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Dear Joel,

I don’t have complex PTSD so I can’t fully empathize with your situation but as an alternative mental health therapist I have successfully helped clients for whom normally unpleasant situations felt comfortable because in early life they had learned to cope with similarly difficult upbringing.

I call it “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t” phenomena.

If you grew up with cruel people, that’s what’s real. Meeting a kind person later in life then seems unreal, not to be trusted. You don’t know how to respond to such a person.

Trauma, complex or simple can be cured (a forbidden word in the psychiatric community). One of my most severely traumatized clients (one of her symptoms was having blackouts and finding herself at the other end of the country with no idea how she got there) was free of her symptoms after a year of weekly sessions.

PTSD is entirely resolvable. It has been for fifty years only the mainstream refuses to acknowledge that such therapies exist.

Good luck,