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Messages - bhupendra

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Quote from: woodsgnome
Your experiences of difficulty in the social realm echoes a lot of my story. But I'm not sure how much of what I can share will provide any definitive help of the sort you want.
It's okay. I know what I have to do in that regard. I just wanted to know experiences of others here.
At times not having a social circle feels like progressing yet being stuck somewhere in life.
Sure I've my FOO who are much better than they were in the past. Still most of their tastes are much different than mine so I got no one to share my life and experiences with. We are not even on the same page when it comes to core ideologies, views on life, relationships, faith and political views. Other than blood relation and shared past experiences there isn't much in common between my FOO and I.

I don't how to put this.
Every time I've done or do something good in life or succeeded at something in life my FOO start loading their expectations on me.
Why can't life be without any expectations? Expectations of others.
I know it's natural for people to hope from a person who does something successfully. Still it becomes a chore to fulfill their expectations.
I didn't have a healthy childhood where my personal boundaries were respected and I had an opportunity to develop my self.
Any time I go by what others want from me I start to submissively do it as an act of courtesy and then I get dragged in their situation as I become more vulnerable and then become an annoyance for them which in turn creates lots of misunderstanding or I just try to escape the situation making them feel confused. The reason I even accept their requests is because of social norms and I don't have any friends or social circle so any form of meaningful social interaction outside my FOO seems valuable.
Well, that was past. I'm developing my self. It's just that I try to test the waters longer than other people before putting myself out to others who come in my life. I study them in my initial interactions. And if I feel they are not worth interacting with or if the interaction could lead to the above mentioned scenario then they're better dealt with masks. There's too much emphasis on norm-al social interaction in today's society. Interaction which is and always will be taxing for me unless I wear masks to handle social situations. I can only be myself when I'm alone without much distractions, outdoors in nature or when I'm with children or with people whose personality I've studied for quite sometime even if they don't know me personally. Otherwise I'm very introverted.
Success and failure. Both of them sometimes feel the same when it comes to social interaction. If other people are taken into account failure in some aspects of my life offers me freedom from their expectations yet keeps me trapped in social isolation as I don't have a social circle to begin with and nobody would want to hang out with a failure. While any success creates expectations. I don't crave for having and making new friends like most other people do. I just think social interaction is better for long term health and cognition and I should make active efforts to do it.
Is it okay to just fail and keep on failing in life? Or is perseverance and practice a better strategy even if it means at times having to tactfully deal with other people and their expectations and being ready for unasked for challenges in the process?
I know these are questions with pretty straightforward answers.
I just wanted to know from people here at OOTS. What are your experiences in this regard? How has your successes and failures affected your relationships with people in your life? In your FOO and outside.

General Discussion / Re: How to make friends?
« on: November 26, 2018, 09:21:33 AM »
Quote from: Ellis
Hey bhupendra,

This has been something I've confronted my therapist a while back and she has recommended many times that I could try social clubs/events. They're great because you can be with people who enjoy the same things you do, the same hobbies and tastes. The bad thing about it is that you'll have to step out of your comfort zone to try something new and meet strangers. But with some study and looking around you might find something!

You can also try internet forums/communities, like this one. Just pick an interest and go for it. It's WAY easier making friends with people who enjoy the same things as yourself.
I try all that. At the most I can only be acquaintance with them.

Even in my FOO, my dad doesn't have any true 'friend/s'. While all the 'friends' of my Mom emotionally distanced themselves from her after her behavior and perception of society and relationships changed since my dad's second marriage and marital conflict. She thinks that the people she calls her friends... her classmates during college, her colleagues, her gym buddies... are her friends. And wastes her time calling them, chatting with them on social media, meeting them or accepting their invitations. It's pretty obvious that they aren't. They just maintain a facade so as not to hurt her and some of them to use her sometimes for their own convenience. It's kind of same with my dad. Only relatives instead of friends in his case. All my siblings know that most of my dad's relatives don't like him. Even my dad somewhere knows this fact. Yet he tries to maintain his relationship with them lest they gang up on him and create trouble for him and his whole family.

From my experience and observation in my FOO I don't have much faith left in people, relationships and friendships. Yet I sometimes feel like I should make friends. People to share the moments of my life with? People to have a genuine connection with? people who know how to respect other people's boundaries, to be assertive of their own personal space, values and opinions? People who know how to protect and respect their own families and respect those of others? I don't know. Just people. Different people.

General Discussion / How to make friends?
« on: November 26, 2018, 06:42:29 AM »
I'm in my 30s. I'm an introvert. Just an average guy. I have no friends. I want to make friends. I don't know if it's even worth the effort and hassle. I have had bad experience with people in my past. I've tried making friends with relatives, acquaintances, classmates and colleagues. Most of them had expectations which I couldn't fulfill so the friendship never happened. I don't lack any social skills. Nor am I antisocial or antifriendship or feel anxious or depressed or compare myself with others or think much of myself. Also, it's not that I'm hooked to gadgets and social media like other people these days. On the contrary, I live an almost spartan life. And use the web and the resources to study society and different demographics. Many people who'd first meet me would think of me as some awkward weirdo. And if i tell them the things I notice in them, who knows they might just smile or feel offended. Internally they'd freak out. Obviously, any person would. Because it is not a norm in society.
I don't know if it's even worthwhile to spend time with people who'd judge me by my past or by my childlike benign comments or see me as some threat to their existence.
*sigh* So how do I go about making friends?

Ideas/Tools for Recovery / Reprogramming the 4Fs.
« on: October 28, 2018, 11:54:12 AM »
In my life I've always avoided taking risks when it involved people and situations involving conflicts. It hadn't been much helpful for my growth as a person. One key reason being my 4Fs (Fight, flight, freeze, fawn response).
I didn't have a normal childhood like other males. There used to be lots of constant fights amongst my parents who would then direct their manipulation and intimidation towards me to gain some sense of 'control' in their own lives.
During a conflict if I'm triggered I either fawn, freeze or flight. I know it's pretty difficult to change something as primal as the 4Fs. All the trauma I experienced as a child in my FOO and outside didn't make me strong or resilient when it comes to situations involving danger or a threat to life. On the contrary it has only scr**ed up and weakened the responses. Is it possible to reprogramme them using any techniques? Perhaps through interaction and acting through dummy scenarios in a group of survivors having same difficulties or ones who can now successfully tackle such situations? Or maybe martial arts?

I just wanted to know if any long term companionship/marriage is possible between two people with ptsd/c-ptsd?
Is there any couple/friends here who are in any such arrangement/relationship?
I believe it is possible to have such a domestic partnership/arrangement/marriage or whatever name you give it.
It's not that I don't like or don't trust people without any ptsd/cptsd or any trauma-related issues.
I don't think many even have that level of sensitivity and patience to deal with people like us.
Fortunately, I don't consider myself as 'damaged' anymore. So I think I can be with someone who does and help him/her to get to the place where I'm now.
Yes, I do have some FOO related flashbacks but not how they were used to be earlier. I have learnt to manage them.
Also, there is something personal about me which I cannot discuss here for security reasons, to avoid triggering anyone here or to be misunderstood. But it's also something I don't wish to hide from any friend/partner with ptsd/c-ptsd if ever I find him/her cause it is not going to change.

I come from a conservative culture where marriage is often a norm for commitment and long term relationships. Interference by in-laws, relatives and parents of the couple is common. I don't think it'd be easy for me to deal with it. Especially if it's with a 'normal' person who fits in the norms and is afraid of people and practices which do not fit the norm. I think I'll go into severe depression or suffer a breakdown with all the pressure and expectations of fitting in the societal norms and the relationship norms with any such person. I'm somehow trying to build myself up from all the pieces. What I'm looking for is simply companionship with other survivor, preferably a female. A platonic or a romantic one, it doesn't matter as long as we click. I'm looking for someone who like me understands her trauma and unlike other people(normal or otherwise) doesn't resort to manipulation and petty arguments in a friendship or a relationship. Someone who's focused on her healing and growth. Is it even possible to find such a person the norm-al way people find or come across someone they like or is like them? If so where? I'm sorry if this question seems pretty dumb. I'm not from a developed western nation where you can as easily find anyone with an xyz MH label or identification. And where it is very common and socially acceptable for people to have such labels.

P.S.- Please no suggestions of finding a 'normal' date/partner/friend. I do not think it is ever going to work. I had had enough of my share of fair and unfair discrimination everywhere in that regard. And any such friendship or partnership with such a man or a woman will always be unequal for me. Sorry, it's just my case and I mean no disrespect to people who are already in a neurotypical-neuroatypical  friendship or a marriage.

General Discussion / How do you deal with unintentional triggers?
« on: October 08, 2018, 12:27:40 PM »
I try to avoid sharing any details of my FOO with friends or any new acquaintances in my life even if I had been touch with them for a long period. To the point that many might even consider me unapproachable and weird.
I come from a collectivistic culture and it's not uncommon for people here to comment on family-related matters or situation of others or to give suggestions once they become close to you or know you personally. As such I avoid sharing any FOO-related details to avoid any unintentional triggering and flashbacks which might occur during the course of the conversation. Still, given the culture and the courtsey that sometimes have to be maintained so as to avoid any misunderstanding or disconnect with people it's not always possible to not answer to any of their FOO related queries or to leave the conversation even if that'd mean having to deal with the debilitating effects of any trigger/potential trigger for the rest of the day.
I just wanted to know how others here deal with such situations without letting any misunderstanding happen between you and the person.
I know it takes assertiveness and in such cases an ability to simultaneously handle the flashbacks and not lose track of the conversation which I don't think I'm much efficient at.
Any other technique?

Family of Origin (FOO) / Need someone with CPTSD to connect with IRL.
« on: October 08, 2018, 10:46:30 AM »
I'm an introvert and as such am not much good with making friends with new people.
I love and value my solitude. Still sometimes I feel very trapped and powerless by the flashbacks.
I don't know how long I can survive like this. I can make friends with people IRL. But I cannot discuss any of this stuff with them. First, I don't want to bother them with my own traumas and secondly, I don't think most of them have the level of empathy that's required to patiently be with someone experiencing the flashbacks or simply to listen compassionately to the person.
I don't have much faith in counsellors here. I don't think most of them even understand CPTSD.
I'm living with my FOO in the same place where many of these events occurred. Relocation is not an option for me. I'm studying at the moment and planning for a job next so that I can stay away from home and my FOO.
I know that would at least decrease the frequency of them and make me more optimistic towards life and people.
I was just thinking if it's possible to connect IRL with someone with PTSD/CPTSD?
Like a support buddy during bad times?
I know it's not that good idea as one can never know how sad and gloomy it can become for both of us if let's say we both are having flashbacks the same day the same time. Still, I don't think if it could get any worse. I know I can manage my own without him/her like I always had till now even if that'd mean that I may not always be able to be with him/her during all of his/her bad times even if want to.
Even if that's the case I've come to the point that I'm tired dealing with this all alone all the time and honestly want a friend who knows what's it like to be there when you're there.
I just wanted to know if it's even possible to find someone like that IRL?

General Discussion / I'm tired of surviving.
« on: September 12, 2018, 05:39:27 PM »
I don't know if this is a right place to share this. I don't know if i can even put this in words.
I just wish I'd stop going through this one day.

I forgive you and what you did to me.
Even if my heart couldn't agree with it I'd still like to have faith in life, believe that there are good women in this world. It's not your fault.  I know I'd have to live with this all my life. I know even if there'd be other adults in my life who care about me as I care about them, I'd never be able to fully reciprocate their affection even if I want to. And that is okay.
I forgive you.

Introductory Post / Re: New and need help
« on: June 10, 2018, 07:22:18 AM »
You've been through their control for a very long time. Don't lose hope. Have faith in yourself and your abilities. It takes some time.

Ideas/Tools for Recovery / Re: Gaming?
« on: June 04, 2018, 05:20:53 PM »
Thank you Rainagain. Your post reminds me that I should only speak for myself and not others.

Ideas/Tools for Recovery / Re: Gaming?
« on: June 01, 2018, 08:34:00 AM »
Quote from: Rainagain
I find games help to pass the time and stop intrusive thoughts while I am concentrating on playing. It also takes my mind off other things like chronic pain.
I think video games can help people with cptsd issues or any cognition related issues. Firstly, you don't have to use them or view them as distraction, choose the title that you like and allocate specific days and duration for gaming. Having a partner to play with would be even more beneficial if it's a multiplayer game.

Quote from: Rainagain
The problem is that it feels like I'm not doing anything useful, I'm not in the real world which is good but there is something slightly sad about playing for hours like I used to.
Yes. That's why most people just give up gaming. Except, maybe if you're some professional gamer and getting payed for it. But that'd require immense practice and diehard passion for gaming. You don't have to be a professional gamer. You can allocate time for it as per your needs and purpose. Some of the titles, storyline and gameplay can be very enticing.
The key is not to get lost and lose track of time finding the key to unlock the next level or lose yourself in hoarding the keys.

Quote from: Rainagain
I haven't played any for a year or so but am thinking of getting a modern console and some new games as I miss the zoning out thing sometimes when times are especially tough.

I'm not sure it develops any skills, for me it allows the world to get paused for a bit.
I don't think video games directly help develop skills. They probably help your cognition so that you can efficiently use the skills you already possess and learn new skills faster. I guess it's the same with coding. I have experienced that I can process information more efficiently and my mood is also quite good when I do activities that provide cognitive stimulation like playing video games, coding etc.
It's not mere zoning out. They actually put your mind in a Zen state. Which also depends on the title you're playing and if you're interested in the gameplay or simply want to score points and get to the next level.

Ideas/Tools for Recovery / Gaming?
« on: May 30, 2018, 02:25:05 PM »
It's been a long time, probably years, since I last played any video game.
They were fun but also good stress relievers and means of cognitive enhancement. Moreover unlike any other mental activity they require lots of focus and decision making. They engage a person more than any other leisure mental activity can. You don't always require a partner to play them with. The experience you have after playing a game is totally different than when you've just watched a movie, listened to a song or read a book. When played with another person they're also good form of emotional bonding with that person.
It's sad that in many families parents never play video games with their kids even during their leisure time and prefer to watch TV or these days—social media.
My creativity and motor skills used to be quite good when I used to play video games as a kid.

Nongamers or any of those gamers who play them all day without any intent other than simply scoring, passing and unlocking the levels in a game often have bad things to say about video games without ever studying them and appreciating their beauty.
I know it's a bit of a generalization still it's from my personal experiences with people... most of the gamers I've met I had found them to be pretty down to earth no nonsense people.
Any gamers in here? Or anybody who had explored gaming as means of cognitive stimulation?
What kind of genre/s do you prefer?
Which titles you play/played?
Have you ever tried socializing with other gamers?

Anybody here struggles interacting with new people, acquaintances, classmates, colleagues, making friends keeping in touch with them, knowing the unwritten social rules for handling different relationships, people and situations?
Most of the time I find it difficult to interact and bond with people my age or around my age. Either I end up as seeming too naive to the other person or the other person thinks I'm weird or rude because I don't talk much or can't hold a conversation and not good at expressing myself through gestures and facial expressions.
Even when I do find someone interesting and want to be friends with them I usually approach them in isolation rather than getting to know them when they're in a group.
It's difficult for me to get to know someone at any social event like a party or a group meeting like other people do.
I don't know if it's just part of being introverted or something deeper.

When I was a kid I used to venture out in the neighborhood to find other boys my age to play with. It was all fine till one day a gang of boys around my age started to bully me. Some 6 or 7 of them  they'd grab me, pin me down. Those standing around would throw dirt on me while two of them would try to shove dirt in my mouth. I couldn't escape the first day. They'd stop till they get bored and let me go. The following days their leaders were not there so it was easier for me to escape. I was too scared by the events.
I stopped going out for a while then when I did find courage to go out to meet one of my classmate these boys were always there and they'd come for me. I never quite understood why they were doing this to me. I didn't know them. Also, I was not a child who would seem too weak and easy to target for other kids. Later I realized that they might have found out that I was sexually 'abused' and knowing that made it easier for them to target me.
Since then I started avoiding groups of boys. And as I grew older—groups of people.
Even growing up it was difficult for me to keep friends. Every time I'd bring a boy home. Be it a classmate or someone I met in neighborhood. My M would condescendingly ask him about his grades, his siblings grades, where he lived, his parents' profession, his entire family profile as if it was some criminal investigation. I'd feel bad about my friend. Most of them were not from a previleged background and all these questions she asked was like an insult to them. For her average or bad grades equaled bad influence even if I felt happy in the company of any of my new friend. I wanted them to feel safe at my place. They'd never talk about their bad experience with my M but I sensed most of them would feel hurt. I stopped bringing people home. My only friend and playmate then would be my younger sister and occasionally some of her girl friends. I stopped actively making friends as it seemed too much of an effort to maintain friendship without them being offended and insulted by my M.
I'm an adult now. My M's still the same. It's just not about the grades and family background now. I want to meet people. Make friends. I just don't know how. Also, most adults my age seem very complex. Even if I did make any friend IRL my parents would never approve of it. I know their approval doesn't matter. Still they'd make efforts to spoil the friendship. They themselves don't have anyone they can call 'friend' now. They distanced themselves from most people when their marriage failed. Also, most people distanced themselves from them. Now they have a very conservative mindset stuck in the Indian 80s. Any person who doesn't fit that is seen as a threat by them. Their personal life is not that is like that of other couples and they don't have a social life. I want to make friends IRL. And want to preserve my friendships. Do some boundary setting with my parents. Need some suggestions.

P.S.- If possible please be culture specific with your suggestions. I'm from India.

Family of Origin (FOO) / Re: Coping my mom. Need suggestions.
« on: May 28, 2018, 05:35:51 PM »
Well, I wonder... have you ever tried what's called 'gray rock'?
It's helped me, I did it with my F for a few years and then I stopped talking to him altogether, it was a gradual slow process. He didn't change but my behavior did.
Nope. I have to. Thank you for the info. I read about it. I know it'd be difficult as I have to change my responses to her. Many of which she won't initial accept. It'd be gradual. Still, it seems the only thing that would work. Rationalizing with her has been futile. I don't have any close relationships with people. But i think if I'm able to deal with my mom the 'gray rock' way and not give in to her, I can handle any form of relationships with other people better when I do have them and they turn abusive.

Speaking of real attachment (the kind that we all develop toward our caretakers when we're children, whether they're kind and compassionate to us or not), I read the term 'trauma bonding' too. It helped me understand my own relationship with my family better.
I think caring about others goes even deeper than affection, it's a conscious choice you make. Even if your mother can't or won't make it, you can. That's one of the things you have that are uniquely your own. But it doesn't give her permission to hurt you or disrespect your boundaries.
I just wish she'd be respectful of other people's boundaries. I myself had no clue of what healthy boundaries were until I read about it and from other people's experiences. Still I know I can only work on myself and not her. I cannot change her or even expect she'd change. I can only my responses to her.

Quote from: Kizzie
Bhu, have you considered that your M may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?  If so, there are very good reasons why you are skittish about anyone being affectionate.  Those with NPD tend to use others to get what they need and we know on some level this is not good for us (my family has covert NPD).  Given it is our own families doing this, it is only natural we don't trust anyone else very easily.
I don't know what it is or could be and I don't care much. Definitely it's some trauma, attachment and self esteem thing with her. I had seen her in absolute despair years back when her marriage failed. I don't blame my dad. He did best what he could to handle it. Even these days she talks very pessimistically about me and my sister's future like somehow only bad things are going to happen if other people don't comply with her wishes and expectations. She interferes in our choices or tries to make choices for us. Even small decisions. Which I think any woman in her position and with a past like hers and who isn't aware of her own self and healing would probably do. Sometimes we give in. But at times when we don't and things don't go her way then the abuse and cursing starts.
I have to be self-conscious and be not affected by her issues and behaviour. It's very frustrating. Many a times I have no one to lean on during the flashbacks. And I have learnt it is not healthy to burden anyone else with my own trauma and flashbacks. But i know I have to work on my own self or else I'd lose myself one day if i get affected by her or it all.

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