This is a Facebook post that hasn’t happened yet due to too much toxic shame….Here’s to starting somewhere…..
Hey sweet people. I feel like I haven’t been all active out here for a long while now and I wanted to check in. I think people use twitter for stuff like this these days but, as I’ve stated before, I am both twitter doo and twitter dum.
I want to start by saying I’m really in good spirits and have been working super hard to get myself grounded so I can have a potent return to “the living.”
With that said. I’ve been fielding a lot of concurrent circumstances that have required all of my bandwidth over the last 6 weeks. Aside from a great deal of transition within my family, I got very sick during my beloved Folk Alliance conference, and ended up with one of those coughs that lasted a full month…I completely lost my voice, and the accompanying prolonged upper respiratory infection put me in direct contention with my childhood illnesses that I know now were largely trauma related, that left me “left out” of an awful lot of living. I also managed to pick up the flu in that time, and that recovery was equally prolonged by a bad reaction to the medication.
While all that was going on, I was also attacked a few weeks back in a way that “triggered” a PTSD regression, and recovery from that has been a doozey. This is due to the nature of my PTSD and how it presents. In fact, PTSD is a misnomer for my “condition.” Alex Bosworth and I talk a lot about this on our show, but folks who have been diagnosed with PTSD who’s symptoms stem from prolonged “Adverse Childhood Experiences” or (ACEs) have completely different limbic and autonomic functioning that PTSD subjects whose traumatic stress is related to an isolated event. Research has now shown that our brains literally looks and work differently from both non-PTSD, and PTSD subjects, and thus a new diagnosis is being proposed for us ACES kids and adults called a number of things, but here in the states it’s mostly being referred to as C-PTSD or “Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” This title has even been deemed a misnomer by the folks that discovered it, but they feel the distinction is important, because while some PTSD interventions can help C-PTSD subjects, they by no means “cure” us.
This post is a “coming out” of sorts. I fear it’s relatively tone deaf in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic we’re all collectively up against right now, but I’ve really been struggling with profound toxic shame around my recent regression. It has been really hard for me to come to terms with all of the ways in which my trauma history has affected my life, and the nature of the disorder makes that even more complicated. Lately it has been deeply affecting my professional life, but the more I learn about the profile of the illness, the more eerily clear I am that it defines about 90% of who I’ve been, who I think I’ve been, and what I thought I was capable of.
I’m several years into recovery now, and have amassed a good arsenal of tools that have afforded me a lot more depth and breadth of experiences than what I would’ve been able to experience 6 years ago when my journey first began. It hasn’t hurt to have an incredibly loving wife who has been willing and able to grow with me through all of the ups and downs of recovery. I absolutely can’t imagine what this journey would have looked like without her, and yet so many of us dealing with this diagnosis are so dis-regulated that meaningful intimacy is is virtually impossible. Even though I’ve been doing this work for a number of years, I’m still working on telling my story…and while “telling it plain” isn’t necessary for all the layers of healing, I’m told giving voice to that which was once secret by necessity is still very much in the cards….
So I’m trying to learn to tell my story so I can keep growing, keep healing, keep expanding….And so I can have a better shot at blossoming into all this life would ask of me.