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Messages - woodsgnome

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 :yeahthat: I agree -- nothing to feel silly about.

I do the same sort of viewing with the 1975 youtube episodes -- every so often watch a 1/2 hour or so, maybe read a small part of the book, and instantly feel better. Even if, as in the early parts especially, some of the topics are a bit rugged, knowing that the journey towards wholeness will shift for Mary picks me up too.

The best part of the 1975 version (some might think them a tad long) is its correspondence with the book; even much of the dialogue is present, word for word. The music is fitting but subdued, if even there -- not interfering with the narrative as happens in many movies, and not loaded with other shenanigans that deter rather than support the tale itself.

Interesting take on the names we've chosen for OOTS. Hadn't thought of that before, but it's true -- we're all in the process of creating and reclaiming our own secret gardens, and no one else can take it from us.



Introductory Post / Re: Hi
« on: September 04, 2020, 10:18:41 PM »
 :wave: Connecting and sharing is what makes OOTS worthwhile; especially for so many with no place else to turn. Welcome, Gravity.

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Re: Burned Out From Healing?!?
« on: September 02, 2020, 09:01:35 PM »
I know too well what your point is, about it all seeming too much to handle. Sometimes it is; but some progress also seems to almost lie hidden before showing signs that any of it's worked.

So often this stuff stays hidden, hidden or invisible. As with any growing system, it might be the roots are still somehow pushing their way toward the surface. The root system might take a while before it shows obvious results above ground.
So yes, we burn out and wonder why sometimes what seemed promising doesn't seem to be working out.

I often have extreme doubts like the ones you're talking about. I try so hard and has any of it worked out and if not, when will it. Yet something often feels better, almost of its own accord, but who really knows? Some very surprising things have happened to me, some of it after giving up on life entirely. Somehow the root system finally made it to the surface.

It is fine to ease up on at least some of it -- it's very overwhelming not keep up trying. But every time I've been at the outer edge of not wanting to go on, something would seem to happen, surprise and even startle me.

I'm still learning to ease up on some of the outer and trust the inner with this. I fear I might sound like another of those happy-talk sorts, but I'm definitely not. I've just gone through the same rough stretch of road you've described. Still, l I've gone through enough hurt to have seen the other side, and even been surprised that there does indeed appear to have been some progress where I least expected it. Perhaps it was just a matter of time before those underground roots started to show above ground.

Please take good care of yourself, Bach. And know we're all behind you -- we know what it's like, both to feel like giving up but also finding light further on.

If alright, I'd like to offer a gently and supportive  :hug:

In my previous post, I referred to how I noticed various metaphors in The Secret Garden. There's lots, some more apparent than others; some silent, others included in the script dialogue. As has been mentioned, the robins obviously are very symbolic.

In the opening segment of the BBC 1975 series, there's a scene showing Mary alone in her bungalow in India, following its desertion by the people fleeing the cholera outbreak. Mary is left behind; then she spies a snake slithering away. She begs it to stay, not realizing the drastic change to her life already in process; then the snake moves on, ignoring Mary's pleas of "don't go" and leaving the scene.

This didn't occur to me at first, but on later viewings I remembered how highly symbolic snakes can be. One big one is that some occasionally shed their skins, and new growth replaces the old layer. So I saw that as a huge unspoken metaphor, silently suggesting how Mary's life was about to undergo a radical change.

And of course how that's true for all of us at some point -- shedding what needs to be discarded. It might not be what we wanted at all, but perhaps -- just maybe -- it might end up better than we ever could have imagined, as it did for Mary (and how dramatically she affected the lives of those around her).

There's lots of other little/big messages embedded in the story, adding to the delight I found in it.

So glad this thread popped up again. It's almost odd (or not) how when I feel down I always find it soothing to watch a bit of the 1975 BBC version, or read some from the book, and feel so much better about the resilience, beauty, and magic can be found in life; and how we each have our own secret garden to cultivate and care for.

Now that I know the story so well (I've written mountains of material concerning it in my private journal), I'm even noticing new metaphors and symbols woven into it that I hadn't noticed before. In other words, it's grown on me just like a garden.  Discussing it with my T today, I started calling this my 'summer of the secret garden'.

I had no idea how powerfully that story would be for me, but am so glad I found it.  :bigwink:

I find the topic of inner voices fascinating. There are a couple of themes that have shaped my experience of these.

Starting with the worst, I've been haunted with the 'remnant'  voices of my principal abusers -- parents, teachers, preachers. They're not around physically anymore but nonetheless infiltrated my mind's fearful side early on and have never left.

With help from my T on this, I'm doing better at my response to these voices which can become a crescendo of noise (like hearing dozens of maximum output radios blaring at me).

My best and most effective response was the early development of other inner voices that countered the mayhem (though not always). They probably originated as dissociative responses, but they were wonderful when they made it through the other noise.

These were what I call my humour feed, as their main focus is to build a humourous (contradictory as that seems at first) inner response to the outer terror. I can recall this happening during abusive episodes, for instance, where I blanked out the negative screaming (and worse) going on around me, but my inner self's message was like "look at these buffoons with their gloomy twisted faces screaming away. These are people I never want to know", etc. Sometimes it seems as if it was these other voices that got me through.

That was the kid response, but as an adult I've lately been able to visualize doing things to them I'd never consider in real life. This is with the encouragement of the T, who encourages me even though she knows I'd never really treat people as I fantasize about what I'd do to those of the original voices. After all, she's pointed out, nothing ever stopped them from their cruelties, and they're not around as people anymore either. Yelling back has helped, along with these other visualizations.

Plus my mainstay -- that inner humourist who somehow showed up in my psyche early on and still 'saves' me even now.

Recovery Journals / Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« on: August 30, 2020, 11:21:02 PM »
 :applause: Hi Bach -- those are good signs, and it's cool to see the perspective coming in a bit clearer for you. May these new directions continue for you, past the scary places into the new sunshine.  :sunny:

Symptoms - Other / Re: Trouble with fantasies
« on: August 30, 2020, 12:25:08 AM »
Fantasies are alright, often useful. After all, they're where lots fiction and other creative art forms have their origin. We are, after all, endowed with imagination, and using it is natural.

That said, I've had many fantasies, for sure. But only one has ever took hold to where it's power almost devoured me, to the point of destroying my will to live. Simply put, it was the fantasy of what it might be like to have had loving, caring parents who supported me. Such was never the case; it became and is still the overriding grief of my life.

That's all -- it may not fit the parameters of this thread, I don't know. But when I saw it the fantasy that instantly leaped out was that one. There -- now that I've said it perhaps it will act as a release of something that's eaten away at my core being forever.

Letters of Recovery / Re: To my former youth pastors
« on: August 29, 2020, 11:48:12 PM »
Well said, cflage. Those who hide behind their 'holiness' are the worst -- too big a part of my own terrors about life stem from having experienced those sorts of people for nigh on 20 years.

I hope you are finding greater peace now. Healing might be slow, but I hope writing this is a good start to turning away from abuses for which there is no excuse.

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Re: My Husband had a Stroke
« on: August 29, 2020, 11:18:20 PM »
Sending you lots of support, starting with this gentle, caring  :hug:


I've also gone (endured) lots of therapists, until finding someone very similar to Whoobuddy's description. This makes a huge difference, but it seems from what I can gather there's still this problem. Boiled down, it seems as easy as therapists forgetting they're in the profession of helping people, not sorting them into categories with instant prescribed solutions. Of course, some of this seems tied to insurance providers as well.

At any rate, just wanted to add a thought to the well-put observances of Whobuddy. Therapy can play such a huge role in already dire life situations. Cookie-cutter solutions don't always apply.

Introductory Post / Re: Greetings from London
« on: August 27, 2020, 11:19:08 PM »
 :wave: Hi, CherryTree,

Cptsd can indeed be a very lonely trek. It's especially hard to locate others who've wandered the territory, so congrats to your finding OOTS, an oasis of folks sharing as best they can with peers who are understanding and supportive.

Successes, Progress? / Re: "Getting your feelings back"
« on: August 27, 2020, 02:23:35 PM »
 :cheer: ... good to see you've found new territory, and it hasn't scared you back, either. If it does, you at least know the feeling of having seen the new prospect.

I remember when I started with my present T, I informed her that feelings were mostly inaccessible for me. I realize that was a bit off the mark in denying any feeling. I couldn't/didn't want to access some areas, from fear more than anything. I knew there's stuff (still is) lurking around the edges that might indeed trigger me into feelings I was terrified of.

Though the road is still rocky at times, muddy at others, slowly I've been able to find feelings again, and it does free things up a bit, and having done that it makes the rest of recovery seem less foreboding, and I even ran into some surprises that have helped me turn the corner. I hope it can keep doing the same for you.

Inner Child Work / Re: Feel child like most of the time.
« on: August 26, 2020, 05:56:56 PM »
I think I recognize some of your mindset. I still find myself rather child-like, or is it turtle-like? I'm always shrinking back under my protective shell. Slowly, I'm trying to poke my head out, but it rarely works for long, until I find myself still stuck under the hard shell. It's very slow to try and undo so many years of trauma. Patience can run in short supply, but it seems necessary (is that adult-like? I'm not sure).

Child-like? Definitely it can be taken that way, this reticence to take any steps forward, let alone bold ones. All's not lost if one can adjust their thoughts about it, at least a little. Child-like does suggests an innocence -- a beginner's mind -- and this cptsd struggle is nothing if not a new beginning.

In some ways, my own story was built around never wanting to be like the adults I was around when young. Growing up never seemed real to me, given all the anger and worse that I saw in those adults (and peers who mimicked their meanness).

From what you've said, yes you feel scared and still like a child in some ways. But that's not a flaw, only a characteristic of being a survivor. It's taken me a long time to re-discover that I'm okay, though. I have quirks but they needn't defeat my growth into whatever it is; I just don't call it adulthood, apparently (also for obvious reasons).

So first up, it might help to give yourself credit as a sensitive survivor who will find your way forward. Maybe it helps to allow the good parts that seem child-like, or don't even label it, as sensitivity is not a flaw to be ashamed of, but a strength to build upon.

This seems contrary to what's expected -- the growing up stuff we're all fed. Or maybe it's more like a maturity, and some people who seem child-like are really more mature in some ways. 

Introductory Post / Re: Here I am, from Indiana.
« on: August 26, 2020, 05:08:42 PM »

Checking in here involves learning and sharing with peers who won't start by judging; usually there's a sense of empathy,  which can be awkward given that many here were unloved and had to learn on their own how to make it through (or are still trying).

Again, Welcome!

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