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 something that has affected me very strongly and was the reason I looked into creating this podcast. So it is quite a personal topic - I am talking about survivor’s guilt.
We will focus this episode on validation and first band aid measure and in another episode most likely I go into counter measure as I improved my methods and can treat it now a lot better and almost removed it.
It is a difficult topic for me to talk about, but it is important to do so - so… let us talk about it.
When I first broke free of my C-PTSD and all of it… I was so euphoric. I finally going to join the club and might get a t-shirt that says “I beat C-PTSD and I didn’t even get a t-shirt” - or something along these lines.
I have a silly sense of humor. Because of all the things that went so badly during my healing journey, I thought I was dead last of the group I swam with and lost contact with. They had therapist and help and all of that.
I didn’t. So I assumed I was WAY behind everyone else. Like WAY. If it were a marathon I expected one of the organizers to appear next to me to ask me if I REALLY want to continue or if they can finally go home.
So, when I finally entered the club house I had already an excuse for my incredible delay on my tongue and was ready to say it - when I saw that the clubhouse was an empty room. No one was there.
My first reaction? Wonderful, I am late AND at the wrong place. So I searched and checked - but it wasn’t that I was wrong, but that I was first. I lost sight of my fellow members because I was ahead of them… not dead behind.
I refused to accept that and fell back into strong C-PTSD symptoms and the illness had it deeps claws back in me. It was an irony of life, that me breaking free would cause another PTSD - funny if it weren’t so painful.
Soon I started the question that so many have with survivor’s guilt - “Why me?”. Why not the others? I met so many on my journey… several going silent or their voices becoming weaker and weaker. The silence was deafening.
I felt incapable of speaking, felt like I needed to throw up endlessly and like I committed a horrible, horrible crime. There were and are no words to describe the horror, terror, desperation, shock and so on.
I felt hypocritical to complain about feeling bad - when others were literally dead, dying or still suffering. I felt like I cheated. That I took something that wasn’t meant for me. The cheater that got the price.
I so DESPERATELY searched for others like me. But there were none. Those I found were way behind me. Or in delusion of their own state - none of them truly got rid of the root of the issues. Contained it? Sure.
But I could still see and read the mechanism or strings of PTSD being present. That was over 2 years ago. I honestly stopped searching after that, because it had such a strong affect on me and I needed to look out for myself.
Thankfully my experience and techniques helped me soon to contain it, but now I began researching survivor’s guilt and what I could do.
Finding purpose as band aid
There was a lot of unhelpful and conflicting information - but the most important thing I took away from it was: I needed to get productive. I needed to do SOMETHING. If I made it and others didn’t - I must do some good.
If I got away and others didn’t - I must make it mean something. I did plan over the time of my healing journey to write that journey down in a book - my life HAD been quite an unusual story.
And reading others stories had helped me a LOT during my healing journey. I thought mine would have just been one in a collection of books. And then my plan was just to move on. Go back to studying - or whatever.
But now - all focus was on how can I help others? I thought about how to spread my way of making it to as many people as I could reach. Even if they did not find use in my way - knowing SOMEONE made it - is SO important.
An unbeatable mountain becomes a difficult mountain once someone planted a flag a top of it. Which lead to this podcast - with a lot of planning and organizing going into it. And it really DID help. Tremendously.
I soon realized that there was no other way for me to go - despite me originally planning to just upload my path and not become active in this field. But I just couldn’t ignore the suffering of so many. There was no way.
And here we are. I learned later to not just contain survivor’s guilt, but also root it out. But that would go beyond this episode. If you are interested in that let me know as usual.
That was it for todays episode, I hope you found it helpful. Hope you are safe and well. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast, information regarding therapy you can find under johannadraconis.com/Therapy and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.