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Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Self-Help & Recovery => Recovery Journals => Topic started by: buddy9832 on May 27, 2020, 09:52:44 PM

Title: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on May 27, 2020, 09:52:44 PM
Well today, I guess Iíll start a journal. Iíve been told to write things down and for the longest time Iíve been wanting to write about my Navy experiences. Iíve never gotten around to that and it will probably be many more years before I do.

Today was rather tough. In reality, it was nothing more than a typical monotonous pandemic day: working from home and managing the kids; but it was one of those days in which I feel incredibly ďstressed outĒ. I never seem to really detect my stress, depression, etc until itís really bad and the elephant in the room. Iím assuming in reality itís low grade anxiety attacks. My chest  and stomach get tight, my blood pressure rises, my head feels like it starts spinning though I donít believe Iíve had any particular thoughts. I become incredibly irritable and definitely on edge.

At the same token I feel pretty bad. I was not nice to my daughter and all she wanted to do today was play. I had no patience and it was impossible to maintain a loving demeanor that she deserves. I feel pretty horrible about that, she doesnít deserve it and I think about how this will be screwing her up.

The stress is unbearable at times. When I have these events it feels like itís chipping away years off my life. Hopefully I can wind myself down and close the day with some quality time with T.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on May 27, 2020, 10:26:26 PM
hey, buddy    :heythere:

i hope you can wind down, too.  stress has been my nemesis forever, and i hate what it's done to me.  i can't always tell when i'm stressing, either - like you said, till it's the elephant in the room.  hang tough, ok, and know that you're not alone.

glad to see you here.  i hope that writing some of this stuff out helps.  it's helped me a lot.  sending a hug, if it's ok with you :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on May 28, 2020, 04:38:23 AM
I never seem to really detect my stress, depression, etc until itís really bad and the elephant in the room. Iím assuming in reality itís low grade anxiety attacks. My chest  and stomach get tight, my blood pressure rises, my head feels like it starts spinning though I donít believe Iíve had any particular thoughts. I become incredibly irritable and definitely on edge.

Hi again - gave you read about emotional flashbacks? Here's a link to Pete Walker's website where he explains them - What you described sounds like how I feel when I have one.

... I think about how this will be screwing her up.

I don't think you need to worry about this. No one parents perfectly and we all experience rough patches. Just keep doing your best, which will vary from moment to moment.

OH... Is it okay for people to comment in your journal?  :whistling:

Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on May 29, 2020, 12:03:34 AM
Thank you guys, I certainly appreciate it and please do comment if you would like.

Sanmagic Iím glad to hear Iím not alone when dealing with stress.

ThreeRoses thank you for providing that article. I found it interesting and wonder if that might be related. I think Iíd have a hard time identifying it as a flash back as it is not related to my memories. Additionally, I recall being exposed to traumatic events both in my adult life and as a child but I never recall it ever ďfeelingĒ traumatic. As a result, it has always been difficult for me to discern root causes of my issues.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on May 29, 2020, 02:01:34 AM
Today was a little better than yesterday but still not great. I found myself last night and throughout the day thinking about my grandparents. More so their deaths and grave.

I thought about the night my grandmother died. How I was sleeping, my dad came into my room to let me know Nana had passed and that we were going over to their house. There was no shock on my part, no tears. It surprised me even then.

We get to their house. I recall seeing her lying in her bed. Still looking relatively normal albeit slightly pale. I was afraid to touch her but I recall my cousin talking about how she was cold. There still were no tears. The morticians arrived. I recall there being a unique stretcher and red woven body bag.  I can still remember that fabric vividly. Not to long ago I saw something with a similar fabric and it took me back.

My grandparents house was rather small. They loaded her up into the body bag and had to stand her up to navigate through the hall. The image that has been imprinted in my head which I revisit occasionally are the morticians wheeling her out through the hall. Watching her head bob with the erratic motion of the stretcher. It was certainly shocking but still no tears.

Fast forward to present day. I have no family left in my home state. They either moved away to include my parents or passed. I think about the pandemic how this has prevented people from visiting the cemetery. I think about my grandmother and grandfatherís grave. How unkempt it must be. I feel upset that no one is taking care of their grave to include my parents. I also feel an extreme obligation to get to the cemetery to ensure their dignity is intact even after death.   

/:========END OF TW===//

I canít help but feel anger and rage as I think about their grave being abandoned. Their daughter, my mom, moving away without a care in the world.  With no intentions to come back, pay respects and or maintain the grave. I am left to pick up the pieces.

This anger is visceral I can feel it in my gut. It moves forward to thinking about other situations. How my parents left my grandfather to die alone. How they more or less abandoned me (moved to a different state, significantly far away). Just leaving me to cope with the transition out of Navy floundering like they have in the past.

I came out of the Navy disillusioned, with a part of me dead from my experiences. It took me over six months to get back on my feet and it was with no help from my family.

The anger continues as I think about my beautiful daughter and son. It feels like theyíve had almost no interest in them. T is almost three years old and I can count on my fingers the number of times they visited her. B they havenít even seen once. Granted itís not their fault, itís more due to the pandemic. It hurts me to know how much my kids are missing. They only have one set of grandparents and have the potential for another set of loving grandparents but they chose to move away. They abandoned them no thought for them and the family.

The only family I can confide in is my wife and her family which I am happy to have but is not the same.

The anger, the disappointment. The realization I will never be able to talk to them about this. They have no idea of the mental health issues Iíve been dealing with. They have no idea how close Iíve come to the edge. It saddens me.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on May 30, 2020, 02:28:08 AM
Families are weird. On the one end I have so much anger and resentment towards my parents but on the other end itís comfortable. My in-laws are more loving and have taken me under there wing. It doesnít feel the same but they have definitely made me a part of there family from day one.

Today R (my wife) who is an ICU nurse had to join a telehealth call with her father. Her dad got sick over the winter and has deficient kidneys as a result. Initial assessments do not look life threatening but obviously we are at the beginning stages. R is in her prime with this type of stuff. She knows how to talk to doctors, she knows how to interpret lab results and have a good idea on prognosis.

Her sister on the other hand, who was also on the call, is a lawyer. Not to be mean but the best way I can describe her is as a scared young girl in a lawyerís body. She is very controlling and manipulative and harbors serious jealousy against R.

To provide some backstory, R is recovering from a severe eating disorder. When she was a kid she was hospitalized many times for her issues and a few times came close to death. I believe her sister who also has an eating disorder albeit to a lesser severity had to take a back seat when dealing with R in crisis. I think this created some deep seated jealousy. She feels the need to be very controlling even when she is out of her realm.

Today during the call A would take over the call chastise R for having medical conversations with the doctor and scolding her mother.  She made illogical recommendations which quite frankly I deem dangerous to her fatherís health. R  told me about the call and I canít help but feel furious. Furious that A who is completely out of her realm needs to control the situation and suggest and/or make decisions that are not necessarily in the best interest of her father. It feels very selfish to me.

My point in discussing this dynamic is at the same time I am so frustrated with my family, itís comfortable. I hate watching this dynamic evolve over the years with R, A and their parents.

I guess I just long for normality. At the end of the day the only thing I want is peace which I feel like Iíve never had. After getting out of the Navy, I moved to the country side with R. We have a bit of land we can work on. Itís far away enough from the city lights that the stars are beautiful. Itís quiet here, serene. I tried to build this life post Navy searching for peace. Even though I have been doing my best to set up my environment to help facilitate this mind set it always seems elusive. I hope one day to find it. I suppose I have a lot to work on in the mean time.

After my episode about a month ago, R forced my hand to speak with a friend from the Navy about what happened and how Iím not doing ok. Other than R, I donít really have any support to reach out to. It was quite awkward speaking with him. I donít find it comfortable. Iím always afraid that Iíll be judged or there will be rejection.  M suggested that I get worked for my mental health at the VA. Particularly, get an official diagnosis for PTSD on record. I have mixed feelings about this but Iíve been trying to push forward. Ever since Iíve gotten out of the Navy, Iíve been so disillusioned that I want nothing to do with them or their affiliate organizations. I didnít want to get my aliments on record for compensation. It just feels like tainted money. But I think itís time to at least get it on record. Perhaps there will be some additional treatment that I can get out of  it. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on May 30, 2020, 02:11:13 PM
At the end of the day the only thing I want is peace which I feel like Iíve never had.

I empathize strongly with this! I'm at a point in my life where I'm finally starting to experience it. But it took a lot of work - a lot of speaking up for myself, a lot of standing up for myself, a lot of reading and listening to figure out what cptsd is and how it affects me. So if I can do it, I have faith in you that you can do it, too.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on May 30, 2020, 03:12:08 PM
Thank you Three Roses, I sure hope I can!
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on May 31, 2020, 08:09:49 PM
The day is certainly not over but I suppose Iíll start writing now. I just got off the phone with my parents. I havenít spoken to them in about two weeks and my mom asked to call.

Itís interesting ever since Iíve been working on my mental health, catalyst as it relates to my parents is readily obvious. Iím not saying theyíre the only contributors to my current state but they definitely played a role.

My therapist told me about Childhood Emotional Neglect. Iím having a hard time coming to terms with this and accepting that at least emotionally, Iíve been neglected. Also, itís been difficult for me to accept that if I was emotionally neglected that it has had such a huge influence in my life. Old me, would have never accepted this as legit but the sad reality is if I was to do a survey on CEN; I would check off every single box. Unfortunately for me, I have a scientific mind and even though I wish this wasnít true; I understand the data is unequivocal.

Itís tough to me to have phone calls with them. I feel very awkward and the conversation is always superficial. My mom, who R and I suspect has an undiagnosed eating disorder, always talks about how much sheís worked out, food and how she needs to restrict her diet to have a treat. My dad on the other hand, is incredibly stoic. Anybody would have a hard time reading his emotions. It is something that is on that side of the family and is pervasive throughout.

Growing up, I admired the stoicism, as it seemed to be very useful for navigating adult life. The concept that you are always in control and that nothing can faze you. It did have application for me while I was in the Navy but I realize it did a disservice to me as I was growing up. I never had the opportunity to become emotionally intelligent. A lot of my demons I feel could have been better managed if I was a little more emotionally intelligent.

Again this is a long tangent to discussing a 15 minute phone call with my parents. I briefly snapped at them. They were asking about Rís work. I mentioned how we are very concerned. R will be going back to work on July (sheís been out on maternity leave) and in speaking to her colleagues, it is readily apparent that the hospital is not taking care of their employees. My wifeís unit had become the COVID unit. The hospital has failed to provide PPE to the staff and failed to make steps to ensure they are taken care of. I say this because I mentioned to my father how we are concerned. How Iíve been looking online for PPE to stock up on to ensure R will be safe at work. He immediately defends the hospital about how it is a financial decision since they are not performing elective surgeries and therefore donít have the expendable income for PPE. I snapped and discussed how it shouldnít matter. They have an obligation to protect there employees, period. I find myself feeling a little guilty for snapping but not to a large degree. I suppose Iím at the part of my mental health cycle where everything seems ďnormalĒ and I have a hard time detecting if Iím depressed, anxious, etc.

It also seems a little callous. My grandmother, who is 90 is living  in assisted living close to my parents. She definitely suffers from dementia but otherwise for her age is quite healthy. Each time I call it always seems there is some type humorous anecdote about my grandmother at her expense. Eg: Guess what Farmor forgot x,y,z. It seems pretty messed up especially considering itís your mother.

Fortunately, today has all been doom and gloom. Iíve been working outside (something I love to do) and R and I were having a lot of fun with the kids. I donít remember the last time we laughed so hard.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 02, 2020, 12:44:06 AM
Today wasnít so bad. Overall Iíve been finding the beginning of the week has been more stressful and anxiety invoked than towards the end of the week. Usually, right around working hours due to competing interests with the kids and work my stress and anxiety peaks. Iím not sure if you would call it a panic attack but it feels pretty significant. My chest and gut feel tight. I can feel my blood pressure and pulse rise. Iím irritable, on edge and lastly I have these regularly enough where it feels like itís shaving years off my life. I wonder what all the elevated cortisol levels is doing to my body? Itís probably reaping havoc.

Related R indicated that when I do get to this level of stressed it takes hours or even days for me to come back down. Last week for an example Monday was the worse. I believe I had to take Ativan that night to slow my thoughts so I could go to sleep.  Tuesday and Wednesday were the same thing albeit less than Monday. 

I did have a very noticeable startle today.  I was working on the couch with R when pest control came by and rang the doorbell. R said it looked like I jumped out of my skin. I just recall as usual after the startle an intense anger and irritability well up inside me. I usually have to close my eyes and take a few breaths prior to moving on.


I suppose as Iíve indicated before I have a hard time accepting my mental health. When things are going relatively well I donít seem to detect the stress, anxiety, etc. This was a Ďniceí reminder to me that things are not alright and that I have a lot of work to do. Additionally, in the past as Iíve had a hard time accepting that I have cPTSD I always figured that me startling to a dog bark or doorbell ring was normal. The interesting thing is R didnít even flinch and it was a good reminder again that not all things are rosey.

Whenever I think about my mental health my inner critic always tries to convince me I donít have depression, anxiety and PTSD as I havenít been through anything significant.

G has depression, he had suicidal ideations, thatís not me. J has PTSD, he was blown up by an IED. Me on the other hand how could I possibly say I have PTSD? What because my parents didnít say I love you enough? My dad was stoic and worked too much? Additionally, my ďtraumaticĒ experiences werenít traumatic as I donít recall being freaked out at the time. Experiencing the things I did in the Navy were no big deal as again it doesnít even pale in comparison to being blown up by an IED.

My inner critic sucks.

As long as Iíve been in a relationship with R Iíve recalled having these startle events. I always figured I just startle easy. I never attributed it to PTSD. R would feel bad early in our relationship that I would flinch when she would hug me from behind. Now learning about cPTSD it is starting to make sense. I havenít noticed a difference because as long as I could remember there wasnít a difference. Iíve been suffering from cPTSD for a long time not knowing it. I suppose it helps render credence to the fact  that maybe my childhood wasnít as good as I remember it to be.

When I look back on it now, I wonder if there was any actual abuse other than emotional neglect that I canít recall. I honestly donít remember and or think my parents could be capable of something like that but the early years are foggy enough I canít rule that out. Iíve always been one to have quite a temper. Breaking things, angry outburst etc. I never gave it any thought why I was this way. Looking back at it now with a little bit of parenting experience under my belt I got to imagine these outburst were for some reason.

Retrospectively, I believe I more or less suffered from depression all my life. I recall a time when I was grade school age standing on my parents second story deck contemplating jumping off it. I figured that if I broke a bone people would like me more. Again I never gave this any thought until I started therapy obviously there is something not right going on there.

Most days I was miserable growing up. I was bullied at school but again who wasnít? And I only recall your of my 31 years on this earth a handful of years that I wasnít miserable.

//=======END OF TW======//

On a different note, the startle I had today reminded me that I need to get evaluated by the VA. I started getting the ball rolling, I was finally able to connect with someone about what steps I need to take to get an official diagnosis of PTSD. It felt good to talk to this gentleman. He was very supportive and definitely seemed like he could relate to me. Perhaps itís time to use these services.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 02, 2020, 01:18:46 AM
Please know that cptsd and ptsd are different, although there are similarities. Educating ourselves is in our best interest because not all health care providers are aware of or accept complex ptsd. (It's not "complex" because it's more complicated but because the trauma is layered - one on top of another). This is changing, but imo it's still best if we have a certain understanding of it so we can tell if our health care provider is trauma informed.

Here's some info Kizzie has gathered for us -
And fwiw the book "The Body Keeps The Score" helped me understand what was going on with me better than anything else ever has.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 02, 2020, 02:11:44 AM
Hi ThreeRoses,

Thank you for providing this link and recommending ďThe Body Keeps ScoreĒ. I will have to give these a look.

I definitely have a lot to learn about cPTSD and my mental health. Fortunately, it seems like my therapist and psychiatrist are supportive of cPTSD. Though they never mentioned it directly, theyíve definitely been quick to point out that as you suggested that there are multiple layers of traumatic events.

As it relates to the VA youíre are right, I have no idea if theyíll be receptive. I just feel like at best, I should have it on record, and get compensation for treatment and at worse have it documented for statistical purposes. Additionally, my psychiatrist recommended that I do group which I think would be a little more comfortable for me there.

I will need to be sure I continue to educate myself because I suppose I would be my best advocate.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 02, 2020, 02:41:22 AM

So the fire alarm went off tonight. Should have been no big deal. It was for smoke although there was no smoke in the house.

I was cuddling B to try and get him to sleep and R was taking a shower. When the alarm went off both R and I ran through the house to make sure there was no fire. Both of us left T, my daughter in her room by herself. It makes me sick to think that I left her alone by herself.

I keep on thinking about what if there was a fire and she was all alone. I keep thinking about her burning alive and no one being there to help her. And of course as my mind goes, itís very graphic.

It makes me sick and I donít think Iíll be able to get this out of my head. I donít think sleep will come on quickly for me nor will my dreams be pleasant.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 03, 2020, 03:09:05 AM
I guess another day in the books. Today I had therapy. Iíve been finding that journaling has been helping me during my sessions. This session was one of the more productive ones Iíve had in a long time.

Much focus was spent on my childhood and neglect. Itís been painful to acknowledge that perhaps my parents werenít all they were cracked up to be. That I was emotionally neglected from a young age and that due to my memory of my childhood being foggy not being able to rule out abuse.

R and my therapist suggest that I speak with someone I grew up with during those times. It may be helpful to shed some light and lift the fog a little bit of my childhood. Unfortunately, I donít really feel comfortable having that type of conversation and Iím not sure what it would take to get me to that point. Iím not even comfortable discussing this with my sister whoís a social worker. I donít know what Iím afraid of, abandonment I suppose? After my incident it has been abundantly clear that I do have abandonment issues.

We discussed about how I was perpetually depressed as a child. I didnít know it at the time but it is readily obvious now.  We discussed my severe anger issues as a child. How I would act out and need to break and destroy things. Clearly this was a symptom to a larger problem.

I also discussed the fire alarm issue. Where the fire alarms went off and I went to search throughout the house for smoke. In doing so, I left T in her room alone. I screwed up and if there was a fire likely I would not have been able to go back.

L and R both find it peculiar that I had such a hard time on this. Nothing serious occurred and you can learn from it. I just found myself getting hung up on the failure. The major oversight of leaving my daughter in her room alone. It took me such an incredibly long time to come down from being that wound up. It wasnít until I took an Ativan and melatonin and a few hours after that, that I was able to sleep.

I just kept ruminating all night over and over again my daughter being stuck in that room. There being a fire and her burning alive. I could t get that out of my head. The scenario would play over and over.
//==== END OF TW===//

I was so shaken up, I had to do a few things to the house for me to feel at ease that she would be ok. Again R found this odd. She wonders if something in my past has a big play in this. I honestly donít know.

L thinks that it is a part of my guilt and shame and that I needed to think about the worse case scenario as a form of punishment to myself. I donít know why Iím always like that. I am a jerk to myself.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 03, 2020, 04:26:22 AM
I'm a jerk to myself, too, at times. But I'm learning how not to be.

IMO you're on the right track, looking at the past. Don't go too fast though, and be patient with yourself. Move at your own pace. Your healing is important.

FWIW all parents have things they've done in the shock of dealing with an emergency, even a potential one. It's ok, you're allowed to be human.  :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 03, 2020, 07:53:16 AM
Thanks Three Roses, I appreciate the kind words and advice.

From the childhood perspective it feels like Iíve been stuck where I am and need to do and/or talk to someone to move to the next step. It just feels like Iíll never be able to make that next step.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 03, 2020, 11:48:33 PM
Well what a kick in the face today was. I know itís the point of therapy but we had Coupleís therapy and my wounds came to the surface.

It was heavily focused on me. My relationship with my parents and emotional neglect. I know itís true but it is hard to hear. Basically I need to come to terms that they will never change. The therapist equated my relationship with my parents as how it would be growing up with alcoholic parents. She was pretty spot on. She discussed how Iím constantly seeking their  approval and love which they are not capable of giving.

She also mentioned more so that my kids are bringing up old wounds as I am more or less reliving my childhood again through my children. Again, I canít say sheís wrong. T who is 2 exhibited the anger issues and destructive behaviors that have and that was incredibly hard to see. It feels like Iíve tainted her with my demons. Rational me understands sheís 2 and not quite at the point where this would actually apply. It still hurts though.

What hurts the most is thinking about and discussing how my kids will never have a relationship with my parents. They are not capable of it. That kills me but theyíre not wrong. Theyíve only seen T a handful of times and havenít seen B yet.

Iíve been told I am capable of being loved and respected however when that was said, I had such a sharp reaction to it. I guess I donít believe it. My inner critic has been running wild tonight. The usuals: I hate myself, you canít be loved, you are faking all this mental health stuff, etc.

Capable of being loved. Itís hard to hear. Iíve been told that I need to mourn my family, that they will never change and use Rís family for love and respect. The problem is I feel like that isnít the same nor will ever be the same. Furthermore, Rís family is such a significant difference to mine. They are loving. They are invested in their grandchildren and even me for that matter. But when I am visiting the Rís side of the family the dichotomy is so different that itís painful. Itís like rubbing salt into a wound. Just a reminder that I canít have this. 

It has and itís going to be a hard night. I hate myself and feel like Iíve always been tainted and unclean.

Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on June 04, 2020, 01:44:57 AM
Buddy, my mind feels like scrambled eggs right now, but I want to acknowledge the pain and confusion that you are experiencing that your parents are not able to connect with you emotionally or with your children. Their lack and brokenness is about them. YOU are worthy to be loved, heard, understood, and nurtured.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 04, 2020, 02:35:25 AM

Thank you for your post and your kind words.  Itís been a tough night. I definitely have a bit to process and accept.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on June 04, 2020, 12:19:27 PM
Buddy, that is so difficult and so painful. I know the pain you talk about. I really can relate to how painful it is to experience love or care and how that feels like salt in the wounds. It hurts when we finally do feel love from others. For me, I think sometimes I have avoided letting care in because it was so painful.

What you are going through can feel like a death. I went through some stuff with my parents too, not the same situation as you, but what is the same is the inability to emotionally connect, and to be there. My parents did care about my kids, but they were still too caught up in their own defences to really be present with them, just like it was with me when I was growing up. They were there, but not there. In your case it's another step further, not even showing any interest. That hurts, deeply.

It's not your fault that this is the situation. It's not your fault your parents are incapable of showing love. It does not mean you aren't worthy of it. It's a deficit of theirs, not yours. I know it hurts anyway, though.

Not sure if you've heard of IFS (Internal Family Systems), but I've been reading about it for a few years now and finally started IFS therapy these past couple of months. It's already making a big difference to how I feel about myself. I just wanted to share this with you in case it's something that might be helpful for you as well. The IFS is really helping me start to feel more whole within myself, and more safe and worthy of care and love. It really becomes an internalized feeling and it's amazing. It doesn't take away the grief and the pain around our FOO, and we still have to go through the grieving process. But the IFS makes it possible to do the grieving.

I'm sorry you know all this pain too. You deserved better and your children deserve better too.  :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 04, 2020, 04:41:48 PM
I will echo owl's recommendation of IFS. I'd ask your T if you could read a bit about it. I think it's important that you not rush things, and proceed according to your T's plan of therapy, as long as you feel it's helping. But imo IFS is really helpful at getting to the root issues, helping the children we were (and who still live within us) find the healing needed to release the pain of the past.

After an incident between my F and my youngest son who was about 4 at the time, I went VLC with them. It was sad that my children couldn't be close to one set of their grandparents, but it was better that they not have them in their lives if they were doing damage. Up until that incident, I'd always believed the problem was me, that I was somehow bad or whatever, and that's why my parents acted the way they did. After that incident, I began to realize the problem was my parents. I say this to pose the idea that maybe you're protecting your kids from harm, by not having contact with your parents.

Another thing that helped me was a book called "Adult Children of Abusive Parents" by Stephen Farmer, specifically the section where he guides you to create loving, healthy internal parents. Creating that resource within myself was a turning point in my life. Again, I would suggest that if you're interested in reading that, you do so with the approval of your current therapist.

I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time, but healing can be hard work. Worth it, most assuredly, but hard. Here's a safe :hug: if you want it.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 05, 2020, 02:32:50 AM
Owl and three roses,

Thank you for your kind words and advice. Iím glad to know others can relate to me. I was actually telling R how I think Iíve found my niche here. IĎve been searching and searching. Trying to figure out where my issues had come from and couldnít really find anything. It was until I started looking at emotional neglect and saw that all the ďboxesĒ were checked and my therapist and psychiatrist heavily hinting at PTSD that I came across here. It does make me feel better knowing that others have been in my shoes and are getting on.

As for the resources, Iíll definitely give them a look. It might be a stupid question but for the IFS, I donít believe my therapist specializes in it. Does a therapist need to be specialized in that form of therapy or is it a treatment that should be readily available? After two years Iíve really built a trust with her and really donít want to start that process over again.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 05, 2020, 03:06:30 AM
Well another day has passed. Today was significantly better than the previous two days which is obviously good and Iím thankful for that. Itís strange as usually when I have rough days and things are better the next day my inner critic does its best to take charge. Typically, it is telling me to think that the previous days werenít real and that Iím making this stuff up. It is always trying to force me into a position of denial. That I donít have depression, I donít have anxiety, or cPTSD because after all other have had it worse.

I wish I could find a way to break this. Perhaps it would help me move on? I usually have trouble during this stage. Trouble detecting depression and anxiety. I more or less have a low grade degree of it all the time but Iím so used to it I barely notice it.

Of course Iím still thinking of my family, thinking of what my kids are missing but it bothers me less.

I mentioned the other day how spending time with Rís family is like rubbing salt into a wound. This is true. Obviously, her family is not perfect and they have their own issues to contend with. R and her sister donít get along. Rís dad has been having some health complications as of late which has required both R and Aís involvement. The problem is A is wholly unqualified in the health and medical realm but still feels the need to control. She manages to take her dadís health issues and make it about her. Itís very frustrating.

In addition to dealing with my family issues A has been finding ways to stir conflict. The other day she more or less stated how sheís so glad that B isnít sleeping well. As it is humbling for us.

R and I are exhausted. We are sleeping on Bs floor and heís not sleeping through the night. Her comment makes me furious though. Her kids who are 6 and 2 just started sleeping through the night (literally) but more so I take deep offense with her bringing our kids into the mix. She can say all the nasty things she would like to me and R but donít bring our children into this. They donít deserve it. That behavior is unacceptable. Moreover, a major reason why B isnít sleeping through the night is because heís struggling with some GI issues that we are working through with the doctors.

The other part of me is upset. As Iíve lost my family and now have the privilege of inheriting this. It is just another form of salt into the wound.

I digress, Iím just happy today was better than the other days. I hope tomorrow will be the same.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 05, 2020, 03:40:56 AM
Imo, while IFS is great and it's helping me a lot, it's probably best if you shelve the idea for now and just proceed with your current therapist. There is no "right" way to heal and many different, beneficial types of therapy.  :yes:

Giving advice is not allowed here because everyone is so different. In re reading my post i see where I sounded a bit advise-y. My apologies.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 05, 2020, 05:51:53 AM
Hi Three Roses,

No need to apologize. I appreciate the feedback and quite frankly itís helpful learning new places to look and new ideas to recover. Ultimately, at the end of the day I understand I need to rely on my therapist and psychologist for the treatment they are providing.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on June 06, 2020, 01:19:04 AM
Hi buddy, from what I understand, IFS for CPTSD does require a therapist trained in it. I think mainly because it's really hard to do on your own with CPTSD, I think it's because we need someone to show us how to do it. There is a great resource here: where you can learn/improve your own IFS skills, but again I think with CPTSD it's a lot harder and maybe not really possible to do by yourself. In terms of finding an IFS therapist, I did find it difficult to find someone, as it's not yet widely available.

All that being said, I didn't mean to suggest you needed to change what you are doing with your current therapist. Having a relationship with trust built is very valuable, and I am really glad you have that. I think I was just trying to share an additional resource and also that there is real hope and to not worry about your kids, that you can find and internalize self-worth and that you are already a different parent to them because of your awareness. I know for myself I wanted my kids to know they were loved and I tried to show them as best I could. I think I managed to do a good enough job. I am sure that this is what you are trying to do as well. Your kids will be okay.

I can imagine how angry the comment by A must make you, about you needing to be humbled, that would really upset me too. It's not a very nice line of thought and really quite hurtful. You shouldn't have to deal with things like that.

I hope you had an okay day today  :)
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 06, 2020, 03:20:05 AM
Hi Owl,

Thank you for your most recent post. I didnít interpret your previous one as you need to change the way your doing therapy. I saw it as an introduction to a new resource to check out. So thank you!

Also thank you for the words of encouragement related to my kids. That is definitely something Iím continuously sensitive about. I obviously donít want my kids to experience what Iím experiencing now. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 06, 2020, 03:36:14 AM
Today wasnít so bad. Well kind of, B has started learning how to roll over so we didnít get much sleep last night. I was in a haze most of the day.

Overall, I found the day more or less uneventful. I could sense a little bit of stress related to work but it was manageable.

I still found myself thinking about what A said regarding my children. I canít shake that comment. I suppose Iím so sensitive to it because I know R and I are doing absolutely everything we can to ensure our children are healthy, happy and comfortable.

As Iíve been perpetually working from home due to the pandemic, I find myself divided between spending time at work and being present with my kids. Itís really hard. I felt bad today. I definitely wasnít very present for T. I was in such a fog I couldnít really function when I had down time. This made me feel guilty. She was clearly struggling today. Of course my inner critic would pick up: youíre screwing her up, youíre a bad parent, etc. I was able to find some time after dinner to be present. Hopefully that helped.

Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 07, 2020, 03:52:54 AM
Another day that wasn't so bad, that makes two in a row!

Overall, it was another uneventful monotonous pandemic Saturday. Just R and I going through the same routine each day, no outside support just us. We are definitely in need of a break. As the weeks go on, I find it harder and harder to have patience with T. She is well intentioned and I fear that my impatience is going to affect her. The one thing I know for certain is that I don't want her to be like me. I don't want her to go through her childhood depressed and not even know it. I don't want her to find herself in her adult life wondering why she is so apathetic. Wondering why she is so miserable, thinking this is the way life is. Why it is awkward to talk to her parents and excruciating to say I love you and or receive that statement from her parents. Holing herself up in her apartment wasting wonderful opportunities to be with friends and not know why. Whenever I snap at her or am not present I fear I am leading her to this.

Tomorrow is going to be a tough one. It is R's grandfather's 80th birthday and I'm not looking forward to going to that function. Both her grandparents are starting to lose their filter and I've come close many times to losing my cool and yelling at them. Furthermore, R's sister A will be there. Her comment to R of how humbling it is that B doesn't sleep through the night has been weighing on me and I think I will need to say something to her tomorrow. B hasn't been sleeping through the night because he has GI issues. We've been scratching our head more or less since he was born that something isn't entirely right. We think it is an intolerance to something but we can't figure it out. We've seen multiple doctors and are still plugging away. My point is, B doesn't sleep through the night for a reason. He is very uncomfortable. He either wakes up in his own cold spit up or has gas pains due to the GI issue. The poor kid, you can tell all he wants to do is sleep but is too uncomfortable to do so.

Related to the family gathering on R's side. It is always a reminder of the family that I don't have. I think I've mentioned before it is like rubbing salt into a wound. I usually find myself doing alright for the first hour or so and then slowly shutting down and wanting to be alone. I suppose I'll have to keep everyone posted after the fact. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 07, 2020, 12:00:56 PM
Yes, please let us know how it goes. Your wife's sister has an uninformed opinion on your son's pain and discomfort. But her words seem to have really triggered something for you. It seems I am most triggered by people's negative or critical words when I fear they may be true or when I feel endangered somehow.

Pete Walker has spelled out the 4Fs of triggered behavior - fight, flight, freeze and fawn. We all seem to have each of them from time to time but according to him we may have one that is our "go-to" reaction when triggered into an EF. When I'm feeling endangered, I can go into fight mode. I can become confrontational and hostile. I don't think of how my own words will make me feel later. I don't remember if you've said you've read this so forgive me if you have, but here's a link to Walker's website where he talks about the 4Fs.

Maybe there are grounding exercises you can use while you're at the function. Maybe your therapist can be on standby for you if you need her. In any event we're here for you and care about how you feel.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on June 07, 2020, 02:55:41 PM
Glad you had a better day a second time in a row  :thumbup:

Tomorrow sounds stressful. Hopefully you can keep things manageable.

You won't screw your kids up. You are aware of how not to parent, and you won't be like your parents were. That in and of itself puts you ahead of the game.  :)
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 08, 2020, 02:34:38 AM
Hi Three Roses,

Thank you for sending the link along. I did come across it before and it was definitely a good read. I read it for a refresher today.


Thank you for your words of encouragement. I really hope so. Every time I see a reminder of my childhood in them or am not present  itís the first place my mind goes.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 08, 2020, 03:25:29 AM
As expected today was a pretty rough day. I am sufficiently exhausted from the day. For starters R and I got no sleep, probably 3 or 4 hours if we were lucky. Both kids just would not sleep. We couldnít get them down until 2.

I found myself getting stressed leading up to going over Rís parents. I kept going over in my head how the scenario would go down when I confronted A. I was planning on speaking to A tactfully but R talked me down.  With her father being sick she didnít want to place added stress on him. I know sheís right but it just made the day a little tougher.

We got there exchanged pleasantries and almost immediately I shut down. I didnít want to engage with anyone especially A and I just wanted to be alone. I guess this was very noticeable. R kept on checking in and requesting me to be less secluded. It was quite hard. I donít think I really ever came out of my shell.

Of course I had to listen to the same conversations that I hate. Itís always what is the most confrontational thing to be discussed and obviously it was largely focused on the protests and riots. Rís grandparents and father definitely discussed the topics with a degree of ignorance, I wonít get into it. Furthermore, the typical discussions of so and so lost 30 lbs traveling because x,y, and z (great topic in the presence of my wife who is recovering from anorexia) or so and so died.  Itís  so terrible because x,y,z and oh that person was having an affair with so and so. I try my best to tune out these conversations but it can be so hard.

Moving on, it was difficult watching the cousins play with each other. Theyíre 6, 2.5, and 2. Watching them play reminded me of my childhood. How I would go to Nana and Papaís house just about every Sunday for a cookout or dinner. It was especially triggering watching them ride little scooters. I donít know why but it had such a connection to my early childhood with my cousins at my grandparents house. I remember playing  at their house with my cousins probably doing the same things. I couldnít help but feel sad and guilty. I canít put my finger on the guilt but I assume the sadness is due to the reminder of the family I donít have. (Next sentence could be a TW). Fast forward to present day my aunt ODed on heroine a couple years ago and her daughters are serious addicts. (End of TW.).

I spoke with R about this sadness and guilt. She is wonderful and is really trying to understand these feelings  but she really canít wrap her head around the guilt nor can I really explain it. I suppose it is the guilt of joining the Navy, moving away, and not having the greatest relationship with my parents. I donít know.

Lastly, I couldnít help but be irritated at A. She spent the day like nothing was amiss. She would make eyes to her husband when T didnít want to share. I kind of got the impression of what great parents, theyíre raising a lovely daughter.

Also frustratingly, Rís dad tends to blindly defend A regardless of what the situation is. He asked R why I was so recluse, she stated because I was mad at A for the comment the other day. He proceeded to state that A was joking and didnít mean it. After knowing Rís side of the family for 10 years, I know she meant it and I know she wasnít joking especially given the context of how it happened. More so, it is extremely frustrating to me that you will still come to the aid of your grown daughter and not feel the need to defend your grandchildren. I feel like he was stating the my sonís health is a joke. R and I are at our wits end. Weíve been telling doctors and others that something isnít entirely right and people are either dismissive or the solutions we have, havenít solved anything. Weíve been isolated during this pandemic with no support from anyone. Itís just been R and I everyday all day taking care of the kids. No breaks nothing. It frustrates me that he would make a comment about how my son is fine and A was joking when I can count on my hand the number of times theyíve visited him.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 09, 2020, 03:45:50 AM
What an evening.

The day started out fine. I was able to get a lot of work done while sitting with B in the nursery.  It was a beautiful day, perfect for having the windows open. The children were great, my boss told me Iím doing great at work which i find I need affirmation from others all the time.

Then this evening things got tough. I went to the basement to get a popsicle for T and I to have on the steps. I was planning on cooking dinner afterwards. When I went to the freezer I found that everything thawed. It was still refrigerated temp but it all thawed. We had to cook a bunch of meat to preserve it longer.

The tough part was my wife had a large store of breast milk for B. It was to be used when she eventually went back to work. All of it was thawed and all of it needs to get thrown away. It took weeks and months to have an adequate supply now thereís nothing. Obviously, R took it incredibly hard. I was just at a loss as to who left the freezer door open. It was probably me. I

I know this is definitely first world problems, especially considering the current situation of the world but I felt pretty bad for R. Her mom came over to watch the kids while we trying to figure out what the next steps were.

When it came time for J (Rís mom) to leave, T was losing her mind. She kept saying ďlet me go with you!Ē  I canít help but feel guilty. Am I not creating a suitable environment for her? As a result am I setting  her up the foundation for the issues I am now dealing with thirty years later? Am I that bad of a parent?

What hurts the most is knowing that my parents will never experience that. I know it is their choice but it is still painful. Whatís hardest is seeing what T is missing out on. Itís a disservice to her and sheís a wonderful and amazing young lady.

I wonder if this is a trigger from my past or it is the guilt related to it all.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Jazzy on June 10, 2020, 01:57:52 AM
That's a difficult situation, but it sounds like your IC is taking advantage of it. Accidents like this happen, I'm sure you all will make it through. Hope you feel better soon!
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 10, 2020, 03:06:37 AM
It was a therapy day today. I had a lot to talk about, a lot to get off my chest.

I am finding it very hard to get over those comments that A said. It has been about a week and I still canít get over it. L told me I should find a way to let it go as it is only harming me and A probably has already forgotten about it. I guess I donít know how to? I guess you could consider it rumination?

It just makes me so angry that she would be so petty to bring our kids into the mix. Focused at bringing R down. L said that perhaps Aís comments triggered something in me. I donít know I guess. I wouldnít even have the foggiest idea what the trigger would be from a cPTSD perspective.

Overall, Iíd like to consider myself a pretty easy going guy. From the outside world nothing really bothers me too much and usually I can let things go.  The amount of crap I had to deal with in the Navy very little phases me from the outside world. With that said, there are a few hot button items that I just canít let go. I guess this is one of them.

I donít think I know how to let this go. I rationally understand that no one is being affected by this other than myself. But I canít let it go. I do have a tendency to be extremely harsh on myself and more or less continually punish myself? Is it that and how do I get over that? Iíve been like that my entire life. L suggested that perhaps with all the guilt and sadness I carry this is my way of paying penance. But the punishment never ends nor does forgiveness come.

I also discussed how Coupleís therapy went. How it was very hard. How I need to come to terms that my parents arenít going to change. Itís tough when every time I spend with Rís family is a constant reminder of the family I donít have.

Maybe Iím so upset with A because my blood family is gone and the only thing I have left is Rís side. I go from one distinction, the emotional neglect, to this distinction.

Lastly, I spoke with L about how I find myself, especially on the good days, quick to dismiss all my mental health issues. That I donít have cPTSD, depression and anxiety. I think in my guess I need to get a complete diagnosis on the books as this will at least help me accept my condition.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 10, 2020, 03:10:38 AM
That's a difficult situation, but it sounds like your IC is taking advantage of it. Accidents like this happen, I'm sure you all will make it through. Hope you feel better soon!

Thanks Jazzy, I do feel better today but of course Iím focusing on the next problem. It definitely seems as of late I have a hard time controlling my IC.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on June 10, 2020, 11:57:52 AM
Hi buddy, A's comments would have rankled with me too. The thing that comes to mind with it for me is that she's somehow taking pleasure in your misfortune. That she feels you deserve to be going through this difficulty with B. It's not a kindness on her part. It's spiteful and hurtful. It's judgmental. It's showing that she doesn't care about you or wish you well. Maybe it's her own outer critic. If someone said something like that to me, I would be stewing on it for a long time as well, and I would have difficulty letting it go. I think it would always be there for me. It's because of the injustice of it. It reminds me of one time where I was in tears because I was sick and exhausted, and my 1 year old took so much out of me and it was more than I could manage. My mother seemed to take pleasure in this, that she'd gone through that and now it was my turn. I was really hurt by that. How could she wish for me to feel so awful, how could that make her happy? My T tried to reframe it as it being a form of validation for my mother, who likely never got that. I had difficulty taking that on board. You just don't do that. You don't tell a person they deserve to go through a hard time. It just feels like there's an undercurrent of resentment towards you when that happens. When you've done nothing to warrant it. It feels like an attack on the person you are. At least that is how I experienced it. It made me so angry. I think underneath it all, you are feeling hurt and angry by her comments, and it makes total sense to me that you are. It's likely reminding you of past treatment by your parents at some level, even if you can't pinpoint it to anything specific. It's the sentiment that's opening up old wounds. And you can't let it go, I imagine, because you need to be able to stand up for your family and say to her, "what you said was not okay, and I am angry about it" - and for it to be heard and not dismissed by her. The trouble is not being able to get angry and stand up for ourselves, at least, that would be my difficulty, and it sounds like you were having difficulty with this as well for very understandable reasons. I think that's why we can't let these things go, they rankle so much, and we get stuck because we are afraid to assert ourselves and speak out, likely because that made things worse for us as children. Over time I have grown a bit stronger but it's still hard, but if it happened to me today I would try to say something. I would not be able to a year or more ago. You might not be there yet. But maybe you could practice in your mind what you would like to say to her, and how you would handle possible responses from her. Maybe confronting her in your imagination can help some with this. You and your family deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, and she didn't show that with her comment.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 10, 2020, 08:35:14 PM
Thank you owl for sharing your story. Itís always good to know Iím not going through these type of things alone. Iím sorry to hear you had a similar experience with your mother. I would have been hurt and livid.

And thank you for the affirmation that our family should be treated with love and respect. I guess the other thing is that with this whole pandemic thing. Itís just R and I. Weíve been at our wits end, weíve needed a break months ago but obviously canít get the help. Iím sure thatís playing into it as well.

Iím convinced Iíve been emotionally neglected. I know it comes with the territory I just wish I could remember the context of why Iím being triggered.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 11, 2020, 03:29:02 AM
A good day to log for the books!

I need to remind myself on days like these that everything is not ok. I think this is how I go from 0-60 with my issues. On days like this I forget that cPTSD, depression and anxiety are there. I guess I want to forget about it for a while and think that Iím ďnormalĒ. The problem is these are the periods where I question my health the most. My IC is great at convincing me that Iím making all this stuff up.

I remember there was a time I was in my car by myself. My brain was thinking about the concept of suicide. Not really envisioning myself but the act itself. I remember my IC convincing me that my IC was making everything up for the attention. I was in my car with no one there. Who am I trying to get attention from.

//====== END OF TW========

Twistedly, during these days when all is going well I find myself almost longing to go back to my state of depression and misery. I assume itís because itís familiar. Itís no secret I have low self esteem and quite frankly donít look too fondly of myself. I wonder if it is again my way of punishing myself for my ďmy past sinsĒ (the extreme guilt and shame).

I donít know how Iíll ever overcome that guilt and shame. I donít know how Iíll come to point where I look highly of myself.

On a separate note, I FaceTimed my parents today and it was actually a pleasant conversation. A while back they gave me my old Tonka truck toys to pass down to T. This is the first time I broke them out and had her play with them. I wanted to share the experience with them.
Even though  the conversation was pleasant, I still have to remind myself nothing has changed. The emotional neglect is still there, the conversations will never evolve past the superficial, and that I still have trouble connecting with them.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on June 11, 2020, 03:57:55 AM
My IC is great at convincing me that Iím making all this stuff up.

Twistedly, during these days when all is going well I find myself almost longing to go back to my state of depression and misery. I assume itís because itís familiar.

I also struggle with feeling like I'm making all this stuff up. As much as I enjoy those rare good days, it feels so separate from the pain of the trauma. The tough days fit or almost affirm the reality of the trauma. Not sure if that makes sense or fits for you.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 11, 2020, 02:17:35 PM

I also struggle with feeling like I'm making all this stuff up. As much as I enjoy those rare good days, it feels so separate from the pain of the trauma. The tough days fit or almost affirm the reality of the trauma. Not sure if that makes sense or fits for you.

It makes total sense to me! Thank you!
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 12, 2020, 12:26:41 AM
Another good day. This is right around when I start feeling uncomfortable. Why should I have a few good days in a row? My mind doesnít feel like I deserve this. Why canít I just go back to feeling depressed and miserable?

Sometimes happiness is very uncomfortable for me. There is a big part of me that feels I am not worthy. I need to atone for my past sins and punish myself. I know itís twisted. I wouldnít place these expectations on anyone else nor do I feel like I am superior to others. I guess I just always feel unclean and unforgivable.

But today was a great day. Bís weight dropped off of the WHO curve. He went from 50th percentile to second in weight. We are convinced this is largely to do with his spit up and GI issues. Weíve been working at a solution for a long time and we think we are finally starting to see the benefits. His weight is healthily beginning to increase and he is now starting to sleep through the night (5 hours or so). This makes a world of difference to R and I.

Even though Iíve been sleeping on the floor in Bís room the extra sleep was incredibly helpful. Iím usually a morning person but as we havenít been sleeping; this has no longer been a reality. I was able to get up at 5AM and have some solid time to crank through work (which is a huge stressor and place of anxiety for me). My perfectionism screams at me during the work day. If I am not being completely productive I feel like I am failing (which is not the case). My mind always goes to losing my job and being out of work for an extended period of time. Not being able to support my family and eventually becoming homeless. I know itís irrational but this is where it goes each time.

The perfectionism and my IC were fairy quite today and that made a difference. I am quite skeptical though. Iím waiting for the next shoe to drop. I shouldnít be this happy or have this many good days. What am I missing?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 12, 2020, 02:33:10 PM
Just need to jot this down so I donít forget. Iíve had one of those hunting dreams last night. Usually, either I donít have them or I know I had them but forget the details when I wake up since taking MiniPress.

My memory of the dream is albeit foggy but I remember some details. It was almost like I was in a war zone with comrades. We were holed up in a house I believe defeated getting carted off to prison. Iím sure in the dream there was fighting before hand but I donít recall. As usual I donít recall being stressed out or scared either in the dream or when I wake up.

The interesting thing is there should be nothing war related that stimulates my mind. I donít watch violent movies, I donít play violent video games, etc. Nor this is something Iím interested in. That type of life of mine is longer over and died when I got out of the Navy.

This dream was tame compared to most of my hunting dreams but I at least want to start cataloging them.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 13, 2020, 02:21:35 AM
I think Iíll keep it short today. Overall, it was an uneventful day. Again it wasnít that bad which always make me uncomfortable. It just doesnít feel right or normal.

Tís behavior today brought up some reminders of my childhood. She was having a rough day and apparently she hit R in the head with a toy hard enough to leave an egg. Rational me understands sheís two and really isnít at a point where she can understand but it was a reminder of my anger issues as a child.

When I read her a story before bed. I read to her from a book which she tore the page. The pages were taped to stay together. Another reminder of things I did as a kid because I was so angry.

Itís hard to see. Again, I donít think she has the mental capacity yet to understand but it terrifies me to think sheís inheriting my flaws and demons. One of the biggest things I hope for her is not to be like me. That she will grow up happy and not carry the burden and pain that I carry.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 13, 2020, 11:24:01 AM
I can understand your fears around T based on your own experiences. What comes across to me, however, is the love and compassion you have for her.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 13, 2020, 01:39:18 PM
Thank you Snowdrop, I appreciate it. She is my world, both kids are my world. Itís always tough to relive my childhood through her.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on June 13, 2020, 05:12:18 PM
I can relate to those fears. It must be so triggering for you. I am sure there are moments where she's happy and contented too. She does have a parent who cares very deeply for her  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 13, 2020, 11:33:50 PM
Thank you owl!
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 14, 2020, 04:00:48 AM
I thought today was going to end on a high note. Today was another day that wasnít so bad.

Tonight I was putting away Bís laundry and I came across a pair of overalls that he has. This reminded me that my parents bought both T and B matching overalls but theyíve just been hiding in the laundry not even taken from the box.

Guilt washes over me. Iím a horrible son, my parents may not be emotionally available but they do their best in their own way to show they care and I just hide/forget about their gifts. By the time Iíll get around to breaking out those overalls both kids will have outgrown them.

I canít help but feel guilty for the position I am in. I chose to join the Navy and life away from family. I chose this knowing that life doesnít stop and in my case life caught up with who remained with my family. It feels selfish that I made those decisions and now that Iím home and out, I am suffering the repercussions of my decisions. I have no more family and that is something I will carry for the rest of my life. My parents moved away because there was nothing here left for them.

Guilt, guilt, and more guilt.

The same token Iíve been emotionally neglected for as long as I can remember. In all other ways they were loving.  That neglect has caused so much pain over the years and I didnít even have the skills to identify it. Rational me knows itís not my fault. But I canít help but feel the burden and accept the repercussions for my failings.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on June 14, 2020, 11:35:42 AM
The guilt is so hard. It's very difficult to come to terms with choices we made as a result of family dynamics, and the sad things that happened along the way. I think the guilt shows though despite it all how much you love your parents and family. :bighug: :bighug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 14, 2020, 02:11:47 PM
Thanks you owl, I appreciate it. I would say if there is one thing that characterizes me it is guilt. Thereís always guilt and on some level Iím always trying to atone for my failings.

Obviously, I care about my parents and family but at the same token there is nothing there. The few times I have been with them in my adult life I feel empty. I feel paranoid or at least I have a hard time trusting them in person.  That definitely doesnít help the guilt.

I struggle to trust them, to connect with them but they are well intentioned. Itís hard to comprehend.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 14, 2020, 06:02:55 PM
Well todayís not even over yet and Iím finding myself incredibly irritable and angry. Is this because of how last night ended, the guilt?

Iím finding that I have very little patience for anyone especially my kids today. R mentioned something nice that A was doing for her daughter and the first thing that popped in my mind was to be combative and find some way to discredit her. I canít even stand my dog today and heís not even doing anything. I guess I just want to be alone be angry in solitude.

I hate it when I feel this way but it is also very difficult to come down from once I have it. Iíll probably have some degree of anger and irritability for the rest of the day. Itís almost like the anxious/stressed feeling I have where my chest feels tight, I canít shut off my mind, Iím on edge, etc. but this is obviously coupled with anger.

Am I being triggered through my children? Is this an emotional flashback? If so, I wish I knew the context behind it. I wish there was a way for me to dig deeper into my childhood but I have very little memory of it at this time.

When I do watch home movies of my childhood in an attempt to kickstart my memory, the ďfondĒ memories are nothing but sadness.

I canít figure myself out today nor do I want to be me today.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 15, 2020, 03:43:12 AM
Definitely an anger filled Sunday. The rest of the day didnít change much. Iíve been irritable and angry most of the day. The kids have been tough but otherwise I donít know why Iím so angry.

R broke down crying tonight. Sheís nervous as she will be going back to work soon (as a night shift ICU nurse on the COVID floor) that I wonít be ok. I fee like Iíll manage but these days are getting tougher and tougher. Iím also not really good at knowing myself. Perhaps Iím not ok?

I donít believe this is the initial cause of my anger today, but I find myself getting angry at the situation weíre in. Rís sister has two support groups (grandparents from both sides) and a nanny whereas R and I have nothing. Itís just us. Rís parents have promised that they would provide support but they just bought a vacation house and are dealing with Rís dadís health. Time and time again theyíve been predictable. They have promised help (and to a small degree they have ) but nothing to the degree they verbally commit too.

We wonít get any help and we will continue to be on our own. Taking care of both kids with no break, while R works on a COVID floor and has school. While I continue to work from home, take care of the kids at the same time, and attend school myself.

It just make me angry, I canít even bring my parents into the equation as they havenít been helpful but it feels like when all of this is said and done I want to convey to them how they left us (Rís parents) to drown when we needed their help the most. How theyíve lost the privilege to be apart of our childrenís lives (I wonít. Nor do I think I could be that vindictive).

Again, this doesnít explain where the anger started from this morning. I am really struggling to find the root cause. Additionally, itís been very difficult to come down from it.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 15, 2020, 03:56:49 AM
I'm sorry you're going through such a tough time, Buddy. Your situation sounds very frustrating.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 16, 2020, 12:43:07 AM
Thank you snowdrop, it definitely is.

I met with my psychiatrist today. I spoke to her about cPTSD and her thoughts on it.  She seems aware/on board with it. Itís nice to know I have the support of psychiatrist.

Today wasnít so bad. I mainly was rehashing the past month in my head and obviously discussing it with my psychiatrist. I still canít get over A and her comments about B. I want to move on but it struck a nerve.

Rís parents apparently spoke to her to check in on me. They expressed how theyíd like to be a parent figure for me. As much as I appreciate it that feels like it will be a very large obstacle for me to overcome. I just canít get comfortable with other people past a certain point. My wife is one thing but everyone else it seems like I get to a point in a relationship with someone and it stops there.

I donít really understand it, but it is deeply uncomfortable to proceed any further forward once reaching that point. I donít get it. I know itís something with me. I canít even say I love you to my parents. Itís incredibly uncomfortable for me.

Iím sure there is something deeply rooted in me. I just wish I could peel back the onion to understand.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 18, 2020, 03:02:47 AM
So Iíve been AWOL for the last day or so. Yesterday was quite mundane. Nothing happened either in my personal life or related to my mental health. I need to remind myself to keep journaling on those days as itíll probably be my best chance at learning something new from my past.

Today wasnít so bad either. On a positive note, I had a small victory. Iíve mentioned before I am notoriously bad at sending my emotions until they explode. Today was a day that could have potentially been one of my anxiety, stress filled days but instead it wasnít.

Work for me is usually a trigger of my anxiety. Itís really the perfectionist part in me. If something goes wrong, if I forget to do something, I feel like I failed and it hits me hard. But today was different. A lot went wrong with work today, in fact I told R I was dealing with a few dumpster fires. This would have been most certainly been a major trigger for me. But for whatever reason I was able to sense when I was getting stressed out, when my mind was racing, and chest was tightening and was able to manage it. I have no idea why today was different compared to other similar days but it did make a difference. I hope Iíll be able to repeat this again in the future.

Perfectionism and work for me definitely go hand and hand. I know perfectionism is a symptom of emotional neglect but Iím not sure why from the emotional neglect perspective I developed it. I do know that my father was out of work for years growing up and that instilled in me a perfectionist mindset. But again, Iím not sure where the emotional neglect side  of it comes from. Did I feel the need to impress my dad? Was it my way of coping with the stressors? Iím assuming if so I used to bury and consume myself so the world outside of my mind would t bother me.

On a side very random note, I just wanted to mention I had another hunting dream. I really donít remember much of it at this point. But what I do remember was being with a squad clearing rooms in a setting that was a hybrid of Honolulu and Boston. I wished I remember more of the dream, the being hunted part and how I felt but itís all foggy.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 19, 2020, 03:05:38 AM
 More guilt today. Guilt is my go to, I donít understand why I always default to it. I always have a guilty conscience.

Today overall was fine. My department received validation that we are doing awesome work at my job. I find that Iím always seeking others opinion to gauge how Iím doing. Itís like I desperately seek their validation.

Itís strange though how the littlest things can bring back the guilt. Today, I was coloring with T. It reminded me that my parents asked for her to color something and for me to send it to them. The guilt washed over me. I havenít sent them a single damn thing. Never mind a drawing T has made. I feel like such a horrible son. A horrible human being.

Later in the day I was talking to R about her dad. Apparently heís becoming very confused with what he should be doing for medical treatment. He talks about all his ailments to specialists. This reminded me about my grandfather who was handicapped. He was always confused after doctors visits. More so he would also talk to his neurologist for an example about the GI issues heís been having. It brought me back to the many conversations I would have with him when he was living with us. How I would spend hours sitting with him to explain what the doctors were saying. I canít but help but feel sad. I recall him talking about his disillusionment and depression. How he who was fairly religious would never see his wife again.

The guilt. Why is it my default emotion? What do I have to be guilty about? More so is it even helping me at this point?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 20, 2020, 03:07:44 AM
It was a mixed day today. It started off fairly fine. R and I were actually able to get a good nightís sleep for once. Iím pretty sure I had my hunting dreams but I donít remember them. Itís more so just the feeling that I had them last night.

Work has been a dumpster fire as of late. I am a project manager and Iím putting out fires for problems that either A.) should have been dealt with a long time ago or B.) the individual tasked was kind of negligent. These things happen in my line of work and Iím not upset at the people. Itís just how things go when you have a million priorities. Itís just a major stressor in my life.

I find that it is stressful due to the perfectionist side of myself. I meticulously plan things and want them to go my way even though thatís not realistic. Iíve always been a perfectionist or at least since high school. Iím sure perfectionism and IC go hand and hand but high school is right around the time my IC stated getting pretty nasty.

I know part of it as Iíve discussed before is due to my dad being out of work for years. Thereís something perpetually gnawing at me that if Iím not super productive and giving my absolute best all the time then Iíll end up in his shoes or worse.  But thereís definitely another part I just canít put my finger on. My Coupleís therapist told me the way I grew up would have been similar to as a child growing up with alcoholic parents. Iím not fully sure what that means but Iím guessing Iíve always been striving for their attention and not getting anything. Perhaps thatís  where the perfectionism developed?

Sorry for the tangent, but the stress ratcheted up today. I was very grumpy and irritable and definitely not present with the kids. R had to go to another telehealth call with her father. When she went, the kids werenít cooperative and the day was a loss work wise.

I find myself angry, disappointed, frustrated at the position R is in. Sheís the resident health expert in the family. The family is always seeking her advice but not necessarily listening. Itís like they donít take her seriously. Rís father is not managing the doctor appointments well hence they need her to be present as she understands whatís going on. Heís getting nastier and nastier as they days go by and R is taking the full force of it. Quite frankly Iím losing respect for him. I know heís going through a lot but thatís your daughter and she is helping you get through this. If it wasnít for her heíd probably be worse medically. I lose my neglectful family to inherit this. What a joy!

Spending time with Rís family is a constant reminder of what I canít have. Itís painful, especially when thereís dysfunction. Itís almost sickening to me because I go from one dysfunction  to the other.

Iím not looking forward to Fatherís Day this weekend. Iím sure we will be visiting Rís parents and I donít really want to deal with her dad.

Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on June 20, 2020, 01:21:18 PM
Buddy, when I was reading about your struggles with perfectionism, I wondered if being perfect = being in control. Just a thought. Disregard if it doesn't fit.

Also, you have a lot going on currently (let alone past issues). Work, wife working, young children (who are very needy and demanding, which is appropriate for their ages, but tiring for parent), aging in-law; all those things are big stressors. Add to that . . . well, just turn on the news.  :aaauuugh: Breathe and as much as possible, be kind to yourself.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 20, 2020, 06:25:46 PM
Thank you notalone. I need to hear that, I appreciate it.

You probably are right.  The perfectionism probably equates to being in control for me. I know thereís a lot of anxiety related to not being in control. Even if itís outside factors I can find myself ruminating on them trying to see if thereís something I could do to change the trajectory. I guess in my mind I need exhaust all possible solutions prior to accepting something to be the way it is.

I know itís directly related to emotional neglect, I just wish I understood it more as it relates to myself.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 21, 2020, 02:12:39 AM
Underlying guilt, remorse and sadness carried throughout the day. Itís the usual case, a holiday is coming up. Rís family will be heavily involved with Fatherís Day. We will be celebrating it with them and I will be reminded of the family I donít have.

I found myself looking at the realtor images of the house I grew up in. I guess I wanted to remember what it looked like. I donít know why, Iím sure part of it was targeted at making me feel miserable. The other part nostalgia?

When I came across the pictures of my grandfatherís in law, the memories came surging back. My bedroom was the room that provided access to my grandfatherís side inside the house. It connected to his bedroom. I remember many nights having conversations with him. They could have varied. He was handicapped and they could have been me explaining what a doctor was trying to tell him. It could have been about my future. It could have been about his wife. It could even been us shooting the *. Me giving him a hard time about baseball and him giving me a hard time about hockey.

At the time I was very optimistic and patient. I remember spending hours trying to explain one of his medical ailments to him. Towards the later years of his life, I recall the disillusionment, the depression (which I didnít recognize for what it was at the time). He was a fairly religious person. We both were and I still was at this time. I remember him talking about how heíll never see his wife again. How he talks to her and was desperately trying to listen to her. No voice was ever heard. He was the type of person, when able he would visit Nana daily at the cemetery. He would have a black decaf coffee and a Boston creme from Dunkin Donuts. When it became harder for him to drive I would join him routinely.

I can understand his disillusionment now. My experiences have shown thereís nothing for me after. No reuniting, nothing.

I recall being in Norfolk, Va stationed on my ship as the DCA. We were in the yards getting repairs, nothing was going on. I got a call from my parents that Papa had fell, heís fallen many times before but this time was different. He wasnít expected to recover. I had to basically beg to get the Captain and XO to let me leave to see my dying grandfather. They finally let me go contingent upon passing some administrative check that one of my sailors could have covered. I drove the 500 mi north to see him and found him in hospice.

He was malnourished, the worst Iíve ever  seen him. He couldnít swallow or drink liquids. It was clear he was dying. Pictures of his life adorned the walls of his room. Pictures of him and Nana. Pictures of them when they were young. Pictures of him in the air force. He tried telling me stories but he was so dehydrated he couldnít talk. I remember desperately trying to understand what he was saying but absolutely couldnít. Was he trying to give me some last words of advice? Was he trying to tell me he loved me? I have no idea. I was able to keep it together in his room. Like usual, I convinced myself I couldnít show any emotion, things needed to appear that they were under control. I absolutely lost it when I left his room. I knew that would be the last time I saw him.

Prior to driving the 500 mi south back to work, I requested my parents to do one thing. To be with him while he died. No one deserves to die alone. I later found out they werenít there for him because the ďnurse was with himĒ. My wifeís a nurse, I know thatís a load of crap. They see death on a regular basis. Even if they would like to be with their dying patient itís very unlikely they can do to their patient load. Again I had to beg the Captain and XO to go home again to pay my final respects. I was able to be there for the wake but not the funeral. I was never able to give my final respects and it wasnít until a year or two after I was out of the Navy that I was able to visit his grave.
\\=======END OF TW========

I wanted to visit the cemetery today. Have my medium regular and get him a Boston creme and decaf black coffee. The pandemic has other ideas and obviously I wonít be able to make the trip any time soon. He was the last person in my family that I felt a deep connection for.

Bringing myself back to present day. Tomorrow I will be going over Rís parents house. I have the reminder of the family I no longer have. Get the privilege of listening to Rís out of touch grandparents. Get to spend time with Rís sister who is petty enough to use our son to bring R down and spend time with Rís dad who has been getting ruder and nastier each day he deals with his medical condition. Iím expected to be friendly and social. I donít know if I can.

I have no family and I inherit this dysfunction. I know itís first world problems, itís still painful though.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 21, 2020, 09:51:56 AM
The relationship between you and your grandfather sounds as though it was very close. I can feel that connection through your words.

I hope it goes ok today Buddy. I hear how hard it is.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 21, 2020, 01:02:46 PM
Thank you snowdrop. Iím sure I will let everyone know how it went.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 22, 2020, 12:56:16 AM
Well Fatherís Day is done and Iím sufficiently exhausted. Fortunately, the day wasnít too bad which Iím thankful. I had a nice breakfast with the kids, did some school work for my masters program, and took it easy.

We did end up going over the in-laws for the cook out. I really wasnít looking forward to going. I was thinking about how I would have to deal with Rís dad, grandparents and sister. R more or less told me I needed to be more social and less recluse. If anything for her dad and his health. I took an Ativan to help take the edge off. Iím not a fan of using drugs like this. I donít want to gain a dependency but I do think it helped.

Everyone with the exception of Rís grandparents were on their best behavior which I appreciated. If new drama surfaced I have no idea how I would have handled it. R was nice enough to assist me with outs to be alone and have quiet time which I appreciate.

On the other end my parents were more or less no where to be seen. I got a text from my mom yesterday stating that she would love to FaceTime us tomorrow. They did acknowledge Fatherís Day via a text message which I reciprocated but thatís the extent of our conversation. During one of the down times, I made an attempt to call them on FaceTime, they never picked up. I canít even say Iím disappointed itís just par for the course. Iím not sure if Iím being too harsh on them or this is just a readily apparent exhibit of the emotional neglect.

The sadness I carried yesterday was significantly less I used my kids to keep me occupied.

I find myself longing to be miserable. Iím finding myself wishing that the cookout would have been worse than it was. I find myself wishing that I would be hurt and disappointed by my parents. I donít know what that is all about. I donít even have the foggiest idea how to unpack that.

I assume part of the misery is my comfort zone but rational me does want to be happy and committed. I donít understand why I want to default to the negative. Iím sure part of it is my twisted way of punishing myself which I canít wrap my head around either.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on June 22, 2020, 01:42:29 AM
I appreciate you sharing your experiences - that is a lot to work through on a day that may already feel charged (I personally find all holidays difficult). 

Your thoughts on defaulting to negative resonate with me as I am the same way.  Itís tricky though - our culture emphasizes positive emotions and punishes us for the other emotions which we canít stop having.  My experience has been being told to be ďhappyĒ or ďpositiveĒ hasnít given me space to heal from genuine hurt and prevented me from feeling ďhappyĒ or ďpositiveĒ because I have been distracting myself from all of my feelings including the ďgoodĒ ones.  It is too bad because these ďnegativeĒ feelings are part of us and our story too.  I have found it helpful to try to not label my feelings as good and bad (as I think some ďgoodĒ emotions can also feel as intense). 

Itís not easy though and I am still finding my way.  Best wishes on your journey.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 22, 2020, 05:07:09 AM
Yeah, I understand it too, but I'm not sure I can put it into words. Anger directed at self, depression? Part of the learned helplessness thing? Not sure. Something to think about for sure.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 22, 2020, 01:45:53 PM
I feel the need to briefly record this. I had hunting dreams last night. I donít remember enough at this point to put the dream in writing.

Factors last night:

- I was a little off last night.
- Iím not even disappointed at my parents as it is par for the course.
- Exhausted from social interaction last night.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 22, 2020, 02:53:20 PM
Hi rainydiary and Three Roses,

Thank you for your responses. Iím glad to know that Iím not the only one who defaults to the negative. Rainy, you have a good point on not trying to label an emotion as good or bad. I think for me that will take a lot of work. As of late Iím struggling to understand where I should even start.

3R, thank you for attempting to put things into words. I think itís pretty accurate. There is a lot of self anger/hatred on my end.

Fatherís Day is also difficult for me because others are supposed to cater to me (make me breakfast, sleep in, let me take it easy, etc.). That in itself is deeply uncomfortable. I guess I donít feel worthy. Even on the good days I find there is an underlying depression and self hatred that I canít detect. R may ask me something to the affect of how do I feel about myself or do I look highly of myself? It doesnít matter if Iíve been having a good day, month, whatever the answer is always a resounding no and that I donít think much of myself. Nor do I think I can forgive myself.

I guess Iím in a rut. When you donít love yourself how can you heal?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: saylor on June 22, 2020, 03:54:49 PM
Buddy, I also tend  toward negativity. Iíve recently realized itís a major reason why I feel so isolated in life. People feel uncomfortable around negativity, so Iím not good at fitting in and being accepted unless I hide behind my ďhappy maskĒ (which I have historically pulled off to a degree, but it feels inauthentic and gets really exhausting). The alienation creates even more pain, and the cycle continues... I guess self-love would help. I guess I still canít figure out how to do that

At any rate, I understand, and youíre not alone  :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 22, 2020, 04:33:54 PM
Thanks saylor!
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 23, 2020, 01:52:32 AM
Onto another day. I could definitely feel my perfectionism today. The day started off fine. I didnít get much sleep. B was difficult last night. I had to sit with him a good portion of the night. Furthermore, I had my hunting dreams again. I only remember tidbits not enough to put into coherent sentences.

Work started off fine, there was an underlying degree of stress. I still have fires to put out that were discovered last week. Additionally, during a scheduling meeting I found out team members were holding calls with my clients, making business decisions without including me. I donít know how to fully equate this but I suppose it would be like an individual negotiating something in court without throwing it by the lawyer. It would make the lawyerís job significantly harder.

Basically the line manager for a certain department was holding calls with clients on future work without including me. I was quite angry and it took some reserves not to scold the person on the call. I recognize the anger is because I wasnít in control. I have a sense of ownership, these are my clients and decisions are being made outside of me. I donít know how to tune down the perfectionism, I wish I knew.

What I really wanted to talk about today is to explore my low self esteem, self hatred, self disgust whatever you want to call it. I can recall having low self esteem more or less since grade school. Iím sure itís related to emotional neglect but I also didnít have good experiences in school. I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school which I know only fuels the unclean unworthiness that I felt.

I wish I could look back in time and understand where and when this low self esteem came from. I donít recall my parents ever emphasizing that Iím worthless. I do recall at least my dad wasnít good at helping me solve my problems. It was more or less ďthere will always  be a* holes and d* heads in this world. Learn how to deal with it. ď I donít remember how my mom was.

=========TW====Self Harm=====
I can recall in grade school standing on my parents second story deck thinking about jumping off it. I remember thinking that if I broke a bone at least people would like me and in turn perhaps this would translate into me liking myself. I never followed through but I still remember the memory. It feels so sick and twisted. So unhealthy, a young child shouldnít have those thoughts. What spurred it on?

=====END OF TW=========
Iíve always felt unworthy and unforgivable. Scenarios that I could easily forgive someone else for I canít do for myself. I donít see myself as a martyr or saint either, I donít feel like Iím superior to others. If anything I feel Iím inferior.

My low self esteem has dictated my life. Self sabotage unhealthy decisions were not uncommon. Even when I know the right choice to make I find it hard to make those decisions. Why though?

Iíve been thinking a lot about the times R would check in on me and ask how Iím doing, how I feel about myself. It doesnít matter if Iím having a good day, life has been positive for a while, whatever I canít seem to say the words or accept that I love myself and think highly of myself. Why canít I do this? Itís not even an option for me. Itís like a wall that I can never scale.

I was hoping Iíd be able to explore this deeper but Iím finding myself at a roadblock.  Some questions for the future:

- where did my low self esteem come from?
- when did it happen?
- why did it happen?
- why canít I forgive myself?
- why canít I love myself?
- will I ever be ok?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on June 23, 2020, 02:05:39 AM
I appreciate you sharing these thoughts.  What you shared resonated with me as I have versions of those experiences especially with work and self esteem and wanting and trying to break a bone when I was younger.  I am still seeking on my journey but I appreciate that I am not truly alone on my path even when it feels like I am. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 23, 2020, 02:44:51 AM
Hi rainy,

Thank you for you post. Itís good to know that Iím not alone, really.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 23, 2020, 02:51:51 PM
Hi Buddy,
I don't think I've posted a reply in your Journal before, but I have read things you've written, and I wanted to say that I relate to the thoughts you mentioned of self-harm, and I appreciated you sharing your experience.  I feel a bit awkward writing this, as I am not sure how to say what I want to say.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 23, 2020, 07:49:07 PM
Hi hope,

Thank you for your post and acknowledging that you can relate. I appreciate it. At a minimum itís always good to hear that others have experienced similar feelings.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 23, 2020, 11:38:57 PM
Today was therapy day for me. I tried discussing and working on my low self esteem but I donít feel like I got anywhere. I tried talking about how even on my good days I canít bring myself to say that I love myself or that Iím worthy.

She told me when the good moments happen just focus on them and try to be in them for as long as possible. Additionally, she suggested before going to bed thinking about three positive things that happened during the day. (which I do religiously).  I can usually think of a few positive things but rarely they are focused on something I did or something that Iím proud of. They are usually more so, I enjoyed cuddling with my daughter today, I enjoyed the dinner we cooked etc. As far as staying in the good moments, I agree with her, but I donít understand how either of these exercises is going to lead to me loving myself. It feels so deeply engrained in me. It feels like I will never be able to shake it. 

I wish I could pull back the curtain and understand where it came from and why it happened. I guess I feel like Iím in a rut. I feel like Iím in a rut with a lot of my mental health issues and that very little progress has been made recently. I donít know, I just wish I could understand why I am the way I am.

We also had Coupleís. It was largely focused on family problems that we are dealing with ( my parents and Rís parents). The session definitely keyed me up. I was asked to to discuss which family members have made me upset and why. Pretty much everyone in Rís family has. Her grandparents, her mom, father, and sister. I still canít get over what she said. Itís been over a month I canít let it drop. Her dad is getting nastier and nastier each day due to his health condition and it is making me incredibly angry to watch what R has to go through.

It also stings when there is dysfunction in her family, like we are going through now, because I now need to use their family to replace the family that I lost and itís dysfunctional. It feels like a disservice or an insult to me. How can I use you as my new family when your own demons and wounds are resurfacing? Why should I?

I know things will never go back to ďnormalĒ. I wonít be able to get the family that I lost back. The family that I do still have moved away and theyíre stuck in their own ways.

I donít know what Iím looking for, I guess I just want peace which has been ever elusive.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on June 24, 2020, 03:05:35 AM
She told me when the good moments happen just focus on them and try to be in them for as long as possible. Additionally, she suggested before going to bed thinking about three positive things that happened during the day. (which I do religiously).  I can usually think of a few positive things but rarely they are focused on something I did or something that Iím proud of. They are usually more so, I enjoyed cuddling with my daughter today, I enjoyed the dinner we cooked etc. As far as staying in the good moments, I agree with her, but I donít understand how either of these exercises is going to lead to me loving myself. It feels so deeply engrained in me. It feels like I will never be able to shake it. 

cuddling with daughter = being loving daddy, showing safe affection
cooking dinner = doing something to take care of family

Maybe part of this is recognizing that you are doing things and there are things in your day for you to be proud of. Baby steps.
Title: TRIGGER WARNING Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 25, 2020, 02:58:49 AM
Thanks notalone, I need to hear that.

Iím going to provide warning up front this entire post is a potential trigger warning.


The past 35 hours or so have been absolutely horrible. In my experience I have found that I get constantly reminded or humbled about how * the world is. It usually happens when a degree of optimism begins to surface or things start going well for me. At a minimum the world or universe for that manner is indifferent. We are just ants living on a floating rock hurtling through space. Nothing matters. We suffer, we feel pain, we can do unspeakable things to our fellow human beings.

Indifference. Indifference are the homeless children I saw in the Philippines; forced to live in enclaves for survival, defecating in the streets. Itís our interpreter getting jumped when we try to do the right thing and provide food for these children. Itís the sex trafficking and the absolute indifference some countries display on its practice. Itís the pregnant woman I saw who was begging for money. Beside her, her year old child with the most severe cleft Iíve ever seen (I canít imagine she would survive). Itís me who chose not to give her money and then go a block down the road to get a massage. Itís me coming across a life raft off the coast of Libya during the height of the refugee crisis being told to turn a blind eye. Itís the two sailors who shorty after I left the ship committed suicide. Itís my colleague I had to take to the hospital twice for suicidal ideations. Itís my two co-workers at my previous job who were in so much pain they committed suicide. Itís the children that get cancer. The hospitals that bleed patients of money. The hospitals who refuse to protect and take care of their employees. The individuals who keep 90 year old incredibly ill parents alive to collect their social security checks. And now itís a close friend of R.

We found out yesterday afternoon that a close friend of hers who sheís fallen out of communication with but are still close was hit by a car while stopped at an intersection with his motorcycle. This individual has had a rough life but through it all is an amazing person and would give the shirt off his back for anyone. He loved riding and working on motorcycles. He was also a bartender. This individual is now intubated in the ICU in critical condition. His torso is open, one of his arms is amputated and the other is mangled. Indifference.

I barely know this individual and Iím struggling to keep my focus throughout the day. I canít imagine what his family or my wife are going through. Weíre getting routine updates and unfortunately since R is an ICU nurse herself can get a fairy good understanding of the individualís prognosis.

I donít know how to process this or be available to R. I try just asking her what she needs and seeing if sheís alright but that doesnít seem to be enough. I want to do something but no words nor actions seems like theyíd be sufficient.

From my end itís just a painful reminder to me about how crappy this world is. Indifference. Itís hard for me to accept indifference. This has always bothered me in life. I suppose because it feels like it just gets repeatedly beat into me everywhere I look.

Iím sitting here writing this post, I donít even know how to close it. Nothing seems sufficient. It feels wrong even to talk about myself in this post. I just feel like I need to write down something.

I hope everyone else is staying as healthy and well as they can be.

Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 25, 2020, 04:26:48 AM
Read every word of it. I'm glad you're here. I know you won't understand this but I care about you.

Words don't seem adequate but I'm sorry to hear how much you're dealing with.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 25, 2020, 05:18:52 AM
I read your whole post too. Oof, that's a lot to deal with. I'm so sorry.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 25, 2020, 02:02:06 PM
Three Roses and Snowdrop,

Thank you for reading and letting me know you care. I sincerely appreciate it.

The last update we have is that they reduced sedation and the individual woke up and had capacity to know of his condition. Although thatís horrible it at least means heís neurologically there.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 27, 2020, 03:01:56 AM
Yesterday was pretty rough for R. She didn't want to get out of bed and definitely didn't feel like doing anything. I did my best to be present for her and try to find avenues to help ease the pain and shock. We both are struggling with processing the accident. Each day a little more detail comes out. I find myself personally envisioning the accident and envisioning the details as if it was me in gory detail. I don't necessarily like doing that but it is how my mind works.
We found out the individual was at the intersection and actually saw the car coming strait for him. He tried to move out of the way but was still hit. Apparently, he had a GoPro on just for this type of scenario. I couldn't even imagine witnessing that. The impact forced his body to ride against the guard rail. Causing deep lacerations to his stomach and upper body.
It's not the amputation that bothers me.  It is the disembowelment. It has been three days and he still has an open cavity with debris in it. I just recall from my Navy training that that is one of the worse injuries that could be sustained. If you survive the injury there still is a high likely hood of infection. R as an ICU nurse has experienced scenarios similar to these. She has the burden of experience.
//========END OF TW============
Iím sorry for providing details it feels essential for me to document for myself. Both R and I didnít sleep well last night. My thoughts were racing and I was very sensitive to noise. The dog would be chewing a bone and it felt like there was grinding right at my ears.

Today has been a little better for both R and I. I find when I do daily mundane tasks Iím reminded that Rís friend is seriously hurt and will likely never be able to do those things. I then go to my standard feeling of guilt. In fact I feel guilty even writing entries into my journal at the moment. Why should I be writing in my journal focusing on myself when there are more severe issues at hand?

The work related stress was hard to manage today. Iím assuming itís being compounded by the stress that I already have. I really need to find a way to manage it better. It feels like it takes years off my life but Iím never committed to doing anything about it. Iíll start meditation, exercising etc. but canít keep to it. Iím not sure if it is some way of me punishing myself to atone for the guilt? I donít know. I really need to find a way to build my self esteem, make myself feel worthy, and love myself. But Iím not sure I know how.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 27, 2020, 03:42:54 AM
What terrible injuries! My heart goes out to everyone.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Snowdrop on June 27, 2020, 05:38:47 AM
Those injuries are horrific. I'm so sorry.

I'm not surprised that your thoughts are racing and it's hard to process. You have this to deal with on top of cptsd, which just makes things harder. I hope you can be gentle with yourself.

I really need to find a way to build my self esteem, make myself feel worthy, and love myself. But Iím not sure I know how.

I struggled a lot with the idea of loving myself. I felt guilty about trying, and not worthy of it. My normal state was for my self-esteem to be at rock bottom. What helped me was to find a part or quality of myself that I could have a degree of compassion for or accept. It gave me a starting point to work from.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on June 27, 2020, 01:12:58 PM
In fact I feel guilty even writing entries into my journal at the moment. Why should I be writing in my journal focusing on myself when there are more severe issues at hand?

I understand the feeling and have said something similar in another context. Clearly you a very concerned for your friend and R. You are not self-centered. It is okay for you to be aware of what is happening in you and to get support for what you are thinking and feeling. You are worthy to receive care. Being aware of and caring for your own needs really does help you to be more available to support others.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 28, 2020, 10:14:49 PM
Hi 3R, snowdrop, and not alone,

Thank you for replying, I appreciate it. It has definitely been tough to navigate. I appreciate the support.

Snowdrop, thank you for sharing advice as to how you started generating a degree of compassion with yourself. I have taken note and Iím going to try this out.

Thank you notalone, for the words of encouragement. I find frequently when Iím in these situations my IC chastises myself. I try to find ways to mentally punish myself; mostly with guilt. I guess there is that part of me that has a very hard time believing Iím worthy. Itís nice to hear from others because itís extremely difficult to hear from myself.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 28, 2020, 10:43:26 PM
R and I were discussing the topic of my parents the other day. It was mostly related to what I need/should be doing to heal. My therapists and R have suggested that I confront my parents but  I donít know if I have it in me. There is deep shame and guilt surrounded by confronting my parents. At worse, they live over 500 mi away. If they donít talk to me itís not like I have anything to lose. Additionally, the scenario of me laying into them about their neglect and how it *ed me up surrounds me with anxiety and guilt. They are now in their retirement living out the rest of their lives in a manner that they have worked hard for. Why should I put that on them?

More or less since college my parents havenít known my story. They donít know the pain Iíve been in. The suffering Iíve experienced. Even when Iíve tried to communicate some of it, I donít recall it being received. Iíve tried talking to them about my Navy experiences, about how toxic the command is, about my suicidal colleague, the decisions I have made but theyíve never been helpful. Usually I would receive some type of superficial advice like just move on.

Well itís been over 5 years since Iíve been out and I still canít move on. I was left floundering when I got out of the Navy. The same way I was floundering when I joined the Navy with no car, apartment or money to get myself on my feet. I was in a deep depression. I was the jobless loser living my in-laws basement. There was deep shame from being a Lieutenant in the Navy charged with responsibilities up to putting sailors lives  at risk to nothing. I had no direction, no idea how to market my skills, receiving rejection after rejection for jobs that I was over qualified for. Furthermore, my experiences from the Navy began haunting me. Learning that the CO and XO were fired for their negligence.  Reading the investigation. The nightmares (hunting dreams) started and havenít gone away.

I settle down into a farming town and had my daughter. The symptoms just got worse. The depression deeper, the apathy almost unbearable. There be days Iíd be in a trance like state. This would scare R. I felt like the worldís worst father, that I couldnít provide for R and T. I felt so utterly and completely alone and abandoned. During this time they packed up their things and moved to NC.

Not once was there a check in to see how I was doing. I donít know if I could tell them my story now. I donít know if I could tell them your wonderful son is now an individual with severe depression, anxiety, and cPTSD. I donít know if I could tell them Iíve had a few episodes where Iíve gone off the deep end definitely considering self harm and possibly the other. How would that be received? Do they even deserve to know that?

On the other end Iím fully aware if I keep on living the way I am. My parents will die with me not trying to establish a meaningful relationship with them. I know I need to resolve this issue soon. I donít know if I want to or if Iím ready.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on June 29, 2020, 02:31:16 AM
I am sorry for what happened to R's friend. That sounds so very difficult and so upsetting.

I hope you can figure things with your parents out. It's a really tough position to be in. It's hard with that generation, they tend to not talk about feelings and a lot of things are just stuffed down. They often don't know how to respond. In hindsight, I think there were a lot of misunderstandings between me and my mother. I hope you can find a way forward with your parens, somehow.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on June 29, 2020, 03:18:02 AM
I wonder if it would be helpful to talk with T more about what "confront parents" means. What are some options for what you might say? What kind of response would you hope for? What does it mean if you don't receive that type of reply? What are some possible benefits of confronting them? What are some possible detriments?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on June 29, 2020, 11:28:15 AM
A quick clarification - there were indeed misunderstandings between me and my mother, but that does not mean that she didn't (unintentionally) emotionally neglect me growing up. I by no means meant to imply you weren't hurt by your parents. I think notalone brings up some really good questions. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on June 29, 2020, 02:08:14 PM
Thank you guys!

Owl, thank you for sharing your insight. I do believe there are misunderstandings. Also, I do fully understand that misunderstandings does not mean I wasnít hurt (unintentionally) because of emotional neglect. In fact, I suppose Iíve been working on a theory similar to that. My wife has an eating disorder. She had it since she was twelve (sheís in recovery) but sheís spent many years in clinics and in therapy. She believes that my mom also has anorexia. Furthermore, growing up, my mom was forced to take care of her sick mother and handicapped father. I can certainly understand with her own demons and the need to take care of her parents that there was likely not much reserves left for me.

My dad on the other hand is stoic as stoic can be. That whole side of the family is. Whenever I think about the degree of stoicism they have the best example I can think of is when my grandfather on that side of the family died. We were all sitting at the kitchen table at my grandparentís house hours after we buried my grandfather.  The phone rang it was an insurance agent looking for my grandfather. My grandmother was on the other end of that call.  She didnít have a single tear or sign of distress. She said something to the affect  of ďOh you poor dear David passed away the other dayĒ. Then she hung up the phone and carried on like nothing was amiss.

I guess my point is for my mom I understand she was preoccupied by bigger problems and this was how my dad grew up. It doesnít change how I was raised and that I was hurt. I guess it just makes bringing this up to my parents a little more painful and shameful. I feel like it would almost have been easier to address this situation if they were full on abusive.

notalone, I will speak more with my T as to what confronting my parents would mean. I have tried to address the questions below in the past. I usually find it difficult to even get a point to imagining different scenarios and different answers to these questions.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 01, 2020, 03:02:42 AM
So it was Coupleís therapy today. The session went fine but half way through I just shut down. After that I more or less felt sad for the rest of the night. I didnít want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to be alone and go to bed. I donít even know why, nothing was discussed that was particularly difficult. It was largely focused on managing the kids and me managing work at the same time. I havenít been that productive. Iím honestly averaging about four hours a day. Itís just impossible to find more time. I would usually prefer to get up early but considering that the baby situation Iím not really getting much sleep. About 5 interrupted hours. I used to be the type of person that could function on like an hour of sleep but Iím too old for that now.

The day is usually a crapshoot. I usually spend Bís nap times in his room trying to get him to sleep. Some days Iím able to work in there, other days Iím not. When I do get a chance to go to my makeshift office, I usually only get 30-45 mins of time before Iím interrupted. Followed by the evenings cooking dinner, bed time routine and my masters program.

With hesitance for me sounding like a jerk. I am finding my patience is getting thinner and thinner at work. Iím still dealing with a few problems from a couple weeks ago due to an individualĎs negligence or lack of forethought. I donít know why the issue bothers me so much. It is one of my projects so I guess part of it is me having a lack of control. The other part, I guess may be a hold over from the Navy. It was ingrained in me that if you are in charge of something or people you should have an intimate knowledge of them and the status of the equipment. Anything less would be professionally embarrassing. I guess it is a control issue? Itís just frustrating that someone wouldnít take ownership of something in their area of responsibility.

The bigger question is why does it bother me? Iím sure it is not actually the problem itself.

On a separate note my wifeís friend who was involved with a motorcycle crash is doing alright. Heís had numerous surgeries. They will be able to save his other arm and he appears to be all there mentally. I guess his abdomen is still open but it is open more surgically related than due to the trauma he sustained. I guess he has spiked a fever which makes me quite nervous. It could mean the start of an infection.

Onto R, Iím getting really fed up with her father. R is getting harassed by her mom to talk to her dad. Every time she does he is just nasty to her. Sheís told me she is getting flashbacks to her childhood during the height of her eating disorder because of the conversations . She feels like sheís damned if she does and damned if she doesnít. I am finding my patience is wearing thin. Heís been going through his medical episode for over a month now. Overall, it appears that whatever heís going through is not serious, yet he is getting nastier and nastier by the day. Iím sure it is depression and anxiety related more so than a physical ailment at this point. But heís relatively healthy. R is dealing with her friend that is in critical condition, the kids, going back to the ICU on the COVID floor, my health (especially after my last episode). She doesnít need to deal with her dad.

Itís troubling for me, I lose my family and am told I should be using Rís side to make up for that loss. So I go from that deficit to this? How is her family going to help me fill the hole in me if they are just as dysfunctional as my family is? It feels almost insulting. I know most of my family is either dead and gone but I rather have  that than rely on Rís family whoís been nasty to her lately. Poor R, she is the type of person that has always been there for her family. More so than her sister, yet sheís the one treated like crap. It bothers me.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 02, 2020, 02:47:51 AM
Another therapy day, I had a lot to unpack. Obviously, I spoke about Rís friend whoís in critical condition. I spoke about how I find myself envisioning myself in his shoes. I find myself imagining what it would be like to sustain the injuries he sustained. What it would feel like to ride across a guardrail. She found this very peculiar. I donít like thinking this way but I canít really help it. I recall with my grandfather as he was dying a similar experience, trying to imagine what the process is like from the personal perspective. I donít know what purpose it serves for me or why I do it. I just default to it.

Related, I spoke about how the accident is just a reminder to me of how crappy the world is. My worldview hasnít changed but I havenít had this type of thinking in a while. I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic schools and then the Navy happened. The Navy showed me how evil (really indifferent) this world is. It gets me angry, I guess I feel cheated? I donít know. I canít support an all knowing and loving god that permits a 30 year old who is a good person get disemboweled and at best permanently disfigured and damaged the rest of his life. I canít come to terms with a god that finds it acceptable for a 1 year old girl to have the severity of the cleft I saw. I donít think she survived. That permits those homeless children to live the way they did. That permits the pain and disruption that led to the refugee crisis. That permits a Captain to not go searching for stranded people when coming across an empty life raft in the open ocean. Itís godís will? You tell that to those people.

I guess I feel cheated. I know there is good in this world but there is so much excruciating pain in this world.

//=====END OF TW======

I really want to talk again though about my low self esteem and lack of self worth. This was the topic of discussion today. I guess Iím discouraged. It feels like nothing I do will help me come out of my hole. I know what needs to be done to take care of myself, be healthy and build my self esteem. But it feels like there is an insurmountable wall that I canít get beyond. L told me I should do these things for my family, but the wall remains. I just feel like they would be better without me. How do you get beyond that if you for whatever reason you canít scale the wall? My lack of self worth is so engrained in me. I canít shake it.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 02, 2020, 11:36:35 AM
I had another hunting dream last night. I donít remember much of it but from what I can remember, I believe I was at a building that was supposed to be my work. I was holed up in a closet with my wife and her friend. I used a dowel (donít know why a dowel) to barricade the door.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on July 02, 2020, 03:12:08 PM
How do you get beyond that if you for whatever reason you canít scale the wall? My lack of self worth is so engrained in me. I canít shake it.

Speaking just for myself, meds really helped me with this. I had been taking Prozac for a long time and it stopped working, so out of curiosity (and because I was tired of having to take it), I quit. Gradually over the following months, my mood descended in an ever increasing spiral until I felt I was in a hole I'd never dig my way out from.

So now, I'm back on an antidepressant, chosen by a psychiatrist instead of my pcp. I'm feeling much better, and I'm able to function well enough.

Still, everyone is different, and meds aren't necessarily the best choice for everyone. Hang in there you're worth fighting for. :yes:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on July 02, 2020, 07:58:49 PM
buddy, I'm so sorry for how bleak and hopeless everything feels. How bad the world feels. I've felt that way at times too, all the terrible things that happen, it just feels like too much. The thing is - there is beauty too. There are kind people in this world. I used to feel so unsafe. I have learned in the last few years that there are kind people on this planet, who genuinely care. Who do their bit to make this world a better place. I am thinking mainly of the kind Ts I've worked with. It took a while to be able to absorb that this was real. That it wasn't just them pretending for whatever reason. You've gone through some very traumatic things. It does strip away any joy there might be. It's so very hard.

I used to have dreams my whole life about being chased and trying to hide or get away. Most times I got away. Sometimes I didn't. I think those dreams represent the deep sense of not feeling safe in your life. Over the last few years those dreams seem to have mostly disappeared.

I once read somewhere something about what to do when calamity strikes. I think maybe Mr Rogers said it. "Look for the helpers. Where are the helpers?" I only learned of this a couple of years ago. I don't think I'll ever forget that.

Things are very up and down with this journey. It is really tough. I get thrust between the good in my life, and the pain from the past. I try not to worry about the state of the world. I can't change it. All I can do is make the best of what I have. I do have hope for the world. We are living in uncertain times, and there are so many injustices that people are speaking up about and demanding change for. It gives me hope for the future. I feel like most people feel like you and I do about the bad things that happen. We need to heal ourselves so we can be there to help make the world a better place.

I'm not sure if you are on medication, but it might be worth considering, just to get you a start on climbing out of the hole. Sometimes we need a little help with that. There is no shame in it. I know medication saved me at the start of my journey.

Your family won't be better off without you. Trust me on that one. They love you, even if you don't feel like you are worthy of that or deserve that. They would be lost and hurting in the same way without you. :bighug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 03, 2020, 03:29:25 PM
Hi 3R and Owl,

Thank you for responding and thank you for the kind words. Believe it or not I am on meds. Iím on Wellbutrin, Prozac, Minipress (for the nightmares) and now Ativan for when things get really bad. Iím alright today, but some days itís really discouraging. I went from never taking a medication in my life to four different prescriptions for my mental health. Thereís days where I feel like Iím a nut. I mean after all Iím taking multiple meds right? I know itís not true and it is just a means to an end but some days itís tough.

As it relates to the world around us, Owl, rational me agrees with you a 100%. There is good in this world and there are people who truly mean well. It also took me a while to break the cynical thinking that the T doesnít really care and is only looking to make a paycheck. It definitely took a while for me to build trust.

Iíve also heard that Mr. Rogers quote before in ďlooking for the helpersĒ. I think it is very valid because in every war, every crisis you are right there are helpers. Some days itís just hard for me to get past my cynical thinking, that the world is a place of nothing but pain and suffering. I think part of it is because I feel like Iíve contributed to the ďProblemĒ.

When I was doing work ups for my first deployment which was to the Persian Gulf; the sad fact is the USís interests became very clear and it wasnít in helping people. It became clear that I was a part of it. Our focus was defending      oil platforms from IRGCN and other entities (though we never actually performed those particular operations). It was on keeping the Strait of Hormuz open because thatís where 25% of our oil comes from.

Fast forward to my second deployment, we are off the coast of Libya performing anti-terror operations. Libya is a total power vacuum, it is in complete anarchy.  There is suffering. Many refugees are coming from their north to Italy. The sad fact is, we wouldnít be conducting anti-terror operations their if we hadnít bombed them in the first place.  I understand Gaddafi wasnít a nice man but we did nothing to help the situation.   That is where I came across the empty life raft and that is where I was told to carry on, itís not our problem.

Iím sad, yet encouraged to hear Iím not the only one that had those type of nightmares. I just wish I knew how to address whatever issue is cause NC them in the first place.

Anyone thatís enough for me now. Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on July 03, 2020, 05:02:40 PM
Our focus was defending oil platforms from IRGCN and other entities (though we never actually performed those particular operations). It was on keeping the Strait of Hormuz open because thatís where 25% of our oil comes from.

My son said the same thing. Oil, and another resource in Afghanistan, something to do with batteries. Lithium? He had 2 deployments, as an Army Blackhawk tech.

I know that memory of the life raft haunts you; my son has a memory, several in fact, that haunt him. If you can just remember that you did what you could but you also had to follow orders. My son is a different person today. War is *, for sure, and changes people forever. But there is hope for everyone who wants healing and pursues it from any angle that can help. I'm in your corner, cheering you on.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 03, 2020, 08:50:39 PM
Thank you 3R, I appreciate it and war certainly is *. My world view has changed significantly from the first day I entered vs. the day I got out.

I guess Iím feeling stuck, it feels like my IC doesnít want me to heal. Part of me wishes there was a roadmap or specific steps to take to heal obviously itís not black and white. Even if I had a roadmap, I feel like I would purposely not use it.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 06, 2020, 11:46:32 PM
I feel a little off today. I donít really have any explanation for it. Today wasnít stressful at all and thereís nothing I can think of that is bothering me. I guess I just feel a little down?

The weekend wasnít too bad either. I was able to find time to regrout parts of our shower that has taken me over month to do. All in all it took about a days worth of labor. The kids were great. We took them to a local petting zoo which they love and we went to a cookout at my in-laws.

As far as potential stressors I called my parents. It was the same old thing, very superficial, my parents not really having any connection with the kids, and me wanting to end the conversation to move on my day. I know that seems terrible but I donít recall it really bothering me. Rís dad was definitely off, heís still going through his medical issue and at this point Iím fairly convinced itís more depression related than anything. Lastly, I did some of my school work until 1AM last night. Again none of these ďstressorsĒ felt stressful to me at the time nor now. I just donít know whatís contributing to me feeling off.

I did feel pangs of sadness and guilt today related to my grandfather. He used to love whistling and I never really thought much of it but I guess I whistle a lot around the house. I was having lunch with T and was whistling. She playfully told me to stop and for whatever reason that just snapped my thoughts to my grandfather of him sitting outside his house on summer days listening to the Rat Pack whistling. It brought with it the sadness and guilt. I donít understand where the guilt is coming from, I have no idea.

Now that I think of it, I guess Iím starting to get into the ďdenial phaseĒ of my mental health. I find myself longing to watch home videos of me as a kid. I think partially to ďpunishĒ myself. Even the good memories only bring sadness and guilt these days and also to some how convince myself that I was/was not emotionally neglected. I have watched the videos in the past and nothing comes of it. No epiphany, new memories or new thoughts come. The other denial piece is related to the cPTSD. I find myself trying to convince me that I donít have it. On the 4th, neighbors were launching fireworks. It made me mad for a while because it was scaring my kids but otherwise I didnít mind it. Later that night I stepped outside and saw a huge professional grade firework launch and explode a couple houses down the road. The concussion was very loud. It left reverberations through the neighborhood and valley. I forgot that I enjoy that noise (the reverberations). R was surprised. She made an observation that the fireworks donít bother me but a dog barking or a door bell ringing does. I donít have an explanation for it but my mind is now trying to convince myself that I donít have cPTSD.

I guess part of me is in denial and the other part of me is longing to be miserable. Again, Iím not sure why. I got to believe itís related to my low self esteem. I guess misery is comfortable to me? Perhaps itís an affirmation that I donít need to be in denial?

Iím finding myself a little frustrated at not being able to get answers. I wish I could remember parts of my childhood better, I wish I could definitively confirm that I was emotionally neglected. I wish I could definitely confirm that I have cPTSD, depression and anxiety. But the days when those conditions are dormant make me question myself. After all, my mind feels like I should be miserable all the time. That if I had these conditions I would know. I know healing is a completely different ball game than healing for physical wounds. I just wish I could sketch out a plan. This is where I am. This is where I should be and these are the tangible steps to get me there. But none of it seems tangible to me. Itís only after looking back at my life a few years that I can see any evidence of healing compared to before.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: marta1234 on July 07, 2020, 11:29:30 AM
Buddy, I wanted to just come by and say that when I was young I used to rewatch endlessly past videos of me. I donít know why I did it, but it was just this thing that I needed to do in order to feel pain or anything about my past.

Sending you lots of support for the work youíve been doing on yourself  :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 07, 2020, 05:42:58 PM
Sending you lots of support for the work youíve been doing on yourself  :hug:

Thanks marta, I needed to hear that.

Iím going on day 2 of feeling off. Iím not sure really whatís going on. There isnít really anything stressors that I can identify. My low self esteem/self worth is coming into play. I feel useless and unproductive. Itís hard for me to get the wheels in motion today.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 07, 2020, 07:38:57 PM
hey, buddy,

i've been away for a bit, but read some of what you've written here.  i think, sometimes, (at least for me), it's the days when i don't especially have stressors that i feel 'down'.  i believed we've been so conditioned to feel bad about ourselves, and therefor need punishment, that our stressors do that particular job for us.  it stands to reason, in my mind, that when the stressors aren't around we find other ways to keep that punishment going.  after all, our authority figures rammed it down our throats - either passively or aggressively - that we were bad, therefore deserving punishment.  your 'longing to feel miserable again' rang that bell for me.

you're right that this process of healing has ups and downs in it.  i have no doubt that c-ptsd is a big factor in that - if you've read other posts, you'll see that played out over and over for people.  and, as far as emotional neglect, anytime we don't get acknowledged and accepted with all our emotions intact, we get mocked or humiliated for having emotions, or we're simply not allowed to have certain emotions, we've been emotionally neglected.  i say this from experience, both from my parents and others in adult relationships.

hang in there, buddy, ok?  we're hangin' right beside you.  i'm so glad you're sharing here, and i hope it's helping give you some validation and support.  you so deserve both, cuz it sounds like you haven't gotten much of either.  sending love and a hug filled w/ both. :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 08, 2020, 06:11:59 PM
Hi sanmagic,

Thank you for responding. I see your point related to the stressors and now that I think about it I agree certainly agree. Thank you for the kind words/words of encouragement. I sincerely appreciate it. I still donít know why but itís been kind of a tough week for me.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 09, 2020, 12:21:58 AM
Going on day three of being off. Now I really donít know whatís going on. I know itís depression but Iím really struggling to piece anything together. I just feel a degree of lethargy and sadness. I donít really feel like doing much at all. It came about more or less as soon as I woke up. Iíve noticed for these past three days it seems like it is worse in the daylight hours and gets better (but not gone) as night approaches. Iíve asked myself perhaps itís an EF? But what would trigger it and why? Itís not the worse case of depression Iíve had but itís definitely more noticeable than what Iíd call my baseline.

If I was to assume it was an EF, I donít really know what the trigger would be. Iíve had small reminders of my grandparents. The whistling that reminds me of my grandfather and a song that came on during one of Tís movies that was played at my grandmotherís burial. But these donít feel too triggering. I didnít really have any emotional reaction to the song other than recognizing that it was played at my grandmotherís burial. I had a brief memory of the event, I remember standing facing my aunt who had the song on a boom box. I recall it was a little unexpected that she was going to play that song. But again no emotion is attached to it. It seems more like a fleeting memory. Also, I canít necessarily correlate these memories to being ďoffĒ as these happened in the afternoon whereas Iíve been feeling off pretty much since I wake up.

Coupleís therapy was significantly focused on me and my parents but again I canít say there was much emotion related to it. The focus was related a on a phone call I had with them the other night. I mentioned how it was the same thing: very superficial and very uncomfortable. I mentioned how post college my parents really donít know my story. They donít know anything about my mental health nor do I feel comfortable discussing that with them. We discussed Rís relationship with my parents and how it will likely never be there. Lastly, we discussed the lack of involvement theyíve had in our kids lives. None of these of these items are new. Nor do I recall much emotion being attached to it.

The only other thing I can add to the mix is that my hands were shaking today. I canít really attribute it to anything, low blood sugar etc. it was definitely noticeable as R made a comment.

I guess Iím stumped. I just really wish I could understand me better and remember memories and events that may have led to where I am today.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on July 09, 2020, 12:36:59 AM
Maybe you're feeling these emotions because you have room for them right now? Or if it's an EF, maybe there's something about this time of year? or maybe it's something physical that you aren't aware of?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 09, 2020, 02:14:25 PM
Thanks Owl for the suggestions. I honestly have no idea. Iím leaning towards itís not an EF. Iím assuming your assumption is right itís more because I have the room right now.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 09, 2020, 02:47:25 PM

i've had some of what you describe for a good part of my life - feeling down w/o knowing why, the cause, the trigger, etc.  you've talked about this conversation w/ your parents, how distant and superficial it is, how uncomfortable, but a lack of feeling for you.  could it be that you've repressed emotions about them?  perhaps just absorbed them into yourself, but they're showing in other ways?  like feeling down, or your hands shaking.  i'd imagine there are a lot of repressed feelings about how they treat you, your kids, their relationship w/ R.

maybe not, maybe this doesn't make sense to you.  just something off the top of my head.  i'm always looking for 'why' answers, and this came to mind for me.  i do hope you can figure it out so you have a feeling of how to deal with it.  best to you with this, my dear.  love and hugs   :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 10, 2020, 06:24:22 PM
Hi San, thank you for responding. Iím glad to hear youíve had similar experiences. It makes me feel less alone. I guess it could be repressed emotions with my parents. R told me I have an inability to get mad at my parents. Me telling them off would never cross my mind. For example, the day before Fatherís Day my parents coordinated to schedule a call the next day. I called them and they never picked up. The only thing I received was a happy Fatherís Day text and a card in the mail (which is thoughtful of course). It didnít really bother me, after all this is typical. But R was furious for me. She wanted me to tell them off. I guess my mom posted something on Facebook to the affect of what a wonderful father I am to HER grandchildren. Meanwhile they didnít put any effort in actually talking to me and they donít spend any effort in having a relationship with the kids. My point is I guess I should be upset but for whatever reason I canít be. There are many other scenarios like this and I just canít get mad at them.

I wouldnít be surprised if it is pressed emotions. I feel like this is something Iíve carried for a while. Lately, Iíve been getting frustrated at not being able to get to the root issue of my low self esteem and lack of memory and emotions that I canít identify.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 10, 2020, 08:06:09 PM
Yesterday was uneventful and probably one of my better days this week.

Today started off rather rough. I more or less woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The negative self talk/self-hatred started immediately. I looked down at my legs and immediately started calling myself a fat *. The self talk continued about how I canít stand my body but Iíll do nothing about it to make a change. I guess itís part of me feeling unworthy and wanting to punish myself.

My entire life I grew up with the assumption that I was a fat *. Iím sure part of it was related to being the overweight kid in grade school. The other part being my mom having an eating disorder and lastly growing up in the stereotypical Italian family (there always being food available, the need to give lots and lots of food to the kids , etc. Iím sure you get the point). Even when I was in high school wrestling at the prime of my athletic physique, I still felt fat (I wasnít, I was close to 6ft at the time and 160lbs). The negative self talk, the lack of self worth has pretty much always been there. Fast forward to now. I know Iím overweight, I know my family has preexisting medical conditions that can be exacerbated by obesity. I know what I should be doing to make myself healthier but I canít seem to ever get myself moving in that direction. Itís like I  rather make myself suffer than be healthy and heal. Itís like I acknowledge that poor health and a premature death is in my future but Iím not worthy to make the changes to prevent that.

It was also a therapy day today. Most of the focus was on the negative self talk and thoughts described above. I find myself getting frustrated. I know I have low self esteem. Rational me knows Iím way to harsh on myself but I feel like Iím perpetually in a rut. I donít want to dig myself out and I donít want to do anything to heal. Itís like I consistently refuse and find ways to do the opposite. The T agreed that we should find the root cause of my low self esteem/self worth but Iím at a loss of what to do. The root cause feels perpetually elusive. I know part of it is related to emotional neglect, I know the other part is related to growing up Catholic but I know thatís a small percentage of the problem. And what do you do when you donít want to help yourself heal?

Lastly, R is going back to work from being on maternity leave. As I mentioned before she works in an ICU that is now the COVID unit. She is obviously nervous about that. To add to her stress sheís nervous about me because of my ďepisodeĒ I had in April. In fact sheís scared. I think the probability of me having another episode is low. She works nights and knows Iíll be alone those evenings. She wants me to help work out a plan so she can feel more comfortable but I am having trouble coming up with a plan and ensuring her. Sure if I have another episode call her, her parents to pick up the kids, and my T or psychiatrist. But I canít provide her anything concrete and it feels disingenuous to do so. She wants to know how Iíll know when Iím starting to have an episode. I have an idea (my mind starts spinning) but at the same token I am also one to self punish. I could know what the right thing is to do but in the moment especially if I donít  particularly like myself, I may ignore it.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 10, 2020, 11:49:39 PM

you've got lots going on.  i hope you can come up w/ a plan for yourself so your wife can feel more comfy at work - i think that would be a lovely gift to give her.

i've had a situations where i've been out of touch w/ my feelings, especially anger, fear, and happy most all my life.  it was named for me on this forum, actually, it was during a situation where others were expressing their anger at something that happened involving me, but i didn't feel angry at all.  since i've been aware of this, i trust heavily on taking cues from others.  if someone feels anger about a situation about me, i know that anger is the correct emotion to have, and i work at getting down to it, acknowledging it, accepting it, and expressing it w/o hurting myself or others.

without our emotions, it's hard to feel grounded, stable, and like a whole person.  i know i felt like i floated thru much of my life, unaware of what's going on around me, just being wisped away by whatever wind was blowing.  without a sure sense of self, it's also difficult, to my mind, to feel much worth or esteem, let alone feel motivated to take care of ourselves, to want what's best for us, and do what it takes to heal and become whole.

this is just my opinion, so if it doesn't fit, please feel free to ignore it.  i wish you the best while tackling these issues, buddy.  sending love and a hug filled with your own sense of worth. :hug:

anger at parents is difficult for a lot of people.  i'm going to add mine to your wife's - that's just wrong that they treat you that way, very hurtful, very inconsiderate, very uncaring.  my guess is that being brought up by people who treat you like that will give you a core belief that you're not worth time nor energy from others, let alone caring and comfort.  that would speak to your low sense of self-worth.

Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 11, 2020, 03:53:31 AM
without our emotions, it's hard to feel grounded, stable, and like a whole person.  i know i felt like i floated thru much of my life, unaware of what's going on around me, just being wisped away by whatever wind was blowing.  without a sure sense of self, it's also difficult, to my mind, to feel much worth or esteem, let alone feel motivated to take care of ourselves, to want what's best for us, and do what it takes to heal and become whole.

Hi san,

Thank you for checking in, I appreciate the words of encouragement. As for the quoted paragraph above, I don't think you realize how much that resonates with me. I definitely do feel like a majority of my life has been me being blown by the winds without a direction. The winds dictate the direction.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 11, 2020, 05:43:57 AM
yeah - i remember thinking, still do, that if someone asked me, like at a job interview, where i saw myself in 5 years, i'd have no clue.  actually, i still don't. 

it's been work to sort out feelings, and i'm still not very good with it.  sometimes i can feel angry, sometimes i can feel afraid.  most all my life, the most feeling i've had is sad.  that seemed to be the only emotion i was connected to.  i remember in the early 70's, when my dad died, i began crying about it the next night, but it immediately turned into crying for all the boys killed in vietnam.  it was like i couldn't keep my sadness focused on myself, but i could cry and feel sad for the rest of the world. 

even in therapy, when my t asks about what emotions something brings up, i still struggle to name what i actually feel.  usually i guess at what might be inside, but don't really feel it.  it's been tough at times, because i didn't have empathy for others' feelings of fear or anger cuz i didn't experience them myself. 

good luck with all of this.  it's getting better, but it is work.  i hope you can find it within yourself to want to get to a different place.  apathy is horrible, can deaden the spirit.  i want to encourage your spirit to break itself free, if possible or if you're able or willing.  sending love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on July 11, 2020, 02:59:29 PM
"And what do you do when you donít want to help yourself heal?"

I run into this a lot. A part of me wants really bad to heal. Another part of me doesn't want to at all. The part that doesn't want to often feels like it's winning. But the part of me that needs relief doesn't stop working at it, although it is interspersed with hopelessness, because of not wanting to help myself.

I'm starting to understand that there are reasons for not wanting to help myself. There are fears around what would happen if I did. Maybe you can ask yourself what you're afraid might happen, if you do help yourself? 
Title: Re: Buddy9832’s Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 12, 2020, 04:14:18 PM
San and owl, I have read your posts and will find it in me to respond later. I’m finding it difficult being a good contributor/responding to people’s post as of late. I just need to write because I feel like I’m going to explode!

I’m just angry today, angry at what feels like everything. Angry at my wife (for no reason at all, she’s been amazing), angry at my In-laws, neighbors,, neighbors, both kids, my pets and myself. I’m actually struggling now to even write a post. Every fiber of my being doesn’t want to write but I’m forcing myself because I am hoping that it will help me cool off.

Last night was a very rough night which I am sure is part of the reason why I am so angry. R went back to the ICU last night. It was her first day back. This implies that I had the kids all night. Both of them were fighting me every step of way to sleep. In fact it took over three hours to get both of them down.

I am finding that the self hatred is coming in. I’m so angry quite frankly that I want punch myself hard in the face or smash it against the wall.

//=======END OF TW======

It’s one of those times where I know what the right answers are to cool me off/heal but I rather do the opposite and punish myself.

My mom sent me a text wanting to coordinate a call today. I don’t even have it in me to read it. I can tell on the excerpt of the notification screen it’s to have the call with the kids. The only thing  I can think of is to tell her to * off and throw my phone against a wall. How messed up is that? She talks about how she doesn’t want the kids to forget about her and today I want nothing to do about that. I don’t want her to talk to me or the kids.

I know this type of anger is childish but it is still welled up inside of me. Fortunately, I’m in control of it. I think partially because I want the anger to consume me to make me feel pain and punish myself.

I’m finding that I have no patience for the kids today. I’ve been try to get B to nap and I just couldn’t get him to sleep. Usually, I’m pretty good at it. I had to leave him in the crib to cry a little bit while I sit outside his room on the stairs to tamp down my temper. R is upset as she now can’t sleep and won’t let me go back in to soothe B. She thinks I’m just trying to sleep train him being a jerk keeping her up.

T had been very energetic and testing boundaries. It’s been tough for me to deal with. I’ve found plenty of times me being stern to her, probably for something that doesn’t require that degree or sternness. I can’t help but feel like a horrible father. I want to feel like a horrible father as it will inflict more pain on me. I keep thinking about how my lack of patience and anger with her is just setting her up to relive my life. A life, I feel is filled with pain.

I watched her on the video monitor last night. She was upset at me because I was trying to get her to go to bed. I had to keep her in her room while I attended to B. I watched her throw stuffed animals and toys in her room with absolute frustration and anger. It just brought me back to my childhood, how I couldn’t control my anger at the time and would break things. Again, I can’t help but feel I’m setting her up to relive my life. A part of me, a selfish side, is welcoming it because I know it will only being more pain on me.

I know I should be routinely exercising, doing mindfulness exercises, etc. But I don’t want to. I want to be angry.
Title: Re: Buddy9832’s Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 12, 2020, 05:04:04 PM
it's ok to be angry.  it's ok not to respond to others.  it's ok to be out of sorts. it's ok to not know all the answers.   it's ok to not always do the 'right' thing.  it's ok to feel messy about yourself and your life.  you're ok even if you're not perfect.

 i hope you don't physically hurt yourself.

sending love and a hug filled with whatever is best for you right now. :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 13, 2020, 08:34:50 AM
Entire post is a TW

I just woke up from one of the hunting dreams. The best way I can explain it is that I was being hunted by the SS during modern times. The SS were rounding up people for extermination in the city. As a result obviously I was running from them. I caught a car out of the city, then I woke up.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on July 13, 2020, 03:40:29 PM
Buddy, what an unsettling way to wake up and enter the day.  Iím sorry that this was the way you woke up. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 14, 2020, 11:50:30 PM
Hi everyone thank you for posting.

"And what do you do when you donít want to help yourself heal?"

I run into this a lot. A part of me wants really bad to heal. Another part of me doesn't want to at all. The part that doesn't want to often feels like it's winning. But the part of me that needs relief doesn't stop working at it, although it is interspersed with hopelessness, because of not wanting to help myself.

I'm starting to understand that there are reasons for not wanting to help myself. There are fears around what would happen if I did. Maybe you can ask yourself what you're afraid might happen, if you do help yourself? 

Thanks owl, thatís a very interesting point and I guess it does have validity in my life. I would say that the part that wants me to heal does never stop working. Thereís times I can feel this part screaming at myself when I just want to go back to being miserable.

But to tell you the truth I donít know what Iím afraid of. I guess I feel itís mainly that since I donít look too highly on myself part of me thinks itís not worth it. Is there something else? I have no idea what that would be.

yeah - i remember thinking, still do, that if someone asked me, like at a job interview, where i saw myself in 5 years, i'd have no clue.  actually, i still don't. 

it's been work to sort out feelings, and i'm still not very good with it.  sometimes i can feel angry, sometimes i can feel afraid.  most all my life, the most feeling i've had is sad.  that seemed to be the only emotion i was connected to.  i remember in the early 70's, when my dad died, i began crying about it the next night, but it immediately turned into crying for all the boys killed in vietnam.  it was like i couldn't keep my sadness focused on myself, but i could cry and feel sad for the rest of the world. 

even in therapy, when my t asks about what emotions something brings up, i still struggle to name what i actually feel.  usually i guess at what might be inside, but don't really feel it.  it's been tough at times, because i didn't have empathy for others' feelings of fear or anger cuz i didn't experience them myself. 

good luck with all of this.  it's getting better, but it is work.  i hope you can find it within yourself to want to get to a different place.  apathy is horrible, can deaden the spirit.  i want to encourage your spirit to break itself free, if possible or if you're able or willing.  sending love and hugs :hug:

Thanks san, I can understand what you mean by it being work to sort out your feelings I feel the same way. I would say it probably wasnít until the last two years  or so that I no longer feel numb. Apathy really is a killer, itís brutal.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 15, 2020, 12:05:19 AM
I know I havenít posted in a few days. Iím finding it harder to find the motivation to post. I really donít want to give up journaling though. I donít want this to be another self care method that I try and put up on the shelf because I get bored with it or more so I believe because part of me doesnít want to get better.

I had a telehealth appointment with my psychiatrist the other day. She found it very interesting how I tend to imagine myself in the first person in morbid situations. Iíve never really had an explanation for this and I canít imagine itís normal. As I said before, when Rís friend got in the motorcycle accident I would try to put myself in his shoes during that moment or when my grandfather was dyeing his shoes. Itís not that itís something I want to do. It just happens and it usually takes a lot of effort to stop. Iíd say usually itís associated at night when my mind is racing before bed.

On a different note R was in a funk yesterday afternoon.  I had no idea why. I come to find out my phone was open to this forum. It was open to my journal specifically and she read some of the entries. I donít actually mind. I share with her every aspect of my life and most of these things sheís already heard. But to a degree even though I donít feel the need to withhold information from her there is a part of my mind that is locked away that canít be communicated until I write it. I think she found that aspect a little shocking. She knows I have low self esteem but I think reading my thoughts,
aspects that can be written but not spoken verbally were tough for her to see. She was hurt to see what my mind goes through.

She wanted me to understand how much the kids and she loves me and that in turn I should apply that to myself. That concept must be so deeply rooted in me as itís incredibly uncomfortable. It doesnít even seem fathomable time me.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on July 15, 2020, 02:49:23 AM
I resonate with your reflection on how your journal entries were received by R.  I tend to come across more blunt and strong in writing than in person.  I have to be really careful with emails I send especially at work because my style comes across as too much.  When we are speaking in person we get a different kind of feedback that we adjust our tone, style, wording to that we donít get in writing. 

I appreciate when you post as your entries are thoughtful and authentic.  I imagine that takes a toll though and it can be tough to keep putting this out there.  I think it is ok for something like a journal to work for a while but not at all times. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 16, 2020, 02:14:53 AM
Thanks Rainy, I appreciate it!

Actually in your journal you discussed a topic that I want to explore for myself. The idea of proving my worth. This idea has never really crossed my mind but when I reflect upon my life a majority of it could be defined in some way shape or form as a means to prove my worth. My therapist and R have suggested that Iím always hungry for others feedback. Iím sure thatís a sign.

Why do I feel the need to prove my worth? Who am I proving it too? How did this all originate? Iím assuming it always boils down to emotional neglect. Perhaps my parents didnít provide enough positive reinforcement? Or maybe itís through the emotional neglect and feeling unworthy that I have been desperately trying to get my parents attention (or anyoneís attention) that I am valuable? Iím assuming itís one of those or a mix.

My therapist and R have indicated that for the longest time I have lived in my parents shadows, always trying to impress them. Does that mean I was neglected as a child? I wish there was a way to know for sure. I canít really say for sure. Iíd almost rather have physical scars to remind me that something did in fact happen  than to always question it. I canít imagine that if I was neglected that it was out of blatant negligence or malice. But what do I know? Iím sure to this is just another example of me being in denial.

I can recall many examples of trying to prove my worth. In elementary school I was bullied. When I was in high school it felt necessary to me to prove that I was something. I guess to show my worth. It didnít really help. To compound to this I went to a private high school. I would consider my family as upper middle class but a majority of the kids at the school were raised in very wealthy families. I was one of the ďpoorĒ kids that needed to do work study programs to help pay for school. I remember an extreme desire to get into a federal military academy (West Point, Naval Academy, etc). A good portion of this desire was due to the challenge. It was the understanding that the schools were very difficult to get into and that could be a measure of my worth. I didnít get into the schools but I did end up going to a military school.

Fast forward to my time in college. I majored in Biology and I had an extreme desire to become a doctor. I wanted to go to medical school through the Navy. They would pay for medical school in turn for time in service. Part of me saw it again as a measure of worth. Most people at the military school went into typical jobs: artillery, tanks, transport, sailing ships etc. But I had the need to become a doctor. I toiled through school. I was hungry to perform well and it was at the expense of my health and relationships. I would routinely get less than a couple hours sleep at night. I would be so blindly focused on the goal that I would neglect the needs of my girlfriend (who fortunately is now my wife).

Life had different plans. I ended up getting into the Medical Corps in the Navy but didnít get into medical school. I remember desperately look for the next ďeliteĒ opportunity which for me was submarines. I had an interview in Washington DC with the chief of naval reactors but I didnít get that either. I ended up getting one of the typical jobs as a Surface Warfare Officer.

Transition my life to the Navy, I had to select a ship out of Pearl Harbor. Nobody ever gets to go to Pearl Harbor. I made that decision based on the rarity of the opportunity. Very little thought was put into how this would affect my relationship with R. Once I was stationed on the ships, I needed to perform well I needed my sailors to perform well as that was a measure of my worth. It was a ploy to get positive reinforcement from my bossí. Sometimes I got that positive reinforcement but it never lasted and again it was at the expense of my health and my relationship with R.

I give these examples as they are all cases that were tied to me being so desperate for others approval. To know that Iím worthy. I wish I knew how the process originated but it has been a nasty cycle that Iíve only recently started to get a hold of. Again, I wish I could draw back to a particular incident and say yes, this is where it all started. I donít think Iíll ever get there because no event(s) exist.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on July 16, 2020, 03:18:45 AM
I appreciate you sharing and exploring this idea.  I could see parallels in my own story.  I too struggle with the elusive neglect I experienced.  I have examples of abuse in my story yet I donít think those explain my need to prove I am worthy - it is something else deeper and unknown that I canít identify either. 

It seems like having a root cause or specific starting point is important in your thinking.  Iíve struggled with this too - I see decisions Iíve made or ways Iíve acted and wonder what made me act in that way.  Iím not sure what I think I would gain in knowing - maybe being able to prevent or stop it in the future.  Maybe acceptance or forgiveness.  I donít really know other than I hurt and I want that to stop. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 19, 2020, 10:23:55 PM
Itís been a weird past few days. Part of me canít help but feel like Iíve been taken advantage of and the other part is quick to say everything is fine. R started work in earnest last week. She worked two nights back to back Thursday and Friday. As a result, I decided to take some time off from work (theyíre pushing us to take time anyway). Rís mom was nice enough to have T sleepover during those days but B was stuck to my hip from Thursday through Saturday.

During this period the way things worked out was that I watched B from the time he got up to the time he went to bed. Bathed him, stayed up with him at night, etc. Iím sure you get the point. He was especially difficult to manage the nights R worked. The only opportunity I had for personal time was the time between him sleeping and me going to bed and of course this time was spent doing school work. I wouldnít go to sleep until around midnight and B would wake up many times throughout the night. R would then sleep all day and then go to work.

Saturday, I couldnít help but feel enraged and frustrated. R did not have work but she more or less slept all day. This left me stuck with managing two kids most of the day. I wanted some time to decompress and finish my homework but never got a chance. It came around 4, I was thinking R was going to help me watch the kids but she told me she needed to go back to bed because the room was spinning (she was so tired). For whatever reason when she said that I felt deflated and defeated. It was almost a validation to me of my worthlessness. I just shut down. She slept until 5 which left me having to cook dinner.

She acknowledge ďthat I was a saintĒ those past few days. I still felt worthless but I couldnít be upset at her. She knows it sucks. I feel horrible for being upset at her. She is incredibly tired and itís very difficult to recoup. I just feel worthless and burnt out.

Today and similarly, I was trying to get the back yard set up with an inflatable pool. Itís been hot here. The hose reel is one of those automatic ones and it was tangled beyond belief. As Iím working on that R was quick to inform me that the WiFi was down. Again, I wasnít expecting it but I couldnít help but feel worthless. It feels like everything is breaking in the house and Iím failing.

I feel bad because I was angry and frustrated at R but in reality I donít think she deserves it. I think it is more so my IC trying to get the upper hand and bring me down. It has been pretty bad lately. I woke up and the first thing that came to my mind was insulting me calling myself a fat *. I canít seem to shake it. These negative thoughts have been prevalent most of the weekend.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 21, 2020, 03:56:11 PM
My IC has been running rampant as of late. Itís been very much focused on my health and weight to be more precise. In reality I am overweight but all and all pretty healthy physically. I find Iím calling myself a fat *. I find my mind more less tries to force me to accept an early death. Accept that I will get diabetes or heart disease relatively young and die relatively young.

This however does nothing to motivate me. Yes, I should be exercising more. Yes, I could eat more healthy but I canít seem to get myself on the bandwagon. As I write this, I wonder how much of this plays into my momís influence? I didnít come to terms with it until maybe a year ago but she has an undiagnosed eating disorder. All the symptoms are there and thinking about it now Iím sure aspects of it rubbed off on me. She would constantly be making food for me, stuff that she wouldnít eat and guilt trip me if I didnít eat it. This is not to make any excuses, I take full responsibility for my health. Iím just curious if it is a factor. Itís also hard for me to go on a diet as R is recovering from an eating disorder.

Lastly, now that I think of it I recall my father making jokes/judgements etc on overweight people and Iím sure that has brought with it some degree of shame.

Sorry for the rambling, Iím just trying to piece it together.

Moving on, Iím finding my pessimistic world view is becoming more prevalent as of late. Iíve been ruminating on the life raft incident. Mostly, thinking about it in context to the geopolitical situation at the time. It was a few years after we bombed Libya. LibyaĎs infrastructure was decimated. The bombing lead to a power vacuum which allowed many factions competing for dominance including ISIS and Boko Haram if memory serves me correct. This  contributed to the refugee crisis. Refugees would sail from Northern Africa (like Libya) to places like Italy. The passage was incredibly dangerous and the fatality rate was very high.

During this time when we were performing operations I came across an orange half sunk life raft. This was the type of life raft that is only released from ships in an emergency. My point is if you see one in the water it can only really mean one thing, somebody was in distress. I was the Officer of the Deck (in charge of sailing the ship) at the time. I called the Captain and if memory serves me correct I requested to search for survivors. I wanted to take a small boat over to the life raft take a look inside to see if anyone was in there or at least see if it would provide a clue as to where they were now. I was told to move on. No further search or thought was given to that life raft incident. It wasnít reported to higher ups, the local coast guard wasnít notified nothing.

What haunts me about this scenario is I know first hand about how low your chances of surviving are once you make a decision to go into the water. Rewind the clock to my previous deployment, we were sailing by the Strait of Hormuz. This is a narrow waterway (only 3 miles wide at some places) and is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Hundreds if not thousands of vessels are going through there daily and weekly. On this deployment we came across a stranded fisherman. He was floating on old water and milk cans strung together. We found out his fishing boat caught fire and he had to abandon ship. He was in 80 degree water but was still hypothermic. He was adrift for three days. THREE DAYS in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Not one soul saw him before us. So I reiterate, the likely hood  of survival when abandoning ship is extremely low. Therefore in my opinion if you come across a sign of distress such as a half sunken life raft, it should be your moral obligation to search. If there were people alive anywhere near that raft that would have been their only chance of survival. Yet we decided to press on.

My T asks me from time to time what it would take to forgive myself. How could I forgive myself? I canít. If you were in my shoes would you? I think about a scenario in which survivors are floating in the water and watch as their only chance of survival slowly drifts off towards the horizon.

It feels like a crime to me that we didnít at a minimum investigate. That this wasnít even reported. I understand we had a mission to fulfill but that doesnít mean we couldnít perform an initial investigation and wait until other resources came on scene. The fact of the matter is I didnít press hard enough. If memory serves me correct, I informed the Captain and strongly recommended that we search but after that I carried on and performed my duties.  I did not voice my opinion further.

I swore an oath and therefore loyalty to the Constitution. I was obligated under law to protect the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic. This means if there is dissent amongst the ranks or if there is something that is believed to be unconstitutional, it is your obligation to fight it even if it is within your same chain of command. I did not press further and I failed.

So I asks again if you were in my shoes would you forgive yourself?

Moving on, Rís friend is doing alright. It looks like he will survive. His abdomen is closed, it sounds like there is no sign of infection. He lost his left arm and theyíre trying to save his right. They have been performing intensive surgeries on his right arm. They used cadaver bone to help save it. It sounds like if this bone doesnít take they will need to amputate. That will leave him as a double amputee. How is he expected to get by in life? He wonít be able to take care of himself.

How is he going to pay for the medical bills? Heís been in the ICU for about a month now. R has informed me that ICU services are typically $30k a day and this is not including surgery, the drugs, and anesthesia. You do the math. By the time everything is said and done his bill will be in the millions. And he is an average Joe who worked as a bartender. Sure you can sue the person that hit him. But letís assume at best if you drain that person for every dime he has. At best heís probably middle class and that wonít put a dent into his medical bills.
\\======END OF TW=======

Iím having a hard time thinking optimistically as of late. I had hunting nightmares last night though at this point I canít remember them.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 22, 2020, 01:17:52 AM
So I wanted to write something more on the positive side today. I find that I have a hard time writing about the positive. I suppose it's a part of me that doesn't want to give myself credit. If I was to give myself credit that would mean there's a possibility to love myself which seems a little too painful or difficult to come to terms with just yet. Usually in fact, it's the days that I don't post into my journal that have been positive. I know this is something I need to work on but it's very hard to find the motivation on these days.

Today for whatever reason is a different case. I had a pretty pleasant daddy/daughter day with T. She's 2.5 and with the arrival of B she's been increasingly difficult to manage. We didn't even do much today but it was quite enjoyable. We played in the morning, did things like put together puzzles, which she loves right now. Later in the afternoon, we went to the local hiking trails. It was an absolute pleasure watching her explore nature on her own. She was picking up leaves and sticks, examining dirt, etc. She just seemed so happy to be there and in turn I was able to witness an explosion of curiosity. I would take the time to point out different things. Show her pine cones, or mushrooms. Explain to her why trees are green and that they make air for us. I know she won't understand it yet, but I just love watching that curiosity. I'm not sure if this is a natural parent reaction but for me, I'm absolutely terrified of the curiosity in her dying. I feel like for me that's when things got really tough. The moment I was broken, the moment my spirits were crushed, a part of me died and my curiosity left me. Things were never the same and pain became difficult to pull myself out of. I'd say now my curiosity has slowly started to come back but I doubt it will ever be anywhere close to where it was in the past. I hope she does not have to experience that. That she will be forever curious, forever learning.

On another note, we had couples today. It wasn't too bad. A good portion of the focus was on me again and the fact that I should find time to grieve the relationship I always thought I would have with my parents. She's right, they won't change and it's time for me to move on. I'm not sure if I know how to do that. I feel like I'm incapable of grieving. My T has made that observation in the past and has suggested even with my grandfather, I never grieved his death. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on July 22, 2020, 01:48:03 AM
Thank you for sharing about your day.  Iím glad you were able to have that time with your little one.  What you say about curiosity resonates with me - it is a hard thing about growing up that our curiosity shifts and may take different forms and could go away for a while. 

Itís funny you should mention working to see the positive.  Today I was considering how I might be more used to focusing on darker, less pleasant things including thoughts, emotions, memories.  The past few days Iíve been relatively ďgoodĒ and have tried to stay with that.  It is really hard though and my IC kicks in - I am wondering if I am making headway because my IC is getting more creative with what it throws at me.  I think it is going to take continued effort to not ďdefaultĒ to my usual thought patterns.

I hope that you found some things today that you are able to carry forward and keep doing more of. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 22, 2020, 10:34:17 AM
I had another hunting dream last night. I canít say I remember much from it. What I can remember was that it was in a war zone. The environment was more of suburbia and forests than anything. I was in a helicopter that was shot down and had to bail out. When we did I vaguely recall being by a river and running into the forest. While some one was chasing us.

Thatís the extent I remember, I donít recall who was chasing me.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 22, 2020, 01:48:44 PM
Thanks rainy, I certainly agree I definitely find that I focus more on the darker side of things.

Today so far is starting off as a mixed bag. T got her new ďbig girl bedĒ which sheís incredibly excited about but we also got news that Rís friend is losing circulation in his other arm (IE they will need to amputate.

I am trying hard to stay in a positive mind set but itís getting hard. Whatís Rís friend going to do with two missing arms? How is he going to be able to function? He wonít be able to do day to day activities. And the poor guy is young, heís 30. Not that itís ever a good time to be in a motorcycle  accident but he still has a majority of a life to live now with no arms. Lastly, as described above how will he pay for these ludicrous medical bills?

The experiences from deployment are starting to come back to my mind. Iím thinking about how indifferent and unfair the world is. Iím thinking about how much pain and suffering there is. I just hope by writing this down Iíll be able to stay more in the positive today than the negative.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 22, 2020, 09:25:20 PM
Todayís not going well at all and the day isnít even over. I got in a fairly heated argument with R. The back story is more or less Iíve spent the past 5 or so days where the kids have been my complete attention. R has been working so three of those 5 days sheís been sleeping. I spoke previously whether intentional or not I feel like Iíve been taken advantage of. I was on vacation through today and I did not spend a single moment on myself to recoup. R is in school as well to become a lactation consultant and she has major exams coming up. She had requested today to spend time studying while the kids napped. In turn, Iíd screen them most of the day.

T was down for a nap and I was trying to get B down. My assumption, sheíd be studying. From upstairs I just heard her shuffling around doing dishes etc. I could feel myself getting angry. Eventually when I put B down I spoke with her to go study and that I will finishes the dishes. She refused. For whatever reason this triggered me and I insisted for her to again go study. I felt like she was going to use her little valuable time to do dishes and procrastinate and in turn whether intentionally or unintentionally Iíd feel the pain later as she didnít have time to study. I voiced this and obviously it didnít go over well. Later in the day, I had B in one of those saucers and spent a few minutes on my phone while he was playing. I admit I wasnít present with B but I needed a few minutes to myself. She comes over and begins to play with him when she should have been studying. I forget the exact remark but she said something to the affect that she saw me ignoring B and wanted to hang out with him. For me that translated to, shame on you youíre not spending time with your child. I became upset further as I feel like Iím under the microscope when I use my phone but when I see her use her phone in front of the kids I donít say a word. I called her out on this and again it didnít go well. Lastly, we were in Bís room. In the closet thereís a music box and dried flowers from when he was born.  I was putting a back pack away which was next to the music box and flowers. It caused the box to start playing. In turn, R jumped up and insisted that she put the backpack away. Again for whatever reason I translated that to as ďLenny (Lenny from of Mice and Men), I donít even trust you to put a backpack away. You are worthless.Ē

These events just triggered me. I shut down. I feel completely useless and want nothing more than to be in my head and wallow in the misery and go to bed to let this day end.

We talked about the fight later. Her intent was not to insult me that Iím useless but thatís the way I feel. Again I just want to disappear to my mind and be left  alone.

I feel so useless so unworthy.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: marta1234 on July 22, 2020, 11:30:19 PM
 :hug: Sending a supportive hug. I can feel the effort and strength that you put in everyday with your thoughts and feelings. Iím sorry you havenít been able to recuperate, but youíre still doing a great job with your kids. Youíre not worthless but valued, and Iím sorry youíre feeling this way. Hope you find some comfort soon :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 23, 2020, 11:25:25 PM
Thanks marta, I appreciate the kind words. R and I had a long discussion related to yesterday and one thing she comment on was that she wishes I could see me through her and the kids eyes.

This appears to be an issue that Iíve had quite a bit in my life. My perception of myself is very low but others think rather highly of me. I donít understand where the disconnect came from and why it is so hard to love myself. I think part of it is forgiveness. I donít think Iíll be able to love myself until I can forgive myself. But how do you move on when you canít see yourself forgiving yourself? I feel like Iíve been stuck in this position for so long. I feel so inherently flawed. In my eyes, Iím unworthy in others eyes I am worthy. When R voices how appreciative and valued I am, Iím quick to dismiss it in my head. Iím quick to change the subject. Itís difficult to be put into that light.

R had therapy today. The topic of conversation was me. We are fairly open in discussing what is talked about in our respective therapy sessions. Her T suggested that I struggle to grow as I see failure in growing too painful. So why not prevent growing and therefore prevent the pain? I am still thinking this through and am not exactly sure what my opinion is. I suppose sheís right? I canít seem to make changes to be healthier in life. I accept the fact of an early death. Perhaps because the thought otherwise is painful. Why do I have such an aversion to the pain and failure?

Perhaps this is why I would dedicate myself to my studies to the point where it was unhealthy. I didnít want to fail. But why? Why is this something so hard for me to accept?

Today was my first day back from my time off. It was definitely one of the days chock full of anxiety and stress. It was one of those days where the stress feels like it takes years off my life. Iím on edge, chest is tight, mind is racing, irritable etc. I know it was spurred on by the stress of childcare (today was absolute chaos) and the fact that I couldnít dedicate solid time to work. I have a hard time knowing if this is actually an EF of some variety. To me the stress feels more than what should be experienced in these type of events. Again, itís definitely a fight or flight state. If it is an EF, I donít know where it stemmed from. I know I had anxiety related to my dad being out of work for years but I donít recall experiencing the stress like I do now. Could it be the Navy? I know these feelings of stress were definitely there then but weíre those just EFs as well?

I wish I had some answers. I feel like Iíll never be able to find the answers. Theyíre so elusive.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 25, 2020, 03:43:07 PM
I'm tired. As this pandemic rages on, I am finding it is taking more and more out of me. I am so incredibly tired. I am tired of the pandemic and the fact that humanity doesn't seem to be able to get there * together. I am tired of the with how incredibly crappy this world is. I am tired with the systemic failures of our (U.S.) government and medical systems. I am tired of working remote barely working 6 hours a day. I am tired of watching children while working. I am tired of taking care of adult children while at work. I'm tired of suppressing all of my anger and frustrations to ensure that T and B have a safe and nurturing environment to grow up. I am tired of not getting sleep. I am tired of taking care of children at night trying to be a nurturing and positive dad when I can barely keep my eyes open. I am tired of getting no support (other than my wife). I am tired of my parents, them moving away and their obliviousness to what we are dealing with. I am tired of all the added to do's that never seem to get done. I'm tired of the never ending house maintenance. I am tired of the severe stress and anxiety. I am tired of feeling like years are being taken off my life. I'm tired of being unhealthy and doing nothing to change it. I am just so incredibly tired. I am so incredibly burnt out. I had 5 days off because work needs me to take PTO and every waking minute of that time was spent with taking care of the kids. No time was spent on myself.

R is getting concerned (I can't say I really blame her) that I'm getting close to having a mental breakdown. She is getting more and more scared of working and me having to take care of both kids. B started sleeping through the night about a couple of weeks ago. This week for whatever reason he appears to be regressing. He's been waking up on the dot around 2AM and usually it involves me having to try to coax him to bed. He's been absolutely fighting me. Nothing I do seems to be right and R can't help as it's an even bigger problem when she is in the room. Last night, when he woke up around 2AM he fought and fought me. On three occasions, I was able to get him to fall asleep in the chair with me. Each time I would gently place him in his crib, he'd wake up almost instantly. The first few attempts, I would head back to bed and by the time I laid my head on the pillow he was having a fit. I could just feel the raging and exhaustion surging through my body. The last time, I sat with him, I couldn't handle the fighting anymore. I had to put him down in the crib and just sit on the stairs to calm down and recompose myself. It was at this point that R intervened and asked me what's wrong. I told her what I said above, how I'm so tired. The thing is I'm not sure if really anything will help me recoup. R is letting me have a day to myself and the only I feel is utter exhaustion.

I feel horrible that I'm getting tired of my kids. My patience is waning. T wasn't even doing anything yesterday. In fact, she was an angel and I couldn't handle her. I've been enjoying ice water in a thermos as of late and sipping it throughout the day. She would keep having sips and putting her fingers in my water and for whatever reason that was infuriating to me.

A few days ago, I spoke with R about the rumination of the life raft incident (she knows most of the things I went through when I was in the Navy). I offered her the same question that I posed here. If you were in my shoes would you forgive yourself? I could see on her face she was struggling to find an answer. I feel like my healing is so contingent upon me finding forgiveness for myself. Yet, what do you do when you don't want to or can't seem to forgive yourself. The life raft incident is just one of the experiences that requires self forgiveness. I feel like until I can forgive, I can't move on. I am finding that I'm at a point in my journey where I have the tools and know what I "should" be doing to heal but there is a stronger force that doesn't want me to heal. When I'm having a tough day, when I need to call upon the tools, I'm finding part of me stating that "you should use tool x". Followed by the other part me absolutely refusing. "As I don't deserve to heal. I deserve to be in pain." The sad thing this also comes at the expense of my family. And so progresses the cycle.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on July 25, 2020, 04:09:46 PM
I can hear how exhausted you are. You sound like you are at the end of the rope. Maybe time to reach out for individual, specialized help like from the VA or some other military-focused group? Civilians may not have the insight to help you understand how to extricate yourself from the torture you are in.

Whatever you did, there is forgiveness for you, and you're worthy of it.  :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on July 25, 2020, 09:56:02 PM
You have many pressures; external and internal. I hear that you are exhausted.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: marta1234 on July 25, 2020, 11:05:58 PM
Iím sorry Buddy youíre feeling like this. I donít have the same exhaustion as you have, but I can understand and feel it. Just know that youíre doing the best with your kids, and itís ok to have these feelings. Mental illness does not take a break on us. Sending support and relief if itís ok :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 26, 2020, 02:13:14 AM
Thank you 3R, notalone and marta for the kind words. I have been thinking about using the VA services and in fact I'm in the process of getting cPTSD on record with them. I've had an aversion to them for quite a while. I think a lot of it was associating my negative experiences with them. My psychiatrist recommended that I partake in some of  their PTSD services such as group. I just can't seem to get any further than acknowledging that it would be a good idea.

R wanted me to use the day to focus on myself. Blow off steam and try to recoup. She's been a saint and  has been watching the kids all day. It was quite helpful to have the day to myself. I feel better than I did this morning, but I'm still exhausted. It was rather uncomfortable though. At different times during the day I would see R struggling but she would not let me help. We discussed making changes, to help mitigate the exhaustion moving forward. We acknowledge I don't really have much of an outlet. A hobby that I'm quite passionate about is drums but with two young children and no good place to setup inside, I probably only have the opportunity to play a couple of times a year. I was able to play today and it did feel good. I am not allowed to go back on campus to work but R suggested that perhaps I go in the mornings to her dad's office (he owns his own business) to get a few uninterrupted hours done. I agree this may be useful, but I'm having trouble getting around to the idea as that would routinely leave R on her own.

Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on July 27, 2020, 10:31:03 AM
Would it be possible to hire someone to help out with the kids? I'm not sure if finances would allow for this or what the situation is with the pandemic where you are. If at all possible, it may be well worth it.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 27, 2020, 04:00:00 PM
Hi owl,

Hiring someone to watch the kids has been a little bit of a complicated issue to say the least. We have a hard time getting over hiring a neighbor hood kid to watch the children even if we are home. Itís definitely a trust thing. As T has gotten older we came around to the idea of putting her into daycare a few times a week. We obviously have the capacity to watch her but do guy red it would be good for her development to hang out with other children her age. Unfortunately, the pandemic put a kabosh on that idea. The new policies donít provide much opportunities for social interaction (obviously) which was the whole point. Also, we gave up our reservation as we donít need the daycare and Iím sure there a families that do. Lastly, my MIL is warming up to watching the kids but it is still not sufficient or routine.

I guess my point is we are still in a pickle. I know something needs to give, weíre just having a hard time figuring something out.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 28, 2020, 05:33:54 PM

i've been to that place of exhaustion, many times, and it's actually a process of time, rest, and resolution of issues that eventually helps with it.  i do think that getting involved in a VA program would be a good thing for you - it would give you some time and space for just you.  don't know if you're able to actually attend meetings right now, but possibly there is online access to something that could be helpful for you.

i love the drum idea, but can certainly understand the restrictions involved.  any chance of utilizing pots and pans as a temporary outlet?

it sounds like you and R are doing a really good job of working together on all this.  lots of love and a hug for you both filled w/ understanding and care. :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 29, 2020, 02:54:28 AM
Thank you san, I really do hope I can get past it.

Today wasnít so bad actually. It has been one of the rare days where overall my stress and anxiety doesnít feel like itís taking years off my life. I didnít get much sleep but R did force me instead of sleeping to get some exercise and I do think that helped a ton.

Today overall, was unremarkable. I did find myself getting to that high level of stress and anxiety tonight while I was putting the kids to bed. T (the oldest)was crying)and keeping B up. I was preoccupied with getting outside and mowing the lawn. I find landscaping therapeutic. I managed to ride through it and get the kids to sleep. Iíll put that in the victory column for once.

As usual on days that arenít so bad I have a hard time writing much. Iíll leave it at this for now.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 29, 2020, 03:43:44 AM
i think it belongs in the victory column, too.  glad you got thru the day without too much neg. going on.  keep taking care of you, ok?  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on July 30, 2020, 10:39:35 PM
Thank you san, I appreciate it.

Today was another pretty descent day. Iím not sure if Iíll have much to write about. My stress/anxiety levels were relatively low compared to how they normally are when I work. The kids were fairly well behaved. T got her new ďbig girl bedĒ which she was quite excited about. It was nice to watch the innocent joy and excitement on her face over the simple things. I wish I could even have a small degree of that contentment.

As of late, R keeps reminding me that sheís worried about me; that she canít do this life without me. I feel fine but I wonder if she sees something that Iím missing or is still a little freaked out from ďmy incidentĒ. Again, I feel fine.

I am however getting sick of the stress and anxiety. Iím so sick of the feeling. The chest tightness, hyper vigilance, irritability, and racing mind. I wish I could find a way to get better control of it.

Iím not sure if I have much else to write about today. I wish I could spend as much time talking about the positives as I do the negatives. I feel it would do me a world of good but I typically find I have writers block.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 30, 2020, 11:51:28 PM
buddy, i don't think that writer's block is unusual.  i'm still looking forward to the day when my mind focuses more consistently on the here and now, which is very positive, rather than the past, which isn't.  it's frustrating!

keep taking care of you, ok?  stress and anxiety are horrible to live with.  i hope the more you keep writing, looking at your issues, getting realizations, and doing what you can to resolve them, the more your anxiety and stress will diminish.  here's to a brighter tomorrow!  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on July 31, 2020, 12:09:44 AM
Buddy, Iím glad you shared even if it seemed like there wasnít much to share!  What you said about being tired of dealing with the various things resonates with me today - I am experiencing that too.  For me itís tricky because what seems to help one day may do nothing the next.  It is exhausting.  I hope you  find ease as much as possible. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 01, 2020, 01:15:13 AM
Thank you San and rainy, I appreciate it.

San, I am certainly doing my best to take care of myself and thank you for the reminder that this is all a process. Hopefully with continued reflection and analysis healing will come.

Rainy, itís also good to hear you have similar struggles. Itís always good to know youíre not alone.

Today was a bit tougher of a day than the past two. For starters, itís the beginning of a work weekend for my wife which implies Iíll be on no -stop kid duty through Sunday. Most of the days usually arenít bad itís the night time routine thatís tough. I also struggle with the wake ups during the night. I am not the person I used to be and I certainly canít function on little sleep anymore. The cloud that is this weekend has been on my mind and with it has definitely been a degree of stress and anxiety.

To add to this stress, I really didnít get much done today work wise. Usually, Fridayís are slower days but I had a few things to catch up on. One of which is breaking bad news to a client that their project will be delayed another three weeks. I still didnít get to finish composing that email and providing the client an updated status. Iíll have to finish that after the kids are in bed. The other problem is one of my clients is putting all work on hold at least until the next year. The active project weíre currently performing for them is under budgetary review.

I find one of my biggest flaws and positive traits is ownership. Itís a blessing and a curse at the same time. I find that I take such extreme responsibility for my projects. It feels like any failures (and failures are common) that do happen are the result of a failure in me. This just feeds my low self esteem. My lack of worth. I feel like, when things fail that Iím responsible and itís a loss to me not just work. To find out that the client is putting the project on hold which probably means they are canceling the project is kick to the stomach. In reality nothing bad will happen to me work wise. I just hate failing. It feels like a professional embarrassment. This ownership also fuels my IC. When I canít get much work done due to child care for an example my IC runs rampant. More or less that is what today is. Me trying to get work done but my home obligations keep taking me away from work. This ratchets up my stress and anxiety.

To add more to the day I called my mom. The reason for the call was to thank her for the gifts she sent T and B. T was playing in the sandbox at the time and I wanted to do a FaceTime so she could thank her. T was all excited about it until the call started then she shut down. I know this happens but it still kind of hurt. It was a blatant manifestation that the distance is taking a toll on my kids relationships with them. The conversation as usual  was awkward and superficial. My mom talked about diets and how much my dad lost weight even though she knows we are very sensitive to this conversations especially because of Rís experiences. Furthermore she spoke about my grandmother.

To set the scene as I donít believe Iíve spoken about my grandmother before here. Sheís definitely aging. Sheís pushing 90 and you can tell life is starting to take a toll. At a minimum the dementia is starting to set in. Sheís my fatherís mother, Swedish, and the champion of the stoicism that Iíve described before. To provide an example I believe Iíve provided before. Her husband died, maybe 10 years ago. After we buried him we went back to their house. The phone rang and my grandmother picked it up. It was an insurance person trying to get in contact with her husband about something. With absolute composure and calmness she had stated, ďYou poor thing, D passed away the other dayĒ. She hung up the phone and that was it. Mind you this was not even hours after we buried him.

She lived on her own until this year. She has actually been a significant cause of stress for me as once my parents moved away there was literally no other children of hers available to her in a three hour radius. Might not sound significant but with someone of her age, that is an eternity to get help.  Eventually my parents decided to have her move down with them with the ultimate goal of putting her in a nursing home. The week she moved down is really when the pandemic started picking up in the US. She lived with my parents for about a month and then they decided to follow through in putting her on the nursing home as they were ďpaying the rent anywayĒ and that they needed to ďlive their livesĒ. Of course me being the person I am understood that nursing homes were the hotbed of covid activity and that this was probably not the wisest idea. She went anyway and this is where she has been since March. She can have no contact with the outside world due to the pandemic and obviously social interaction/activities are prohibited. They recently allowed the home to have visits but itís almost like a prison where you speak to each other behind a pane of glass.

This was a long digression to state that when talking to my mom she indicated that her dementia is getting worse. She doesnít understand why sheís in the home and more so why people canít visit her. Iíve just been sitting with that to night and donít really know what to think of it. Iím sure guilt will follow soon. I canít say Iíve been great at staying in touch with her. Furthermore, we found out that Rís dad has skin cancer. Donít know what to make of it but that man canít catch a break. Selfishly Iím not looking forward to going through another medical ordeal of his. Itís been very difficult for me to see how heís been treating R. I also donít really know  how I should feel about this all.

I guess thatís enough for tonight. The night is already starting off a little tough with the kids but manageable. Iím sure if I need to vent Iíll be back on here.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 04, 2020, 03:49:49 PM
I had a hunting dream last night. I do t remember much from it other than vaguely it occurred in Italy. I also recall being on a late 19th century battlefield with people dying left and right and the associated gore.

I donít remember the rest. I donít remember who was hunting me or what the reasons were for.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 04, 2020, 05:02:37 PM
hey, buddy,

ugh that you were being hunted in your dream.  any kind of flashback to that?  i know that death can mean renewal, rather than something negative.

that medical stuff is horrible.  i hope you don't put too much guilt on yourself.  i've battled w/ that a bit w/ my hub, now that he's sick and i'm not there anymore.  still, we do the best we can at the time.  family stuff is always wrapped up w/ extra pressures, for sure.

keep taking care of you - you can be your best friend.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 05, 2020, 02:51:33 AM
Thank san, I appreciate it. My apologies for not understanding fully but when you are referring to flashbacks are you asking if I experienced something similar to the dream in real life?

What a dumpster fire that was today. It was a really hard day for me. To start, I found out yesterday that my very well respected supervisor will be leaving the company. I understand, these things happen and everyone will be fine. Itís just tough because she was a very people centric type of manager and leader. We jived really well, her philosophy is if you take care of your people they will take care of you. This is
something I tried to exemplify in the Navy but I know I wasnít perfect. She did this extremely well. The day was chock full of additional meetings to identify the way forward.

Unfortunately, I was also on kid duty most of the day. T pretty much stared at a TV screen most of the day which I feel bad for. T and I just didnít mesh well together and it really triggered my stress and anxiety. I had no patience for the kids none. I was extremely irritable and I know itís not fair to them. She was acting out most of the day and it was driving me nuts. This in turn prevented me from working which increased my stress and anxiety.  Iím sure you get the point. The thing is, I canít be mad at her. I canít blame her. She just wanted some attention and I didnít have any to give today with all the fires I was dealing with.  I just feel really bad.

I also had therapy and Coupleís today. My therapy session went fine, it was mostly focused on working through the life raft incident some more. L more or less suggested I was in a no win situation. She indicated that when I ruminate on the event, I should think about the positive what ifs. She believes this I. Turn will eventually help me forgive myself.

I personally donít think Iíll ever be able. How could I? Why should I? The fact of the matter is I came across a half sunken life raft which is an obvious signal of distress. I did my job and informed the Captain but did not protest when he told me to carry on. I should have protested more. At the end of the day there were two scenarios:
1) There was no one on the life raft or in the surrounding water. There were no victims and therefore no harm no foul.
2) This was a sign of distress and there were at one point in time victims on or near the life raft. I can firmly and unequivocally say that if this was the case, we would have been their only chance of survival period.

The second option to me just out weighs the first. Iím not sure if Iíll ever be able to get over this.

Lastly, Iím having a little guilt related to my mother. Itís her birthday, I forgot it was until this morning. I didnít get her anything but I got my dad something for his. I did call her but it wasnít until after most of the day was gone. The feelings of being a crappy son/human being are coming in. Rational me knows itís unwarranted but itís still there.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 05, 2020, 10:18:13 AM
Edit: I need to add more to this because I think it is significant.

Last night R and I had a conversation on my hunting dreams. She has a theory that they are related to me running away from peace probably the biggest thing that I want. Peace of mind.

I had another hunting dream last night. The strange thing about this one is I remember quite a bit from it.

It was winter and an old childhood friend (G) was chasing after me. I believe he was trying to kill me. This friend we had a falling out with in real life. Not because of any fight or anything just because our interests and the passage of time took us on different paths.

From what I recall he was hunting me. I recall being in my red Subaru Outback (the car I own now) fleeing (not sure if that is significant, I've also had Subarus for most of my life). I also remember what I assume was a police helicopter doing a search for me. I'm not sure how it knew to look for me but I somehow managed to inform them I was in the red Subaru. Immediately afterwards I had to transition into a different car. It was like an early 2000s late 90s Subaru Outback (my first car was a 2000 Subaru Impreza, again not sure if that is significant).

I was definitely fleeing in this car. At some point, I transition out of the car and was at my college's hockey arena. It was definitely winter.  I bump into a girl I had a crush on in Jr high, letís call her M and felt the need to tell her about how G was hunting me and also how f*ed up I am. I don't believe I ever told her anything. The next thing I remember is I am back at the car. It is full of snow on the inside. I scrape out the snow but once all the snow was out it now was filled with a clay like mud.

After that I woke up. I donít know the significance of these things. In real life, again there was a falling out with G but not like a fight just the way life takes you on different paths. And as for M, she was nice to me in grade school but that was about it nothing ever went from there.

Iíll have to revisit what I wrote here and take a deeper look later.

A couple more updates, I spoke with R about it. She seems convinced it has something to do with me running from my childhood. If that is the case, I'm not quite sure what I am running from. Obviously, I have my issues with my parents. I have emotional neglect, but I don't necessarily think that is related.

This dream was VERY different from my normal hunting dreams. There was no gore. I know who the hunter was and it was largely occurring over places that are familiar to me. Iím not sure if I can say this hunting dream is related to the others. Thatís it for now.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on August 05, 2020, 12:19:36 PM
Thanks for sharing Buddy - I hope this leads to more understanding and healing for you.

I also have super intense dreams and at first I was tempted to say they donít have a theme but they do.  My intense dreams are always relationship based and tend to reveal something my brain has been ignoring, my brain thinks or desires, or the deep desire to be heard and believed.  I never thought about this being related to what led to CPTSD so that is something I hope to think about.

I woke up in the middle of the night from an intense dream that I donít remember.  What I recall thinking is how charged up my body was and how even at night I get little peace from CPTSD.  Maybe the dreams are our bodiesí ways of working out things it couldnít work out before...
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 07, 2020, 02:45:19 AM
Hi rainy, I definitely agree with you. I think it is something my brain is trying to tell me or work out. Unfortunately, I just donít have a clue what it is. I try to crack it but theyíre usually a little too cryptic. I presume it may be to talk to my parents, share my story and move on but at the same token the dreams rarely seem related to that. Iím hoping as I log the dreams I can start parsing through them and get a better understanding.

Theyíre certainly thematic. They are hunting dreams in some way shape or form where someone is out to kill or capture me. Usually I donít know who is chasing me. Itís not always the case but there are frequent reoccurring places the dreams occur. The person chasing me never catches up to me. Lastly, it doesnít matter how gore, grotesque, or realistic the dream is theyíre never disturbing to me. I donít feel afraid in the dreams and when I wake up, Iím not sure if itís because Iím used to it now but a typically think something the affect of here we go again another hunting dream then move on.

Today had been a day of ups and downs. The morning started off alright. R is working tonight so I wanted to make sure I spent time with T in the morning. She seems to be better when she gets undivided attention first thing. We played outside, played with kites, etc. It felt like a good day and she was well behaved most of the day until mom went to work. For whatever reason she wouldnít listen to me. I tried to frame things in a manner in which she was ďhelpingĒ me. Nothing seemed to work. I know she needed attention but at the time I didnít have attention to give. I was trying to get her brother to sleep. Letís just say tonight failed miserably and I could feel the anger building.

The other day I bought her a large 48 piece puzzle because she expressed that she was bored of the puzzles she has. I figured this would be great for her however, she didnít want anything else I do with it. It was just a struggle all night. I was having a hard time keeping calm.

My boss whom I respect quite well, is leaving next week. As a result I have inherited some of her projects. I feel like while in quarantine thereís nothing I can do to stay ahead or keep my head above the water. I try to go to bed early so I can get up early. No matter what I do, it seems like I canít go to bed before 11. Most nights B doesnít sleep through the night which just saps the energy from me the next day. To add to that my final for my masters class is due this weekend. Due to life, it feels like I havenít been able to dedicate anytime to finishing the work.

This was a long tangent to say work and school were at the forefront of my mind. I could feel the time and missed opportunities ticking away. I know that sounds terrible and it feels terrible writing it. Itís just incredibly frustrating.

I definitely have more to say tonight but I should call it to catch some sleep. Hopefully I can carve out some time tomorrow to journal the other things Iíve been thinking about.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: marta1234 on August 07, 2020, 04:54:48 AM
Sending a  :hug: for all the effort and work youíve been doing recently. I hear you trying to make the best out of it. Sending you lots of support and hopefully you can find some time to rest  :)
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Hope67 on August 07, 2020, 12:25:32 PM
Hi Buddy,
I also wanted to comment that I think you're facing so many things at the moment - I can understand that it is frustrating, and sending you a hug of support - if that's ok  :hug:

Regarding your dreams, I remember someone saying to me in the forum somewhere, that it was the emotion felt within the dream that was significant, but I notice you don't have any memory of any emotive reaction - maybe there's a part of you who guards that, to prevent you from feeling it?  I don't know, and I hope you don't mind my attempting to say something - I struggle with understanding my own dreams, but I know they can be potent in terms of piecing fragments together, or having themes to think about. 

I hope you get a chance to have a rest.

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 09, 2020, 07:02:25 AM
Thanks marta and Hope, I appreciate it.

I certainly do appreciate your feedback on my dreams. Iíve been having these for years and still canít seem to figure them out. As far as emotion is involved, I think thatís quite valid and Iím sure there is a part that guards it.

Most of my childhood I can recall muting my emotions (except anger). Iím assuming that has something do with growing up in a rather stoic family. Iíve never cried at the death of a family member (or anyone for try at matter), even close family members. Ive always found that disturbing. In the depths of my depression, I am absolutely apathetic. Iím sure it is a part that is trying to protect me from something.

I feel like I have much to write and at the same time nothing at all. I apologize for not posting for a while. Itís been hard to find motivation to post. It feels like I either want to post something but my IC beats that down (like Iím not worthy) or I just donít have anything to talk about.

Itís been a hard past couple of days. The kids have been very difficult to manage and Iíve found Iíve had little to no patience for them. I know itís not fair to them but I canít seem to shake my frustration and irritability. R yesterday more or less told me to step aside because she felt that I was being too much of the ďbad copĒ. I canít say I disagree with her. Iíve mostly been correcting infractions of the litany of rules if you will. At the end of the day, I know the kids donít deserve that and I canít help but feeling like a worthless father. I feel like Iím falling into the trap of my parents and as a result the kids will be inevitably like me.

Related, Iíve been feeling waves of guilt. It was my momís birthday this week. I didnít get her anything (quite frankly I forgot until the day of) however I did get my dad something on his birthday. I did call her, but the conversation as usual was superficial. Furthermore, it sounds like my grandmotherís dementia is getting worse. I havenít spoken to her in months.

I had Coupleís around this time and couldnít help but feel a degree of anger over the position Iím in. I felt anger towards my parents that they left, that they donít put an effort with my kids yet they donít want them to forget about them. That now that I donít have a family, my family is now my In laws. That whenever thereís dysfunction  on their side or a behavior that is not what my parents do I canít help but feel defeated or angry. Then I feel guilty.

Guilty that I feel this way even on my motherís birthday. Guilty that her son doesnít have the foresight to get her something. Guilty that the kids will never have a relationship with them.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 09, 2020, 01:40:49 PM
I had another hunting nightmare last night.

More or less R and I were by a strip mall or something and there was an active shooter. A cop was killed and R and I were pinned down. I don't know who the active shooter was. Another note related to it, is that R and I tried to actively fight the active shooter.

That's it for now. I don't recall context or anything leading up to it.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 12, 2020, 02:07:47 AM

So fair warning this entire post is likely to be a TW for the topic of suicide.

I wanted to talk about something very uncomfortable today and that is suicide and particularly veteran suicide. I feel the need to just have a brain dump so if things arenít exactly coherent, I apologize. None of this is for me to say Iím above this. I certainly have had my low points and struggles.

The topic has been on my mind as of late. The other day a person I follow on Instagram made a comment of how the veteran suicide rate has now risen to 27.7 deaths by suicide per 100,000 veterans. Furthermore, a friend of mine, the friend that I had to take to the hospital for suicidal ideations, confessed that he was almost a statistic last month. This shocked me as the long standing number was 22/100,000. I wouldnít be surprised in your passing you may have heard something like the 22 or veteran organizations that include the word 22 in it. At the time it was the all sobering statistic of how big of a problem that is. That number has risen and the number has risen significantly. To put that in a different context the US veteran community in 2019 totaled 8% of the population. It may be 8% but the veteran community consists of 18% of all suicides in the US.

I couldnít believe it so I had to pull the VA annual report on suicide prevention myself. The numbers are all there. Suicide continues to be a major problem in the veteran community and the numbers have risen significantly.

This leads me to believe that there is something systemically flawed in this community. It leads me to believe that the military and military organizations are doing a disservice to their service members. I can only call up on my own experiences and obviously they were largely negative.

I recall how difficult it was getting out and transitioning into the civilian world. Those were an incredibly hard 6 months. I felt like a loser. Being an independent lieutenant in the Navy to being the loser living in my in-laws basement with no job, no purpose, no direction. I took the mandatory transitioning class which is supposed to help you look for jobs. Whatís the best advice I got from it? Keep your face clean shaven. Disservice is an understatement.

You are property to the military. A tool to be used and abused. Some tools break and are never able to return home again, others become damaged and need to be repaired and all have wear and tear. When they are done with you hopefully they can find minimal means to repairing you into semiworking  order.  Duct tape usually fixes all wounds.

Despite what you hear mental health is frowned upon in the military. The individual who I took to the hospital? Word spread and he wasnít treated the same. He wasnít even given a real chance afterwards to work on his professional qualifications. No one wanted to invest the time into him. Many saw him as a burden to the ship and the mission. Very little focus was spent on the individual. One of my sailors was an addict. When they found out he was using, they dishonorably discharged him and sent him to rehab. When he relapsed during rehab they kicked him out of that.

I bare no scars from combat. At the time, I didnít consider my burdens and experiences as traumatic  but my demons really started to surface around the year before getting out. They got worse once I was out. Taking care of my mental health was non-existent at the time but looking back on it the warning signs were all there. It would have been extremely helpful, to get mandatory mental health treatment before you get out. You get mandatory dental so why not for your mind? I probably wouldnít have appreciated it at the time but I would have been a little more prepared in dealing with myself when I got out. I would have at least been told/given a few tools to help myself. In the interim i would have likely forgotten about the tools but Iím sure they would have still been available in the back of my head.

This is not to toot my own horn or looking for attention or sympathy but in my short 31 years of life; I know of at least two colleagues on the ships I served who committed suicide, two colleagues that I worked with professionally, and one personís son from my FIL small family run business. Thatís five too many but my point is, Iím sure Iím not the only one and it is a systemic problem.

Last for now, I was told by my T for my sake to break ties with my friend I took to the hospital. At the time, I found even after the Navy, I felt responsible for his mental health. I would worry one day I would find out he committed the act and I would somehow have a degree of responsibility related to it. As messed up as it sounds breaking ties was probably a good move on my part for my own health. This individual recently got back in contact with me (the same individual who claimed he was almost a statistic). I canít help but feel a degree of responsibility resurge again. Iím not sure where I stand on this. Morbidly, I wonder how Iíd feel today if something were to happen. Would I still feel like I have a degree of responsibility or would it not even effect me?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on August 12, 2020, 02:40:43 AM
Buddy, I appreciate you putting these thoughts out there.  This topic has also been on my mind for a variety of reasons but mostly because that is how my BIL died late last year.

I come from a military family and my brothers are active duty.  My dad and my brothers have all experienced losses to suicide.  Based on the way my dad talks about it, your thoughts around a systemic challenge resonate with me.  My brothers discuss it differently than my dad does but it is so painful.

I work in public schools and just yesterday another student in our community died this way this past weekend.  The topic comes up way more than I would like it to on top of us having to do other traumatic things like active shooter drills.  I was reflecting recently how any of my colleagues continue to show up to work when so much is thrown at us that takes this huge emotional toll. 

It is hard to heal in this context.  I donít have answers or solutions but hope that by working to heal myself it will create a ripple effect and impact the lives of those I meet.  I appreciate the work you are doing.  I think it is good to toot your horn. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 13, 2020, 07:40:42 PM
Well today has been tough. Weíre just getting off one of Rís work rotations. She works two nights and I more or less watch the kids for three strait days. I was fortunate that my MIL was able to take T but quite frankly it still isnít enough. I feel like Iím a broken record but Iím tired. Iím sick of this quarantine, Iím sick of barely working, Iím sick of feeling like a single dad at times. Iím just getting burnt out.

Last night B woke up crying. He has an Owlet which Is a remote O2 and Heart Beat sensor. It displays the results on your phone and it also tells you when your child is awake. I was tending to B, just got him to sleep and then R called me from work to make sure I was tending to B. The phone call startled me and I could feel rage just wash over me. It feels like I canít be trusted to parent. I know itís not what R meant, she just wanted to make sure we were ok but I couldnít get over it. What was supposed to be a 30 min interaction to get B to sleep turned into and hour and a half. I was getting more and more angry by e minute.

She comes home from work. Obviously she needs to sleep. I am on kid duty and like most days I need to find a way to manage a toddler and 6 month old while holding professional calls with clients. One call today was a train wreck. More or less we schedule a call to go over scientific data with the client and found out that the scientific team never even performed the experiments. It was a train wreck that could be easily prevented. While Iím on this call trying to keep the peace, I have B to my left squealing as he plays with his toys and T in my face to get me to help her with something. I was obviously in a mood.

Later in the day I had to get B to sleep. Heís been very clingy as of late and most naps during the day involve him sleeping on me in his pitch black room while I try to get work done. I have to dim my computer to the lowest setting and put a red filter on it so it wonít screw up my night vision and wake up B. Heís just been fighting me to sleep as of late. I put him down in the crib and he would just lose his mind. I would get more and more frustrated.

R confronted me later in the day and said that my attitude needs to stop. That itís not fair to the kids. I canít say I blame her because Iím well aware that itís not good for the kids. In fact it bothers me. I canít shake the irritability and funk and it visibly shows but I just think about how my irritability is just setting the kids up for failure.

What frustrates me more is how I feel I donít get help (she obviously feels the same way) and if I look at it objectively Iím sure itís more due to quarantine than anything else. Even on the days R is not working I feel I take the brunt of the responsibility for child care. She obviously needs to feed B but I feel like I am constantly juggling the kids, trying to hold professional calls and somehow getting work done.

Iím getting sick of at best getting 4 hours of work done a day. I have a lot of fires to put out and as of late need to play diplomat between the client and others at my company. My perfectionist side is just screaming at me. I canít get any time in to work. Thereís problems going on with my projects. I feel like I donít have a full beat on the status of my projects and can never keep up with my work. I should be making up the work I miss either at night or early the next morning but this is usually impossible to do.

Im just so tired, burnt out and frustrated. Iím sick of quarantine. Iím sick of having no boundaries. Work/home/family time/downtime (if there is any) is all the same thing. I know objectively R feels the same way I just feel like Iím being taken advantage of.  I also feel like an a*hole for thinking my wife who works nights is taking advantage of me. I donít think Iíll ever win.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on August 13, 2020, 08:35:33 PM
Buddy, that is a lot!  I experienced frustration alongside of you.  That is a lot to balance and manage.  I donít have any words of wisdom just that I resonate with how hard you are working and still feeling alone and like things are not going as you would hope.  I hope that things can come into balance again soon.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 14, 2020, 11:53:36 AM

So the past couple of nights Iíve been having unsettling thoughts and I kind of just want to get it out of my head. Two nights ago before going to bed I visited T to kiss her goodnight. For whatever reason after visiting her I couldnít shake the thought of her suffocating in her bed and me finding her unresponsive. There was no reason for me to think this way the thoughts just came in.

Last night, while I was showering I was thinking about how we need to get our septic tank drained and inspected. Again my thoughts went from this is a todo that we need to do to envisioning T falling into the septic tank. I had to two thought processes related to it. Either one I somehow find a way to jump into the septic tank with her and keep her afloat or two I try to get into the septic tank but due to the manhole cover being so small I would t be able to get in.

On the first scenario I couldnít help but envisioning myself treading water to hold her up until I couldnít any longer. In the second, I couldnít help but feel the sheer helpless ness of me trying to help T and not being able to do a damn thing. In typical fashion in morbid realism my thoughts watch her drown in sewage.

These thoughts are obviously quite disturbing to me. I believe itís my brain of trying to ďpunishĒ me and make me feel pain. After all R and I got into a fight the other day so why not feel worse than I already do right?

Thereís plenty of days where I just hate my brain. Hate how it thinks. Hate how it defaults to the macabre. I think itís a way of trying to keep myself in check. Almost like donít forget youíre not worthy so Iíll throw these morbid thoughts your way.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on August 14, 2020, 12:37:52 PM
I appreciate you sharing these thoughts.  I have intrusive thoughts like this from time to time too.  It is unsettling and creepy.  I hope getting the thoughts ďoutĒ helps ease them some. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 14, 2020, 02:44:34 PM
Here's some info on catastrophizing -
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 16, 2020, 01:44:36 AM

Well today has been interesting to say the least. I got a call this morning from my mom. I found out my cousin ODed. She was found dead behind a store by train tracks. Sheís been an addict for as long as I can remember. I canít say I wasnít expecting this day to come but it still sucks.

Like most deaths to be honest I donít feel anything and it kind of disturbs me. I feel bad for my mom. She now only has one niece left whoís also an addict. Thereís basically no one left in my family. And I feel nothing.

We were close growing up. We used to go to my grandmotherís house for regular sleepovers and cookouts. As we got older both my cousins got into drugs and life has not been easy on them. My cousin leaves behind multiple children who are young. I feel bad for them as they no longer have a mother.

J, my living cousin, has serious mental health issues in addition to addiction problems. As coarse as it sounds I wonít be surprised to hear if she ODs or commits suicide. As to the latter I feel divided. Part of my knows that this is a very real risk for my cousin (whom I havenít spoken to in years). Part of me wants to do something, but the other part of me knows nothing will change. I stopped having contact with my cousins after I became convinced they wouldnít change. They would lie to get money from my grandfather and end up using it to buy drugs. I obviously donít want my family involved in that.

And as usual, I feel nothing. I know I should feel sad, but Iím not. I feel bad for my mom yes. It is painful to yet again to acknowledge the  dwindling family that remains. But as to my cousin, I feel nothing.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on August 16, 2020, 02:16:58 AM
I'm very sorry for the loss of your cousin. Probably you don't feel anything because some part of you has shut that emotion down. It ties into everything to do with your family, I would imagine.  :bighug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 16, 2020, 02:58:42 AM
I'm sorry for your loss  :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: marta1234 on August 16, 2020, 10:37:50 AM
Iím very sorry for your loss, Buddy. Sending a hug if itís ok  :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 16, 2020, 06:23:37 PM
Thank you everyone I appreciate it. I havenít had a chance to respond but Iíll respond in more detail hopefully later today.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 17, 2020, 01:42:06 PM
Hi marta, 3R, and owl, again thank you for the well wishes!  I sincerely appreciate it and Iím ok. The fact that Iím ok as I said before I find disturbing. Again, I donít feel anything. I thought the knowledge of my cousinís death at a minimum would exacerbate the sadness I feel for no longer have much of a family but this hasnít been bad either. What disturbs me the most is that growing up I did have a close relationship with my cousins.  I feel like there should be more there than what Iím feeling. Furthermore, this is par for the course when death arrives in my family. It doesnít matter how close to the person I am, there is very very little emotion. I know itís not actually the case but these are the moments especially early on in my healing journey that make me questioning if Iím a sociopath.

Owl, I do agree it probably has something to do with shutting down. I called my sister and mom, they didnít have the response that I did.

rainy and 3R, Iím sorry I didnít get a chance to respond to your previous posts yet. 3R, thank you for sending that link, it was helpful. Itís also nice to see that catastorophizing is actually a relatively Ďnormalí process. I still donít necessary like it and I would like to work on it. My T and psychiatrist have been interested in why when I do catastrophize, I usually place myself in the individuals shoes suffering it or imagine in detail what they are going through. I donít want to think that way, it just happens.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 17, 2020, 02:10:21 PM

i think there's a lot we'd like to do or feel, but it just isn't there yet.  same for the other way - things we wish we didn't do or feel or think, but it comes anyway.   it's just part of this beast called c-ptsd.  love and hugs, buddy :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on August 18, 2020, 01:22:38 AM
Iím sorry too to hear about your cousin.  I have had similar reactions to deaths of relatives.  I think I experienced so much loss growing up in a military family that I know it is part of it...but I think it is also about my CPTSD.  I like what San said about feelings - sometimes we wish we felt something and other times we wish we didnít.  Best wishes navigating this complicated time. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 18, 2020, 01:35:15 PM
Thanks rainy, I appreciate it. Itís nice to hear others have similar experiences.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on August 20, 2020, 05:30:52 PM
So Iíve been finding it difficult to be an active member on this site as of late. I apologize, I canít say there really is anything external preventing me from participating compared to before. Iíve just been finding it hard to keep up and find the motivation to be available. Iím not really sure what it is about. I havenít felt great but I havenít felt horrible as of late and part of me feels like I guess I just want to take break on my healing journey. I know thatís not really possible and I need to keep up with things. I just feel bad being more or less AWOL for a few days and come back to find someone was really struggling a few days prior to me coming back.

Iím nervous as usually when it comes to what Iíll call self help paced healing, this is usually when I fail to follow through. I really donít want to give up being a part of this community. I have found it quite helpful hearing others stories and journaling.

I wonder if a degree of apathy is starting to assert itself again. I donít necessarily feel sad or negative emotions but I donít feel happy either. Could this be the onset of a depressive phase? Iím not quite sure. I ran out of my medication the other day and havenít really felt the desire to renew the prescription. I will be seeing my psychiatrist next week and it feels like I can just wait. My wife thinks itís a mistake and Iím sure it is. As I ran into it Iíd the MiniPress for nightmares I found it interesting that I havenít had any as of late or at least I canít remember them. Part of me is nervous. Part of me is questioning do I have cPTSD, did I magically get over it what? Rational me knows thatís not the case but it still casts doubt.

I spoke to T about my cousin. How she ODed and how I donít really feel much of anything. She believes that even though growing up we were close perhaps the reason I donít feel anything is because Iíve accepted her death years before she died. I canít say sheís wrong but it doesnít explain how this is my normal reaction to deaths in my family. It doesnít matter how close or removed I am from the family member I rarely feel much of anything at all.

I am currently in between master classes and Iíve been using this as an opportunity to work on my VA compensation application. I see this as opportunity to get due her treatment and to get compensated if they feel it is necessary. For the PTSD section they request that I detail each traumatic even I experienced, where I was, who I was with, when, etc. Iíve been reliving the experiences. They havenít been too provocative but I wonder if that has something to do with me potentially feeling apathetic or at least neutral as of late.

Lastly, my T suggested that I watch old family videos, look at old photos etc. I find it interesting because unsurprisingly even now the positive events are filled with sadness when looking back on it.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: marta1234 on August 20, 2020, 08:53:38 PM
Sending you a hug  :hug:, Buddy. Itís ok to take a step back from healing and even this site, but as you said, it doesnít necessarily mean completely.
Weíll always be here for you, Buddy, even if you donít feel posting. You can always come back to this support group.
Title: Re: Buddy9832’s Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on November 14, 2020, 05:46:22 PM
Hi everyone, I’ve definitely been absent a lot longer than I thought I was going to be. Essentially in August I wanted to take a short break. Not that I am anywhere close to being healed but I was losing steam and figured a break would help almost reset me. I was planning on taking maybe a month off at most with the hopes of returning recharged and ready to go. Life had different expectations and the past three months have certainly not been restful and it has no sign of letting up. I’m going to try and be more active on the forum but please forgive me if I’m slow/don’t comment on posts. As I’ll discuss further below, I definitely think I need to work on myself again but it has and will be very difficult.

2020 has been * of year, not only because the pandemic it just feels like personally there has been something fairly significant going on in my family every month.

I left August which was discussed in my previous posts, with my FIL sick and in the hospital. He needed kidney surgeries and was being ruled out for lymphoma. Fortunately, the doctors confirmed it wasn’t cancer but an autoimmune issue. Since then he’s been doing better but is on immunosuppressants for his condition.

My cousin who I was close with growing up, not so much in our adult lives was found dead from an OD behind a dumpster near some train tracks. As my sister indicated, it was a very lonely way to go. Similar to most deaths that I experience, it doesn’t matter how close or distant the person is. I feel nothing. The only thing that I feel weighing on me is the understanding that it is yet another family member from the dwindling list that remains. My other cousin (sister to the cousin that ODed) has serious mental health and addiction issues of her own. She’s now alone. No sister, her mother ODed about two years ago, she has an absent farther, no grandparents, and my parents are no longer available to her since they moved.  It’s just her. That’s got to be a heavy burden to carry yet I feel nothing.

\\=====END OF TW========

Sometime this fall my neighbor decided to cut an ATV trail through my property. We were coming home from getting pizza for dinner. We saw a brush cutter on our property actively making a path. R and I were sick to our stomachs. I know it’s first world problems but we have a nice piece of land with nothing but forest behind us. I personally wanted to live some place quiet and rural. On the hardest of day’s while I was in the Navy, I promised myself when I get out that I would find a quiet peaceful place to live the rest of my days with R. I have been fortunate enough to have found that place and cutting a 10 ft wide path across my woods feels like a slap in the face. It feels like some of my Navy related demons won’t let me have peace.  The stressors that typically caused these hard days was often due to a failure of leadership and a toxic command. Having a neighbor make poor decisions and clear a path on my land feels like it is bringing up that poor decision making all over again. We getting over it but we feel so violated.

My dad had thyroid cancer. Fortunately, he has had his thyroid removed and all signs show no remnant cancer. I’m not sure if it is the knowledge that thyroid cancer is relatively curable or something else but similarly to deaths in my family I didn’t feel much.

I am a project manager for a biotech company. My plate has been rather full since this summer. This fall I was given the honor of assisting one of the leading vaccine developers with their COVID vaccine. I take this project extremely seriously and the gravity has not been lost on me. This project however, is a full time job on top of my already full portfolio. I’ve been working 14 hour days for the past two months with no sign of it letting up. I’m obviously exhausted and burnt out. What hurts the most are the days when T says something to the affect of “daddy, I never see you anymore, will you come play with me?” It’s like a knife being twisted in my chest. Typically I can’t spend time with her and even when I do my mind is elsewhere on work. What terrifies me is that I’m sure this is a huge contributor to the neglect that I went through growing up. My dad was rarely around because he worked hard. It scares me that I’m placing my children in a similar predicament.

This brings me to present day. Before I checked out in August , I’d say my cPTSD symptoms were manageable and relatively low. Now they are coming back. I’m constantly on edge, I’m irritable, noises that typically wouldn’t affect other people startle me. I’m sure my depression is starting to get worse. I’m finding myself intolerant to my clients if they are not helping themselves to the success of their projects.

Two weekends ago my FIL came over to build T a swing set. The week leading up to it, R strongly recommended that they don’t come over because she would be working all weekend and therefore I would have the kids. We brought this up several times during the week and they would not listen. He came over anyway and I was livid. I felt extremely taken advantage of. No thought was given that I’ve been working my butt off with literally no time to do anything else. I literally wake up at 5/6 in the morning and work to 10 pm. There was no respect to my limited free time that I have for myself and the kids. Furthermore, he has not been working for the company he owns probably for about 4 or 5 months due to being sick. His employees have been picking up the slack during his absence. He decided maybe a week after returning to work to take a week off. I know it’s none of my business and has no effect on me but I am obviously struggling with the message that communicates to his employees. His employees that kept the business running during his absence. I know this is a hold over from the Navy but it is so hard for me to let go of these things. It just makes me so angry, clearly taking advantage of your employees.

These past few weeks have been hard on me. Halloween came and went and the other holidays are approaching. T celebrated her birthday last week. It is a reminder of the family I don’t have, no the family I lost. It is a reminder how much R’s family takes for granted being able to spend time with each other. The number of holidays I missed. The number of funerals, births, and weddings I missed. Now all of that is gone. It is a gift! Not even a privilege.

R is starting to get worried about me and so are her parents. I feel like I can usually keep a pretty good poker face but they tell R they can see the pain in my eyes. When we do family functions with R’s side, it is only a reminder of the family I don’t have. In fact my parents are actively encouraging that I embrace R’s family as they know they are no longer available. When I’m at these events I’m able to be social for the start but then I just shut down. Like there’s nothing there. I no longer have anything to contribute to conversation no matter how hard I would try. The best way to explain it is I retreat into my head. I become exhausted. I’m well aware that I have retreated to my head but it is impossible to snap out of it. This has always happened but is happening more frequently which has been of concern for R. I spoke to my T about this and she believes it’s dissociation. I’m not sure it is, everything I read on dissociation doesn’t seem to describe this. I guess I’ll leave it to your judgement?

So here I am at present day. I feel the depression and cPTSD symptoms getting worse. I’d like to say a I would be an active member, respond to others posts and responses to my own posts but I can’t guarantee that.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Snowdrop on November 14, 2020, 06:43:06 PM
It's good to see you, Buddy. I was thinking of you and wondering how you were getting on. I'm sorry for your loss and that you've been having a hard time.

Don't worry if you don't feel up to responding to posts. It's ok, we get it. A lot of us have been in that position. Just be gentle with yourself and do what feels right for your recovery. We're here for you regardless. :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on November 15, 2020, 01:21:07 AM
I'm glad to hear from you, Buddy. I read your post. You are carrying so much right now. Post as much as is helpful to you. If you aren't in a place to read what others wrote, that's okay.

I spoke to my T about this and she believes itís dissociation. Iím not sure it is, everything I read on dissociation doesnít seem to describe this. I guess Iíll leave it to your judgement?

This is a completely UNPROFESSIONAL opinion. I think that there might be different types and degrees of dissociation. What you describes sounds like you are dissociating from your feelings by being in your head.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on November 21, 2020, 04:58:34 PM
 Iím feeling a bit on edge today. I canít really say I know why. Today has started off fine. I took T to get some doughnuts. We had a nice breakfast as a family and then we went outside to work on the shed. We recently bought a shed as our house has limited storage. Iíve been working to put shelving in, leveling the shed, etc.

T would be playing in the shed opening and closing doors and it just made me very anxious and irritable. At one point she dropped a metal pole on the floor and it caused me to snap. I forget what I said to her but it was enough to make her cry. The day is just starting. I hope I can manage my irritability and stress long enough for the rest of the day.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on November 22, 2020, 03:54:04 AM
Well today was fairly tough, as I suggested before I was definitely on edge. I donít really have an explanation why, I just know T wasnít helping any. I was trying to get shelving up in the shed and she wasnít really doing anything but it definitely triggered me. I snapped at her a few times definitely to the point of making her cry. The parent of the year award goes to me!

I hate it when Iím like that because quite frankly she doesnít deserve it. Sheís a good kid and is just curious. She wants to explore the world around her. I know when I snap at her that stifles her curiosity and it scares me to see her lose that. One of the big positive drivers of my life was my curiosity. From a very young age I wanted to understand everything. How the world worked, how organisms function, how computers work, whatever.  Even simple things like how to maintain a car. That curiosity followed me through college and when I joined the Navy it was beaten out of me. Four years later, I find myself out and a defeated man. No interests as before. My point is I donít want to be the driving force that stifles her curiosity. I donít think I could tolerate that.


My wife and I are in the process of clearing our closet in our bedroom to turn it into a mini office. Iím perpetually work from home now and working in an unfinished basement is getting old. Especially with winter coming it gets cold and an alternative solution needs to be found. I struggle when going through old memorabilia. I came across my grandfatherís pocket watch. The time was stopped around 12:55. The one time I wore it was at our wedding. I wonder if it stopped that night or the next day. He was absent from the wedding as he had passed a few years before. The watch was actually his fatherís whom he barely knew because he died when my grandfather was young. The painful memories of the last time I saw my grandfather circulated back in my head. I had to essentially beg my commander to see my dying grandfather. After much labor I was finally given permission. When I saw him in hospice I could barely recognize him as how I remember. He was malnourished and dehydrated. He could no longer swallow. He would aspirate if he did. It was very obvious to me that he was dying. I recall him trying to speak with me but it was intelligible. His tongue was too dry to speak. I wonder what he was trying to communicate. Was it words of wisdom? Was it retelling old stories, I have no idea.

I had to go back to my ship. I made the 500 mi journey back to base. He died later that week, I was able to attend his wake but not his funeral. I recall requesting my parents to be with him during his final moments as no one deserves to die alone. They werenít there for him. ďThe nurse was with himĒ. The busy overworked nurse. I doubt that individual was able to spend much time.

This week was like any other week the past few months. Iím working like 14 hour days. One client requires about 8 hours of my time a day never mind my other clients. There is no end on site for this pace of work. Obviously, Iím burning the candle at both ends.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on November 23, 2020, 05:19:08 PM
Iím finding myself filled with defiance and anger today. The holidays approach and here comes Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a big holiday for Rís family. I really hate this time of year. It is a reminder of the family I donít have and a reminder of the selfishness and things that are taken for granted on my wifeís side.

To provide a little background. My FIL likely had COVID in February/March time frame. Whatever illness he did have lead to complications that lead to decrease kidney function and the need for surgery. He is now more or less recovered but is on medication that are immunosuppressants. Weíve been dealing with his illness nonstop from Feb to at least August.

Over the weekend Rís family requested that we get COVID tested. I canít help but find myself frustrated at this notion. The request is at least two weeks too late. My MIL is getting a facial today and tested tomorrow. It is very obvious to me this is their way of checking the box and putting their heads in the sand to pretend everything is ok. I find myself much against getting tested at this point as no results would be available by thanksgiving. Furthermore the rapid tests arenít necessarily accurate so a negative test doesnít necessarily mean you donít have COVID it just means the test resulted negative. My point is I donít feel it is a test that is sufficient to make decisions off of.

My wife worked last night and on the way home my MIL informed R that both her and her farther have been having a cough and a sore throat. But she also said sheís ok and she knows itís a cold. I find it incredibly frustrating to be so nonchalant with COVID especially when the plan is to have family over for thanksgiving. She is putter her thanksgiving party as a priority over the health of my kids and everyone else who will be there. I canít help but feel angry.

I will be advocating not to go as for me it is too much of a risk to expose my kids too. There already is a probability that my in-laws are infected, why would I accept the risk of infecting my kids? What frustrates me is I can already see how this will play out. My wife and I will speak with my in laws Iím not going. They will be incredibly upset and essentially guilt trip R to go. Everyone will go, I will feel defeated and that I am not valued (which plays into emotional neglect). I will want nothing to do with anyone at the party, Iíll retreat into my head and everyone will ask questions of Whatís wrong with Buddy?

Iím so sick of these dynamics there is enough history where I can say this prediction is fairly accurate. And what will gnaw away at me is the realization that my personal family is gone. My parents were certainly not perfect and have led to me part of the reason why Iím on OOTS to begin with. But I will be forced to deal with my ďnewĒ family, their lack of perspective, and willingness to place my kids at risk for a holiday.

Iím so sick of this. I already feel defeated and worthless.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 24, 2020, 09:44:52 PM
this covid thing is so very difficult to deal with on many, many levels, buddy.  i hear your frustration, as well as a sense of defeat that you're not being heard, don't have a voice.  i have had both family members and friends die of this illness, and i am concerned for you, your wife, and your kids.

is there any way you can say no, have a thanksgiving w/ you and your kids (and your wife, if she's open to being with you)? the idea that people are symptomatic would seem to me an extraordinarily valid reason to stay away until they are deemed to be virus free.  perhaps thanksgiving could be postponed?  i know of families who have done that in years past, not only with thanksgiving but with christmas as well.  it's worked well for them, and they still get to enjoy the food and socializing, only on a different date than what the calendar says.

i do hope this will work out for you.  my heart is with you, buddy.  it's definitely not a fun place to be, trying to make a voice of reason heard above the din of nonchalance.  sending love and a hug filled with a 'it's ok to put tradition aside for a little while' perspective. :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on November 25, 2020, 02:51:02 AM
Thanks san, I appreciate it and I'm sorry to hear you have been quite effected by this illness, I'm sorry for your losses. My wife knows what we should do but I also don't think she wants to deal with the fallout related to it. I'd be completely onboard celebrating the holiday on day when everyone is well. To me it's just another day anyway. Unfortunately, for R's family that is not the case. They would be deeply hurt if it wasn't celebrated on the actual day. I feel like from my perspective my hands are tied and whether I like it or not we will be participating in Thanksgiving. I have a feeling if I chose not to go R would take the kids anyway and if that is the case I'd rather be there as it is not right for them to be potential exposed and not me.

R keeps on providing updates she's heard from her family. Updates such as her parents still haven't been tested but her mom has managed to book an appointment for R at the local urgent care for a rapid test. That her mom and dad will be getting tested tomorrow. It's getting very frustrating to listen to these updates. Again, because I understand that any real COVID test will not provide results until well after Thanksgiving and furthermore a rapid test isn't necessarily enough to definitively confirm you are COVID free.

Last week, I had to go into the office and clear out my desk at work. I am now working remote 100%. Even though I've only been to the office twice since March it became real that I am now fully remote. I'm happy I have the capability to do so but this year has also been very difficult. There has been no boundary for me between work and my family. My kids don't understand why daddy has to work and I've been hearing a lot of "dad I don't get to see you anymore" or "dad will you play with me" (when I need to work) comments. This plays to the emotional neglect and I'm terrified what I went through as a kid is now being transferred to them. I was never abused or physically neglected as a kid but I was emotionally neglected. My mother had to deal with her dying mother and handicapped farther, she was obviously preoccupied. My farther worked. I recall many nights dad not coming home until very late because of work or having to go in on the weekends. The stoicism and this absolutely contributed to where I am now. I see myself in my father. Always working, always needing to make sure I'm doing a good job, being perfect. I'm working from home but working 14 hour days. Yes, the pandemic plays into it but it also means dad is never around and dad is in the same building as his kids. I just hope this doesn't rub off on them. I remembered that my couple's therapist at one point akin to me growing up similar to a family of alcoholic parents. My parents never being fully there, not being able to provide the support that is required and being preoccupied with something related to themselves.

As the holidays approach there is nothing more that I want than seclusion. I don't want to deal with my in laws. I don't want to listen to R's grandparents, their racist remarks and the latest gossip. I want quiet.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on November 26, 2020, 01:57:23 AM
It was a therapy day today. Both couples and individual. Things kind of got rough in Coupleís. The topic(s) largely revolved around my latest grievances: Thanksgiving holiday with family. As I mentioned above I havenít been fond with the decision to go over my in laws for thanksgiving. They essentially mandated that we all get COVID tested with full knowledge results would not be available until well after Thanksgiving Day. Moreover, my MIL informed my wife that both my FIL and her had a sore throat and cough over the weekend ďbut it was just a coldĒ. She also went to get a facial Monday. I canít begin to describe how frustrated I am. I know itís not intended but what is communicated to me by their words and actions is ďmy holiday is more important than you and your kids healthĒ. And at the end of the day whether you mean it or not words and actions have consequences.

I think the overall risk of getting COVID is low as theyíve been part of our circle of people weíve been in contact with but In finding myself resistant out of principle. This is now the second or third time in which my MIL brings up some infectious disease medical issue and when she realizes it wonít serve her agenda covers her tracks. I think thatís what makes me angry the most. Itís selfish.

I think what bothers me is that I donít have a family anymore. My family are my in laws. My parents and sister live far away and everyone else has passed. I was too stupid to realize it while I was in the Navy but family and time with family (and even friends for that matter) is sacred. Itís a gift and should be treated like one. Before you know it people will die and move on and at that point you lost that opportunity.

When family situations are manipulated to meet ones agenda I obviously get upset. My parents have been accused of being selfish and I canít say thatís an incorrect statement. As I stated before my therapist have related my parents as alcoholics who were never fully available to us. I suppose when I therefore see selfishness or undesirable behaviors in my in laws it triggers me. It gets me angry. As it is a demonstration that Iíve lost one dysfunctional family and inherited another.

During Coupleís I blew up. Spoke about how this dynamic upsets me. I spoke about how my in laws make me so angry. R discussed how Iíve been living in the shadow of my father and mother trying whatever I can to make them happy and get them to say that they are proud of me. Those words will never come and the only father figure I have I suppose is my FIL. But his flaws are only magnified to me.

Iíll admit Iím unwilling to take them in as family. Iím so resistant. Iím sure this is a carry over from emotional neglect as I donít want to go through that pain again. I guess Iím deeply wounded and Iím not sure if these scars will heal.

We decided to go to Thanksgiving tomorrow. Itís going to be a very tough day and I need to somehow find a way to be present and not dissociate. I have no idea how Iím going to manage that.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on November 28, 2020, 11:35:57 PM
How did Thanksgiving go, Buddy?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on November 30, 2020, 03:26:09 AM
Hi notalone, thank you for checking in. Thanksgiving went alright, actually it went better than expected. Thank God. In preparing for Thanksgiving my T strongly encouraged that I find a way to get into a good headspace before going. I took the morning to work on finishing the basement downstairs (I enjoy working with my hands) and I also spent time just listening to music. It definitely helped. Lastly, I spoke with my parents and aging grandmother prior to going over which took some of the edge related to obligations off.

Also not going to lie I took some Ativan before and during the festivities. Iím not proud that I needed to do that but it certainly helped. I didnít dissociate and I wouldnít consider myself social but I wasnít a recluse either.

My interactions with Rís family has been a point of contention with R and I. Iím glad this was one of my better days. More or less R has notice my relationship with her family steadily decline. I find myself frequently angry at my in laws. I know part of it is I guess I hold them to a higher expectation since my family is gone. When they donít meet that expectation I get upset. The other part I think is justified. Iíve been disappointed on the way they treat topics such as suicide and see R. Theyíve been quick to dismiss her medical expertise.

This may sounds absurd but I rarely make time for myself and I believe that helped significantly.

As for this weekend things went alright. R and I had a conversation last night about my mental health. Weíve both notice Iíve been declining. Iím sure part of it is the natural ebb and flow of things. Typically things get tough for me around the holiday season. Also Iím finding ďoldĒ me resurge. Iím finding that Iím burning the candle at both ends which is definitely a characteristic of ďoldĒ me. I find it difficult to take care of myself, be a family man, and be great at work all at the same time but I try to perfect the last two regardless which comes to my detriment. R mentioned how itís tough from her end because she also gets depressed but when Iím in the depth of my own depression I struggle to pick up on those cues to be available to her. She has definitely been carrying the load in regards to the household and a positive, happy influence for the kids.

Iíve been finding guilt come back. We are in the process of decorating for Christmas. I find R is quick to embrace her family traditions but Iím not quick to embrace my own. My mother hand sewed a beautiful stocking for myself when I was a kid, she also made one for T and B. Iím finding it difficult to use them. I have no idea where mine and T is (I know it is in the basement somewhere). And we just received Bís and it is still in the packaging it shipped with a couple of weeks ago. I donít understand why this is so hard for me. Why I am quick to dismiss well intentioned things my parents have done. Iím definitely disappointed in myself.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on November 30, 2020, 03:36:35 AM
Also, forgot to mention this and feel the need to log it. Iím fairly certain I had nightmares last night. I donít recall what the dreams were but woke up in the morning with the feeling that I had a nightmare.

R said she notices me shaking last night.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on December 01, 2020, 02:13:23 AM
Another day down. Today was surprisingly good. R and I had back to back doctor's appointments an hour away from where we live. Typically, I get very anxious when I run into a situation where I am doing something for myself, my wife or kids during working hours. There was some degree of anxiety but no where close to what I typically experience. I was able to hold the meetings I needed to on the road and take care of critical items before my appointment. I suppose that helped. I guess I can add this to the victory box? I'm not sure if it will be a long term victory but the Buddy of old would have been extremely anxious (the anxiety that feels like it takes years off my life) for doing something for myself during working hours. I can't say things are perfect. The perfectionism is definitely there, I am still constantly preoccupied by work and tempted to be perfect at everything I do. I am still tempted and still do start early in the morning and work late at night. But I'm definitely adding boundaries. I cut myself off at 10PM no matter how much is going on. I also stop looking at my work phone at night and on the weekends. Baby steps.

The interesting thing is I suppose I am experiencing an unusual experience. I am feeling alright, no, I'm feeling good today. I am finding my IC doing what it can to put me back in my place. I am finding myself longing to be miserable, to be depressed, to be where I normally am. I found myself catastrophizing. I imagined myself getting T-boned on my son's side of the car and some of the details that would follow from a situation like that. When crossing the train tracks, I imagined getting a train catching our car. I'm assuming it is a desperate attempt of my IC to put me back in my place. Where "I deserve". I can't say I still look at myself highly, I don't think I ever will nor do I know what it would take to look at myself positively.

R has commented in the past how she finds it deeply troubling that I genuinely don't see myself as worthy, as a good person, husband and father. I don't have an explanation for it, I suppose it would be just too painful to acknowledge that. I know the literature says this is a symptom of emotional neglect. However, I don't think I will be able to move past this or at least I don't want to move past this. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on December 01, 2020, 04:11:49 AM
moving beyond those core beliefs about ourselves takes time, small steps, and more time.  it's not easy, doesn't happen overnight. i think what you said about feeling happy, even if only for a bit, and in the midst of those old messages pulling you back to a place of misery shows progress.  you actually got to a positive place, and if it happens once, it can happen again.  please, have patience with yourself.  every step is a victory while we battle this beast i call c-ptsd. 

sending love and a hug filled with support for each step you take.   :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on December 01, 2020, 12:25:29 PM

I had another hunting dream last night. Some details are foggy but what I can remember was it was in almost a WWII setting. I was on a battlefield with comrades and lost. If memory serves me correct there were some aspects of evasion. I donít remember fully at this point but I recall being in an urban setting unarmed trying to not be found.

Lastly at some point I was found and was boarded onto a train to be exterminated.

As I say with all of these dreams. I donít play violent video games, I donít typically watch war movies or violent movies (itís been a long time since I have). My only theory is that my IC is trying to put me in my place from yesterday being a good day.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on December 01, 2020, 09:58:36 PM
It's nice to see you back here, Buddy  :)

Small steps are good. Big steps would be too shocking to our systems, our brains do better with smaller, incremental changes. We need time to get used to things.

Wanting to feel miserable etc., may in part be just wanting what's familiar. Change is unfamiliar, and even if it's a good change, it's still uncomfortable, surprisingly enough. Familiar = safety, even if it's a state of feeling miserable.

The hunting dreams have a theme of being in mortal danger and being in survival mode. I have had similar themed dreams, with the details being different (for me it wasn't being in a war situation), but the overall sense of it is very similar. I think these dreams express unresolved feelings of feeling like our survival is at stake. I don't think your IC is putting you in your place, I think it's more when we dream, these old feelings come to the surface and our brain is trying to process them, if that makes sense.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on December 02, 2020, 02:59:38 AM
Thank you san and owl for your responses. I appreciate your feedback. Rational me knows it takes baby steps to heal and quite frankly to look at myself even a few years ago I would say it is night and day. I think my issue is that as of late I've been getting frustrated at the lack of progress. I think part of it is honestly, I'm kind of in a "survival" mode at work. I'm typically working close to 12-14 hour days with very little time to myself. I usually don't have much time to write here either. My T suggested the lack of progress is because the current state I'm in. She suggests that I don't have the capacity to move much further at the moment. I suppose she's right but it definitely can be frustrating.

Owl thank you for your feedback on the hunting dreams. I like your perspective. I just don't know what these unresolved feelings would be. I know I haven't resolved my past but I feel like none of it is significant enough to justify recurring hunting dreams.

Today was a little rougher than yesterday. I slept a little later than I typically do on a work day. I've just been so tired and ended getting up around 6:30. It was nice to have a nice slow transition into work today. I ignorantly thought about how nice it was and hoped that it could proceed forward each day. Unfortunately, almost as quickly as I had those thoughts reality set back in and my day was full of putting out fires. My COVID client has been very demanding (rightfully so) it has taken a lot of my time and a lot of planning. There were some unresolved issues that needed to be fixed in an urgent manner. Furthermore, I had the pleasure of telling one of my more difficult client to work with that they have been bumped in priority due to the COVID client. They did not receive it well. I have a meeting with them tomorrow and it's probably going to be a spicy meeting.

Part of me feels scrappy almost looking for a fight as the this client has been very difficult to work with since day one. Cooperation and transparency are key in getting projects to be successful in my line of work. They have been the exact opposite, holding their cards tight and not revealing them until we are in extremis. It has come back to significantly effect the project each time. I'm not typically a confrontational person. I guess I'm just sick of working for them. I've been finding as my COVID client has been taking all of my time (+8 hours a day), when other clients have been giving me a hard time I've had little patience for them. This is one great example. I've been finding my professional filter starting to be removed. I'm finding that I've become very protective of my time and when it is improperly used I get very frustrated. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. This has affected both in work and in my personal life. My FIL at times has been inconsiderate with my limited time and has done things that has taken my availability for granted. It has made me incredibly frustrated.

I'm not sure if this is a sign of improvement or a negative sign. Perhaps I'm starting to see myself as a little more worthy by sensing that my time is valuable? I'm not sure. On that same note, when my time has been taken advantaged of I definitely feel defeated and almost validated of my lack of worth.

Due to work I've been on edge today and it has shown. I've been irritable. I've been startling easily and thrown into fits of rage when my dog barks or my wife startles me. Hopefully tomorrow is a little better.

Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on December 03, 2020, 03:16:43 AM
Well today was a day... Definitely one of my tougher days this week. I had to have a meeting with a colleague to identify roles and responsibilities for our COVID project. More or less this individual's only client is the COVID project where I have multiple clients. I need to off load some work so I have time for my other clients. That didn't go over well she was blind sided to be frank and it didn't seem like we made any progress. I was quick to inform her that I'm simply trying to find a middle ground that is a little more reasonable. I couldn't help but feel defeated during the call. It felt like it wasn't even worth the effort to discuss this any further and that I will continue to spend 8+ hours a day on this one client and upset all my other clients. Not to mention the lack of time that I now have for myself, kids, and wife. The discussion just played into my feeling of self worth or lack there of. Hopefully a solution is found but I don't expect one to be found any time soon.

The remainder of the day I prepared for a call with my more difficult client. Long story short, I had to tell them they were being bumped in priority for a COVID client which they didn't take well. Usually, we perform work on a first come first serve basis, but obviously during these times COVID takes precedence over all other projects. I spent hours and hours prepping for this call. The client was upset and basically indicated how we owe it to them to keep them prioritized. I spent most of the day building a timeline of events to show where all the delays came from. I still haven't finished this timeline of events but from what I can tell it's a mix of issues from both my company and theirs. They've held their cards very tight which has been hard to work with. We have a NDA with them it's not like we would use their proprietary information for anything other than assisting them. They are also very slow to review documents and require numerous revisions to documents which in turn causes significantly delays in project timelines. Long story short projects that were supposed to be complete in November, shifted to December, then January, then February and they are not happy. During the call I was ready for war. We are at the point where we are ready to perform the scientific testing, documentation is required before this starts. They were requesting again to modify the documents which would have major impacts to project timelines. I was so angry that I was shaking. I think I kept it professional but I was definitely curt. I'm finding my frustrations are playing into old Navy frustrations. As I've mentioned in the past, when I see people taken advantage of I have a hard time letting go. I get furious, it could have nothing to do with me, I still have a hard time letting it go. In this case, I know the scientist are working extremely hard for this client and then some. They are spending many long nights in the labs for the COVID project and other clients, neglecting their families, neglecting their well being and it feels like my client is trying to take advantage of that. I need to learn how to let these type of things go but it is incredibly difficult.

I'm not sure why it is so difficult. I suppose it's because I feel like I failed as a leader when I was in the Navy. I tried my best to advocate for my sailors, but they still suffered. I couldn't protect them from the toxicity of the commands we were in.

I'm going to have another early morning and long day. I won't have time to proof read this post. If it is incoherent, I apologize.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 04, 2020, 03:06:47 PM
Hi Buddy,
You said that you are not sure why it's so difficult, and that you felt you failed as a leader in the Navy, and yet you went on to say how you did your best to advocate for your sailors, and I think that is an incredible thing to have done - you are only human, and I feel sure that circumstances lead to undeniable suffering that can't be prevented, no matter how hard people can try to prevent it.  You spoke of the 'toxicity of the commands' that you were in - so it shows just what you were all up against.  An impossible scenario, I would think.  I'm sorry if what I'm saying doesn't make sense, I just felt I wanted to say something, having read what you wrote.   Please ignore anything that doesn't make sense.

Sending you a hug, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on December 06, 2020, 03:33:23 AM
Hi Hope, thank you for your message. It does make sense and I sincerely appreciate it. I understand what youíre saying that I did my best to advocate for my sailors but some suffering was inevitable due to the toxicity of the commands. Rational me even understands that.

I guess my wife is right, in that I live in the past. It seems like I canít get over that. Even when Iím not thinking directly about my time in service, I find triggering things that I canít let go. Witnessing poor leadership or people being abused and taken advantage of is a great example. It could have absolutely no direct tie to me. I could have no business associated with an event but I still find it incredibly hard to let go. Case in point, I believe I mentioned this before. My FIL was seriously sick most of the year to the point of needing surgery and being hospitalized. He owns his own plumbing company, itís a small business with maybe 20 employees tops. Due to his illness, he couldnít work most of the year. His staff had to run the show. When he finally returned he worked for a week before taking an entire week off to go on vacation. I have no reason to be affected by this. I donít work there, I am not close with any of the employees that work there. However, I am still having a hard time getting over this. The leadership message I see is ďI know you guys were working wicked hard covering while I was sick. But screw you guys, you donít matter, Iím going to take a week off.Ē It almost sickens me and itís intrusive.  I canít let it go.

This is actually a lot of what I spoke to my T about this week. How Iím close to 5 years out and still am find things that I canít let go or are triggering. And itís not just the Navy. Never really thought it would be the case, but it has become increasingly obvious that I have abandonment issues. That Iím unwilling to get close to my wifeís family because I donít want to feel the pain again of being abandoned. They are not perfect like any family, but when their imperfections come to fruition it cuts deep.

Great example was January this year. An employeeís son of my FIL business committed suicide. He left a wife and kids behind. My FIL and my wifeís grandparents treated this like it was gossip. Cracking jokes, making remarks how scandalous everything is. Meanwhile, one of their employees of at least 10 years lost her son. Never mind the family that now no longer has a father. I could not physically handle being in the presence of these conversations. I had to walk out and leave. During family functions people would ask, whatís wrong with Buddy? It cut deep it felt like a betrayal to me. Unfortunately, Iíve served with two sailors and two coworkers who committed suicide as well as took one of my colleagues in the navy twice to the hospital for ideations. It runs deep. I havenít gotten over those remarks. I lost an incredible amount of respect for them and as I said before it felt like a betrayal.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on December 06, 2020, 05:06:39 AM
Buddy, I would have found those comments about suicide extremely disturbing also. You've talked about your trouble getting close to your in-laws. All people have events and people in their lives that affect their trust of others. I would also say that there are different levels of trust and some people are more trustworthy than others. For example, I have a few people in my inner circle of trust, some at the next level, others who I trust their goodness but not their ability to handle my pain well. Maybe your in laws are safe to trust at a certain level and in certain areas, but not so much in other areas. I hope this is helpful and not confusing.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on December 08, 2020, 02:25:05 AM
Hi notalone, thank you for your response. I'm glad to see (that's not the right phrase) that you found this quite disturbing as well. Of course I second guess myself whether, I should be affected by this as much. Thank you for your commentary on trust. I've honestly never looked at it that way and I suppose that would be a good means in helping me move on. You're absolutely right, I don't think I will be able to let them to the "next level" of trust but I can trust their goodness. Overall, I would say their intentions are well. I think it would be quite difficult for me to distinguish the two but at this point honestly that probably the most viable way of looking at things and finding a realistic path forward.

I suppose this would also apply to my parents as well. I'd say their intentions were well meaning but obviously the emotional neglect lead to where I am today. It's not the only thing, but it is definitely a large contributor. I know I'm longing to have a normal relationship with them, but rational me knows that will never be possible. It's not clear to me how I could mend these bridges and heal my wounds. But I suppose the way you look at trust would be a good starting point.

On other notes, I finally got Pete Walker's book. I'm interested to see where it leads. I can already seem similarities. Hopefully, it will help.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on December 15, 2020, 03:12:45 AM
I took time off last week, not because I was doing anything in particular but it was use it or lose it before the end of the year. Having time off was nice but there were certainly times where it felt wasted. My goal while I was off was to continue finishing my basement my FIL and I had started two years ago. I have a bit of electrical to do. Wiring can lights, putting in switches, plugs, networking, etc. I find working with my hands is one of the few ways I can relax and de-stress.  I wouldn't say I'm good at it, it just seems like one of the few times other than playing drums where my mind feels free. It's also quite enjoyable to put a ton of effort into something attainable and see the fruits of your labor.

The week didn't go as I expected (likely due to unrealistic expectations on my part) and I think that caused a bit of disappointment. It will sound terrible, but I was really looking to be able to spend more time in the basement by myself. Realistically, I was only able to spend a couple hours a day if any in there. Over the course of the week I actually got a bit done but it doesn't feel like it. The weekend leading into vacation R was working and therefore I was on kid duty. It was pretty tough as T fought me every step of the way. We've been starting to have bed time wars. Her bedtime is typically 7-8ish and she's bee fighting me well into 10 - 11. Really what that translates to is I get no time to myself. I'm with the kids all day and then I go to bed. Monday, even though I was off, I had to work. My work schedule really hasn't changed. I'm still working close to 11-14 hour days and honestly should be working more to ensure my projects run smoothly. I had to make sure remaining tasks were in place before I could disconnect. I also had to hold a meeting with one of my jerk clients (I typically use other words) while I was off. It's been extremely frustrating. It feels like they have been doing everything they can to make their project difficult and worst off they are doing things to take advantage of the situation through trying to take advantage of the scientists. I'm finding my tolerance for this is null. This client expects the scientist to move mountains when they are already flat out, working late hours, ignoring their families, missing holidays and vacations. That stings deep for me and I'm not willing to let that go without a fight.

We also had couple's therapy which as of late has been a bit difficult. The focus has been on me and more so my relationship with R's family. I've explained it before but I'm finding myself hesitant to get close to her family. Coincidentally, since this pandemic has started I'm finding my relationship with them is getting more and more difficult. I think part of it is because I don't want to feel pain again "when I'm inevitably abandoned". I find family events triggering, I dissociate and apparently it's very visible something is askew. Plus, I rationally understand that no family is perfect but when I witness their flaws it cuts deep. It's like I lost my original family for this dysfunction. It's incredibly painful. I spoke specifically about my FIL and as of late how he's been making me upset. I brought up his thoughtlessness on suicide and the incident that happened in January. I mentioned how during the start of the pandemic my wife was having a panic attack on the floor of the bathroom. She called him and he basically dismissed her. The cause of the panic attack was that her parents were not taking the pandemic seriously. I spoke about how on occasions he has told R and I to "f* off". I suppose as he is now the father figure in my life, I hold him to a higher standard and when that standard is not met it's like taking 10 steps back for each step forward. 

What has been most difficult is explaining my position to R. Specifically, as it relates to family events. She has admitted she wants to understand and that she finds it difficult to be empathetic. Each time I try, I fall short. How do I explain to R the pain I feel each time I'm at a family event? How do I explain to her whenever, I find reminders of my childhood or dysfunction within her family it is excruciating? How do I explain to her that I'm on edge and why I'm on edge? How do I explain to her that it's incredibly painful negotiating the holidays with her family as they are not flexible? If we miss one Christmas event they are deeply upset.

Switching gears, I'm back to work this week and wish I never took time off. I came back to over 900 emails that I need to read (200 related to my COVID client alone) and I have fires to put out. It is going to take me forever to catch back up and each day that passes is a client that is upset at me for my slow response. It's been a challenge to check my perfectionist self. I suppose it has gotten easier but the trade off is to my self esteem and worthiness. Without perfection obviously there are failures and failures lead to pain.

We also found out Friday that R's unit has become the secondary COVID unit in this geographic region. She's is terrified of the trauma she will suffer. Her fellow nurses have spoken about how terrible the first wave was (she was on maternity leave during the first wave). How people die without saying goodbye to their families. How there is very little, even now, that they can do. How they've been in situations where the only thing they can do is watch their patient die. She knows this is going to mess her up. I am scared because I don't want her to feel even an iota of the pain/symptoms that I feel. Plus the more I learn about cPTSD (and likely will be her case PTSD) the more I understand what a difficult road recovery is. I don't know if it is selfish, but I can deal with me having to deal with cPTSD. I don't want her to go through that or PTSD. She has a T and I have encouraged her to schedule weekly appointments with her while she's doing this work. I've also suggested that she gets a psychiatrist to get in front of this.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on December 18, 2020, 03:49:06 AM
I am an absolute ball of stress and anxiety right now. This week has absolutely sucked. I return from vacation to close to 1000 emails to go through. In addition to that during the day Iím in nonstop meetings so I donít have time to look at my emails. R worked a few nights this week which implies Iím on kid duty making work even harder.

The sheer volume of emails that Iíve been getting makes it difficult to even detect when new emails come in never mind assess their urgency to my projects. Things came ahead today and Iím not sure if Iím entering/been in an EF or this should be a natural response. The holidays are coming and as a result we need to ensure revenue is recognized for my projects. Typically this wouldnít be an issue but as one of my project has been a COVID project, work has been moving at light speed with the business side of things being very slow to catch up.

My boss was off Monday and Tuesday this week during which time I worked with one of my peers in ensuring billing was arranged. Come Wednesday, I enter a meeting with my boss and canít help but feel I was being chastised. I snapped at my boss which is definitely not me. Fortunately she took it well.

Every morning this week, Iíve woken up and seen multiple emails, messages, etc all requesting feedback from me ASAP for something ďcriticalĒ. It has been making me so angry and feel so worthless. I canít keep up with my projects to be proactive and everyone wants a piece of me. I feel not valued and that the ridiculous  amount of time and effort that Iím putting into my projects is unrecognized.

Today things came to a head. Multiple clients needed my feedback on things and ultimately one of the client requests in particular came to the attention of my bossí boss. She sent me a nasty gram about how my communication is unacceptable and I need to make things right. I canít say sheís wrong, my communication was severely delayed but I attribute it to the sheer volume of emails. I had no idea I ever received a response from my client. I felt no I feel so little and worthless. I feel defeated. I feel furious. I am literally neglecting my kids, been so irritable and invested in these projects that the negatives are being felt by my family. I feel like Iím messing up my daughter, playing into the same emotional neglect that my father played into me. Iíve been advocating myself for going on three  months that Iím overworked and balls are going to drop and clients will be upset. But when the balls drop it feels like there is no recognition of these warning signs. Nothing has been done to help my situation. I feel so defeated.

To add to it, I was working tonight and my daughter came into my office to give me a LEGO creation she made. She startled the living daylights out of me and I gave her a very irritable face and Iím not sure if there were expletives in there as well. I apologized and explained to her that she scared me. She responds about how she made a LEGO thing for me. I feel like such a horrible father. To add icing on the cake, I bring her to her room and sheís apologizing to me and defending herself that it wasnít her fault and that she wasnít trying to scare me on purpose. Thatís like a knife twisting in my gut. Sheís three, I know she doesnít know better but I can see the signs all there. It pains me.

I am just so tired and there is no end in site. Iím screwing up my daughter and I feel like thereís nothing I can do about it. I feel worthless, no I feel unworthy. I am defeated.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 21, 2020, 07:29:56 PM
Hi Buddy,

You've got a lot on your plate at the moment, and I hope very much that you can get some rest, and that you feel a bit less tired.   To me, you sound so caring about your daughter - I wanted to say that, because it's what I thought when I read about what you said - you tried to explain to her what happened, and why you'd reacted with surprise.   You cared about her, and you care about her.  I think that makes you a caring Dad in my opinion.

I hope you don't mind my saying that. 

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

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on January 08, 2021, 02:50:02 AM
Hi hope thank you for the response. I appreciate it, really it means a lot!

So I have no idea where this post is going to go, but I feel the need to process what happened yesterday in DC. I'm not here to discuss politics, to advocate for any side or advocate violence I just need space to process the happenings on.

I don't know what to say. I'm ashamed, I'm embarrassed. I wish I wasn't American. For a long time, especially since the Navy, I have had a hard time associating myself with this country. I imagined at one point in time, having a house with a large front yard and a big ol' flag pole with an American flag. That type of idea has been long gone. I don't want to associate with America any more. I don't want to be a part of it. When I was on deployments, it's so readily obvious where priorities lie. It's all a game for politicians. Let's piss off Iran and spy on their boarders and wonder why they send small craft to investigate us. If they were doing the same and some countries do we would be upset and send out our own ships. Let's blow the crap out of Libya without considering the consequences. When the consequences arrive such as the refugee crisis let's pretend it's not our problem. Let's continue to have a presence in Libya because ISIS now exerts influence due to us creating a power vacuum. Let us support these oil wealthy middle eastern countries because we will get oil out of it. We can turn a blind eye to there other disgusting policies on things such as homosexuality and women. Let's start two wars one in Iraq that has no ties/minimal ties to the war on terror. Let there be insufficient planning not have a back up plan and an exit strategy. Let's fail to realize that our lack of commitment will yet again cause power vacuums and organizations like ISIS to emerge to now get us bogged down in yet another war in Syria.

The lives that were lost all for a game.

How did we get here? This nation is so incredibly ill. To allow for the emergence of race riots and on the flip slide let's call it what it is an attempted coup d'etat. To allow for what has been happening clearly indicates there is something significantly wrong with America. Is the country in its death throws? What happens next? In trying to look at the past 4+ years objectively, whether I am looking at the BLM movement or the right wing movements to me is a symptom of a major illness. To me there's got to be an underlying illusive problem. I think I'm starting to get a firm understanding with the BLM movement, police shootings,etc. what got us here from the left side. But what about the right? There is so much anger and vitriol. People don't plan an insurrection unless there is something seriously wrong. The question remains how did we get here? You see, Trump is just yet another symptom of the problem. Yes, he incited the riots, yes he has been stoking his side for years. But ultimately, the people chose him implying something was wrong way before hand. How and why did we get here?

Where was the security? I am not advocating for violence by any means. What I do know from my time in the Navy is that those police officers would have been absolutely justified in using deadly force. Whether it was for self defense, the protections of others, or the protecting a major government building. Those all met the requirement for the use of deadly force. Where was it and why wasn't it used? Why was any force used? After all this was not a protest but a planned insurrection. They found pipe bombs and molitov cocktails. This was premeditated. Where have we gone wrong?

Again I'm embarrassed. You realize the places that have caused my nightmares part of the reason why I am here have more peaceful transitions of power than this.

I was hoping this would help me process things but I still got nothing. How did we get here?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: dollyvee on January 08, 2021, 11:02:43 AM
Hi Buddy - I read your post about all the work emails and feeling like you can't keep up and I can relate. I know when things come up like that and I get so stressed and frantic, I've most likely gone into people pleasing mode and I have lost myself. It becomes a game of catch up and I have to do all these things, but underneath I'm just repeating an old pattern. I'm trying to get better at setting boundaries and finding myself in the busyness. To me, good management knows that sometimes people need time to do the work as long as you come through in the end and manage peoples' expectations along the way about what is happening. Tho, I've had many bosses who didn't and this is how I learned who to give my time to.

Hope you find a bit of space  :grouphug:

Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on January 11, 2021, 02:34:59 AM
Thanks dollyvee, I appreciate it. You are absolutely right. Itís people pleasing and perfectionism at is best. It rears itís ugly head and itís hard to escape from. I know itís a symptom of my cPTSD more than anything. It always has and it has come close to costing my relationship with my wife in the past. As of this year Iíve definitely been better at setting boundaries. I try not to work on the weekends unless itís absolutely necessary and I stop work at 10pm no matter what. But it does mean the problems go away. They are still there I am still hopelessly behind. And Iíve. Even advocating for myself to my boss yet very little happens.

As for today I donít really know what happened. Itís been a really tough day. I guess itís an EF? Iím not sure. But I e definitely felt irritable, angry, helpless, and worthless. The day started off fine. I had a nice breakfast with the family and was able to spend some time finishing the basement. I really enjoy working with my hands. I canít say Iím skilled but I do find it therapeutic at a minimum. My parents have been unusually forthcoming and they coordinated a video call to chat with the kids and my sister joined. The conversation wasnít too bad and not as superficial and readily obvious of the emotional neglect as it usually is.

Thatís when things began to change. T was acting out. Jumping on me and doing things to cause a ruckus. I know she just wanted the attention. She later asked to go to the bathroom she did her thing and then ran through the house with a roll of toilet paper while I was talking with my parents. That when I blurted something out like ďyou kids are driving me f-bomb insane!Ē

It was kind of shocking to my sister, I think my parents were embarrassed and stated that our grandparents used to swear at us as kids. And something changed in me like a flip of a switch. The rest of the day couldnít be saved. I was irritable, angry and on edge. I snapped at my wife for no reason at all. It was too the point where she didnít know where it came from whatís going on with me. But kind of forced me to go for a walk to reset.

I went for a walk in the woods. It was nice, but it didnít help me reset. It continued. I obviously felt mike a horrible father. The shame and the guilt was there too. I couldnít shake it. It continued into the evening.

R suggested that I do something like yoga to help and I actually found that it did. Iíll have to remember that and keep it in my toolbox. Iím definitely at the point where I just want the day to be over and reset tomorrow.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better but I already have apprehension as itís a work day and Iím woefully behind.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: dollyvee on January 11, 2021, 09:30:21 AM
I'm glad and hope I'm not putting too much of my own experience on yours. This is just what it took me a long time to recognize that's happening inside.

I find being around my family a huge trigger and no matter how much I prepare for it, it always puts me off. My father used to have an incredible temper. He had an alcoholic mother and came from pretty dysfunctional parents and it was just how he coped with being upset. I'm sure he took it all out on himself. I could tell though, that he tried. When I was young and he would lose his temper, he bought me cards that said, I'm sorry, and I knew he meant it. This was just something he was battling. At the time, it wasn't great but looking back on it, my dad did the most he could to encourage who I was and support me, even though he couldn't always be "there" for me, and I feel like that's the stuff that shines through. That's the stuff that really mattered.

I think kids are much more in tune with what's going on than we know. Perhaps she can feel the shift when your parents are there and senses something is up.

Hope you get your reset  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Hope67 on January 15, 2021, 01:34:12 PM
Hi Buddy,
I'm glad that doing some yoga was helpful. 

I read what you wrote, and wanted to send you a hug of support, if that's ok  :hug:

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on January 16, 2021, 03:13:09 PM
Thank you hope and dollyvee for you feedback and support.

Iím having a tough day. I guess for some background. When I was in the Navy dealing with all the things I was, one of the few things that helped me get by was the idea of finding a nice piece of quiet land that I could live the rest of my days.

We found that land in a rural town. It has views of the hills nearby and is in a quiet neighborhood. The person that owned the lots before hand placed an easement by our house in hopes that if the large amount of land behind our house opens up he could build more houses.

Well fast forward today. My jerk neighbor cleared an ATV trail on my property thinking it was his. He didnít even bother having the land surveyed. And the land behind us is for sale for cheap. One of neighbors has purchased it but we can tell that the builder is scheming to get his piece of the pie.  The easement literally cuts across the front yard of my neighbor. If the builder put in a road it would little bisect the majority of my neighborís front yard.

We looked into buying some of the land behind our house. We were very optimistic we would be able to get it. But legally it sounds untenable. Since the ATV trails went in a good portion of our neighbors bought ATVs and seem to have little to no respect that they are driving on our property tearing up our land.

Lastly, this last year has been eye opening. It has become apparent that a majority of the neighbors here donít take  COVID seriously. My neighborís across the way, one is a cop, and she throws parties on a weekly basis with no regard to COVID or the laws and regulations surrounding it. To put it simply, she thinks sheís above the law. Itís been very hard for us to watch this, especially my wife as she is a nurse.

To me putting in the ATV trail, the lack of respect for my property, and routine parties is a slap in the face to everything Iíve ever wanted (my quiet piece of land to live the rest of my days). Itís actually painful for me to witness it feels like Iím being toyed with and is yet again more validation of my lack of worth.

With all of this said Iím not yet ready to move. My wife and I have put way too much work in this house and after less than 5 years Iím not quite ready to part ways. R on the other hand, her Gypsy blood is flowing. She wants to move.

Today she came home from work and expressed how she found a new plot of land. 5 acres right next to a farm on rolling hills. Sounds great, but it feels like a kick in the face. It stings. Just 36 hours ago I was plugging  away in the basement putting up insulation. The weekend before I spent the entire time finishing up carpentry. Before that electrical. It feels like she has just invalidated all the work that we both have put into the house. Again, it stings. It feels like yet another validation of my lack of worth. The work you put into this house doesnít matter. I want out.

Whatís the point of continuing work on the basement? Whatís the point of even maintaining the house if it doesnít matter to you? Iím sure this is an overreaction but it stings. I havenít put work in this house just to increase the value. I put my blood, sweat and tears into this place. Anyway. I feel pretty defeated and pretty worthless.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: marta1234 on January 16, 2021, 06:38:06 PM
Buddy, Iím sorry youíve been going through so much. I completely understand how moving already could be invalidating towards the amounts of work youíve put in your house.
Sending you support and care while you deal with this unknown, and hope you feel a bit better the next days  :hug: Please still be kind to yourself these days (if itís ok to say), I know youíve been struggling a lot lately  :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on January 25, 2021, 03:22:13 AM
Hi Marta, thank you for your kind words and support. I appreciate it.

Well last week was Bís 1 year birthday. For me this really marks the start of the pandemic. My work offered 6 weeks of paternity leave which was amazing and upon my return to work, I was on site two weeks before working entirely remote. It brings about it a lot of reflection and sadness. So many people have seen my son but my parents havenít. They didnít get a chance to see him when he was born and once the pandemic started we decided it would be best not too. For all my parents faults their decision not to see my son was actually very thoughtful. They wanted us to get settled. They missed the entire first year of his life.

We had a small party today for him just family within our ďCOVID CircleĒ. I found it hard being present. I pretty much forced myself to do all of the cooking. I didnít want to be around people. I wanted to be alone in my own mind. R clearly notice and would check in on me routinely. Iíd just tell her I was fine.

On a separate note, work has been hard. Itís taking a toll on all of us. We are woefully understaffed and as my boss is new to the role I donít think she really knows or understands she should be justifying additional project manager positions. I opened up to my colleague about a week ago, which is very unusually for me. About how Iím drowning with work and how itís really starting to take a toll. Last week I checked in with him and he kind of mentioned the same. He revealed that in addition to the ridiculous pressures at work heís having some home life issues to include a suicidal friend. It sounds like he had to take his friend to the hospital at least once.

It was interesting to find him in that position. I mentioned to him while I was in the Navy I had to take a friend to the hospital twice. It felt almost validating on the sense that Iíd be able share my experience with someone who would understand. And perhaps Iíd be able to help him get through these times.

On the alternative it caused me to have intrusive thoughts of my coworker who committed suicide at my last job. In my thoughts I was kicking myself for not doing anything. For being naive or at least plain blind. Iíd already had a few experience in the Navy and there were times when I saw this individual she looked so miserable. Iíd think about sitting next to her and talking to her to see how she was doing. But in the end I decided she probably wanted to be alone. Shortly after that she didnít show up to work. A week went by and we all including myself thought she quit. As time went by we found out that she killed herself. Iíve been questioning my involvement or lack thereof with her. I worked directly with her on projects. Perhaps during those times where she sat  alone even if I just engaged with her. Sheíd still be here and likely out of most people at my job I would have been the one to have identify something wasnít quite right. Not that I think that I would have been able to heal my coworkerís struggle but I did fail in identifying and engaging with her and perhaps that could have helped even slightly.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 25, 2021, 06:51:28 AM
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on January 27, 2021, 04:36:11 AM
Well today was a day.

Iíve been reading Pete Walkers book From Surviving to Thriving. Of course Iím at the section that discusses emotional neglect. Today was the tough. It was a fairly constant and painful reminder of how emotional neglect can carry over to the next generation.

My son had a doctors appoint which my wife took him too. Afterwards she needed to sleep to get ready for work which implies I had her kids just about all day. I had no patience for my daughter today. There were times where I parked her at my desk to watch movies on her tablet so I could work. I essentially kept a screen in front of her all day. When she would want to do something else, acted up etc. I had little patience for it. I felt like I was witnessing the emotional neglect being placed on my daughter yet there was nothing I can do about. I canít help but feel yet another generation is effected and that she will end up messed up like me.

As the work day ended I watched it blow up causing me to pick up the pieces tonight. I feel like T could sense my preoccupation and anxiety with work. I was thinking of all of the tasks that I needed to resolve. I feel like she acted out because she could sense that tension from me. She would not go to sleep taking me away from work. It took me two hours to get her to bed. Again I had no patience. She kept getting out of bed. At one point, I explained to her that if she kept getting up I would need to put a baby gate up. She wouldnít have to sleep but she would have to play in her room while I cleaned up from the day. She freaked. I could hear her crying upstairs as I was trying to clean the kitchen and feed the animals. I could only think about the discussions in Pete Walkers book about abandonment and how I was inflicting that on her.

I feel pretty low. I suppose I deserve it.

Iím just so tired. Iím tired of this pandemic. Iím tired of being over worked. Iím tired of not getting help. R and I are drowning yet we still have no one to rely on except ourselves. I know others have it worse, it would just be nice to have some help we could count on.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on January 27, 2021, 12:54:32 PM
Buddy, thank you for sharing about your challenging day.  Right now we are trying to accomplish conflicting roles in small places without the space and rest we need. 

When you talk about having Pete Walkerís words in your mind as you go about your day resonates with me.  I donít have children of my own but I often will say or do something at work with my students where I wonder if they will be crying about it in their 30s like I have been.  I am trying to take that pressure off of myself because everyone is so different and what may be traumatizing to one person might not be to another. I had a moment like that this week where I realized I had triggered a sensitive topic for a student and he went on a rant to me in front of his entire class and his teacher. 
When these things happen I realize how easy it is make mistakes but also that how others react is complex and not really in my control.  I am a speech language pathologist and work with people on communication.  The more I learn about communication and see the challenges people face with communication the more I realize how impossible it is to get it right.  More we use communication as a tool to navigate the ups and downs the best we can. 

I see awareness in your post where you recognize that something didnít feel right to you in your day.  Little ones need us to learn to regulate their emotions and it is tough when we werenít given the tools to regulate ours.  It is also more challenging when we are trying to fill conflicting roles and canít be everything to everyone. 

I hope your days get smoother.  Reading Pete Walkerís book was intense and triggering for me but I am glad I did it as it helped me understand myself more. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on January 29, 2021, 02:47:00 AM
For my records I wanted to post this here in addition to the having a hard day thread.

Well last night was one for the books. I managed to completely disrupt my FILís birthday.

For some context Iíve been absolutely wound up burning the candle at both ends. I donít have time for self care, I donít have time for much. Iím a project manager in pharma and due to COVID letís just say weíre overworked. To my wifeís family, I feel like my family (my wife and kids) are second class citizens. My wife works nights so Iím the child care in the day. We canít afford day care nor do we have any kind of help available. My parents arenít around and my in laws are not dependable. My point is, we are drowning in life.

Iíve been getting so angry and irritable lately. Snapping at my 3 year old daughter. Then be chased by guilt of the emotional neglect and abandonment I felt as a kid. We canít keep up with house chores we simply donít have time. My SIL has a nanny 4 days a week and her in laws to watch the kids. She has options where as we donít.

I am providing all this context simply to describe how Iíve been feeling. I feel low like a second class citizen to my in laws. We canít rely on them for anything yet they expect things from us. They are way more reliable for my SIL. We are drowning. Iím drowning at work and failing as a farther. Each day I am so incredibly irritable and I watch myself snap at my daughter. To me itís like watching the generational torch of emotional neglect and abandonment be passed down to her and not be able to do a single thing about it. I feel pretty low.

Over the weekend, it was my sonís birthday. He is our little pandemic baby. For me his birth marks the start of the pandemic. At the party my SILís son hit my daughter hard and caused her to cry. We obviously comforted my daughter but nothing else happened to my nephew.

Fast forward to the other night it was my FIL birthday. It was a pretty big day as the year before he was more or less knocking on deathís door. Everyone was over for dinner my SILís family and kids my wifeís grandparents and my in laws. I watch as my nephew hit my daughter not once, not twice, but three times. My MIL tried to diffuse the situation but it was insufficient. Everyone at the dinner table was aware what was going on but no one did a thing. On the fourth time
My daughter was hit, I absolutely snapped.

I went into full blown irate sailor mode. I told my SIL with a handful of expletives to go parent her kid instead of sitting there. I lost it. I was so angry. I scared the children at the party and needed to spend the rest of the night outside in the cold air.

My in laws were concerned that I abuse my kids and wife, I donít.

I just could not watch my daughter get hit and not a single soul do anything about it. I couldnít handle it. Something snapped in me. Iím not sure if this was an over reaction. If this is something I experienced growing up. But I snapped.

As I got home the usual toxic shame and self loathing kicked in. I was at least ideating self harm. I called my T and Psychiatrist for assistance.

It was bad. Iím not sure what I should do. I feel like I should check myself into a VA PTSD clinic.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on February 02, 2021, 02:45:20 AM
A couple of days have passed since my incident. As I'm sure you can imagine I had a slew of appoints with my psych, T and couples T.

More or less my psych and T told me I'm tapped out and need to find ways to relieve the pressure. I suppose that implies my reaction to Wednesday night was an over reaction? The problem is I've been struggling to find adequate solutions. Alternative child care is not an option. We can't afford a nanny, day care etc. The only people we can rely on are my in laws. My parents are out of the picture. My in laws at best have been inconsistent with helping us. We will plan on them watching the kids one day a week, schedule far in advance a day for them to help only to find the plans fall through 24 hours before hand. It's incredibly frustrating to me. I witness my SIL having a nanny 4 days a week and two sets of grandparents watch the kids other times; meanwhile R and I are drowning and can't even get consistent help one day a week. I hear comments from my MIL how she has one meeting to attend at work and therefore can't watch the kids. Meanwhile, I have to find a way to watch two screaming children while I'm in meetings all day and my wife is sleeping.

R actually had a direct conversation with her parents the other day on this and as expected it wasn't received well. Apparently, we are ungrateful. It was a blowout. I'm just so tired of this dynamic. I feel like I'm an alien living on another world. I don't understand how we are the ungrateful children, when we are the ones always available for all family events. Bend over backwards when we are asked help. We only want consistency!

I think I've exhausted my cards. I think it's time for me to speak to my parents. I don't even know how to begin this or how it would be received. I'm thinking of speaking with my sister first who is a T as well but more so she's closer to our parents. Perhaps, I can get some information I wouldn't be able to gain otherwise? And on the same hand, I couldn't help but shake the guilt as it came to the realization that it's been 10 days since B's birthday and I still haven't had him open up my parents presents. I feel pretty horrible about that.

I just feel like a ball of stress. I feel incredibly wound up and on edge.

I was hoping writing would help a bit, but I don't think it did.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on February 02, 2021, 03:27:06 AM
Hi Buddy, What I see when I read your post is that people you are reaching out to (psych, T) are saying things that donít come across as validating of your experience.  They say release pressure and you are asking how?  My experience is that it is difficult to relieve pressure when there is so much uncertainty and no end in sight.  It sounds like you have a plan and I hope you are able to some support that feels like support. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on February 07, 2021, 12:29:39 AM
Thanks Rainy, Iím really happy to have read your response. As of late I feel like Iíve been leaning that way and have been considering switching Ts. Iíve been in therapy for about three years and it feels like Iíve reached a plateau or in fact Iím starting to go back down the hill again. Thatís probably more appropriate. The T I had was originally recommended to me as she specializes in eating disorders which my wife is recovering from. It helped navigate the initial steps but as itís coming clear that I have cPTSD, itís probably time to switch to someone who is a little more focused on trauma and emotional neglect. I scheduled an appointment with a psychologist who specializes in PTSD. The person was recommended by my Coupleís T. To be honest I feel kind of horrible switching Ts but rational me knows itís time.


Iíve been struggling as of late. I guess thatís an understatement. When I had my episode. I went from absolutely irate at my in laws to the extreme lows of self loathing. Itís was definitely one of of those points where I know the tools to use to pull me out of the pit of self hatred, I acknowledge they are there. But then decided, no buddy, your not worth it you should suffer. I even acknowledge that this comes at the expense of my family and that canít pull me out. R was very concerned that night. She locked away all my medications and wouldnít leave my side. I canít blame her. I definitely hated myself but Iím not sure anything would come about of it.

Work is only getting worse. I found out one of my fellow PMs is leaving. It leaves just two of us plus one who was just recently hired. In short there is absolutely no way we can keep up with our own work now. If weíre assigned my colleagueís work it will lead to utter failure. My friend (the other PM) and I have mutually decided that we will no longer accept new projects. Iíve been advocating that weíre being overworked for months. Still no changes have come. We are severely understaffed and itís taking a toll.

Switching gears my wife and I think that I should consider a partial hospitalization program. It feels progress is not being made or perhaps declining. Iím on the fence about it. Realistically, Iím sure it would be a benefit for me. Iím obviously at a roadblock and need to find new ways forward. On the alternate side, that implies that Iím fracturing, have issues and am not as strong as I thought I was. It requires vulnerability that Iím always hesitant to give up. Iím not sure where I stand. Furthermore, how can I justify a leave of absence especially when my colleagues are drowning? My friend, the other PM, indicated that heís having mental health problems as well. I canít leave him with my projects in addition to his. Lastly, I selfishly donít want to be replaced on the COVID project. I guess I kind of equate it to I suppose people working on the Apollo program to the moon. Everyone understands the gravity and that they are living through an existential crisis in which the work that we are doing will have real value.  That opportunity, will not come about again. I donít know where I stand.

I do know Iím struggling. Today was an incredibly tough day. Iíve been on edge most of the day watching the kids. My daughter is being three and Iíve snapped at her a few times. Me snapping doesnít do anything to help me or the situation and I just find myself adding more fuel to the self loathing fire because it feels like Iím setting her up to relive my life.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on February 07, 2021, 02:15:04 AM
Buddy, I wanted to let you know Iíve read your post.  Your questions and wonderings and dilemmas resonate with me.  Something I am seeing in my experience is how stigmatized these questions we face are and how mismatched mental health support is in our country.  I start judging myself for not talking to someone about what Iíve been through but finding the right person to share that with is so challenging.  I hope that you find your next step which works for you. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Blueberry on February 07, 2021, 02:09:31 PM
Buddy I read your post too. I'm sorry you're struggling so much atm. Good on switching T when you know it's time to do so :thumbup:

I can empathise with some of your thoughts about going into partial hospitalisation or staying on at work and not leaving co-workers in the lurch. (Not the Covid project though, my work didn't involve anything ground-breaking like that.) In the end my body decided for me - I collapsed physically and remained off work for months before going into a full hospitalisation programme. Just after my collapse, two of my colleagues had accidents and were off work for weeks and weeks. The company managed, so did the remaining co-workers.

Sometimes it takes time to come to the right decision for oneself.

Buddy, you are worth pulling out of the pit of self-hatred. You aren't the problem. What was done to you that caused cptsd is the problem.  :hug:
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Pioneer on February 12, 2021, 05:43:06 AM
Hi Buddy, just stopping by to give my support. I resonate with what you said about snapping at your daughter (I've been there many times) and feeling like I'm failing her, and also feeling the deep self-loathing. The fact that you recognize that you snapped at her and care about her wellbeing shows that you are seeking to not neglect her emotional needs. I think that goes a long way!

You seem like you have strengths in loyalty, caring for others and protectiveness. Those are great qualities! I realize that you may not feel like you are, but it shows. Now you are in the process of figuring out what it looks like to care for yourself. It's a confusing, often painful process. Hang in there!
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on February 13, 2021, 05:40:59 PM
Thanks rainy, bb and pioneer for your feedback and encouragement. I appreciate it.

This week was incredibly hard. Wednesday, I get an email from my boss how Iím still slow on following up on emails and that she doesnít like ďmy tone ď in my my responses. I must therefore cc her on all communication moving forward.

I was livid, the fact that she has the audacity to critique me after being overworked. When there is only two of us fully operational and realistically we would need another 4 more people. Furthermore, and I know this is a Navy leadership hold over. Her team is suffering, if I was in her shoes Iíd be doing everything I can to get more man power. Her critique stung. It felt like validation of my lack of self worth.

I responded to her in an professional manner. I told her how I was unexpectedly out sick for two days. This was because of my episode which work doesnít know about. Itís been two weeks since being out sick and each day Iíve been sincerely trying to clear my inbox. Even after two weeks, I still have over 700 unread emails. Of which a majority I probably need to read. I also reiterated to her that Iím overworked and have been on a sprint for 5 months. This is not sustainable.

Thursday we had a town hall to go over 2020 earnings. Itís no surprise why the PM team is overworked. We had the same staff numbers since 2019 but found we doubled the number of projects to manage. Essentially, in order to do the job well with current staff loads we would need to work 16 hour days. Not feasible. Meanwhile the scientific staff and other ancillary staff has doubled meeting the change.

Lastly, Friday sucked. I had my annual review and I was eviscerated. On a scale of 1 to 5 I usually average somewhere in the 3s to 4s. She rated me at 2 for underperforming. I canít say sheís wrong but itís entirely due to circumstance. This review stung. I could feel my IC and perfectionist self unloading on me. But what can I do? New boss, this is how she saw my performance. It felt like a validation of my lack of worth.

Fortunately, today I was able to think it through more and counter the narrative:
This performance review is not a reflection of my performance, itís a reflection of the circumstances at work. No one would be able to keep up with what Iím dealing with and if they are it is at great cost to themselves and their family.
I need to remember the Sun Tzu quote ďkeep your friends close but your enemies closerĒ. She is the ticket for me getting what I want.
I donít agree with my bossí leadership style. She definitely is not about taking care of her people. I cannot change how she manages. But her inability to take care of her staff will be her downfall. Her inability to provide solutions to a growing problem will be recognized and remediated.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: notalone on February 13, 2021, 07:02:56 PM
Reviews are not only about our performance, but also reflect the perspective of the supervisor. In a previous job, I had a supervisor who expressed gratitude for me doing X. Later, a different supervisor commented on the exact same thing and basically said that I didn't go beyond to help, because I only did X.  :doh: Your circumstances at work do seem impossible.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on February 22, 2021, 03:30:33 AM
Thanks notalone, I appreciate it. Most days they really do feel impossible. Thereís just no way to keep up.

Iíve been reading Pete Walkerís book from surviving to thriving lately and it has brought quite a bit of reflection. On the one hand I still have days where I find myself in denial, that I donít have cPTSD. But when I peer into the book, Iíve never found something that had characterized my experiences so well than cPTSD. Just about every aspect fits like a glove. If I was to look at MDD, I think itís no surprise I have depression but it doesnít nearly fit as well for an example.

Though the characteristics and symptoms of cPTSD fit like a glove, I struggle with the root cause. My experiences  are not so cut and dry. Yes, Iíve had traumatic experiences in the Navy but to this day it is hard for me to accept them as ĎPTSD worthyí. Which would lead me to my childhood. Yes, with hindsight itís obvious for me to tell that I was depressed a good portion of my childhood. But to my knowledge I wasnít abused, I wasnít hit nor sexually assaulted. That really only points to one last causal factor: emotional neglect.

I struggle with accepting this regularly. Itís obvious to me that my father could support emotional neglect. He worked all the time and was incredibly stoic. You could probably read the emotions of a paper bag better than his. My mother on the other hand, was nothing but loving. At least what I can recall. The only time I can attribute her to being emotionally neglectful would be when my grandmother was sick with cancer, my mom taking care of her. And after my grandmother died, my mom switching gears to take care of my handicapped grandfather. But this happened well into my childhood. I was probably in 5th or 6th grade when that started. Not necessarily the formidable toddler years.

I had a roof over my head, never went hungry, went to private school through high school (and at great sacrifice from my parents). Never did I want nor need. Itís hard for me to come to terms that emotional neglect is likely the causal factor but where was it and when?

I find that I largely fill the flight and freeze characteristics of the somatic nervous system. One thing which Iíve been reflecting on a lot lately is an excerpt in which Pete Walker characterizes I believe flight with a tendency to take on too much, overwork oneself to complete exhaustion and then require extended period of time to rest an recuperate before overextending oneself again. That defines me in a nutshell. I burn the candle at all possible ends and then crash. I donít know why I do this. I know itís to keep my mind occupied. The times where my mind is not occupied are the times that things are the worst. I recall after graduating college so desperately wanting time to rest. The navy wouldnít let that happen. Taking 30 days of leave was nowhere close enough rest to recharge. Why canít I handle my own mind? Why must I work myself to the bone and exhaust myself?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on February 24, 2021, 02:33:21 AM
Just feel the need to vent. After months of reflection, I have decided to terminate services with my T and move on to a T who is more focused on PTSD. My original therapist specialized in eating disorders and was quite helpful when I first started therapy as my wife is recovering from an eating disorder. I've been working with this individual for at least three years and I do admit I've made strides on my healing journey. But as I've discussed in previous entries of my journal, I feel like I've hit a plateau at best or at worst am falling backwards. To me I feel like I need to make changes, I feel that will help me move forward. I think she was great for getting me to where I am today but I now need an alternate therapist to help me move forward with the next steps.

I informed my psychiatrist that I switched therapist and can't help feel like I was getting chastised. I was being told I'm moving too fast. Furthermore, there was discussion on self-diagnosis with cPTSD. I understand cPTSD is not a part of the DSM and I have not been professionally diagnosed with it from my psychiatrist. With that said, I have been diagnosed or at least she explicitly told me in the past that I have PTSD. I've never found a condition, that fits my experiences better than cPTSD and I've been looking just as long as I've been in therapy. cPTSD may not be recognized and let's say for the sake of argument it is not real. The fact that it fits the mold better than anything I've looked at to me at least implies that it warrants further investigation and understanding as perhaps it will let me understand why I am the way I am.

I spent the last 45 minutes justifying my decision to change therapist. I'm tired of defending myself. I feel I do nothing but that at work. Nothing but that with my in laws and now my shrink?

I just want to understand why I am the way I am. What contributed to it and what I can do to heal. Why do I need to defend that.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: alliematt on February 24, 2021, 02:17:25 PM
Fewer things are more frustrating than feeling the need to explain/defend a decision that you made that you believe is the right one for you.  I'm sorry you're having to deal with this!  (Hugging you virtually if that is OK.)
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on February 27, 2021, 04:16:38 PM
Thanks Alliematt, I appreciate it.

So yesterday was my last appointment with my T. I have mixed feelings. I do recognize that I made considerable progress in the three years I worked with her. Iíd say they focused around acknowledgement.  Three  years ago I would have never admitted I was depressed or had anxiety. I wouldnít have even begin to come to terms with emotional neglect and that it came from my parents. In that progress had been made. I wouldnít have acknowledge the aspect PTSD and cPTSD has on my life.

I do feel like Iíve reached a plateau and acknowledgment is the furthest Iíve gotten or can get to in this present juncture. I need change and Iím hoping with using a therapist that is more focused on trauma will help with the next steps.

I also canít help that it felt like a break up. Please call me out if my behavior was unacceptable, but I terminated services by leaving a voicemail. It was very professionally done. I said something to the effect of how I appreciated the work that weíve done together and Iím surprised with how far weíve gotten but I feel like Iím at a plateau and need to move on. I mentioned how it was a very difficult decision for me to make (which it was).

We ended up having one last call Friday in which we reviewed the progress made. She mentioned how she was thrown off that I made this decision on the phone. I suppose I didnít really think that making that decision on the phone was in appropriate as I saw it more as along professional lines than personal.

Anyway it was done. I started work with a more trauma focused T and I hope the next steps of improvement will come about.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Blueberry on February 27, 2021, 08:51:06 PM
I once terminated sessions with a therapist-type person by writing her a letter which was a bit strange. Phoning would have been normal and speaking on voice-mail if I couldn't reach her. But I wrote my letter because latterly when I spoke to this T-type person, I couldn't stay in my Adult part which she found inappropriate.

I certainly wouldn't "call you out" on your method of ending the therapy. Your T seemed taken aback but maybe that's her thing.  :Idunno:

Good luck with your new T! Sometimes a change of T is necessary.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on March 13, 2021, 02:43:58 PM
So itís been a fee weeks since Iíve been on here and a few weeks of seeing my new T. I had a session with him yesterday that was rather validating. It took me a while to come to terms with having depression and anxiety. cPTSD is something I still find I go back and forth with. Thereís times I donít consider some of my experiences traumatic enough and therefore, thereís no way I could be experience PTSD symptoms. After all my BIL has PTSD and he was blown up by an IED, my experience donít match that criteria. Also may family may have been emotionally neglectful but otherwise I feel like I grew up in a living family. I say this because these factors leave room for doubt in my head.

Yesterday, my T wanted me to share my traumatic Navy experiences. It was solid 45 minutes of me more or less regurgitating these experiences. I wonít go into detail in this post but if you are curious I discussed them in my introductory post a while back. Link below: (

During the discussion, I experienced something Iíve never experienced before. Iím not sure whether it was theatrics but he seemed very much moved by my experiences. He ended that conversation affirming that these were very much traumatic experiences and no doubt they had a profound effect on me and my life today.

It gave me chills hearing that. I think itís the closest Iíve came to shedding tears on these experiences. It felt validating perhaps Iím not crazy or faking it after all.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on March 13, 2021, 06:57:41 PM
It's amazing what genuine connection and validation can do.

I remember when I told my coach about an experience that I had told many other therapists about before, like you said, basically just regurgitating facts.
And I remember looking up and seeing that she had tears in her eyes. That hit me, hard. It was so validating, and it opened things up for me, too.
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: rainydiary on March 13, 2021, 10:30:17 PM
Hi Buddy, thank you for sharing about this.  I agree that someone genuinely hearing and connecting with our story is so healing.  Your experience and your voice matter. 
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: buddy9832 on April 02, 2021, 09:08:59 PM
Thanks rainy and Alter-eg0, I appreciate the validation.

Itís been a few weeks since Iíve been on. Work has been absolutely crazy and Iím in my first week of a partial program. As a result, I have taken some time off work and it sounds like I will finally be transitioning off a few projects. Iíve been communicating that my work load is not sustainable for over 6 months now and things kind of came to a head last week. I didnít end on the greatest of terms. Iím hoping that the transition will assist making life more manageable but I canít help but shake the feeling ití is going to negatively impact me.

The first few days of the program have been fine. Now emotions and feelings of self loathing are starting to resurface.

Today I was in a self compassion group and that brought out a lot of guilt sadness and grief.

What do you do when you are unwilling to let go of your suffering? I acknowledge that my suffering is not only at the expense of myself but my family. Does letting go the suffering imply forgiveness? Iím not willing to forgive myself. Why am I not willing to forgive? And to forgive would imply acknowledgement that perhaps Iím worthy.

These questions have been following me as of late. Whatís so important that Iím struggling to let go of?

Is it the loss of my family? In letting that go their memory fades and they officially die? Is it my experiences in the Navy? How can I let go of the pregnant woman and cleft child or the life raft that was abandoned.

I find it so difficult to forgive and more importantly to let myself not suffer. I feel like Iím stuck and have been here for a while. What is it going to take to allow me to allow myself not to suffer?
Title: Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
Post by: owl25 on April 02, 2021, 09:34:29 PM
Congratulations on the new T. I hope he can really help you move forward with things.  :cheer:

What do you do when you are unwilling to let go of your suffering?

I think this is a really important and critical question. Holding on to that pain means something really important to you, even if that's not clear right now.