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Topics - voicelessagony2

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My boyfriend is a * (That's my resentment talking.)

He is a workaholic, he is easily triggered to anger, and he expects me to be grateful for his "help" which he delivers in a continuous stream of criticism. He NEVER initiates physical contact unless it's for sex every other month, late at night, when we are both nearly asleep.

He has no vocabulary for encouragement; it seems to me that every statement out of his mouth hole is negative and/or critical. All of my statements, actions, and decisions are questioned, disputed, or opposed. He never criticizes my appearance, but he also never compliments me. I wish I was wearing a wire 24/7, so I could compile it and play it back to him, and of course he would have an epiphany and snap out of it and be happy and positive forever! Ha! Sorry, back to reality.

I still love him. As shaky as this relationship is, it is still by far the most stable one I've ever had. I've never had these "school girl crush" type of feelings last more than a couple of months, let alone nearly 4 years.

There are also financial, logistical, and emotional circumstances keeping me here for the time being. I have no money, no friends, I live 1400 miles away from family, and I don't think I'm recovered enough (from codependency/love addiction/abandonment issues, etc.) to be single yet.

The fact that I literally cannot run right now might be a good thing. I am being forced to learn adult relationship and communication skills;  my upbringing taught me nothing but suppression and avoidance. 

So I'm trying to recover from CPTSD in an emotional vacuum. Day after day, month after month, I work to build myself up bit by bit. Two steps forward, one step back. I'm a natural born optimist, but I still have to dig deep to keep going. It's exhausting. I have tried repeatedly to talk to him about stuff: why I felt I had to stop everything to pursue mental health, the progress I'm making in that direction, what type of emotional support I need from him, etc... and every single time, the conversation ends up in a fight.

A few days later, I strike up a conversation feeling positive and optimistic; (temporary amnesia makes me forget how badly this always goes) but he shoots me down and I end up feeling defeated and misunderstood by him. If I show any sign of being angry, sad, or upset, he makes it clear that it is my fault; he has a very high opinion of his ability to communicate well, so if there is a problem, it must be me.

A few days ago, as an experiment, I tried something new. I made a sincere effort to find compassion for him, to counteract the resentment. My perspective changed immediately. I saw a little boy, neglected and probably abused more than he can admit. His anger is clearly just a cover for sadness. He is deeply unhappy, and he is in denial about it. 

I don't know what to do, but for the time being, while I'm working on recovery and starting a new job, maybe the best of several less-than-ideal options is to keep myself in a place of compassion rather than resentment, as much as possible. Maybe, if I can learn how to be compassionate to someone like him, then I can learn to have some compassion for myself, and begin to dissolve some of the self-contempt and self-disgust I've carried around for most of my 47 years.   

I'm already starting to feel a little less like a victim. He may or may not ever be ready to address his sadness, and nothing I do or say can make him want to. But choosing compassion feels healthier and empowering.

2
General Discussion / TW - Money and SA
« on: April 26, 2015, 09:17:17 PM »
For those who may not have the acronyms memorized yet, TW = Trigger Warning and SA = Sexual Assault.

I've had a lifelong struggle with money. I have never met anyone else with the same intensity and pervasiveness of this problem.

Here's how it has been playing out:

I push myself hard to constantly increase my earning ability and income. I had a fundamental belief that the solution to all money problems is simply earning more money. I have a track record of increasing my salary nearly every single time I change jobs, sometimes by outrageous amounts. For example, going from 45k to 65k salary back in 2005, then from about 73k to 100k a few years later. But because these jobs are almost always short term contracts, with long periods of unemployment between, I have never managed to save a single dollar.

Plus, every time I made that jump in income, I felt like I was "rich," so I would immediately adjust my lifestyle to maximum enjoyment and instant gratification. Shopping, designer clothes, expensive restaurants, wine, etc.

After a traumatic divorce in 2011, I lost my house, my car was repossessed, and of course I had no savings. If I had not met my current boyfriend, I would be living in a shelter or under a bridge.

I've been unemployed for over a year now. I am once again broke, and cannot make the payments on the car I bought Jan 2014, when I was in a job I thought would last a long time. When I lost that job 3 months later, I was devastated. It destroyed any shred of confidence I may have had in myself and my career. I have not been applying for jobs with only a couple exceptions, and each failed attempt feels like salt in the wound.

I've been going to therapy every week since January this year, and making progress, but this onion has so many layers. I just realized a few days ago, something that might seem obvious, but maybe I just was never able to look at it until I got a little stronger.

My first SA happened when I was 16 or 17. I don't remember how, but somehow I met a drug dealer who gave me a big bag of weed. I was supposed to make it into joints and sell them, then pay him like $60 and I could keep the rest. I was dumb and just smoked all of it with some friends. He showed up at my house demanding his money, which of course I did not have, and he forced his way into the house (my parents were not home) and assaulted me, telling me that since I did not have his money, that  was the only way to settle my debt.

I just realized a few days ago, that this is probably most, if not all, the root of my money issues. This is why I cannot bring myself to take an active role in pursuing any type of stable income. Almost all of my jobs have been through temp or recruiting agencies; for some reason they do not scare me. They do the work of negotiating, establishing relationships, etc., so it somehow feels safe to give my resume to an intermediary and deal only with them.

I want to be freelance or independent consultant, but the idea of asking for money directly makes me freeze and withdraw. I'm terrified and apathetic at the same time. I want to make a difference, to relieve suffering in this world, but I will never be able to help anybody unless I can stabilize myself financially. I am soooooo not cut out to compete for money in western society. I don't even care about being independent any more. I would happily live out my days being taken care of, as long as it was mutually agreeable and accepted. But that is not my situation; my boyfriend is being very patient, but he is beginning to lose patience. I cannot explain this to him... I don't have the words, and he and the rest of the world cannot be expected to understand such a bizarre concept as being afraid of money.

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General Discussion / Hello
« on: April 12, 2015, 09:34:15 PM »
Hello everyone.  :wave:

Sorry I just disappeared for a while. I hope I have not caused any worry or disappointment. Nobody offended me, or anything like that, I just have been getting busier lately.

All the work I am doing on myself, working toward mental health and career, leaves me mentally and physically exhausted. It seems like just doing the necessary household chores and self-improvement work every day, leaves me with no energy or desire to get online and participate here, as much as I know it helps. I have a lot of research and creative work to do on the computer that doesn't get done, either. Today I didn't wake up until after 9:00, and even after having coffee, I stayed in bed and slept some more from 11:00 until 2 PM!

I have continued my weekly therapy visits, and even found 2 local groups that meet every week. I've been to the Thursday night group twice, and this week I will start the Wednesday night group too. One is a more formal recovery group, while the other is completely informal.

I'm still not working yet, but I have been forcing myself to go to more career workshops & stuff, which has been helping me meet people and get ideas how to get un-stuck. The only thing stopping me is that I continue to be overwhelmed by indecisiveness about what to focus on. I believe having a very specific area to specialize in will be my way back into the business or employment marketplace. But it seems like every single day, I change my mind about what that will be.  ???

I still struggle with my core beliefs about being unworthy of anything good, and I am still easily triggered into silence and mental confusion. It's two steps forward, one step back, at times deeply frustrating. I still have the occasional panicky feeling that I am exaggerating my own abuse and trauma, and that I "shouldn't" need all this help, and I "shouldn't" be struggling like this. But that thought is easier than most to deal with, and it doesn't keep me down.

Well, thanks for reading, if you're still with me.  :bigwink:

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General Discussion / Group therapy
« on: March 16, 2015, 10:02:34 PM »
I really, really want to find a local support group that I can go IRL, I mean, not that I don't LOVE you guys here in OOTS, but I keep hearing over and over, from people recovering from trauma, that finding a good local support group is what made the critical difference for them. I am getting good therapy, so that part is OK, but I am searching and searching and there are too many terms that are used too many different ways. The only local PTSD I can find is very clear that they are ONLY for veterans with post-war PTSD. My searches turn up absolutely ZILCH when I add the term "complex" or "CPTSD".

I just got off the phone with a group that meets on thursdays, which I will try, but they are an open group for any and all mental illnesses, so schizophrenia, bi-polar, depression, whatever, all mixed in together.

You would think a city this size (5 to 7 million people!!) would have a handful of groups for any given diagnosis????

Anybody else conquer this problem? How did you find a group?

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General Discussion / I thought I knew what "empathy" was - maybe not?
« on: March 08, 2015, 10:26:27 PM »
I always thought I knew what empathy and emotional intelligence were, but right now I'm beginning to have second thoughts. I think it might be possible that I have mistakenly given myself a pass on this topic because I am extremely sensitive, but I never really stopped to think about it or explore with an open mind. Sensitive may not necessarily equate to empathy.

For example, I feel intense sadness and outrage when I learn about innocent people thrown in prison, child abuse, animal abuse, endangered species, etc., but whatever you want to call that, it does not necessarily, in my case anyway, interpret into everyday interactions with people - at home or in a work environment.

I just finished a book called "Strengths Finder 2.0" and although I did not take their test, I read all 34 of the strengths descriptions with as much of an open mind as I could muster, and I was quite surprised that the description of "Empathy" did not completely resonate with me, not nearly as much as several other areas. I always thought of myself as empathetic, but maybe I'm not! I think it's a common mistake people make, to give themselves too much credit in some areas, and too little in others, and never re-evaluate.

I found this article in Forbes about it: http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/01/09/emotional-intelligence/

From the article:
"Self-Awareness is your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen.
Self-Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior.
Social Awareness is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on.
Relationship Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions and the others’ emotions to manage interactions successfully."

I would honestly give myself low scores in all four of those areas, but especially the first two. I can see how my CPTSD symptoms have directly affected my ability to form quality relationships with people. Specifically, I think I have been so constantly overwhelmed by powerful emotions I could not understand, that there was no self-awareness at all. How could I possibly interpret other people's emotions and respond appropriately, when my judgment was constantly clouded with my own confusing feelings?

This might sound like a bleak assessment of my situation, but it actually gives me a lot of hope. This is an important piece of the puzzle that has been missing, and now that I know about it, I can start the process of learning how to work around this handicap while I continue to work on other coping skills.

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General Discussion / Advice about making friends
« on: February 10, 2015, 06:31:51 PM »
I'm beginning to think I may never learn.

I hide in my house most of the time, avoiding parties, networking events, etc., because crowds and groups of people intimidate me, and make me horrifyingly aware of my lack of purpose and identity.

However, once I am out, I can instantly make friends with any stranger I meet. To the point where, I don't think I am careful enough, and I put myself at risk.

Last week, I was walking down the block to pick up a package that was delivered to the wrong address, and the old guy was nice enough to come and tell me that he had our mail & was too old and feeble to carry it. On my way back, a neighbor a few houses down was outside, and I waved and smiled, and he introduced himself and we talked for a bit. He does construction, and I told him that we are in a never-ending state of renovation, and I asked him if he could possibly advise me on planning some of the details. We had a nice conversation, and a few days later I met him at a nearby coffee shop to talk more about the neighborhood, construction, etc.

*Now* I can see that was a mistake. Now he thinks we are "friends" and while we were at the coffee shop, he sat WAY too close to me, and gave me a friendly hug when we parted ways, which creeped me out, and I wish I had been more alert and self-protective. During our conversation, he told me that he wants to be "secret friends" that would not involve each other's partners (wife/boyfriend).  :blink:

Now I don't know what to do. He has been texting me, wants to show me his project, and I'm NOT GOING to expose myself any further. How did I let this happen? It's obvious in hind sight, I guess, but dammit, after everything I have been through, how can I continue to be so naive? I'm doing a really bad job of re-parenting my inner child, exposing her to strange men, and it's even worse because it's a neighbor, and now I don't even really feel safe in my house any more. I'm glad we have two big dogs!

*sigh*

 :doh:

So what should I do now? Should I just text him back and say, sorry, I can't be your "friend", please forgive me if I gave the wrong impression?

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General Discussion / Work and career recovery
« on: February 01, 2015, 07:23:24 PM »
I think I may have reached a turning point... my little life raft drifting aimlessly in the middle of the ocean maybe has a sail, and maybe I can learn how to steer it in a direction. Any direction would be an improvement over drifting!

I traced my work experience history back to a time when I felt the most confident, and I something jumped out at me. In the sequence of events that led to my current career category of "change management" I kept skipping past a very significant detail... I would have never taken this direction if it wasn't for my PowerPoint skills. I was doing some basic data analysis on a project, and I found myself hanging back after a meeting and watching the project manager and change manager struggling to align bullets, and having mutliple problems with the program itself and the OS, and I couldn't stand to watch them struggle when I instinctively knew exactly how to fix everything... so I spoke up, politely, and when they saw how quickly and effortlessly I fixed everything, I immediately became the 3rd member of the project management team.

I miss that feeling of confidence and contribution, so I decided to just focus on powerpoint as my specialty. I'm going to market myself as something like, the powerpoint whisperer or something. I already started writing up a description of services, the beginnings of a business plan, etc.

Just wanted to share. Woohoo! A direction! I no longer feel so lost!  ;D

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Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / Stay or go? Deeply frustrated.
« on: January 27, 2015, 09:55:28 PM »
I saw this "Feelings Letter" in another thread, I think it was VeryFoggy who posted it (hugs to you, VF, I loved the title of your thread "Verbal Vomit"!! Ha! Totally on-target for what you described.)

I copied down just the section titles for the feelings letter, and I'm about to write some stuff down. I printed 2 blank feelings letters, allowing one page per section, so me & bf can each write our thoughts down. Seemed fair.

I'm still trying to calm myself down from a full blown EF that happened when my boyfriend (I'll refer to him as "R") came home from work yesterday and asked me how my day was. I'm beginning to DREAD 5:00 PM. I start watching the time when I can see the shadows change direction, usually around 3:00 and my anxiety starts ramping up, knowing he will be home soon.

I'm going to try to stop making excuses for him, so what follows is my point of view about what happened when I tried to tell him how my day was, and it will be full of emotion and anger and probably blame - just so you know.

I told him I had a great day, because I talked to my friend Betty and she lifted my spirits.

R: Who is Betty?

Me: I thought I told you, we have been meeting or talking on the phone every Monday for some time now. She is sort of, a career coach, and she reached out to me on LinkedIn, and she's helping me for free. Well, we are helping each other. 

R: So, she's not a friend, then. ?

Me: Well...

R: You can't be friends, you've only known each other a few weeks. You are like, colleagues, professional relationship. Not friends.

Me: Well...

R: You said she lifted your spirits, were you feeling bad?

Me: Yes.

R: Why?

Me: (Panic has already started to rise) I always feel bad. Feeling bad is normal for me, that's how I feel when I wake up every day.

R: But, this morning you were all playful, so obviously you didn't feel bad this morning. You usually wake up all happy and talkative, and I'm the one that's more grouchy. So now you say you always feel bad? That doesn't make any sense.

Me: I'm always happy to wake up and see you... You make me happy. But the first moments of consciousness, and then after you leave for work, I am not happy. I've always been this way.

R: Well that doesn't make any sense.

There was more of that, I can't remember exactly how the rest went, but at the end I just felt defeated, and he remained confused. I tried my very best to explain, but I felt like a suspected spy being interrogated. My "voiceless agony" held my vocabulary and self expression hostage. I was 3 years old again, being screamed at for what seemed like absolutely no reason at all, frantically trying to guess what I had done wrong. I said something about the long-term effects of trauma, but he repeatedly interrupted me every time I tried to explain. The worst part was, by this point in the conversation, he could see the panic and hurt on my face, because I am CURSED with this splotchy red face that announces my every emotion to the world, I cannot hide my feelings no matter how hard I try. So, he sees me getting upset, and his reaction (as always in these situations) is to be angry or aggravated or frustrated or whatever, and he says, "I can see you are getting all hurt and I don't understand why. I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm just asking questions, trying to understand. I'm NOT BEING A *." Just like I can't hide being hurt, he can't seem to hide his condescention.

So, I completely shut down... for a minute.

Then, partly because I didn't know what else to do, and partly to break the lingering dreary silence, I started talking about something else. I told him about how I am proud of myself for finding a new approach to exercise: setting my alarm to go off every hour, and when it goes off I drop whatever I'm doing and get on the exercise bike for a few minutes. Because little exercises many times per day are better than lots of exercise a few times a week. He said, "Oh, good." And turned back to his work.

I finished making my grocery list, and eventually got up and went to the store. Inside the store, there are giant pink and red heart-shaped balloons everywhere, giving me an instant kick in the gut feeling. I felt - still feel - a mixture of anger, despair, fear, and burning resentment.

Later, he came into the kitchen where I was cooking, and asked if he could help. That was a little glimmer of happy, but I smiled and said no, thank you, I got it under control. Then I started telling him about a story I heard on NPR podcast, and he immediately looked bored. He said, "Yeah we already saw a program about that a long time ago." Then he went back to his work.   

I'm looking at the first section of my letter: "What am I angry about." I'm going to need more than one page. If I can even find the words.

I think this relationship is doomed. The most basic foundation for EVERY relationship has to be communication. So, what happens when you can't even talk about communication? I've tried, and the end result was that he believes that he always communicates correctly, and I always misunderstand and misinterpret when I get upset. He refuses to own even the tiniest fraction of the shared responsibility of improving communication between us. I know this because a long time ago I told him, it's not WHAT you said, it's HOW you said it, and he lost his sh*t. He was indignant.  He was all like, "I said exactly what I meant perfectly! If you heard something else that's your problem!"

I'm going to ask my therapist, who is actually a proper social worker, where I can go to stay while I recover. I asked her the first time we met, if there was such a place for people like me with no kids, and I asked if there is a six year waiting list, and she said there IS a place, and I most likely would qualify, and there is no waiting list. I think that's what she said. I am going to check when I see  her on Thursday.

Wish me luck.

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Other / DIY or crafting
« on: January 26, 2015, 10:31:37 PM »
I just finished this first draft of instructions for how to make an x-acto knife.

My idea is not so much to start doing crafting instructions, but since this is recent, and possibly useful, I'm using it to start experimenting with as many different ways to package and present information as possible. In other words, I want to also make these instructions into a web page, a blog entry, a video, etc., to give myself a reason to start producing content and find which ways work best for me and hopefully get some feedback.

Please take a look and let me know what you think!

http://bit.ly/1Ct0CS8

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General Discussion / Trauma and money
« on: January 26, 2015, 02:22:03 AM »
I feel like I'm the only person in the world that hates money.

Maybe it's not hate, exactly, but there definitely is some fear.

I know the mechanics, the basic ABCs and 123s of balancing, budgeting, etc., but somehow here I am again with big fat ZERO net worth. I have no bank account, no savings, no retirement, no possessions to speak of - nothing I could sell, at least - and no income.

And it's not the first time. Three years ago, when I met my boyfriend, I was in the exact same situation. I had a different sports car which ended up being repossessed. I have one now that I cannot make payments on, and I'm seriously thinking I should sell it if I can break even, but then I will have no car. And I live in a huge city with no reliable public transit system.

So, between then and now, I landed a couple of six-figure consulting jobs, for about 9 months each. The amount of money that has passed through my hands is astounding, given the fact that I have managed to hang onto NONE of it.

I remember clearly how my thinking changed immediately upon landing that first contract. I began thinking and acting like any other person in that salary income demographic, disregarding and ignoring the fact that I had nothing else in common, i.e., well-established retirement accounts, investments, maybe even trust funds, etc. I shopped and ate at restaurants, and eventually bought what seemed like a reasonably priced car given my income at the time. Looking back now, I half wonder "what was I thinking???" but half of me knows I would probably do it again. There is a repeating pattern that is easy to see.

It's not a competition thing. There is nobody I care to compare with. My best friend at the time, (whom I rarely speak with any more... that's another topic) drives a brand new BMW every two years, so my little 2010 model, used, $20k sports car does not impress her. And, as much as I enjoy driving my car, it's often closely accompanied by intense loneliness, wishing I had someone to share the experience with.

So, right now, I feel somewhat apathetic about earning money. I could care less. I feel like I have nothing to lose, so why bother? I don't have kids, so nobody suffers any consequences but me. The only other debt I have is my student loan, which has ballooned over the years to nearly $100k, and I despair that I will never pay it off in my lifetime. I almost wish they did like the old days, and let you stay in jail for a while to pay your debt. Although, I guess that would be a life sentence for me!

Now I have to ask my mother to pay my phone bill, and I keep putting it off. If I don't ask, it will stop working soon.

So, obviously, I must work. I'm not one to overuse the idea of "must," as I understand that the only things that must be done are breathing and eating, but this situation is pressing me beyond what I want to do, and into this area of blind panic, which is all too familiar. This is pre-awareness territory for me. Between every single job on my resume (and there are plenty of them, with long stretches between) I have lived in this state of full-blown survival panic. Ever since the day I "left home" which was more an angry "F- you" to my mother than anything, sleeping in my car... yeah. So, that year of unemployment 3 years ago was the first time I tried to do anything differently, and it was the very beginning of awareness and recovery. 25 years of panic before that. Panic, job, panic, job, etc... ad nauseum.

And every time I got a job, the panic immediately transformed into euphoria and spending. Of course I would pay bills first, to make sure I had a roof over my head and something to drive. But everything after that was spent on clothes or whatever.

So, my current level of anxiety about work has many, many layers and facets. I'm afraid that my panic may have driven me to reach too far for jobs I was not truly qualified for. I'm afraid that my euphoria is to blame for my failure to, or inability to make authentic connections with colleagues and managers, leaving me with no glowing testimonials or professional network. The panic fueled my drive to push myself to be the very very very BEST at whatever it was I was supposed to do, and it blinded me to the cost of that over-extension, which was the cost of doing good enough, and being respected, and liked at the end of the day.

And between the jobs, was the bottomless pit of despair and depression waiting to swallow me whole. Self-loathing made it (and still does) impossible to see value in my past work. I'm torn in two, between the super-achiever ideal of being the best, and the IC opinion that I am just a big fat LOSER.

Looking for a job means hopelessly searching job sites, reading description after description of some HR rep's idea of the ideal perfect candidate, which simultaneously pisses me off (because I know deep down, that the person writing the description has NO IDEA what the hiring manager actually wants, and the automatic screening software will remove any trace of human consideration anyway) and scares me away from even trying to apply. 

And then there's the interview, where, if I'm "lucky," I will face these absurd behavioral questions like, "Tell me about a time when you pulled a team together and motivated them to meet an impossibly short deadline." I swear, the next time I hear a question like that, I'm going to say "Is that a requirement for this job? Because I sure did not see that in the description." Again, I know there are ways to prepare for these, I already have the Inc and Forbes articles bookmarked. It's just that none of the advice seems to work for me... Or, I just don't have the energy or faith in myself right now to try.

I know I will get there. I'm just NOT READY YET. :(

11
Example: "Fake it 'til you make it."

I don't know what motivational speaker I first heard that from, but I have heard it repeated more times than I can count from well-meaning friends, family, and advisors. It always comes up in reference to jobs and career advice.

I only now realize how profoundly easy it was, and still is, for me to internalize advice, and make it a fundamental part of my guiding values. (I have no identity of my own, I am a rag doll made of scraps of other people's passions, hobbies, and pursuits.)

On one hand, my interpretation of this advice (and I'm sure others like it) has helped me get where I am now, a consultant who makes decent money when I'm working, and able to carry on conversations with just about anybody of any rank or status. I'm pretty good at "faking it."

Only now, I have come to realize that after all these years of faking it, I am exhausted. I have faked it, but never really "made it" as the cliche promises. I feel like a fake person. I feel like an imposter on the job.

I failed to really examine that shallow advice and find out what happens next. Exactly how is one supposed to make sure that faking leads to making, and not to unmitigated disaster, or worse, learning how to lie? Or never learning the difference between a lie and a legitimate coping strategy?

 

12
General Discussion / We are all genius
« on: January 21, 2015, 10:39:57 PM »
Forgive me if this belongs in another section, but I just had to share...

The article is "10 suprising indicators of genius" but to understand why I'm sharing this here, you'll have to skip to the end to see what indicator #1 is... if you haven't already guessed from the subject line.

http://listverse.com/2013/12/16/10-surprising-indicators-of-genius/

13
General Discussion / Am I still re-creating abandonment?
« on: January 21, 2015, 07:20:55 PM »
I just realized something the other day.

My lifelong pattern of burning bridges that has led to me being almost completely without any friends or social community to speak of, could that be, at least in part, due to my unconscious repetition of abandonment by my biological father at age 3?

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General Discussion / Unable to set goals
« on: January 06, 2015, 05:40:30 PM »
I have always struggled with goal setting.

Maybe "struggled" is not the right word, since that implies some sort of activity or work... I guess I never got to the point where goals were important enough. My only goal all my life has been to survive, beyond that is just a mystery.

Now, I'm really desperately trying to make goals for myself, but it's triggering my avoidance mechanism and I find myself busy with 1,000 things that scream for my attention every day, and so the actual task of sitting down to analyze and write goals gets delayed again and again.

My first priority is recovery, but I need to work also, and if I am ever going to get ANY kind of job, I need to start working on goals in that direction. But every time I think about it, I get overwhelmed with anxiety and go straight into avoidance.

My interests are all over the place. Remember that movie "Spotless mind" or something with Jim Carey? At the end they went into his room and there were pictures & notes all over the walls with strings connecting everything (I think that was the movie I saw that in) that is what it's like in my mind. I see all these important connections, but I am absolutely unable to communicate them to ANYBODY, it is all trapped inside my head. On the rare occasion I try to describe any of it, I fumble with words and utterly fail to make even one small connection to where somebody else can understand.

Anybody else ever struggle with this? Are there any success stories where someone was able to bring order and make sense out of SOME of that mess?

15
Medication / Antidepressants don't seem to work
« on: January 06, 2015, 05:25:33 PM »
I am on medication for ADD, for about 3 years now, and that medicine has made a WORLD of difference to me. It actually helps with depression, but I think it's having a numbing effect. It's helping me stay busy, so I'm able to get out of bed & do stuff - I can't even begin to describe how amazing it feels compared to my entire life before, being so lethargic and possibly even using sleep as an escape from life. So, while maybe it's not good to just be numb, I still feel it's doing more good than harm because my emotions don't get so out of control like they used to. I do realize that ADD meds probably intensify anxiety, as well, but for now it's manageable.

That being said, I've tried a couple different anti-depressants (for anxiety) but I DO NOT like how they make me feel. They actually increase my anxiety and negative thoughts. Bupropion (sp?) and zoloft are two that I have tried and I refuse to take them any more. I tried prozac years ago, way before I ever tried any ADD meds, and it was horrible! I got off it after 1 month.

Anybody have any luck with ADD meds and anxiety meds working together?

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