Complex PTSD Changed Me

This post is one that those in the field of psychology debate. To me, the belief that your trauma is what you make of it is complete crap. What happened to me has altered the way that I view the world. Innocuous activities become a source of panics and flashbacks.

One of my main issues is trusting each people. Throughout my life, people have revolved according to what my abuser needed. My abuser caused me to fear the people and places around me. That began at age 3. A 3 year old believes their caregiver. By believing, I was scared that if we were out someone was going to take me or hurt me.

Being touched was painful. No was not a word that was respected or listened too. Obedience was necessary to survive. Even if that meant pain. Eventually, I just inherintly knew was expected of me. I followed knowing that I did not have a choice. To the day, I cannot even pick out a place to eat or answer what my favorite color is because that was drilled into me.

Noncustodial Mother’s Day

2007 was the last year that I was able to wake up with my kids. Little did I know, how tough the following years were going to be.

My ex’s parents did not have a care when it came to money or how much they spent. They were going to spend every penny it took to get my children away from me.

As most custodial parents, something was used against me. In my case it was my mental illness. Without adequate representation, I thought that if I could just show the court that I had taken care of my kids at home for 6 years that it would make a difference.

Except, I did not get a say. Within minutes. I was granted 60 +/- overnights a year. Even then, I did not expect the agreement to not be followed.

Over the years, I have repeatedly been taken back to court. If I need to go into the hospital for my mental health, I need to jump through all of the hoops to see my kids again.

This Mother’s Day is especially difficult. My oldest son believes everything that his father says, even if there is evidence to refute it. My youngest has taken the path of least resistance. That means not seeing me. My middle child who will turn 28’this year still sees me. He has always analyzed things around him and is neutral.

In 2007, I never believed that one day they would all be 18. That seemed so far away. I hope that my other two children will come to question their father, yet it may not happen in my lifetime. I love them and I always will. I have learned to appreciate every hug goodbye and every I Love you at the end of a text.

For those struggling today, we are out here and you are not alone. We feel the pain that comes with what you and those alike are going through. You are as much a mom as anyone else.

Don’t Take No!!

For years, I have been fighting the insurance for treatment that would help my C-ptsd. Finally, I received the letter from the insurance today that I can officially get the treatment I need without driving 2 hours or more.

I do not want to stop here. I am hoping that my new therapist will help me or an internet savvy person will help me to start a website. Someplace where people can go with this diagnosis to share resources. Where providers who may be willing to provide treatment pro Bono or on a reasonable sliding scale can meet potential patients.

Something has to change. There needs to be more awareness about this illness. Mote patients that do not keep taking the revolving door in and out of the psychiatric unit. Patients who are over medicated. Things need to change and I have a passion to do all I possibly can.

$8 Compared to $140

Do politicians and large companies really care about people? I have a hard time believing that they do. When I picked up a prescription the other day for my mental illness I looked at the fine print. The price my insurance had negotiated was $8. Affordable and would help with my symptoms.

I looked at the fine print and saw $140. I asked the tech who had to pay that much. Her response was people who are not insured or have a high deductible.

First, I want to approach the uninsured. If they are sick enough to become a patient in a mental health unit, they will receive medications. Those medications work and they are discharged. Now they are felling better and have less symptoms, yet the medication cost is out of reach. For this person it is a possibility that a cycle will begin when if provided with medications could be a productive citizen.

The next case is a high deductible. Someone diagnosed with any illness should be able to acquire their medications. Mental health meds are necessary to function. being told that you need something, have insurance, and yet cannot pay for the medication is wrong.

Why is big pharma willing to let me have the prescription for $8? If the company is willing to take that from me why can’t everyone be on a sliding scale for medications. We live in a country that seems to be able to hide the disparities between people and I cannot accept that any longer. Everyone deserves a minimum standard.

Advocacy and Determination Paid Off

I have been fighting with my insurance company for over a year in order to get the correct therapy for C-PTSD. It has finally taken a small step in the right direction . Yes, this is with private insurance, yet it is a step closer in getting the care that we all desperately need.

After trying for a year to have someone actually listen, suddenly someone has. She had taken the time to research the choices provided by the company compared with my diagnoses. She quickly realized that none of the providers even understood.

Even more positive was that others in the company began to research the behavioral health providers and started to realize that many of the providers have poor reviews. The company is attempting to call out of network providers and see if there is a psychologist who is willing to accept the insurances rate for service. My fingers are crossedz

I have learned that I am not going to give up on trying to get the right treatment for my illness. One day I hope to assist in getting effective treatment for everyone.

Trying to Find Treatment for C-PTSD is a Nightmare

For 17 years, I have been diagnosed with C-PTSD along with other psychiatric illnesses. Along with C-PTSD I have DID which is a direct result of the trauma from the past.

I have a name brand insurance. That insurance company does not have anyone in my area or even within driving range who treats my condition. When I have called those on the list that is provided on their website, the providers do not even know what DID is let alone how to treat it properly.

Maybe I expect to much. I expect for a psychologist to be familiar with my diagnosis and to know the best treatment methods in order to improve my symptoms. There is not any medication to treat the symptoms of C-PTSD. The treatments effectiveness relies on the experience of the therapist.

I am so worried that I am going to backslide into darkness again. Right now, I am hopeless about getting any help for my symptoms at this point. I am sure that there are others out there with the same issue. Why is it that a psychological condition is not taken as seriously as a medical condition. A doctor would not send a person with kidney failure to a cardiologist, yet that is what they do for mental illnesses. We are not all the same. Please start to realize this!!

Am I More Than Just A Business Transaction??

My treatment team up until roughly 4 years ago was excellent. They listened to my symptoms and concerns. Sometimes, we discussed my art or photos that I had come across. Even the names of people that had played a significant role in my life were remembered.

Yes, it is ultimately a profession and money is exchanged for services, yet at that time I felt like an individual. Like they actually cared about me and my mental health. If I was doing poorly, they often could fit me in for additional sessions and made a point to communicate with each other and exchange notes as well as concerns.

Today, I have different providers. They care about money. Before I even see them I have to pay or my session will get cancelled. I have never not paid them. In fact, at one point this year, I had a credit. My therapist rarely remembers what I say from one session to the next. Often I have to answer the same questions week after week about who a person was to me. I often think to myself, why don’t you just take notes??

After providing medication lists and hospital histories, they act like I have not provided them with any records. For those of you who have had or are in treatment, how are your providers? Do you trust them to assist you as much as possible? Do they care about more than money? I am just curious.

What a Bad Day!!

Mental illness and the symptoms that come with it have taken another thing from me. My current husband wants a divorce because he has stated that I put to much of the past on him. Maybe that is true knowing all the shit that has happened.

For me this means that I have nowhere to live and that my son will not be able to see me because I will not have a room for him to stay in. Right now, so many things are up in the air. This also means that I may not be able to take or see any of my cats which are my babies.

I guess I will just have to take one day at a time at this point and hope that somehow things will work out in the end.

C-PTSD and Challenges

C-PTSD. Five letters that seem to divide those who have it from those who do not. I often hear, I got through —-, why can’t you just get over it? How long are you going to sulk? It was a long time ago, can’t you just put it behind you? Why do you need to go back to treatment?

All of these questions discount what a person has been through and how their brain has responded. Maybe, psychology classes need to teach more about PTSD and C-PTSD. Even if everyone goes through a traumatic experience, they will all have different reactions. Only a certain percentage will develop the diagnosis. For example, all soldiers do not have PTSD. Only some of them do. Society seems to be doing a better job understanding that and veterans are receiving better treatment. Although, I am sure there is more to learn.

I am going to go with what I have read in peer reviewed journals, learned through groups, and learned through talking with others who have the diagnosis. No one chooses to have C-PTSD. It sucks!!! Nightmares, flashbacks, hyper vigilance, dissociation, anxiety, and depression. Add in that most of the people I have met believe that they could have stopped whatever happened including me. By the way, NO medication is effective for any of these symptoms. Those who have this diagnosis often need years of therapy and other treatments. They need to learn to feel safe in their own body.

Treatment is a persistent issue among patients. Medicare does not cover any long term treatment. Private insurance, if one is lucky to have it, does not have any long term facilities for trauma that are in network. What does this mean? Patients wind up cycling through the same safety level of treatment when they need more. More costs a lot and when you are unable to work and don’t have rich parents that treatment becomes out of reach.

In my quest for treatment, I called many of the residential centers whose treatment times range from 3 months to 18 months. Only one accepted my insurance and it was out of network. I was told I needed $5,800 up front and they could only guarantee that it would cover 28 out of the recommended 90 days. Why go? I found it odd that I had been on a unit for safety and stabilization over 20 times. I did the calculations and it would be cheaper to provide the higher level of treatment in the long run. Other centers wanted as much as 12,000 a month and were 6 months or more.

Then there are the people who think because a person has a mental illness that they cannot do a job and are inferior. My experience came when I went to school to become a social worker. I was trying o get a BSW. My advisor seeing that I already had a bachelors, recommended going right to a Masters program. I was so excited to get accepted. I wanted to work with elderly patients or in a hospice. My placement was in neither of those areas. The school placed you without any input. After my first field placement interview I was asked to come in to see the head of the department who quickly told me all of her doubts about me being able to do this.

Fast forward to getting a field placement and being there for 6 days. Time for the faculty advisor to come in and see how we were doing. I was the last one that she saw and she was not alone. My field supervisor was in the room with her. I was told that the head of the building did not want me there any longer because I was diagnosing clients. I had been a teacher, I knew better than to diagnose anyone. None of my notes or reports showed this. What was going on? It did not matter. My mental health was to bad to be in a placement. I did not understand. I had completed all of my work and was doing well in my classes. Then I was told that the principal had also checked my background. I knew it was public knowledge that I had lost custody of my kids. That is why I did not want a placement in a school or an environment with a lot of children. I was told that the parents would be upset. The school provided me with a medical leave.

Today, I still want to be a social worker band assist families and patients with navigating the medical system. What chop would even want me???

C-PTSD comes with its own stigma and oppression. Maybe, patients do see things differently, yet that would seem to be a strength not a weakness.

Another Birthday

As a kid, birthdays were supposed to be fun. Kids in my class would have parties and invite almost the entire class. I did not get an invitation. I soon learned that I was never going to be invited to a party.

This started the years when I was just quiet and tried as much as I could to be invisible. This continued pretty much through high school and college. I did not make friends and through the years the number of friends that I have I can count on one hand.

This year with COVID, I actually feel normal for the first time. No one is having parties. People are having small dinners and get togethers. For once i I fit into the norm. A small dinner and cake with a few people is just right .