Buddy9832ís Journal

  • 229 Replies
  • 9013 Views
*

buddy9832

  • Member
  • 227
    • View Profile
Buddy9832ís Journal
« on: May 27, 2020, 09:52:44 PM »
Well today, I guess Iíll start a journal. Iíve been told to write things down and for the longest time Iíve been wanting to write about my Navy experiences. Iíve never gotten around to that and it will probably be many more years before I do.

Today was rather tough. In reality, it was nothing more than a typical monotonous pandemic day: working from home and managing the kids; but it was one of those days in which I feel incredibly ďstressed outĒ. I never seem to really detect my stress, depression, etc until itís really bad and the elephant in the room. Iím assuming in reality itís low grade anxiety attacks. My chest  and stomach get tight, my blood pressure rises, my head feels like it starts spinning though I donít believe Iíve had any particular thoughts. I become incredibly irritable and definitely on edge.

At the same token I feel pretty bad. I was not nice to my daughter and all she wanted to do today was play. I had no patience and it was impossible to maintain a loving demeanor that she deserves. I feel pretty horrible about that, she doesnít deserve it and I think about how this will be screwing her up.

The stress is unbearable at times. When I have these events it feels like itís chipping away years off my life. Hopefully I can wind myself down and close the day with some quality time with T.

*

sanmagic7

  • Member
  • 7167
  • learn something from everything
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2020, 10:26:26 PM »
hey, buddy    :heythere:

i hope you can wind down, too.  stress has been my nemesis forever, and i hate what it's done to me.  i can't always tell when i'm stressing, either - like you said, till it's the elephant in the room.  hang tough, ok, and know that you're not alone.

glad to see you here.  i hope that writing some of this stuff out helps.  it's helped me a lot.  sending a hug, if it's ok with you :hug:

*

Three Roses

  • Member
  • 3462
  • CPTSD is an injury, not an illness.
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2020, 04:38:23 AM »
Quote
I never seem to really detect my stress, depression, etc until itís really bad and the elephant in the room. Iím assuming in reality itís low grade anxiety attacks. My chest  and stomach get tight, my blood pressure rises, my head feels like it starts spinning though I donít believe Iíve had any particular thoughts. I become incredibly irritable and definitely on edge.

Hi again - gave you read about emotional flashbacks? Here's a link to Pete Walker's website where he explains them - http://pete-walker.com/flashbackManagement.htm. What you described sounds like how I feel when I have one.

Quote
... I think about how this will be screwing her up.

I don't think you need to worry about this. No one parents perfectly and we all experience rough patches. Just keep doing your best, which will vary from moment to moment.
 :heythere:

OH... Is it okay for people to comment in your journal?  :whistling:


*

buddy9832

  • Member
  • 227
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2020, 12:03:34 AM »
Thank you guys, I certainly appreciate it and please do comment if you would like.

Sanmagic Iím glad to hear Iím not alone when dealing with stress.

ThreeRoses thank you for providing that article. I found it interesting and wonder if that might be related. I think Iíd have a hard time identifying it as a flash back as it is not related to my memories. Additionally, I recall being exposed to traumatic events both in my adult life and as a child but I never recall it ever ďfeelingĒ traumatic. As a result, it has always been difficult for me to discern root causes of my issues.

*

buddy9832

  • Member
  • 227
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2020, 02:01:34 AM »
Today was a little better than yesterday but still not great. I found myself last night and throughout the day thinking about my grandparents. More so their deaths and grave.

//==========TW========//
I thought about the night my grandmother died. How I was sleeping, my dad came into my room to let me know Nana had passed and that we were going over to their house. There was no shock on my part, no tears. It surprised me even then.

We get to their house. I recall seeing her lying in her bed. Still looking relatively normal albeit slightly pale. I was afraid to touch her but I recall my cousin talking about how she was cold. There still were no tears. The morticians arrived. I recall there being a unique stretcher and red woven body bag.  I can still remember that fabric vividly. Not to long ago I saw something with a similar fabric and it took me back.

My grandparents house was rather small. They loaded her up into the body bag and had to stand her up to navigate through the hall. The image that has been imprinted in my head which I revisit occasionally are the morticians wheeling her out through the hall. Watching her head bob with the erratic motion of the stretcher. It was certainly shocking but still no tears.

Fast forward to present day. I have no family left in my home state. They either moved away to include my parents or passed. I think about the pandemic how this has prevented people from visiting the cemetery. I think about my grandmother and grandfatherís grave. How unkempt it must be. I feel upset that no one is taking care of their grave to include my parents. I also feel an extreme obligation to get to the cemetery to ensure their dignity is intact even after death.   

/:========END OF TW===//

I canít help but feel anger and rage as I think about their grave being abandoned. Their daughter, my mom, moving away without a care in the world.  With no intentions to come back, pay respects and or maintain the grave. I am left to pick up the pieces.

This anger is visceral I can feel it in my gut. It moves forward to thinking about other situations. How my parents left my grandfather to die alone. How they more or less abandoned me (moved to a different state, significantly far away). Just leaving me to cope with the transition out of Navy floundering like they have in the past.

I came out of the Navy disillusioned, with a part of me dead from my experiences. It took me over six months to get back on my feet and it was with no help from my family.

The anger continues as I think about my beautiful daughter and son. It feels like theyíve had almost no interest in them. T is almost three years old and I can count on my fingers the number of times they visited her. B they havenít even seen once. Granted itís not their fault, itís more due to the pandemic. It hurts me to know how much my kids are missing. They only have one set of grandparents and have the potential for another set of loving grandparents but they chose to move away. They abandoned them no thought for them and the family.

The only family I can confide in is my wife and her family which I am happy to have but is not the same.

The anger, the disappointment. The realization I will never be able to talk to them about this. They have no idea of the mental health issues Iíve been dealing with. They have no idea how close Iíve come to the edge. It saddens me.

*

buddy9832

  • Member
  • 227
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2020, 02:28:08 AM »
Families are weird. On the one end I have so much anger and resentment towards my parents but on the other end itís comfortable. My in-laws are more loving and have taken me under there wing. It doesnít feel the same but they have definitely made me a part of there family from day one.

Today R (my wife) who is an ICU nurse had to join a telehealth call with her father. Her dad got sick over the winter and has deficient kidneys as a result. Initial assessments do not look life threatening but obviously we are at the beginning stages. R is in her prime with this type of stuff. She knows how to talk to doctors, she knows how to interpret lab results and have a good idea on prognosis.

Her sister on the other hand, who was also on the call, is a lawyer. Not to be mean but the best way I can describe her is as a scared young girl in a lawyerís body. She is very controlling and manipulative and harbors serious jealousy against R.

To provide some backstory, R is recovering from a severe eating disorder. When she was a kid she was hospitalized many times for her issues and a few times came close to death. I believe her sister who also has an eating disorder albeit to a lesser severity had to take a back seat when dealing with R in crisis. I think this created some deep seated jealousy. She feels the need to be very controlling even when she is out of her realm.

Today during the call A would take over the call chastise R for having medical conversations with the doctor and scolding her mother.  She made illogical recommendations which quite frankly I deem dangerous to her fatherís health. R  told me about the call and I canít help but feel furious. Furious that A who is completely out of her realm needs to control the situation and suggest and/or make decisions that are not necessarily in the best interest of her father. It feels very selfish to me.

My point in discussing this dynamic is at the same time I am so frustrated with my family, itís comfortable. I hate watching this dynamic evolve over the years with R, A and their parents.

I guess I just long for normality. At the end of the day the only thing I want is peace which I feel like Iíve never had. After getting out of the Navy, I moved to the country side with R. We have a bit of land we can work on. Itís far away enough from the city lights that the stars are beautiful. Itís quiet here, serene. I tried to build this life post Navy searching for peace. Even though I have been doing my best to set up my environment to help facilitate this mind set it always seems elusive. I hope one day to find it. I suppose I have a lot to work on in the mean time.

After my episode about a month ago, R forced my hand to speak with a friend from the Navy about what happened and how Iím not doing ok. Other than R, I donít really have any support to reach out to. It was quite awkward speaking with him. I donít find it comfortable. Iím always afraid that Iíll be judged or there will be rejection.  M suggested that I get worked for my mental health at the VA. Particularly, get an official diagnosis for PTSD on record. I have mixed feelings about this but Iíve been trying to push forward. Ever since Iíve gotten out of the Navy, Iíve been so disillusioned that I want nothing to do with them or their affiliate organizations. I didnít want to get my aliments on record for compensation. It just feels like tainted money. But I think itís time to at least get it on record. Perhaps there will be some additional treatment that I can get out of  it. 

*

Three Roses

  • Member
  • 3462
  • CPTSD is an injury, not an illness.
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2020, 02:11:13 PM »
Quote
At the end of the day the only thing I want is peace which I feel like Iíve never had.

I empathize strongly with this! I'm at a point in my life where I'm finally starting to experience it. But it took a lot of work - a lot of speaking up for myself, a lot of standing up for myself, a lot of reading and listening to figure out what cptsd is and how it affects me. So if I can do it, I have faith in you that you can do it, too.

*

buddy9832

  • Member
  • 227
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2020, 03:12:08 PM »
Thank you Three Roses, I sure hope I can!

*

buddy9832

  • Member
  • 227
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2020, 08:09:49 PM »
The day is certainly not over but I suppose Iíll start writing now. I just got off the phone with my parents. I havenít spoken to them in about two weeks and my mom asked to call.

Itís interesting ever since Iíve been working on my mental health, catalyst as it relates to my parents is readily obvious. Iím not saying theyíre the only contributors to my current state but they definitely played a role.

My therapist told me about Childhood Emotional Neglect. Iím having a hard time coming to terms with this and accepting that at least emotionally, Iíve been neglected. Also, itís been difficult for me to accept that if I was emotionally neglected that it has had such a huge influence in my life. Old me, would have never accepted this as legit but the sad reality is if I was to do a survey on CEN; I would check off every single box. Unfortunately for me, I have a scientific mind and even though I wish this wasnít true; I understand the data is unequivocal.

Itís tough to me to have phone calls with them. I feel very awkward and the conversation is always superficial. My mom, who R and I suspect has an undiagnosed eating disorder, always talks about how much sheís worked out, food and how she needs to restrict her diet to have a treat. My dad on the other hand, is incredibly stoic. Anybody would have a hard time reading his emotions. It is something that is on that side of the family and is pervasive throughout.

Growing up, I admired the stoicism, as it seemed to be very useful for navigating adult life. The concept that you are always in control and that nothing can faze you. It did have application for me while I was in the Navy but I realize it did a disservice to me as I was growing up. I never had the opportunity to become emotionally intelligent. A lot of my demons I feel could have been better managed if I was a little more emotionally intelligent.

Again this is a long tangent to discussing a 15 minute phone call with my parents. I briefly snapped at them. They were asking about Rís work. I mentioned how we are very concerned. R will be going back to work on July (sheís been out on maternity leave) and in speaking to her colleagues, it is readily apparent that the hospital is not taking care of their employees. My wifeís unit had become the COVID unit. The hospital has failed to provide PPE to the staff and failed to make steps to ensure they are taken care of. I say this because I mentioned to my father how we are concerned. How Iíve been looking online for PPE to stock up on to ensure R will be safe at work. He immediately defends the hospital about how it is a financial decision since they are not performing elective surgeries and therefore donít have the expendable income for PPE. I snapped and discussed how it shouldnít matter. They have an obligation to protect there employees, period. I find myself feeling a little guilty for snapping but not to a large degree. I suppose Iím at the part of my mental health cycle where everything seems ďnormalĒ and I have a hard time detecting if Iím depressed, anxious, etc.

It also seems a little callous. My grandmother, who is 90 is living  in assisted living close to my parents. She definitely suffers from dementia but otherwise for her age is quite healthy. Each time I call it always seems there is some type humorous anecdote about my grandmother at her expense. Eg: Guess what Farmor forgot x,y,z. It seems pretty messed up especially considering itís your mother.

Fortunately, today has all been doom and gloom. Iíve been working outside (something I love to do) and R and I were having a lot of fun with the kids. I donít remember the last time we laughed so hard.

*

buddy9832

  • Member
  • 227
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2020, 12:44:06 AM »
Today wasnít so bad. Overall Iíve been finding the beginning of the week has been more stressful and anxiety invoked than towards the end of the week. Usually, right around working hours due to competing interests with the kids and work my stress and anxiety peaks. Iím not sure if you would call it a panic attack but it feels pretty significant. My chest and gut feel tight. I can feel my blood pressure and pulse rise. Iím irritable, on edge and lastly I have these regularly enough where it feels like itís shaving years off my life. I wonder what all the elevated cortisol levels is doing to my body? Itís probably reaping havoc.

Related R indicated that when I do get to this level of stressed it takes hours or even days for me to come back down. Last week for an example Monday was the worse. I believe I had to take Ativan that night to slow my thoughts so I could go to sleep.  Tuesday and Wednesday were the same thing albeit less than Monday. 

I did have a very noticeable startle today.  I was working on the couch with R when pest control came by and rang the doorbell. R said it looked like I jumped out of my skin. I just recall as usual after the startle an intense anger and irritability well up inside me. I usually have to close my eyes and take a few breaths prior to moving on.

//========TW===========//

I suppose as Iíve indicated before I have a hard time accepting my mental health. When things are going relatively well I donít seem to detect the stress, anxiety, etc. This was a Ďniceí reminder to me that things are not alright and that I have a lot of work to do. Additionally, in the past as Iíve had a hard time accepting that I have cPTSD I always figured that me startling to a dog bark or doorbell ring was normal. The interesting thing is R didnít even flinch and it was a good reminder again that not all things are rosey.

Whenever I think about my mental health my inner critic always tries to convince me I donít have depression, anxiety and PTSD as I havenít been through anything significant.

G has depression, he had suicidal ideations, thatís not me. J has PTSD, he was blown up by an IED. Me on the other hand how could I possibly say I have PTSD? What because my parents didnít say I love you enough? My dad was stoic and worked too much? Additionally, my ďtraumaticĒ experiences werenít traumatic as I donít recall being freaked out at the time. Experiencing the things I did in the Navy were no big deal as again it doesnít even pale in comparison to being blown up by an IED.

My inner critic sucks.

As long as Iíve been in a relationship with R Iíve recalled having these startle events. I always figured I just startle easy. I never attributed it to PTSD. R would feel bad early in our relationship that I would flinch when she would hug me from behind. Now learning about cPTSD it is starting to make sense. I havenít noticed a difference because as long as I could remember there wasnít a difference. Iíve been suffering from cPTSD for a long time not knowing it. I suppose it helps render credence to the fact  that maybe my childhood wasnít as good as I remember it to be.

When I look back on it now, I wonder if there was any actual abuse other than emotional neglect that I canít recall. I honestly donít remember and or think my parents could be capable of something like that but the early years are foggy enough I canít rule that out. Iíve always been one to have quite a temper. Breaking things, angry outburst etc. I never gave it any thought why I was this way. Looking back at it now with a little bit of parenting experience under my belt I got to imagine these outburst were for some reason.

Retrospectively, I believe I more or less suffered from depression all my life. I recall a time when I was grade school age standing on my parents second story deck contemplating jumping off it. I figured that if I broke a bone people would like me more. Again I never gave this any thought until I started therapy obviously there is something not right going on there.

Most days I was miserable growing up. I was bullied at school but again who wasnít? And I only recall your of my 31 years on this earth a handful of years that I wasnít miserable.

//=======END OF TW======//

On a different note, the startle I had today reminded me that I need to get evaluated by the VA. I started getting the ball rolling, I was finally able to connect with someone about what steps I need to take to get an official diagnosis of PTSD. It felt good to talk to this gentleman. He was very supportive and definitely seemed like he could relate to me. Perhaps itís time to use these services.

*

Three Roses

  • Member
  • 3462
  • CPTSD is an injury, not an illness.
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2020, 01:18:46 AM »
Please know that cptsd and ptsd are different, although there are similarities. Educating ourselves is in our best interest because not all health care providers are aware of or accept complex ptsd. (It's not "complex" because it's more complicated but because the trauma is layered - one on top of another). This is changing, but imo it's still best if we have a certain understanding of it so we can tell if our health care provider is trauma informed.

Here's some info Kizzie has gathered for us -

https://www.outofthestorm.website/downloads
 
And fwiw the book "The Body Keeps The Score" helped me understand what was going on with me better than anything else ever has.

*

buddy9832

  • Member
  • 227
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2020, 02:11:44 AM »
Hi ThreeRoses,

Thank you for providing this link and recommending ďThe Body Keeps ScoreĒ. I will have to give these a look.

I definitely have a lot to learn about cPTSD and my mental health. Fortunately, it seems like my therapist and psychiatrist are supportive of cPTSD. Though they never mentioned it directly, theyíve definitely been quick to point out that as you suggested that there are multiple layers of traumatic events.

As it relates to the VA youíre are right, I have no idea if theyíll be receptive. I just feel like at best, I should have it on record, and get compensation for treatment and at worse have it documented for statistical purposes. Additionally, my psychiatrist recommended that I do group which I think would be a little more comfortable for me there.

I will need to be sure I continue to educate myself because I suppose I would be my best advocate.

*

buddy9832

  • Member
  • 227
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2020, 02:41:22 AM »
//======ENTIRE POST COULD BE A TW

So the fire alarm went off tonight. Should have been no big deal. It was for smoke although there was no smoke in the house.

I was cuddling B to try and get him to sleep and R was taking a shower. When the alarm went off both R and I ran through the house to make sure there was no fire. Both of us left T, my daughter in her room by herself. It makes me sick to think that I left her alone by herself.

I keep on thinking about what if there was a fire and she was all alone. I keep thinking about her burning alive and no one being there to help her. And of course as my mind goes, itís very graphic.

It makes me sick and I donít think Iíll be able to get this out of my head. I donít think sleep will come on quickly for me nor will my dreams be pleasant.

*

buddy9832

  • Member
  • 227
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2020, 03:09:05 AM »
I guess another day in the books. Today I had therapy. Iíve been finding that journaling has been helping me during my sessions. This session was one of the more productive ones Iíve had in a long time.

Much focus was spent on my childhood and neglect. Itís been painful to acknowledge that perhaps my parents werenít all they were cracked up to be. That I was emotionally neglected from a young age and that due to my memory of my childhood being foggy not being able to rule out abuse.

R and my therapist suggest that I speak with someone I grew up with during those times. It may be helpful to shed some light and lift the fog a little bit of my childhood. Unfortunately, I donít really feel comfortable having that type of conversation and Iím not sure what it would take to get me to that point. Iím not even comfortable discussing this with my sister whoís a social worker. I donít know what Iím afraid of, abandonment I suppose? After my incident it has been abundantly clear that I do have abandonment issues.

We discussed about how I was perpetually depressed as a child. I didnít know it at the time but it is readily obvious now.  We discussed my severe anger issues as a child. How I would act out and need to break and destroy things. Clearly this was a symptom to a larger problem.

I also discussed the fire alarm issue. Where the fire alarms went off and I went to search throughout the house for smoke. In doing so, I left T in her room alone. I screwed up and if there was a fire likely I would not have been able to go back.

L and R both find it peculiar that I had such a hard time on this. Nothing serious occurred and you can learn from it. I just found myself getting hung up on the failure. The major oversight of leaving my daughter in her room alone. It took me such an incredibly long time to come down from being that wound up. It wasnít until I took an Ativan and melatonin and a few hours after that, that I was able to sleep.

//=====TW=======//
I just kept ruminating all night over and over again my daughter being stuck in that room. There being a fire and her burning alive. I could t get that out of my head. The scenario would play over and over.
//==== END OF TW===//

I was so shaken up, I had to do a few things to the house for me to feel at ease that she would be ok. Again R found this odd. She wonders if something in my past has a big play in this. I honestly donít know.

L thinks that it is a part of my guilt and shame and that I needed to think about the worse case scenario as a form of punishment to myself. I donít know why Iím always like that. I am a jerk to myself.

*

Three Roses

  • Member
  • 3462
  • CPTSD is an injury, not an illness.
    • View Profile
Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2020, 04:26:22 AM »
I'm a jerk to myself, too, at times. But I'm learning how not to be.

IMO you're on the right track, looking at the past. Don't go too fast though, and be patient with yourself. Move at your own pace. Your healing is important.

FWIW all parents have things they've done in the shock of dealing with an emergency, even a potential one. It's ok, you're allowed to be human.  :hug:
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 05:29:01 PM by Three Roses »