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Topics - bhupendra

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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 / 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.

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) / Coping my mom. Need suggestions.
« on: May 26, 2018, 12:13:26 PM »
I feel exhausted living with my (supposedly BPD? I don't care. Scr*w the labels! I'm not here to stigmatize anybody) Mom. :fallingbricks:
I have traumatic flashbacks of her. I'm introverted. I don't like anybody crossing my personal space and being too affectionate with me. When I ignore her affection she starts abusing me and telling me and people around that I don't feel and will never feel attachment to any person or living being. The family works on attachment. Family will cease to function normally if people don't feel attached to each other. She had been repeatedly brainwashed by some mental health professional in the past that 'Your son can never feel attachment towards other people. He won't have any empathy.  blah blah...'
I told her "There's a difference between attachment and affection. Yes, what you're feeling [is] definitely an attachment. Try to be affectionate rather than being attached. It'd be more peaceful to you and others. Boundaries have to be respected for our own well being and the well being of other person.  The reason why you became so distraught when your marriage failed is because you were attached to dad rather than having a nurturing relationship with yourself." She became conscious of it for 1 sec or so and then suddenly went into defense mode and started abusing me. I even gave her examples of how mothers who are so attached to their children become distraught when their child dies. I told her she is a gyno for so many years and should already be aware of such issues. At least try to think rationally. Still there was no end to her abuse and curses.  I apologize if to anyone all this comes off as me patronizing her or me being 'attached' to her. It was just an attempt to have a rational conversation with her as I know any form of affection is only going to lead to smothering 'attachment'.
This was just the case of showering of affection or 'attachment' as she adamantly calls it. At other times there are only curses and curses as if I'm some monster.
I'm tired of her constant pull and push. I don't mean to blame her or play the victim. I just need to know how to deal with her? Having a rational conversation seems out of the question. Hugging her to calm her down only seem to have opposite effect. Like it's all fake. 'You don't love me!' :'( :dramaqueen:

Sorry for the rant. I was a very shy and quiet person. I was never like this. I think living with her and dealing with her I'd slowly become her. Which i don't want and am trying to avoid. Also, sometimes her abuses and remarks trigger flashbacks. So it's pretty complicated.
Though I love myself and others, I feel scared to have close relationship with people especially any romantic relationship with anyone. Not that someone will abandon me. I'm already an outcast. But from my lived experiences in my FOO it seems very emotionally draining.
I start to feel scared when someone tries to show me affection in any form. I know it is not bad. Sometimes I just take a step back. At other times to the point that I just go into my shell without any notice. And it seems rude or confusing to the other person. It feels very creepy to me when I find myself in such situations. As if that would somehow lead to some abuse or some form of conflict. Which I know probably wouldn't if I'm clear to the other person why I avoided him/her and if he/she is compassionate enough to understand. All of which doesn't seem practical in daily life.
Personal issues aside. Any practical advice in dealing with my mom?

Ideas/Tools for Recovery / Eye contact and eye gazing
« on: May 17, 2018, 08:18:26 AM »
I sometimes find it difficult to maintain long duration eye contact with other adults. I come from a very conservative culture and as a kid had been raised in a patriarchal environment where direct eye contact with elders was often frowned upon and seen as a sign of disrespect.
I don't have much issue not maintaining much eye contact during a conversation. On the plus side my brain doesn't have to deal with the sensory visual information from other people's expressions and gestures so it has more resources allocated for the topic of conversation and it can think and analyze the information more efficiently. On the downside some people might find less eye contact as rude or weird or even as some sign of weakness or it might give them wrong signal that I'm not interested in what they're trying to say or convey.
I know it has to change. As having eye contact is crucial for better face to face communication and building better rapport with people. Also it helps in assertiveness and more importantly helps in creating healthy boundaries so people don't take me for granted and step into my personal space. I know I can do it. I just need more and more practice.
Anyone in here struggle with eye contact sometimes? Any techniques you used to master eye contact? What about the eye gazing thing? Anyone tried it?

Ideas/Tools for Recovery / This place is a godsent!
« on: May 15, 2018, 07:42:11 AM »
I've been reading some of the posts here. Reading about other members' journey and healing.
I had never come across such positivity, faith and resilience in face of adversity. I wish I had found this community earlier rather than dealing it on my own.
I'm optimistic that OOTS and the interactions I have over here would be a catalyst for my personal growth, well being and healing. And I hope i'd be the same for others over here. People who I'd never meet or see in this life.


Introductory Post / Hello
« on: May 10, 2018, 10:04:50 AM »
My name is Bhupendra. I'm a 31 year old guy. I'm new to this site.
Many people over here had been through same or worse so I don't want to get into much detail and trigger anyone. I don't know where exactly to start with this. It's been years since many of these incidents happened. And I know the situation now is not as it was back then. That I shouldn't feel helpless and powerless. Sometimes I still struggle with some of the flashbacks and freeze. Yet the way I process and deal with them is gradually changing. The intensity of the flashbacks is not as strong as it had been in the past.
As a kid I had been an introverted person. Shy. Timid. Not assertive. Never been able to say 'No' to anyone when I should have.
I should have ran away from the abuse. Someplace safe. At least I won't have to deal with these flashbacks and triggers.

The source of most of the incidents and triggers is my mom. I know every mother is different. I won't say that my mom never loved me or had never ever been kind to me. There's barely any memory of it now. She's dead. An emotional landmine. She has her issues that arose out of her marriage. At times I even sympathized with her. Yet all the while she'd say that I'm worthless. That I should have never been born. That I would always be a burden. I internalized everything she said. Anything I did was never good enough for her. I was her trophy child. When I failed her my sister became one. Without ever realizing I was simply trying to fulfill her expectations, trying to make her happy, hoping that someday as a mother she'd at least understand my feelings and would stop abusing me. It never happened. On the contrary I started having very low self esteem, more new incidents to deal with. And whatever I did to make her happy and satisfied or to deal with her control and abuse started to reflect in my daily life. I became a people pleaser at some point in my life. I started feeling scared to develop close bond with people. It impacted my relationship with people.

In the past, at some point I even tried to open up to some people about the flashbacks and abuse... acquaintances, friends, some counselors, strangers online. Most people just said... 'toughen up', 'every mother is like that', 'let go', 'forget it', 'you're taking it too seriously' etc.

I know it'd require lot of work.
And that I can possibly never be completely free of this in my life. That I have to deal with this on my own. That I cannot expect anyone else... friends, partner, kids, classmates, colleagues, counselors... to understand. That I'd have to learn and unlearn many social and emotional skills. And put into action the ones which I already possess yet in my attempts to avoid further abuse am scared to use.
I know this would require many baby steps. I don't want to remain trapped forever and submit myself to the triggers, the flashbacks and go into a perpetual freeze. I don't want to just survive. I want to live.

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