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Messages - JamesG

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General Discussion / Re: From trauma to frustration
« on: December 04, 2017, 07:55:18 AM »
well I was more successsful, the last two years were hit really bad by events and the aftermath. I inherited a modest amount when my mum died, then had to live on it. That sucked. I'm taking my return to work very slowly, but I'm getting there

General Discussion / Re: From trauma to frustration
« on: December 03, 2017, 05:56:40 PM »
thanks guys

General Discussion / From trauma to frustration
« on: December 03, 2017, 08:37:03 AM »

well I'm definitly recovering, the churning emotion and anxiety is fading and in fits and starts, my old self is coming back. But as with everything about this condition, it's not a straight line.

I'm wading through these projects and as usual, the editors have messed up the schedules and everyone is in a bad mood, I'm working instead of recovering and I'm face to face with a whole bunch of triggers. On the whole tho, I'm weathering them better, but I'm struggling to keep alcohol at arm's length. This is not drinking to get legless and crash out, it's more to get me out of the flat and get a sense of kicking back. Trouble is that it collides with my meds and the next day, even on small amounts, my head is useless. It's a real impasse. Stay in without alcohol and I get miserable, go out I feel ok, if a bit of a barfly, and then wake up with a brain like a root vegetable. Inner city, winter, my alternatives are not brilliant.

However, last week I had a flash of personal productivity that blew my socks off. I finally had confirmation that the work with my troublesome biz partner is ending, but that a new editor who I find a breeze to work with is coming on stream. The clients are happy, I'm happy, she's happy. A weight lifted there, I can tell you. My biz partner is not a narc, but he's hugely complex and he's been a major element in my getting C-PTSD. If I can wing keeping the work but having a different team I could really change the landscape.

So after that I felt really energised and threw myself at my contacts to see what else I could make happen. And it was a fair old bit. My substantial back catalogue of artworks is bound for picture libraries, a few other teams want me on side for book pitches and then I started advertising my novels with renewed vigor.

But it didn't last.

That's the rub as you recover, the upward curve becomes a sawtooth, the highs followed by sharp crashes as you think you've escaped, but havn't. C-PTSD is nasty.

The antidote is to expect the crashes and do everything you can to build them in to your expectations, use them even. I made the mistake this week of dropping my guard when it went and acting as if I was well. I'm not well, my adrenal system is still very challenged and I don't have the emotional energy to sustain "normal". So lesson learned. C-PTSD is here til it decides to leave and it won't be rushed.

Meanwhile big changes. I am moving to Wales. London is horribly expensive and it is working against me as a writer. I had planned to get a job but it's clear that that is unlikely to be an option, and even if it was, my energy is way too unpredictable to carry it through. So freelancing it is, that way I can control my day. BUt it has to be in a cheaper place and as I have friends in Wales, and the costs are below half what I'm paying here in LOndon, it's a no brainer. The emphasis is going to be on writing of course, right now my sales are close to be able to pay my rent and that plus a bit of freelancing will work.

so yeah, up, down.


General Discussion / Re: Bless you all
« on: November 30, 2017, 08:52:42 AM »

General Discussion / Re: Lonndon meet up group, narc survivors.
« on: November 30, 2017, 08:51:49 AM »
Newport. I have mates there and the costs are low. I'm going to pour the coals on as a writer, my book sales are up and given the costs in Wales I can use them to pay the rent. London is impossible on my current freelance levels. I love central wales too. Easy access for walking. Works.

General Discussion / Re: Lonndon meet up group, narc survivors.
« on: November 28, 2017, 10:35:38 PM »
I think i'll be an ex londoner before it comes up. I'm off to Wales

General Discussion / Re: Lonndon meet up group, narc survivors.
« on: November 25, 2017, 09:45:42 PM »
Not happened yet, waiting to be called!

General Discussion / Re: Bit of a mental mess...
« on: November 25, 2017, 02:03:43 PM »
it's a bullet that has to be dug out. It hurts because you are getting nearer to the core of the thing. The pain can come because you are holding back, trying to normailse in the face of the abnormal. At some point shutting down has to pass and acceptance has to kick in, if not then the numbness becomes you, forever.

I'm coming out of that stage and it's been very rough. Accepting what has been done to you is a *. It feels all wrong and utterly hopeless a lot of the time, but this side of the fire I am feeling a weight lift that had been there since I was a teen. My advice, for what it is worth, is to roll up your sleeves, and go in swinging. Take the pain and see it for the medical intervention it is.

If you are in East 17, so am I, at least for now.

General Discussion / Re: Bit of a mental mess...
« on: November 24, 2017, 11:20:37 PM »
yes you can

yes you will

defiance... why should you go down for the behaviour of others, that's outrageous. !@$%^ em. Fight back.

General Discussion / Re: Lonndon meet up group, narc survivors.
« on: November 21, 2017, 10:28:11 PM »
I'll try it, but I'll have my hand on the ejector handle

General Discussion / Lonndon meet up group, narc survivors.
« on: November 21, 2017, 07:57:31 PM »
saw a group on meetup, so decided to join.

thoughts on meeting up, good or bad idea? Personally, I find people without trauma hard to relate to so, well why not?

General Discussion / Re: CPTSD stage 4517/B
« on: November 19, 2017, 10:17:15 AM »
Hi Hellipig

thanks for that, I hear ya.

Tricky one this. It's essentially gone this way because we are a freelance team and not connected to any kind of external force that could rationalise it. My biz partner is a workaholic polymath, bit of a genius in his way but far too willing to push himself too hard at his and my expense. He's the writer editor and I'm the designer and illustrator. That means that I am tail end charlie and completely dependant on material being suppiled to me at the back end of the jobs. Also, our main client has gone through a series of ructions, each of which seemed to result in a worsening arrangement for us. Add to that my PTSD, and the conditions are ripe for chaos.

The only way out of this is for me to pull out and properly recover. My counsellor and doctor have said the same thing and my pal with PTSD has been nagging me to go on welfare to let my head recover. The work we are doing is madly complex and I can barely focus on it, that would be enough on its own but add in the bizarre work behaviour from my dream team of Sheldon Coopers and you have a recipe for a breakdown.

I've recovered a lot in that I know exactly what I've been through, know why, who what etc, but I now have a very basic need to just rest. This won't be full on welfare, the idea is to go part time and take the pressure off regarding income while I untangle myself from the biz. I'm going to do that for 6 months or so then go back to work, 9-5 part-time plus selective freelancing. That plus the sales on the novels and I should be fine.

It's just the nature of this industry that you get locked in for such long periods. Contracts take ages to work through so I'm locked into it until july! If they plan to do more books then we could find ourselves offered another advance and it will start all over again. I have to find the energy to break this pattern once and for all. It's the single biggest block to my progress now. I just have to strike a balance between work, art and a social life, but a social life seems a very distant thing right now, I'm pretty reclusive. So art it is.

The benefits people and the docs and counsellor are pretty on side with me so far tho, they take PTSD very seriously. I'm not spending that much apart from on beer, which I need to stop. There is an annoying dssconnect now between what I want to do and what I am doing, it's the last part of the puzzle. I know I can write well, I know it can sell, but my time is just floating past me in this mix of pressure and ambiguity. Going on benefits will reset the clock and let me back out under control without hitting a wall. Once I get the set up right, I will work like crazy and make the novels pay.

But for now, this crap.

General Discussion / dating
« on: November 19, 2017, 09:39:17 AM »
Probably not a good idea.

was a friend mainly thing but I could have done without the blunt rejection for a sexual move I hadn't even dreamt of making. Considering that the PTSD and my meds give me the sex drive of balsa wood I really wasn't hoping for some action. Bit of a male-female divide here, but if I'd said that to a woman, in that way, they'd be washing her self-esteem off the pavement with pressure hoses.

I'm not sure whether I care actually, in fact it may be a good thing in that it focusses my attention back on to me and removes a distraction. My counsellor said I should avoid dating, and she's right, this really isn't the time. Friends before lovers for now. I'm still reeling at the things I went through with my ex and her alcoholic narcissism and I'm in no fit state to deal with anyone else's emotional unpredictability. I need to dig in and heal, get my life back on track and kill off the last issues with my problem biz partner.

And I need to write. Write write write.  Had my 500th review on amazon this morning. I can do this, for sure, just need to get my head clear enough to sell it. Oddly, the writing is nothing compared to the promotion, that's the headache.

I'm just concerned that I won't find a groove work wise. I'm gonna be in deep do-dos if I don't get on top of this. Time for action.

And for the record, I didn't really fancy her that much either.

General Discussion / Re: Safety first
« on: November 18, 2017, 04:21:25 PM »
I nearly moved and am glad I didn't, simply because there was a time bomb in me that would have gone off no matter where I was. C-PTSD is 80% in our heads, and 20% the past lingering in real terms. It is what they have planted in us that does the damage and where the real fight lays.

Oddly, once you are safe, then you feel it the most. It's a very exaggerated version of getting a cold on holiday. You relax and it hits you with full fury.

Hellipig, honey.

It's a whirl of emotions and hard to pin down and fight your way out but you CAN do this.

With the lack of a counsellor I can suggest you do a few things I did that really helped to stop that chaotic thinking and enable some clarity to creep in.

First, write lists. Write down the reality of the thing again and again. The reality is:

1. This was done to you You are not responsible for any of what happened and even if you later made mistakes because of the fallout, by default, they are not your fault either.

2. Anyone, ANYONE, who experienced the things you did would likely or not be where you are now. We are not all the same, but given the surprising patterns you see in people's stories in here, the obvious inferences are that our brains are doing what they are naturally programmed to do. In other words, there is no success and fail here, only cause and effect.

3. Unconditional love in families is a pile of @$%^&. There is either love or there isn't and in its absence, we are entitled to go elsewhere for happiness. Crap families ruthlessly exploit guilt and duty whilst displaying neither themselves. It is perfectly acceptable for anyone you find to be abusive and damaging to your sense of well-being to be ejected via the airlock, aliens style. You will get crap for doing it, but you were going to get crap anyway. Do it.

4. What you are feeling is actually not the truth, it is the result of injury to the chemistry of your brain. Sustained stress and neglect alters the shape of the brain (not permanent) through the bias of your body towards stress hormones. See your brain like any other part of your body, it can be hurt. Your adrenal glands have swamped your system with cortisol and adrenalin until finally you were forced to go numb, disassociation, (which I can never spell) and suppress these emotions to take the pressure off your endocrine system. With long-term stress, this alters the brain structure in a bad way and alters how you think creating a loop. The hippocampus shrinks and the brain starts to lose the ability to normally regulate emotions. But it feels like reality and it hurts like *. But it is vital to understand that there are two distinct issues, the cause, and the effect. The effect has to be dealt with as objectively as possible with a bias towards the maximum amount of research you can bear. Knowledge is power.

5. It's your life. Easy to say of course, but it's pretty fundamental. No one has the right to take you over, get inside your head or exploit you, neglect you or trash you. No one. Anyone that has, or does any of those no longer has the right to be in your life at all. There is nothing selfish about taking control and demanding what you and all of us deserve,  a bit of basic normailty.

6. Avoid caffeine. Exercise. Keep drinking to a minimum and rest when your body says rest. Listen to what your body is telling you. Adrenal fatigue is a big part of all this, as is outside guilt and pressure making us wear ourselves out for no good reason. Body knows best. Stop before you are forced to.

7. You are not the only one. In here are many really good people who have had some really bad people in their lives, just as you have. None of it is right, none of it is fair, none of it can be made to make any sense whatsoever, though we all so wish it would. There will be no closure other than that which we make with ourselves. Only in movies do the big conclusions happen, the big bombshell where everyone collectively comes to their senses. Not in real life I'm afraid. In real life no one will say sorry, take responsibility and put their crimes right. And the more reprehensible the crime, the less likely the honesty. You were horribly negelcted by the people you most needed, and that is a very deep scar that you crave to be treated, but sadly, all of us in here would stand more chance of an honest conversation with a great white shark than our abusers. The bottom line is that anyone capable of such a lack of empathy in the first place, will never gain it in later life unless they are sitting in front of a parole board and think it could help their case.

8. There is a better world. Truly. There are good people out there, and happiness is to be had, but first we have to put the fires out and see our stories from the high ground which we have gained when we were not even seeking it. Put yourself first, break your story down into its components and begin putting it into context. Family, relationships, illness, money, health etc etc.


1. Not your fault
2. Your current issues are perfectly understandable
3. Your family is not a prison you have to live in
4. CPTSD is a physiological response to emotional pressures and needs to be seen as a physical injury.
5. It IS YOUR LIFE. You have a right, and obligation even, to live it.
6. Listnen to your body and avoid placing strains on it with caffeine etc. (take vitamin D btw.. max strength)
7. You are not alone and unique in your suffering. Everyone in here gets it even if the wider world can be about as sensitive as intestinal worms.
8. The world is not so full of monsters. There is beauty, kindness and love. But first we have to wash the mud and blood off and put on out best clothes and be able to see it before we can embrace it.

I suggest you write out your own version of the above and then write it again, and again until it sinks into those neural pathways in place of all that bad influence. Will be ok sweetheart, truly. x

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