If you have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), you may feel like you constantly give and rarely receive. It's probably true, too. With CPTSD, you may wear your vulnerability on the outside through your reactions. Sometimes referred to as a "mark" it's as if a person is branded by their trauma--which is, in turn, used to exploit an individual who has already been exploited. This is the very definition of abuse. It's also a form of social bullying.
Whether family, friends or clients, when we do our best for others, it may not be with the expectation that others do their best for us, but it is with the hope that our efforts are building community. We all need a community of people around us in order to survive. If we are part of a vulnerable population, we need this even more. Those with CPTSD understand the need for community building better than most. With professional support, those individuals can make a full recovery. The problem, however, is self-sabotage. But not always on the part of the individual with CPTSD.
Self-sabotage is when someone does something to sabotage their own success, which almost always sabotages the success of others as well. When an individual with CPTSD makes an abrupt change, it's not abrupt to the person with CPTSD, but may appear abrupt to others This is not always self-sabotaging behaviour--it's usually out of need to self-protect.
It's important to recognize people's contexts. No one is a prisoner. We should approach supporters as partners in our overall health and healing, lifetime processes that take patience and experience to fully appreciate and understand.
Ultimately, we're each only responsible for ourselves--our own thoughts, feelings and actions. When people do not treat us fairly, that is on them. We do not have to engage with them again. Outside of marriage and/or employment contracts, we never have to work with anyone who is toxic. People can come and go as they please. And, we may do the same.
What a relief it is to know that when someone cuts you off after you've given 110%, you never have to talk to that individual again. When you're unfairly judged, it's always because of greed. Hatred derives from greed as well. It's sexism and racism in a bottle. Society may hand you that bottle and expect you to take a drink, but you can (and should!) say, "No."
Your integrity will not make you rich. But you will have peace. Let go of those who do not appreciate or value you. It's a relief to release anyone who attempts to sabotage you and your connections. Those individuals are ticking time bombs--it's not a matter of if but when they will explode. And, life is simply too short to try to hang on to those you probably don't like anyway. Again, outside of marriage and/or employment contracts, you don't need to manage the toxicity of others.
When you give 110% and are still devalued, that's toxic. When you're never allowed the benefit of the doubt but are always expected to give it, that's toxic. When you're expected to work for anything less than 100% of your pay, that's toxic.
"Always leave the door open a crack for friendship," is something my grandmother used to say. But my advice is different:
Never allow anyone to treat you as if you don't matter. There's no room for friendship with abusers. People who are avoidant need help, but until they get it, you can't do anything for them anyway. They will eventually drown in their sorrows and will take you with them. So get out of their way. And be happy you don't have to engage with energy vampires anymore.
There are seven billion people on the planet. You can find at least a few who will appreciate you.