As a new and honored guest writer/blogger with the CPTSD Foundation I am going to start this journey with a series of six-week short articles linking thoughts, experiences, reflections, and academia on the topic of CPTSD with a specific focus on children 0 – 4 years old.
The reasoning is personal, professional and academic. I am told it is rare to have all 3! Like an infant who suffered adversity between the ages of 1 to 4 years old when trying to achieve optimal brain development (a critical stage in a child’s brain development and attachments), the trauma and traumas acquired followed me throughout my childhood and into adulthood.
Unaware and completely oblivious to CPTSD as many are, the unacknowledged diagnosis took me to the brink of suicide (s), a survivor but also equally and importantly led to the development of insight, learning, character, and heart. A fighter who kept getting up and taking more and more (needlessly so if help had been available as a child). This took into my mid-late forties to understand its complexity and to start to ‘join the dots’ up of a secretively family history and traditional parenting approach. A journey back in time was required to approximately age 22 months old.
The title of the series ‘I Can’t Remember. But…’ speaks volumes given the age range I am discussing. Dissociation, Implicit and Explicit Memory all become relevant. The ‘Before and After’ slogan, represents 0-3 years (the before, implicit memory, dissociation, no recollection) with the ‘after’ being fragile, vaguely and hazy remembered explicit memories from age 4 onwards, into adolescent then adulthood. The older the clearer, accurate and evidential.
The series will succinctly explore and analyze key areas as follows:
Part 1. The importance of optimal brain development in the ‘first thousand days’ of childhood and the consequences of trauma – ‘Like a Bat out of Hell’
Part 2. The effect on the brain, memory, sleep and the body’s role in trauma during childhood – ‘The Shadow’.
Part 3. What a child requires to limit and heal from trauma in childhood – ‘A Fence around the Cliff, not an Ambulance in the Valley’
Part 4. What is this all about? Adulthood and the Ambulance in the Valley – ‘a Game of Cluedo’
Part 5. The Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACE’s) – ‘In or out, do I fit or not?’
Part 6. Bringing it all Together – ‘The Good, Bad and the Ugly’.