This is my first entry on this impressive website. My 40-year-old daughter was diagnosed 8 years ago with PTSD after being badly beaten by the man she loved. She quickly lost trust in medical doctors and counselors, and has been trying to recover on her own. She has made good progress in managing her fears, and she has been living in her own apartment for the past 3 years. She has received full government support for the past 8 years, and she has recently begun making herself physically stronger so she can again work as a waitress. She refuses to take medication or to see a counselor for the rather serious depression she seems to have been experiencing fairly regularly the past 8 years. Her intense negativity is often targeted at me. She accuses me of doing things I haven't done, and she won't believe my statements of innocence. Her anger usually escalates into verbally raging toward me either in person or on the phone sometimes for 6 hours, with 15-30 minute resting breaks between ragings. She sometimes becomes surprisingly illogical during the ragings, and she thoroughly hates it when I pinpoint the lack of logic with statements of fact that she knows are true. When she calms down, she apologizes for becoming so angry and for the past 8 years I have always told her I forgive her. Something inside of me lately has been becoming very weary and kind of disgusted with her ongoing reruns of being verbally attacked so unfairly. So I recently began telling her I am no longer willing to continue being part of that negative pattern with her, and that I will hang up if she continues. When she continues the unfairness, which is often, I state I am hanging up and I do so. She always calls back 2 or 3 times to continue her tirade, and I often tell her I am hanging up and I do so. My most recent effort to exit this negative pattern has been to tell her I will not speak with her for an entire week if she continues the tirade. When she continues the tirade, I tell her I will not speak with her for a week and that I am hanging up and I do so. My 3 refusals (so far) to speak with her for a week seemed to be making some progress toward developing a new level of peace between us. Or maybe it just created a false peace because she wanted to have some kind of relationship with me. All I know for sure is that her intense verbal attacks toward me have begun again the past 2 weeks, and I'm wondering if there's a better way for me to exit the negative pattern she is encouraging between us. Any ideas? Any advice? Perhaps this is seasonal affect disorder combined with PTSD? Or something else I'm not recognizing? New perceptions / strategies offered for my consideration would be sincerely appreciated.
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