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Messages - Regret

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General Discussion / Re: A life stolen – What’s love?
« on: February 16, 2020, 11:23:36 PM »
As life moves on these days, sometimes forward, sometimes backward, more is always learned. The moving backward part is mostly what I call mini-triggers, memories that instantly arise from a past event triggered by something someone says to me or I see on TV or that just surfaces on its own.

I call them mini-triggers in that they don't result in a major crisis, just a sad feeling of deep regret for having done something or missed out on something due to this nasty disorder. Memories of my past life.

One recently came to be when someone I work with told me she's been married for 30 some years and she loves her husband more today than she did when they got married. I thought how nice for her as it immediately reminded me that I never had a chance to experience love like that even once, much less over time, and to see it grow.

Love for me is a an absent feeling, one of many I guess having it and all the others driven out of my life almost 70 years ago. Stolen from me by parents who didn't know better, did the best they could but raised a child that was not ready from prime time life when coming of age.

There is no hate in me, just deep regret and sad feeling of loss until they dissipate setting me up for the next mini-trigger minutes to hours to days later. My biggest challenge is dealing with mini-triggers brought on by others in conversation is to keep mindful of it being their life, wishing them well for their having that “normal” experience and changing the subject quickly.

So much was missed for so long, so much of my life was wasted living as I thought others wanted me to live and so much was not learned, put into my toolbox for life to help me live my life as an adult.

I am finding more moments of happiness that seems to arise for no reason other than being in a nice state of mind. I guess it’s me beginning to live my own life, a life devoid me trying to do what others would want me to do, and that leaves time to relax, to let my mind unwind and become happy. And then comes another mini-trigger along with its sadness and regrets. Just the way it’s been lately.


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Sleep Issues / Re: My dreams are a changin'
« on: January 29, 2020, 01:46:21 PM »
My dreams continue to be of current and future content. I no longer dream of things from the past. I dream about what happened or what I saw on TV during the day. And some seem to be predictive in that they have content of future events, of being at work the next day for example. I guess the past is now in the past and my goal or task is to work on things going forward. The mind is a curious and interesting realm when asleep.

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General Discussion / Re: A life stolen – What’s love?
« on: January 21, 2020, 04:23:41 AM »
Heart,

Thank you for that great insight. I never thought of it that way but when I read what you wrote, it rang true and parts touched on what I have been experiencing lately.

You wrote "And I think that love and joy goes together." and I think I may be warming up to that in that, oh, if I could only put it into good words, I am having new feelings of happiness and joy but don't know why that is happening. Maybe it is "the mystery is clear, that love is only letting go of fear" and on some level I am more accepting of myself and trusting of a few others close to me.

I have a lot to work on or a lot much change to get out of my hardened shell that's been protecting me for a very long time. But maybe, without my direct knowledge, something is happening inside that is eating away at that shell from the inside out. My dreams continue to in some way cleanse me of bad relationships and events and maybe it's my sleeping mind/self that is helping me to recover from this horrendous disorder. Until than, I seem to be a happier basket case.

Thanks again for a lot to think about and hopefully help my dreaming self work to quicker to that end.

Regret . . .   

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Sleep Issues / Re: My dreams are a changin'
« on: January 12, 2020, 12:31:33 AM »
I haven't posted about my dreams in that they have been changing (content) so quickly, by the time I could write something, they had already moved on.

After dreaming about meeting a few friends who died long ago, my dreams now take on the content and context of what I experienced that day. Stuff in my waking life and shows that I watch on TV end up being the life I experience when dreaming that evening. It's gotten to the point that I no longer watch violent TV shows in that I end up playing one of the roles, being in some sort of difficult situation in my dreams and that borders on a mild nightmare.

I've even had dreams now that were of things that then happened a day or so later. My dreams seem to be showing me future events and they seem to be accurate, what I dream in the future seems to come true. Doesn't happen a lot but upon waking I say to myself, what was that about only to find it occurring my my waking life the next day or so later.

A few weeks ago someone ( sanmagic7 ) posted

( found it: https://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?topic=12959.msg96326#msg96326 )

 that structures in dreams are our true selves. I agree with that. My dreams have had structure in them for decades. It was only after I discovered cPTSD that the structures in my dream began to be remodeled, a minor cosmetic change at first to reconstruction of the entire building  and when that happened, no more structures in my dreams.

I would like to add that I think I figured out what cars have been in my dreams. I've had many dreams where I drove somewhere, parked the car and found it missing, stolen or towed, anywhere from a few minutes to a few hour in my dream. I've had some where I parked the car and after crossing the street, turning around and it was gone. The dream was me driving somewhere to meet with or be with a few or a large group of people. The last dream I had like this was driving to my high school class reunion and parking it next to a car owned by a long dead friend. I went into the building to find my classmates in old age, not as they were way back then. I didn't say much to them and went outside to find my car was gone. I woke up from that dream with a realization of what the car meant to me. It was the almost empty social tool box I was given in my youth, had enough tools in it to get me to a social function but then it was gone. In my dream, one the car was gone, I was left with no other tools to interact with people. I didn't know how to be my genuine self, couldn't be my genuine self because the ability to do that was stolen from me long ago and I ended up standing apart from the groups. That is the story of my life living the please/fawn typology. The car represented my minimal social skills that disappeared once those few tools got me to and into a social event.

And these "car" dreams occurred so much that in my more recent car dreams, I was looking for a place to park where my car would be safe, would not be taken, but in every dream it disappeared. I even felt bad in those dreams knowing I had remembered by car was often stolen, I looked for a safe place but failed to put it in a place where it would not be stolen. They were amazing dreams in my trying to protect my car, failing to do so and feeling bad in my dream when it was stolen. I realize that's a lot to unpack or understand but it really did happen to me like that. The mind is a vast and varied land to visit in ones sleep.

I had this dream several weeks ago and it is still in my memory as if I had it last night. And I've not had any car dreams since then. Just like I never had any more dreams with structures in them after seeing the building I worked in for many years totally gutted and reconstructed.

I realize everyone's dreams are personal to them but want to share my "car" realization in case anyone has had similar experience or reasonably good knowledge of what a car is in a dream.

My dreams keep changin' and to what end, I don't know. It's been an interesting 3 years since I discovered my cPTSD disorder.

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Christmas & New Years / Re: "...and good will toward men"
« on: December 28, 2019, 06:12:02 AM »
It once again made me realize how I lived most of my 60+ years with a group of people known as my "family", and never, ever knew who any of them were—let alone fully knowing myself.

What a spot on and highly descriptive thought that covers my life perfectly.

While being familiar with that story, I've never read the thought you put into words before and I found it deeply satisfying and centering to me. You summarized my 60+ years of life in 37 words and I thank you for that clarity.

Hope you have a very happy and wonderful New Year!

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Sleep Issues / Re: My dreams are a changin'
« on: November 23, 2019, 11:32:46 PM »
That happened to me last night and I woke up, after 8 hours of sleep, totally exhausted, as if I did not sleep at all. I didn't want to get out of bed to make a morning appointment. After the appointment, I went home and slept for another 5 hours. I feel better now but I am still tired.

Just wanted to say it took me a full 7 days to recover from that dream, to get out of the fog it put me into and to get back to normal energy. I had dreams every night since then, most I can't remember, and only one was on the terror side. I did have a new one dealing with my brother-in-law, a person who has not talked to me in 20 years including at my mother's funeral a few years go and at his son's wedding this past summer. That was the first time he's showed up in one of my dreams and no, that was not the terror dream.

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Sleep Issues / Re: My dreams are a changin'
« on: November 17, 2019, 05:02:25 AM »
Jazzy,

Thanks for the reply. I remember some of your posts talking about your dreams. I've had night terror dreams and it is terrible waking up after one of those.

In this dream, I didn't argue with the other person, I didn't let them get a word in edgewise. It was a non-stop tirade from me to him and anyone else who came into sight. It was nothing more than yelling at the top of my voice at him for what seemed like an hour in dream time. He would walk away and I would track him down to start yelling at him again. I think I quit yelling and left the building when I became hoarse, lost my voice.

Over the past few years, I woken from sleep happy, sad, smiling, scared and anxious but never so physically exhausted. that's why I asked if anyone was so affected by their dreams.

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Sleep Issues / Re: My dreams are a changin'
« on: November 16, 2019, 11:52:02 PM »
My dreams continue to be a nightly adventure never knowing what I will dream next or how it will affect me.

I was wondering if anyone ever had a dream in which they became extremely agitated, mad at someone in the dream (for good cause) and yelled at that person for, in dream time, a long period of time. After I stopped yelling, I got into my car to go somewhere and woke up.

That happened to me last night and I woke up, after 8 hours of sleep, totally exhausted, as if I did not sleep at all. I didn't want to get out of bed to make a morning appointment. After the appointment, I went home and slept for another 5 hours. I feel better now but I am still tired.

Has anyone else ever been affected by a dream in this or a similar way?

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The Cafe / Re: I am enjoying dreaming
« on: November 02, 2019, 01:57:51 AM »
I am so happy for you. Dreams of the good stuff we never knew in our lives are treasures and gifts from our true self.

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General Discussion / Re: A life stolen – What’s love?
« on: October 27, 2019, 02:06:42 AM »
I've been wondering what's worse lately, living with but unaware of having cPTSD from very early childhood emotional abuse (surviving a constantly somewhat out of whack stolen life) for 60+ years or living a life in recovery filled with remorse, embarrassment and regrets for all that I did in my life and all that I missed out on because of this horrendous disorder.

No matter what I am doing now, I find myself virtually locked up in a 24/7 mental jail of sorrow and sadness knowing my life was stolen and had it not been, it could have been so much better, so, so, so much better.

Before discovering this disorder, its cause and its affect on everything I did for 60+ years, I was "happy" awkwardly muddling through life as it was "taught" to me with each day being a "what's next" adventure, for good or bad or both.

Now that my highly effective inner critic, the one and only that nagged me constantly with parental tapes all my life, is gone, that mind space has become occupied by distressful memories of what was, what happened and why. Each of my reactions to those thousands of spontaneously recalled events turns into a profound sadness as the wistful thoughts of how good each of those events could have been had it not been for living a life stolen by that devastating disorder.

I was awkwardly disconcerted but "happier" for 60+ years (back then). I am closer to my true but remorseful self now being forced to mentally reconcile my past. That's a sad, constant process for me now which after several year of this makes me ask if I'm better off now or if I was ignorantly better off, and much more happy, haphazardly wondering through a stolen life back then.

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Sleep Issues / Re: My dreams are a changin'
« on: October 14, 2019, 02:50:17 AM »
How it works for me these days.

Many times a day, usually when doing something that I had done in the past with disorder caused awkwardness, I am filled with embarrassment and regret for not having had the emotional development and social tools to having it have been how it would have been had I been a real person, my true self.

Even a song, smell, taste or memory can trigger this sad type of wasted life moment, and I wish I could go back to do it over right but am left with the stark reality that that instance to have and enjoy that moment so many years ago was stolen from me.

Tonight I woke from a lucid dream in which I was happily looking forward to going to my high school graduation party, a party that never took place. I was going to buy a bound tablet so I could have others write something good about knowing me in school. I had the tablet in hand when I caught myself realizing that could not be done since I had no friends in high school, not one thanks to my disorder created needless, and then thought, in the dream, I would go to the party and explain to everyone,one at a time, why I was not normal for those four years.

Woke up after that thought filled with sadness and regret for those four years of wasted time. The legacy of my recovery process. And this happens all of the time - lot of awkward moments to resolve in 60+ years of living with the disorder.

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Sleep Issues / Re: My dreams are a changin'
« on: October 06, 2019, 01:18:02 AM »
It’s been awhile and I always wondered when dreaming my life backwards to age 3, some years or events in years did not appear in my dream life reversal.

Within the past two weeks, I think I discovered the answer to my question. During that time, I’ve had 2 dreams of someone I dated for 2 years in the late 80’s, a friend who I worked with a few years in the early 60’s and I’ve had a few dreams similar to my last job but in or as pleasant conditions.

So, my reverse chronological sequence appears to have been neuroplastic healing or constructing new, healthy pathways by going backwards through traumatic events but altering them to make them a positive experience that should have occurred had it not been for cPTSD getting in the way. A neurological healing of sorts.

The next “type” of dreams I had over the past 18 months were situational dreams helping me get over any remnants missed in my reverse dreaming or helped me deal with new events that triggered me, helping to free me from the trauma of the recent event in but a few days instead of suffering for months.

The most recent dreams have been pleasant in that I enjoyed the relationship and miss my work friend who tragically died in the late 60’s. And, the work dreams are just fun, the way work should have been had I not been hampered by the disorder or working for a boss who made the last 5 years in that job so emotionally stressful that I developed PTSD on top of my lifelong cPTSD.

Bottom line, I am very fortunate to have this take place while I sleep and the effects of my “dreams” have indeed dramatically helped with my ongoing recovery.

It’s still two steps forward and one backward and probably will be for the rest of my life in that I know I have to accept who I am, where I came from, deal well with all of my regrets and outright embarrassment of past actions, realize I don’t have the time to be reparented, understand I will repeat mistakes made in the past when my guard is weak, own each minute of my life going forward and not beat myself up for errors I make in the future. I think doing that will bring some level of stability and happiness to my daily life.

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Frustrated? Set Backs? / Re: Thoughts on relying too much on the board?
« on: September 23, 2019, 04:43:18 AM »
I've found that mindful use of the forum has made it a very helpful tool, place or source for discovering, understanding, learning, questioning, sharing (if desired), and getting support from others, when needed, in my efforts to recover and move forward from this dreadful disorder.

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Frustrated? Set Backs? / Re: The unfairness of it all
« on: September 01, 2019, 12:15:02 AM »
. . .  I agree with you completely about all of this.

. . . other people feel the same, even if there are not many of us. 

When I first read your post, I did not reply because I also agree but didn't know what to say. I think there are more of us out there than we think. Unraveling all of this at the end ones life leaves one in a lonely, unsupported place. Other than a spouse who for 20 years didn't know why I was the way I was until I understood it all myself (understanding and recovering are two different parts to this disorder) and am now a good person in her eyes, talking with my sister, long talks, only to discover she is worse off than I am but didn't know why until we compared life notes after our mother died (and she has gotten better help and is now off her 20 years of meds since we talked), with me not having enough years left to make therapy a reasonable  option and really, truly, not having a friend in the world, life can be a sad, lonely place filled with memories of what happened, why it happened, what could have been given a better childhood environment and the so many regrets over all that happened things I did that need not have happened. Yes, it is unfair but I find now knowing and going forward with that knowledge helps make life a better place to be, at times.

We are out there and we both understand and support you even if we can't put it into words. I also hope you feel better soon and hope you do well on your exam. Take care,

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Sleep Issues / Re: My dreams are a changin'
« on: August 27, 2019, 02:47:52 PM »
As a catch up reply, that next night I had a remarkable dream.

During my reverse dreaming after I discovered I had cPTSD, there were time in my life that did not show up in that sequence of dreams that went from my current age to when I was 3 years old. Two of the dreams I did not have were about a person I had a 2 year relationship with about 1970 and another person I had a 3 year relationship in the early '80s. The remarkable dream I had was about both people at the same time. In the late '80s, I discovered that they by chance crossed paths and in their conversations discovered they both dated me. Had I not been suffering from the disorder, either one of the two would or could have been a fine, life long relationship but thanks to my issues, my baggage,, they both left my life because they were not willing or able to deal with me.

Well, in the dream, I saw them both but only talked to the '80s person who told me the first person really didn't want me and I would be better off with the second person. It was a touching, tender and very gentle dream conversation and I woke up with a smile on my face. Nothing sexual in the dream, just hugging, and closure on two parts of my life that were not dealt with in my backwards dreaming sequence that ended up with grown up me talking to my 3 year old self in front of my childhood home.

The next night, two more bad dreams dealing with my last job and an issue I had with my last landlord. Woke up triggered and anxious. The following night, a peaceful, friendly dream. Such is how my sleeping time is spent.

Writing today, a week after starting this topic, because I had a dream last night that was unlike anything before or any place I was ever in or knew. I was reading along with Just Hatched dream topic

https://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?topic=12289.0

dealing with dreaming about things that were "about things I've never actually experienced" and that is what last night was to me. During this dream, I was laying in the fetal position on a couch or bed shaking uncontrollably. There was another person there, a thin, small oriental man. The man was comforting me with words and hugs for what seemed like an hour. I have never done T but this seemed like a T session. He calmed me down to the point I was no longer shaking and I woke up.

My current life for the past few months has had me in a deeply hostile interaction with a person on another forum. That person did a lot of real harm to me with criticism and libel and my hatred and anger toward him turned me into a very bitter person with just the thought of him. I quit that forum months ago but the deep feelings toward him persisted. This morning, after that dream last night, I woke up and laughed at him, the thought of him, the person that he truly is. That dream "exorcised" him from my mind and today I could care less about him, what he did to me or what happened on that other forum. What caused that dream? I got an email from a friend yesterday "preaching" to me that the circumstances of that event made me a very bitter person and I needed to get over my unhealthy feelings toward him. I've known this for months but it wasn't until someone finally and pointedly told me what was happening to me that the dream occurred.

Strange how dreams work, are created, what they can mean, what they are telling us or doing for us while we sleep  be they good scenes or very bad nightmares. I've had dreams, even recurring dreams that made no sense to me and had no effect on my daily life, at least, none that I noticed, but maybe even those are the mind, the brain doing natural neuroplastic redevelopment of new connections to replace those destroyed by the soup of chemicals released into our brains during our times of great trauma. Just my opinion based on what Robert Sapolsky said about chemical imbalance and chronic depression

https://youtu.be/NOAgplgTxfc

and the many, many dreams I've had over my lifetime, especially those since realizing I was suffering from cPTSD caused by a traumatic few years when I was 3 and stopped my social development growth a that time. Nothing like now realizing I live all of my life as a 3 year old with a fawn (please) cPTSD typology until about 3 years ago when I came to know cPTSD. Since then, I've grown up a bit and I think I am now in my early teens.

Can't wait until tonight to see what's next on the playbill.

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