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By the same token, the more times I experienced fear or pain, especially as a small child, the more my brain came to believe that the world was inherently cruel.

As a result, I slowly developed more and more symptoms of C-PTSD.

D., author of , if a baby is exposed to inconsistent care or abuse, “he’ll fail to develop the confidence and emotional security that are so essential to a healthy psyche...

For even though the child will never remember the specific events at any conscious level, his lower limbic system — and the amygdala in particular — does store powerful associations between an emotional state, like fear or pain, and the person or situation that brought it on, associations that may be indelible.” In other words, I can’t remember the specific things that my father did to my mother when I was an infant and toddler, but the part of my brain responsible for emotion, survival instinct, and memory retains those experiences.

My brain was permanently altered by these incidents.

According to Eliot, “The brain itself is literally molded by every experience...modifying the way future sights, sounds, and thoughts will be registered.”So what is the solution for people whose environments have trained their minds to feel anxious, shamed, guilty, helpless, and angry; to always be on guard against danger; to feel incapable of trusting others; and for whom self-injury or seeking similarly painful experiences provides a valid escape from their pain?

The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) Complex Trauma Task Force (CTTF) published a set of guidelines for treating C-PTSD in adults.

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When these relationships would end, I sought solace in the company of new partners or in alcohol and drugs.

My mother and I fought bitterly in high school and she sent me to live with my father three times as a result.

I began to understand the meaning of “dysphoria,” and to feel fierce rage.

However, in my experience, real life is more complex and often necessitates working on more than one phase concurrently.

When you live with constant reminders of your traumas, it’s difficult not to talk about them in an attempt to lessen their impact and integrate them into your life in the healthiest way possible. In safe spaces such as therapy or with other people they trust, trauma victims talk about what happened to them.

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