn't responsible for the abuse. My mother died a few months ago, and even though I wanted to tell her how messed up she made my childhood, I didn't. There was too much anger inside me to tell her rationally and also my mother had an uncanny way of turning HERSELF into the victim.... if I'd ever told her she would manage to turn it around so that everyone saw me as selfish - which was how she portrayed our "relationship" my entire life. I don't have any siblings (my brother died in a car accident when I was 6.) All my life I've felt guilt and shame and that's made it extemely difficult to tell anyone other than my doctor... and even then, there are some things I'm just not ready to divulge.

In retrospect, I wish I'd HAD the courage to tell someone when I was young... maybe I wouldn't be going through hell now. But that seems to be the nature of C-PTSD - guilt, shame and the sense that somehow you're responsible for what happened. I felt vulnerable and did what I could to PROTECT myself from more vulnerability and that included not telling anyone when I was young.
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