Episode 38 - The void within you

Intro
Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about the void inside of you. This is not just related to PTSD, but it is definitely one of the worse symptoms, when that void turns into chest pain and becomes painful up to no end.
Like it is trying to collapse but still holding together, but you still feel the pain from it trying to collapse? It is what many drives to do a lot of things to fill it - but don’t know how.
So let us talk about it.

Prelude
I thought about it for a long time, if I want to do this topic now. Because actually it is one of those things you do in the later phases of healing - because the trauma lives in the void and increases the size.
It is sort of the home of the trauma. So I thought it is better to tackle first the trauma and then the void - but recently it became obvious that this is a point of great suffering and confusion for many.
Additionally you CAN already work towards reducing the symptoms. Which is kind of important, as it takes a very long time to fill the void. It is not especially hard, but a million small bites. So let us go at it.
Even non traumatized know the void, the empty feeling inside you. Many, many believe you can fill it with a partner… or several partners, but that only distracts or dulls the feeling. But it is still there.
Additionally it makes us cling and clutch to the other person, as we believe we are lost without them. The surest way to loose someone sooner or later. The answer is once again short and very boring.
So let us first talk about what the void is and then how we can fill it.

What is the void? (How does it come to be?)
I am not 100% sure WHAT the void is - as in the correct terms. But if the soul were a house, the void would be a huge water damage - that basically destroyed everything - well depending on which stage you are on.
From it just makes a wonderful hole from top to bottom - up to - only remnants are left on the walls where the stairs and walls were. So water damage raging from happened during our trip up to the zombie apocalypse.
The greater the damage, the greater the pain - obviously. But how did a part of your soul just rot away? Well it happens every time you are not allowed to be yourself. Simplified of course.
That means not allowed to like something or someone or have to like something or someone. Or being shamed for who you are. We must respect others peoples life, but we also must respect our own.
Or if something what was a part of you gets destroyed. Your bleeding heart so to speak causes this void. Another person can not fill this void. Only we can. As no one can really change anything in us - except us.
So you could say that the void is our heart yearning to love more and having lost too much. And we of course neglected to fill it up again. Which then of course lead us to rushing to fill it with all sorts of stuff.
The classics are drugs, alcohol, attention, sex, partners, food, pain and so on. Basically everything that usually reduces our pain and increases our happiness. Which it does, but only temporarily.
Sadly, once again, you can’t fix over night what was destroyed over many years.

How can we fill it?
So, with what can we fill the void? The answer simple and easy: Ourselves. Or to be more precise: With more things we love. That is why buying things, loving someones and so on seem to help at first.
But they don’t really fill it. See the void as an empty jar that you fill with different things. Sand, small pearls, marbles and so much more. Depending your love to something, it is either tiny or big.
But such a love only grows with time and you can’t just fill it with big marbles. You need a good mix. There is a movie who addresses this, called ‘runaway bride’. I am not kidding. So spoilers regarding the ending.
The guy finds out, that she ran away each time, because every time she fell in love, she began copying her partner and denying her own self - symbolized by how she said she liked her eggs - exactly like her partners.
So that culminates in her being surrounded by ca. 30 eggs - each made in a different way, so she can figure out how she likes her eggs. And you have to do the same thing, though I recommend a more effective method.
Find out how you like and not like your eggs, colors, clothes, shape of glasses, humor, fonts, nuts, political opinions, animals, games, movies, cuisine, dishes of any sort and so on and so forth. EVERYTHING.
Not just that you like it, but why you like it. I like blue, because it comforts me. For example. You lost yourself. Or at least a part of yourself. It needs rebuilding. And all those little things rebuild who you are.
Of course your passions are the things that shape you the most, but often they grow from exploring and finding new things. We are the sum of so many, many things. It is worth spending the time to find them.

Private Words
I can finally say that I am almost healthy again. This took WAY to long. As usual. I hope you all are doing well. I am now looking into learning how I can get my service dog, since my dog is dieing. Primarily for autism.
I don’t know the situation in other places, but in Germany it is a nightmare. There is no official standard.  Which is VERY atypical for Germany. We have a word, a rule, a piece of paper and a law for everything.
Sadly we suffer from what many suffer: Neglect in maintaining the system. Therefor our medical section needs some serious updates. A lot of new illnesses and medical conditions have appeared that need attention.
But since there is no official standard, there are no schools. And a lot of frauds. It took me hours to even get to places that are legit. Not sure if they can help me. Such a dog costs 25.000 euros on average.
They are well worth it, but I don’t have so much money. So I am looking into the co training version, which costs “just” a few thousands. Also not money I have lying around, but that is a possible number for me.
With a little bit of help from my surrounding and digging a bit. But the dog would mean I would get a lot of independence back and I don’t have to stay inside, if I even fear I would get a meltdown.
It would allow me to live and work outside in the world and I think that it is worth it. Though preferably I wish I didn’t need anything and could just live my life as I am and have just pets for their amazing company.

Outro
That was it for todays episode. I hope I could help you find a few answers for that gnawing void most likely inside of you. It is a bit of work, but well worth it. Also rewards you with a load of self confidence.
If you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at contactme@johannadraconis.com.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.

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