How often do you feel guilty from having PTSD?
Specifically, what do you feel guilty about most? PTSD and forgiveness can both coexist. Too often those facing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) OR Complex PTSD (CPTSD) symptoms forget that guilt is associated. It is very normal for someone with PTSD to feel guilty for numerous reasons. It’s important to be aware of the triggers for guilt associated with PTSD or CPTSD.
To determine how to have PTSD and forgiveness for your actions, choices or behavior, we must first look at what is causing you so much heart wrenching guilt. Would you be surprised to know that just about every person suffering from CPTSD or PTSD symptoms feels their family would be better off without dealing with the horrible symptoms? You are not alone. And I’m here to share with you that your family wishes you didn’t suffer. In fact, they love and care for you so much that they would be devastated without you.
There will be times where a PTSD episode leaves you hopeless, lethargic, and disoriented for days after the episode subsides. These secondary symptoms are called residual symptoms. Consequently, feelings of hopelessness and depression accompany these residual symptoms. Subsequently, depression sets in and you feel guilty that your spouse and or children were exposed to another one of your episodes.
It’s okay that you have PTSD. Important to remember is that PTSD does not define who you are. Although, when you are experiencing symptoms it may feel like they will never go away. But, they will subside and your PTSD episode will pass. Essentially, PTSD is just a small piece to your wonderful life.
Guilt: PTSD Episodes
The things said and done during a PTSD episode are not from you. When PSTD surfaces, it’s like a monster takes over your brain and body. In turn, pushing the real “you” deeper down inside yourself. YOU, can see what the monster is doing but you can’t stop it no matter how hard you try. And, the more you resist having an episode, the more severe your symptoms and behavior become.
Again, you didn’t exactly sign up for this disease. In the same light, someone wouldn’t choose to get cancer, or sign up for traumatic events. Despite the fact you couldn’t control going through the trauma, believe it or not, you have more control over your symptoms than you may realize. PTSD and forgiveness of yourself begins with understanding your symptoms and gaining the ability to minimize your symptoms before they escalate into a full-blown episode.
The worst symptoms are your nightmares. PTSD nightmares are unlike regular nightmares. They come with fear of falling asleep. Then, insomnia develops. This gives you guilt due to waking your spouse up or disturbing their sleep. But please keep in mind that they care about you and it breaks their heart to see you suffer from nightmares. PTSD nightmares are no joke and to better understand them, learn as much as you can about them.
Another symptom that is voted as one of the worst is dissociation. You may feel guilt after you come back to the present reality. This is due to the disorientation that you feel. At the same time, you can’t remember anything that took place. Lastly, you develop memory issues and feel bad that you don’t remember, but your spouse does.
Then there is the aggression and rage that comes into play. When we have a full-blown PTSD episode sometimes it causes severe aggressive behavior. Additionally, this behavior causes us to use abusive language and act out on the ones that we love the most. After your PTSD episode goes away and you make it through the residual symptoms, you may find that you feel very guilty about the things this monster has made you do. This is more relevant if your spouse throws it in your face or holds these incidents over your head. Which is not fair by any means. Relationships facing PTSD have it hard enough as it is; it is crucial to have a supportive spouse.
More on PTSD Symptoms and Guilt
If your spouse is holding a grudge against you or showing signs of resentment it is best that he or she gets into therapy. Now, it is not to say that all choices made during a PTSD episode is acceptable. If there is substance abuse present or infidelity, then you have bigger issues than just PTSD. Comparatively, choosing to have an affair or to abuse drugs, for self-medicating or pleasure purposes, is a choice that you can make. You can choose differently. And, if you do, your symptoms and your feelings of guilt would be far less invasive.
Your marriage and family may be hanging on by a thread now. But there is hope. Once you get the proper care that you need you will you start enjoying a stronger marriage and family than ever before. Thus, leading to PTSD and forgiveness of what you can and cannot control. Through therapy and the care of a Medical professional specializing in trauma you will begin recovery and remission of your symptoms. You may be feeling guilty because deep down you know that you need help yet you haven’t taken your first step into recovery.
Recovery for PTSD and Forgiveness
Through therapy you will learn a lot about PTSD and forgiveness. Equally, you will obtain the tools you need to access at home. These tools include ways to ground yourself quickly once anxiety spikes. When using these grounding and calming techniques you will reduce symptom severity and the frequency of your full-blown episodes. This, my friend, is what remission looks like. For instance, you could enjoy eight months symptom free, or even longer. I have met several people who have had their PTSD in remission for long periods of time.
When you are in therapy, you will learn to recognize your triggers. By recognizing your triggers you can minimize and even eliminate specific triggers. There are coping skills that help you re-center yourself and be in the present moment. By practicing coping skills and adding important PTSD routines to your day you will gain much more control over that monster that takes over your body and mind. You may not win every fight, but you will win much more of them when you implement stress relieving strategies learned on this website and from your own therapy.
Along your journey you may have dealt with quite a bit of loss. Perhaps loss of your wife through divorce due to PTSD. As a result, you may not see your children as often. Likewise, you may not have as many friends because you have now withdrawn from everyone and isolated yourself. Maybe, you have a ton of very heavy stressors impacting your life at one time. There are ways to manage multiple stressors in a healthy and successful way. This too is normal for those facing PTSD. As sad as each of these scenarios are, you still have a bright future ahead.
Own your journey and begin sending your symptoms into remission. Doing so will enable you to expand your support system. You need a strong support system and sometimes a best friend can come from the least likely places. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to bless someone else’s life with your joy. Your story can make a huge impact on someone else who is on the same journey as we are. Finding strength in PTSD and forgiveness in yourself will open your mind, and your heart to new opportunity – even love. The kind of love that you long for and deserve.
There’s a letter that came across my inbox not too long ago written by a PTSD sufferer. Reading this letter gave me a better perspective on just how guilty someone with PTSD feels. Have you ever told yourself that it’s okay that you have PTSD or CPTSD? You are still so many other things to people than just someone walking around with a huge PTSD stamp across your forehead. inevitably, PTSD has no cure. But that’s also okay. However, there are ways as mentioned above of how you can begin your recovery. One step at a time. With this in mind, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Keep striding forward and stay as positive as you can. Over time, you will notice that your symptoms aren’t as severe. In addition, you will see that an episode’s duration doesn’t last quite as long either. For instance, a PTSD episode may last for a day or so now. But after you put in the hard work, your episodes may last just an hour. Can you imagine the better quality of life you can have if this were the case? Well, this is the case for thousands of PTSD suffers who embrace their PTSD and Forgiveness of what PTSD has brought to their lives.
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