Originally published May 17, 2016, Updated on April 20, 2018
Regularly I will receive emails from past clients sending updates, or current clients keeping me informed in between client sessions. Such a client wrote in to talk about how he is identifying some of his challenges and coming to terms with his abusive pasts.
“HP” is a former adult male virgin that I coached to get into the dating world after emancipating himself from his past by teaching him the Frank Kermit Emotional Needs Analysis system.
With his permission, I am posting this under a pen name for him, to protect his identity, because we both agree that many other people may benefit from his writing. I have invited him to write more articles for my blog as he deems it appropriate.
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT WITH CPSTD AND DEPRESSION
From my experience as someone who is recovering from child abuse, religious cult mind control, depression and complex PTSD. I believe that those conditions can completely stop a person’s social development. Do they have to? Absolutely not!
With persistence and patience a person can develop great social skills. But these conditions will inhibit the development. For that reason it is in the person’s best interest to do everything they possibly can to recover from these conditions as fully as possible.
Before I dive into how these problems have affected my social development, I feel it is necessary to give a brief description of how my upbringing was so destructive.
First of all my family is highly religious and is highly female dominated. My mother is a low functioning narcissist who must have control over everything.
She also has chauvinistic views on males. She subjected me to things such as treating me less than because I am a male, gas lighting, constant shaming, and shunning me when I did not do what she said.
My father is a man who is severely damaged. He is very passive and risk adverse. He is controlled by my mother and he believes masculinity is evil and violent. He did not teach me about the social order or how I could find my place in society.
The area I grew up in is also very dysfunctional. The children I went to school with did not accept me for some reason. I was subject to constant verbal and sometimes physical abuse. That stayed constant for the entirety of my grade school years.
I was three years out of high school. I met up with a religious group called the ****. I ended up joining the group, which turned out to be a religious cult. To be honest it was a step up from the home I grew up with and my grade school situation as well. In that group I was subject to cult brainwashing and gained a view of sexuality that if expressed anyway other than marriage would lead to social rejection.
After nine years of being in that group I finally left at the age of 32. A month after leaving the **** all the damage that was collecting over the years finally came out. I was hit by a serious case of severe Depressive Disorder and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Now I’ll explain how those conditions affected my social development.
When a person is developing socially by learning about the social arts and gaining experience, they will develop an inner compass and feelings that will empower them to have more success.
But depression creates an inner numbness and pain that snuffs all that inner energy out. It is like a big uncomfortable blanket that covers the soul.
While the person may know what to do and may see some success the energy and feelings of confidence will be completely snuffed out. The person will not feel like they are making any headway at all.
On top of that depression is a complete motivation killer and when the person makes an effort to get out there and make new friendships it often comes across as forced and unenthusiastic.
That energy that connects with others will be missing from the equation. It’s like a big wall that disconnects a person from the outside world.
Now PTSD and Complex PTSD makes the situation even more complicated. Those disorders fill a person with the trauma pain that could have been afflicted years ago, these disorders require special treatment to heal.
So if someone is 35 years old and saw intense prolonged emotional abuse as a child; Those feelings will stay with a person permanently until they get professional help to resolve them.
The way PTSD affects social development is that those feeling of rejection and fear of abandonment will stay with a person while they are learning and much like depression will negate any feelings of confidence and the developing inner compass with anxiety and often deep phobias.
The combination of Depression and PTSD will lead to a very frustrating sense of depression and anxiety. Now throw in the fact that the person is highly motivated to meet new people you now have a deeply conflicted individual.
That is what life is like when you are trying to grow with Depression and CPTSD.
Social development is possible but often slower that with a person who is emotionally healthy starting out. To reach the fullest potential a person I believe a person needs to heal these conditions.
With hard work, perseverance, and patience (in reality it takes a lot time to heal from 30+years of intense abuse) I believe a person can make a suitable recovery to get the life that is waiting or him.
-HP, Dallas, Texas
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