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Topics - DontPanic

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I'm sorry if this post is longish and a bit unsorted, I am still trying to sort it out and hope telling you will help me doing this.

When I was a child, my father used to rant a lot about his younger and only brother: telling stories how his brother was taking advantage of him, how he was using clever tactics to get more than his fair share from their parents, how he tricked him into having to work much more than his fair share for their parents. I've heard the topic endless times. And because my uncle was painted so ill willed and almost evil and because i believed the stories to be true, I avoided him and never really got to know him. And my father has stopped inviting his brother long ago, so we never met. And I always assumed they both were angry at each other and disliked each other.
And finally my father cared for my grandmother when she was very old, and while she lived under his roof and care, she changed her testament and disinherited my uncle and gave everything to my father. He had urged her to do so, and she had done so. So, after her death, my uncle was shocked and disappointed and my father found it served him right.

Now I am almost 50 and found the courage to call him. He was surprised, of course, but friendly and open and encouraged me to ask questions. I told him that it had been a neverending issue through my whole childhood: my father being mad at him, and I asked him: what happened between both of you that your relationship was so bad? When did it start to deteriorate? What has caused such hostility? What series of events led to this harsh testament?

I was very surprised that my uncle said: he did not hold a grudge against my father until he started urging his mother to chage her will. from his Point of view, he and his brother lived rather separate lives but their relationship was just distant, not bad or filled with grudge.
I inquired futher, citing examples of stories told to me, how he had allegedly cheated and tricked my father. He told me completely different versions of these stories and added that my father had never talked to him about all the accusations. He sounded surprised while telling me this, and a bit hurt, but very matter-of-fact and not agitated at all.

When our talk was over, my head was spinning for an hour. I am completely baffled. For the first time in my life i consider it really possible that my father has some personality disorder, that he made these stories up. That he told the stories in a way that allowed him to vilify his brother, even though I really don't understand what good it did to him. Like paranoia, or like a compulsion to anger and self-righteousness. I know that this is a very harsh verdict, and that i cannot prove anything. But it felt very, very convincing: these stories I was told were... lies. Lies that served as a justification to punish someone. Lies that served as reasons to be angry and righteous. Lies that poisoned relationships. Lies that robbed my of having an uncle. Lies that had some strange influence on me that I still have to find out and understand. Lies that made me lose trust in my father, in my family, in those I would have needed to heal from living in a marinade of lies. Whew!

Web Sites, Support Groups & Organizations / Practices for Resilience
« on: October 03, 2018, 02:36:33 PM »
There's a website from Rick Hanson with 52 simple practices for enhancing or building resilience. resilience is which is exactly what I need for coping with the effects of PTSD. I haven't tried all and everything, I've used it as a toolbox and found the things I tried very helpful.
The site is:
If you try some of it, I'm interested in your experiences, if you want to share.

General Discussion / How to make "poor me" helpful?
« on: September 22, 2018, 01:23:14 PM »
In the last weeks I feel more, I am less numb. Before, there were many anxiety attacks a day, but there was not so much presence of myself noticing, i just walked through many days. Now i notice my anxiety, my avoidance and it makes me mad about myself, mad about being so damaged and not yet recovered.
I notice I'm getting angry, and I want to blame life, the universe, or even my family members. Interestingly there is no desire to blame my father, who probably contributed most to all the damages; I'm rather mad at myself or at my current state. But at the same time it feels like yelling or crying "poor me" is not helping me, it feels like being the victim again and again and again and again - bleh.
And if yelling "poor me" and "i want it to be different, i want to be sane" doesn't help: what do you do with this energy? I feel like exploding, but I think acting it out will not help me. And just being like this and doing nothing is hard.

Introductory Post / Becoming visible
« on: September 21, 2018, 10:34:46 PM »
Hello everyone contributing or reading here -
and first of all, thank you for building such a valuable, respectful and encouraging forum. I've been reading here from time to time, and several times it produced that very rare and strange effect that by reading your stories, I feel seen, understood, can relate to it and feel relatable. Still it's unbelievably hard to  introduce myself, become visible and introduce myself here. Well, somehow I manage finally.

I'm currently 48, and I've been rather intellectual, withdrawn and shy for all my life, although i do like company a lot. I'm married, built myself a career in software and I have a son, whom I love very much. I have a rather nerdy sense of humor, so my nickname here is borrowed from the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.

All the years I felt as if I wasn't really alive- most of people around me, they seemed to have some strange ability to be really alive, and I never understood what it was, why I couldn't. It felt like living behind a transparent wall so i was a spectator, but not really participating in life. I went to therapy several times - when I was 25, I had a panic attack, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, so this was apparently alarming and i sought for help. But then a strange series started, my therapist abused me (verbally and emotionally). I have experienced this several times now, and it is shocking every time it happens. In the last three years, I was able to break the spell and choose a therapist that is really kind, empathetic and helpful.

In hindsight i guess i was numb for the bigger part of my adult life. When my son was born, my heart opened up to him, and with this de-numbing my life has been quite hard since. I'm having lots of irrational emotional waves almost every day, mostly shame and anxiety. And when i made another attempt to try and find out what was actually going on inside me four years ago, i first found "out of the fog" and the "out of the storm" and it is a big relief to have a label that describes quite precisely how i feel. I have informed myself and educated myself about trauma, early childhood trauma and developmental traume and it looks like i have my share of it. This came as a bit of surprise; I'm still trying to figure out what exactly happened when i was a child. No obviously horrible things, but it seems subtle hostility and devaluation are sufficient for heavy consequences.

So much for today - thanks to all the people who make this forum work, who care, share and connect.

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