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 do things a little bit different. With this being the 100th episode, I thought it would be a good time to redo the introduction, as quite a bit has changed since then.
We will go chronically from my earliest years to the most recent perspective. I will summarize a lot to keep the size manageable and try to avoid being graphic or anything the like. This should help not to overwhelm people.
I have more information in episode 1 and there will be more on the website or in doubt just ask me. That being said - lets get started.
We start… with me being a baby. Even that early the abuse started, not that I have any memories of that, but there are family videos with strong indication of what is happening off screen, but not off sound. The body remembers and it causes a unique trauma.
I suffered through every version of trauma at least once, except being penetrated - before I even entered primary school around age 6. This also includes the torture. I also lived in constant fear of dying through the whole time. Non stop. 24/7.
I had a main abuser, no not my parents, but also a wide array of lesser abusers in my family. I was able to identify some now on the narcissism spectrum - which is rather hard given the subject matter.
So one can say I have an extensive knowledge about trauma - to put it mildly. Despite being the perfect little girl they told me to be, so the bad things wouldn’t happen. And did I try to be that good girl. But it was set out to fail from the start.
It gets worse
And it only gotten worse from there - as in starting around age 6. Besides the daily beating - the other behaviors became more and more escalating. All while the daily beating just got worse and will end up causing nerve damage in my arms.
Which was a trade in for my brain, that I desperately tried to protect and succeeded to do so. But as bad as the beating were, they were on a schedule. The surprise attacks during the day were worse and more dangerous.
While in the evening it was just to let out all the anger - during the day he exploded and had no limits how far things could go. This was when he went the farthest and was the most unhinged. Where he liked to experiment. Where my suffering was the focus.
Around age 12 it started getting more towards psychological torment. Despite that, one of the consequences was that my body started to deteriorate slowly, but steadily. Something I still feel the consequences of to this day… and likely will stronger in the future.
At age 16+ it came to a showdown which ended with the whole ordeal ending… the physical side mostly at least. But my mental state nonetheless kept getting worse - slowly, but inevitably.
Breakout and the time after
Until it completely broke out during my psychology study. It is truly never a good sign to see your symptoms on the screen during class… I remember just thinking “Fuck me”. I also knew I had to move fast and get help ASAP.
Despite my attempts to get help as soon as possible - no one accepted me. I was an old case. Hopeless. The chances of treatment were low and no spots available or none at least for an old case.
I ended shortly in a spot with an unfinished psychology student, but had to give that up, when my state worsened and I had to move back with my mother. There I got no help. Which meant I was doomed to die.
It gotten worse and worse. I was in a state of intense pain, it felt like my body was torn apart, but slowly and without me dying. I slept… when I could… in short patches. Hours of sleep became more and more a rarity.
Even if I slept I had horrific nightmares and kept waking up. I couldn’t eat. When I was able to eat I just stuffed my face to not starve. I couldn’t focus - I could barely do anything at all. This was PTSD in end stage for me. Agony - without any chance of distraction.
The End of the line
Which lead inevitably to the end of the line for me. My body told me, that I was a few months at best away from dying. Whatever I was doing needed to change. That was the point, where I decided I couldn’t make things worse - as if I am an optimist.
But there was literally no other choice besides lying down to die and that was never my way. So - not an option. I had no hope of healing, I just tried to apply my knowledge to reduce my suffering and make my remaining time less painful.
I was actually shocked how easy and successful I was - despite it taking weeks to do so. I had no help, the support of my surrounding could be boiled down to “Are you healed yet?”, despite knowing C-PTSD was incurable. At least to our knowledge back then.
Suffering less and getting more time sounded like a pretty good deal to me, so I tried again. And kept going and going and going… until after years I had bitten enough down and had conquered my first C-PTSD. I was healed, but not cured.
Which meant now I had the choice, do I return back to normal life or continue what I started? And… after that absolute agonizing experience I decided I want to NEVER EVER deal with this nightmare again.
So I went underground to deal with it once and for all. In the end with great success. Better than anything I had dared to dream for.
Survivors guilt and this podcast
Now that I was fully cured I tried to get to the club meeting of C-PTSD cured people, and as I had taken so long with all those wrong paths I had chosen and with no help - I lost track of many of my fellow sufferer on the way. I thought I was dead last.
The club house was empty. And it dawned on me what happened to those I lost track along the way. I knew the state of others. That was the moment I developed survivor’s guilt and got my PTSD symptoms back. Which slowly started to escalate again.
I will stick to my comparison of a burning building. You get out, completely blinded still by the smoke that made seeing inside almost impossible. Only to discover you are the only one who made it out of the building - while you can still hear the screams.
Or sometimes only the body that is left from their attempt. What do you do in such a situation? Going back in isn’t going to do any good. So you try to shout instructions. Which is how the idea of this podcast was born.
The plan was to give the instructions on how I left the building and help so others to leave the building.
Changing the theme and therapy
While preparing and doing the podcast I began to cure myself from more and more C-PTSD s and PTSD s, that I had to change my position on either you have it or you don’t - and started making a list. I also kept learning about PTSD and everything around it.
During the podcast I realized, that I hadn’t gotten any help not only because I was an autist and it was harder, but also because how horribly bad the situation was for everyone. How lacking resources and information and available treatment was.
Which made me change my podcast to cover more and me starting to offer therapy. But then - once again - tragedy hit at the second half of last year and I was confronted with a horrendous situation that would last for months and cause a cluster trauma.
This lead me to cancel and stall my plans. But the worst was that at the end of the last year - I had to deal with 3 cluster traumas at the same time. That was a lot - even for me. While my success wasn’t in question - that did block and slow down me quite a bit.
Which lead to a noticeable chaos and change in podcast - which I am sorry for, but it was outside of my control. The aftermath of it sadly still causes for stumbling in my everyday now and then. Nothing serious, but enough to cause trouble occasionally.
The silver lining
I want to end this episode on a silver lining after all this rather dark content. I gained intense and deep knowledge of trauma and how it is structured and works. This knowledge I believe can be used to help so many people who have little hope right now.
My trouble with putting that knowledge into words that people understand is sadly the biggest slowdown and something I can’t just change, because the reason is my autism. Which also makes it possible for me to visualize PTSD.
And this helped me to be able to say, that I can cure a base C-PTSD within a few months. It of course depends on how strong the patient is going and if life doesn’t sabotage. Which it realistically does most of the time. That is just how it is.
This is what makes me hopeful - that my experiences will help eradicate or at least constrain this illness as much as possible. And rid humanity of this bane as much as possible.
That was it for todays episode, I hope you found it insightful. 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.