Episode Seven - The Kavanagh Sisters Skip to content

Episode Seven

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Child Sexual Abuse and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

In today’s podcast we will discuss Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) and how it impacted our lives, which in turn we hope will help you identify what that might look like and understand the many ways the trauma of CSA may be having a negative impact on your life. 

Most of us have heard of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in connection with the military or those who have suffered or witnessed a tragic event. PTSD occurs in response to an event like, a war, a natural disaster or a car accident. However, more and more victims of childhood sexual abuse are now being diagnosed with CPTSD.

CPTSD occurs as a response to severe and repetitive trauma that happens over a long period of time. It is a condition that can be difficult for victims to recognise because there are a number of effects that develop, like having difficulty controlling emotions, negative self-perception, feelings of helplessness, guilt and shame, hyper-vigilance, difficulty with personal relationships, poor sleep patterns, nightmares and or flashbacks.

Everyone has a unique response to trauma, although there are a lot of similarities to how we respond, we found as we looked closer at our responses just how completely, we were programmed through prolonged exposure to the trauma of our childhood sexual abuse.

Feelings of isolation and loneliness plus the stress of keeping ‘the secret’ put enormous strain on our minds and deeply impacted our ability to reach normal developmental milestones. The trauma we endured made it difficult to experience happiness and joy in our life.

We hope that sharing our experience of living with CPTSD will help others understand why this is a particularly difficult disorder to live with. The saying ‘knowledge is power’ in this case is appropriate. In our opinion, the only way you can let go of all the ways you have been harmed, is to rediscover who you truly are and reclaim it.

Please share and spread the word……

Take care

Joyce, June and Paula

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