Rudderless

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Lee

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Rudderless
« on: September 26, 2018, 05:44:17 PM »
Hi all, in Pete Walker's book on CPTSD, he describes dysfunctional parents who "react destructively to their child's budding sense of initiative. If this occurs throughout his childhood, the survivor may feel lost and purposeless in his life. He may drift through his whole life rudderless and without a motor. Moreover, even when he manages to identify a goal of his own choosing, he may struggle to follow through with extended and concentrated effort."

I've always had specific concrete goals, and I still do. But there seems to be some missing link between knowing what my goal is and understanding how to get there. It's like other people know what to do in life and how to be a part of the world, and I literally don't know how to chart a path from being alone with a goal and trying to achieve it.

Like Pete Walker says, I feel totally rudderless, totally at sea with no map.

If this is too abstract I can try to clarify, but I'm wondering whether anyone has advice or tips on figuring out how to accomplish things in the world. Do I need a life coach or something?

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Three Roses

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Re: Rudderless
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2018, 07:42:36 PM »
I think it may depend on what the goal is. If it's something like getting higher education or improving your credit, there are specific steps to be taken. But if it's less specific goals, like eliminating drama or being happier, the path becomes very personal...  :Idunno:

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WoundedEagle

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Re: Rudderless
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2018, 09:09:38 PM »
Hi. I relate to what you are talking about. I was told once by a psychiatrist that my brain was missing it's rudder. Took me awhile to understand what she meant but now I agree with that. I have trouble directing myself and get easily stuck and feel unsure what to do.

But my power tools are a pen and paper. Once I have a pen and paper I can write down what to do and then can direct myself. I have to keep checking it twice to see where I'm at. I love checking off boxes.

So I feel helpless about directing myself until I sit down and take stock. But do believe it is from damage done to me in childhood.

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Contessa

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Re: Rudderless
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2018, 09:21:38 PM »
Not too abstract at all Lee. Makes perfect sense.
I'm still working out my new life direction so on the journey with you

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Blueberry

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Re: Rudderless
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2018, 11:47:05 AM »
Hi all, in Pete Walker's book on CPTSD, he describes dysfunctional parents who "react destructively to their child's budding sense of initiative. If this occurs throughout his childhood, the survivor may feel lost and purposeless in his life. He may drift through his whole life rudderless and without a motor. Moreover, even when he manages to identify a goal of his own choosing, he may struggle to follow through with extended and concentrated effort."

This sounds like me. For a long time I had certain specific goals, bigger goals shall we say, but small day-to-day ones less. Some of my bigger goals for very much FOO-influenced too. So I do think I understand what you're saying.

I certainly have a lot of trouble with follow-through on goals. What does help me is to think: What is the tiniest step I am capable of doing now that will help me reach the goal? So say I want to 'get rid of my depression'. What makes me depressed? My messy apartment. Clean up all at once? You must be joking, will never work. The tiniest step today? Put the dry dishes in the dish rack away. Praise self or Inner Child or both. Is there another tiny step I could do? If yes, good, do it. If no, accept that.

What I also have found helpful though not at the moment is writing goals on a large piece of paper and then writing intermediary steps to achieving these goals. Then I stick the piece of paper on a wall and tick off the intermediary steps as I go. Some of them I tick of lots of times, e.g. taking my anti-deps, some steps are one-off. Whenever I see the poster on my wall, I see that I am working on achieving my goals. I use a different colour for the ticks (checkmarks) than what I wrote with. That helps me too. After about 2 or 3 months, I look again in detail and see what goals I have achieved, partially achieved and then what was maybe too much of a goal or at the wrong time or just one goal too many.

Then I write a new Goal list for the wall. Often the goals were ongoing though: Find and notice joy in my life e.g. was always on the list.

This method may or may not work for you, or maybe an adapted form would work. My healing path seems quite individual in certain ways and I don't doubt that's the same for many on here.