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Messages - woodsgnome

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General Discussion / Re: How to stop my attempts to 'diagnose' my abusers
« on: September 24, 2021, 08:09:22 PM »
I've also wandered back to this older thread; but lots of times the relevance of former posts seem to never age, given how close to the surface all this forever pain rides.

My own answer to what stopped me from seeking absolute answers was simply realizing there wasn't any final solution that would explain the original abuse -- it was senseless then and remains so. I sadly can't undo that and so no longer strive to right a sunken ship. I'd certainly like to; but can't, and realized it's time to build my new ship for my own journey. Sad to say, the old one only feels like I was on the wrong ship and I can no longer make out the 'why' of that.

I've tried about every angle to get at the 'why' and the only 'answer' that keeps coming up is what I've described. For better or worse, I guess. Perhaps the original abuse ended up aiding me, unexpectedly. During it all, I was (unconsciously) strengthening my discernment, detecting what wasn't a good, reasonable way to go; keeping in mind the problem itself wasn't reasonable.

 Although it contributes to my sense of sadness, I gave up aiming for the 'why' the old story happened as it did, and have started devoting my attempts only at what I could do for myself now. I deeply mourn what happened but trying to figure the old story out literally can sap my energy for living with myself now.

The memories of what happened still hurt, but I can only (or choose to) see further up the road -- the old is receding in the rear-view mirror.

Our instincts will always be to wonder why. But wonder doesn't have to morph into worry. Simple curiosity is of course hard to eradicate, but finding the final 'why' answer, for me anyway, has proven to be out of reach.

Poetry & Creative Writing / Re: Wounded heart**TW**
« on: September 22, 2021, 04:09:35 AM »
It's always hard to say much if anything about the depths of the hurt that robs you of the peace you need. I sensed your pain, but also could plainly make out a hidden strength you showed in the powerful way you've shared here.

Wounded heart, but on reading this I sensed that strength as well. Strong enough to express the deep sadness, yet all the while drawing on an inner strength that can outlast the echo.

May that echo start to fade, so your surviving strong voice can overtake its uninvited presence.

Thank you so much for putting words to feelings that are so hard to ever explain. :hug:

Introductory Post / Re: An introduction
« on: September 18, 2021, 06:43:51 PM »
Marko, you spoke of some things that seem to come
"from beyond the trauma!" And you added: "I think we all have these otherwise we wouldn't be here looking for answers."

I'll echo that notion. So many times I've been at the point of giving up trying to make any sense of any of this junk left over from times past. Why I always seem to emerge on the other side of hopelessness isn't readily apparent, either. Yet it happens, like some surprise that we were too overwhelmed to notice.

Reminds me of the title of a song I love: "There's a Light Beyond These Woods" (composed and sung by Nanci Griffith).  Though the song's theme is friendship, not necessarily trauma, for me at least it speaks to the elusive hope/light we might still find. Every time that light seems to fade, it reappears. Therein lies the mystery of hope; against all odds.  :sunny: May hope continue to somehow/someway keep hovering over your journey.

Introductory Post / Re: An introduction
« on: September 18, 2021, 09:38:36 AM »
 :heythere: Hi, Marko.

I was sorry to hear of your rough ride in life so far, but encouraged to note how open to finding a new perspective on how things can improve for you. That seems a good approach to take regarding OOTS -- as not just a place of learning about the hazards of cPTSD, but how to approach it differently, starting with that most elusive quality -- hope.

That's easier said than done, of course; but at least here you're likely to draw the support and understanding you deserve.

Successes, Progress? / Compost
« on: September 11, 2021, 08:01:46 PM »
For a long while, the book The Secret Garden and its 1975 BBC-TV adaptation played a huge role in altering my thnking. While I've had gardens here and there over the years, I just never gave it lots of thought. Finding that story, first suggested by someone on this forum, rejuvenated my thought about gardens. I no longer see them as just pretty places or a system of food production, but in reference to one's entire life.

In the story, Mary Lennox becomes enchanted with the idea of finding this secret garden she keeps hearing snippets about. Once she finds it, what she does with it becomes so much more than merely a nice project to have. Sure, she reacted to the magic of plants and all that goes with them. But deep down, mostly unsaid, it was a form of therapy for her. Yes, it was a garden; yet it represented her whole life. Plus, as she told her new companion Dickon once, she'd prefer it not just be a "tidy" garden, but have wild aspects to it, a place where she'd discover new things.

I became so engrossed with the tale that I'm sure my T was on the edge of feeling bored with my enthusiasm for the story. But once she actually unwittingly added to my mystique by something she said about compost. Actually I'd mentioned it first, and then only in passing reference to something else. Afterwards my T wondered if I'd ever considered how I could use the off-handed comment in reference to my own issues.

She suggested that I give it some thought. She's good at planting (a very apt word in this regard) -- suggestions that I might pick up on. In this instance the light bulb flicked on to the idea of compost.  :bigwink: Compost is, after all, formed mostly from leftovers. One could just throw them out, haul them away, or even burn them at some point, but composting presents an alternative. Fertilizer comes to mind in this regard, but even that often comes by way of an unplanned process of mixing the no longer needed ingredients into the formation of something new that can still benefit future plantings.

I'm hoping you catch the drift. For me it set in motion the idea that even the dregs and discards of life can somehow fit and function into one's ongoing story. Instead of plants only, in this instance I'm talking life. My preference would be for the easy -- toss the old story aside, haul it away, burn it, etc. While I'd love to do that with everything in my life up to my early 20's, and even some well beyond that, it became apparent that the old stuff had a way of haunting my adulthood too. In the gardening context, all that old material tended to still stink.

Well, okay -- so along comes this notion of composting. Not  valuing the decaying matter for itself, but finding a way to add it, rot and all, and maybe even seeing it transform into something else I had no idea might happen. I've experienced some changing perspective via these subtle mood shifts. Like so much else in Cptsd-land, it's not perfect, but part of the new wild garden, like Mary Lennox said she'd dreamed of for her 'piece of land' (and life).

In some ways I've come to regard therapy as resembling a huge mental compost pile. What to do with the messy, smelly, still-rotting leftovers? I tend to think in pictures, and that's one I like to contemplate. And begin to picture the newly created plants growing in just where they need to be. I've still discarded the leftovers, but in a way this transformation bears more promise than I'd ever thought of before.  :)

This is a tricky subject, one on which I hesitate to respond but still feel drawn to at least lay down where I went with it. Not 'cured' by a long shot (that might be too much to ask for), but I feel more tolerant of enduring the occasional problematic scenarios around dissociation.

While I've always noticed a few memory gaps, it wasn't until I was in a therapy session one day that I specifically identified to the T what was happening. I did so in a 'feel-bad' sense, but she immediately countered by assuring me that dissociation was wholly natural for someone with multiple traumas. As far as she was concerned, the best sign was that I noticed this myself. Typically I'd have memories up to a certain point, then a foggy feeling would settle in. I might just be briefly taken aback  :blink: or feel like my brain was entering fade-out mode  :disappear:. It's like this curtain came over me, seeming like a warning signal -- stop! danger ahead!.

Once I felt oddly dysfunctional not coming up with specific memories beyond the curtain/blockage point. My T had discussed trying emdr, but I also had some hesitation based on what I'd read on here and elsewhere where cptsd issues were discussed. I feared what might be hidden in those memories more than the actual lack of a detailed recall. What I did recall, even if not in every detail, was usually bad enough.

My T, being very client-centered, understood my hesitancy and so we never tried emdr beyond a small experiment with it once. This was some years back now, and what we've been doing in the meantime has been going well, except for occasional lapses common to Cptsd.

I'm reluctant to have you consider that in a negative light, as your situation and outlook might not resemble exactly how  this has gone for me. It's just that 1) with the T's encouraging manner, I realized it's okay to be dissociative sometimes; and 2) there are options, but the most important seems to involve self-realization -- that I know it's happening. In general, I still recall enough of the outer details of a certain scenario to at least know (and cringe at) the basics of the original incident.

Besides, it's not important to recall every detail beyond knowing that the damage happened. I have only one huge swath of memory loss, all things considered. On reflection, I rather hope never to remember what appears to have happened in that large gap. I know the awful outcome better, and that's the areas -- the 'nowadays' moments -- I work with.

Please don'g take this as a negative on emdr -- I still regard it as an interesting option that I didn't choose for a variety of reasons, albeit based on extreme fear of knowing more details than I already had to endure. As mentioned, your circumstances and your T may be entirely different from how this played out for me. I just hope it was okay to share my perspective; all it is, just me, at this moment.

Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: September 09, 2021, 03:48:07 PM »
Seems like you're weathering the current jolts and upsets with better equilibrium than when everything used to throw you for a loop.

I say good deal to that, but mostly I just want to add this little boost in the form of a gentle  :hug:, if that's alright with you.

Your life may not be on a perfectly even keel lately, but like so much, it's how well you survive the jolts that count. I hope you can continue finding the peace even within the mayhem.

Introductory Post / Re: Hello; Introducing Myself
« on: September 07, 2021, 02:41:57 AM »
Despite the trying circumstances you've described, Operation: EscapeGoat, It's noteworthy that you've had enough energy to reach out here. Welcome -- I hope this can act like an oasis of sorts while you try and gather the wherewithal to turn things back in you favour.

It's also good to note you seem to have a therapist you feel confident in working with. Speaking personally, this connection has made a huge difference in how I'm managing with my own healing journey.

Again, welcome  :wave:

Recovery Journals / Re: Owl's journal
« on: September 07, 2021, 02:30:24 AM »
Reading your entries of late has felt sadly familiar to me -- those jags into loneliness and despair reflect my most discouraging times. And sometimes they only seem to get worse.

My Icr would gladly point out that I consciously chose a very lonely path many years ago, even to the point of living in an isolated region. A few years ago I at least had a couple friends; now there are only a couple and those come with other factors that don't bring us as close as I'd like. So the despair sets in and at times feels like it will never leave.

In some respects I feel I've improved, but my doubts reset and I wonder if I'm just fooling myself. But I didn't start writing this to moan about my sorry state -- I want so much just to offer you a friendly hug (if you're alright with those) and a hope that your outlook can turn you back towards accepting more of the wonderful character that we all see in your sharings here. It's good to see that at least you're trying to focus more on self-care.

I think I mentioned a hug ... here it is:


Introductory Post / Re: Intro Post
« on: September 06, 2021, 03:46:58 AM »
Sorry to hear of your rough journey to this point. Seems, though, that you're determined to move forward to creating a new work of art -- a more peaceful, comfortable self. I hope so, and I hope being here will provide a boost as you continue to develop a new way.

Welcome to OOTS :hug:

Recovery Journals / Re: Snowdrop's journal
« on: September 04, 2021, 04:34:17 PM »
 :cheer:  :yeahthat:   :woohoo:

So true, per the silliness that over-the-top narcissists deserve. The unsaid part of the joke is probably that they don't and can't understand boundaries in the first place. So to them, there is no boundary, and would feign shock if someone dared to ever point that out.

Recovery Journals / Re: Dante's Journal
« on: September 04, 2021, 04:26:18 PM »
Dante, I resonate with the difficulties you've had progressing through Walker's book. As was mentioned on another thread today, pacing can be very important on this journey.

One wants to rush through material that seems helpful. Yet on the other hand, often the helpfulness requires some patience as it's a two-edged sword; involving looking forward (how do I resolve my probs?) and backwards (painful memories).

I have enough problems with sleepless nights as is; but find I can exacerbate it with reading just that one little nugget before trying to nod off. In Walker's case, it's probably good that he can touch on both prospects -- a better way forward, but also alert the reader to what might have gone wrong with their story so far.

It can take a bit of reflection, as you've just done with this post, to realize this. We want so desperately to rush on. Perfectly understandable, but usually warp speed can't undo what took years of internal pressure to build.

So I guess I'm hoping you can keep this up. Starting from the self-realization that for you, the daytime reading might make a difference. Hope so!  :hug:

Recovery Journals / Re: Moving Forwards
« on: September 03, 2021, 02:20:50 AM »
From what you posted here, I noticed the turn you felt from wanting to fight off the triggers, or maybe even surrender to their power yet again. Instead you seemed able to access a change in perspective that's very encouraging (en-courage-ing). The triggers were present, plus you surmise the how and why of their appearance; but they didn't bowl you over either -- it wasn't enough to alter the good vibes you were feeling from the outing.

This sort of turnaround can be hard to come by, as we're so used to the old story taking over. It only seems easy afterwards. So I hope you can continue finding these other perspectives pop into your process. The change is not only worthwhile in short bursts, it can herald another step turning you towards finding these new ways where you allow yourself to accept a fresh outlook.

Then you can keep working towards what's most important -- just being your whole self. What went wrong in the past is not necessarily repetitive. And you can find the strength that's been carrying you along in spite of those old stories.


Recovery Journals / Re: Moving Forwards
« on: September 01, 2021, 02:58:01 AM »
Feeling for your recent mood dive (down). Mostly hoping your resilience and inner strength will get you through.  :hug:

Recovery Journals / Re: Hope's Journal: 2021 (Part 1)
« on: September 01, 2021, 02:47:36 AM »
Thanks for the warning light, which caused me to wade into what you were wanting to present with some caution. My reaction turned out similar to yours, and in the parts you quoted I found myself tensing up; not a novel reaction for me but one I usually try (perhaps too much so) to avoid. It's one of those creepy feeling that others never seem to grasp either (or are too afraid to).

And yet it can be okay to try wading into those murky waters. Like you, I surmise there might be a valid point these authors are helping foster, despite the struggle to do justice to any of the abuses talked of. It's hard to ever understand any of what took place and the 'why' is even harder. That said, I've noticed at least a slight loosening of the gripping sensations that seems to come over while reading these. For those who scoff at things like trigger warnings, I find that they honour the notion that hey, there are readers who were hurt badly.

Finding peace with all of this is still elusive, at least total peace.   I think it's even more elusive to think there's some magic moment of forgiveness for this. Personally I've given up on that aspect, but find myself at least willing to lift the veil a little and dare to figure some sense out of what mostly was just senseless. Doing that can at least ease some of the shame.

Not sure I've said much; it's more of a sad reflection with some notes in reaction to your passing on the book info. You do that very well -- thank you so much for pointing out some of these reads. I can sense your own hesitancy but also recognize how posting what you can of your own take on them can help the healing journey. :hug:

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