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Messages - woodsgnome

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Books & Articles / Re: Writings on Solitude / Aloneness / Loneliness
« on: January 25, 2020, 04:00:51 PM »
These are terrific reflections on a topic applicable to many on this forum, I suspect. Outlooks like those of O'Donohue and Yeomans speak well to the core of loneliness that seems rampant in dealing with cptsd.

Personally, I actually chose a deep loneliness as part of my survival and/or escape from a very abusive early life. I literally moved to a remote region while retaining a limited semi-social existence via connections to artistic/educational endeavours.

While my own wandering in loneliness is a long tale, I just want to thank you for these links, Arale. O'donohue I was familiar with and his books are superb for their depth of feeling and heartfelt, beautifully crafted descriptions derived from his inner observations. Yeomans I wasn't familiar with, but found his perspective wonderfully relevant as well.

Thanks again.


I'm overwhelmed by the compassionate understanding, support, and encouragement you've sent my way in response this moody thread. There's no words that can truly express the depth of my gratitude so I'll try this instead --  :bighug:

Sometimes all my attempts at finding  peace with myself just seems to collapse  :fallingbricks:, and I'm scared I may never dig myself out again. Life's promise threatens to become only a discouraging choice of coping mechanisms to get through the next moment. I begin fading as well  :disappear: . Pretty soon my old familiar numbness returns.

At least now there's another feeling that warms me and disperses some of the gloom. These mood-lifters arise from the caring expressions you've shared with me here. Reading your comments reminds me that even on this loneliest journey I am not wholly alone. I've come to see that sentiment via the deep empathy you've shown here and in so many other places on this forum.


As of the moment, I feel useless. Intelligent, maybe. Somewhat logical, perhaps. Unique -- oh sure. And ... useless.  But wholly circular as to who my life affects. I once touched many, but the operative word is 'once' -- albeit I still have a hard time acknowledging any inherent goodness to the effect I had.

The present time seems only to contain the daily limited painful movements, ongoing almost pathetic self-boosting pep talks (I'm alright, not my fault, etc.) and still ... it all hurts all the time. I know -- just thoughts. Knowledge, in this case, sure doesn't equate with feeling useful. I'm at a low ebb, for sure. And scared -- mostly of myself. Like I so need my dear old friend, fear, to even notice my existence.

I have no other friends without stretching the definition. Only a distressed body whose every movement hurts. I spend hours thinking how it all hurts, every bit -- inside and outside. I know those feelings can be false. Then why do they feel so real? And why deny it anymore? Do I dare share this with anyone outside of my therapist? When will she give up on me like everyone else has? And will my next dose of hope be just as temporary as they all have been? Can I let go of this dark cloud hovering around me?

Questions abound. And the biggest is too obscure, probably even narcissistic like all those people I couldn't stand who used me as their rag doll when I couldn't defend myself. The very thing I never wanted -- but then I was told never to hope, and it was ripped from me anyway. Why do I try anymore?

I consider categories to be loose, so though I pass as a 'freeze' type, I know I fell into the fawn category as well. Walker suggests that freeze/fawn can form a deadly combo. That was the case with me.

For me, the fawn seemed to work like a disguised defense mechanism -- that if I caved to abuse, it might not get to the really bad next level of abuse. Nine times out of ten it did anyway.

Sadly, that pattern continued as an adult, and I didn't always realize it 'til it was way too late or too hard to change the pattern. Then of course one can slip into self-blame all over and then ... it's the old story, and the hurt repeats until and if one can figure it out --  :doh: -- that I'm in a new story now. The old patterns are still hard to dislodge, but I can, somehow, find ways to accept this new life as my new reality, and move forward from there.

Here's hoping you will feel safer as you realize you're not alone, and that you have started to turn things around.  :hug:

The only trick I've felt helped by is sadly not a fix, but more like a rung on a ladder (except then there's the fear of falling off of it).

That fix being to keep doing whatever and however I can to be kind to myself (by itself a huge task), and to keep on taking those little steps despite preferring major leaps. So often I tend to just give up on life, and especially on my role in the overall picture. Somehow I keep on, and even surprise myself when I can sense even tiny glimmers of progress. The downer with that is I often lack the energy for that smallest step.

Maybe that has to do with my recent change in 'goals'. For years I knew that what I wanted was only peace. Recently I revised that to -- peaceful flow. Life itself doesn't seem static, so why should even peace be exempt from that?

Still searching, sharing in your wondering, and I guess that's okay, staying in the flow even when we feel stuck on a rock.

From the perspective of what you've shared here, though, you're far from worthless. Your contributions, even when difficult, boldly touch on matters important to all of us. Those contributions are the full opposite of being worthless.


Neglect/Abandonment / Re: I hate Goodbyes
« on: January 20, 2020, 04:44:44 PM »
I guess I fall into the category of someone fearing abandonment or something close to it. While I've never thought of it as a problem (afraid to even do that), the observations presented by Arale certainly touch on some raw material. There's actually quite a bit of avoidance built in as well -- it's so hard to establish relationships, and all of the major ones (few enough as is) seemed to disappear no matter what. I'm alone and apparently meant to be so.

If I stop, though, and seek to ponder what's been the case with my aversion to farewells, I see only a bundle of fears that I'm the one to blame when things don't work out and/or just end. The finger always revolves around to self-abandonment/my fault issues (obvious traces of gaslighting when young and cptsd in general).

While I could posit a legion of examples, I come back to perhaps my most hurtful. Although having had several acquaintances, I only really had 4 I could count as solid, true friends -- and they all died within months of each other to various causes. The only thing approaching a 'family' I ever had -- all gone in short order, and the feeling of abandonment felt permanent. 'Nothing good ever lasts' became more than a sad mantra, it embodies my being somehow.

Those thoughts are only the tip of the iceberg, but I think that's the gist -- I'm unsure of things as is, so saying goodbye to the few solid certainties in a fearful world was -- is -- very difficult. Thanks to Arale for posting on one of those conundrums so hard to get a grip on. Except fearfully.


General Discussion / Re: Question About Schooling
« on: January 20, 2020, 12:19:20 AM »
This topic greatly intrigues me but I'm having difficulty building a coherent explanation without dragging everyone into an open-ended confused description of my wanderings in schools. All I can do is give an bird's-eye emotionally difficult scenario of how the cptsd parts crossed with the schooling part.

Regarding the schools, I had a high natural learning instinct that never got traction within the route the religious schools I was at wanted me to fit -- obey or else, etc., mixed in with some very horrible abuses of all sorts. Just surviving that was remarkable, looking back. Albeit I also have the sad realization that so much of the abuse parts never stop affecting parts of my current relatively 'safe' life.

And yes, I did 'act up' as it were, in a unique way -- by allowing my academic prowess to outdo theirs, especially in the final 2 years of high school. This followed what I can only describe as a mystical moment when I was directed to run away. I did, but they actually didn't care and/or were too scared of me on the one hand, and notably incapable of dealing with the inside stuff that drove me away -- one would think they'd be upset or expel me but it was like by that time they'd given up on me; as I apparently had on them ever being anything besides absurd bullies in holy drag.

Okay -- from being a social outcast I attracted a group of what the school considered ne'er-do-wells but who found my willingness to have literally run away (just for a day, mind you) appealing. I added another twist to my revolt, though, which surprised all -- I aced every academic subject possible while deliberately failing the religious propaganda courses. There's more to that (like changing denominational affiliation)  but that was the gist through the high school travails.

I started off at a decent college I liked academically, but socially I was extremely awkward and nearly destroyed; I couldn't fit in with a very appealing social side to this place because of my overall people fears that had settled in long before from FOO and even worse earlier school abuses.

I ended up at a public university which I loved primarily because they had a huge library in which to hide (literally) most days.

Through it all I ended up in very non-traditional lines of work. Basically, no matter what I did an important part of each leg in life has been to NEVER EVER be like the people I was around in the early years -- had some neat experiences later but as mentioned my social skill set never caught up. On the other hand, yes I'm a 'freeze' sort which has its downside, but as Walker points out also can veer towards discernment and more mindfulness, a kind of backwards upside to the otherwise trauma-strewn developmental years.

Hope this covers a bit of what my own journey within and after the slog out of the life I was trapped in as a kid. I'm still at work trying to shed the baggage weighing me down, but parts of it are also hopeless. Thinking back, though, my form of 'rebellion' at least aided that journey to find anything worthwhile on which to build a life that seems more heart-driven, and not just reactionary. In the words of a great author I discovered recently (Carolyn Spring) -- my best revenge is recovery.

Nice to see you back on here again, Kat.

Birthday / Re: My birthday
« on: January 19, 2020, 12:13:24 AM »
It's an honour to know you, to share some of the journey with you, and now to celebrate -- Happy Birthday ... in each and every way you can find to treasure your essential and deep-hearted goodness ...

 :bighug:       :yourock:

         :sunny:     :sunny:     :sunny:

Recovery Journals / Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
« on: January 16, 2020, 11:18:54 AM »
I'm in awe of this development for you. You are so deserving of re-finding yourSelf in all your beauty and reflecting the love that has made its way back to you. That is huge; I hope it continues to turn better for you  :hug:

Questions/Suggestions/Comments / Re: Social fears and this forum
« on: January 13, 2020, 12:35:07 AM »
Hyper-sensitivity runs deep in my reactions. I sense that feeling is shared by many who post here. Sometimes, my very active (and annoying) inner critic literally shouts that as I'm a nobody and have nothing to say,  :blahblahblah: I should sit on the sidelines. While I'm very good at that, I've also found it can be helpful to stretch my comfort zone on occasion as well.

I have a very thin support system as it is (partially by .my own choice) -- basically what I feel safest relying on at the moment is my therapist, the insights that come via reading on here, and selected other readings that complement my quest to live with and maybe even thrive despite a dire history of abuse stretching back to earliest infancy.

As to the in/out feature you were wondering about, I concur with Hope67 that its most useful for those intending to be traveling someplace or otherwise know they won't be able to post for a stretch of time (more than a few days).

It can be tough reading here, so breaks are certainly understandable, as is the difficulty in general of trying to write about what's so hard to explain and even harder to understand. The key to remember is -- everyone on here has been through the wringer as well, so unlikely to harshly critique someone else's approach to things brought up in various posts.

Introductory Post / Re: New Member
« on: January 12, 2020, 04:28:00 PM »
Greetings, Missy Me  :wave: .

It seems that diving into the dark heritage of cptsd can occur at any age. Sometimes this follows avoidance and/or other detours, but at some point we find that it seems critical to finally come to grips with what happened; but most important, where one is now while scanning the horizon for hope of finding elusive peace with any or all of what went so horribly wrong.


General Discussion / Re: Introduction post
« on: January 12, 2020, 04:19:02 PM »
Hey, Heart -- welcome to a place of sanctuary. Here you might find it easier to begin that dream of reaching out to and sharing the ins and outs of what living with cptsd is -- for better or worse -- really like. It's a condition like no other and as hard as any to get past the overall sense of numbness, pain, and horrible confusion.

May your journey here be one that you find hopeful in a world where that quality is hard to come by.


General Discussion / Re: New year rehaul
« on: January 10, 2020, 12:17:18 AM »
I'm been enjoying the 'art therapy' posts on here and have noted especially the excitement of supporting one's own therapy through creating thoughtful expressive art, for its own sake (and ours).

It all reminds me of a book I read years ago, where I've forgotten most of the drier suggestions, except for one which stood out: "Stay Open and Play with Options." In my own case, I was always hampered ever since I was violently punished by an abuser/'teacher' upset with my early attempt at art. Somehow, I still found ways to express via other art forms: namely music and performance (acting). Then I found ways to play with art (play is such a good word in therapy) during a 'recovery' workshop a couple years back.

Anyway, thanks for pointing this out via these threads, Phoebes, Boatsetsailrose, and Beautiful Crazy.

Recovery Journals / Re: Wattlebird's recovery journal
« on: January 09, 2020, 11:54:26 PM »
 :wave: Welcome to the new journal, Wattlebird. May it serve as a harbinger of smoothing out the rough ride you've been on.

Here's hoping also that the fire situation can be turned aside, which has to be truly taxing with all the personal issues you've been dealing with.

Recovery Journals / Re: Elpha's Adventure pt. 4
« on: January 09, 2020, 11:42:08 PM »
What an inspiration you've been, Elphanigh,  :) :) :).

Thanks for the update, which confirms a lot of the admirable qualities I'm referencing: determination, willingness to learn and keep on while avoiding burnout; plus being attuned to others and their needs as you undertake your internship and research project.

Then re-entering the world of therapy to further deal with your own issues -- which once seemed almost unbearable and awful to contemplate doing anything resembling what could be called 'progress'.

All of this and more makes for an impressive new start for you, but also an inspiration for those here cheering you on.

Words, again; it feels rather powerless to only have them, so I'll risk this -- a deep  :hug: -- and leave you with wishes for all the best for you in this exciting endeavour you've created from what once seemed so desperately futile.

Congratulations and take great care of your precious self.

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