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Old 12-15-2009, 04:18 PM   #1
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Default PTSD and Trauma recovery

I have been requested to start a thread on Trauma survival and recovery.

I looked up symptoms of PTSD as a place to start.

Symptoms of PTSD can include:
  • Hypervigilance and scanning
  • Elevated startle response
  • Blunted affect, psychic numbing
  • Aggressive, controlling behavior (a high degree of insistence on getting your way)
  • Interruption of memory and concentration
  • Depression
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Violent eruptions of rage
  • Substance abuse
  • Intrusive recall -- different from normal memory in that it brings with it stress and anxiety
  • Dissociative experiences, including dissociative flashbacks
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Survivor guilt

Thoughts?
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:20 PM   #2
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During my life I have experienced most of the symptoms of PTSD. Some worse than others.

I will post more after I see what kind of sharing I feel comfortable with here.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:35 PM   #3
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Yes, I suffer from PTSD. I went to counseling for this. It is from my childhood at the hands of my bio-father. He is my tormentor. I have always tried to be forgiving because I believe that there is power in forgiveness, but I am not quite there yet.

I am so horribly tortured from guilt for not protecting my sisters. They came to me for protection. I tried to stand up to my father, and in turn, I was threatened and beaten, and ...

This is a good thread. I would like to see what others say as well.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Andrew, Jr. View Post
Yes, I suffer from PTSD. I went to counseling for this. It is from my childhood at the hands of my bio-father. He is my tormentor. I have always tried to be forgiving because I believe that there is power in forgiveness, but I am not quite there yet.

I am so horribly tortured from guilt for not protecting my sisters. They came to me for protection. I tried to stand up to my father, and in turn, I was threatened and beaten, and ...

This is a good thread. I would like to see what others say as well.
I feel lot's of guilt too, and often I am not sure for what exactly, just guilt.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:48 PM   #5
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Nice informative thread, thanks for starting it. Personally, I lost 17 years to PTSD..the "S" meaning shock not stress. My trauma occured in one night. I suffered adrenal shock and lost 18 pounds over three days from shock; the doctors couldn't believe it. It's been a long road and there was never relief and no cure other than reliving it and facing what happened. It's taken a year to do just that. i should have died, but didn't. My hair changed color in 5 minutes; I lost pigmentation due to shock in my system.

Two things: prayer (lots of prayer) and a medicine to get me through the moments. My only regret is that my mom isn't alive to see me come through. 2010 is going to be a great year because I'm reclaiming my person and my life. But the thing is, I'd just as soon leave this world having been through this. I'm not one for wanting to live and i have to because I'm Catholic. I'm not invensted in life or anything it has to offer including a relationship. I've pretty much relinquished everything. A lot was taken from me and I'm not sure I can reclaim all of it. If not, i'm okay with that.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apocalipstic View Post
I have been requested to start a thread on Trauma survival and recovery.

I looked up symptoms of PTSD as a place to start.

Symptoms of PTSD can include:
  • Hypervigilance and scanning [check]
  • Elevated startle response [check]
  • Blunted affect, psychic numbing [check]
  • Aggressive, controlling behavior (a high degree of insistence on getting your way) [only in the car when I feel the driver is going too fast or being dangerous and I am scared out of my mind]
  • Interruption of memory and concentration [check]
  • Depression [check]
  • Generalized anxiety [check]
  • Violent eruptions of rage [nope]
  • Substance abuse [recovering 24 years]
  • Intrusive recall -- different from normal memory in that it brings with it stress and anxiety [check]
  • Dissociative experiences, including dissociative flashbacks [check]
  • Insomnia [check]
  • Suicidal ideation [nope]
  • Survivor guilt [check]

Thoughts?
My answers are in red. I will come back and say more later.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:55 PM   #7
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I am more "verbal" online than I am in real time. In real time I am very quiet and shy. I just feel the need to protect myself at all times. When you come from a violent childhood, you understand. Violence can be verbal, physical, emotional, intellectual, and sexual abuse. Basic dysfunction all the way around.

I will never understand why my mother never stood up to her husband. Never helped her kids. It blows my mind. When folks talk about how wonderful their families are...I just wonder what that really means.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Jet View Post
Nice informative thread, thanks for starting it. Personally, I lost 17 years to PTSD..the "S" meaning shock not stress. My trauma occured in one night. I suffered adrenal shock and lost 18 pounds over three days from shock; the doctors couldn't believe it. It's been a long road and there was never relief and no cure other than reliving it and facing what happened. It's taken a year to do just that. i should have died, but didn't. My hair changed color in 5 minutes; I lost pigmentation due to shock in my system.

Two things: prayer (lots of prayer) and a medicine to get me through the moments. My only regret is that my mom isn't alive to see me come through. 2010 is going to be a great year because I'm reclaiming my person and my life. But the thing is, I'd just as soon leave this world having been through this. I'm not one for wanting to live and i have to because I'm Catholic. I'm not invensted in life or anything it has to offer including a relationship. I've pretty much relinquished everything. A lot was taken from me and I'm not sure I can reclaim all of it. If not, i'm okay with that.
.
I am not familiar with adrenal shock, will have to look up. It sounds horrible and I am so sorry you still have the feelings and symptoms you do.

I do understand the being OK with not being alive any more. I feel like that so much too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by atomiczombie View Post
My answers are in red. I will come back and say more later.
Thank you for answering AZ, I have or have had all of the symptoms too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew, Jr. View Post
I am more "verbal" online than I am in real time. In real time I am very quiet and shy. I just feel the need to protect myself at all times. When you come from a violent childhood, you understand. Violence can be verbal, physical, emotional, intellectual, and sexual abuse. Basic dysfunction all the way around.

I will never understand why my mother never stood up to her husband. Never helped her kids. It blows my mind. When folks talk about how wonderful their families are...I just wonder what that really means.
You know Andrew, we are about the same age. Things were different for women then, maybe she was as scared as you were.

In my case the biggest trauma that my father either killed or contributed heavily to the death of my mother and we moved to the United States in 4 days on the plane with her casket and never went home. My father was incredibly abusive always and we never mentioned my mother again. I lived in complete fear. Every day of every minute.

I broke ties with my father completely 11 years ago, and when he died last January had not seen him in 10 years...until after he died. I . see . him . everywhere . now. He is in my dreams, he is at the park looking at me, he is in my head.

I have a definite family phobia too. I get that completely.

Thank you all for sharing, I know its so difficult to even think about.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:41 PM   #9
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Thanks for this thread!

I broke ties with my father at my grandmothers funeral just over 5 years ago.

I've limited the ties with my mother since her suicide attempt just over 3 years ago.

My story kind of fits between this thread and the adoption thread. While I wasn't adopted, I was placed for adoption at age 3. My parents backed out because my fathers parents wanted to be the ones to adopt me. They were the only ones who ever truly loved me unconditionally in my family.

Instead of being raised by my grandparents my contact with them was limited while I was abused - severely - by my father for many years. At age 14, I was finally placed with my grandparents after my father tried to kill me.

I still deal with a lot of anger over the whole situation, and overall on a day to day basis it doesn't affect me too much any more, but around the holidays it can be quite depressing.

I think the hardest thing for me to deal with now is having to relive a lot of it after leaving an abusive relationship. It took me some time to let go of things again after that partner threw a lot of my past abuse in my face during our breakup. It was uncalled for, and lower than low.

I spent a lot of years working with adoptee's and birth parents doing locates and reunions for people looking for their birth families. I eventually quit that line of work because it was heart breaking.

Over the years I have made a lot of progress dealing with the issues from the abuse, but these darn Holidays can still be quite difficult.

Thanks again for this thread. I think if we talk about it, put a name to it and a voice to it, it is easier to heal - at least it is for me.

Surayna
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:47 PM   #10
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Oh my father, my tormentor, is dying. I have tried to be forgiving. It is something that I am working on. However, as I have gotten older, I still am not there yet. He has single handedly destroyed so much of life. He is always in my head. Always. However, I have a place for him. He is there. Not here. When you get to that place, it is pure joy. The inner peace is precious. Believe me.

Now you have to remember I have a horrible case of ocd. In having ocd, it is all about obsession and compulsion. That is something that I have inherited from my father. Both my father and uncle have ocd too, but not nearly as bad as mine is. It comes out worse in those further down the line. So my father is a huge obsession of mine. Huge. However, I have a place for him. Sometimes it comes out when I have contact with him. And everything goes to hell in a second.

A long story short, my father came at me one time. He had a huge chip on his shoulder, and was just mad at the world. And my father hates me. There is nothing about me that he even likes. Nothing. With that said, this behavior does not surprise me. I sort of expect it from him. Anyway, I had asked my mother for help wrapping gifts for Rosie, and my nieces & nephews. She was thrilled to do it. Well, he was furious. And he took the main bag of toys from my mother's hands (literally tearing the bag from her hands hurting her) and throwing it at me. Then he went outside after being dazed, and helping my mother who was crying, only to find out he ripped out the wiring to my car, trying to isolate me there. Well, I just called Rosie. She came and got me, and the gifts.

Or I can tell you about the time he held a knife to me. Or left out his hunting rifle and shells knowing he wants me to do what my younger brother did. See if you don't play the game, you are not rewarded. Sick isn't it? I don't play his game. I refuse too.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Andrew, Jr. View Post
Oh my father, my tormentor, is dying. I have tried to be forgiving. It is something that I am working on. However, as I have gotten older, I still am not there yet. He has single handedly destroyed so much of life. He is always in my head. Always. However, I have a place for him. He is there. Not here. When you get to that place, it is pure joy. The inner peace is precious. Believe me.

Now you have to remember I have a horrible case of ocd. In having ocd, it is all about obsession and compulsion. That is something that I have inherited from my father. Both my father and uncle have ocd too, but not nearly as bad as mine is. It comes out worse in those further down the line. So my father is a huge obsession of mine. Huge. However, I have a place for him. Sometimes it comes out when I have contact with him. And everything goes to hell in a second.

A long story short, my father came at me one time. He had a huge chip on his shoulder, and was just mad at the world. And my father hates me. There is nothing about me that he even likes. Nothing. With that said, this behavior does not surprise me. I sort of expect it from him. Anyway, I had asked my mother for help wrapping gifts for Rosie, and my nieces & nephews. She was thrilled to do it. Well, he was furious. And he took the main bag of toys from my mother's hands (literally tearing the bag from her hands hurting her) and throwing it at me. Then he went outside after being dazed, and helping my mother who was crying, only to find out he ripped out the wiring to my car, trying to isolate me there. Well, I just called Rosie. She came and got me, and the gifts.

Or I can tell you about the time he held a knife to me. Or left out his hunting rifle and shells knowing he wants me to do what my younger brother did. See if you don't play the game, you are not rewarded. Sick isn't it? I don't play his game. I refuse too.
Andrew, brother. How hellacious and inexcusable of your dad to do that to you. You are a person who deserves respect. When he behaves this way the important thing to understand and keep in mind is that what he has done to you has nothing really to do with who you are. It about his being fucked up, not you. HE is the one with the problem, not YOU. It took me years of therapy to understand that about my older brother.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:00 PM   #12
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Andrew and anyone else...

Did you ever see the Twilight Zone where the guy walked through the propeller of a jet to prove it really wasn't there?

That's whats its like facing demons and memories. That's how I faced mine. I confronted the day, the night, the episode, the pain the memory to find it couldn't hurt me anymore. Sometimes it takes the help of a therapist to walk with, other times just yourself. It takes courage and stesdiness. Make it a goal and you'll overcome by chipping away at the trauma...just my experience. it was killing me and my life was spiraling out of control until I decided to face it head on. No medicine, no therapy alone helped. And remember, whether you believe in God or not...I promise He's with you.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:50 PM   #13
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Symptoms of PTSD can include:
  • Hypervigilance and scanning
  • Elevated startle response
  • Blunted affect, psychic numbing (check)
  • Aggressive, controlling behavior (a high degree of insistence on getting your way) (check)
  • Interruption of memory and concentration
  • Depression (check)
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Violent eruptions of rage (check)
  • Substance abuse
  • Intrusive recall -- different from normal memory in that it brings with it stress and anxiety
  • Dissociative experiences, including dissociative flashbacks (check)
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal ideation (check)
  • Survivor guilt
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:53 PM   #14
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I grew up with an older brother who verbally, emotionally and physically abused me all though my childhood years. He beat me, humiliated me in front of other kids, called me stupid, fat, ugly, a bitch, and lots of other nasty things. I was his whipping post, a nuisance, a source of irritation, and someone to wipe his dirty feet on. My feelings didn't exist for him. All that existed for him was the delight and laughter he got from abusing me.

When I was seven, he pinned me down to the floor by sitting on my chest with his knees. I could hardly breathe and he thought it was funny and laughed. Sometimes he would pin me down and tickle me to the point of utter torture.

As we grew older, the violence became more amplified. I started to fight back. I never won any of the fights, of course. He is four years older than me and way bigger and stronger. I remember one time he had me on the floor in the kitchen and he was kicking me. I grabbed a knife from the knife block in the kitchen for self defense. He wrestled it away from me, then proceeded to try to plunge it into my face. I grabbed his wrist and pushed with every ounce of strength in my body to stop him. I remember thinking at that moment, 'maybe it would be easier if I just let go and let him do it'.

I was suicidal and hated myself throughout my childhood. My parents didn't understand what he was doing to me and downplayed it as just kids bickering. I felt abandoned by them and like nobody loved me. I was suicidal and depressed. I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain.

At 15, I went to drug rehab and the violence between my brother and I stopped. He just decided to stop the beatings for some reason. I was depressed for years after that. Part if that was my gender issue, and part was my family history. At age 25 I went into counseling. By my late 20's I started to see that I was abused, and it wasn't my fault. That changed me greatly, like a huge burden was lifted. I came out as gay, another burden lifted. I was doing a lot better.

Then I got involved with my ex-wife. She was sweet at first but once we moved in together, she changed. She started to criticize me. She hated my being butch, my weight, my job and questioned my intelligence. She told me I was fat and ugly. I felt all the pangs of pain and being silenced that I did as a kid. It took me years to finally stand up for myself and end it. I went back into counseling and got a lot stronger in myself and developed more self-regard.

On December 1, 2007, in the middle of the night, a fire broke out in my apartment. I barely got an armful of clothes, my cell phone and computer and got out alive. Had I not been awake while still in bed, reading, I would not have gotten out. The fire spread and engulfed my apartment inside of 5 minutes. I knocked on my neighbors door and got them out. It was 30 degrees outside, and I was in my pajamas. I put my shoes, socks and hooded sweater on in the driveway, and called 911 about 2 minutes after I was out of the house. The firefighters came about 6 minutes later, and the house was engulfed. I was panicked. I was stunned. I was in shock. My mood kept shifting from terror, to panic, then to shock and numbness. I stood out there in the cold for three hours while the firefighters put out the fire and cleared out my apartment. At about 5 a.m. I drove out to my parents house in Rio Vista, an hour or so away.

The next day my landlord let me go in and see the damage first hand. Nothing in the living room or kitchen survived. My bedroom had extensive heat and smoke damage. I got a few things out of there that I could salvage, and the rest I just left. All my most precious possessions were gone: my grandparents couch, dresser, coffee table, china hutch, my grandma's dishes, their lamp, everything that my kid ever made for me when she was little, pictures that were irreplaceable, things like that. My suit and tux were ruined. Most if my clothes were ruined. It was all gone.

Twelve days later my girlfriend broke up with me. I was just finishing my trade school program for Medical Assisting. After graduating, I was treated like shit by my school, which had promised to help me get a job. They ignored my requests for help. I sent out TONS of resumes and made phone calls all over the place. I never got any replies. For four months I couldn't find a job. I was in a new apartment that I hated, that didn't feel like home. The new furniture and things I had bought, I felt no emotional attachment to. I was just numb and stunned.

By the time summer came around, I started getting this crazy germ phobia. I couldn't touch any garbage, even to throw it away. I couldn't touch dirty dishes, to clean them. I resorted to buying paper plates and forks to avoid doing dishes. Then I became agoraphobic. I was afraid to leave my apartment, for any reason. I slept all day and was awake all night, being afraid to sleep at night. I stopped showering. I stayed in my pajamas all day and night. My apartment became piled with garbage that I couldn't touch. I even stopped going to the grocery store, so I was eating crackers after a while, and not much else. By October 2008, my parents insisted that I move in with them so they could care for me. I just couldn't care for myself anymore.

I isolated myself from all my friends. I was afraid to answer my phone, because I was scared it would be bad news that I just couldn't deal with. I just stopped answering it. I stopped posting on the butch-femme websites. I basically fell off the face of the earth.

I was like this for a year. For a whole year the only times I left the house were to go to see my therapist, my psychiatrist, or my step-daughter. Other than that, it was too stressful to leave the house. I would freak out and shake and cry when just thinking about going out. After a while, I started going to bed by 3 am instead of 6 am, and getting up at noon or 1 pm instead of 5 pm. I got out a little more, but only when my folks were with me. In September they took me on a trip to Oregon for a few days vacation, and I had panic attacks virtually the whole time we were there.

Finally, in October of this year, I felt better and somewhat less panicked. I had a med change that has helped I think. Now I get out a lot more, but it is still hard for me to leave the house alone. I shower every day, exercise several days a week, and I am once again interacting with the rest of the world.

I am not out of the woods yet. I still have anxiety and sometimes feel panicky. However, my impending transition and starting T is something I have to look forward to and that helps me psychologically a whole lot. Each day I am getting better and I am grateful for that.
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Last edited by atomiczombie; 12-15-2009 at 08:16 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apocalipstic View Post
I have been requested to start a thread on Trauma survival and recovery.

I looked up symptoms of PTSD as a place to start.

Symptoms of PTSD can include:
  • Hypervigilance and scanning --to some degree,much less than before
  • Elevated startle response --yes
  • Blunted affect, psychic numbing --yes
  • Aggressive, controlling behavior (a high degree of insistence on getting your way) --not to much
  • Interruption of memory and concentration --yep,hate it cause it messes me up in being able to finish what i was doing.
  • Depression --geneticaly predispositiomed for it,so far not to much,light therapy helps lots.
  • Generalized anxiety --depends on how u look at it
  • Violent eruptions of rage ...not in the lasr 20years
  • Substance abuse --no way
  • Intrusive recall -- different from normal memory in that it brings with it stress and anxiety --nope
  • Dissociative experiences, including dissociative flashbacks --mild for of it
  • Insomnia --on again,off again
  • Suicidal ideation ..nope thank goodness
  • Survivor guilt--yes.why my twin lived when she out weighed me by 3 pounds at birth

Thoughts?
thinking bout this.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:08 PM   #16
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AZ.
u are doing a great job of takeing it one day at the time,ive been in some of the places u have and know how hard it is to deal with or get past them.One step at the time ok..pm me if u want..anytime.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:44 PM   #17
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Atomic and Ol'Jet,

Thank you for your kind words and support. I could rattle on and on telling you stories that would make the hairs on the back of your neck just stand up on end. Yes, my father is sick. I know and accept this. That is why I am at the point of forgiveness. Forgiveness is powerful in and of itself. But like I said before I am working on this every day. It is like being online here - we can agree to disagree on whatever issue is being talked about. With my father, he had to be the one who was always right. I was wrong. In the end, does it really matter? No. It isn't a matter of winning every argument. For some, it is. And that is where the disfunction is.

Nobody deserves to be abused. No person, male or female or whatever gender id'ed. Never.

Peace,
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:28 AM   #18
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I wanted to check in, and see how everyone was doing. I hope Christmas was good for everyone here. You all were in my prayers, and still are.

Be safe, be well, and be peaceful.

Namaste,
Andrew
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:38 PM   #19
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Christmas was stressful but thankfully is over for another year!

I have noticed that when other people act badly I feel like I need to change myself so they will maybe act better. Does anyone else do this?
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:05 PM   #20
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No, I really don't.

When I was younger, and my father was in one of his moods and either verbally abusive and/or physically violent (like hitting me and leaving his handprint on my face, leg, arm, etc.), I wouldn't get emotional or acted out against him. Instead, I withdrew and became quiet and shy.

I too am glad Christmas is overwith. It is one less day I have to deal with it, and everything involved with my bio-family.
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