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Messages - JamesG

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General Discussion / Re: Letter to my husband
« on: November 07, 2017, 08:07:58 AM »
In all honesty, he won't get it. He can't afford to get it because his whole mindset is based on the world being wrong and him being right and dropping that is more than he can do. I've been this with my ex and my business partner, they just cannot begin to accept culpability, it will never happen. The simple rule of thumb with people is this, if they cause pain, they will keep causing pain and it will be the victim's fault. There will never be an epiphany, they have made that impossible.

The kindest people ask themselves the cruellest questions, the cruellest people never ask themselves anything at all.

General Discussion / Re: dropping the meds
« on: November 02, 2017, 06:31:03 PM »
aye, been bitten like that before. Seeing him on monday. Gonna try and time it well.

General Discussion / dropping the meds
« on: November 02, 2017, 08:15:17 AM »
After much research and balancing of pros and cons I think I'm going to drop my meds.

I'm on a pretty small dose of Escitilopram (lepraxo) of 5mg, but I think I've now reached the point where it is inhibiting rather than facilitating recovery. I feel a need to cry more and burn off the emotion the natural way, but the drug is suppressing that, along with a range of other natural responses to life. It's done its job, it has calmed me down during a period of high anxiety but as my old doctor warned, anti deppressants can and do slow recovery long term if you use them long term. It's a balancing act - energy vs deppression. I feel the energy and fatigue battle is my biggest obstacle to recovery now, I want my creativity, drive and libido back and am prepared to have an increased deppresion to do it. For me, the biggest weapon against anxiety and deppresion is action. I just don't want to have anything holding me back now, I want to organise, write and socialise and just plain get out there.

It may well make me stressed, but doing little to nothing each day is no solution anymore. I want to throw myself into work and fight my way out of the last shackles. I feel I have analysed this story all I can. I know what happened and I know waht was right and what was wrong. There are still behavioural things I need to address and intrusive thoughts to fight but they will be there anyway. I understand the mechanisms of this condition enough now to separate fact from fiction, reality from the gaslight, I have enough support now to take this on.

I am going to wait until my current group of projects is over and then I'm going to hit the button. Enough already.

very familiar

after much counselling it was really obvious that it was all about putting right the persistent negative reinforcement that had poured at me from my brother. That plus the negativity that that then made occur in the world beyond the family and hey presto, that's a lifetime of doubt right there. The mind craves reassurance and validation because what it has experienced is an aberration, but the more you want it, the more it hurts when it kicks back. The world is full of people who love to reinforce doubt and insecurity, people who delight in telling you that everything you feel is insecurity you choose to have, or problems you have invented.

I have chosen to kick back at this nonsense and take my place at the table and to stick two fingers up (I'm British) at these malign forces. We are entitled to talk, to be wrong, to be emotional, to use conversation and narrative to explore our feelings and help process these painful experiences. Of course we are.

Let rip, we are listening.

General Discussion / Re: bleh
« on: October 31, 2017, 08:56:34 PM »

but we are we are hun, and we have to fight upwards. The despair is a habit, it's been put in us. I've grown past that sadness because nothing, no amount of isolation and loneliness can compete with the pain that got me here. Got you here.

I'll level with you, this is never gonna be easy, but we are like slaves, we had a chance to escape and we took it. We were fed as slaves, our pain was a certainty and yes, we'll always sense the shackles but we are free now.

But it's dramatic, its drama, and for all that pain, we are like bullets from a gun. We are full of pent up life. We know the value of life because we have been so robbed of it, we have intensity that not many will ever know.

I won't go back. I don't want it to have been different anymore, I just want the freedom to learn. We have to be our own best friends first and then later, we will live and love again. We are not the only ones to have suffered you know? There are good people out there who have been bitten by different dogs and who need us with all our bite marks just as we need them. The world is not full of Pollyannas, they only say they are happy. To be truly happy, you need to have really felt the opposite, I really believe that.

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Re: Friends and their opinions
« on: October 29, 2017, 04:50:20 PM »
sorry mate

all horribly familiar. We all deserve a new cast of characters. what can I say?

General Discussion / now the good news
« on: October 29, 2017, 09:12:07 AM »
Hi all.

Last week I woke up and the thing just wasn't there. The mood was up, the fatigue vanished and I was whizzing around doing stuff. Bingo. It's back today having crept back in last night, but I was expecting that. The thing is that for the first time, I felt what it is like without it.

Now, it's a muddy picture, as always, because I have been throwing everything I had at it. So the best I can do is to list those factors and see if it makes any sense to the rest of you. I'm dividing it into catagories, psychological, diet and habits.


Counselling got very intense of late with some big realisations about earlier traumas in the home and the effect on me as a kid. Things I thought were just me, were clearly trauma effects. This is big. I also seem to have reached a point where I can no longer sympathise with any of my four horsemen and know that I was just plain right when they were very, very wrong, as in right about how you live life around emotional issues. They gaslighted with the message that I was over emotional and theatrical in my response to events, but now that the tide has gone out, it is clear that they were living in unhealthy denial of serious unresolved issues and my more open and honest approach to the expression of feelings is the healthy route. The vultures have come home to roost on that one. I have no doubts on that now so I suspect the effect of the gaslighting just petered out.

I think I also was able to remember some of the good stuff about my father which had been buried under the dissacociative response to his battle with my "we need to talk about Kevin" brother. Dad was a man of his age, certainly no new age parent, but he was a kind and loving man who died too early. I have now retrieved a stack of good memories from the dustbin where my brother slung them and that is counterbalancing some of the negatives. My brother killed him, I have no doubt about that, he was an ill man and my brother harried him into a third and fatal heart attack at the tender age of 54. Remembering all that has been painful, but it needed doing.

Understanding the full mechanics of trauma and the effect on the brain has been big. I increasingly see my story in physical terms and also as part of a process that many experience in a very similar way. Trauma varies in cause, and the stories in here are diverse, but the way that the brain seems to react chemically and physically is suprisingly uniform. I take a lot of comfort from this because it is suddenly much easier to fight. It's a bit like finding that magical cleaning product that actually works. PTSD literally alters the structure of the brain, the hippocampus shrinks and it screws up short term memory. That vagueness that I found so disturbing isnt me, it's an effect, and given some peace and quiet, some normality and stability, I won't just get back to normal, I'll be better than normal. I have lived my whole life with one hand tied behind my back and that is about to end. We all struggle so much with C-PTSD because we have only one tool to fix the brain and that is the brain itself, that's tough. We see everything through a foggy lens so it's no suprise it is a huge struggle. Fighting it takes more effort than it gives back, so it is exhausting. Understanding that is MASSIVE. But the answer is quite simple in reality and it is this.

The brain is like any other organ, if you you use it the wrong way it will break. Abuse and trauma break the brain and alter the way it works. This clouds the way that you perceive the issue itself and makes a straight road a tangle. The emotion becomes bigger than the objective truth that everything you feel is natural, an understandable reaction to the injury. Instead of unencumbered thought and life, you have a heap of scar tissue that is warping perceptions. None of that is fair, true, but fairness aside, it's simple cause and effect and it isn't YOU. More to the point, take any other human being and put them in your shoes, and the same thing would have happened. There is no weakness; you are not a failure and fated to be sad, depressed and jumpy. This is simply your mind doing what it needs to do, trying to make sense of the senseless.

Abusers are keen to gaslight of course, so they will supercharge the doubts they have created, but it simply is NOT YOU. Never was. We are not perfect either, no human being is, but we are sure as * not as imperfect as the people that injured our brains. The guilt, all the clouds of swarming shame and the judgement they threw at you,  that won't go overnight, it may take years to settle, but they are merely a symptom of the sickness in the minds of others and you do not need to give them space to grow. Accept that they will flare and die in waves, that's normal. There is no success and failure in this recovery. Be good to yourself and let it wash over you from this point on, your mind is your friend, don't fight it.

That's the point I have reached on the counselling.

Ok, Diet stuff. Well I'm still on my anti depressant and I am still drinking a bit over the limits so I think I can rule out those as factors. What is new is a number of supplements. I now take:

vitamin D
Siberian Ginseng
Ashgawandtha (look it up)
cod liver oil
Multi vits
one ibuprophen per day (200mg)
plus my usual blood pressure  and cholestral treatments

when I sneeze, people form conga lines

My diet is different too:

Muesli and nuts
Chicken and fish over red meats
Caffeine is way down.
lots and lots of water


Well, I've very much taken on board that I have to treat the fatigue with respect. I now plan for it and factor it into my activities. There seems to be a distinction between physical activity like walking or yoga say, and anything stressful. So work can bring on fatigue if it is troublesome but a walk in the sun actually generates energy.

It is really important to understand cortisol, adrenalin and the adrenal system I think. Live in constant stress and these will be hugely effected. Post trauma, the adrenal system can go into spasm and just shut down, robbing your body of get up and go. Don't be angry with it. It's earned some time off. Tbe fatigue is a sign of the body resetting after years, decades or even lifetimes of trauma. Read up on it and know that it is natural. Part of the effect is poor concentration, mental fog and a lack of interest in life. ALL NATURAL.

The difference between a task with people or without people is marked. I am actively avoiding contact with friends who don't get what I'm experiencing. It is hugely destructive to be dismissed so why risk it? I am concentrating on the good contacts and avoiding the emotionally inarticulate.

I am now learning to stop pushing myself forward when I falter, it simply backfires and much of that pressure comes from the echo of old abuse and dubious philosophy. What suits me, is what suits me... end of story. C-PTSD is a serious condition, make no mistake about that.  If you had cancer you would react accordingly. Mental injury is invisible and public understanding is lamentable. It is only 100 years since shellshock was recognised, General Patton was slapping PTSD sufferers 70 years ago. PTSD in non-military situations has only really been looked at since the 70s and even then, the majority of the population still form their understanding of mental illness from the movies. This is not our problem. If they don't get it then damn them, there is nothing we can do about that and the quest for recognition, especially from the people responsible for our trauma is a habit we need to break. If they are capable of understanding it now, then they wouldn't have been capable of creating it in the first place. What matters are the people that DO understand and the people that accept you for who you are now, not what you were or what might hopefully become. Now is what counts.

I accept the ups, and I accept the downs. It's all healing.

No contact means no contact.

People pleasing is reserved for the people worth pleasing, the kind hearts, the gentle loving people and those needing support. I am not going to waste another second of my time pleasing a narciscist. Nope, nope, nope. Not going to happen.

Being good to me. There is nothing wrong with this. If you have been brought up around narcissists they will have indoctrinated you with myths about duty, obligation and shame. None of that is true. Unconditional love is a green light for abuse and it is inflicted through repetitive programming that any time or energy you use on yourself is selfish, irresponsible and criminal. Total garbage. Every human being on this planet is entitled to live the largest percentage of their lives in pursuit of contentment. Relationships are contracts we make with people that make life better for us all collectively. Abuse happens when people seek power in relationships to pursue base needs, sick desires or to defend themselves from their own weaknesses; using those closest to them as a human shield against risk, responsibility or failure. So I am making a contract with myself for now, feeding myself validation and doing whatsoever gives me the tiniest hi upwards. Even with drink, it isnt about outside judgement whether I drink or not, it is my own sense of whether it serves me or works against me that matters. If I want to drink, I'll drink. If I want to stop, I'll stop. This applies to any other issues too, including sex, TV, what I eat, what I wear, or in the case of sex, don't wear etc etc etc. There is only me in this equation for now and my needs are paramount. This does not make me a narciscist. Don't even start to go there! There is nothing selfish about making yourself content in your own skin. So my habit is to go with the flow... MY flow.

That's where I am. Last week was unmistakably the first indicator that I can beat this thing. I am doing something right, tho of course, its hard to pick a single cause from the above. Half the supplements will be placebos, but then, who cares? If it works it works. If I can get a higher dose of a placebo, I'm on it! That stuff rocks!

I can beat this, we all can. Learn, research, act... and be defiant with the knowledge that so many of those doubts and fears are illusions that can  be outwitted in time. We deserve life. Let's go get it, eh?

General Discussion / Re: I'm ready to leave him
« on: October 29, 2017, 07:37:37 AM »
just keep remembering that the pain is the cure, you are striking off a poison limb and there will initially be a shock phase. Then it will sting. But not long from now it will be huge relief. Defiance is the the thing. You have just saved your own life, does it get any bigger than that?

General Discussion / Re: Mourning
« on: October 29, 2017, 07:33:01 AM »
I hear you. All the same, odd as it sounds, I think it is a good sign. The reason I say that is that you are expressing it with increasing objectivity and that means that the wood for the trees effect is wearing off. You know what, you know why and the future is becoming something you are considering and trying to figure out.

In my case I had to suffer a lot to look at causes and the depth of the injury to my confidence. Seeing the way it had affected me all my life and was holding me back even now, was something I had to look at. Who wants to feel so manipulated and changed by such darkness?

But it's all down to perceptions, there are times I feel "marked", "damaged" and "doomed" but there are times when I totally don't. There are many reasons for that pendulum swing but with C-PTSD, we know that with careful and steady work, we can alter those neural pathways and get back the person we should have been were it not for the abuse.

Time and again I have found that I have confounded that inner and outer critic garbage and just lived. I could have stayed in my shell but I got out and contradicted the programming. I know it's terrifying at times and it can seem insurmountable, but you CAN face this down. You are an articulate intelligent person and you just need to reach out to the right people to start building a new map of your life. You have experienceed the worst, now start reaching out for the kind hearts, the honest souls.

You've got this.

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Re: Creep wants me to go back.
« on: October 27, 2017, 10:41:41 AM »
Get someone else to do it. If I was there, I would.

General Discussion / Re: undeserving?
« on: October 27, 2017, 08:06:40 AM »
hellipig, you are worth more than you know. We love you and want to hear everything you have to say. Every post in here contributes to our collective understanding of what we are all going through. We all have value and we all have worth.

I would like to have serious words with the people who made you feel otherwise.

General Discussion / Re: Mourning
« on: October 27, 2017, 07:54:12 AM »
well I completely understand those feelings and thoughts, only too well.

I feel I'm coming through that finally and I can only really offer my own observations on it by a bit of back story and hope that finds ressonance.

My confidence had some severe holes in it and I'd grown to assume that it was just who I was. It wasn't. My brother had gone all out to deconstruct me from childhood reaching a severe crescendo in my early 20s. That's a bad time to be abused in that way and I went away  into the world with some very deep programming. There was stuff I knew on the surface, but what was deep down was far harder to get at. A lot of it I didn't even know was there.

It took the crisis of my mother's illness and death and my partners decline into alcoholism to force me in to close quarter combat with my insecurities and feeling of worthlessness before I realised the true extent of his malignancy. As C-PTSD hit home I was obliged to dig deep and realised that I'd had trauma after trauma in my formative years.

The problem with families is that they gloss over the wounds they create and dismiss any dissent. This protects the abuse in an ongoing programme of gaslighting and it reinforces the damage it is causing to the likes of us, the least abusive of all. It is the most sensitive and the most empathic that get the worst of it, internalising this insane behaviour, taking it on like Christ taking the sins of the world. Families are like castles, the thick walls serving both as a defence and a prison, trapping a mounting madness, free from the soothing normalisation of a wider society. Many families are run like failed states and dictaorships, some of which make North Korea look like the Waltons.


But when you escape you still have the marks. When I was a student I worked in a supermarket in Bournemouth in southern England, a sea side retirement town. There was a big Jewish retirement community nearby and it was regular to see the concentration camp tattoos on the forearms. That's an extreme example, but that's the sad thing about families, they drive you mad and they won't go away. They scramble your brain like eggs and then leave you to try and make sense of the world equipped with dung tinted glasses and hypervigilance.

And, of course, because you know only one type of person, you meet more of the same and each new relationship looks like the last until you are certain it IS you.

It isn't.

For me, the big recovery tool has been that realisation that what was happening in my childhood was NOT right. IT wasn't right at all. And something absurd and cruel and !@£$% up like that was bound to do damage. Festering wounds go on and on and they fill you with poison, they don't just go away, so the only way is to take that time and measure it against what is considered an average childhood (not a superb one) and ask if it was acceptable. Of course, it wasn't.

So the next thing is to look at the effect it has had on you, decide what about your nature and personality is YOU, and not THEM, and start dropping anything that drives you other than your own hands. There needs to be one set of hands on that steering wheel. Then clear out the back seat. None of us are born insecure, none of us are born unhappy. Life puts things in us and we live with them. Whatever anyone ever tells you, you do have control of that and people can change if the revelation is big enough. If we can be changed by bad things, we can be changed by good. We are after causes not symptoms in the end, looking for the roots and not the branches. Kill the roots and the weed will fall over of its own accord.

Trust me on this heliipig, there is only one fire, and that is the causes of your initial pain and trauma, everything will have followed from that. Understand that and you will be in better shape to go down the fire escape able to make life decisions that minimise future disasters. Understand that first inferno and you will have filled your life with a sprinkler system. Go with this pain and see it as the challenge it is, it's a grudge match between you and fate and it is a match you are about to win.

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Re: sensory overload issues??
« on: October 27, 2017, 07:21:01 AM »
what she said

I had this very bad for a bit with phone calls, text alerts etc, I'd taken so much stress and abuse through communications devices that I'd come to expect them.

The answer for me was to learn everything I could about it as a clinical event, taken the pressure off me and putting it on to science. It's a way to objectify the effect and feel it a bit less. It can even be a bit fascinating after time. Your brain is trying to help you, to be your trigger happy body guard and so you can eventually reassure it to "stand down".

Understanding the root causes of the trauma are essential for this though. But I find that if you look through these forums, despite the wildy different abuse and trauma stories, much of the actual mechanism of C-PTSD is fairly uniform. I find comfort in that, because it means that we are not suffering a unique effect, and when you see that you realise that things that can be defined can be beaten. It feels horrible, it feels like it is your life now, but it won't last. Not if you turn to address it and pull it apart one component at a time.

I'm finding that I'm seeing recovery now, the fire is burning out. I'd say 40% of that comes down to reading up on the brain and psychology, 30% is giving myself permission to live away from the causes of the abuse and accept the process as natural and the rest is down to talking with people in here or in the big wide world going through the same thing.

All this will pass, but see your brain as your over zealous protector. Your brain is your friend, not your enemy.

Frustrated? Set Backs? / Re: Had it canít do anymore
« on: October 26, 2017, 08:54:47 AM »
you need to tell the therapist, they don't judge. But you have to be honest for the effect that honesty has on you. Disclosure is the big release, bigger than alcohol.

So sorry that you have this burden to carry, such abuse from someone you are supposed to trust is beyond my ability to sum up.

With drinking you kind of need to reach a point where you decide against it very deep down, but right now it's clearly cathartic and it's no wonder that you are leaning on it. Yes it's not ideal, but don't feel shame or judgement, you are not drinking alone, you are drinking in response to some terrible pressures and the last thing you need to do is feel any guilt or judgement from the outside.

My mantra regarding the drinking and any other PTSD spin offs is a simple "is it any suprise?" Really, ask yourself how many people around you could take such memories and pain and skip along as if nothing is happening. If they think they can, ask em to try for an hour with a bottle of gin in their hand and see how long the cap stays on.

You are trying to process incredibly tough things, too tough almost, but even now, with the drink in your hand, you are fighting back. Yes the alcohol isn't ideal, but the important thing is that you are in here, expressing your feelings, searching for ways to beat this thing down and normalise some major life stuff, stuff that most people couldn't handle. You are tougher than you realise, and you are facing an incredible challenge, but you WILL win.

Defiance Blueberry. Defiance.

General Discussion / Re: Mourning
« on: October 26, 2017, 08:42:22 AM »
lot of resonance for me on your post here hellipig.

C-PTSD seems to be all about phases, and this one of yours was me about four months back. That frustration is a VERY good sign.

I think that there is a process where by you have to get nearer to the fire before you reach the fire escape. Seeing the sheer abnormality of your trauma, in yours and my case the family, is important. But it's hard, because a family, no matter how off the wall they are. provide you with your means of seeing the world and it is very hard to turn that round and realise that this most basic of human processes was as mad as a bucket of frogs is tough. I think it comes down siding with one world instead of another, and your family doesn't win that. At the end of the day, normal is normal and yes, what is that really? All families are odd, of course, but some are more odd than others. Posting a great link from spartan life coach at the bottom that was huge for me on this.

Dissentangling the bits of yourself that were created by your family from who you really are and really should be is tough. It takes time and can be very hard work, but you have to keep looking at how you are and look for the clues as to outside influences and the true needs you have for yourself. Do you clean the house for yourself? Or do you clean it to avoid criticism, that kind of thing. I got into a mantra of that for a while and I think it really paid off. Abusive families train you, first they teach you how to walk, then they teach you how to kneel. You are too intelligent to accept this and so your mind is fighting back, so take heart, the pain is a sign of strength.

And yes, the public face and the private pain I recognise only too well. We've grown up using social skills to navigate the world, but they don't work when it is just us, and being co-dependant people pleasers, we are not good at using these things for ourselves. But you should, so next time you have a free weekend, plan ahead and indulge yourself in anyway you can. Book a massage, get the movies that only you like. Phone an old freind. Book a couple of sailors... anything. Be good to yourself. Your sense of self has to be fought for.

I'm a bit further down this road maybe, and recovery times vary, but I will say that my recovery accelerated when I turned to face the deeper story. You have to dig out ALL the splinters, or the wound will go on aggravating you. But you know what is normal, and you have seen what is abnormal and you have made a choice, now you have to cut away any remaing cobwebs linking you to the spiders.

Here's that link.

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