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Messages - woodsgnome

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General Discussion / Re: Sayings and idioms, and overcoming them.
« on: January 25, 2021, 06:44:40 PM »
I had several like yours, Bermuda, that were awful, but so forceful that the hurt behind them seems almost to fulfill one of the worst -- "it'll just have to beaten into you." Yuk.

One that continually circulates comes via the father. "It's not what you say, it's how you say it." Huh? Invalidating and meaningless, but it amounted to total disregard for anything I'd ever say, or want to; rather like: "shut-up if you know what's good for you." The overall message was always "You don't count for anything".

He was also an enabler and excuser of the multiple abuses of the mother. No matter what she felt like, it all came back to me as in "you're hurting your mother"  (like after she beat me?   :stars:). In the end, "it's all your fault" seemed to wrap things up, satisfying them but leaving me to stew in misery.

So many more rattle around in the mind's cobwebs.  Fortunately, they're long gone from my life but I also have learned to talk back in thought-speak, with strong encouragement from my T.

I just dismiss them, sometimes angrily, but also just with a curt dismissal of "you can go now" or something similar. What does the most good is just knowing the further back they've receded into the rear-view mirror.

Birthday / Re: My birthday
« on: January 18, 2021, 06:33:18 PM »
For you on your day, best wishes and more on the way.

Hey, Rainydiary ... I know we're all 'only' virtual sorts of witnesses on this forum, but in your wish for those who can share what you're about and try to relate to your survival, well, we're here for you, like this ~~~  :grouphug: ~~~ !

In that way, maybe our presence to your 'survival' mode is in its own way a boost, for what it's worth (worth a lot, especially when we're so alone). I know it isn't the full picture you envision, but sometimes our desires hit snags and need flexibility.

A small example for me was adding a word to my chief 'goal' in life. I used to state that I was only looking for peace. Then I changed it, upon realizing that with change as a constant, looking for a singular sort of peace doesn't fit the reality of how life proceeds, moment to moment and not static.

So now I see my main goal as being oriented towards finding a peaceful flow, or less stationary. My metaphor for this is to picture my life as a canoe journey, but at some point (cptsd) the craft was flipped and I was thrown into the water. I clung tightly to a rock (peace) but realized that my only hope was to move with the flow, hopefully the peaceful flow where I'm still surviving, but moving with life.

I hope this makes some sense; I know I get carried away with these sometimes. But this brings up something else about my view of 'survival' -- a willingness to surprise myself with things I hadn't considered before. One book ("Taming the Gremlin") I read years ago suggested 'playin with options', which I relate to my "life-streams" new slant towards finding a peaceful flow rather than a more static form of peace. I think this all ties back to getting past those stuck places where we felt coerced and trapped by forces and/or people beyond our control. It's a process I'm still trying to work out, but it does feel better having realized that I could un-burden myself of the guilt I used to feel. 

Meanwhile, I hope you will be able to at least picture some options that might open things up for your own safe flow in peace as you safely travel forwards.


Despite the warning signs, I often went ahead in certain areas with things that didn't quite feel right, especially regarding relationships. One time I had a directly related dream with the obvious message: stay away, don't go any further with this person (a boss/employer in that instance).

I came to be hurt deeply, but at the time I felt despite the odds, and the dream, I could survive. The job was important to me, and that seemed to override the warning signs. And ... I  wound up in a brutal no-escape situation that drove me deeper into a roaring depression it was hard to extricate from.

I'd done this sort of thing before, though. Over and over, and now I don't see my tendency to get into these traps as indicating a flaw of mine; just not enough discernment at the time to keep out of the situations.

The downside is the resulting pain and added stress. But looking back, I can at least give myself one credit -- I wanted, desperately, to trust people, even if things seemed a bit 'off'. None of this makes up for what happened, but I at least have that one small consideration indicating that I wasn't all bad with these messes; neither were they my fault.

Yes, they were awful, but the other trap -- of feeling guilty -- I was at least able to see, if only in retrospect. I wanted, so much, to trust. I got burned but also saw in myself a quality I was craving for. The people ended up as untrustworthy, it turned out, but my heart wasn't out to do harm, only find trust.

Lots of work left to not just recognize those traits, but get past them. Step one, though it's also hard, was an is the ability to forgive myself for having that desire for trust, even if it was elusive. When one comes from a background of not being able to trust -- in the end, I can't fault myself for that. One small step of recognition helps to at least ease the pain.

Thanks for that observation, Hope67. It reminded me of an easily overlooked facet of all these messy relationships. Often lumped into the general category of 'emotional abuse', these coercive parts to it can easily corrode and eventually destroy lives.

My own parts have lots to still uncover. It's scary to realize, too, how there have been consistent patterns, for me, of falling into so many coercive situations throughout the whole rough ride.

Learning to get outside this corrosive trap takes a lot, but I guess it's also worth it on the other end.

I trust it's alright to offer you and your parts an encouraging  :hug: ~~ hoping you'll continue finding ways to come away from having gone through so much coercion, some overt and some hidden.

Recovery Journals / Re: Discovery Journal
« on: January 16, 2021, 08:32:56 PM »
 :)  :cheer:  :thumbup:   :hug:   :hug:

Missed you, but so glad to hear of your good journeying. Sometimes we just wander, but there's so much to heal, it's a wonder, and joy, that we can somehow find solid steps forward.

That you've done so is wonderful news, and inspiration for others that sometimes we can turn the corner and there it is -- a new life and better prospects for dealing with the old story.

Thanks for stopping back here with the encouraging update.

Poetry & Creative Writing / Re: Waiting for the Phoenix
« on: January 13, 2021, 07:21:00 PM »
Sometimes I wonder how any of this pain could find adequate expression. There are no words, it's all so beyond comprehension.

Ah, but I've now found these lines of yours, GeekyGramma, that do say what it feels like. They have indeed stirred my heart. Like stirring the ashes, I suppose; and if that can happen, perhaps there will be a tiny spark that can somehow reignite.

Thank you  :hug:

I know how hard it was and is ... my hope is for you to release those monsters from ever touching your life again, and that you'll feel safer, and find that phoenix ... and/or it will find you.

Introductory Post / Re: IRedW77
« on: January 12, 2021, 03:29:26 AM »
So many of us have been so conditioned to not trust our own feelings that we naturally tend to downplay our own hurt. We compare notes, but really there is no comparison when we've been so damaged, invalidated, and unsupported before.

So, you're not at all alone about the grief and self-doubt these wounds ha caused. As Blueberry noted, many here have expressed similar sentiments to yours, but in the end all are unique; which is but one way this forum can help you set foot towards creating a new outlook for coming to grips with your own troubled past. I'd like to start by offering this gentle  :hug:


Here's hoping you'll feel safe and comfortable here as you begin the important journey back.

Introductory Post / Re: Hi, new here
« on: January 05, 2021, 08:59:02 PM »
Dear Wic ... here's a warm welcome to a diverse but focused community. The base line seems to swirl in the directions of trudging through this life despite some hefty wounds which  we neither created nor wanted;  :spooked: but hey, we're here anyway and ... now what?

My own approach to this forum was also along tentative lines of wondering what the discussions here could do to help alleviate my own tendency to slide further into despair. So I was rather pleasantly surprised to find that I was learning from the only true experts on cptsd -- those who've 'walked the talk'. I've read lots of the self-proclaimed experts, but the people here are speaking from deep within, from their broken hearts.

OOTS reflects so much of the journey -- the extreme lows, but also the peeks into new ways of healing.

So your presence here, however little or much of these materials you choose to actively dive into, is a welcome addition.  :grouphug: 

Introductory Post / Re: Hello, I'm finally healing
« on: January 02, 2021, 02:11:51 AM »
Even though you indicate a troubled past, the good news is you've survived and are seeking to reach out. And just knowing one is not alone in this helps greatly, as it's such a struggle to keep moving.

So a hearty welcome to OOTS!  :)

Recovery Journals / Re: Not Alone: 2021
« on: January 02, 2021, 01:58:37 AM »
 :thumbup: for your new journal. It's always cool to see our journey from a fresh perspective. While the old annoyances are still around, we benefit from realizing that the old story is receding further and further back in the rear-view mirror.

Every once in a while it seems like we hit some bad snags, but as Spring illustrates, that's when it's best to keep on trekking anyway.

So her'e's best wishes and a heartfelt  :hug: as you are finding ways to stay on track. Hope the reconnection with the T goes well, too -- it helps so much to have that support when things can seem so overwhelming.

Recovery Journals / Re: Hope's Journal: Still Befriending My Parts.
« on: December 29, 2020, 09:14:13 PM »
Hope: "I am ok again, the pain has gone."  :cheer: That's so great, to be able to find light on the path once more.

Introductory Post / Re: Finally saying hello
« on: December 29, 2020, 06:04:38 PM »
Greetings, Bluegem  :wave:

Sounds like you're taking tentative steps you feel it's finally time to explore further. OOTS is a good place for that, mainly as it's a safe entourage of people traveling along similar but divergent paths.

Hope you can continue your explorations and, most of all, run into some needed supportive ways to enhance those first steps.

Letters of Recovery / Re: Letter to Little
« on: December 28, 2020, 03:23:35 AM »
  :thumbup:            :applause:                   


**TW** in paragraph 4, there's mention of physical pressure applied by an abuser


Bella, you asked, "when you feel you are zoning out, or have tunnel vision etc., is it mostly uncomfortable, or can it also feel ok in some sense?"

Great question. My dissociation doesn't seem consistently one way or another.  I think the dominant factor starts with my mind being quite hyperactive around people in general -- alert but scanning for danger. I can therefore sense danger where it might not really be present.

In that sense, it's horrible; but I often don't realize this happened right away; afterwards I might notice I've missed a few seconds or more of being fully present. Inwardly, it's like I'm setting up to run away. It helps that my T is very understanding of what's going on; though she prefers if I notice it myself first (a sign that my self-concept might be improving).

*TW ahead per externally applied bodily pressure* The worst is when I feel like there's a sort of pressure being applied, like someone is pressing down on my shoulders in a threatening manner (this was done to me by an abuser, but the feeling seemed to start long before those incidents occurred). I feel like 'burrowing in' -- the feeling of wanting to disappear where I can't be hurt. It's frustrating to feel this threatened, long past the actual danger. Fortunately, it also seems like I'm good at disguising my reaction.

Since my T explained more about dissociation, if I catch what's going on I feel 'okay' in some sense. I guess it helps to have her supportive presence at those times. But if I sense the stuff coming on around others, it can make me feel a little panicky.

As for the inner sayings I referred to in my previous response here, I'm like you in that I can easily forget them in the moment of dimming out, but I've tried to slowly plant the confidence that I can do this in the back of my mind, but it's a long ways to build this up from so many years of habits.

I continue to work on this. And hope you can find some comfort in knowing you're not alone with this. Like so many symptoms of c-ptsd, finding a sure 'cure' for this has many roadblocks, but I guess it's like so much -- it requires patience and building resilience and self-forgiveness.   :hug:

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