Me and My Complex-PTSD

bernie fox
4 min readJun 12, 2020
Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

My brain chose the ostrich approach to deal with my childhood sexual abuse

There hasn’t been much discussion about it, but a vast swath of 1950’s society was affected by trauma. The adult generation had spent their teens in a years long economic depression before war radically disrupted any concept of normal living. Later, tens of thousands of traumatized military personnel returned home. They were followed shortly after by the hordes of refuges seeking safety and sustenance.

Despite the economic boom, the big cars with lots of chrome, the music of Sinatra and Elvis, there was a lot of psychic pain. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my occasional bizarre, but alarming behaviour was not addressed in any meaningful way.

I probably had my first blackout rage event at age 6. I remember my mom having been called to the school to come take me home. As she was pulling me along in my wagon, I was wondering why. I knew things were not good when she said “Just wait. Your father will be home soon.”

I told my mom (threatened?) that I would scratch my wrists and say dad did it if he touched me. I don’t recall much being done about my behaviour; life just went on. I must have been a real little s..t to deal with! It was a long time, perhaps years before I would have another blackout event.

The development of dissociation

The formation of our neuropathways no doubt has genetic and epigenetic influences. They also come about in response to the stimuli of our environment. The cooing sounds we make, the giggling games, the silly chatter as we spoon feed a baby, are the stuff that begin the development of strong lifeforce neuropathways. These very human interactions and the subsequent neuropathway development, determine to a great extent who we are and how we fit in. It is a process that continues on for many years.

Unfortunately, abandonment, abuse, and other awful stuff, also form neuropathways in infants and children. Neuropathways that are in conflict with our lifeforce pathways. The young brain does not have an editorial policy that determines if a stimulus is harmful or not. Seemingly, in the face of trauma, the young human brain employs a strategy that does not lead to any resolution. It is a strategy that simply serves to hide the…

bernie fox

a semi-retired mental health crisis counsellor, and believer, in recovery, doing a pretty good job at not being a grouchy old man.