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Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Self-Help & Recovery => Recovery Journals => Topic started by: Jazzy on March 11, 2021, 03:26:14 AM

Title: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 11, 2021, 03:26:14 AM
Here we go again. I keep failing at this. I guess that's okay though, as long as I keep trying. I think I need a new word for "fail". "Fail" sounds so final, and that's not really accurate. For as long as you have an opportunity to try again, it's not final.

There's a few things I want to write about, but I likely won't get to them right now. I've had a rough night last night. On top of (or maybe because of) all the emotions I've been dealing with after losing my friend, I've been struggling to sleep properly. Last night I didn't fall asleep until after 3am. At around 5:30am the CO alarm went off, which put me straight in to a panic attack / EF. Every time I tried to go back to bed, I just started having a panic attack... so I stayed up for a while. Finally, I started to relax again, and then shortly after the EBS (emergency broadcast system) on my phone went off, throwing me right back in to panic again. I did eventually get a few hours of sleep, but I'm tired, emotional, frustrated, and doubting myself a lot.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: rainydiary on March 11, 2021, 03:32:16 AM
Jazzy, I appreciate what you write and offer up here.  Thank you for sharing what you do.  I am sorry to hear you are dealing with loss and troubled sleep.  I have been in a similar place lately and your response to sudden alarms and alerts resonates with me.  I hope you are able to find some ease and rest this evening.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 11, 2021, 09:20:56 PM
Thank you Rainydiary, that is very encouraging and helpful to hear. My inner critic is still very strong with any kind of social situation, even posting on these forums, which makes it difficult at times. On the other hand, I really appreciate any responses or feedback that people have, so (everyone) please feel free to reply here as you feel appropriate.

--

One thing I'm really struggling to understand is "altruism" (I think that's the correct term). It's pretty cut and dry when self-sacrifice is involved, but otherwise I'm not so sure. Basically, we get a positive benefit (good feeling at least) from helping others, and so therefore, is it really helping others, or is it really just helping ourselves?

As for myself, I can be really emotional, and I can be really empathetic (at least I believe so) sometimes. People on this forum go through very difficult times, and when I'm thinking and feeling clearly, I wish there was a way I could help with what they are going through. Sometimes, I wish I could just wrap my arms around them, and hold and comfort them while they cry. Of course I don't say this, because I'm afraid it might make people uncomfortable, or they might think it is inappropriate. The thing is though, I believe we benefit from this as humans, and we need it as children. I know many of us got the opposite growing up (hit, or otherwise punished, instead of held).

But that's a two way street. Obviously, the person crying and being held benefits most, but it also feels good to be the other person who can be there to provide support. So, who is this really about? Consciously, logically, I'm thinking of the other person, and I want them to feel better.... but sub-consciously, I don't feel sure, and emotionally, I don't know. It is a benefit for me as well. I have a suspicion that this is an "everybody benefits, so it's good all around" type of situation, and my life has just been such a mess I can't accept that as a reality right now, but maybe that's just wishful thinking too.

The thing is, my mother... I believe she is the most selfish person ever, who is totally incapable of empathy. I can't quickly or easily explain it, it is just many years of observing her behaviour. She says some things right like "How are you?" and "Oh, that sounds difficult", but then she is quickly on to talking about herself again. It's like a computer program that no matter what happens, or what they say or do, they just can't show a true connection, and they don't even realize it, because they're "doing the right things". When she says "I love you" what I hear is "You make me feel good". When she says "I miss you", what I hear is "I wish you spent more time making me feel good". I'm just afraid that I'm like that too, and I don't want to be.

To make things more complicated, I don't know if the way I see her is entirely accurate. I know my siblings share my view, and a few other people have made comments, but ... I don't want to believe that's true. Maybe we few people are wrong. Maybe in a way I'm still a kid who wants his mother to be good. Maybe I'm so calloused and my perspective is skewed from my history with her, that I'm not seeing her clearly today. I don't know.

Whatever it is, I have a semi-LC relationship with my mother, but it is so fake, and I don't like it. Basically, she just talks at me over the phone for an hour every once and a while. I barely say anything, and she doesn't seem to hear me or care anyway. I'm afraid to lose that, because it feels like anything is better than nothing (I know this isn't true logically, but emotionally accepting it is an awful lot harder). I still feel very childish sometimes, like I still need a mother. I've been wanting to confront her about this for a couple of years now, but of course confrontation is ridiculously difficult, so much more so because I don't feel very confident about so much of this.

I had a therapist once who told me "Well, you're all grown up now, we can't just find you a new mother and do it all over again". I think this is a massive failure on her part. Yes, it is true, but it shouldn't have been all she had to say. I think she should have continued "but we can help you learn new ways to feel connected and loved, and we can help you utilize those so you feel better". At least I hope that's how it works, that's what I'm going to try to do.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 13, 2021, 02:47:46 AM
There's a few things I want to work through still, but I'm having trouble doing that right now. I've been laying in bed late at night, still awake and thinking, but by the time I get to the website in the evening, it's a very different mood.

It's also difficult interacting with others, even here. It's a pattern. I start out with high hopes and expectations, but not too much later that gets taken over by doubts and fears. I still have work to do with myself to break out of this.

One thing I realized is that I'm not very good at identifying my feelings sometimes. There are also times I don't seem to feel much, but yet have a strong reaction internally. I'm pretty confused by this. Am I so desensitized, been through so much, that I don't even feel any more and my mind just reacts? Is it some sort of mental block? Am I actually feeling something but can't remember? I'm not really sure what's going on, but I don't like it.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: notalone on March 13, 2021, 02:49:47 PM
Jazzy, I'm wondering if a feeling chart would help you to identify your feelings. If it is of interest to you, you can google "feeling chart" and there are different options. One is a wheel with categories and colors. There are also charts for kids that might be useful if having 30+ feelings to choose from is too much.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 14, 2021, 02:11:25 AM
Thank you, Notalone! I like the feelings wheel. It does seem like a lot at first glance, but with the way it is all broken down, it is really not too much at all. I saved a copy of it so that I can refer to it when I need.

--

I called my mother today, and told her that she had hurt me recently, unintentionally, but it served as an example of how she thinks/feels of herself, and not others. Of course, she apologized like she was supposed to, but then went back to talking about herself again, as always. When I pointed this out as an example of the underlying problem, she tried to "explain" (obfuscate), by talking about something from the past.

In her version of the past, of course, she is just the best person, and the greatest mother. When I pointed out a glaring problem with her story, she tried to claim an exception, so I told her even that was wrong. I don't remember her doing this great thing once, but even if she did a few times, it does not even come close to making up for the rest of my childhood in which she did the opposite.

It's so difficult to deal with her, basically living in this fantasy world, where she just remembers things how she wants them to be, not how they actually are. This is just the latest example. I guess it is how she copes, but denying reality like that is disrespectful and dismissive of what I have been through, and the damage it has done to me.

I was angry with her, which I think is justified with how she was acting. I believe I handled it well though. I apologized for speaking angrily to her, told her it would be best to talk later, and ended the conversation. Although I was upset, it has been manageable. I'm not really sure how, but it is nice. This also makes me wonder just how well I have my anger under control though. I thought I was doing well, but perhaps not so well. I suspect it has a big impact on me socially, and I want to explore that more later. I made a note of it to do so.

Right now, I'm just trying to appreciate myself on some major victories. Not only did I speak about what was bothering me, it was to my mother, and I initiated it all. When things went badly, I didn't get stuck in the conversation, and I didn't get overwhelmed and distraught by destructive feelings for a long period of time.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: rainydiary on March 14, 2021, 03:48:59 AM
Jazzy, Thank you for sharing about your conversation.  I am celebrating on my end that you faced this conversation and did what felt right to you. 
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: notalone on March 15, 2021, 12:58:12 AM
Right now, I'm just trying to appreciate myself on some major victories. Not only did I speak about what was bothering me, it was to my mother, and I initiated it all. When things went badly, I didn't get stuck in the conversation, and I didn't get overwhelmed and distraught by destructive feelings for a long period of time.
:applause:                 :applause:
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 15, 2021, 01:02:05 AM
Thank you Rainydiary. It is touching that you would celebrate with me, or at least on behalf of me. :)  :cheer: :cheer:
Thank you Notalone! :)

--

Well, today did not go as planned. I was hoping to spend time working on some of the things on my mental health list. Unfortunately, I woke up extremely late, and haven't really been able to do so. I had two alarms set, and neither one of them woke me. I confirmed that they're turned on, but they don't seem to have "rang"? I'm not sure what exactly happened with that.

I've been feeling disconnected today. I did get an e-mail that was rather difficult to read, which I just added to my list of things to deal with later. I haven't spoken to anyone, or responded to any messages, or anything like that today. I'm hoping that I just need some time after that conversation yesterday, and it's not the beginning of another depressive episode. Anyway, it's not a problem right now, so I'm trying not to worry about it.

I'm going to go fold some laundry, because I haven't been keeping up with that, and after completing it, it will give me a good thing to focus on that will help me feel accomplished.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 16, 2021, 12:34:27 AM
Earlier today, I was thinking more about my anger (and reviewing situations in the past which I should have handled differently), but I haven't sat down and written anything out about it yet.

Just before logging in here, I replied to an e-mail from someone from my past, about the loss of my friend, which was really emotional for me. So, I really need to calm my mind and come back to this later. :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 16, 2021, 11:25:10 PM
TW: Gun violence

--

So, I'm feeling really disconnected since I sat down here today. I looked at the feelings wheel, but I didn't find a good word on there. I believe the best word to describe it is dissociation (I guess that's an observation and not an emotion). At this point, I have no idea why I'm (re)acting this way.

I do want to get something down about my anger though, because I've been thinking a lot about it, and I've been wanting to write for days. I'm going to try to be "brief" and not write an entire book on it.

I thought I was doing a really good job and had pretty much gotten over all of my anger issues, but after I got angry at M the other day, I'm no longer sure that's true. I think it is more accurate that I've suppressed most of it (which is not healthy), and I've isolated myself so much that there are very few opportunities for it to arise in the first place (really not healthy).

Of course preventative anger management is best (so that it never really becomes too much of a problem), and I need to learn more about that, but sometimes you have to deal with it in the moment. I think why it is so complicated and difficult for me is that it isn't just anger, but also fear, which my anger feeds off of, and just keeps escalating.

I think a big part of the problem is that I don't believe there is anything at all that I can do when I get angry. When I get angry like that, it is almost always because I feel attacked in some way, and there seems no escaping the threat. No doubt, a big part of this is because when I was a child, there literally was nothing I could do. I wasn't allowed to act, speak, or even move, and if I dared try, the consequences would be worse and worse. The best result would be if I "froze", even though I have a natural "fight" response, and that belief/feeling is still very much dominant in me today. I think, that in time, if I can learn to leave the situation when I get angry, I will begin to understand that this is a way I can protect myself, which will hopefully reduce the buildup of anger in future events.

Another thing that compounds this which I realized for the first time last night, is that in the country I live in, we are not allowed to have a "fight" response. I remember taking a law class back when I was in high school for various reasons, and being completely appalled at some of the legal cases I read. Absolute heroes were jailed for years, just for protecting themselves and others they cared about. It truly shook and disturbed me in a way that very few other things have.

Add on to this that we have a bunch of armed thugs with god complexes running around that can show up, or be summoned at any time. People call them police officers, and act like they're the good guys. I really don't understand why. They've threatened, harassed and abused me plenty of times, and never helped once. It makes me wish "the bad guys" were in control of society, because at least everyone isn't delusional about who they really are. I don't want to go on about this too much, but I've learned it best to keep my head down and stay as far away from them (police) as possible, which is hard to do when I'm angry... and I literally can't just walk away from them to calm down.  So, I don't know what to do about that.  :disappear: It would be a lot easier if the rules were clearly defined, but in reality, the rules are "the guys with the guns (police) are 'right'" - full stop. I think its something you can only truly appreciate when you've had a gun in your face.

I really wish I could end this post on a positive note, I've been making it a point to do that lately... I really don't have one right now though.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 18, 2021, 12:19:09 AM
Okay, so I want to follow this up with a bit more positivity.

First of all, even though I need to keep working at it, my anger has gotten better. Speaking with M, I didn't keep escalating and have my anger get out of control, but ended the conversation, which is much better than how it used to be. Immediately after, I took some time for myself to relax and feel better, and my anger didn't even last that long... maybe an hour or so, instead of days or longer.

Also, ending my post by acknowledging that I have been trying, and mostly succeeding to end on a positive note, is a positive thing itself, and much better than ending on the preceding paragraph.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: rainydiary on March 18, 2021, 02:44:00 AM
Jazzy, I appreciate you sharing about anger as well as considering positives.  I personally feel a ton of pressure to gloss over or reframe feelings like anger before I am ready.  I think we need those things in our life.  But, I also understand that sometimes these things can take us over and leave us in a place we donít want to be.  I support you on your journey to where it is important for you to be. 
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 19, 2021, 12:01:15 AM
Thank you Rainydiary. I feel encouraged and respected by your support and appreciation. You make a good point. Like our other emotions, it is important to express anger in a healthy way, when appropriate. I'm sorry to hear you feel pressured. I would like to encourage you to deal with your feelings in the way that you think best. At the same time, of course you are free to update what you think is the best way to deal with them as time goes on.

--

A little while (maybe a week) ago, my ex-wife e-mailed me to express her condolences on the loss of my friend. It has since evolved in to an exchange about what happened between us in the past. There is a lot of different emotions involved in this for me. Right now, I'm just trying to address all of the points she has made in a way that is respectful toward both of us. It is taking a lot of time and effort to do so. I've spent a couple of hours on it already, and I'm no where near finished this reply. So, I want to focus on getting that done, and I will explore all of these emotions afterwards.

Overall though, I'm doing well, for me. The emotions surrounding losing my friend have lessened, and I am able to go through the day "mostly normally" again. At night, I'm still bothered by those alarms from a few nights ago, and sleeping with the bathroom light on so it is not so dark, but that will pass soon enough too.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 21, 2021, 12:25:41 AM
The other day when I was out buying some groceries, I walked past a young girl and (presumably) her father. In the very short amount of time I was within earshot of them, I heard him tell her to be quiet and stop talking, twice. I felt badly hearing that. I thought about all the times my M wouldn't let me speak. It reminded me of all the damage it's caused in my life, and how I am still struggling to speak up for myself. I really hope that girl has a better life than I did.

I felt hurt on behalf of that girl, and I wanted to get angry. Immediately, I realized that getting angry wouldn't help. I can't make someone a better person by "attacking" them. Then, I thought that I should at least say something, and speak up for the girl. So many times I wish that another adult had interfered and helped me when I was a child. I've daydreamed about someone coming to my rescue, but no one ever did.

I didn't end up saying anything, for a number of reasons. One of them being that I have this belief that it is wrong to interfere with someone's parenting. I'm not sure where that belief came from, and I'm not sure if I want to keep it.  It's something that I need to work out with myself. If anyone would like to share their stance on the matter, and their reasoning for it, I'll take it in to my considerations.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 22, 2021, 11:28:39 PM
I haven't really thought this through yet, but it is on my list of outstanding things to address.

From what I've been told, most of modern therapy is based on the idea of neuroplasticity - basically, you keep thinking/feeling something, and it becomes more natural and easier to do. So, a lot of (mental) bad habits and things can be changed through forced repetition. I certainly had a LOT of bad habits, and still have a lot I'm working on.

However, with trauma related injuries, people have a tendency to enter an emotional flashback, and relive the hurt. I've experienced this time and again with myself, even to the point of experiencing the exact opposite emotion of what is "normal". I've also seen others post about this too. So, at first glance, this approach will not work out very well. In extreme cases, I expect it even to do further damage.

So, maybe we need to get rid of the neoroplasticity approach, or at least combine it with something else for trauma therapy. Now, I just have to figure out exactly what "something else" is. Any ideas? :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Hope67 on March 24, 2021, 08:28:48 AM
Hi Jazzy,
Both your last entries you wrote in your journal are thought-provoking for me, and I wanted to say things in response, but haven't felt able to put my words together properly.  Now I've started this message to you, and find I can't formulate what I want to say. 

Anyway, I'll send you a hug, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 24, 2021, 09:53:14 PM
Thank you Hope!  It is nice to hear from you again. I appreciate your hug!  :hug: It is very nice, thank you.  You don't need to say anything in response to my entries if it isn't good for you, or if you're struggling with it. If you do find the words you want to share, that would be great too.

--

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist again. I was struggling with it, because it is so difficult for me to speak, as I've talked about in the last few posts. I wanted to tell him about my friend, but that's a hard thing to talk about. I also wanted to tell him that I haven't been taking my anti-depressants for a while now. I've wanted to tell him since last summer, but I've been afraid.

Despite the difficulty, I did push myself to tell him what I wanted, and it went really well. Usually he just asks me a few basic questions, which I give him vague answers too, and that's about it for the visit. However, this time, we actually had a conversation. I told him what had been going on with me, and he responded well, which made it easier for me to keep sharing more. Despite the problems with our medical system, and that I've been annoyed by him in the past, I saw that he really does try to help as best he can.

I'm not really sure how to describe it well, but it was so nice to actually participate in a conversation instead of just feeling guarded and trying to get out of there.  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 29, 2021, 11:04:09 PM
Lately, I've been over-focusing on things (manic? also haven't been sleeping much), and it's made it difficult to sit down and spend time here. It's also interfered with me connecting with people / feeling a lot of empathy. I really need to keep an eye on it, but I am working towards balancing myself out more.

I spoke with my grandmother on the phone today. Although it went better than normal, it was still difficult. She mentioned some things she read on the internet, and how she isn't going to get the vaccine. I almost pointed out that her thinking/rationale wasn't consistent from one minute to the next, but I realize that she has a lifetime of such twisted thinking. I don't expect her to change any time soon (likely ever), and it's not an argument I want to have right now, so I just let it go. It was okay though, because it was my choice, not that I feel like I couldn't speak.

Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 29, 2021, 11:19:03 PM
So, I just had a huge realization a minute after I wrote that last post.

I was never taught that when something goes wrong, you should examine yourself and your actions, then compare them with the results, and try to figure out what to change. There was plenty that I did (supposedly) wrong when I was a kid. There was no reflection and growth though. There was only "you're wrong, I (parent) am right because I'm the authority (and they often threw in a god claim to make that authority sound stronger). Then, if anyone disagreed, they would just claim (sometimes religious) persecution.

Wow, no wonder I had such a hard time in the past even understanding that I had such a skewed understanding of so many things in life. What a mess my childhood was. Imagine if I had been taught how to resolve relationship/social problems instead of just playing the victim. I feel really cheated out of a chance at a good life. At least it's not all over yet, and I can still improve for what time I have left.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on March 30, 2021, 09:51:41 PM
One thing my grandmother was right about when I spoke with her yesterday is that I need to get more fresh air and exercise instead of hiding in my apartment constantly. So, this morning I went for a walk. Now that I'm sleeping better, I'm waking up earlier, so I can go out before there are too many people out and the city becomes busy. It was nice this morning, there wasn't much noise, so I could hear the birds, and I only came across a couple of people.

I expect it was because of the walk that I've had much more energy today than I normally do. I did a ton of extra housework. ... by a ton, I mean I did 3 extra projects around the house. 3 may not seem like a lot, but most of my life I've struggled (mostly failing) just to do basic hygiene and health care activities, so 3 extra things on the same day is huge for me.

I'm still wary about being in a manic phase. I'd like to get another hour or so of sleep. I am a bit tired throughout the day, but it's just tired, which is better than the fatigue/lethargy/exhaustion that I'm used to feeling. Besides being tired, I don't see any negatives, so I'll just continue to monitor the situation. Hopefully my sleeping smooths out even more if I can keep up with the increased exercise.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Hope67 on April 01, 2021, 07:43:02 AM
Hi Jazzy,
Your walk sounds like it was enjoyable.  Lovely to enjoy the quiet and the sound of the birds in the early morning. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on April 07, 2021, 12:00:04 PM
Hi Hope!  :wave: You're absolutely right! Hearing the birds is very peaceful, and helps me feel connected to nature. It's a great experience. I'm glad you enjoy it too! :)

I've been so busy lately, I haven't stopped to write here in a while. I still have a lot to do, but its important for me to write about a couple of things I've realized last week. Its helpful for me to write these things out, and hopefully it will be helpful for someone else too.

The first thing I realized is about "the viscous cycle". Even though it's the last thing I ever wanted to do, I realize that I have hurt, and even traumatized my ex-wife with the way I acted in the past. That's very difficult for me, because I have had such a bad experience with trauma myself, and I always said I would never damage anyone else like that, but I completely failed. I'm very disappointed in myself, among a lot of other feelings.

At some point in her last email to me, she apologized for something she did, which she could have handled better. She said she instinctively reacted that way, because that's how her parents reacted when she was a child. When I read that, I realized it was a very good point. I too had acted in the way which my parents had treated me when I was a child. This explains a lot of my behaviour, and why I hurt her when it was so important for me not too. So, if both her and I, when we were in a poor mental state, "defaulted" to the behaviour we were exposed to as children, I'm sure many other people do too, which explains how "the cycle" works, and why it continues to happen. I believe that cycle can be broken by a person healing from their own damage, then growing and learning healthier ways to live their lives. With these two things, and a lot of self control and mindfulness, they can ensure they stay in a positive mental state, and not "default" back to the behaviour of their cycle.

The other realization I had was about connecting with other people. I was so damaged by my childhood, that for many years I was totally incapable of connecting with anyone properly. Besides the massive problem of trauma, I also never learned about, and didn't have any examples of proper and healthy connections or relationships. I've improved a lot over the last couple of years with the affects of trauma, but still totally failed at connecting with people. I realized that was because I completely avoided talking about feelings and emotions. The only place I ever did that was here on this forum, where I could type, and not speak. Even then, it hasn't been in the best way.

I've really been working on embracing the topic of emotions. I'm trying to handle them in a better way, and not just completely avoid the topic all the time. Emotions are an important part of a healthy mind. Some people don't do well with the subject, I imagine because they have their own problems. That is difficult to deal with. But, some people do handle it well, and appreciate it. It feels really great to be able to talk about emotions and feelings, especially when I get positive reinforcement in return. It's made such a tremendous difference. It's very powerful and inspired, which makes me feel respected and valued. I realize that I have never been able to properly connect with anyone, because I only ever showed them (and really used), the logical part of my mind. I was missing an entire dimension in all of my relationships.

It's still challenging to open up and express myself in this way, but it is getting a bit easier with practice, and especially with the positive reinforcement I mentioned earlier. I'm sure it will continue to get better. For now, I use this feeling wheel that Notalone gave me. It has been so helpful. I'm extremely (looks at feeling wheel) thankful for that, and feel much more confident having this tool to help me. Thank you Notalone! :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: notalone on April 07, 2021, 01:41:19 PM
You're welcome. I'm glad it is helpful.

Even though it's the last thing I ever wanted to do, I realize that I have hurt, and even traumatized my ex-wife with the way I acted in the past.

Jazzy, aside from my abusers, I've had people who have hurt me deeply, but put all the responsibility on me. I don't know how much you want to say to your ex-wife, but to own your part, could be very healing for you and for her, if you decide to talk about that with her.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Alter-eg0 on April 07, 2021, 01:56:58 PM
Sounds like some valuable new insights there, Jazzy.

As for emotions, I remember one of my trainers once saying to me: trying to live without emotions, is like trying to drive a car with a bucket over your head. You miss a whole lot of valuable information, and that can be dangerous. I like the notion of seeing emotions not as positive or negative, but as information. That makes them easier to explore, and in time, that will bring a lot more nuance. Communication about them with yourself if the first part, and then communicating them with others. Not always easy, but you know the drill, baby steps.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on April 13, 2021, 11:53:26 PM
Thank you for sharing that Notalone, though I'm sorry to hear that you have been hurt and treated by others like that, on top of your abusers. It sounds very discouraging! I think you know now that all the responsibility does not belong to you, even though they tried to put it on you, which is good.

Yeah, it's a difficult situation. I have a lot of regret for some of the things I've done, and how things have gone. It is also somewhat confusing, because I would never behave that way in my right mind. It was me, but it seems like it also wasn't in a way. I was basically surviving on auto-pilot, and barely at that. Unfortunately, that auto-pilot was a horrible thing from how I was raised as a child, which caused a lot of hurt, like was caused to me. I understand that logically, but it's challenging for me to fully grasp the reality of all of that.

I have been talking a lot with her, owning my part as you put it, and while it is difficult, it has been very good for me. I hope it has been helpful for her too. If nothing else, it has been great to actually speak to her in a real way for once. That felt like such a relief, and a big accomplishment.

While I was cleaning out my storage closet, I found an old memory box from our marriage... and it was completely empty. That's really sad, and disappointing, and  a lot of other feelings that are more difficult to name, but I think it was a good representation of the connection and communication between us (it didn't exist).

--

Thanks to you as well Alter-eg0! That is a good analogy, and I completely agree about emotions being information, and not positive or negative in their own right. I think we tend to assign judgments like positive and negative, because it makes it easier for us to understand intellectually. Emotions can lead to actions, and those can certainly be good or bad, but feelings are just there. It's up to us to understand and process them in a healthy way, maybe with some adjustments if they are too overwhelming.

You're absolutely right about it not being easy, and taking baby steps. I've made some mistakes, but I'm learning from them. Overall things have been going well, and I've seen some great results. I'm very happy and feel quite accomplished with what I've done so far. I'm also excited for the future, after I have further refined this method of communication. :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on April 17, 2021, 11:35:43 PM
I've "levelled out" quite a bit, like I was hoping to do. I'm sleeping closer to 8 hours a night now, instead of 5. Thankfully, I'm hurting a lot less. I still have a notable amount of general pain, but it's not as bad as it has been.

I'm still doing quite well. I'm sleeping soundly, and waking up by 6:30 am at the latest. Then I'm out for a walk, and make a good breakfast when I get back home. I'm eating more now than I used to, but I'm also more active now, and I'm eating healthier as well. I've cut out a lot of carbs that was in my diet previously. It feels really positive to care for myself better in that way, and I'm losing some fat as well, which is a great accomplishment.

I'm still not confident this improvement will last, although I am hopefully that it will. I have certainly come to terms with a lot of things from my past, and learned healthier ways to manage my emotions, as well as my thoughts and actions. I've also processed a lot of things from my past, so with all of those things, it is possible that this change may last.

I'm really hesitant to say "I'm cured", or even "healed", but I'm doing inexplicably better than I ever have before. I know I've said this before, but I'm so thankful to everyone on these forums who has been with me (even just virtually) through the past few years.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 06, 2021, 12:19:51 AM
Things are still going well for me, though stressful situations are still more difficult to handle than they should be. With that said, I don't think my life is very stressful compared to a lot of other people. I'm still somewhat concerned about how well I will do when things get more difficult.

TW: Trauma and lack of care

I've really been bothered about this survey that Kizzie posted, and how it seems to really miss the mark. It brings back a lot of bad memories about when I tried to get therapy for myself. A lot of options weren't available to me, because I couldn't pay for them. The ones that were available to me were either more damaging, or not willing to work with me.

What is upsetting me most is how the public health system failed me so badly. My psychiatrist suggested therapy numerous times, and kept giving me referrals to the hospital for group therapy. While it isn't ideal, it is what was available for me. I really tried to go to those therapy sessions and make it work, but I just couldn't do it, and they always ended the same way.

"This voice message is to let you know that you have been discharged from the therapy program for missing 3 sessions."

That's some pretty politically correct language, which can be used for good, but in this case, I think it is only hiding the true meaning of the message, so those giving it don't feel so guilty. What I got out of the message was this:
"Don't bother coming back. You're too difficult to work with, so we're not going to try helping you any more."

Now, hopefully people realize that's a really bad thing to say to anyone, never mind someone dealing with trauma. It's a complete failure of a health system to just discard someone like that. Like so many others, they don't understand what it is really like to deal with trauma. I wasn't some well adjusted individual that didn't prioritize recovery. I actually couldn't do it their way; I needed more help. As I'm sure everyone here knows, trauma interferes with the deepest parts of our minds in an extreme way, but we have to keep using our mind as best we can, no matter what state it is in.

Here are a couple of similar messages, but using physical problems, because that seems easier for people to understand:

"... you have been discharged from the surgery wait list for your kidney transplant, because you did not respond to our message in time."
"... you must have your broken leg re-set elsewhere, because you did not walk in to the office before the doctor."

 :pissed: Seriously, how the * is this acceptable at all?!

I keep telling myself "they don't understand, they don't know", and I really hope it is true. But how do we make them understand, when they can't even ask the right questions? Why do we have to figure everything out and explain it to them, when our minds are barely working, and not at all working correctly, while theirs are perfectly fine?!

Those aren't hypothetical questions, I'd really like to hear any ideas or suggestions.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Hope67 on May 07, 2021, 02:09:29 PM
trauma interferes with the deepest parts of our minds in an extreme way, but we have to keep using our mind as best we can, no matter what state it is in.


I really relate to this.  I think you put that really well. 

I am so sorry that you've been let down by the public health system. 

You've asked for some ideas and suggestions - I feel like I can't get my brain together to think of anything to say, but I am hoping that people who are researching things might figure something out. 

 :hug: to you Jazzy

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 07, 2021, 02:20:10 PM
(((Jazzy))))

Our mental health system all over is just not ok. And it is just such a bad feeling when people or systems don't protect or heal us . It feels like a betrayal. I don't know about you, but I feel more upset by the good-ish people who failed to help me than by the abuse and neglect from the "bad" people.

Here's what I might suggest to the researchers....they need to have an advisory group of real people with diverse CPTSD experiences to guide the research questions, recruitment, surveys, interactions with participants, and disseminating the results. In my field we call that "community based participatory research" but maybe there's a different term in mental health.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 08, 2021, 12:03:49 AM
Thank you, Hope! I appreciate your support, and your compliment. :)

It's no problem at all that you feel like you can't get your brain together to come up with anything to say. Even when I ask questions like this, I have absolutely no expectations for you, or anyone else here to have the right answers, or even any answers at all. We shouldn't be the ones who have to figure everything out, especially on a subject like this! I hope that others who are in a better place will figure something out too. I'm sure they will, even if it takes longer than it should.

 :hug:

--

Armadillo, thank you! You're right, it is a betrayal. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about good-ish people failing to help vs abuse and neglect... that's a complex topic for me, and certainly not one I can write about in a few lines. I  do see your point though, and I understand you feeling that way. I'm sorry to hear that you've been failed so badly as well.  :hug: if it is positive for you!

I like your idea about "community based participatory research" a lot. I think it may be more challenging to study CPTSD that way, than it would be to study other topics, because of the way CPTSD interferes with the mind. I'm not sure how well someone suffering from trauma will be able to interact with the researchers who are not. However, just because it is more challenging, doesn't make it any less of a good idea. I'd love to see it put in to practice, I think it would have a lot of great results, and really move things forward. Maybe someone who has a bad history of CPTSD, but is currently not suffering so strongly from the impact, will be able to work as a mediator (or translator) between the two groups.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 13, 2021, 12:29:54 AM
Today was a frustrating day! I couldn't figure something out, and I just kept trying and trying.... and then I realized I was undernourished and weak, then I realize I was over 2 hours late for lunch. Unfortunately, I didn't learn my lesson, but went right back to trying to figure out the problem, and ended up undernourished and weak again, because I was late for dinner.

This is really difficult for me, because I was always starved and malnourished as a child. I didn't eat very often, and when I did, it was very unhealthy. M didn't do very well at taking care of me at all. Today was like a bad day from my childhood.

But, I'm doing a bit better now, and tomorrow will be better! :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 13, 2021, 01:25:23 AM
I'm sorry today was like a bad day from childhood and you weren't fed well as a little child. I'm proud of you though for figuring it out and feeding yourself even if it was late.  :cheer:
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 13, 2021, 11:23:39 PM
Thank you Armadillo, I appreciate your support!  :hug: if it is positive for you



Last night when I was in bed, I had some sort of episode. The first thought that comes to my mind is that it was a panic attack. I'm not sure that's quite right though, because I wasn't anxious about anything. I think it was more that I just worked so hard (mentally) for so long to try to figure out that problem, and didn't take care of myself. I was mentally overstimulated, and not cared for enough physically or mentally.

Anyway, that kind of episode, regardless of what it is called, is thoroughly unpleasant! It's scary when my body starts behaving in that way, and is mostly out of my control. However, I did recognize it immediately, as I've had panic attacks before. Because I was able to catch it so early, I was able to stop it before it got too bad, which is awesome!

Even though it was an unpleasant experience, I can see some good in it too. The bad day I had used to be every day of my life, for basically all of my life. I didn't often react like that, because I was accustomed to being treated so badly (first by M, then by myself). So for me to react so strongly to one day like that really highlights to me how much better I am taking care of myself now. I think it's good for my body, and mind, to react badly to being treated badly.

I also realized something about weight management. I was taught that the core concept of losing weight is to burn more energy than you take in. I was taught by example that means to eat less. Doing that, on top of my already existing problem of not eating enough, seems to be really unhealthy. I likely need to eat more, differently. I think it will be good to intake as little fat and sugar as possible, but still get a lot of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. So, I will try doing that!
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 14, 2021, 12:04:40 AM
Is it possible at all to reframe it as eating food that is as nourishing as possible without also trying to limit intake of fat and sugar?

It just feels like it's still a way to deprive yourself.  :hug:

I'm sorry you had a panic type episode. Catching them early can be helpful and yeah, you're so right that it is healthy to feel bad when you are treated badly.

Our bodies know what to do!
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 14, 2021, 12:15:06 AM
That's a good thought Armadillo, thank you!  :hug:

You are correct, I am still depriving myself by limiting my intake of things like fat and sugar. I really appreciate you understanding that I have a history of depriving myself, and how damaging that has been.

On the other hand, I am trying to lose some weight. I know I talk about how I have undereaten all my life, but one of the medications I was on caused me to gain 60 pounds (27 kilos) on my stomach. I'm not sure how the science of that works, I just know I'm trying to get rid of it. I'm also not as active as I could be. I walk/jog a bit in the morning, and do a bit of weight lifting in the evening, but otherwise I sit at my computer all day.

So, I'm honestly not sure what's best. Like so many things in life, I think I need to find a good balance. I will think about it more though, and go easier on myself. I really appreciate your input, it helped me to realize I am still depriving myself, as you said. Thank you so much! :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 14, 2021, 12:29:14 AM
Aw, well, that IS tough. Even little steps of being kinder to ourselves is really good so if you need to start with restricting fat and sugar but thinking about getting good nutrients that's a great start to not depriving yourself!

Sorry too for dropping advice! I think I'm a little sensitive today to this stuff because my little girl was talking about restricting sugar and dieting yesterday and that really set off a bunch of stuff for me.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 15, 2021, 01:50:34 AM
I thought about weight management some more, and it occurs to me that I already have all (or at least most) of the pieces to the puzzle here, with the one Armadillo included about depriving myself. Thank you Armadillo! :)

I just need to connect the dots, so here we go:

Core Concept:
More energy burned than taken in leads to weight reduction.

Additional Concepts:
Nutrition encompasses more than just energy.
It is important to take in other things (including some sugar!), to remain healthy.
History of self-deprivation is likely to skew judgment about what is healthy.
Changes like losing 60 pounds on the stomach should be done gradually, not over night.

General Concepts:
Balance (or delta, for the more mathematically inclined) over time is key to achieving my goals.
Instead of reducing one variable (energy intake), I can increase the other (energy burned) for the same result.

So, based on this, I plan to make two changes.

1. Less depriving myself of energy intake, and more using up the energy I take in and have stored. This means more time exercising, and it's okay to rarely have even some sweets like candy.
2. Measuring my results less often. I think weekly is more appropriate than every other day.



Armadillo: It's no problem at all that you dropped some advice here. Giving advice isn't always the best approach, for many reasons, but in this case it was very helpful. I also appreciate the way you did it. It was really good for me to read your core concept "feels like it's still a way to deprive yourself", so that I could understand what I was doing, and then decide if I was happy with that behaviour or not. Interacting with people can be tricky, but you did well here! :)

I also understand it being a sensitive topic for you. It is for many people. I'm always unsure about how people will react to me talking about it, but I figure my journal here is a good place. Anyway, I'm sorry to hear that you were really set off with your little girl talking about it, and then myself as well. It sounds like it is very important to you, which I think is noteworthy. From what you wrote in your own journal, it sounds like you have multiple important things you are dealing with though. So hopefully you can be patient with yourself while sorting all of that out. :)

Thank you for your positivity and support, especially on a difficult topic!
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 15, 2021, 06:10:42 AM
Jazzy, you are such a thoughtful, kind, and thorough person. I have no doubt I'd be drawn to being friends with you in real life.

I'm happy that you've found a way to think about this in a way that feels healthy and non-depriving. I think as long as your end goal is to nurture yourself in a way you did not receive as a kid you'll get where you need to be. Of course it'll be hard with the medication too so cut yourself a lot of slack!

And thanks for being thoughtful about my own reaction but it isn't all that deep for me. I don't have an eating disorder, nor does my daughter. But I feel protective of my kids' mental health and very scared things are going to go wrong. I also live in a very snooty town full of women who starve themselves, so I got very mama bear when my 9 yr old started talking about dieting and not eating sugar and junk food.  :whistling:

I think that rubbed off on me feeling a little protective mama bear-ish toward little you.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 17, 2021, 11:53:50 PM
Thank you Armadillo! I really appreciate your beautiful, encouraging words. I need them right now. Thanks for explaining more about why you (re)acted the way you did. That helps me understand better, and feel more connected with you.



Struggling right now, because I just put myself out there and posted asking about some nutrition advice, mentioning I have been mentally unhealthy in the past, and have a history of malnourishing myself... and then I was told to read the common questions list, and my post was deleted.

I did try to read the common questions list, but it was empty. Maybe it was a loading error or something unusual, but it was not helpful, and neither was deleting my post asking for help.

So, that was really hurtful. I believe logically that it is because the person who did it is more concerned about seeing posts that make them feel good rather than helping people, which is a poor reflection on them, not on me. It's very hard to feel that though, especially with what I've been through, which I'm sure everyone can relate to.

However, I'm very encouraged that I wasn't completely crushed by it. A few months ago it would have put me right in to a dissociative episode, but now it is "just" a really bad feeling. I even messaged the person, and told them that the questions were empty, and said I hope they improve that for other people in the future... so they might not receive that well, but I really tried to turn a very negative thing in to a positive. I think that's the best I can do in this situation.

I wanted to get to some more posts here tonight, but with how I'm feeling, I'm just going to relax and try to improve my mood.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: rainydiary on May 18, 2021, 01:04:24 AM
Ugh, I can relate to what you shared.  Online communities can be so difficult to navigate.  I can think of a number of times where I put myself out there and shared a vulnerable post or question or observation only to have my post deleted or responded to in ways I found hurtful.  Especially in groups that say they are about learning and teaching and supporting. 

I honor you for putting yourself out there.  I notice you showing curiosity about what happened and hope that you find some meaning from this. 
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 18, 2021, 01:57:06 AM
I'm sorry Jazzy. I am really cheering dor you though for seeking clarifications, for advocating for yourself and others, and for looking for ways to lift your mood.  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 18, 2021, 11:56:45 PM
Ugh, it's horrible! rainydiary, I'm so sorry to hear you have faced similar rejection and people unwilling to connect/help. I hope you've found what you're looking for, from other sources. Thank you for your positivity as well, especially on this topic! Your words mean a lot to me.

I actually have processed it a fair bit. At first I thought that person may have a traumatic history of their own, but I don't believe this is correct. In my experience, traumatized people tend to hide / shut down more than they hurt other people. The reply I received to my message really highlighted that this person is quite negative, but confident. What an unfortunate combination.

I also had a bad dream around 4am because of this incident. It wasn't too bad though, not a nightmare, and certain not a night terror. I was able to recognize that my mind was just processing things, and making connections, trying to inform me of other potential dangers of a similar nature. After acknowledging how hurt I was, and appreciating that my mind was looking out for me, I was able to go back to sleep and get a bit more rest.

In a way, I also appreciate that I was given a very clear indication to stay away from this community, nearly immediately. While it was hurtful, it was easier to leave before I made any connections with anyone else. It's like those landlords who say "no pets allowed." I appreciate them telling me up front that I don't want to deal with them!

--

Armadillo, thank you for your positivity and cheering me on! That's very encouraging. :) I also want to thank you for your "mama bear-ish" reaction previously. It shows a lot of empathy, compassion, and kindness. Those are wonderful things, and I think you do the world a lot of good by practising them.   :thumbup:
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 19, 2021, 12:06:39 AM
I was very encouraged today when I saw, what I believe to be, a perfect display of good mental health. I saw it on my way to the grocery store.

Here's what I saw:
There was a man out in his yard. He looked to be in his late 20s. He was in very good physical condition, with developed muscles having a notable tone, but not excessive growth. His appearance was very neat and tidy. He was standing in his front yard, watering his young flowers with a dainty little watering can.

Here's how I saw it:

I've been working towards that ideal recently, though it will take me some time to get there. It was very powerful and encouraging to see that it is not only possible, but happening close to home.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 19, 2021, 12:27:58 AM
Hah you made a very good observation about traumatized people versus the type of person who would shut you down negatively.

I'm going to try to hold on to your positive example of how to thank your brain for looking out for you with the bad dream.

I also love your observations about the fit man watering his plants.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Hope67 on May 19, 2021, 06:47:27 PM
Hi Jazzy,
I agree with Armadillo that you made some very good observations there.  I could see that scenario in my mind's eye clearly.  I've been doing some work-sheets in my Sensorimotor book that I'm reading which are about looking at body language and how people hold themselves, and body messages etc, and your depiction and conclusions about that person you saw, that was interesting. 

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 20, 2021, 02:36:00 AM
Thank you Hope! It's so nice to hear from you. I'm glad you found what I wrote to be interesting, and were able to connect it with what you have been reading.  :hug:
--
Thanks Armadillo, I appreciate your positive feedback! It's always a positive experience to "talk" with you. :hug:

I still feel sad for that person, because I imagine they are missing out on healthy relationships for the most part, if they way they treated me was any indication of how they treat everyone else. It seems pretty messed up to me that they've learned that kind of behaviour to be acceptable. Even if they aren't traumatized, I expect they still haven't been treated so well themselves. I hope they find some more positivity in their life, but it's best for me to focus my time and attention elsewhere.

--

I'm not feeling great tonight, but not too bad either. I'm not sure what words to use to describe it well. It's like I'm feeling resistance to connecting with others. I'm a bit guarded today.... and that word "guarded" just gives me an idea that thinks really explains things.

I was texting back and forth a bit earlier today with my father-in-law, trying to help him out with something on his computer. I think I did really well, though there is one thing I could have done better, which I've made a mental note of for in the future. The thing is though, he was totally non-responsive to my attempts to be emotionally open and positive. There was no emotional connection at all. I don't even get a reply to every message. I might as well have been talking to a stranger calling for tech support. He's also challenging to deal with in general, because we have a lot of values which are mostly opposing. I don't mean to be too judgmental, his life is his own to live, it just doesn't connect with my own.

So I think that has really biased me today. I guess my mind is still more sensitive than I thought, or perhaps it's just extra sensitive towards him.

Anyway, it's bed time now. I'm looking forward to getting some good rest, then out in the fresh air tomorrow morning.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 22, 2021, 12:06:25 AM
Lately, my ankle has been hurting me. Something is out of alignment, and it's making it difficult to walk correctly. This has made me think a lot about how to properly deal with injuries, and I find it particularly interesting that I really didn't start to improve from CPTSD until I started treating it the way I would treat a physical injury, although I think a torn muscle is a closer match than a sore ankle. Initially, I wanted to write about this in the self-help section, but I'm concerned that I'm dominating that part of the forum, and I don't want to to cause any negative feelings in anyone.

I won't go in to too much detail, but basically the steps to treat an injury like this are to remove pressure, elevate, adjust temperature, rest, and then mix in therapy with lots more rest. To me, mentally, it looks like this: remove stress, focus on my well being more, make sure the physical conditions for my brain are good (medication etc), rest, then therapy with more rest. I can't help but wonder if more removing stress, rest, and focusing on well being would help others.

I found that therapy is stressful enough by itself, so it's extra important to clear out the negative stress of life, in order to be able to grow from the positive stress of therapy. This seems to be widely well accepted for physical injuries (physical therapy hurts a lot, so you do almost nothing else but PT), so why is it so difficult for society to accept it for mental injuries?

--

As I mentioned in 1,2,3 today was a really great day for me. For the first time in over 10 years, I published something relating to my career. It wasn't a big thing at all, but it was infinitely bigger than nothing. A handful of people have already subscribed to it, and so far the ratings are 5/5 stars. I'm really feeling good about this. I think it marks a major milestone in my healing journey.

If someone had told me a year, or even 3 months ago that I would be doing this today, there is absolutely no way I would have believed it. Healing is a lot of work, and I had to take drastic action to get this far. It has also been years before I started to see breakthroughs like this. I wish I could have resolved things easier, but I'm so happy with how things are now!
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 22, 2021, 08:28:48 PM
That's a really great analogy Jazzy between physical and mental injury and how we care for those. I will try to keep that in my head!


Great job on the publication and great reviews so far!!!!! That is so awesome! And I'm glad you are able to feel pride in that!

Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 22, 2021, 11:21:37 PM
Nothing I really want to talk about today. With it being Saturday, I want to take an evening for myself to relax and recharge. Although, there is one thing I want to say.

Thank you for your comments Armadillo. Your positive feedback is very encouraging to me, and I'm certain it helps me be my best. I'm really glad that I have you cheering for me. :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 23, 2021, 11:32:21 PM
The other night, I had a night terror... though I'm not sure exactly why. Obviously something was upsetting me, and that's okay, but why was I terrified to the point of feeling it physically? I wonder if my tinnitus makes it worse. I think that as I'm waking up feeling afraid, my mind interprets my tinnitus as an alarm, which makes things worse. For a brief moment I literally hear an alarm going off, even though it isn't physically happening. I do have a terrifying memory (memory of being terrified?) from childhood about an air raid siren, so I expect that's related as well.

I'm not really sure what I can do to prevent this from happening in the future though, which is frustrating and discouraging. On the positive side, neither the terrifying feeling or the after effects last nearly as long as they used to.

Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 23, 2021, 11:35:56 PM
Today I was thinking about another thing I did to help me along my healing journey, when I was really bad. I don't think it will connect very well with everyone, but maybe it will help someone with extremely low self respect. My self respect was so low, that become a better person wasn't even a reality to me. I didn't even feel like a real person at all, so I couldn't just become a better one.

What I did to get around that was to create the ideal of a perfect, or at least a desirable person. I went so far as to give this "person" a name, then I just tried to act more like them. Even though I didn't think it would lead to any big changes or anything, I just wanted to be/do a bit better, and this was the only way I could find to make that happen.

Turns out that it worked really well, along with all the other things I put effort in to! :)

Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 24, 2021, 01:39:07 AM
Aw I'm sorry you are having night terrors. What you said about tinnitus is intriguing to me because my tell tale sign I'm dissociating is a roar in my brain similar to tinnitus.

I can't believe your trick of creating and acting like a fictional person you created worked!!! That's pretty remarkable!

I hope you sleep better tonight.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 27, 2021, 11:19:01 PM
Thank you Armadillo. It is interesting to read about your roaring when dissociating.

I wonder how these sounds relate (if at all) to flashbacks/hallucinations. Many years ago (before I knew about CPTSD), I had an acquaintance who studied how the mind works as their career, though I'm not sure exactly what they did. At one point I told him I was having minor hallucinations that were mostly annoying, but real enough to cause me to act on them. He replied "oh, it's probably just stress"

While that's not the best reply, I find it very interesting that it seemed such common knowledge to him that stress brings about these episodes. No wonder those of us with a stress disorder experience them. I think it would have been very helpful if someone in the medical field told me that hallucinations were expected, though I don't believe anyone in the medical field truly understands what I've been through.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 27, 2021, 11:29:56 PM
One of the connections my subconscious mind made today was on the topic of sharing interests with others. It's been really encouraging lately understanding that when I "realize" something, it is really my subconscious mind working it out and simply passing the knowledge along to my logical mind. I'm starting to really enjoy taking a moment to appreciate and encourage my subconscious mind, then see what further breakthroughs it has for me on the topic at hand.

What my subconscious told me is that a big part of why I have trouble connecting with others is because I'm afraid to share interests with them. Much to my surprise, both of my brother-in-laws have expressed that they feel extremely positive when I show interest and ask them about their favourite interest.

It seems pretty simple, just express interest in what another person likes doing, ask them questions, and appreciate the knowledge they share. Applying that knowledge in my own life has been really good too. It improves my life, and helps them, and our relationship. ... but it has been really difficult for me to do that.

I realized that because growing up, I was never able to share my interests in a healthy way with anyone. I had literally no friends, not even school mates, and all of the adults were parent figures, so they just dominated everything I showed an interest in. I learned the only way to have an interest myself was to keep it secret. My grandfather is especially dominant, which is always a struggle between him and I. I remember one time when I was a teenager, I asked for his help wiring up a new stereo in my new (used) car. Instead of us doing it together, he did the whole thing himself. When I tried telling him I was disappointed we didn't work on it together, he stormed off in a rage. At least he didn't hit me, but it was still damaging emotionally.

I hope that by continuing to share in other's interests I will be able to learn emotionally that it is actually a good thing, and maybe in the future I will be able to share my own with others without feeling attacked.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 28, 2021, 02:11:02 AM
I love what you're saying about listening to your subconscious and letting it share knowledge with your logical mind!

It breaks my heart thinking of you alone with no one to share interests with as a kid. You're a pretty cool human, think if all those kids who missed out!
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 28, 2021, 11:54:14 PM
Wow, I don't think I've been called "cool" before.  :sunny: Thank you Armadillo, you're so sweet.

--

This morning when I woke up, I felt a bit sad. I didn't fully understand that I felt sad, but something has been bothering me lately, and it was especially strong this morning. Seemingly out of nowhere (actually out of my subconscious mind, which was hard at work), I felt the urge to listen to a song that I haven't listed to in a few years. I put the thought aside because I was in the middle of cooking breakfast and didn't want it to burn but it came back a couple of times.

I finally realized it must be pretty important for my subconscious mind to tell me 3 times, so I turned the stove down and went and listened to the song in the bedroom with my headphones. I imagine most people will be appalled by the song, so I won't give all the details. However, here is the chorus, which hopefully will help explain why I connect with it so well.


...
Life submissiveness
Hypnotizing the ignorant
A little boy's best friend's always his mother
At least that's what she said
Life of a simple man
Taught that everyone else is dirty
And their love is meaningless
I'm just a soiled dirty boy, just a soiled dirty boy


The song is actually about Ed Gein aka The Butcher of Plainfield but it talks about why he did what he did, and what led to him acting this way. A big part of it being that his mother hid him away in fear, instead of getting him help, just like mine did. Later on, he was just locked up and never released. That's really scary for me to feel a connection with a "butcher". I also feel very let down; like my mother failed me too. Though I am very happy that I somehow have managed to turn things around and am not locked up.

I was extremely emotional listening to the song this morning, and had tears running down my cheeks not even half way through the song. There was a lot of hurt and fear and disappointment pent up. It was good to process it with the help of the song though, and I went back to making breakfast (it was only "well done").

Then my subconscious mind filled me in on why this came up now. Last week I had told my mom that my ankle was really hurting me. It's a big deal because I've stopped jogging and even stopped going for walks. I've mostly just been hobbling around the house. So, it's really taken away from "the new healthy me".

It's an even bigger deal for details I don't want to get in to right now, but suffice it to say that I have some spinal alignment problems that my parents never helped me grow out of as a child.

My mother didn't even reply to my message at all, never mind show any empathy and compassion. She's been doing better lately, but how do you just completely ignore your child (even when they're an adult) when they tell you they are really hurting and struggling?!  :'( I want to feel angry, but I can't right now... mostly just disappointed, hurt, disrespected, and like it isn't fair.

Then I get a message from her about how she got rid of someone in her life who has been difficult for her, and how she's going out of town for the weekend with her husband to de-stress and celebrate. She even made up some nice artwork for the occasion, because it is so important to her.

I guess I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up with the gifts she's given me recently. It's back to the old selfishness she usually displays. At this rate, I doubt she will ever change.

It's really difficult to end this one on a positive, but I think one critical point is that I no longer rely on my mother to get through day by day. I guess, unlike Ed, I've found a way to make it on my own. Thanks to everyone here who has helped in that process.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: rainydiary on May 29, 2021, 02:26:30 AM
Jazzy, I found your post very moving.  I am so grateful to you for sharing as you expressed things I often experience but donít always know how to express.  The part that really gets me is how we might have a part of us that still craves and wants what we didnít get growing up.  I am still grieving for that part of myself.  Itís hard to have a biology that pushes us toward a parent no matter what because they are supposed to take care of us.  Iíve been reflecting lately on how I reenact this dynamic at work too - I keep looking for what I didnít get growing up and I somehow keep finding bullies that hurt me.  It is a process and I am grateful that we can share here and support one another. 
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 29, 2021, 01:55:21 PM
I love that you are listening to your subconscious more. You're right that it is important when our brain or body tries to tell us things that we stop and listen.

That's quite an intense song to have speaking to you about your mom. I'm glad you are listening though.

It's really hurtful that they can't think about their own children's hurts, needs, and wants. As a mom myself,  I can't even imagine it. But I know it's been powerful when I've realized my own mom isn't going to change or magically have the capacity for a normal relationship of any kind. Continuing to try and fail just was making me doubt myself that I wasn't doing something right. When I realized she couldn't change it made me put the blame on her instead of me (in a healthy way).

I really hope your ankle feels better soon and you can get back to running and feeling well.

And hey, I hate to say it, I do have a quirky sense of what's cool!  ;D

Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 29, 2021, 10:49:47 PM
Thank you rainydiary! :)

You're welcome. While I write mostly for myself in my journal, I'm very glad that it is helpful to you, and hopefully, others as well. You make a very good point. We were cheated out of so much, a fundamental part of our lives when we were young and developing. I don't know if that craving will ever go away, but I hope it gets easier in time. I expect it will, as I learn to take better care of myself as an adult, and have better input from others in my life now.

You also make a good point in that we tend to be attracted to what we're used to, and what we can relate with. While that makes sense, it is very difficult, because we get stuck in this cycle. I'm sorry that you haven't fully broken that cycle yet, but it's great that you've recognized it. Recognition is always the first step to improvement, in my experience.

I am also grateful that we share and support one another here! It has been tremendously helpful to me.  :hug: if it is positive for you.

--

Thank you Armadillo! :)

Me too! I'm putting a lot of effort in to being more aware and acting more on my sub conscious. I'm walking around all day literally talking to myself out loud, telling my mind what a good job it's doing, and encouraging it in the way it was never encouraged as a child. It may sound silly, but it has great results for me!

You make a good point about expectations, and I'm glad you've found a helpful way to deal with it. You're absolutely right about blame as well. I think I'm at the point where I'm not blaming myself, but not blaming her either. So, I'm making slow progress. This is a very big issue for me though, it feels like the root of all my problems. So, I'm being patient with myself, but continuing to try to move forward and refine how I handle the situation. Thank you for your input!

Thank you for your empathy and compassion about my ankle too. I really appreciate that! :)

 :hug: if it is positive for you
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 29, 2021, 10:56:55 PM
When I woke up this morning, I was thinking about something I wrote a while ago. It is also related to parenting. Thanks for making the connection and working this out sub conscious mind! :)

Previously I wrote about not knowing what I thought/felt/believed about intervening with someone else raising their children because I was very conflicted about it but this morning I worked it out.

The most important thing to me is this:
Children are people too, and they deserve the rights and protections that everyone else gets, if not more.

Based on that, I now strongly believe that intervening on behalf of a child in a proper/healthy/legal manner is the best thing to do.

Likely the parent(s) won't like it very much and while that is quite understandable, I think it better to have an upset parent than a wounded child. Yes, I know that legal intervention can lead to a lot of hurt too. Unfortunately, sometimes it is a situation of "pick the lesser of the two evils". Hopefully a lot of intervention doesn't need to be so drastic.

Here's to a better world for all of us.  :yahoo:
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 29, 2021, 11:11:31 PM
I sure wish more people had intervened to help everyone here. I know I would have been better off if people had intervened and gotten us help.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on May 31, 2021, 01:12:18 AM
Absolutely! I wished someone would save me as a child and sometimes I still do. I'm sorry no one was there to save you either, Armadillo.... but hey, here we are now, both doing much better! Now we can do what others failed to do, if it is healthy for us. :)

--

Lots to talk about today! I'll try not to write a novel though. :)

I measure my physical health goals each Sunday (today is Sunday in my part of the world) and I was extremely encouraged by the results this week. Even though I haven't been jogging or walking, the tummy size is still going down, and the arm size is going up! I was a bit disappointed at first that it wasn't by much but then my sub conscious mind told me that I should adjust my scale. Inches is not an optimal scale for measuring weekly change; it's too much too fast. Thanks to this I switched to millimetres, and even though it is technically the same amount of loss/gain, those bigger numbers make me feel much more accomplished.

As a result of this, I am feeling much more secure and confident about my body. I have some scars and other blemishes from my childhood that I can't change but they serve as a reminder of what I've been through and show that I have a lot of character as a result. I'm also not in ideal shape but it's not too bad... and that's still a work in progress. Soon enough my looks will be much more to my liking.

Because of all of this, I was able to spend time outside today with a lot more of my body uncovered than I usually have. It felt great to get the fresh air and sunshine directly on my skin. Not only that, but my neighbours walked by, so I talked to them for a few minutes while not wearing a lot and it didn't bother me to have other people see me like that. I haven't written about this before but being ashamed of how I look is such a huge issue for me. It was so big that I didn't expect it would ever improve. I'm so happy to be wrong about that! :D

--
TW: NEEDLES, SURGERY AND PAIN
--


I also got my COVID vaccine shot today, which I was very nervous about. Not only because I had to go to an unfamiliar place to see unfamiliar people to inject an unfamiliar substance in to my body but also because I have a traumatic connection with needles. With all of that unfamiliarity, I was rather anxious, although not panic attack level of anxious.

I have mixed feelings about it being a muscle shot. I'll have to be careful with my strength training now, even if I don't have any other side effects. I don't do a lot of strength training, but what I do helps me feel very accomplished and energetic, so it will be challenging to miss that, even if it is for a day or two.

However, I'm very glad it wasn't an IV injection because I have a horrible memory of that. When I was a child, I had heart surgery. While it was good for me physically, it was another trauma on top of everything else. They had to break all of my ribs to get access to my heart. It was an extremely painful and difficult time in my life. Of course, such a surgery is done under anaesthesia, which is administered by IV. Anaesthesia like that doesn't feel good to begin with, at least to me, but even worse the nurse had a very difficult time getting the needle in to my vein. It took her stabbing me no less than 8 times to get it done. I've never fully recovered, needles and especially IV are still quite difficult for me mentally.

As difficult as the surgery was, it was also great. It was one of the only times in my life people showed me a lot of compassion, and actually seemed to care about how I was doing. I also got to get out of the dreaded house, which was more my prison than house. The doctors and nurses were especially nice. I don't think about it often but right now I am overwhelmingly happy to have that brief period of feeling normal, or at least loved.

--

Okay, the tears are starting so I'm going to stop writing for now.  :'(  :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on May 31, 2021, 02:57:54 AM
Tears seem like a tremendously appropriate thing to have as you right something like what you just wrote. It's both so sweet that you were treated well during that period and have those fond memories and also wow extremely heart breaking. I hope you don't mind me saying so. That a period of recovering from painful to put it mildly surgery as a child you remember fondly because of the rarity of being treated well. If I let that sink in myself I would sob for you.

That's amazing that you got yourself the vaccine despite the trauma and fears and without a panic attack. Thank you for doing that and that's worth being really satisfied with yourself today.

That's huge about your success with the body image and staying outside less covered and talking to your neighbors. That gives me hope too.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on June 01, 2021, 12:27:20 AM
Thank you for that validation and encouragement, Armadillo. It means a lot to me. I've never really thought about it like that. To have the highlight of my childhood be such a painful and difficult time because it was so rare for me to be treated well is very twisted. That's really messed up. I think I have a lot of processing to do about that still. I made a note to do that later because I'm not currently in the right place mentally for it. Thank you for pointing that out. I don't mind at all, I appreciate it!

I also need to be careful with my FOO.  I think I have a big blind spot for them because they're family and a loving family is what I want most of all.

I'm glad you have hope too! A thought that has gotten me through some very dark times is "As long as I'm breathing, there is still hope". I'm sure you can reach your goal so long as you put the effort in. :)

--

Today has been interesting. This morning I started having dizzy spells which was a bit concerning. I thought it was a side effect of the shot yesterday and that it would pass soon, so I just started working through it. A while later my brother messaged me to ask how I was feeling and I told him my concerns. He looked it up and found it a side effect in about 10% of people and encouraged me to get help if it kept getting worse and to keep checking in with him. It's really great that we've been growing closer and he is showing concern for me like that.

It kept getting worse but something I told my brother was stuck in my sub conscious: "I've feinted plenty of times in my life and dizzy spells are always the first sign I recognize." ... that told me that it wasn't a new problem but an old problem. With that realization the memory kicked in that it was due to low blood sugar. I went and ate and started feeling better right away, which was a big relief. I even did a bit of a workout, though it wasn't as intense as normal, it was still encouraging and helpful to me. I've been so energetic since.

The reason I didn't recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar for so long is because in the past it was due to starvation but I've been eating a lot recently. However, last night I made myself some chili and this morning I made eggs for breakfast. Both of those meals are high in protein and vegetables but have no sugar and very few carbs. Thinking about it like that, it makes sense that I was low on sugar. This is quite the learning experience for me and its also very encouraging.

It tells me that I can make good tasting meals, at least to me, without sugar and carbs and that I can actually control my diet. That's a really awesome thing for me, it's like a dream come true. Of course, I will need to be more careful in the future to have a bit more sugar and more carbs to stay healthy. Which is really weird because I've always been taught sugar is the enemy. I know logically that I need some sugar and carbs for energy but changing my feelings on the topic is quite a different matter.

There's lots more I could write but I don't think the rest is super important right now.  :)
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: rainydiary on June 02, 2021, 03:23:54 AM
Jazzy, I celebrate that you noticed your body signals and took steps to care for yourself.  This stands out as it is something I am working on too and it feels important.  Our body has so much information for us and it takes practice to listen.  I wish you well as you navigate your relationship to your body and finding what works for you.
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Armadillo on June 02, 2021, 04:14:04 AM
Jazzy...I wish you had that loving family you deserve.

You're doing great noticing what your body needs and is telling you. Keep that up!
Title: Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
Post by: Jazzy on June 02, 2021, 10:39:42 PM
Thank you Rainydiary! :)

It's a very important thing to me too. You're right, it takes practice to listen, and practice to make changes too. Our body does have a lot of information for us, if we will only tune in to it. For me, this includes my sub conscious mind as well. I don't mean to brag, but I score on the high side of an IQ test. The reason I say that is because even with a high score, I'm now learning that my body and sub conscious mind are far more "intelligent" than my logic mind is.

--

Thank you Armadillo! :)

Perhaps one day I will have a loving family beyond my siblings. "As long as I'm breathing, there is still hope". :)

--

Thank you both for the encouragement and support and well wishes.  :hug: