Real TALK is our series of articles from fellow survivors of sexual abuse / assault covering topics that might be helpful to you. What we aim for here isn’t perfection but some good practical advice based on real experiences here in Hong Kong. If you have suggestion to add, please email us on email@example.com.
Book Review: Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide and Map for Recovering from Childhood Trauma
I think this book is shit. He keeps referring to his narcissistic parents. I wish he wrote less from his personal experience but more generally about Complex PTSD – because that’s what I expected from the title of the book. The title of the book isn’t Complex PTSD from Shitty Parents.
So I kinda flipped through it, reading sections here and there, going backwards and forwards. I thought it’s ok, but it’s not for me, because it wasn’t my parents who did “It” to me.
But this past month, I had some issues with a friendship which I think reflects a pattern of problems I think I have with people in general. (There’s a lot of “I think” because I struggle with identifying how I really feel and what that means and I’m never really sure. I think.) When I get too close to someone, shit happens. So in this instance, I packed up my bag. I went home. I cried. I googled.
Then I remember that shit book I read and decided to see if it says anything about being an angry bitch to all your friends.
I read Chapters 9 and 10 about your Inner Critic and Outer Critic. I had to pause multiple times to breathe and rummage for tissue to wipe my eyes. In between paragraphs and sections, I watched episodes of Kim’s Convenience to “get out of it”. Maybe I also just stared at a wall and cried. Because I realised those two chapters just explained my entire adult life and all the relationships I’ve ever had. I was devastatingly relieved – if that’s a thing.
I was devastated because it’s such a thing that there are two book chapters on it. I was relieved because that means I’m not the only person who has ruined so many of my relationships by being a critical bitch. I was very sad because that book is telling me I’m that person I really don’t want to be.
So yeah. That book is shit. But who knows, you just might find yourself in there. And you too might feel ready to tackle your critic.