The Struggle of Complex PTSD

August 15, 2019 Traci Powell

Living with complex posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is hard and it often makes life feel like a struggle. You may struggle to get out of bed, do your daily chores, put on a good face for those around you, or you may even feel like it's a struggle to live.

Ever since I started facing my childhood abuse and learning to live with complex PTSD, I've struggled through many days. Sometimes, my heart feels so heavy, the weight of it makes it seem physically impossible to even move my legs. Yet, I do move my legs one slow, painful step in front of the other. I have kids and a job that requires me to push through the struggle. 

The struggle can become overwhelming and exhausting, leading to feelings of being a failure or weak. What seems like an easy task to someone else, can seem like the impossible dream when you live with complex PTSD. 

The Truth About the Struggle of Complex PTSD

All humans have hard times. Unfortunately, some people have more hardship in life than others and struggle much more. When you live with complex PTSD and those hard times come, however, your inner critic may tell you that your struggle is a sign of your inherent worthlessness. You may beat yourself up for having yet another bad moment, for feeling emotionally weak or not strong enough to make it through without feeling like you're falling apart. 

The truth is, though, that failure doesn't come from the struggle. It comes from giving up. The struggle comes from the fighter in you. You may see your struggle as a sign of weakness, but actually, it comes from a part of you that is working harder than a lot of people around you. Each day, as you struggle, you're fighting to make it through. That doesn't make you weak or a failure. It makes you a warrior.

Finding Strength in the Struggle of Complex PTSD

When babies learn to walk, they first struggle to stand. As their legs muscles and balance grow stronger, they can stand more easily, but begin to struggle to walk. Before you know it, as they keep strengthening their legs, they are running. 

The struggle is essential to growing stronger, whether it's physical or emotional. It brings out the fighter in you. It may feel like it keeps you stuck, but in fact, you are pressing forward. The struggle in a baby learning to walk comes from the baby trying over and over again, each time strengthing leg muscles that will eventually carry the baby through life. 

It's the same when you struggle with complex PTSD. Each struggle you make your way through, helps your emotional and psychological muscles grow stronger. Struggle is not a sign of failure, but rather a sign of success. It means you're fighting back and won't let complex PTSD win. 

APA Reference
Powell, T. (2019, August 15). The Struggle of Complex PTSD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 20 from

Author: Traci Powell

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