Post Traumatic Growth

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    • #29177

      Just was listening in the car to NPR, and they had a segment on a new study of.treatment following PTSD, which they referred to as Post Traumatic Growth. It mostly in that discussion applied to PTSD patients in relation to the military, but touched on the therapy in regards to treating patients experiencing trauma from other experiences. I can’t quote any of it, but in surmising, once the patient exhibits the first sign of relating to his or her life with some positiveness, they begin building upon that. Whether it was just that they had the fortitude to get out of bed, or were to have appreciation for a sunrise.

      By no means am I comparing myself with someone who has experienced serious physical injury, or witnessed an atrosity. But estrangement to me brought I believe a level of trauma to the emotions and heart that required serious attention. Three years ago I was using the words like anger, depression, guilt, and had a self loathing that bordered on suicidal thoughts. I was a complete mess. And seriously thought that there was no hope for feeling anything other then that.

      It may have taken me a little longer to lift my eyes to the sunshine then some. But after listening to that discussion, it was clear that we here have been giving one another that same therapy, as it applies here. When one is down, the other lifts up, and remind each other of the positive experiences we have in our lives and to build upon that.

      Thank you Sheri, for your groundbreaking therapy through this site and your book.. And thank you all my friends here for your help, love, and the kick start I needed in seeing and then expressing those small moments that put one foot in front of the other. And to know that it is okay to have a crappy day, That crappy day does not define me.


      Peace ✌ and Love 💞


    • #29185

      Dear BlueSky,

      I agree that some of us probably DO have post traumatic stress disorder as the result of estrangement. I have had such painful interactions with my ED in the past that I have memories that trigger me to re-live the stress and anxiety that occurred at the time. This is the true definition of PTSD- reliving the experience and suffering the consequences over and over again.

      My memories of her wedding and the sheer anxiety they provoke causes me distress. I agree that my distress is minimal compared to war veterans or those who witness murder or terror…..but it is real nonetheless.

      I agree that this group has helped me immensely. In fact, I too had suicidal thoughts in the past. But now I feel surrounded by people (you and others here) who truly understand and offer great support.

      Thank you to everyone! Yes. Thank you.

      Growth, peace and love!

      • #29386

        yep. it’s PTSD. I will plan to explore this with the therapist. I don’t know why she hates me, torments me, and abandoned me. I cannot take any more of this. I will not take anymore.

    • #29187

      Hi Bluesky,
      This might turn out to be a duplicate reply… I was responding to your post when whoosh.. it just disappeared!

      I hear this story, too. I also had the same thoughts as you about how this estrangement has caused PTSD symptoms in me- fear, avoidance, negative thinking, hyperarousal (inability to sleep). I know comparing this to the horrors of war might offend some, but I don’t think the brain differentiates between types of trauma, it only knows it has experienced it.

      I was particularly touched by the story of the young man who had served three tours of duty in the Middle East who was convinced he would die there and how being fully present for the beauty of a North Carolina sunrise has been a platform for growth for him. At this point in the story, I was thinking about Sheri’s book and her thoughts on mindfulness. I use this strategy all of the time when I find myself indulging in unhelpful thinking. It got me through my recent downward spiral into despair and depression. Little did I know that this can be a springboard for recovery! Right on, Sheri!

      I used the analogy of a toothache to describe the heartache of estrangement, it’s always there in the background, that if the estrangement were tooth, I would get it pulled to stop the pain. Sheri, in her wisdom told me to go forward with a toothless smile. Well, Sheri, I have decided to get dentures. No toothless smile for this girl, but a bright, shiny new one. They may not fit very well at first, but I will get used to them. I know that there will be days when I can’t put those dentures in, but soon, the world will never know I am wearing them!
      Cosmic love and peace to you all,

    • #29188

      Oh, Blue Sky, just your subject head made me smile this morning, for it’s morning here where I live. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the little fluffy grey squirrel I’ve been doing battle with in regard to my bird feeder seems to have given up, it was a battle of the minds, who ever said squirrels don’t have brains, they do, it took a fair bit of ingenuity to outsmart it…For someone who has always felt confidence in herself, I could not have felt all this positivity in my life before I came onto this site. I thought I’d dealt with my daughter’s behaviour towards me in a matter-of-fact straight forward way. So, then, here I found I had not. Anger was bubbling beneath the surface, nor has it left entirely, self-loathing stands out to me which you’ve mentioned, as grief was simply underlying everything. I used to get out of bed in the morning with a grey cloud over my head, apprehension, not feeling good about myself, how could a child of mine place self-loathing in me? Well, I feel it’s because this is what she was projecting from her own self. Same with my former step-daughter. When children turn on you as these two girls whom I raised have done with me, it was a subtle form of brain-washing and for me, it was unavoidable. I hope in having some of the older members come onto the forum and share their thoughts, it’s useful to those who are newer to the site. Yes, the support we give to others, Blue Sky, is part of our healing and our ongoing therapy to the trauma we’ve experienced with the estrangement of a grown child/children,

    • #29189
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Good post, Thebluesky, and thanks for writing it. There has been research on various therapies to “heal” PTSD and some of them involve changing how one thinks and learning new coping skills. I think this is something we do on this forum, be both supportive and suggest ways to move forward. Moving forward or relating to something positive and building from that is one way to heal. I would guess all of us have some kind of anxiety relating to how we’ve been treated and/or how we’ve been rejected and ostracized. I have weird dreams and anxiety sometimes regarding my ex and the EC and consider it “PTSD” from my former marriage and all the ex has done to me including starting the estrangement because of how I react or think and the resulting anxiety. Thinking the worst will happen through reliving the bad that did happen, etc. Maybe there wasn’t any bullying just AC who decided we are not worthy of being in their lives. This is traumatic for parents who love and care because we see our role as parents as so important and we love so deeply. Many of the stories here have a lot of drama involved through bullying or hateful behavior and trying to keep the peace, tap dance around demands or bullying, and being made to think one is the wrong guy or bad guy is definitely trauma causing and self esteem lowering. I like the term post estrangement growth. Such a nice way of defining who we are today.

    • #29192

      Blue sky and Healingheart,
      Two names I love. Love the PEG. Thank God we’ve crossed over and choose to see goodness and gratitude on the other side. I have been known to backslide a bit from time to time and most of us will occasionally with triggers. Can’t help it sometimes but how great we are, ‘Done With The Crying,’ and can see light at the end of what was a very dark tunnel and are able to appreciate the beauty around us. What a relief.
      That is growth that I wish for each and every one of you here. It’s not easy with the heartache we’ve all endured. But when we realize our ED and ES have a choice in their behaviors while our hands have been tied, it’s amazing the strength we’ve gained in numbers here. Thank you to all of you for sharing and caring enough to pour your hearts out here and to help others along the way in doing so. What would we have done without each other and especially Sheri. Hugs to all, Annie

    • #29213

      when the psychologist/evaluator told me that in her opinion I was suiffering from PTSD, I gave it a lot of thought and agree. I have been devastated by the family estrangement and my homelessness situation, plus a crippling spine disorder adding to the misery. knowing I have been cast aside like a wet towel by those who should have instead loved and honored me was beyond terrible and traumatic emotionally.

      Be nice to yourselves. Talk to others for emotional support, and avoid those who will seek to heap more pain and suffering onto you., and believe me, they are there. Find things that make you happy and do those things. I like Thai food and will look for cheap good Thai lunch specials near me. I also love music and animals. Sometimes I watch cute funny animal videos on youtube just to change my thought pattern from sad to happy.

      My choice to begin counseling was a good one. Make sure the counselor understands trauma, and this is trauma, make no mistake.

      Many blessing to all of you, and shout out to Sheri for making this place available.

    • #29237

      Oh my … you guys just don’t know how much your kind thank yous and generous words mean to me.

      This has been a really stressful few months for me on a lot of levels with a lot going on in my word … to handle, deal with, get over, be past, and move beyond. I am, I have, or I will.
      But sometimes, your kindness just arrives when I need it…thank you. ALL of you.

      Now, I want to comment on PEG. I love it, and once we have it, we’re PEGGED.

      Post Estrangement Growth results in our Graduating Estrangement Diploma (you know, like a GED!).

      I’m PEGGED. Are you PEGGED? Would you like to be?

      Sheri McGregor

    • #29242

      I’d like to think I have PEG, but on some days it does seem I’m walking backwards.
      Sometimes it’s like I’m in the middle, on the line.
      One day, life looks good, looking up. The next day it can crash.
      It’s the life is hard thing I guess.
      I don’t believe the expression, you only get what you can handle. I think sometimes it’s too much and it’s easier then to shut down, hard to look at the good.

      Guess you can tell what this day is like for me 😳😢

    • #29246

      Sheri, As moderator, it is necessary for you to keep some distance personally, from those posting here but I felt with the delay in putting the posts up on the board, that you were very busy or overloaded yourself. I don’t think you need to be told just how much this website means to people. It’s a lifesaver for many, and while I know you carefully read over what is put up to be posted, it has to be stressful for you in addition to your own life, which like most of us, you also will have stresses at times and yet you still manage to give us this wonderful site, where the positive energy abounds around a very emotionally painful issue in our lives. I’m glad that you feel rewarded, I can’t thank you enough and I’m sure others will second that for all that you do and still, you have a life of your own to manage.

    • #29248

      I’m so very thankful for this site to be able to come to. Until I had read some of the posts on here about PTSD I had no idea I was suffering from it as well as others on here. But after reading the posts I’ve come to realize I am suffering from it. I too have fear and avoidance issues among other things. Never having been one to have to take any prescription drugs, I can now say and admit that I have to take anti-anxiety medication or I will not be able to sleep. I just thought I had gotten to some point in my life or an age where my body just wasn’t going to sleep well again. I had been so absorbed in the pain of what my EC have done to me that it never clicked that it was all connected. I know it probably should have but it didn’t…..until now. While it would not be my desire at all to suffer with this PTSD, I am so glad that I am beginning to understand why I have some of the symptoms I have now. But the good news is that I’m only going through it. I don’t have to stay in it. Although my growth is slow, I can see it. I hate it that my EC have done this to me but I will be PEGGED.

      Thank you to all EPs on here. I feel like you all are my new family. I feel really blessed to have y’all in my corner.

    • #29258

      I too agree and Sheri, I don’t know where my mind might be now if I’d not found you and this wonderful group through you. And I too understand you’ve a life you’re living and dealing with as well.

      My therapist shared about her life with me a bit, yes I guess they arent suppose to get close, but how can they not sometimes. She has life issues as well. It helped me though of course I’m very sad for her. But her strength and beliefs helped me. And maybe her sharing to me helped her a bit to. We both moms, humans, dealing with all life issues.
      Sometimes when we are hurting, we’ll it just helps me forget my worries for a bit if I can help a friend. She’s my therapist and I can always reach out to her, sometimes our talks are just about sharing. Our life’s similar in some ways.

    • #29274

      Sheri, I echo the others. Thank You from the bottom of my heart for this site. Everyone here has helped me immensely in moving forward. Bless you, Sheri and all of my forum friends. Love, Rainbow

    • #29302

      Dearest Sheri,
      Like others and I have said so many times, you are an angel to us. I cannot imagine how you find the time to monitor this web site in addition to your work and personal life. I know at times, I wonder why I keep coming here… it feels like it keeps the pain and hurt of the estrangement on the front burner where I cannot forget about it. And when I get to feeling like that, I take a break. Unfortunately, you do not have that luxury. I am sure there are times when you wish that the site and its responsibilities would just go away. I hope the knowledge that you are helping so many to heal, to find new meaning in their lives, and to move forward helps you as you deal with the daily stress and issues of your own life. You have given so much of yourself to us and for that we are eternally grateful. Thank you, Sheri.
      Cosmic love to you,

    • #29320

      Thanks for starting this post and I can say I am on the road to Ptr or peg myself.
      Dearest Sheri, I too thank you from the bottom of my heart for the sacrifices you’ve made to start and monitor this forum. Like MMG stated, you don’t get to take a break if you feel burnt out and we can. I am sorry you have been dealing with so much lately. Thank you for your strength, support and humor.

      Blessing and Hugs and thankful for you all

    • #29341

      I see a Spa Day 💆 in your near future Sheri.

      Massage, Facial, Acupuncture, Reiki.

      Written in ink in your day planner.

      💇 ☕ 💒🚖 🌎 🌸 🍍🎋 💞. ✌


    • #29344

      Thank You Sheri,

      You are so appreciated, loved, and respected. I don’t believe in accidents. We’re here for a reason, and we are growing stronger each day. I don’t know how I could have handled my situation without you and the other wonderful moms (and dads) on this site.

      Wishing you peace,


    • #29347

      Hey, I am PEGGED and I would like to think I was at the stage of being PEDDED too, but.

      Today I had a possibly meaningless experience but one which reinforced for me being PEGGED.

      My fridge had been telling me for quite some time that it was on its way to the fridge heaven in the sky/rubbish tip.

      3 days ago it started to die. By today it was dead. I searched on line to get an idea of the market and then decided without going into a fridge shop I could not get a perspective. I initially looked at replacing what I had, but the I had an epiphany. I bought a small fridge with a smaller freezer. I paid two thirds of the price of a replacement fridge and bought a unit that consumed less power and therefore would be cheaper to run.

      This may not seem like much, but I am only a few years from having been a fulltime parent of many decades and buying an appliance that suits exactly my own needs was a thought process and a step forward.

      Yes I agree PTSD was the name of the reaction especially from my last EC. I spun out for about 7 or 8 months before I found a counsellor and then it was a few months later I found this website.

      Sharing with each and everyone of you has been my savings grace as well and moving forward has been made easier when someone, especially Sheri but all else who comment as well has been my rock.

      Sheri you mention in your comment above that the last few months have been difficult for you. I am sorry I missed it. Come share with us all. We are all here for you as much as you have been here for all of us.

    • #29352

      Adding my thanks and gratitude to you Sheri, and all of the others here.
      There are no adequate words to express the level of support, love and care delivered here, for many, especially in the early days of estrangement, this is the best lifeline one could ask for, the empathy and guidance from those who have experienced the same pain and emotions is the very best therapy.
      Thank you all,

    • #29689

      Thank you so much Sheri for your book. I think I ordered it when I hit bottom. The emotional pain I was experiencing was so deep, I wondered if I might die. Now, I am accepting the hand that was dealt me. I have laid it all at GOD’S feet, and I trust in Him. I’m taking action to take care of me first, and I’m feeling better. Some days are better than others, but most days I feel very hopeful, and am determined that the last years of my life will be peaceful, and happy. I don’t think I deserved the emotional abuse I’ve suffered the past 5 years. I think I’m entering the phase of PEG praise the LORD.

      Thanks to all of you for sharing, it’s a big help just to know I’m not alone.


    • #29706

      Bluebutterfly, I think you will know that most of us if not all have felt like you have felt with the estrangement in your life. Know that you are far from alone. I felt for years that I was unworthy in my daughter’s eyes and the eyes of my former step-daughter. While I said little or nothing, I tried to nurture relationships that were based on judgement of me and I felt as though I always failed to measure up to their expectations and less than the person I was or was worthy of. Unless one has been through it, it’s hard for others to understand. I’m glad Sheri’s book, Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children, has helped support you in your acceptance of a very, very painful situation.

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