The Painful Secret Many People Live With: The Fatal Flaw

secret fatal flaw

Legions of good people live through decades of their lives harboring a painful secret. They guard it as if their life depends on it, not realizing it’s not even real.

It’s a secret that is buried deep inside them, surrounded and protected by a shield of shame. A secret that harms no one, but does great damage to themselves. A secret with immense power and endurance.

It’s their Fatal Flaw.

A Fatal Flaw is a deep-seated, entrenched feeling/belief that you are somehow different from other people; that something is wrong with you.

Your Fatal Flaw resides beneath the surface of your conscious mind. Outside of your awareness, it drives you to do things you don’t want to do and it also stops you from doing things you should do.

Rooted in your childhood, it’s like a weed. Over time it grows. Bit by bit, drop by drop, it quietly, invisibly erodes away your happiness and well-being. All the while you are unaware.

The power of your Fatal Flaw comes partially from the fact that it is unknown to you. You have likely never purposely put yours into words in your own mind. But if you listen, from time to time you may hear yourself expressing your Fatal Flaw internally to yourself or out loud to someone else.

I’m not as fun as other people.

I don’t have anything interesting to say.

When people get to know me they don’t like me.

I know that I’m not attractive.

No one wants to hear what I have to say.

I’m not worthy.

I’m not lovable.

Your Fatal Flaw could be anything. And your Fatal Flaw is unique to you.

Where did your Fatal Flaw come from, and why do you have it? Its seed was planted by some messages your family conveyed to you, most likely in invisible and unspoken ways.

The Flaw                                                             The Roots

I’m not as fun as other people. Your parents seldom seemed to want to be with you very much.
I don’t have anything interesting to say. Your parents didn’t really listen when you talked.
If people get to know me they won’t like me. You were ignored or rejected as a child by someone who was supposed to love you.
I’m not attractive. As a child, you were not treated as attractive by the people who matter – your family.
No one wants to hear what I have to say. You were seldom asked questions or encouraged to express yourself in your childhood home.
I’m not lovable. As a child, you did not feel deeply seen, known, and loved for who you truly are.

The Good News

Yes, there is some good news. Your Fatal Flaw is a belief, not a fact. A fact cannot be changed, but a belief most certainly can.

How to Defeat Your Fatal Flaw

  1. Recognize that you have it and that it’s not a real flaw. It’s just a belief/feeling.
  2. Find the words to express your own unique version of “something is wrong with me.”
  3. Identify its specific cause in your childhood. What happened, or didn’t happen, in your childhood to plant the seeds of your fatal flaw?
  4. Share your Fatal Flaw with another person; your spouse, a trusted friend, a family member, or a therapist. Describe your belief, and talk about it. 
  5. Watch for evidence that contradicts your Fatal Flaw. I assure you it has been there all along. But you have been blinded to it by your Fatal Flaw.
  6. Track your Fatal Flaw. Pay attention, and take note of when it “speaks” to you.
  7. Start talking back to your Fatal Flaw.

I am fun to be with. I am interesting. People like me more as they get to know me. I am attractive, and I have important things to say. I am just as lovable as anyone else.

Your Fatal Flaw is actually neither fatal nor a flaw. It’s not even real.

It’s powered only by your supercharged belief that it is both.

To learn much more about Fatal Flaws, how they happen, and how to defeat yours, see the book, Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect.

A version of this article was originally published on and has been republished here with the permission of the author.


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BraveHeart - November 8, 2020 Reply

Is it only concern about what others think of you? They are really not important at all. Many times people see things that others do not…doesn’t make them any less human or frail does it? So, if you are “one of them” who sees things that others do not? It’s not your failure, but it may be their problem as well. When one is clear on what one needs, there should be no fear of others…for you just may find they are much the same as you….LOST for a period of time? And when somebody puts on airs, so to speak, well here’s a good suggestion for you…..they look ridiculous sitting on a toilet seat….and people who wear pants….put on those pants…one pant leg at a time. Don’t believe all lives are better than yours…it’s rather like looking over a neighbor’s fence and thinking the grass is much greener on his side of the fence?

Nathaniel - November 6, 2020 Reply

thanks so much for the research and the passion to develop such a study. I picked up the book, Running on Empty. it has open my eyes to so much within me.
thanks Nat

Lisa - October 26, 2020 Reply

Hi Dr. Jonice,

I finally began going through my email and due to my state of despondency ( I am referring to the list of 58 words), I am encouraged to continue reading your book, “Running On Empty”, which I had started over the Summer and stopped for no apparent reason. I think it was due to one of those “Start but don’t complete” reasons, that plague we survivors of CEN. Thank You for the work that you are doing. Thank you for giving me validation to those issues and feelings that I have been experiencing and not been able to express or put into words. I thank my Therapist for recognizing my CEN and referring me to your book!

Deborah - October 26, 2020 Reply

Thank God for you Dr. Webb. You have put a name to everything I have struggled with my entire life. Every single symptom you describe here is me. It is comforting to know I am not the only one with these feelings, but it doesn’t change them.

    Jonice - October 26, 2020 Reply

    No, it doesn’t change your feelings to understand what’s wrong. Only you can do that. I encourage you to start healing your CEN. You can learn a lot about that process in my blogs and books. All my best to you, Deborah.

ADRIENNE - October 20, 2020 Reply

Bang on!!
Thank you!

Michael Stephen Porter - October 19, 2020 Reply

OMG, this very thing happened to me today. I was walking my dog at the park and no one else was there. I actually like that, because I like the solitude at the park. As soon as I saw a car pull in I felt anger, resentment, insecurity. And this is all because of the thought I might have to have an interaction with them. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
“Why do I automatically go to the place that there is something wrong with me? Feeling that feeling of less than?” Insecurity ran through me like a river.
Im still learning how to work through these feelings of somehow, some way Im a way different then other human beings. That I am somehow not on equal footing.
It is so frustrating at times. And I also feel there are people in this world that can sense this feeling inside of me and if Im not careful, they will surely take advantage of me on some level.

Tim - October 19, 2020 Reply

Dear Dr Webb. The concept of the fatal flaw is thought provoking. It has made me wonder about my own flaw that has dogged me all my life. I was born with a congenital deformity, for which I had a huge amount of surgery throughout my childhood. T left me knowing I am defective. After all a deformity is a fact, not a belief, right?

But your article has left me wondering if my fatal flaw is really the physical deformity, or my perceptions and interpretations of the treatments, intended to correct it? I don’t think I’ve explained that very well, but I wonder if you get the gist what I am trying to make sense of?

    Summer - October 21, 2020 Reply

    This sounds all-too-familiar to me…my son’s father, also named Tim, has a physical deformity from a birth defect as well. He has openly admitted to using it (the deformity) as what he calls a “crutch”, and as an excuse/reason as to why he’s so insecure. Numerous surgeries have helped his appearance but he thinks about “what makes him different” all the time, and always has. He’s 53.
    With all that said, I’m trying to understand exactly what you’re saying in your comment regarding your quite similar situation; if you have time and are willing, would you be so kind as to try to explain a bit further?
    As someone who has a “family” member with such similarities, I’d love to know how to “deal” with him at times…maybe further education and another’s perspective on a similar issue will help us to get along and co-parent in a healthier manner, for the sake our 5 yr old son? Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions that could help me understand his point of view, and explain why he does and says the things he does, would be greatly appreciated.
    Brightest blessings.
    Greatest of luck in your healing journey.

Tammy - October 19, 2020 Reply

Have all of them. I have done so much work and am so much better, but when a trigger hits I can still be brought to my knees and it feels like no progress has been made.

Mutahi - October 19, 2020 Reply

Dear Dr,

Am a product of CEN. I’ve never been appreciated or allwed to express myself. I was brought up in foster home(of a relative) and the only value they had for me was to work, choes, serve, repeat.
Sometimes i wonder how i’ll get to know what really happened to me in childhood. I feel like a child and am attracted to ladies far much younger than me. I admire the youthful lifestyle and am unable to relate with people of my age(am 52!!). Hence my progress in life has been too slow because i keep to myself and when i have company it’s with very young people. There is too much i can say but…
How do i deal with this?

Diggydiggyhole - October 19, 2020 Reply

So, I’ve seen a lot of the previous comments talk about diet and excercise as a cure. I grew up on a farm, in a household that raised our own cattle, chickens, fruit and vegetables. The fertiliser used was blood and bone, manure and compost. We ground our own flour to make bread, we walked or ran everyday to and from the bus stop 2km away. Needless to say we ate VERY healthily and practically organic. The cleaners we used consisted of vinegar, bicarb-soda and elbow grease. We spent a lot of time outdoors, and were all fairly to very fit. My family is and was toxic. My mother and father grew up the same way and they have issues. My father and two of my siblings are autistic, one of which has cPTSD from boarding school the other gets panic attacks from living at home. My mother has cPTSD/a hyperactive amygdala, my other two siblings are or were depressed, one of which was suicidal the other had anxiety. Does a healthy lifestyle assist in healing? Probably. Is it the be all and end all? No. Stop trying to sell it as such, it’s triggering as hell. There is so much more that goes into making a happy person and family. I had allergies as a kid, no way my Mum would let ‘chemicals’ anywhere near me. She’d lord it over me too, even after I’d grown out of them. Focussing too much on diet can cause so many problems, anorexia, bulimia, etc. Self-care is something a lot of people with cPTSD and therefore, I’d assume, a large portion of those with CEN, struggle with. Have you eaten today? Is often more valid than, are eating three cups of organic vegetables and meat? Don’t forget to drink eight cups of water and don’t eat that, it’s got too many calories, and the million and one things that bombard anyone who tries to eat healthy. You want to know the healthiest diet? The Wahls diet. Tell me how many so called food gurus actually follow it? Get off your high horse. Not everyone can afford to eat organic food. And sometimes the stress of making food is just too much. And that’s okay. Try to eat well most of the time, and get some rest.

LES - October 18, 2020 Reply

I have read and enjoyed your book and the awakening.i have shared with my wife and she with me! As far as i am able i feel,sometimes more. I have a life threatening condition,but because i am asymtomatic,i am not offered an op.My CEN seems to affect me so i am almost unable to feel the gravity of the situation.It is serious,”so what” is my take on it.I reasure my with that it will all be okay,but “it will be what it will be” I feel numb almost, not afraid,not unduly worried! I know i should feel more but!! Good or bad it is what it is! Les

Taza - October 18, 2020 Reply

I cried when I read this. Regardless of how much progress I have made (and believe you me, it’s a LOT, thanks in large part to YOU!), I still shoot myself in the foot when it comes to allowing myself to have and enjoy the creature comforts that so many of my friends take for granted.
I continue to hold out hope for greater healing as I continue to challenge the deeply buried inaccuracies planted during my upbringing.
Thank you, Dr. Webb.

    Jonice - October 19, 2020 Reply

    Keep doing the work, Taza. It will pay off.

Lise-Marie - October 18, 2020 Reply

Hello. I wanted to comment and share my fatal flaw. I think it is actually two. One (you mentioned here) is being unattractive. I believe with my whole being I am fat and ugly and nothing is going to make me believe otherwise. The other is I am different. And I am. Not necessarily in a bad way. I am 99% sure it comes from not only emotional neglect but also being sexually abused from age 8-13. I am working on all this with a great therapist (the abuse) but am not sure the ugly issue “fatal flaw” will ever go away.

    Jonice - October 19, 2020 Reply

    Dear Lise-Marie, I am sure what you are struggling with must be related to being abused and neglected. Just be sure you are kind to yourself now. Make a list of all the things about you that are likable and lovable. Fatal Flaws may never go completely away but you can take away its power.

      Lise-Marie - October 24, 2020 Reply

      thank you for replying ! i have read and reread your book and enjoy every reading.

Erik - October 18, 2020 Reply

This is why I’m hesitant to get into another relationship. As much as I continue to learn and understand myself, and as conscientious as I am, I still feel I have a fundamental flaw, like tools missing from a toolbox, and wouldn’t be able to meet a woman’s emotional needs.

I know I’ve got a lot to give and I’m the best me I’ve ever been, but I’m still a bit stuck. I wish there were CEN dating resources. I think a CEN woman would get me.

    Jonice - October 18, 2020 Reply

    Dear Erik, you don’t have to be perfect to date. A willingness to look at yourself and grow are the key ingredients. If you have those, then you don’t have to find a CEN woman, just a woman you like who likes you back.

Richard - October 18, 2020 Reply

Thank you for this really useful article Dr Webb. One thing I would say is that I have spent my life feeling rather peculiar – and somehow I thought this made me different from most people and if they knew what I felt like they would view me with disgust. However I now think it really isn’t that peculiar to feel peculiar. It is part of the very complex condition of being a human being. And what i say (even though I am not a believer) is thank God we are all as messy and peculiar as we are. Apart from anything else it makes life a lot more valuable and interesting.

Debbie - October 18, 2020 Reply

Dr, every time I read something from you it hits the core of me and I am amazed and surprised and whole bunch of other feelings I don’t know. I can’t take the time to understand it all right now but at least I know that this exists for other people and that you and hopefully other doctors understand it. Your articles hits home, they hit my heart, and hit my gut. I’m truly amazed that the way I feel isn’t just me. Thank you for bringing awareness. I hope to find time to work on myself.

Mary - October 18, 2020 Reply

Thank you Jonice for the education. I hope many more can benefit from it by reading your book and receiving emails. Although I wish I had found it earlier than two thirds through my life, I am able to realise how wrong my parents were. “Why can’t you be more like C?” from one parent, and “I don’t know where you were got” from the other. The middle child I was often introduced as ‘ the rebel’ and others such as The Prodigal. My father always spoke of my older sister as the Bright One in the family, altho she was downgraded to the ‘ B’ class at the private school they scraped to afford. She got poor marks at graduation, and scraped into a low entry college. I never understood their favouritism, but studied at public high school and got good results and a place at the best hospital in the country to study my profession. When I shared the results with Dad, who was in hospital at the time, all he said was He wasn’t feeling well, and we talked about other things. Some examples of the harsh discipline: I was grounded for six weeks for wearing eye shadow. I was grounded for six months for walking along the street with a boy, who had asked me for a date, by letter. The answer was No at age 15, and was told maybe at 16. When I was 16, it was No again, altho Sis was riding around town secretly on a motorbike and smoking. I was a director at age 29, and had successive good jobs after. At age 23 I left the country and made a new life because I was still a rebel, and was becoming more confident. There was another sibling, another Golden Child too. One parent favoured one, and the other parent favoured the other. I had two children and thanks to childrearing books of the day, was able to treat both with love and fairness, not wanting to repeat the upbringing I had. I did not hold it against my parents but when visiting friends homes, I used to think they were putting in a show. Gradually I realised we were different, and that most parents were proud of their children when they were achievers. It did affect my own view of myself, despite thinking and knowing their attitude was wrong, but life is unfair at times and you have to stumble on and keep trying. I had good teachers, who made me feel encouraged, although I still fear failure at many things and endeavours. The tool kit is so helpful, when looking back and seeing the successes. I know many have had a much more challenging life, with more severe and varying types of abuse, so I hope they can find this info and look at themselves and have courage . The tools here to overcome those thought are excellent, and I thank you gratefully for making this available to all.

GWOR - October 18, 2020 Reply

Hi Dr. Jonice :
Anyone who has had a childhood from “ hell” in the end really wants first a validation of self and then a balance validation from others .

For some reason it seems many want it from others before beginning this journey to seek their approval first to get the self validated .
Does not work! It is a Narcissist’s Picnic.

Until one says ,” that’s it” stands back out of the polluting fog of others then when a speck of light is seen and surprisingly if one is open to the self to let it in and it happens there is clarity even a drop of water is better than a gallon to swamp one under to see and feel a new vision and direction.There is hope.

The downside is the other usually says, “ I liked you the other way before” and bam, bam knocked down again.

As the Chevy commercial says “ Find new roads “ and to get clarity one has to find their own new road(s) first for the self .
Looking and waiting for others to get validation is like waiting for the streetcar that never comes realizing the tracks were removed long ago going nowhere .
Find new roads your road to your self validation and what the rest do is what they do everyday look after themselves first before you, which brings us back to where we began because you will continually run in others circles waiting for another’s validation and usually you end up in a dead end with no way to turn around or back out as they carry on telling others that guy has psychological problems .

Give me a break and a brake to know the difference to work on the self first and yes seek help to get a sense of direction and sometimes it may be one little thing in childhood that blinds our vision to light to see a new road ahead for the self.

Exoticbird - October 18, 2020 Reply

Make it your priority to focus on healing, weather it is psychological or biological, stay focus on healing. Remember the shortest quote from Winston Churchill “never ever give up”

Weena - October 18, 2020 Reply

You call it a “Fatal Flaw.”
For years I have had my own term: The Curse.
I am cursed.
I have even considered visiting a psychic to try to get it lifted! Sad and funny to consider my sense of personal doom is actually just a predictable outcome of what you describe as CEN.
I grew up in a very intellectual, brilliant family completely devoid of emotional recognition; my children are among a total of 12 grandchildren and they confidently describe some of their cousins as being clearly “on the spectrum.” Their blunt-spoken perspective has aided me in re-examining my own roots. I now firmly believe my family carries an autism-like trait–which I do not, however, share. I was always the “basket case” in the family and “getting in trouble” for showing my emotions. Tears were walked away from. Crying was sure to get you isolated. I was left alone with my pain, lacking words to describe how I felt, and not allowed to share either the words or the feelings.
Now, after reading the CEN information, I am patting myself on the back for preserving, to some extent, my emotional normalness. I am working to cultivate it now in midlife as a gift and a boon rather than as something to suppress and be ashamed of–as I was taught in my family’s culture.
I have had some terrible, tragic experiences in my life and when I have tried, even recently, to “debrief” about these with my mother, and have started to feel teary-eyed while talking w/ her on the phone, she briskly says, “Well, I guess I need to be going, and so do you.”
When the going gets emotional, she vanishes.
My mother was never a hugger, was not the mom to wipe away tears and comfort us. It was always “Oh, for heaven’s sake, grow up.”
We did. Into extraordinary loneliness.
Now I’m trying to remember the soft, emotional child I started out as. It’s kind of fun. I like me better this way.
But I am still cursed, and the structure of my life reflects that.
Well…. progress is progress.
Maybe I WILL go see a psychic!

    Jonice - October 18, 2020 Reply

    Dear Weena, you are not cursed at all. There is no such thing! Work your way inward and reclaim your emotional child. She’s there waiting for you, sending you messages every day in the form of feelings. You can do this.

    Amber - October 26, 2020 Reply

    Hi Weena, your story really resonated with me and I just wanted to share mine in solidarity.
    Like you, I believe that there is an autism-like trait in my family that I do not share, although in my case it’s only my father that has this trait while my mother is a product of an emotionally-neglected childhood as well.
    Growing up I sensed that my dad was different than all my friends’ parents somehow but I couldn’t really explain it other than he was “weird.” But I did notice that my mom was not close to me and that my girlfriends talked with their moms about stuff like boys, friendships, school, while my mom just never seemed interested in my life. I recall thinking even as a kid that my dad often behaved more childishly than any of us kids, and I gave up at a very young age seeing him as someone I could talk to about my problems. Meanwhile my mom had/has this old school attitude of “a wife always takes her husband’s side” even over the needs of her own children, even when he’s acting reckless, selfish, immature, etc. This translated into my teenage years filled with daily screaming matches at home between my dad and me as I rebelled against his childish behaviors, even as I wasn’t mature myself. The fights always ended with me isolating in my room to calm myself down, while my mother soothed my father’s feelings. Making matters worse, we lived in a very small house with thin walls so I always overheard my parents’ conversations where I would be painted as a villain, with my mom consoling my dad after having suffered my “mistreatment.” My mom never defended me or consoled me. Seeing me in tears or extremely upset elicited a cold reaction and I would be told to go to my room until I could “act normal” again. I can recall a specific instance as a teen when my dad got behind the wheel to drive us all the 45 minute drive home when he clearly had too much to drink, my mom weakly suggesting that she drive only to acquiesce quickly to my father’s insistence that he drive, me calling it out, my dad getting really angry at me, my mom basically telling me to shut my mouth, and my siblings silently hearing the whole thing play out. The memory stands out because it was a clear instance where I *knew* I was in the right but was completely invalidated and alone; but there were many other similar scenarios that happened routinely.
    My parents weren’t/aren’t horrible people and I knew that they did/do love me and my 3 brothers, but there was always something missing and it took until my late 30s to figure it out. I left home as soon as I could and ran from one bad relationship to the next, all while struggling to find a career path with no guidance, role models, or mentors along the way. When I told my mom that I was separating from my 2nd husband and moving out to start a grad school program, her response was a long pause, then she said “Ok Amber, I need time to process this.” The inadequacy of her response became crystal clear when I also told my part-time boss that I was leaving my husband, and his response was “I’m don’t mean to pry, but I just want to make sure that you are safe, and let me know if you need help.” Compare my boss’ reaction to my mom’s and do the math- yeah, zero support from my family (me starting grad school didn’t even register on their radar). Fast forward a few years and I finally have found a good and supportive partner (who also struggles with CEN, but we’re both working healing). The first time he spent time with my dad, he summed it up like this: you’re family is great, but I’m pretty sure your dad is on the spectrum. Bam! It was like a light bulb went on over my head. His simple analysis suddenly made all the childhood and teenage memories click into place and make sense! That realization, plus my learning of CEN through Dr.Jonice, have illuminated the dark areas of my life in ways that years of therapy and anti-depression prescriptions from various counsellors and doctors never seemed to quite help.
    My “fatal flaw” is still inside me, but I’m aware of it and much more empowered now. Out of all 4 of us, I think I’ve fared the best out of my siblings- I finished school and landed a career that at least doesn’t make me miserable and affords me financial stability (even if it’s not my heart’s true calling), and I have a wonderful partner who truly knows and loves me. My elder brother is in his late 40s, has never had a successful relationship, has an unsatisfying meager job, and has moved back in with my parents; my youngest brother has never been independent, still lives with my parents, has had various trouble with the law for dumb shit like shoplifting, and I suspect is also on the spectrum himself. The other middle child, my brother who is closest in age to me is independent and has a career that he loves, but hasn’t been able to find a loving relationship which he desires more than anything at this point, despite being attractive, kind, generous, and a fun guy. I feel bad for him, and my other brothers, and my mom, and even my dad too- I wish I could help all of them to heal from the pattern and legacy of CEN in our family. God give us all strength and compassion towards ourselves, and each other. I hope sharing my story has helped you feel a little less alone on your journey as well.

ladybugrules - November 3, 2016 Reply

I forgot to mention that yes Diabetes can be cured,along with cancer etc,I’ve seen it happen,it’s all about diet, lifestyle, and attitude,but as long as someone is willing to keep eating garbage food and drink alcohol they will stay ill.It’s no different with emotional issues,they can be cured.So please,anyone out there that thinks they are stuck with whatever is holding you back,BELIEVE,it works,yes it takes time and work,but no one should give up.My DR.s actually told me there was no cure for some of my issues,and I proved them wrong

JayRo - November 2, 2016 Reply

I read this article with real interest. I feel like everything that was listed is me!! I know I am not the ugliest or the stupidest or any of the other fatal flaws but I am full of self doubt. I read the reasons for these feelings and am in total agreement. Many are related to family but I guess it’s my reaction to what they did or did not do that is the important part. There were times when I blamed my parents but now that they have both passed, I am more forgiving. I just wish that we had talked about how I felt and what they did or didn’t do. I am not blaming just accepting what can’t be changed.

SD30 - November 2, 2016 Reply

A belief may be able to be changed, but our beliefs should be based in truth. I AM different. Grossly different.
And I am keenly aware of what my fatal flawS are. They aren’t subconscious. It isn’t a lie. It wasn’t because somebody told me I wasn’t good enough. It’s because I have Complex PTSD because of an entire childhood filled with abuse. Having C-PTSD means that I have a condition, which has no ‘cure’, which I will carry with me for the rest of my life. People w C-PTSD see the world differently. We think differently. We feel differently. We sense differently. We ARE different.
I don’t mean to sound discouraging or negative but it is true. I tried most of my life to ‘believe’ something else.
Instead, it is a truth that I must come to accept and then work on my issues the best I can to improve.

    ladybugrules - November 2, 2016 Reply

    If you had an abusive childhood,that is the same as someone telling you your not good enough.Whoever was abusing you was showing you what they thought you were good for.I also suffer with C-ptsd,and yes,it can be cured,it takes time and good diet,getting rid of the chemicals used in your house and your personnel products.Diet and good supplements go a long way in healing your body.If it doesnt get the fuel it needs,then it cant cope with whatever we are going thru.Good luck,I hope you find your peace

      SD30 - November 2, 2016 Reply

      Of course there is that inherent message in abuse. You’re correct. However I usually can combat those messages as false and no longer absorb them (internalize) them as I used to. The fatal flaw I speak of is not the abuse itself or a belief anymore than I was worth no more, it is simply what it has made me. The person I am and the problems I have.
      I use Shaklee….so no chemicals in my home. (Except wine. Lots and lots of wine). And I do detoxes. Sorry but you cannot reverse what is wrong with me through food or oils or candles or yoga or long baths or chanting or….whatever other pixie dust there is. And no….it cannot be “cured”. There CAN be healing, yes. I CAN improve. But it takes hard, hard work and grueling hours of therapy to have even gotten me this far. There are, of course, various manifestations in C-PTSD. It will look different in different people and what works for one may not work for another. You cannot blanket statement. All I can say is if you had PTSD and you no longer have it at all….well, then it wasn’t C-PTSD. Saying it can be “cured” gives people false hope and itself is contradictory to the condition.
      Can you “cure” an amputated limb? Ok….well that’s my kind of C-PTSD, dissociation, MDD, SI and SA all thrown in. If I eat nothing but a salad for a year….I will still have C-PTSD.

        ladybugrules - November 2, 2016 Reply

        You know,at first I wasn’t going to respond to your comment,because I completely agree with you in the fact that you will never be healed.No one can be healed with such a sad negative outlook in life.But to say that no one can be healed is not true in my opinion.Attitude goes a long way in healing and it’s pretty plain to see that yours isn’t very positive,I’m sorry for that and for you.But please dont assume that because you cant heal,that others wont either.That is for each person to decide on their own.I was emotionally,physically,and sexually abused as a child,almost killed several times,so please dont assume you anything about me and any conditions I may have dealt with,or are dealing with.Good luck with your life

          SD30 - November 3, 2016 Reply

          First, I never said that no one can heal. In fact, I said that yes, there CAN be healing. I myself am proof as I am a long way from where I was 5 years ago. I have in no way ‘stayed’ where I was. I have a beautiful family, loving husband and kids….and a really patient therapist.
          Second, my outlook is not one of negativity or a bad ‘attitude’, it is simply one of acceptance and realistic expectation. I have had to work really hard on the grieving process over letting go of this idealistic hope that if I just try and work hard enough, shove everything down and repress it, then I can be somebody that wasn’t touched or effected by this abuse. That I could make a whole new person and just erase myself and say “I’m over it”. Expecting that I could be cured, to a place where someday I would just never have another flashback, never get triggered again, have another panic attack, never need anything again, etc….that was an unrealistic expectation that I wasted a lot of years pretending was true. You cannot choose to not have CPTSD any more than you can choose to not have diabetes. But you most certainly can treat it and manage it and improve your quality of life.
          No, I know nothing about you, except that you were the kne who responded to my comments and did so in such a way that felt as though you were oversimplifying and minimizing my issues. Sorry if I became defensive. I do that with anyone who says things like ‘take a long walk’, ‘read for a while’, ‘oh these oils will help’!, ‘have you tried breathing’?, just eat well and exercise’, etc. It isn’t that simple, was my point.
          There must be a balance between hope and healing, and acceptance. It is ineffective to either minimize OR catastrophize. Finally, I wish you well also and adieu.

          ladybugrules - November 3, 2016 Reply

          you need to reread your last post when you said there is no cure.I just read it again to be sure of what I read,and yes,you said there is no cure

          SD30 - November 3, 2016 Reply

          You are still not seeing or getting the difference between healing and a full cure. I have said a few times now that I believe in the former, but that the latter is not realistic for a large majority of people w C-PTSD. I’m so glad for you that you were a miraculous exception. Now….I will be done with this as apparently neither of us are getting anywhere and therefore it’s wasted energy….and I need to be conservative with mine and use it for something productive.
          I’m out. You can have the last word.

          ladybugrules - November 3, 2016 Reply

          and I will,because I want everyone to understand that they dont have to believe what others say,it doesn’t matter if it is your DR.,your friends and family,or even someone who hasn’t been healed.This isn’t just a comment to this person,it’s for everyone reading these comments.I dont care if she reads it or not.It’s very important for people to understand that you can think out side of the box and find new ways to heal.Maybe they wont all work for everyone,but that is why we have to keep searching for answers,or forever be held in these limiting beliefs. There is EFT,NLP,Rife machine software,Micheal Terrell’s Whole tones,the 3 principals,Dynamic neural retraining,mirror healing,Louise is amazing.It’s all about retraining your brain

          Deidre - October 18, 2020 Reply

          I am in agreement with you. C-PTSD and CEN never completely goes away. Even my regular doctor has warned me that I must stay on anti-anxiety meds for the remainder of my life. Despite my efforts to live without it, I have found she is right. I had to walk away from my original family, particularly my mother, who abused and neglected me in every way possible, before I could feel safe enough to even begin healing. I am in hiding from them and still look over my shoulder often to be sure no original family members are around since I still live 45 minutes away from them. I began counseling 35 years ago and have done that off and on over those years. I am much better, but still not okay. I have decided to continue improving and accepting what is and learning to live a happier life as best I can. I have forgiven all, but I don’t feel safe to be around them. Despite those who feel there can be completely happy endings, I feel the need to be grateful for what I have accomplished, the healing have had and the knowledge that they were wrong I and I don’t have to accept their opinions. I’m still learning and always will be learning that every step I take is a step forward and that’s what’s important. Continuing to move forward and never go back to where I was is critical. I’m 72 now and still have to watch my thoughts to keep them from meandering back to the old beliefs. Life is better than it was. I am alone now and no longer being abused. There is such a blessing in not having to walk on eggshells constantly. I am truly thankful for where I am.

        MsGenieOutOfTheBottle - November 2, 2016 Reply

        Hang on to that and you are guaranteed to stay where you are… I wish you well.

MsGenieOutOfTheBottle - November 2, 2016 Reply

I used to think that everything that was wrong w me was because of my parents. I spent decades in therapy trying to resolve my issues. At that time I believe it was all about what my parents did, or didn’t do, for me. Since I’ve been studying ‘The 3 Principles’ paradigm, I see life completely different. The truth I learned is: every experience and feeling I have about everything, without exception, comes from thought. MY thought — to be exact. When I realized this truth, I stopped blaming my parents for my issues, problems and short comings. These principles are so powerful when applied, many psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists are teaching these principles to their clients. This is neither psychology or religion. It works without exception

    ladybugrules - November 2, 2016 Reply

    Thank you for sharing,I went to the website and it sounds very interesting

    Lily - November 3, 2016 Reply

    MsGenieOutOfTheBottle I do agree to an extent, we each have our OWN truths and have to give them value.

    I have been diagnosed with CPTSD, Anxiety, OCD, DID and I agree, we do think differently, most people tell me so. I do not have a problem with it as such, I prefer to be able to see the wrong in things, people and systems. I note that someone says we see things negatively, well I am not sure why we wouldn’t! sexual, physical, mental/emotional abuse and not having parents let alone loving ones causes (?) this, it IMO, gives me a head start on most peoples over simplified view of the world and a lot of the people in it. One of the results of CPTSD is thinking ahead of others (or so I have been told), and I am okay when my friends tell me wait I need to think…
    I cannot take back the horrors of my childhood, attending the RC has not helped as they are continuing to ‘hide’ most of our stories, I attended in the hope it would give me some relief, vindication maybe that I am okay, that I (and many others) are worth these billions of dollars being spent but it isn’t happening that way, indeed I feel it is further denigrating to me and my past.
    I also have had trouble finding a counsellor/psychologist who is able to help with our stinker of a system. So where does that leave me? I am despairing of an answer for me and so many others.

    BUT I do live in hope :/

    mary - November 6, 2016 Reply

    Thankyou for this..i will research. what you have said feels very meaningful and positive. Like alot of us i have analysed to death over the years why i feel so pathetic etc and relating it to how my mum spoke negatively about my dad constantly.

ashie - November 2, 2016 Reply

I am different from the other kids on the playground. I don’t see “things” in the same way. I can’t always communicate with them because they can’t follow my train of thought and I can’t figure out how to couch it in terms they will understand. My motivations tend to be different.

I don’t see it as a flaw. It’s part of what makes me unique. And it’s provided good experiences when working with those who are as willing to meet me halfway as I am them.

My SO is an anxious, high-energy person. While others have berated him for his differences and his behaviors, I’ve cherished them because they are part of who he is and there are good things to find in them. Harnessing his anxiety helps make it a tool at times that balances my impetuousness.

Flaws do not have to be flaws- they can be turned into something positive with attitude and working on boundary issues as well as understanding the roots of the “flaws”.

    ladybugrules - November 2, 2016 Reply

    very well said

    ddmt4 - November 2, 2016 Reply

    Thank you for your response! I don’t feel bad that I’m different – just wish I’d known in which ways before half my life was over. I’m glad to be unique and have never wanted to be the same but it just would’ve helped to understand more – especially why others are the way they are. I used to always tell my Godson with ADHD that it’s too bad they never write books FOR people with ADHD explaining supposed regular people’s behaviour. LOL!

    Marie - November 3, 2016 Reply

    I think you missed the whole point of what the author was talking about. “The fatal flaw” she refers to is an imaginary, vague feeling of not being good enough usually caused by cruel or neglectful caregivers during childhood.

ladybugrules - November 2, 2016 Reply

I lived with all of those ideas,along with emotional,physical,and sexual abuse.It has taken me decades to heal myself,and it will still take time to completely heal.I have found thru my extensive research,and trial and error to not to trust the Dr.s,or the ever increasingly totally wrong fads,{trying to be a vegetarian almost killed me}.Between over a decade of childhood lost to my mother and her trust of Dr.s,and another 16 years for my Thyroid,I lost all of my hair,what little energy I had and 20 pounds,because my Dr kept changing up my meds without dealing with the real cause.I decided to take my health into my own hands and now I’m actually getting well enough to leave my abusive husband,the 2nd one.As I am healing the depression is almost gone,the ADD is only bad when when I have been out in public dealing with all of the chemicals,my home is almost chemical free,and when I leave my husband I will be completely chemical free.So many of our problems can be helped with a clean green diet and getting rid of the hundreds of chemically laden cleaning and personal products.It’s tough to do,but very well worth it

Susun - November 2, 2016 Reply

For me, and for some others, the Fatal Flaw is real. I am different from the majority. I have ADHD. My work is to get past denial, recognize and value my differences, and to make them work for me. It’s been an uphill battle and I’m so grateful that I finally got the correct diagnosis.

    ladybugrules - November 2, 2016 Reply

    when you got your diagnosis,did they tell you how to improve with diet?

    SD30 - November 3, 2016 Reply

    Yes!! Battle on!!

ddmt4 - November 2, 2016 Reply

What if instead you find out that you are/were really different? Growing up my parents always called me ‘backwards’ as I had social issues. In adulthood, after seeing a therapist for something else that happened, I was told I was ADHD. Later after seeing a medical doctor for something different, he suggested instead of ADHD, that I was PDD-NOS which is high functioning Autistic. If you go through life thinking you’re no different then everyone else but ‘feel’ different yet then find out you potentially ‘are’ different, how does one deal with this once they are WAYYYYY into adulthood? You finally figure out why other people think differently then you do about almost everything. Would I have been better or worse off if I’d had help when I was younger? Who knows? It would have been nice if my parents had been educated enough to not call me and my sibling ‘backwards.’

    ladybugrules - November 2, 2016 Reply

    It would been even better if your parents had given healthy food.This is a diet issue that can be reversed,as most emotional issues have to do with our bodies not getting what it needs to thrive.To bad many of us go through this on a daily basis.It took me decades to reverse the damage my parents did to me by feeding me tons of junk food,and I’m still working on healing.Good luck and I hope you find your peace

      ddmt4 - November 2, 2016 Reply

      I am working with an Environmental Medicine doctor now and about to undergo some allergy treatments to get over the fact that I have so many sensitivities. I’m on a no sugar/grain/wheat/dairy/soy diet and taking some bio-identical and supplemental hormones and supplements now in addition to the future LDA treatments. It’s going to be a battle but I’m worth it.

        ladybugrules - November 2, 2016 Reply

        I started taking Adrenal and Thyroid supplements,along with DHEA and Pregnenolone.I stopped taking Prescription meds and following my Dr.s yo yo advice.Along with a huge diet change and my allergies are starting to go away.I’m loving eating foods that have been on the no no list for years.Good luck,I hope you found a good one,I never did

          ddmt4 - November 2, 2016 Reply

          I am taking all of those same things plus progesterone. I am already starting to feel calmer and sleep good. I’m hoping it just gets better from here.

          ladybugrules - November 2, 2016 Reply

          It takes time,but it will keep getting better

Firefly - October 31, 2016 Reply

Thank you Dr. Jonice! Once again you nailed it. Simply put, but at the very root of it all!

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