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Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Self-Help & Recovery => Recovery Journals => Topic started by: SharpAndBlunt on September 03, 2019, 06:22:12 PM

Title: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 03, 2019, 06:22:12 PM
I want to keep journalling. It has been just over a year since I found and joined the forum. I've learned a lot. But I'm also at the beginning of recovery.

I have just started on Sertraline/Zoloft which seems to be helping with anxiety/panic. But I'm still anxious and fearful.

I have been given an appointment with a psychologist this Thursday, to repeat every two weeks. This is big news for me. I'm frightened about the work ahead. But mindful I need it too.

I hope this journal can help. I want to keep posting and recovering.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 03, 2019, 06:35:40 PM
Hi SaB,
I hope that your Journal will help, and I hope that you are able to keep posting and recovering.  I wish you the best, and sending you a hug of support, if that's ok  :hug:
All the best too for your appointment on Thursday with the psychologist. 
Take care,
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 03, 2019, 10:10:39 PM
We'll be with you.  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Jazzy on September 03, 2019, 11:29:55 PM
All the best with the psychologist and your continued recovery! Keep up the good work. Take care! :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 06, 2019, 08:50:51 AM
Thank you Hope, Three Roses and Jazzy!

Met with the psychologist and was very encouraged. Talked about my background and was able to get most of my story out, and felt it was heard and understood.

Technically I am still under assessment at this stage but I am hopeful that the therapist and I can work together on my issues.

I was able to say that I get scared sometimes and clam up and want to run away (emotionally I mean) so that was good because now she is aware that might happen and we can deal with it.

We talked about the anti depressant a little and how it is separating me from my emotions a little. While this helps in some ways to cope with emotional swings I also feel it leaves me feeling a bit cut loose, disconnected. I'm going to continue with them until I can talk to the psychiatrist about it.

I've been having headaches since I stated the pills. I realised last night in bed that my jaw is extremely tense. Usually this extreme tension is in my back or legs. It seems to move around, if I concentrate on relaxing one part it just moves to another. Looking forward to being more mindful of this and letting it seep out slowly and calmly, it just is not healthy to have that much tension making it impossible to relax. That's part of the internal negative feedback loops I want to break.

Lastly I re read Pete Walker's short chapter on abandonment depression and found it described a lot of my symptoms perfectly. It was fine for me to read but might be triggering for some. I can provide a link to it if anyone is interested.

Feeling a bit encouraged and a little hopeful but also acknowledging I have work to do ahead.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 09, 2019, 10:08:01 PM
I decided to take a short notice day off work tomorrow. This morning I felt exhausted and thought about not going in but I did go in and decided to do this instead. It's been a busy week or two for me, socially, and I want some quiet time to decompress.

So, I asked if there was anything important on tomorrow and when I got the answer 'no' I said if it's OK I'm going to take the day off. That was fine. Then I told them I'm really tired and I'm planning on having a duvet day.

My workmate exploded with "You boring...!!!" and never finished. I can imagine what she was going to say.

Probably, not so long ago, I would have joined in, laughed along, been like "Yeah I know haha how boring" or probably more likely I would have made an excuse in the first place.

Thing is, I know I'm not being boring. It's because I haven't been boring that I need this day off. I have the annual leave and I'm entitled to it. What I do with it is no business of hers.

Well, I think that this person might be kind of boring and maybe is living with her own frustrations. But, I'm kind of done with caring about that. Me and probably everyone here and other people I know work so hard to address issues and problems, and it seems some people still love to just discuss others' problems at length. Well, that is gossip and it is not good for anyone.

Back to the point. I am completely exhausted. I have been very tense and very aware of it. I think before I have not been aware. This afternoon I fell asleep briefly and it was like being unconcious. I don't remember sleep feeling that restorative for years even though I must have been asleep only 20 or 30 minutes.

I hope I can get more of that quality of sleep. Tonight I think I will be back to light sleeping. The tension and crowded thoughts are back. But, tomorrow I can lie in all day, under my quilt and in the dark if I want.

Here is to that, and I'm calling it self care. It is self care. I never had to care in the past what others thought but I always did. I'm learning to care for myself. If I could only lessen this tension somehow that seems to settle in me without a ground for it to sink away into. My muscles must be straining all the time so it's no wonder I'm always tired and jumpy.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: notalone on September 09, 2019, 10:17:43 PM
Yes, it is self-care. I think taking tomorrow off is a good way for you to be kind to yourself.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 10, 2019, 04:34:45 AM
 :yeahthat:

A duvet day sounds like a good idea. I'm glad you were able to sleep so deeply.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 10, 2019, 06:57:58 PM
Thank you, notalone and Snowdrop. I want to say that yes the duvet day was a good idea and I have enjoyed doing nothing much of anything.

I want to write a little also about the anti depressants I have been on for about four weeks now.

At first it was hard to get used to. I was disorientated and had headaches.

Now the physical side effects have settled down a bit.

The effect on my anxiety has been pronounced. My levels are way down. This in turn is making it easier for me to encounter emotions without dissociation. I still feel triggered and get those urges or instincts but somehow it is easier to deal with. I don't feel quite so hopeless any more and I seem to be able to recognise negative emotions for what they are, and not as some kind of unpleasant truth about myself.

I am starting to think of my depression like an awful horrible monster, it makes me believe the worst about myself, and the world.

Somehow with this medication I am able to see that this is not truth, any more than any other point of view is truth.

But, I find it scary how persuasive those ideas are when I am depressed, as I still am. This medication seems to have given me a lift. But now I am dependent! (maybe, we will see).

With therapy I hope is coming my way at last (still under assessment) I may be able to address the issues underlying.

One of the worst things about depression for me is the constant sense of alienation, of being cut off from myself and from everything else too.

The cptsd aspect is responsible for the unbearable anxiety, which leads to acting out or self destructive behaviour, or self sabotage.

Cptsd and depression is a really miserable combination. At times (in fact all the time) I thought it was impossible to beat and was just my lot in life. This may seem like self pity but that's actually how it felt / feels.

I start to see that it is possible to make connection, to feel involved. What remains is my fear, of intimacy, of connection. Probably because I fear it will be withdrawn at any minute. Or shot down at no notice. I short, I still don't trust. So, there is that to work on.

In the meantime I will try to be nice to myself and take downtime if I need it. Everybody needs it and that's how people function. But when it's been go go go like I've felt, running away or being a perfectionist, downtime feels scary in itself! It's not, and that's something I'm glad about. Hope i can remember that.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 12, 2019, 03:41:45 AM
TW: This post has description of emotional abuse and difficult emotions including anger.

Raised by a violent abusive and smothering NPD m. with an emotionally absent f. happy to play the nice guy role. Retraumatised by m. traumatic illness and death and subsequent exposure to full force of f. 's co-dependence, abandonment depression and emotionally abusive alcoholism.
Siblings all escaped and too busy dealing with own disfunctions to help.

I read elsewhere here that waking at 3/4 am is a sign of depression. I certainly have that and I wake early every day.

Raised to m"s expectations to what I am and emotionally on my knees by the time she died, I was close to escaping, for better or worse, only to be recaptured by the black hole of f's depression and alcoholism. I was beat.

My confusion, rage and impotence at not knowing my own life, what I was for and where I should go next. My own despair followed by chronic depression and self alienation.

I never was able to live my own life.

I am so angry that this has happened, and angry at myself for a long time that I let it happen to myself.

I am so angry for everyone here for knowing what I'm talking about instinctively and instantly because of a recognition of the symptoms that it has taken me my whole adult life to come close to understanding.

I'm angry but I will get through it. I don't know how because it feels like one step at a time with many mis steps.

At least now I can call it abuse and see it for what it is. But even typing this 'out loud' is threatening an e. F. So I'll stop. I'm coming to terms with what happened to me and it's taking so long because it's one step at a time, careful, easy does it. I feel so much for everyone who has gone through anything like this. To be devalued and not loved is a horrible thing. I feel also a little bit of a fraud sometimes because there are so many different ways abuse can happen, I tend to invalidate my own experience as not serious enough for consideration. But that's how it gets me. Denial and self invalidation resulting in emptiness and no idea of self. It may sound dramatic but that is my experience. This anger is only a phase, and I will find peace on the other side of it, somehow. The impotence I felt in the shadow of this suppressed rage I had for years won't stay with me forever. I won't let it. And with the suoport of people who understand and care I know that things will get better.

I am so grateful to have this space to express myself without fear of ridicule, abandonment, scorn. The people here are far braver than that. Thank you all for being here.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 12, 2019, 04:17:42 AM
 :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 13, 2019, 04:15:03 AM
Thanks, Three Roses  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Anjulie on September 13, 2019, 06:36:01 AM
Thank you for sharing your anger, it feels powerful and it makes so much sense. Thank you for being angry for us, too. It is like sending out love to us.
 :grouphug:

"Denial and self invalidation resulting in emptiness and no idea of self."
You were not sounding dramatic, it was a relief to me to hear your words because they describe exactly what I have to deal with.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 14, 2019, 08:38:36 AM
 :hug: to you SaB. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 14, 2019, 01:10:38 PM
Thank you, Anjulie and Hope.

Anjulie, I'm sorry you feel this way too, it is so confusing sometimes  :stars: but thank you for validating my anger because it is not often I have felt justified with it so I still feel vulnerable even expressing it.

 :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 14, 2019, 03:20:24 PM
hey, s&b,

i'm so glad for you that you've begun journaling here, and hope it's helpful for you.  it's been a game changer for me.  as you say, the people here are brave and caring and non-judgmental - a wonderful relief from outside experiences.

i'm glad the anti-deps are making themselves known in a pos. way.  i've been on several over the years (am currently not anymore) and while they may make you feel a bit disconnected at times, i believe that they can be used to get ourselves over the hump of those dissociative triggers that can send us reeling.  once your recovery is able to deal w/ the underlying issues, i think you'll eventually be able to at least lessen the amount of anti-deps as you gradually find your way back to yourself.  it was a brave move, and i give you all kinds of credit for seeing it thru.   :thumbup:

we are definitely here with you as you go thru this.  i'm glad for you that you are now able to speak your truth, admit and accept what really happened for what it truly was, and i love your optimistic outlook for the future.  i think the meds help us be able to feel some sort of hope, which also gives us incentive to keep taking each new step, no matter how small.  they all count.

your anger is definitely justified, and i think that the more you're able to speak about it, the easier it will be to see its reality and feel your own sense of strength and power.  you're on your way!  sending love and a hug filled with truth and clarity, if that's all right.   :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 15, 2019, 11:08:47 AM
Thank you, sanmagic,

Your post is so encouraging. I think you are right about the anti deps being helpful in dealing with disassociative triggering, that has been the case for me, though I still get them I find I can come back from them a bit quicker instead of spiralling out for days or weeks. But yes, the issues are still there and still need to be dealt with. I'm hoping I'll be able to do that.

The sense of being right on the edge with all of this is quite a worry, because the temptation is to always just write myself off as not mattering and get on with the job of surviving. But I really don't want to do that any more.

TW: feelings of shame and depression and anger

I've been having the dreams again where I'm forced to feel someone else's shame. These always leave me feeling ugh and slightly depressed. But they are so regular and have been a constant feature of my life. I've had no idea how to address them or escape from them. Hopefully now I'm learning a bit more and hopefully I will get the chance to talk about them. Learning to be with myself while I feel that way and not judge myself for it is hard but it will be worth it if I can manage it. To make myself free of it.

I have a hard time looking inside and trusting myself. Again, probably because I was always taught that I am inherently bad and only an authority figure can absolve me, be that a parent or God.

Anger is also something that I never was allowed to express. It seemed to be fine for others but not for me. I was indulged as long as I was compliant and smiley and funny. Anything else was a big deviation from the plan and was definitely shot down before it could be resolved.

All of those things are things I can hopefully discuss with a therapist.

It's good to know that you all are supporting me here. I know it seems weird but sometimes I still find it hard to believe and I will be exposed as not worthy of help. It's hard when even I believe it on some levels.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 15, 2019, 12:55:04 PM


"Anger is also something that I never was allowed to express. It seemed to be fine for others but not for me. I was indulged as long as I was compliant and smiley and funny. Anything else was a big deviation from the plan and was definitely shot down before it could be resolved."


i know this one all too well, s&b.  not only in childhood, but it seemed to be that way most of my life.  as recently as last year i expressed anger about something to a man i was dating, he unceremoniously disappeared.  i don't regret it now, cuz i'm getting a different perspective on the kinds of people i've been interacting with.

the idea of carrying the shame of or for others seems to happen a lot.  i think we've been taught to do that, not let the responsibility for their actions stay on their shoulders.  they're the ones who should be ashamed of what they've done, but aren't.  we, on the other hand, take on their shame, keep it in the dark ('don't tell anyone'), where it can fester and grow.

one thing that's helped me w/ this is learning that, altho we've often been told not to tell anyone else about what happened, they usually didn't tell us not to write about what happened.  hopefully you can find some relief here, even if it's one word at a time.

slowly, step by step.  please be patient with yourself and know that you are cared about here, are valuable and valid, no matter what you're feeling.  sending love and a hug filled w/ self-trust. 
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 15, 2019, 02:06:11 PM
Sanmagic, thank you so much for what you've written here. It totally chimes with me about not being my true self around people.  This concept of not being acceptable unless we conform to others' ideas of us. It does infect adulthood, definitely, and trying to break free of that and express myself how I want to / need to has been and is a big part of my struggle. I'm glad you were able to express anger to that man and that you don't have any regrets. Anger is definitely a valid emotion and if he didn't want to know then that is his problem.  :applause:

I hear you too about being patient with myself. I have to take that on board as part of recovery since there probably won't be progress without it. Learning to have enough self esteem to trust myself will be a good goal to strive for. After that things might get easier.

I like what you said about writing, too. I had been writing things on paper for a long time to try and organise my thoughts before I found this forum. The problem with that was that the bits and pieces just got all mixed up and lost so the problem wasn't really solved at all.

But, here I can write my thoughts and ideas and they will be recorded in the order I wrote them. So that is great.

I do feel that things are very slowly getting better. I'm very tentative about everything. Writing here and getting feedback (and contributing to other threads when I can, and I have something to add) helps so much, that is why every comment is appreciated.

 Thank you  :)  :)  :)  :thumbup:  :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 16, 2019, 05:50:31 PM
Good news. I have been assessed and accepted for a course of therapy, to run for 12 sessions.

I seem to have a good connection with the therapist, good start.

Feeling hopeful.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Snowdrop on September 16, 2019, 06:30:57 PM
That's really good news.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 16, 2019, 06:58:38 PM
 :cheer:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 19, 2019, 02:04:46 AM
Thanks snowdrop and sanmagic  :hug:

Well, I realise that what is coming up for me most is fear! The fear is manifesting in a couple of ways, mostly sleeplessness and nausea. I am trying to accept the sensation as normal, to do with fear of exposure in my upcoming therapy. I want to go in with full disclosure and honesty about my feelings but quite honestly I am worried about what will come back.

I think, maybe I am scared that I am manipulative. But, then I think that maybe in my childhood I had to learn a measure of manipulation, just to survive. So, maybe I tell myself the fact that I want to confront this and not hide from it is progress in itself. But, that brings fear also, the fear of knowing I have spent my adult life hiding from the fear, and now I am past where I want to be and I realise I have 'lost' that time with no hope of getting it back. I'm older.

But, on some level I've always known I can't go on this way and would eventually have to confront what's inside. But, I've been putting it off. But also, I realise my life changes in the last few years I've been preparing for this. I've cut out alcohol as self medication. I try to exercise and eat well. It doesn't always go to plan. I try to take responsibility for my own small roles in life while at the same time trying to keep a perspective that I'm not special, I'm just another survivor, surviving life. This seems to be a common attitude in my family. Love seems to come a distant third or fourth in the scheme of things. I want to feel love and companionship but, again, I'm scared.

I try to keep myself to myself so that I am not risking any damage, to myself or others. Reaching out feels so risky. But then, when I feel I have been going along steady enough to risk reaching out when I do it I get a really strong fear reaction. This kind of tangle is the kind of thing I want to untangle in therapy. I've said before I can't trust. I really do think I have big issues around trust, trusting myself and others enough to make progress seems an impossible goal sometimes. Like waves on the beach this goal seems to come and go! It feels like the best I can hope for sometimes is just hanging in there. Then I think, well maybe that's no so bad. There are worse places to be in life. I just wish that I didn't feel so 'sharp' and honestly toxic all the time. It just makes me want to isolate myself but like I said, i want to try to untangle this mess of conflicting feelings. Burying them all and hoping for the best is not the answer! I know this. But, so far I haven't found a comfortable way to deal with all these things.

Thanks again to everyone who has been encouraging.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 19, 2019, 05:29:03 PM
Hi SaB,
I am happy to hear that you've been accepted for that course of 12 sessions, that is great news.   :cheer:
I can appreciate that you're feeling some fear about it though - I think that's understandable - I think I would feel similarly.  You mentioned the waves on the beach, and I thought that's a great analogy, but I really hope that the sway and pull of the tide will enable you to risk things and maybe untangle things, and as you said - burying them and hoping for the best is not the answer!   People put their trust in oceans sometimes, and even believe that bottles with messages will reach other continents, and I hope that whatever happens for you, with your sessions, that you'll be ok, and that you'll find it helpful.  Wishing you the best with it, and sending you a hug of support  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 19, 2019, 09:08:08 PM
Thank you Hope  :hug:

I was feeling so strange and restless this morning when I wrote that post. I feel a little more stable tonight. I think the fear of things changing so much is holding me back. There is comfort in my old ways even if it's not a solution.

I know things will get better  :thumbup:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 20, 2019, 03:31:20 AM
Again I'm awake at 4am. This has really become a habit, one I don't have any control over, yet.

Feel like I need help to bring my emotional and rational sides together. The difference from before is that now I feel I can do this. The emotional side of me has felt lost for so long. It feels like lost in a fog, sometimes a storm. I feel I should take another closer look at Out of the Fog, and I will do that.

TW I mention the current president of the US

I feel that my rational side is cool and collected, and knows quite a lot of stuff. But, I am self taught in almost everything so I know there is danger there. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing they say and I don't know as much as sometimes I think. A lot of stuff about cptsd makes so much sense to me, and a lot of it I am winging it, trying to make it fit.

My emotional side is far from cool and collected. It feels like a very angry child. And, this is like a sense of great shame to me. Like if I can't keep my emotional side hidden it will be obvious to everyone what a child I am. Having never heard of parts work or inner child work until recently and having been taught to not show that, I thought there was something terribly wrong with me.

Looking at the current president of the US (I'm not saying the name) I see a terribly wounded child. Now, it's up to him to sort that out and while I still can't believe he's holding the office that he does, like I literally struggle to believe that, it's mind boggling, I still find myself having a tiny teeny bit of sympathy for the wounded child he must have been at some point. What a mess. But, the adult person, I can't stand. The damage he is doing by turning his wounds on the world like that. Well, it seems like there is a lot of it about.

End TW

Well I will keep trying to tie the two sides of myself together. Maybe there are far more than only two parts and that would be fine. I'm open to the idea of there being a few, or more. But right now two is enough for me to be getting on with.

I feel it's great to have an idea what is the problem and to have a general direction of travel. Being lost and in a fog and /or a storm is the intolerable part because of the danger of negative feedback between my two parts which can result in destructive behaviour, usually towards myself but also occasionally directed outwards, which I hate.

 :grouphug: SaB

Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 20, 2019, 03:17:37 PM
I've had a long day and feeling really worn down and a bit depressed and feeling a bit sorry for myself.

I have a physical pain in my chest that I get in the afternoons that I am now pretty sure is a repressed emotional pain.

I was wondering today how to look after myself emotionally at work, while I have to be switched on and alert to things happening or going wrong. Sometimes I think I should be in a different job. But, I don't know what else I can do and I'm too lost in recovery anyway atm to contemplate that unless I really have to.

I don't know if this is recovery or not. I feel like 2 steps forward 3 steps back sometimes.

Today I feel stupid and a bit worthless and a part of me is mocking myself for being so stupid to think I can ever make anything better. The inner critic, I suppose, having a field day.

I have also put on a lot of weight that I lost last year when I was exercising more and eating better so that is more ammo for the critic.

Need to stop viewing things in absolute terms and start to give myself a break. I do feel trapped though, like I will never be free of self doubt, hating and harm. I'm not looking forward to the weekend. Lots of time stretching out and not much of a clue what to do with it. Gah.

 :stars: :fallingbricks:

Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 20, 2019, 03:30:29 PM
Hi SaB,
I've seen it written somewhere before about how recovery can be like 2 steps forwards and 3 steps back sometimes, so I am not surprised to hear you say that here, as it makes sense that it would be or feel like that sometimes.  I certainly think that sometimes I am treading against treacle and not making any progress, but then there are other times when it goes better.  I hope very much that you'll experience some more steps forward. 

You've had a long day, but the weekend is here, and whilst it can seem like a long space ahead of you, I really hope that you will be able to rest and your desire to stop viewing things in absolute terms and start to give yourself a break, that sounds really positive.  I hope you can do that.  I hope I can do that too - because it sounds like good things to do.  Self-doubt, hating and harm are hard bars to traverse, and could definitely make you feel trapped, as you said, but hopefully light can get through the gaps, and maybe the door could be opened to step out of that trap.  I don't know, but I hope so.

I am sorry I am writing all of this, as I feel as if I have some kind of verbal diarrhoea today, and so apologies if it sounds strange or if I'm over-stepping things here by saying it. 

I wanted to offer you a hug, and I hope the weekend will be kind to you.  I hope that for myself as well.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 20, 2019, 04:41:36 PM
Thank you Hope, I think what you wrote here is really lovely, no overstepping. I loved the image of treading in treacle, it's an image I can relate to all to easily. Hard bars to traverse is also a useful phrase, because I like thinking in images. Thank you!

I hope our weekends are restful. Sending that  :hug: right back at you. Sab.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 23, 2019, 08:43:37 AM
Hi SaB,
I hope your weekend was ok.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 23, 2019, 05:48:02 PM
Hi, Hope,

I hope your weekend was good, mine was fine, I rested and while I felt aimless at times (actually most of the time) my anxiety levels are down, I think because of the Sertraline, so I was able to cope better with feeling like that. I hope to continue not feeling like I must escape at all times. Thank you.  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Jazzy on September 23, 2019, 11:18:28 PM
That sounds great. Reduced anxiety can be so helpful. Take care! :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on September 24, 2019, 06:37:16 PM
Thanks jazzy, it is helping me a lot to not have high anxiety. It is so constraining to have that all the time, it really gets into everything.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 28, 2019, 06:26:03 PM
Hi SaB,
I'm glad to hear your anxiety levels are down and hope that you're ok.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 01, 2019, 03:11:18 PM
Thank you Hope  :hug: I think that I am OK, mostly.

I am having therapy for the first time. I'm talking one on one with someone who knows what I'm talking about, who is listening and responding, as a conversation where I get to say what I really want instead of thinking of the other.

I have to say that this is really positive. The feedback and yes validation is really encouraging.

But, a little scary too. Because it kind of confirms what I know. I got triggered in the session and I let T know. And it was cool. But it was such an innocuous comment. So, if I can recognise and manage triggers better I'll be a lot happier.

I recognise a lot of my behaviors from my M. I've got a kind of hair trigger.

I realised as well that I feel a lot of anger. Then I get a bit ashamed thinking "I have nothing to be angry about". Then I quell my emotion.

Then, I quell all emotions.

I would rather be low than be up and just be angry and confused.

But when I'm low I don't feel alive.

I think I'll leave it there for now. Oh except for one thing. Earlier today I was concious of a wave of emotions. So intense, it was like a rush to the head. I felt a little disoriented and faint. It passed really quickly. It was nice to feel emotions but a little weird. I wonder if this is how it feels to heal a little. I hope so. I hope not a false start.

I'm glad to be able to journal here. I talked with T about quite a lot that makes sense. I made hand written notes this morning in order to remember. Maybe I could put them here too but I don't know yet. Got a few days away coming up so the routine is changed completely.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 01, 2019, 06:07:50 PM
 :hug: to you SaB. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: notalone on October 01, 2019, 07:23:25 PM
S & B: Glad you found a therapist, who you feel really listens and hears you. It is scary. But isn't it nice to be HEARD?
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 01, 2019, 08:19:22 PM
Thank you guys  :hug: Yes, it really is fantastic to be heard (listened to!)  :hug:  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 07, 2019, 05:17:54 PM
I just want to post a short something, even although I don't feel that I really want to, or have anything to add.

This 'quiet mind' is a new thing for me. While I wouldn't say my mind is completely quiet, I really feel for the first time in a long time that I may be able to interact with people on something approaching a normal level of functioning without being overcome with panic. Maybe.

I'm not sure if it is just the medication, or more likely a combination of that, and the little therapy I've had (it is a godsend), and being able to speak more openly.

I have also noticed some remorse creeping in about how I've felt 'bad' and how I haven't been able to behave how I've wanted to behave. I recognise that that's not rational, that I was / am ill, with depression and anxiety. The traumas I experienced just mounted up and spun me out.

But still, I am now looking and almost thinking from the perspective I've heard all my life, almost that I just need to 'cheer up'.

I think that that voice is an internalised critical voice. I think it is easy to say that, when you're not the one who is struggling. I think the fact that it has taken 20+ years to get to this point, strong anti depressant drugs and therapy and opening up (on here as well as a bit more in general), the passing of a very difficult (emotionally) parent. I don't think I really had to just 'cheer up'. I think that I really, really needed help.  And, I don't know how to feel about that, that I couldn't seem to get it, when I needed it, until now. Maybe I walled myself off and couldn't be reached. That discussion is for another day.

Right now I'll take being able to 'almost' function in a 'normal' manner (panic reduced, stress, fear reduced). I'll take that, and keep working. I read the journeys of people on here and I feel humbled, and encouraged and thankful to hear your stories. I want to say thanks for sharing, I hope that is ok to say that, and here's to more peace for us all  :yes:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 08, 2019, 01:41:32 PM
hey, s&b, i totally agree w/ you about 'here's to more peace for us all'.  thank you, also, for sharing your own journey.  we're all in this together, after all.

so glad to hear you found a t who will listen and hear you - that's the best!  how freeing it is to be able to speak your reality, no matter what it might be.

'cheer up' is one of those sayings i've heard a lot, also.  along with 'don't be so sensitive' or 'just let it go - why do you want to keep dragging up the past?'  i believe those are all ways for people to try to get us to make them feel more comfortable.  so, i agree that that may be an inner critic kind of thing going on.  as you keep healing, those kinds of things will resolve themselves at their own pace. 

i think you're doing great, and i'm glad you have a place to be yourself, speak your truth, and be heard as well.  sending love and a hug filled w/ time for healing.   :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 09, 2019, 06:17:19 AM
Hi sanmagic,

Thanks  :hug:

I do think there's an inner critic thing going on, with me. This internalised voice about how I 'should be', instead of how I am. It's powerful and embedded.

I understand now about family dysfunction, and how it's passed down. Most generations simply have had no time and / or framework to address this stuff. But, I'm not minimising it. It is truly damaging.

My whole life I've doubted my own feelings, my own experience even, believing there is something wrong with me. That is a very negative concept, I believe.

Life comes so fast and intense, day to day is a game of survival. Or, so it has always seemed to me. This feeling of always being on the edge can really grow. Sometimes it has taken over.

The thing that I feel strongly about cptsd, is the damage that other people do.

Sometimes the damage is concious. Other times it is unconcious, or more accurately it is unacknowledged. Maybe for fear that acknowledging it will make it real.

But it is real. And that refusal to engage is a big big part of what happened to me, made me feel lost, small, powerless, minimised. As an adult, I know I have power. As a white male I know I have a certain privilege. As a sufferer of trauma and neglect I feel small and tiny and hopeless and needy. I never understood why I had to quell my emotions just to survive. I still don't.

I'm still here, learning to undo that. Others are on the same journey, broadly speaking, and the sure knowledge that I'm not alone, is something I still struggle to internalise. But it's getting slowly more acceptable to me to allow myself to believe that. That is something to quietly celebrate  :thumbup:  :applause:

 :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 11, 2019, 10:38:28 AM
Hi SaB,
I also feel that the knowledge that we're not alone, and that's something to quietly celebrate - I am agreeing wholeheartedly with what you say there - it is a special thing, and I also applaud that along with you  :applause:
What you said here about understanding how family dysfunction is passed down, and how most generations haven't taken time (or had time) to process or address this stuff, but acknowledging that it's damaging, that's a big realisation in my opinion, and it's sad that you (and many of us) doubt our own feelings, and end up blaming ourselves or thinking something is wrong with us.  I agree with you, that is a very negative concept.  I believe that too.

Sending you a hug,  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 14, 2019, 04:33:51 AM
Thank you Hope, for recognising and validating those thoughts on invalidation of feelings. Simple sounding stuff, maybe? But important. Critical, to keeping a sense of self :hug: Thank you for your care and input.

Recognising my feelings is a big part of my recovery. Being with them and embracing them is something that I'm not there yet with. But, taking the time to be mindful that feelings are natural and that they come and go, that has helped a lot.

Sometimes it seems that the world is very insistent on how I should be. Rather than acknowledging how I am. It's too easy to abandon myself to play along with feeling alright, but in the end it's just putting off what needs to be done, which is sitting through the feelings I have. Coming from a place which could be quite violent at times, I find sitting with feelings to be not an easy thing to do, because my internal critical shaming voice begins to take over and really really go to town on my own 'weakness'.

Being able to recognise what is going on in my own head and body when that happens is enormous for me. It feels like progress. Because I've always felt shame with it up till now. Right now my strategy is to acknowledge that there's something there to look at, at some point, and to back off from it for the time being, give myself some space to rebalance, in the knowledge that the issues are not going away. That sounds like a negative but in fact is a positive. By knowing they're not going away it takes the pressure to deal with them RIGHT NOW off, and means my brain doesn't go into a tailspin. Oh it's fragile though, and it takes care on my part.

Care I've never given myself before. It's sad that I believed that self care is a weakness, an indulgence. Oh I'm sad that I believed that to my core for such a long time. Maybe forever. So, I'm digging that up and turning over the earth (a good friend says that analogy (?) sometimes and i realise how well it works for me). Slowly and carefully, and not shaming myself about being wrong about it for so long. It's what I was conditioned to believe but it is not true.

Leaving it here as don't want to break through into unregulated racing thoughts and fear. Slowly gently does it.

As ever I am aware of a deep sense of being weary. I get this awareness when I do some work turning over the soil. I welcome it. It means some work is being done!  :) :thumbup:

SaB
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 14, 2019, 01:33:27 PM
it was good for me to hear you say that we don't have to fix everything right now.  i've struggled w/ that forever.  well, it was what i was taught - if someone wanted something done, it was definitely Right Now!  had to learn that the hard way, but, yep, it stuck tight.  i still have to consciously catch myself at times or be reminded that i can take my time.  whew!  tough one!

thanks for sharing that.  every time i hear it, it helps just that little bit more.  love and hugs to you, s&b!
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Jazzy on October 15, 2019, 11:20:13 PM
Sounds like you're making some great progress SaB; glad to hear it. Take care! :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Three Roses on October 20, 2019, 03:45:22 PM
Quote
Being able to recognise what is going on in my own head and body when that happens is enormous for me. It feels like progress. Because I've always felt shame with it up till now.

 :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 23, 2019, 10:52:40 AM
Hi SaB,
I found your words very insightful and encouraging, and just wanted to send you a supportive hug.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 28, 2019, 06:01:46 AM
Thank you sanmagic, Jazzy, Three Roses and Hope  :)

I'm feeling, in some ways, that I'm back where I was for years (in terms of dealing with life). I'm back to a place where I'm coping, with the day to day difficulties of having a live. Emotionally, I'm still very tentative and scared and I feel childish.

My anxiety has taken a back seat but is still a constant presence. It's faded enough so that while it's unpleasant and pervasive I can stuff it away to get through what I need to get through.

That is fine until emotions arise (relationships, any kind of relationships really that are anything even slightly more than an acquaintance). As soon as emotions crop up I'm a crumpled mess!

I have noticed too that I am dreaming a bit more, or maybe just remembering my dreams more. Most of my dreams feel extremely uncomfortable and most if not all feature people and situations from my past. It doesn't take a genius (thankfully, because I am very much not one) to work out that there is still a lot there for me to come to terms with.

One or two big positives for me:

Having learned a little about the effects of trauma on the brain and nervous system I am no longer so inclined to blame myself for being defective in some way, which I put down to a defect of character for s long time, partly due to feedback from people in my life from whom I had a right to expect better.

That's a bit deal, because from that place I can (hopefully) recognise what is happening a bit better when I am in a panic and / or ef.

That way, I'm not despairing as much. I know that hard as this is, it is not permanent, it's not my set in stone way of experiencing life.

I honestly do think it is very hard for people who are not traumatised to understand how all encompassing and difficult it is. Or, maybe some understand but don't want to address it. Alcoholism, and other dysfunctions, well to me they beckon as a result of that denial.

So, not blaming myself, not turning to alcohol or drugs as an escape, all these things are important. Recognising that things are hard, but that they can change, that things are not set in stone and that life still has possibilities, that is big.

Being alone and isolating is something I can work on reducing, I hope, now that I have an understanding of my self destructive behaviours. My inner critic is piping up now. "It's easy to write this stuff at 6am on A Monday morning immediately after a restful weekend. Let's see how you cope when the pressure is back on, again."

Well, to the critic I say welcome back and shut the * up, at least for a while. Let's see how this goes before we condemn it all to failure again before it has even started. This is where support becomes so important and I'm glad to say that I feel that I have some again at last. It's just a feeling, a change in perspective maybe. Or maybe it's real. I don't want to over analyse that right now.

I know there is support at OOTS and it is definitely real  :grouphug:
 :heythere:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Three Roses on October 28, 2019, 03:39:29 PM
Quote
Well, to the critic I say welcome back and shut the * up....
:cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Jazzy on October 28, 2019, 11:11:34 PM
A lot of positives here, SaB, that's great. I think its really helpful to remind ourselves how far we've come, and the things we're doing right. Take care! :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: notalone on October 29, 2019, 02:46:10 AM
So, not blaming myself, not turning to alcohol or drugs as an escape, all these things are important. Recognising that things are hard, but that they can change, that things are not set in stone and that life still has possibilities, that is big.
yes, it is big.  :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 12, 2019, 07:59:05 PM
I'm feeling slightly hopeful, in my life, just in general, nothing specific, for the first time in many many years  :cheer:

I'm so happy about that. But I'm more happy that I'm on a path that feels more, I don't know exactly but, right, seems a good word as any.

I am glad I can share this path a little and I want to share a little of the hope I feel here. I hope whoever reads this might share it a little. I know that sounds weird. I just want to share a little, for a bit. Thanks and hugs to all :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: notalone on November 12, 2019, 09:28:21 PM
 :cheer: :bighug: Thanks for sharing your hope! It did make my heart smile.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Three Roses on November 12, 2019, 10:15:26 PM
I don't think it sounds weird at all! Thanks for sharing it!  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Jazzy on November 12, 2019, 11:30:07 PM
That's wonderful! I'm happy for you! :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 13, 2019, 10:22:51 AM
 ;D :thumbup:
 :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 26, 2019, 09:15:52 PM
I'm tired today but I think I'm ok. But I had a realisation that I never feel safe. When I open up emotionally I feel exposed and vulnerable. Maybe this is normal.

I'm scared at the challenges ahead. In life. Trying to lead a 'normal' life. It is so demanding. Especially when I feel like someone is going to hit me or shout at me, all of the time. This constant nervousness is boring and aggravating to me.

Despite all this I am allowing some small space for feelings. I'm going to nurture that small place until it grows into something more durable. I'm done killing the only thing inside that lives, that thing being hope. If I have any at all I'm going to take care of it and make sure it is there for me and any other special people in my life that I choose to share it with. I won't hold myself to account for things that were done to me.

I hope I can live up to all these promises I make myself.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 27, 2019, 06:59:32 AM
Never feeling safe can be very tiring. I know that feeling, and about feeling exposed if you open up emotionally.

Quote
Despite all this I am allowing some small space for feelings. I'm going to nurture that small place until it grows into something more durable. I'm done killing the only thing inside that lives, that thing being hope. If I have any at all I'm going to take care of it and make sure it is there for me and any other special people in my life that I choose to share it with. I won't hold myself to account for things that were done to me.

^^ I love this. :applause: :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 03, 2019, 08:09:00 PM
Hi SaB,
I just wanted to stop by and say hello - and send you a hug, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on December 08, 2019, 08:52:00 AM
Thank you Snowdrop. I'm sorry you know what it's like to not feel safe ever. Slowly and with work it's getting better  :hug:

Hope, thanks for dropping by. It's always a pleasure to see you and have your hugs  :hug:

I'm posting here in some ways only because it feels almost like yesterday I last posted, when in fact it was 12 days. I don't see this as a problem, but it is interesting and something I want to be aware of.

I've spoken in the past about disassociation and being triggered. Right now I don't feel totally dissociated but I am aware of underlying stresses causing a feeling like life is rushing by. I wonder if this state is how I've lived in the past.

The difference I feel now is an awareness of my inner state and my 'small' person and allowing compassion for him instead of the inherited scorn I sent his way.

Feeling a little bit ashamed and a wee bit triggered that I admitted that to myself. But also a determination to remember how important this is, to honour my wounded younger self, who is my companion.

I'm glad I found oots to journal in and find others. It's a relief to be able to safely share this journey. Thank you to all here.

 :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 08, 2019, 09:55:36 AM
Quote
The difference I feel now is an awareness of my inner state and my 'small' person and allowing compassion for him instead of the inherited scorn I sent his way.

This is great! :yes: Showing compassion for and honouring your younger person is absolutely the way to go. I found it a bit triggering to think in this way at first as well, but I've since got used to it. I've found acknowledging, caring for and working with younger parts to be hugely beneficial. I'm glad that you can allow compassion. :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 21, 2019, 03:03:47 PM
Hi SaB,
Sending you best wishes and hoping that your weekend is ok.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on December 28, 2019, 11:13:42 PM
I haven't been around but I haven't forgotten oots or the good people here. I've been dealing with things in my own way.

I had some nice times over the holiday and some sociable times. I drank a lot on a couple of occasions, but I have pulled back from that. What is scary to me is how easy it is for me to say that alcohol eases the pain. It really doesn't.

My downstairs neighbour just yelled really badly at one of her boys. Either that or she was yelling up at me for making some kitchen noises late (putting pots away etc) but I don't think it was that. She actually screamed out some really horrible stuff.

It's triggering to me cause I remember being ashamed at being screamed at like that. I really don't like it and it makes me feel sad and nervous and little. The difference is that she's got no power over me, whereas my m. did.

But it's a reminder how deep I've got the roots of my issues. The abuse that happened. Now I feel bad about the boys downstairs and for her too but I don't know what else to do.

I've got to keep to my own recovery and that's important.

What is the best way foreard? I don't know exactly. Other people's problems are distressing and sad. I don't think those boys are at risk. But, then again, I suffered badly that way. And I'm lonely and sad.

Well, ok, I am doing a bit better and I am coping, more or less. But this is kind of disturbing development and I hope they are OK.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on December 29, 2019, 12:47:55 PM
Second anniversary of my f's death today. I know some of the family are doing things that he enjoyed. But, I didn't, and never did, but did them to fit in. So I'm no longer doing that.

I am conflicted about saying it but he beat me with his brain, for years, and it shattered me. Now that I am starting to pull those pieces together again into what I hope will be a full personality I don't feel much except relief that he is gone. I'm sorry dad that I can't remember many good memories, but I just can't. Maybe they will come back later.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 29, 2019, 03:01:29 PM
Hi SaB,
Just wanted to send you a hug  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: notalone on December 29, 2019, 04:15:51 PM
SaB,
For now, your memories of your father are not good. That's just how it is and that's okay. Also okay that you feel relief that he is gone. Glad you allowed yourself to NOT participate in his enjoyed activities.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: woodsgnome on December 29, 2019, 06:01:41 PM
Sharp and Blunt ... I know those feelings very well. Once a therapist suggested an assignment: scan the mind closely, and see if there aren't some good memories in there. I tried -- hard -- and there was nothing.

My fear in doing so was that other bad memories might filter back in. Some did but the main thing is that I knew I didn't want to venture in that direction again. Since then, I've tried to focus on just trekking onward, without reference to that old stuff. I haven't always succeeded in tamping it all down, but giving up on finding any good memories seemed to clear my present foggy state of being quite a bit.

Coming to the realization you have about this opens up a space for your explorations into making your current life the priority; even if there's quite a tug on the heartstrings for what was so horribly wrong in your past.

 :hug:

Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on January 31, 2020, 11:05:26 PM
Thank you guys for your kind responses and sorry it has taken me so long. One good thing is, I feel that however long it takes, this base is always here, to come back to, and to be heard in. It means so much and I know that is something that means so much to you guys too.

This sense of having a bit more space for an inner life. Of having more free neurons to deal with things in a calm manner. This is something new to me. Anti depressants are maybe helping in that regard. A nice therapist too, who I will get to see for 12 sessions and have maybe used half of those so far. We haven't been rushing and I took quite a long break over the festive period.

New job, maybe moving house, new things but the same things underneath too. But, moving forwards. Being able to cope a little better. Not crying as much. I have a friend who I really like but who I find really difficult. I'm realising it's ok to be lonely and I don't have to reach out to salve that.

I can reach out for companionship but I don't have to take other people's shortcomings as a judgement on myself.

Making my current life a priority. This is really what it feels like and it feels different to me, and encouraging.

There are times when I have been feeling overwhelmed then I was able to stop and consider my own feelings. Even that little step was enough to stop me spiraling out - a welcome and happy change for me.

Not wanting to go on too much. Big  :grouphug: to everyone here who I feel affinity with. The sense of safety I feel here is deeply appreciated.

 :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: notalone on February 01, 2020, 03:38:21 PM
So many new things and positive steps for you. It warms my heart to hear how you are able to stop and consider your feelings. You are moving forward step by step. Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 01, 2020, 05:00:11 PM
hey, s&b,

it sounds like you're making some solid progress.  i'm really glad for you for that.  it's good to see you here again, too. 

i, too, have gotten quite picky w/ who i want to allow into my life.  it's difficult enough to navigate what's going on w/ me, let alone navigate difficulties or stress that someone else brings in.  at this point, to my mind, anyone who doesn't enhance my life doesn't need to be in it.  i'm ok right now mostly on my own.

a sense of calm sounds lovely.  keep taking care of you as best you can..  sending love and a hug filled w/ the present :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on February 01, 2020, 07:04:11 PM
Hi SaB, it's so good to read those positive things that have happened for you - many of them are changes, but so many positives within it.  It also warms my heart to hear that - and it's good that you are doing ok.  I agree with you that this place is a safe place to return to when needed. 
Sending you another hug, and glad to see you.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 01, 2020, 07:12:59 PM
I'm delighted you have so many positives to share. :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on February 12, 2020, 10:24:33 PM
Thank you everyone, it's lovely to read your replies.

My mind is on work and other things and although I feel safe kind of during the day I still have the most horrible dreams. I rarely remember the details but shame and embarrassment always come top to a physical sick feeling.

I've been attending therapy. The therapist tells me to try being nice to myself.

So that's what I'm trying to do! When I feel that I'm about to go out of control I tell myself that I can be nice to myself about it. That helps me even though it sounds so simple. I have been years not knowing that.

It also helps that when I'm feeling really weird or scared I can tell myself that these feelings are part of me and that they're OK. They're not pleasant but they're part of me, not coming from somewhere outside. I'm not convinced that makes sense but it's how I explain how I feel sometimes.

Knowing that I can be nice to myself regardless of how bad I feel is somehow empowering. So I have been concentrating on not forgetting that.

The shame attacks I get for being so 'stupid' still happen pretty bad but I find that they too can be stalled with a little pause and remembering this be nice mantra.

I don't know. I hope it lasts. I can take feeling small or weird or strange as long as I feel safe inside myself. It's a strange sensation to realise that this is all in me and not from outside and that I can work with that.

The shame attacks then also come when I feel bad about being so egotistical to think there is anything special about me as to why I find things difficult. A little pause can help me reflect that it's just another way for me to feel bad, and I don't want that.

So what's better? To face things and feel awful or to give a little break just to feel a bit better for a while. Well, considering how short a time we're all on the planet I'm inclined to say that it's better to take the easier route. Still there are scary things underneath and maybe that is part of the human condition.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on February 17, 2020, 07:40:40 AM
I'm writing this before I forget.

I'm so annoyed right now. Annoyed that to me love feels like hate and immediately triggers shame.

Good feelings triggering bad feelings. Thanks parents.

Why did they treat us like hateful burdens to be tolerated because life. Because their own feelings and wants and needs became nothing so ours should too.

There were nice times to but mostly it was in the shadow of anger and rebuttals and everything my fault, always my fault. The little boy who's still in me needs help to know that's not going to happen now. I did that to myself for a long time.

I guess I learned to hate myself as a kind of protection. Got to love maladaptive survival strategies learned in childhood, now deeply ingrained. It takes every spare ounce of energy just to survive then this realisation on top. Just makes me appreciate how far I still have to go on recovery. And makes me appreciate all the more that I don't have to be alone this time,though I recognise that sometimes I will still want to be,and I guess that's OK too.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Snowdrop on February 18, 2020, 01:32:53 PM
Quote
The little boy who's still in me needs help to know that's not going to happen now.

^^^ This sounds important. The little boy might not know that things are different now, that things can be different.

And yes! You can be nice to yourself, regardless of how you're feeling.

 :hug:

 :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on March 02, 2020, 10:26:40 AM
Hi SaB,
Just wanted to send you a hug, if that's ok  :hug: 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on March 25, 2020, 05:58:55 PM
Thanks guys, it's good to know you are here. WIth everything kicking off around the world and a lot happening in my life I haven't had space or time to post. But I'm still here.

S&B
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: woodsgnome on March 25, 2020, 06:14:34 PM
That's great, SaB, to know you're still here. It's so wonderful to hear from fellow travelers who are able to be able to connect in this safe format.

Even without a pandemic in the background, finding a way to be safe is important as we continue maneuvering out of the fog and past the storms.

Good to see you're here  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on March 26, 2020, 01:05:30 PM
Hi S&B,
Good to know you're around, and sending you a hug, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on April 05, 2020, 07:44:03 PM
Thanks. When I post I'm back on and then disappear again I try not to kick myself for it. I'm glad to be here. And I'm glad all of you are here too.

One thing I've been reflecting on, is how self isolation is not so terribly different from my normal life.

It's interesting to me how so many people are struggling with the lifestyle I've created for myself.

I know I am very lucky. I'm a single man who has work. So I know I've got it easier than most.

I do wonder if there might be an opportunity for me to gradually become less isolated. I don't know. Maybe when the post isolation parties are taking place I'll still stay in.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on April 05, 2020, 10:00:54 PM
hey, s&b, i've actually thought along similar lines.  i've been pretty much by myself for nearly 20 yrs., so this does not feel much different to me, either.  however, for most of that time i was too sick to want to be social.  now that i'm feeling better than i was, i had started thinking of doing something public, like a workshop or such.  but, parties?  i doubt it.   love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on April 08, 2020, 08:06:29 AM
 :) Yeah, maybe a party is too much. It's honestly the first thing I thought of, which is interesting because it fills me with fear. But, I went to parties for years not wanting to, because I felt I was expected to. Shudder.

I was thinking also how I froze so often in conversation that it really was damaging my self esteem. Partly why I felt I had to isolate.

Quite honestly, I think it is working for me. I do miss social contact but I think it will have to be on my own terms and very limited in future.

I guess this is work I need to do around boundaries, which I've been aware I need to do but didn't know how to start. But I've read a little bit. The practice takes longer, as normal  :)

Hugs to everyone  :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on April 08, 2020, 02:31:34 PM
hey,

i think you have the right idea about moving gradually back into social settings, doing so at your own pace.  very wise.  and the boundary issue sounds like it totally fits in with all that.  yeah, it'll take some time, but every step is a step closer.  we all move at our own pace, after all.  reading about how to do it is certainly a good start, to my mind.  then comes practice, which, as you say, may take a while.  i have no doubt, tho, that as you continue along this path, you'll eventually be able to be more comfortable acknowledging and preserving your boundaries in social settings. 

best to you with this.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on April 09, 2020, 05:57:21 PM
Hugs to you SaB   :grouphug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on May 18, 2020, 01:48:38 PM
I recently attended a 'Zoom' meeting that has triggered a lot of anxiety. People from my past. I kind of accepted it on a whim, not having anything else to do.

It was ok but I just feel horrible. I feel shame, and like I need to be hated, and that I can't be around anyone.

I don't necessarily want to dismiss those feelings or anything I just want to acknowledge them right now. My problems inside aren't going away and I'll never get away from the past. This is so shaming. I've read about addiction to negative emotions and adrenaline.

I just want to move forward, keeping what stability I have intact. My anxiety is high and still a full 'lockdown' where I am. Just getting through every day. My mind is so fast to judge and 'fix'. I'm deliberately taking it slower today even though I feel guilty for not working (still working from home).

I feel that when I connect with someone it's manipulation, my old shame ramps up and I just need to hide. But I don't want to hide my whole life.

Learning about being accepting of parts and not judging myself on a knife edge is helping but it is hard to do and also leaves me feeling stupid. Compassion and gentleness are two words I can try to remember.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on May 19, 2020, 12:28:31 AM
sending love and hugs filled with compassion and gentleness :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on May 20, 2020, 08:20:22 AM
Thank you san :-) Sun is shining and I feel better today - learning to process and not dismiss my feelings. It's slow going though!
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on May 22, 2020, 02:20:54 PM
I had my heavy legs dream again last night.

I was back in my home city and I was enjoying being there but while everyone around me was going about their business, I felt like I was walking uphill with 3,000lbs weights on my legs (I've no idea how heavy that really is).

I read today it can be just the physical feeling when your brain tries to move legs when asleep, but also that it can represent an insurmountable hurdle.

I realised I get it a lot. It's such a weary feeling. I recognising that all things are connected. One dream might not mean much on its own but when taken with other things can help illuminate concerns that might need a light shone on them.

I'm noting it here because I've had this awful dream so often - but never actually remembered what it's about. I woke up with physically sore legs and tired out.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Three Roses on May 22, 2020, 04:10:32 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: notalone on May 22, 2020, 11:17:16 PM
Emotionally you are carrying a heavy load. It can be exhausting.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 03, 2020, 06:38:05 PM

 I recognising that all things are connected. One dream might not mean much on its own but when taken with other things can help illuminate concerns that might need a light shone on them.



Hi SaB,
I also think about themes and things within dreams, and relate so much to what you said about this, and I hope that you can shine a light on things and make sense of them.  Sending you a supportive hug, if that's ok,  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on June 10, 2020, 10:05:27 AM
Thanks everyone  :grouphug:, your input is much appreciated. Re dreams I dream so often and the same themes come up again and again and often leave me feeling weary at the very beginning of the day.

It feels like dancing around fears I don't want to face during the day leaves my subconscious the only option to try to bring things to my attention when I'm most relaxed.

Working on listening! And not dismissing. Interestingly, listening to the anxiety has the effect of dampening it, to write a surprising extent. Stuffing it just compresses it and makes it more kind of concentrated and difficult.

Slowly learning to process all these things. Personally I find that there is so much pressure in life, get a job, get a house etc etc that finding not so much the time but the type of time I need to really look after myself, quite difficult.

Getting better  :thumbup: :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 12, 2020, 07:32:51 PM
Hi SaB,
It was interesting to read what you wrote about listening to the anxiety having the effect of dampening it, as opposed to stuffing it and compressing it -  I also try to listen to messages from my body and my mind, and learn more about the emotions, and it's been something that has also helped me. 

I hope that  you have a more restful sleep.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 11, 2020, 02:13:00 PM
Hi, Hope, and thanks as always for your comment. I hope that you are well.

Have been away for some time. I notice that four months have passed. I had found what I hoped was going to be a restorative relationship. It ended very abruptly and harshly which has thrown me back into abandonment. Interesting and sad to me, how much things have not changed emotionally. It has taken a full two months of frantically trying to make sense of what happened to get to a point of accepting I will never know and that it was probably not healthy from the start. There were signs and, I guess I am not the first and won't be the last, I chose to ignore them over the hope that something good would come from it.

I guess that it is not unusual for these things to happen. I just didn't feel really that a) I wanted it to happend and b) I tried to take measures to avoid it, including explaining about my difficulties from the outset. I just feel I have had a door slammed shut in my face and it's very sad.  :no: :fallingbricks:

But, I'm going to keep going and try to learn what I really need in life. I don't want to keep making the same mistakes,over a nd over.

I just logged in yesterday after a long absence. I'm relieved to find that I am still able to login and have an active account.  :hug:

SaB
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 11, 2020, 05:28:36 PM
Hi SaB,
Welcome back.  I'm glad you were able to log back in ok.  I am so sorry to hear that your relationship ended in the way it did, and that it has thrown you back into feelings of abandonment.  It must be really hard, and I am sorry that you're going through that.

Sending you a supportive hug, if that's ok  :hug:

Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 13, 2020, 06:13:31 PM
Hi Hope  :)

Thank you for your welcoming and supportive message and hug  :hug:

I am feeling very abandoned. It's good I think that I can identify that and maybe I can be with it and it will dissolve or fade away.

I know I am feeling abaondoned because my neighbour said he would help me with something he's been working on with me and has forgotten me more than once. I know that he knows I'm here so I'm feeling the feelings that I am being ignored and not being paid attention to, which is very triggering. The most triggering thing is how convinced I was of it being true that I had come to accept it. I now know it's not, but it still gets me. I understand that my breakup and this are plumbing into feelings that are at my core and that they are only triggers, not the cause, but I guess I was hoping not to be with these feelings again quite so strong.

SaB
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 15, 2020, 06:43:24 PM
Hi SaB,
I just wanted you to know that I hear what you said, and send you another supportive hug  :hug:
Feelings of abandonment are tough. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 20, 2020, 03:20:12 PM
Thank you, Hope, I appreciate that  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: notalone on October 21, 2020, 12:47:47 AM
Feeling abandoned and like a door slammed in your face is extremely painful. Sorry you are going through this.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 22, 2020, 07:54:09 AM
Hi notalone,

Thank you. I don't know what else to do for the moment except keep going and trust it will get easier.

SaB
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 25, 2020, 05:09:28 PM
sending some encouragement to do exactly what you think - keep going and have faith.  i think those are both worth your time, and will eventually produce fruit.  don't know exactly why i wrote that, but it's what came out. at any rate, i believe that doing those 2 things are a lot, and i give you a lot of credit for thinking of them  sending love and a hug full of 'forward'. :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 25, 2020, 07:26:53 PM
Hi sanmagic, thank you for your encouragement and hug  :) They are very appreciated  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Violet Magenta on October 25, 2020, 07:54:37 PM
Hi S&B, Reading your posts about your experiences has been really helpful. Much of it is achingly familiar. I only just realized that abandonment is a thing for me. I had thought that because my parents were both around, then how could I feel abandoned? I minimized and denied my pain for so long. I now understand that emotional abandonment is very real. Thought I'd say hello and let you know I'm hoping things get easier for you.  :heythere:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on October 26, 2020, 03:42:53 AM
Hello Violet, thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself and for sharing your feelings and experience.

You said,

... I now understand that emotional abandonment is very real.

I want to laugh and shout with you 'Of course it is!'. I have been minimising and denying this for so long, and indeed I came online to post something almost exactly on that. I had so well been taught that what I experienced wasn't an issue that I came to (almost) believe it myself. So,  :applause: to us for that.

A  :heythere: from me to you, too. It's great to feel welcome here. It is always and always has been a valued safe space for me.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 01, 2020, 05:50:44 PM
I just want to share that I feel detached and floaty. My father always had on insult for people, he called them balloons. I feel like a balloon, like my tie to earth is cut.

I was going to post in the having a difficult day section but I know that this will pass.

Sometimes it's easier to hold onto what I know instead of letting go of things that need to be let go. It's scary to think of dealing with life on the terms that seem easy for others. I don't like being constrained like this, but I still can't see a path out.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 01, 2020, 11:07:32 PM
hey, s&b,

i lived a good part of my life feeling floaty.  at the time, i didn't think much of it, just that's how i was.  but, what you wrote about feeling disconnected, yep.  that's exactly what it was.  i just floated from one thing to another, took whatever came, then floated on.  and, i can totally see what you're saying about holding onto things you know.  i just had a similar experience in therapy - letting go of a big piece of my survival mechanisms was way too frightening.  right now it's best to hang onto it, maybe tackle it in very small pieces.

may i just say that the parts that have helped us survive, are, to me, the most difficult to let go of.  i think, when you're ready, you'll be able to find a piece that's the least disturbing, and afterwards see how you're doing without it.  take it back if you need to.  your pace is the most important for you. sending love and a hug filled with encouragement and understanding. :hug:

Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 02, 2020, 08:40:03 AM
Thank you sanmagic, I feel very loved and seen reading what you have written here. I'm relieved that you recognise my feeling about parts being hard to let go of, the ones we must, eventually. Pace is very important, to be safe. I do feel less floaty this morning, and ready to face the day  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 04, 2020, 03:45:21 AM
I wanted to record the image of the dream I had before it fades. I thought about writing it down, but I realise I will never read it again. So I want to post it here, so that I may come back to it at some point.

Trigger Warning -- description of drug use, suicide, neglect

I was visiting my f's house, though in the dream I still lived there, I was also visiting. This is the way of dreams. The house was enormous in some scenes and tiny and cluttered in others, though it was always recognisably his house, the house where I grew up.

In some scenes the house was big and empty, but mostly it was small and cluttered. In the dream, I had previously broken into the house of a drug dealer I used to use and planted a bottle of liquer. I couldn't work out in the dream why I did that, it was on some impulse. It's still not clear to me what that part means. Maybe it just serves as a kind of device for the next part.

The dealer took it upon himself to continue this strange ritual by depositing illegal drugs in my house, in a place where I feared they may be found. The drugs were in a matchbox under a bed and the matchbox had a strange patter on it. For some reason, there was also a 'best wishes' type greeting card on a dresser, that had exactly the same pattern and every time I saw it I was triggered into fear that the drug would be discovered and I would be liable for it. That part of the dream was never really resolved, but the fear of being outed as a drug user to my parents was shameful. The fear of the shame they would put in to me if they found out was and is overwhelming.

The next thing was, there was a cluttered area of the house that I was responsible for cleaning. I think it was my bedroom. But it was full of old clothes (not mine) and stuff I did not want to deal with. I really did not want to deal with.

In the dream I came to realise that I was terrified that I had wrapped up the body of an old woman and kept it underneath all of this stuff. In the dream, I wasn't sure whether I had or not, but I didn't have the confidence to look. So I just wanted to leave the stuff as it was. I knew at some point, even if it was when my f. died, that all the stuff would be cleared out and whatever was there, if anything, would be found, so I knew there was no escape from it but I really didn't want to 'tidy up'.

My f., in the dream, was patient to the point of being infuriating and he expected me to do it. I didn't feel responsible for it because it wasn't my stuff, plus there was the possibility that I had murdered someone and hid the body underneath. This was a strange notion, because I had no memory of doing so, but nonetheless I was convinced.

That part over, time moved to another occasion I was visiting. I think I had left the house by then, by which I mean I wasn't living there. None of the clutter had been dealt with. There was old stuff everywhere. The house had expanded but was very delapitated. The dealer had obviously known I was coming and had left clues out that seemed to suggest he was playing with me and enjoyed knowing I was afraid of being found out.

The house had expanded, much bigger than it was irl, but was open to the elements and had obviously been used as a kind of doss house for various types of people. Doors were hanging off etc, there were holes in the walls and celiing. I walked into the bedroom of my f. and it was filthy, there were cooking utensils everywhere, all used and filthy. My f. was quite a tidy person irl so that was shocking.

I realised he was in this room and he was lying on the ground, but in a kind of fit, and obviously dying. I rushed over and hugged him and said unconciously 'I love you so much' and he held me and said 'Talk to me about father and son stuff'. We never got anything like this close irl. He had openend up and the distance between us had gone. The abandonment we both felt and pushed on each other also had disappeared. The issue about the 'body' didn't seem to be an issue anymore.

I didn't mention some street fighting that I had to go through in between entering and leaving my f's house, from locals where I grew up, some associated with the dealer, some not. Apart from that, the dream ended there. It was sad to see the house in that state. The ongoing thing with the dealer wasn't really resolved or explained to me, neither was the fighting.

The mess seems to suggest emotional messes that were never cleaned up. The body of the old woman I take to mean my m, who after a long illness committed a suicide attempt, when I was looking after her. That part happened irl. It was never discussed and I guess I have felt culpable all this time. She did die a few days later. I was never able to broach the subject of my m with my f, either her last action, or the years of mental instability she exhibited. I tried but I could never be allowed to talk about any of that. I take this making up to be a sign of me coming to terms with that, with healing.

The fighting outdoors may well have been a sign that the parents were trying to protect me (and my siblings) from an outside world they knew to be hard, and that would harm us if we gave it the chance.

This was the most coherent dream I have had in years, both in content and in relateability. I wanted to record it before it goes, because I don't want to lose the meaning I have ascribed to it. I don't believe in ghosts but I do enjoy ghost stories, because they often deal with redemption, and / or forgiveness.

It is almost 4 am and I don't want to distract myself with the news, because there is a certain election on and I don't want to have to think about it. I am condsidering putting a post in the 'Checking out' section, but I won't just yet. I might need some time to process where I am and where cptsd lies on my recovery and if it is now my main focus. I am not ready yet to declare that it is not a problem. I think I have other issues around addiction and avoidance but they might be comorbid. This might not be a step but just a shifting. So I think I will leave that for now but will think about it in the coming days. I also know that if I check out I will miss people here. I don't know if that is a good enough reason to stay. (A healthy enough reason, I mean). I also will think about that.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 05, 2020, 08:25:54 AM
Adrenalisation is what has been against me for my life. Not having a space to be safe and to be slow.

That is fading. I don't know that it won't come back, but it's getting less. Consequently I am able to better be with bad feelings. Bad feelings + adrenalisation = not good.

Hopeful that this is a healing step. It feels like it, but I'm not taking it for granted.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Blueberry on November 05, 2020, 11:28:39 AM
That sounds like a healing step to me SaB! I find that even when I take a step forward and then a step or two backward the original forwards step isn't gone. It may be temporarily over-written or hidden or something, but the progress having been made once, it's easier to access it again and continue. I hope it's that way for you too.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 05, 2020, 05:31:18 PM
Thank you, Blueberry! I like this feeling of progress, that something has been achieved. Even if it doesn't last, I do mean to hold on to the memory of it working, as you suggest, and it should be easier to regain. That is the theory in any case :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 17, 2020, 06:54:13 PM
Today I feel lost in time. I read some of my journal, and the me who wrote it seems far away. Some of the things I wrote in November, for example, feels a lifetime ago. I feel like it was a different person.

I know at heart that I don't give myself credit for things. when I feel this small and attacked then there is only one place the attacks come from and that's inside me. Feeling small and attacked can be a sign of an EF? I don't know, I just want to fight or flight, and not acknoweldge any of it.

One other thing that I am terrified of. I've been thinking a lot about NPD. I know that NPD can be caused by bad parenting. I am terrified that I am NPD, that all of this 'healing' is just another way of getting 'attention'. So, what's the answer? To abandon myself and abandon my feelings, because they don't exist or matter. Wanting to heal = being 'spoiled'. I really wish I could swear right now  :stars: My problems in relationships, do they mean that I am the problem? I am scared to death of this. I know there are places to discuss NPD, for example, OOTF, and while I know that my parents were disturbed and dysfunctional and imperfect, I worry that it is ME who is the N. I want to try to find a safe place to explore that topic, I don't think I have yet. It scares me and bothers me and again, it is the 'me' focus that turns my mind to NPD. However, I know that abandoning myself because I 'shouldn't spend so much time on me' is also dysfunctional behaviour and doesn't help me. I feel really stuck in a small place becasue of this right now.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 19, 2020, 08:31:46 AM
I want to be kind to myself. I don't have to do this anymore. Cutting out anything good in my life because it threatens my sense of safety. I resist love where it threatens to overwhelm me. I look for meanings to a level that is not necessary. It doesn't mean I'm bad. I maybe am a bit broken. If I can allow all the horrible things to be, outside of me, I don't have to carry them inside. This is contrary to my conditioning. I'm healing and it is frightening.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 19, 2020, 08:58:15 AM
Quote
I worry that it is ME who is the N.

I've often read that N's never see themselves as the problem. The fact that you worry about being a N tells me that you're not.

Quote
I'm healing and it is frightening.

Healing is change, and change can be frightening. But the healing is worth it. I love that you're healing, and you want to be kind to yourself. :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 19, 2020, 05:44:00 PM
Thank you, Snowdrop, it is good to hear about the N. Here is to healing and being kind!  :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on November 20, 2020, 07:36:42 PM


 while I know that my parents were disturbed and dysfunctional and imperfect, I worry that it is ME who is the N. I want to try to find a safe place to explore that topic, I don't think I have yet. It scares me and bothers me and again, it is the 'me' focus that turns my mind to NPD. However, I know that abandoning myself because I 'shouldn't spend so much time on me' is also dysfunctional behaviour and doesn't help me. I feel really stuck in a small place becasue of this right now.

Hi SaB,
I relate to what you said here, I also fear sometimes that I might have a narcissistic part of me, due to the parenting I had from my parents - who I feel were dysfuntional.  I've not felt brave enough to say it though - and I think you are brave to have voiced that here - I think I did mention it briefly once at some point, and I remember someone saying that Narcissists don't tend to worry about their behaviour so much, and therefore it's unlikely to be the case that if you're worrying about it, that you aren't likely to be N

I'm sorry - I feel like I'm tangling myself up with my words - I hope you'll disregard anything that seems strange that I've written. 

You mentioned that you're healing, and that it is frightening. 

I've just at this moment seen what Snowdrop said to you - and that was exactly what I was trying to say (when I tangled myself up with words above) - i.e. N's never see themselves as the problem, and the fact you worry about being a N means you're not.

It's good to see that written there - that's what I meant too.  That reassures me as well.

I hope you're reassured by it as well - take care, and here's a hug  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 21, 2020, 11:53:32 AM
Hi Hope,

Thank you so much, for reading my journal, and responing kindly to it too.

I like that you felt I was brave for posting that part that I did. I was very scared at the time and felt tiny. I am learning that when I feel like that there might be a strong emotion at play. Posting here feels safe, but I must admit that I was very worried when I wrote that that I may be 'exposing' myself as a bad person.

I am really re-assured by your words and by Snowdrop's. I have heard it say that a small measure of narcicissm is healthy and normal, it is only when it becomes a prime part of a person's personality that it becomes problematic. I agree with that in theory, it is just harder to incorporate all these things. Without wanting to go too deep (i feel my words getting tangled now too!),  I am starting to recognise 'parts' of myself. I have heard people talk about their parts, indeed Hope, your journal title references those, and I have longed I think in some way, to feel what those words mean. IN other words, I have not really experience 'parts' of myself. But I think that all my journal entries, and some of my posts, are indeed ways that I have been processing this, maybe not conciously but on a level of thought that I can't easily access from 'myself'. I know it sounds a bit weird, but I do really feel that there's 'me' and there's another me. One who is processing and thinking, and another who is doing the day to day stuff and taking care of work, eating, sleeping, warmth etc.  I want to connect those people together. I guess that they are my parts, at least for today.

Take care, I don't know if you will want to read the above as it is quite a big paragraph of thoughts. It is fine to leave it  :)

 :grouphug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on November 21, 2020, 02:15:34 PM
Hi SaB,
Yes, I wanted to read what you wrote, and I did.  I really find it helpful that you said that you've heard it said that a small measure of narcicissm is healthy and normal - I think I can tolerate that in myself, as I had previously worried about it too.

 :grouphug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: woodsgnome on November 22, 2020, 04:22:58 PM
SaB, I also was intrigued with your comments regarding 'some' narcissism. I grew up being affected by a huge number of n's both at home and private schools. To the extent that I vowed never/ever to be anything like I found them.

Trouble is it seems, as you indicated, perhaps some n traits aren't wholly bad; it's the extremes that become problematic, as it did when I was trapped in the nest of n's. But now I have probs appreciating good stuff about myself, as I still fear falling in to that foreboding narc pattern. My T especially has tried to steer me around those snags but it's slow, driven by fear as it is. This I feel has also contributed to my tendency towards seeming like an easy push-over to others; because I'm running so hard from anything resembling narcissism.

I hesitate to bop into your journal this way, but I also sensed a feeling you weren't getting through. Communicating these things is always rough, but I want you to know your voice has come through here, and I appreciate your insights in this regard as well as in other ways. Thank you.  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 22, 2020, 05:27:51 PM
hey, s&b, - i've gotten behind on journals, but want you to know i'm still here for you, still care about you a lot.

i agree with the others, that we all have some narcissistic traits, but, NPD means Narc Personality Disorder, which is a whole different ball game.  for those people, and, as someone mentioned, they are not the people who question whether or not they're narcs, narcissism makes up the very core of who they are. i, too, have been surrounded by npd's, and altho one of them was an actual therapist, while others have been in therapy, some for much of their lives, they, none of them, have ever questioned or admitted to something being out of sorts with them in their being.  lies and deceit and manipulation are their mainstay, rather than questioning their own selves.

it struck me when you wrote about how you push away positive things for yourself.  i truly think it may be because you haven't had a lot of practice having positive things, people, gestures, words, etc. in your life.  it's difficult to trust something we don't have a lot, if any, exposure to on a regular basis, so feeling scared of it makes a lot of sense to me.  do you find it difficult to allow the caring and support into you that you find from people here on the forum?  could that be part of a reason to check out from here?  no pressure, and you don't have to answer. those questions just popped into my head, so i thought i'd write them down.

i think you're doing a lot of good for yourself, questioning, wondering, writing down your thoughts and feelings, allowing others to share them with you, and just being part of our lives.  thank you for that.  we are all in this together.  sending love and a hug filled with compassion for your struggles.  i know what that's like. :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on November 24, 2020, 05:32:39 AM
Hi Hope, woodsgnome, and sanmagic  :) thank you for being here  :grouphug:

I'd like to write a bit about your responses. First of all thanks, every response is appreciated. I am glad that my worries about overdeveloped narcissism in myself seem to be baseless. It's good to hear everyone's thoughts on this. I think maybe I have been told in the past that I don't need to worry about this. But, sometimes, I feel like I sink a bit down and then maybe I start to look for reasons to be hard on myself.

Thank you sanmagic for what you wrote about being open and sharing and being part of your lives. It means a lot. If there is something worth sharing here then I am more than happy to share.

woodsgnome, I really recognise your struggle to avoid n. traits. The thing you wrote about appearing toward a push-over was honestly startling, because that is something I recognise in myself. I have astonished people in the past when I have kicked back against that assumption, but at the same time I must recognise that I must be showing that tendency, in some ways. It is amazing to me how much that affects my behaviour to this day, which I will write a bit more about because I want to explore that.

Hope, thank you for sharing your worries about N. Like sanmagic I have also got behind on journals, but I think that I know enough about you to know that this is something that should not be a concern for you, though I understand how it comes about.  :hug: :hug: :hug: to everyone.

Re. my thoughts, and feelings. Journaling here is I think one of the most helpful things I did and or am doing to help myself recover. When I moved house recently, I put all of my hand written notes and musings into a bix old cardboard box. That box is 3ft x 3ft x 3ft and is filled with scraps, sheets and pages of paper. It is an un-ordered mess, and this winter I will pull that box out and gradually burn everything that I've written inside. I've realised there's no way I can read it all again and hope to make sense of it. Here, at least I feel that I must try to filter things somehow and write in a way that makes sense. It's also easier to read back because the entries are kept in the order they are written. So that's all great. I do try to participate in the forum too. Anyway, I'm getting off the point of what I wanted to say.

I come from a family of pressure, bullying, and gaslighting. There were eight of us in a very small house. I know that there was also love there, but I fear that most of the love has evaporated. That is ok, I stopped looking for it. I'm 44 years old. My M was a mean, bullying emotional mess of a woman, who was also capable of expressing love in short doses. She passed away some 26 years ago. My F fell into the victim role, which became impossible for him to break from. He passed away about 4 years ago. I'm not even sure. To me he had been living a kind of death for a long time.

I don't trust people, sanmagic, because I don't know how, though I think and hope this is gradually changing. My siblings, are mixed. Some acknowledge we had a hard time and others don't. None are really capable of exploring the damage that was done. I think due to varying levels of emotional self defences and denial.

So, because I don't trust, I don't trust myself. This is true in as much as my tendancy to minimise my abuse is as prevelant in me as it is in my siblings. Because, I think, if we deny it, we don't have to deal with it, right? Wrong. Well, here at 44 I am and I am desperate not to become a clone of my father. To not only be able to function in a victim role. I don't want to minimise being a victim. I have been a victim, but I choose to let that go! If only it was that easy! That is the hard journey for me. Journaling gives me a voice that I was denied and had learned to deny myself. This must be a positive thing.

Also to learn to trust and not to expect to be punished for expressing myself, that is big. My levels of fear around this astonish me to this day because there is no-one around now who will punish me this way, but still my inner child cowers from expressing things like hope, joy, love, needs, wants - because he expects to be physically harmed for doing so.

So it is amazing to find a place, where love is allowed and accepted.  :applause: If i can learn to not do this ->  :fallingbricks: :spooked: that will be wonderful. I really want the rest of my life to be healthier than my past.  :grouphug: How can I stop listening to that part of me that is going  :blahblahblah: and nagging me to give it up, to give in. Well, maybe that part will be with me always. I have some ideas about re-arranging the mental space that he gets.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 04, 2020, 03:12:40 PM
Hi SaB,
I agree that it's amazing to find a place where love is allowed and accepted.  Sending you a hug  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: woodsgnome on December 05, 2020, 03:44:48 AM
SaB, so true what you said about realizing that though these traits tend to hang around and threaten our stability, it's still possible to re-orient towards what can be done. It may not be dramatic, but having the gumption to at least lessen the negative inner chatter a bit might help. In the end, those voices probably aren't your own, anyway.

Like so much, there's no perfect way that always effects this, but in working the new direction there's also always the chance of some surprising perspective you'll discover. I thought, as you were describing your intention to burn the contents of that messy box, how that could turn out to be a rather meaningful ritual for someone embarking further down the recovery trail.

I hope you can continue looking for new ways that will turn your tracks towards some better outcomes along the way.  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on December 07, 2020, 05:27:58 AM
Hi, Hope and woodsgnome,

It's funny to me how my perspective can change on these things somewhat. This weekend I finally fetched that big box from the loft and I started to burn through the old paper. I also have had some despairing moments but also some of hope and light.

I'm realising that the world might be a messed up place but it's not within my power to fix, so the best thing I can do for myself is to concentrate on helping myself, for now. Small steps and short bursts in the right direction mean that even if I am going wrong sometimes,hopefully overall I'll be going the right way. Sending hugs to you both.  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 11, 2020, 07:27:23 PM
Hi SaB,
That sounds like a significant thing, that you were able to fetch the big box from the loft, and begin to do stuff with the old papers.   :hug:
I thought what you said in your second paragraph was very meaningful too. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on December 12, 2020, 05:46:02 AM
Thank you Hope, and again to you woodsgnome. My journey is much better with you guys in it. Sab
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 21, 2020, 07:24:15 PM
Hi SaB,

 :bighug:

Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on December 22, 2020, 09:08:00 AM
Hi Hope,

I was just coming here to check in this morning and saw your big hug, which was lovely, thank you.  :hug:

I was just going to write a little about how hard the recovery journey is but also this morning how worthwhile it feels. When I am looking back on my past behaviours it's with a bit more understanding. People will say 'you did the best you could' but I think until I really can believe that, the words don't fully mean 100% what they should. I have heard so many phrases like that, that sound good but don't really work - until they begin to. What I'm trying to say is that I'm glad I am not giving up on anything like recovery, I'm still sticking at it. cptsd really does deserve that first 'c' - complex, which is how so many things got wrapped up in each other and tangled up together. Untangling cause and effect in all that is next to impossible.

I have realised how true it is. To go slow and to be kind and gentle to myself is key for me. I have always been impatient and dismissive of how much work I had to do. It's being in it for the long haul that makes it work. I'm heading into a festive period now pretty much alone but I think I will be ok. I do have people I can contact but not meet because of covid. This too will pass.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on January 15, 2021, 01:25:49 PM
Hi SaB,

Just popped by and wanted to send you a hug for this new year  :hug:  You mentioned 'to go slow and to be kind and gentle' to yourself - that sounds very positive, and I hope you're managing to do that - but however it's going, I wanted to say I hope that the new year will be a kind one.

Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on January 18, 2021, 04:03:12 PM
Thank you, Hope, that is a lovely message :)

I've had some better days and worse days, but I'm here today and that is very good  :bighug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on January 20, 2021, 07:08:41 AM
Feel like I've weathered a storm. I'm not sure what the cause was, or even if there was a cause. I look to the future and I see more storms, more weathering, hardening. It seems inevitable there will be more storms, will I still try to avoid them. Should I try to avoid them. Or should I accept my place and 'Walk On', as the song says. To Walk On feels a little like letting go, and letting go feels like letting off for all the things that have gone wrong. If I have to forgive then eventually that will be the only way forward. But to do that I have to give up any notion for good, that anything will ever be addressed outside of myself. I already know that is a fact and in fact can never be addressed. But a part of me doesn't want to to accept it.

I'm going to post this. Even though it turned into a stream of conciousness and didn't really have a fixed destination. Writing it down helped me think it through and maybe I'll read it again.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 20, 2021, 02:46:28 PM
hey, s&b,

there is a lot of controversy about forgiveness.  some believe we can't move on unless we forgive those who have harmed us.  others, like me, believe that we can give those people to a higher power of some sort to take care of our abusers, and can let go of them that way, which allows us to move on.  it's helped me a lot, and i don't have to worry or fret or even think on the idea of forgiveness.  i also believe that if it's something you eventually want to do, it will wait for you till you're ready, so you can still let go of the situation and move on until it's the right time.  you'll know when that is, and in the meantime you can continue with your progress.  just my own perspective, and if it doesn't work for you, please ignore.

i'm glad you wrote about this.  i've struggled with this same topic for a long time, especially the idea that nothing will get addressed outside myself.  there will be no justice, no awareness, no understanding.  that's been so difficult, especially since i'm all about fair play and accountability.  still, some things just aren't going to go the way we want, so it ends up being up to us to do what we can to get ourselves as healthy as we can in spite of it.  best to you with this.  love and a hug filled with whatever you need to be able to move on :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on January 26, 2021, 05:06:27 PM
Thank you sanmagic, it's great to re-read what I wrote there, and still be able to follow what I meant, and to see that it meant something to you too. Accountability is a good word for it. There is none and there won't be any - I always struggled with that. It also perpetuates my victim status somehow, which I don't care for much. Maybe turning it over is a better way of framing than letting go. Thanks  :) :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on March 04, 2021, 11:44:51 AM
Hi SaB,
Just popping by to send you a hug, as I was thinking of you.  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on March 04, 2021, 04:21:59 PM
Hi, Hope,

That is amazing, because I was thinking myself today that I haven't been here in what feels like a long time. To see you sent me a message just a few hours ago is unexpected and welcome  :) :hug:

I'm feeling very sad about things in general, although I have 'nothing to feel sad about'. But I'm sad about my want for love, my need to be seen and felt, and how the world is just so harsh in general. I'm getting older, things that seemed magical to me as a child just seem mundane and meaningless. This might be a slight dip in mood not quite a depression.

Strangely, the change in seasons, from winter to spring always challenges me. It's as if in winter, I don't feel bad for hiding away indoors and keeping warm. In spring and summer, there is much more of a perception that i 'should be' outside enjoying picnics, wine in the park, etc etc with some picture perfect friends. My world isn't like that and it never will be. I sometimes despise the media for painting ideal pictures everywhere.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: notalone on March 06, 2021, 03:19:18 AM
I'm feeling very sad about things in general, although I have 'nothing to feel sad about'. But I'm sad about my want for love, my need to be seen and felt, and how the world is just so harsh in general. I'm getting older, things that seemed magical to me as a child just seem mundane and meaningless. This might be a slight dip in mood not quite a depression.

Strangely, the change in seasons, from winter to spring always challenges me. It's as if in winter, I don't feel bad for hiding away indoors and keeping warm. In spring and summer, there is much more of a perception that i 'should be' outside enjoying picnics, wine in the park, etc etc with some picture perfect friends. My world isn't like that and it never will be. I sometimes despise the media for painting ideal pictures everywhere.

You do have reasons for your sadness. Even if you weren't able to identify the reasons, your sadness is legitimate.

I feel like that in the spring also. I've never verbalized that to anyone, ever. I see people out, doing things, living life, and I feel like I should also be out there and be happy. Thank you for sharing that.
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on March 18, 2021, 01:46:58 PM
Thank you, notalone  :'(  :hug:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on March 24, 2021, 08:23:26 AM
Hi SaB,
I read what you wrote about the 'picture perfect friends' in the park enjoying life - it's definitely something portrayed in the media and adverts and stuff like that.  I also read what you wrote about things seeming to have more joy when you're a child, and how they can feel less exciting and shiny when you're older.  I realise I'm just repeating what you said now, and not really making a point with my reply, but I wanted to just say that I heard what you were saying, and I hope that some things in today can be nicer.  I'm really not making my point well here, sorry.  Words are not coming to me easily at this point.

Anyway, I'll just send you a hug, if that's ok.  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: SharpAndBlunt on April 01, 2021, 10:21:54 PM
Hi Hope, thank you  :hug:, a hug is always ok :-)

Maybe what you are getting at is that things *can* be nice, even later in life. I think maybe that's what I am taking from your words, which is absolutely great. Thank you.

I'm relating to feelings a bit. It's hard, but it's necessary work. But part of it is being able to appreciate things now. I still feel that sense I was talking about sometimes, and I think after lockdown lifts it will get worse, but I seem to have got used to spring now, and I am loving the blossoms and the bird song among a couple of other things.

 :sunny:
Title: Re: SaB's 2nd journal
Post by: Hope67 on May 24, 2021, 06:05:29 PM
Hi Sharpandblunt,
Yes, the blossoms are lovely at this time of year.  I'm glad you're enjoying them.  I hope that May is treating you well too. 
Hope  :)