Buddy9832ís Journal

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buddy9832

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Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #180 on: November 23, 2020, 05:19:08 PM »
Iím finding myself filled with defiance and anger today. The holidays approach and here comes Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a big holiday for Rís family. I really hate this time of year. It is a reminder of the family I donít have and a reminder of the selfishness and things that are taken for granted on my wifeís side.

To provide a little background. My FIL likely had COVID in February/March time frame. Whatever illness he did have lead to complications that lead to decrease kidney function and the need for surgery. He is now more or less recovered but is on medication that are immunosuppressants. Weíve been dealing with his illness nonstop from Feb to at least August.

Over the weekend Rís family requested that we get COVID tested. I canít help but find myself frustrated at this notion. The request is at least two weeks too late. My MIL is getting a facial today and tested tomorrow. It is very obvious to me this is their way of checking the box and putting their heads in the sand to pretend everything is ok. I find myself much against getting tested at this point as no results would be available by thanksgiving. Furthermore the rapid tests arenít necessarily accurate so a negative test doesnít necessarily mean you donít have COVID it just means the test resulted negative. My point is I donít feel it is a test that is sufficient to make decisions off of.

My wife worked last night and on the way home my MIL informed R that both her and her farther have been having a cough and a sore throat. But she also said sheís ok and she knows itís a cold. I find it incredibly frustrating to be so nonchalant with COVID especially when the plan is to have family over for thanksgiving. She is putter her thanksgiving party as a priority over the health of my kids and everyone else who will be there. I canít help but feel angry.

I will be advocating not to go as for me it is too much of a risk to expose my kids too. There already is a probability that my in-laws are infected, why would I accept the risk of infecting my kids? What frustrates me is I can already see how this will play out. My wife and I will speak with my in laws Iím not going. They will be incredibly upset and essentially guilt trip R to go. Everyone will go, I will feel defeated and that I am not valued (which plays into emotional neglect). I will want nothing to do with anyone at the party, Iíll retreat into my head and everyone will ask questions of Whatís wrong with Buddy?

Iím so sick of these dynamics there is enough history where I can say this prediction is fairly accurate. And what will gnaw away at me is the realization that my personal family is gone. My parents were certainly not perfect and have led to me part of the reason why Iím on OOTS to begin with. But I will be forced to deal with my ďnewĒ family, their lack of perspective, and willingness to place my kids at risk for a holiday.

Iím so sick of this. I already feel defeated and worthless.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #181 on: November 24, 2020, 09:44:52 PM »
this covid thing is so very difficult to deal with on many, many levels, buddy.  i hear your frustration, as well as a sense of defeat that you're not being heard, don't have a voice.  i have had both family members and friends die of this illness, and i am concerned for you, your wife, and your kids.

is there any way you can say no, have a thanksgiving w/ you and your kids (and your wife, if she's open to being with you)? the idea that people are symptomatic would seem to me an extraordinarily valid reason to stay away until they are deemed to be virus free.  perhaps thanksgiving could be postponed?  i know of families who have done that in years past, not only with thanksgiving but with christmas as well.  it's worked well for them, and they still get to enjoy the food and socializing, only on a different date than what the calendar says.

i do hope this will work out for you.  my heart is with you, buddy.  it's definitely not a fun place to be, trying to make a voice of reason heard above the din of nonchalance.  sending love and a hug filled with a 'it's ok to put tradition aside for a little while' perspective. :hug:

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buddy9832

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« Reply #182 on: November 25, 2020, 02:51:02 AM »
Thanks san, I appreciate it and I'm sorry to hear you have been quite effected by this illness, I'm sorry for your losses. My wife knows what we should do but I also don't think she wants to deal with the fallout related to it. I'd be completely onboard celebrating the holiday on day when everyone is well. To me it's just another day anyway. Unfortunately, for R's family that is not the case. They would be deeply hurt if it wasn't celebrated on the actual day. I feel like from my perspective my hands are tied and whether I like it or not we will be participating in Thanksgiving. I have a feeling if I chose not to go R would take the kids anyway and if that is the case I'd rather be there as it is not right for them to be potential exposed and not me.

R keeps on providing updates she's heard from her family. Updates such as her parents still haven't been tested but her mom has managed to book an appointment for R at the local urgent care for a rapid test. That her mom and dad will be getting tested tomorrow. It's getting very frustrating to listen to these updates. Again, because I understand that any real COVID test will not provide results until well after Thanksgiving and furthermore a rapid test isn't necessarily enough to definitively confirm you are COVID free.

Last week, I had to go into the office and clear out my desk at work. I am now working remote 100%. Even though I've only been to the office twice since March it became real that I am now fully remote. I'm happy I have the capability to do so but this year has also been very difficult. There has been no boundary for me between work and my family. My kids don't understand why daddy has to work and I've been hearing a lot of "dad I don't get to see you anymore" or "dad will you play with me" (when I need to work) comments. This plays to the emotional neglect and I'm terrified what I went through as a kid is now being transferred to them. I was never abused or physically neglected as a kid but I was emotionally neglected. My mother had to deal with her dying mother and handicapped farther, she was obviously preoccupied. My farther worked. I recall many nights dad not coming home until very late because of work or having to go in on the weekends. The stoicism and this absolutely contributed to where I am now. I see myself in my father. Always working, always needing to make sure I'm doing a good job, being perfect. I'm working from home but working 14 hour days. Yes, the pandemic plays into it but it also means dad is never around and dad is in the same building as his kids. I just hope this doesn't rub off on them. I remembered that my couple's therapist at one point akin to me growing up similar to a family of alcoholic parents. My parents never being fully there, not being able to provide the support that is required and being preoccupied with something related to themselves.

As the holidays approach there is nothing more that I want than seclusion. I don't want to deal with my in laws. I don't want to listen to R's grandparents, their racist remarks and the latest gossip. I want quiet.

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buddy9832

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« Reply #183 on: November 26, 2020, 01:57:23 AM »
It was a therapy day today. Both couples and individual. Things kind of got rough in Coupleís. The topic(s) largely revolved around my latest grievances: Thanksgiving holiday with family. As I mentioned above I havenít been fond with the decision to go over my in laws for thanksgiving. They essentially mandated that we all get COVID tested with full knowledge results would not be available until well after Thanksgiving Day. Moreover, my MIL informed my wife that both my FIL and her had a sore throat and cough over the weekend ďbut it was just a coldĒ. She also went to get a facial Monday. I canít begin to describe how frustrated I am. I know itís not intended but what is communicated to me by their words and actions is ďmy holiday is more important than you and your kids healthĒ. And at the end of the day whether you mean it or not words and actions have consequences.

I think the overall risk of getting COVID is low as theyíve been part of our circle of people weíve been in contact with but In finding myself resistant out of principle. This is now the second or third time in which my MIL brings up some infectious disease medical issue and when she realizes it wonít serve her agenda covers her tracks. I think thatís what makes me angry the most. Itís selfish.

I think what bothers me is that I donít have a family anymore. My family are my in laws. My parents and sister live far away and everyone else has passed. I was too stupid to realize it while I was in the Navy but family and time with family (and even friends for that matter) is sacred. Itís a gift and should be treated like one. Before you know it people will die and move on and at that point you lost that opportunity.

When family situations are manipulated to meet ones agenda I obviously get upset. My parents have been accused of being selfish and I canít say thatís an incorrect statement. As I stated before my therapist have related my parents as alcoholics who were never fully available to us. I suppose when I therefore see selfishness or undesirable behaviors in my in laws it triggers me. It gets me angry. As it is a demonstration that Iíve lost one dysfunctional family and inherited another.

During Coupleís I blew up. Spoke about how this dynamic upsets me. I spoke about how my in laws make me so angry. R discussed how Iíve been living in the shadow of my father and mother trying whatever I can to make them happy and get them to say that they are proud of me. Those words will never come and the only father figure I have I suppose is my FIL. But his flaws are only magnified to me.

Iíll admit Iím unwilling to take them in as family. Iím so resistant. Iím sure this is a carry over from emotional neglect as I donít want to go through that pain again. I guess Iím deeply wounded and Iím not sure if these scars will heal.

We decided to go to Thanksgiving tomorrow. Itís going to be a very tough day and I need to somehow find a way to be present and not dissociate. I have no idea how Iím going to manage that.

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notalone

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Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #184 on: November 28, 2020, 11:35:57 PM »
How did Thanksgiving go, Buddy?

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buddy9832

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« Reply #185 on: November 30, 2020, 03:26:09 AM »
Hi notalone, thank you for checking in. Thanksgiving went alright, actually it went better than expected. Thank God. In preparing for Thanksgiving my T strongly encouraged that I find a way to get into a good headspace before going. I took the morning to work on finishing the basement downstairs (I enjoy working with my hands) and I also spent time just listening to music. It definitely helped. Lastly, I spoke with my parents and aging grandmother prior to going over which took some of the edge related to obligations off.

Also not going to lie I took some Ativan before and during the festivities. Iím not proud that I needed to do that but it certainly helped. I didnít dissociate and I wouldnít consider myself social but I wasnít a recluse either.

My interactions with Rís family has been a point of contention with R and I. Iím glad this was one of my better days. More or less R has notice my relationship with her family steadily decline. I find myself frequently angry at my in laws. I know part of it is I guess I hold them to a higher expectation since my family is gone. When they donít meet that expectation I get upset. The other part I think is justified. Iíve been disappointed on the way they treat topics such as suicide and see R. Theyíve been quick to dismiss her medical expertise.

This may sounds absurd but I rarely make time for myself and I believe that helped significantly.

As for this weekend things went alright. R and I had a conversation last night about my mental health. Weíve both notice Iíve been declining. Iím sure part of it is the natural ebb and flow of things. Typically things get tough for me around the holiday season. Also Iím finding ďoldĒ me resurge. Iím finding that Iím burning the candle at both ends which is definitely a characteristic of ďoldĒ me. I find it difficult to take care of myself, be a family man, and be great at work all at the same time but I try to perfect the last two regardless which comes to my detriment. R mentioned how itís tough from her end because she also gets depressed but when Iím in the depth of my own depression I struggle to pick up on those cues to be available to her. She has definitely been carrying the load in regards to the household and a positive, happy influence for the kids.

Iíve been finding guilt come back. We are in the process of decorating for Christmas. I find R is quick to embrace her family traditions but Iím not quick to embrace my own. My mother hand sewed a beautiful stocking for myself when I was a kid, she also made one for T and B. Iím finding it difficult to use them. I have no idea where mine and T is (I know it is in the basement somewhere). And we just received Bís and it is still in the packaging it shipped with a couple of weeks ago. I donít understand why this is so hard for me. Why I am quick to dismiss well intentioned things my parents have done. Iím definitely disappointed in myself.

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buddy9832

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Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #186 on: November 30, 2020, 03:36:35 AM »
Also, forgot to mention this and feel the need to log it. Iím fairly certain I had nightmares last night. I donít recall what the dreams were but woke up in the morning with the feeling that I had a nightmare.

R said she notices me shaking last night.

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buddy9832

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Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #187 on: December 01, 2020, 02:13:23 AM »
Another day down. Today was surprisingly good. R and I had back to back doctor's appointments an hour away from where we live. Typically, I get very anxious when I run into a situation where I am doing something for myself, my wife or kids during working hours. There was some degree of anxiety but no where close to what I typically experience. I was able to hold the meetings I needed to on the road and take care of critical items before my appointment. I suppose that helped. I guess I can add this to the victory box? I'm not sure if it will be a long term victory but the Buddy of old would have been extremely anxious (the anxiety that feels like it takes years off my life) for doing something for myself during working hours. I can't say things are perfect. The perfectionism is definitely there, I am still constantly preoccupied by work and tempted to be perfect at everything I do. I am still tempted and still do start early in the morning and work late at night. But I'm definitely adding boundaries. I cut myself off at 10PM no matter how much is going on. I also stop looking at my work phone at night and on the weekends. Baby steps.


//===============TW==================
The interesting thing is I suppose I am experiencing an unusual experience. I am feeling alright, no, I'm feeling good today. I am finding my IC doing what it can to put me back in my place. I am finding myself longing to be miserable, to be depressed, to be where I normally am. I found myself catastrophizing. I imagined myself getting T-boned on my son's side of the car and some of the details that would follow from a situation like that. When crossing the train tracks, I imagined getting a train catching our car. I'm assuming it is a desperate attempt of my IC to put me back in my place. Where "I deserve". I can't say I still look at myself highly, I don't think I ever will nor do I know what it would take to look at myself positively.

R has commented in the past how she finds it deeply troubling that I genuinely don't see myself as worthy, as a good person, husband and father. I don't have an explanation for it, I suppose it would be just too painful to acknowledge that. I know the literature says this is a symptom of emotional neglect. However, I don't think I will be able to move past this or at least I don't want to move past this. 

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sanmagic7

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Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #188 on: December 01, 2020, 04:11:49 AM »
moving beyond those core beliefs about ourselves takes time, small steps, and more time.  it's not easy, doesn't happen overnight. i think what you said about feeling happy, even if only for a bit, and in the midst of those old messages pulling you back to a place of misery shows progress.  you actually got to a positive place, and if it happens once, it can happen again.  please, have patience with yourself.  every step is a victory while we battle this beast i call c-ptsd. 

sending love and a hug filled with support for each step you take.   :hug:

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buddy9832

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Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #189 on: December 01, 2020, 12:25:29 PM »
//======TW========

I had another hunting dream last night. Some details are foggy but what I can remember was it was in almost a WWII setting. I was on a battlefield with comrades and lost. If memory serves me correct there were some aspects of evasion. I donít remember fully at this point but I recall being in an urban setting unarmed trying to not be found.

Lastly at some point I was found and was boarded onto a train to be exterminated.

As I say with all of these dreams. I donít play violent video games, I donít typically watch war movies or violent movies (itís been a long time since I have). My only theory is that my IC is trying to put me in my place from yesterday being a good day.

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owl25

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Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #190 on: December 01, 2020, 09:58:36 PM »
It's nice to see you back here, Buddy  :)

Small steps are good. Big steps would be too shocking to our systems, our brains do better with smaller, incremental changes. We need time to get used to things.

Wanting to feel miserable etc., may in part be just wanting what's familiar. Change is unfamiliar, and even if it's a good change, it's still uncomfortable, surprisingly enough. Familiar = safety, even if it's a state of feeling miserable.

The hunting dreams have a theme of being in mortal danger and being in survival mode. I have had similar themed dreams, with the details being different (for me it wasn't being in a war situation), but the overall sense of it is very similar. I think these dreams express unresolved feelings of feeling like our survival is at stake. I don't think your IC is putting you in your place, I think it's more when we dream, these old feelings come to the surface and our brain is trying to process them, if that makes sense.

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buddy9832

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« Reply #191 on: December 02, 2020, 02:59:38 AM »
Thank you san and owl for your responses. I appreciate your feedback. Rational me knows it takes baby steps to heal and quite frankly to look at myself even a few years ago I would say it is night and day. I think my issue is that as of late I've been getting frustrated at the lack of progress. I think part of it is honestly, I'm kind of in a "survival" mode at work. I'm typically working close to 12-14 hour days with very little time to myself. I usually don't have much time to write here either. My T suggested the lack of progress is because the current state I'm in. She suggests that I don't have the capacity to move much further at the moment. I suppose she's right but it definitely can be frustrating.

Owl thank you for your feedback on the hunting dreams. I like your perspective. I just don't know what these unresolved feelings would be. I know I haven't resolved my past but I feel like none of it is significant enough to justify recurring hunting dreams.

Today was a little rougher than yesterday. I slept a little later than I typically do on a work day. I've just been so tired and ended getting up around 6:30. It was nice to have a nice slow transition into work today. I ignorantly thought about how nice it was and hoped that it could proceed forward each day. Unfortunately, almost as quickly as I had those thoughts reality set back in and my day was full of putting out fires. My COVID client has been very demanding (rightfully so) it has taken a lot of my time and a lot of planning. There were some unresolved issues that needed to be fixed in an urgent manner. Furthermore, I had the pleasure of telling one of my more difficult client to work with that they have been bumped in priority due to the COVID client. They did not receive it well. I have a meeting with them tomorrow and it's probably going to be a spicy meeting.

Part of me feels scrappy almost looking for a fight as the this client has been very difficult to work with since day one. Cooperation and transparency are key in getting projects to be successful in my line of work. They have been the exact opposite, holding their cards tight and not revealing them until we are in extremis. It has come back to significantly effect the project each time. I'm not typically a confrontational person. I guess I'm just sick of working for them. I've been finding as my COVID client has been taking all of my time (+8 hours a day), when other clients have been giving me a hard time I've had little patience for them. This is one great example. I've been finding my professional filter starting to be removed. I'm finding that I've become very protective of my time and when it is improperly used I get very frustrated. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. This has affected both in work and in my personal life. My FIL at times has been inconsiderate with my limited time and has done things that has taken my availability for granted. It has made me incredibly frustrated.

I'm not sure if this is a sign of improvement or a negative sign. Perhaps I'm starting to see myself as a little more worthy by sensing that my time is valuable? I'm not sure. On that same note, when my time has been taken advantaged of I definitely feel defeated and almost validated of my lack of worth.

Due to work I've been on edge today and it has shown. I've been irritable. I've been startling easily and thrown into fits of rage when my dog barks or my wife startles me. Hopefully tomorrow is a little better.


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buddy9832

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« Reply #192 on: December 03, 2020, 03:16:43 AM »
Well today was a day... Definitely one of my tougher days this week. I had to have a meeting with a colleague to identify roles and responsibilities for our COVID project. More or less this individual's only client is the COVID project where I have multiple clients. I need to off load some work so I have time for my other clients. That didn't go over well she was blind sided to be frank and it didn't seem like we made any progress. I was quick to inform her that I'm simply trying to find a middle ground that is a little more reasonable. I couldn't help but feel defeated during the call. It felt like it wasn't even worth the effort to discuss this any further and that I will continue to spend 8+ hours a day on this one client and upset all my other clients. Not to mention the lack of time that I now have for myself, kids, and wife. The discussion just played into my feeling of self worth or lack there of. Hopefully a solution is found but I don't expect one to be found any time soon.

The remainder of the day I prepared for a call with my more difficult client. Long story short, I had to tell them they were being bumped in priority for a COVID client which they didn't take well. Usually, we perform work on a first come first serve basis, but obviously during these times COVID takes precedence over all other projects. I spent hours and hours prepping for this call. The client was upset and basically indicated how we owe it to them to keep them prioritized. I spent most of the day building a timeline of events to show where all the delays came from. I still haven't finished this timeline of events but from what I can tell it's a mix of issues from both my company and theirs. They've held their cards very tight which has been hard to work with. We have a NDA with them it's not like we would use their proprietary information for anything other than assisting them. They are also very slow to review documents and require numerous revisions to documents which in turn causes significantly delays in project timelines. Long story short projects that were supposed to be complete in November, shifted to December, then January, then February and they are not happy. During the call I was ready for war. We are at the point where we are ready to perform the scientific testing, documentation is required before this starts. They were requesting again to modify the documents which would have major impacts to project timelines. I was so angry that I was shaking. I think I kept it professional but I was definitely curt. I'm finding my frustrations are playing into old Navy frustrations. As I've mentioned in the past, when I see people taken advantage of I have a hard time letting go. I get furious, it could have nothing to do with me, I still have a hard time letting it go. In this case, I know the scientist are working extremely hard for this client and then some. They are spending many long nights in the labs for the COVID project and other clients, neglecting their families, neglecting their well being and it feels like my client is trying to take advantage of that. I need to learn how to let these type of things go but it is incredibly difficult.

I'm not sure why it is so difficult. I suppose it's because I feel like I failed as a leader when I was in the Navy. I tried my best to advocate for my sailors, but they still suffered. I couldn't protect them from the toxicity of the commands we were in.

I'm going to have another early morning and long day. I won't have time to proof read this post. If it is incoherent, I apologize.

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Hope67

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Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Reply #193 on: December 04, 2020, 03:06:47 PM »
Hi Buddy,
You said that you are not sure why it's so difficult, and that you felt you failed as a leader in the Navy, and yet you went on to say how you did your best to advocate for your sailors, and I think that is an incredible thing to have done - you are only human, and I feel sure that circumstances lead to undeniable suffering that can't be prevented, no matter how hard people can try to prevent it.  You spoke of the 'toxicity of the commands' that you were in - so it shows just what you were all up against.  An impossible scenario, I would think.  I'm sorry if what I'm saying doesn't make sense, I just felt I wanted to say something, having read what you wrote.   Please ignore anything that doesn't make sense.

Sending you a hug, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)

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buddy9832

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« Reply #194 on: December 06, 2020, 03:33:23 AM »
Hi Hope, thank you for your message. It does make sense and I sincerely appreciate it. I understand what youíre saying that I did my best to advocate for my sailors but some suffering was inevitable due to the toxicity of the commands. Rational me even understands that.

I guess my wife is right, in that I live in the past. It seems like I canít get over that. Even when Iím not thinking directly about my time in service, I find triggering things that I canít let go. Witnessing poor leadership or people being abused and taken advantage of is a great example. It could have absolutely no direct tie to me. I could have no business associated with an event but I still find it incredibly hard to let go. Case in point, I believe I mentioned this before. My FIL was seriously sick most of the year to the point of needing surgery and being hospitalized. He owns his own plumbing company, itís a small business with maybe 20 employees tops. Due to his illness, he couldnít work most of the year. His staff had to run the show. When he finally returned he worked for a week before taking an entire week off to go on vacation. I have no reason to be affected by this. I donít work there, I am not close with any of the employees that work there. However, I am still having a hard time getting over this. The leadership message I see is ďI know you guys were working wicked hard covering while I was sick. But screw you guys, you donít matter, Iím going to take a week off.Ē It almost sickens me and itís intrusive.  I canít let it go.

This is actually a lot of what I spoke to my T about this week. How Iím close to 5 years out and still am find things that I canít let go or are triggering. And itís not just the Navy. Never really thought it would be the case, but it has become increasingly obvious that I have abandonment issues. That Iím unwilling to get close to my wifeís family because I donít want to feel the pain again of being abandoned. They are not perfect like any family, but when their imperfections come to fruition it cuts deep.

//========TW=======
Great example was January this year. An employeeís son of my FIL business committed suicide. He left a wife and kids behind. My FIL and my wifeís grandparents treated this like it was gossip. Cracking jokes, making remarks how scandalous everything is. Meanwhile, one of their employees of at least 10 years lost her son. Never mind the family that now no longer has a father. I could not physically handle being in the presence of these conversations. I had to walk out and leave. During family functions people would ask, whatís wrong with Buddy? It cut deep it felt like a betrayal to me. Unfortunately, Iíve served with two sailors and two coworkers who committed suicide as well as took one of my colleagues in the navy twice to the hospital for ideations. It runs deep. I havenít gotten over those remarks. I lost an incredible amount of respect for them and as I said before it felt like a betrayal.