P.T.S.D. childhood trauma and recovery from adverse childhood experiences A.C.E.Q I saw something on Facebook last week that has got me wondering if I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I haven’t had an accident or been attacked, but I do have the symptoms of always being on edge and expecting something bad to happen; having nightmares, and having flashbacks to the years of my mum and dad either beating or belittling me.

I know this stuff happened over 20 years ago but I’ve been living in a daze for as long as I can remember. It’s as if I’m in some sort of emotional limbo – until I get angry at the slightest thing and lash out.

I feel cut off and detached from people and have few real friends and no partner or kids. I always feel like I want to run away – but I don’t know what from, or where I want to run to! Might all this be due to PTSD and if so what can I do about it?

A There are different types of trauma – both physical and emotional – and our brains are affected and shaped by them, which in turn affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

There is a form of trauma that comes from having experienced an abusive childhood, and having had toxic parents (who poisoned your childhood due to their lack of proper care for you and your emerging needs). This is a type of ‘prolonged duration’ stress disorder.

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Healing and recovery from toxic parents by going no contactQ After many years of emotional struggle I’ve made the decision to have no further contact with my parents because of the way they’ve treated me since they adopted me as a baby.

I don’t know my birth parents and so this decision feels all the harder as I’m rejecting the people who took me in after my own mother rejected me.

I know I need the physical and emotional distance from my nasty mum and aggressive dad (although calling them mum and dad still doesn’t feel ‘right’ for me).

What I’m wondering about is this – will my having no contact allow me to heal from 25 years of physical and emotional abuse?

A Some children of abusive parents opt for low contact – whereby they have less contact or they withdraw emotionally and aren’t ‘fully there’.

That seems to be a well intentioned first step; and if it doesn’t work then there’s the option of having no contact whatsoever.

Expect to doubt yourself and feel isolated either way.

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