Man sometimes I think we forget just how psychologically damaging Afghanistan was for Tony. Like my professor was talking today about old anesthesia techniques and how there were a bunch of cases in the 30s, 40s, and 50s of surgeries where people were awake and could feel everything during the surgery. “That’s horrifically traumatizing,” he said, “to feel someone cutting into your body, moving internal organs around, and not being able to do anything about it. People came out of surgery with sometimes debilitating trauma.”

And Tony!! Woke up!! While Yinsen’s hand was literally inside his chest!!

But that barely registers in the grand scheme of his horror because hey, what’s waking up during surgery compared to watching young soldiers get shot in front of him and knowing it’s his fault? What’s that compared with living three months in constant pain and terror as a captive of his worst enemies, knowing that he could be killed at any moment, and he’s not even sure if anyone would be looking for his body? What’s that compared to literal torture, simulated drowning over and over again while clutching the car battery that’s keeping him alive because if a wire falls into the water he could be electrocuted? What’s that compared to the knowledge that his negligence has led to the slaughter of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people?

And then he gets home from all of that, and remember he’s really just a normal citizen and has never been taught how to deal with such hugely traumatic events, to be betrayed and left today by the man he considered a father. ONCE AGAIN HE WAS STUCK IN HIS OWN BODY, UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING AS HE DIED.

I mean, fuck! What the fuck!! How do you just recover from that???

Then, then, he is slowly poisoned to death by his own creation, then he’s sent to confront the void of space and his own insignificance, then he has to watch the woman he loves get tortured, then he’s forced to imagine everyone he loves and cares about dead or dying and believes it’s his fault, I mean Jesus Christ! I’m probably forgetting some stuff!! He never gets a fucking break!!

Tony Stark is bouncing from one traumatic experience from another like the world’s worst pinball machine!! No fucking wonder he’s suffering from debilitating PTSD, from depression and grief and self-loathing, from completely untreated mental illness. He is just trying to keep the people he loves safe, that is his number one goal at all times, always, and instead of recognizing his symptoms for what they are and trying to help him in return, his “friends” simultaneously take advantage of his generosity and hate on and criticize him for what are, quite frankly, quite understandable reactions to the honestly ridiculous amount of horrible things he’s lived through in just a few short years.

I’m sorry I lost my train of thought, it’s very late and I’m very passionate, but basically what I’m trying to say is: give Tony Stark a break for fuck’s sake!! He is ill and suffering and he is just trying his best goddamn it!! Fuck!!!!

Announcement About PTSD Related SAAs

From now on, I will not be using the tag #ptsd on any affirmations, even if they were requested by someone with PTSD. Shouting into that tag is definitely not something I should be doing, and I apologise for not realising that earlier.

I will tag ptsd-related posts with #ptsd saas.

Thanks for reading, and I apologise again to anyone in the tag who has been triggered or distressed.

- The Slightly Aggressive Affirmer

I feel terrible for saying this. I hate comparing pain. But I just can’t take it sometimes. People say stuff like “Oh, everyone has issues” and “Everyone’s childhood screws them up” and “People hide it just as well as you do”.

Do they really? Does everyone that I know have PTSD? Do they all have panic attacks and daily flashbacks? Do they all dissociate and self-harm? Do they all hate themselves and want to kill themsleves?

Did they all have severely abusive parents? Did they live in fear everyday of their lives?

I don’t think so. It’s so invalidating. I already invalidate and question myself enough. Why do my friends have to do it too? I just wish people would understand how abnormal everything in my life is. How privileged, for lack of a better word, they are. How I would give anything for a second chance. This is not fun. I’m not looking for pity, I just can’t handle anymore invalidation. It’s so painful. I’m just trying to survive. And I wish I had just one person that understood that.

It’s been 10 years since you left me and my family alone but I still have nightmares about your hands on my throat and the glass on my back. You told me you loved me, and then you hurt me. How was a 6 year old meant to know that that wasn’t normal?
You told me that the bruises on my wrists were special love marks, that no one else would have them so I couldn’t tell anyone.
Thank god you had some shred of decency in you to never touch me below the waist, you sick fuck.
You told me you were gonna be like my dad. That you were gonna care for my mum and me and my baby sister.
You are nothing like the man my father is. He would never hurt us like you did.
You broke my family to shreds, 10 years on and my mother had to have spinal surgery because of what you did to her.
10 years in prison was not enough. It will never be enough, not until the day I can wake up and breathe normally, without feeling phantom choking hands on my throat.
I can’t let a man touch me because of what you did. I don’t believe anyone when they say they love me. You robbed me of that.
You robbed me of a life.

anonymous asked:

I recently got diagnosed with PTSD and I don't know how to feel about it... I don't feel like I deserve it? I've been through some shit, yeah, but I think PTSD is a little too far. I never went to war or anything like that, I just had some abusive exes? Not even physically abusive ones. I just feel like I don't deserve to say I have it. I feel like the diagnosis is wrong -PTSD??

Hey PTSD??,

I completely know where you’re coming from. I was diagnosed with PTSD before the abusive relationship and other thing that happened, because of school. That’s right you read me right, school caused me so much trauma that I was diagnosed with PTSD. I used to think “that’s stupid as hell” and would feel like lying to my therapists when they asked what caused my PTSD. But after 10 years of having this disorder I have gotten to a point where I can say “yes I have PTSD” it just takes time.

I’m sorry you are feeling so distraught over your diagnoses, the diagnoses is in place to help you - not hinder you. Going through traumatic things like abusive exes (no matter what “type” of abuse it is) is difficult and if you are having symptoms of PTSD from it (such as flashbacks, nightmares, dissociation, etc) then you have as much of a right as someone who did go off to war “or anything like that” to carry that diagnoses with you.

If there’s anything I can do to help, such as give you grounding techniques for when you’re feeling out of it or like you’re in the past again, just let me know!

~Mads

Just abuse things

- “IM SORRY IM SORRY IM SORRY!!”
- “you arent mad at me right? Oh my god you are! IM SORRY”
- “is this my for me? Can I use this? Can I drink this? Can I-”
- “pls help me make this decision for me”
- “do what you please!!!” “What if that makes everyone mad at me”
-studying people intensely because you are afraid you might do something that will make them mad
- Saying something in a tone louder than usual and feeling like this is your last day alive
- low self stem
- feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted after expressing any sort of feeling and crying right after that
- when someone talks or does something in an attitude thats not usual from them and Knowing That It’s Your Fault
- “i dont deserve this why are you doing this for me”
- not knowing the difference between a joke, sarcasm, and passive aggressive speech
- unhealthily clinging to anyone who’s remotely nice to you
- not knowing what to say NEVER
- not knowing how to react to compliments, nice words, genuine care or anything like that and feeling incredibly sick at the thought of someone genuinely loving you
- Crying.
- having to explain every single movement and word you do and say to literally anyone
- being really good at lying and pretending as a survival strategy
- Not living, surviving.
- calculating and overthinking everything you do and say, the time you say it, how you say it, the expression you have when you say it, your voice tone…everything
- getting panic attacks over the tiniest things
- unhealthily clinging to fictional characters and shows
- lack of energy to do anything because you use a lot of effort in every single movement you do
- “im useless”
- when someone compliments you on something and you needing to be Perfect at it because then you dont have any reason to live
- intrusive thoughts
- Perfectionism
- Over sensitiveness
- “It’s my fault.”
- not knowing how to react about criticism
- Isolation
- getting startled when someone touches you
- being hyperaware of your surroundings and at the same time having no time and space perception
- believing everything everyone says
- Feeling like any day is your last day

  • a normal kids show teaching morals:always be kind and just, eat your vegetables, believe in the power of friendship.
  • Steven Universe teaching morals:unhealthy relationships can be mutually abusive, and often create co-dependence at the point where the abused misses their abuser. Abusive people often use emotional manipulation rather/besides physical violence to try and control their partner. PTSD can't be cured just by facing the thing that caused you a trauma. No means no and if you don't respect that you deserve to be punched into next week.
a professor that accommodates ptsd? what is this??

Today I was talking to my professor about my ptsd and how it may affect class performance, because it’s a very participation-heavy class. The system that my professor came up with is kind of beautiful, so I want to share it with you guys.

She gave me some neon pink post-its, the kind that can be seen for miles because of how bright they are. If I’m having a flashback, dissociating, panic attack, etc., I can just put one of the post-its on my notebook, or somewhere in front of me on the desk. She’ll take that as a cue to not call on me and not expect me to participate. When I’m ready to engage in class again, I’ll just move the post-it out of sight.

I definitely appreciate having this accommodation, and I plan to use it with my future students someday. It’s simple, works when I’m non-verbal, and it doesn’t look like anything weird or attention-grabbing to classmates.

i’m glad everyone is falling in love with harley quinn. just remember that she suffers from severe ptsd, that her relationship with the joker is highly abusive, and that in the comic she’s worked hard to recover her own sense of identity after finally leaving him. DO NOT ROMANTICIZE HER ABUSE.

(also ivy is harley’s polyamorous soulmate. pass it along)

YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO FORGIVE YOUR ABUSER IN ORDER TO RECOVER.

YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO FORGIVE YOUR ABUSER IN ORDER TO RECOVER.

YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO FORGIVE YOUR ABUSER IN ORDER TO RECOVER.

YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO FORGIVE YOUR ABUSER IN ORDER TO RECOVER.

YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO FORGIVE YOUR ABUSER IN ORDER TO RECOVER.

Fuck what you’ve been told, forgiving and forgetting doesn’t always work

Child abusers don’t let children know they’re victims. Survivors of child abuse by large don’t know they’ve been abused. Abusive parents raise the child to have great compassion for them, to always view them as humane as possible, they make sure children are grateful to them, they point out every single thing they did for the child, such as “paid for your stuff” or “financed your schooling” or “gave you a roof over your head and fed you all these years” (even though to not do these things would be straight illegal, but they don’t mention that part, do they) as a proof of how good and generous they are, they make sure to recite all possible excuses to why they’re acting so abusive, they had a hard life, they have a lot on their plate, they’re good people they just make mistakes, they’ve been badly treated too, they don’t even know they’re hurting you, they’re insisting you’re too sensitive and get hurt from nothing, they don’t let the child hold them accountable or hold them guilty for any of their abuse. Abused child will be ashamed of themselves and hardly ever consider themselves a victim, they will be taught to repress and ignore trauma symptoms, to find a way to blame themselves for everything, to feel guilty just for how awful they feel all the time.

Emotionally abused child strongly believes that their parent is inherently good and deserves all the compassion in the world, all the excuses, all forgiveness and none of the blame for their actions (parents make sure children know that the blame would hurt them so children must never blame them) and will fight to defend the parent and point out why abuse was not really abuse, why children deserved it, why nobody is to blame, except maybe themselves, because “they weren’t good enough” to appease the parent which would then hopefully be a bit more kind (of course not). They often wont even admit how badly they’re scared of their parents.

To have an abused child realize they’ve been exploited, lied to, betrayed, systematically destroyed and dehumanized by their parent, their entire world needs to break down, everything they’ve been taught has to be acknowledged as a lie, what they considered right and fair needs to change to wrong, who they trusted the most needs to change to be least trust-worthy, who in their head, made sure they survive up to that point, needs to turn into a person who almost cost them their life, and destroyed it rather than held it safe. It’s not a fun ride. It’s devastating to go through, it breaks a person apart completely and forces them to re-construct their entire reality. And it’s the only way to have a chance to really recover, to validate themselves and their pain, to understand to what depth they’ve been damaged, and by who and why. It’s the only way to realize that they’re entitled to life, to food, to roof, to nurturing, to everything that was held against them, they’ve been required to feel grateful that they weren’t left to die. 

For those who still have to face this, or are facing it right now, you are going through the worst of your life right now. For those who have no empathy or patience for survivors to figure their lives out, fuck you, try living their life for a few years, see if you survive it. For abusers, I hope someone figures out how to force you to feel every single bit of pain you’ve inflicted on your children, I hope you fucking scream yourself to death from pain you’ve caused.

shoutout to ppl with unconventional trauma

who lived through tense situations where they were terrified, who’s fear was programmed into them by the people around them, who were mistreated, lied to, and manipulated, who lived in environments that made them feel unsafe, who had their food, safety, and support system messed with, who were overexposed to an unsafe world, who’s trauma was the result of other disorders.

your trauma is valid, even if you were never hit or assaulted. even if people deny you went through emotional abuse. even if you feel you have no place in the trauma recovery community because no one is like you. you matter.

“What is Dissociation?”s

I was prompt to make this after answering at least 10 asks about this. During my latest ask about it, I found myself really thinking more about posting it because I was so inspired.
I dedicate much of my blog and much of my study as a psychology student to awareness and advocating for mental health, so I was driven to post this.

However, I also made this post because I see stuff like this around tumblr and social media:
”Omggggg I dissociated soooo baddddd todayyyyyy I was in school and didn’t payy attention!!!!”
”I zoned outttttt! I am so symptomatic!”

Ok let’s stop. There’s all these people who read about it on google and tumblr, then run around acting like they’re “sooooooo symptomaticcc!” and so many people think they have what they read. It’s quite insulting and mocking of the struggle.

Dissociation is a general and broad term referring to a lack of and disconnection from reality. It’s a psychological defense mechanism.
Dissociation is not to be confused with psychosis/psychotic symptoms, which is a loss of reality (rather than a lack of reality) in which symptoms outside of reality occur (hallucinations, delusions, etc).

The concept of dissociation in psychology is very broad and very complex. It is based on a spectrum– it can be anything from nonpathological dissociation (”normal” dissociation; not relating to and not caused by a disorder, such as daydreaming and zoning out), to pathological dissociation as a symptom, to dissociation as a disorder in itself.

So while daydreaming and zoning out is a form of dissociation, there is a difference between this nonpathological dissociation, pathological dissociation as a symptom, and dissociation as a disorder in itself.

Compared to symptomatic pathological dissociation, daydreaming, zoning out, among other states, is a nonpathological dissociation. This psychological response is typically minor. Examples of this include daydreaming and kind of zoning out in a convo, dissociating while driving for long distances, and zoning out while watching a movie or reading a book.

Nonpathological dissociation can occur for various reasons, whether it’s a psychological defense mechanism to boredom, fatigue, a lack of stimulation, if someone has a lot on their mind, to disconnect from stress/anxiety, etc.

Now, just because it is common and nonpathological doesn’t mean it can’t be problematic. We can all agree dissociating while driving or when stressed in certain circumstances can be very problematic. There are still grounding techniques to manage this issue.

Technically, as you can see, we all dissociate. Sometimes, every day!

On the other hand, pathological dissociation means it is dissociation relative to and caused by a disorder. This symptomatic dissociation: disrupts one’s life, continues despite efforts to stop it, is autonomous, intrusive, typically very unsettling and startling, and is more chronic.

Symptomatic pathological dissociation usually occurs in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Related Disorders (PTSD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

I want to mention that periods of dissociation may clearly happen more often in disorders like Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders. In those mental illnesses, it’s not on the criteria, nor is it typically as severe. It is not a main hallmark symptom like it is for PTSD and BPD, in which it is on the main symptom criteria. Naturally, as stress/anxiety may be a trigger for even nonpathological dissociation, it would make sense to see that if someone has a disorder that causes stress, anxiety, and depression, it may occur more often and more severe than it would for someone without those disorders! While it’s not on the criteria or a main severe symptom, that doesn’t mean there’s no struggle and need to handle it and put it under control through grounding and therapeutic techniques and skills.


Symptomatic dissociation in PTSD and BPD is a psychological defense mechanism that is to a severe extent where it starts to affect multiple areas of one’s life, has various symptoms attached to it, and occurs typically because of triggers. One can almost view it as the fight/flight system “freezing” in response to stimuli or an altered state of consciousness.
Dissociation occurs in these disorders to lessen and fend off the emotional reaction, memory, perception, or occurrence, and defend itself by “blocking it out” and disconnecting from it.
For example, with PTSD, it may be in response to a traumatic trigger or reminder. In BPD, it may occur in response to reactive anger and impulsiveness or a distorted perception.

Due to the nervous system “blocking out,” a series of symptoms occur that cause one to feel detached, disconnected, and separated from themselves, the things around them, and reality.
Overall symptoms include:

  • -Fuzzy/foggy and disconnected vision, hearing, and other senses
  • -Double vision
  • -Difficulty making out objects (smaller/bigger than what they are, distorted, etc)
  • -Fatigue or a heavy feeling
  • -Feeling empty and detached
  • -Feeling as if one is floating or in a dream
  • -Feeling as if one is watching themselves from outside their body
  • -Feeling as if their body does not belong to them
  • -A deja vu feeling
  • -May not have trouble with memory (complete lapses or difficulty remembering what happened during the dissociation)
  • -Headaches
  • -Dizziness
  • -Freezing (note it’s not to mean completely frozen. It’s referring to limited movement, a lack of responses, such as someone just standing there not doing much, sitting there, seemingly daydreaming at times).
  • And more


It’s NOT just experiencing one or two of some of these symptoms, either. Someone isn’t symptomatic because they’ll feel deja vu at times or moments in which they may experience one or two of those reactions. Additionally, sometimes nonpathological dissociation may also be worse at times than others during times of fatigue or stress, but it doesn’t automatically make it pathological. Psychological reactions like that would be on the verge of nonpathological dissociation because as you can see, there’s a few overlaps, and it’s a spectrum.
Some of this logic also wouldn’t make sense. If someone was only experiencing dizziness or a headache and nothing else, that’s clearly not dissociation. That’s a headache. I write this because people tend to think they’re symptomatic when they experience some of these responses that can be part of nonpathological dissociation to a certain degree. Pathological dissociation, as mentioned, is disruptive to life, autonomous, typically a trigger, etc.,

Dissociative reactions can be more acute (i.e., dissociating/blocking out in response to an immediate trigger, distortions, etc.) or more chronic, such as if dissociative feelings (i.e. disconnected, floating, etc.) remain for periods of time. Notice how some of the symptoms listed there wouldn’t necessarily last as a chronic dissociation– someone wouldn’t chronically “freeze,” for example.

Additional signs/symptoms of dissociation that typically occur in chronic instances throughout one’s day, may include:

  • -Talking in a monotone, quiet, slow, or dull manner
  • -Talking in a manner that may not make sense or seem disorganized
  • -Seeming very “off” and short attention span for a period of time
  • -Doing things and not remembering
  • -Having brief memory disturbance and lapses throughout their day, etc.


When it comes to dissociation as a separate mental disorder in itself, it occurs with its own set of symptoms/criteria to a severe extent and unique pattern, rather than a symptom of another mental disorder. Dissociative disorders are defined by affecting perception, feelings, identity, and awareness.

Very briefly, this would include:

  1.  Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder): Typically caused be severe trauma or sexual abuse, this is when the individual dissociates as a result of a defense mechanism from the trauma, and there is an alter identity/personality during those dissociative states. Their memory during these states is impaired and they may or may not be aware of the alters. The presentation of the alter differs per individual– there may be extreme changes of behavior, voice, appearance, and name, or it may be less obvious, remain hidden, etc.
    The individual has gone through so much severe trauma, that the dissociative states have an alter to take over during these stressful states and triggers to preserve and protect the self– They switch between their alter(s) and themselves.

  2. Dissociative Amnesia: Due to trauma, the individual loses memory– may forget who they are, where they are, what happened.

  3.  Dissociative fugue: Amnesia of the identity, such as perception, memory, and personality. Includes a sudden change in who they are, which then includes wandering or traveling to places, unplanned, a make-up of a new identity, etc.

  4. Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder: There are two parts of dissociation. Depersonalization (dissociation of the self) and delrealization (dissociation of surroundings). This is when someone persistently dissociates and is aware it is a feeling and not really occuring, and it is a condition in itself and not a result of another condition like BPD and PTSD.

  5. Dissociative disorder otherwise specified/unspecified


Notice how nonpathological dissociation occurs typically as a disconnection from immediate surroundings from boredom, stress, etc., and symptomatic pathological dissociation goes deeper into disconnecting from the identity, emotional experience, perception, and awareness.
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