Jazzy's Journal - Round 3

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Jazzy

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Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« on: March 11, 2021, 03:26:14 AM »
Here we go again. I keep failing at this. I guess that's okay though, as long as I keep trying. I think I need a new word for "fail". "Fail" sounds so final, and that's not really accurate. For as long as you have an opportunity to try again, it's not final.

There's a few things I want to write about, but I likely won't get to them right now. I've had a rough night last night. On top of (or maybe because of) all the emotions I've been dealing with after losing my friend, I've been struggling to sleep properly. Last night I didn't fall asleep until after 3am. At around 5:30am the CO alarm went off, which put me straight in to a panic attack / EF. Every time I tried to go back to bed, I just started having a panic attack... so I stayed up for a while. Finally, I started to relax again, and then shortly after the EBS (emergency broadcast system) on my phone went off, throwing me right back in to panic again. I did eventually get a few hours of sleep, but I'm tired, emotional, frustrated, and doubting myself a lot.

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rainydiary

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2021, 03:32:16 AM »
Jazzy, I appreciate what you write and offer up here.  Thank you for sharing what you do.  I am sorry to hear you are dealing with loss and troubled sleep.  I have been in a similar place lately and your response to sudden alarms and alerts resonates with me.  I hope you are able to find some ease and rest this evening.

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Jazzy

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2021, 09:20:56 PM »
Thank you Rainydiary, that is very encouraging and helpful to hear. My inner critic is still very strong with any kind of social situation, even posting on these forums, which makes it difficult at times. On the other hand, I really appreciate any responses or feedback that people have, so (everyone) please feel free to reply here as you feel appropriate.

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One thing I'm really struggling to understand is "altruism" (I think that's the correct term). It's pretty cut and dry when self-sacrifice is involved, but otherwise I'm not so sure. Basically, we get a positive benefit (good feeling at least) from helping others, and so therefore, is it really helping others, or is it really just helping ourselves?

As for myself, I can be really emotional, and I can be really empathetic (at least I believe so) sometimes. People on this forum go through very difficult times, and when I'm thinking and feeling clearly, I wish there was a way I could help with what they are going through. Sometimes, I wish I could just wrap my arms around them, and hold and comfort them while they cry. Of course I don't say this, because I'm afraid it might make people uncomfortable, or they might think it is inappropriate. The thing is though, I believe we benefit from this as humans, and we need it as children. I know many of us got the opposite growing up (hit, or otherwise punished, instead of held).

But that's a two way street. Obviously, the person crying and being held benefits most, but it also feels good to be the other person who can be there to provide support. So, who is this really about? Consciously, logically, I'm thinking of the other person, and I want them to feel better.... but sub-consciously, I don't feel sure, and emotionally, I don't know. It is a benefit for me as well. I have a suspicion that this is an "everybody benefits, so it's good all around" type of situation, and my life has just been such a mess I can't accept that as a reality right now, but maybe that's just wishful thinking too.

The thing is, my mother... I believe she is the most selfish person ever, who is totally incapable of empathy. I can't quickly or easily explain it, it is just many years of observing her behaviour. She says some things right like "How are you?" and "Oh, that sounds difficult", but then she is quickly on to talking about herself again. It's like a computer program that no matter what happens, or what they say or do, they just can't show a true connection, and they don't even realize it, because they're "doing the right things". When she says "I love you" what I hear is "You make me feel good". When she says "I miss you", what I hear is "I wish you spent more time making me feel good". I'm just afraid that I'm like that too, and I don't want to be.

To make things more complicated, I don't know if the way I see her is entirely accurate. I know my siblings share my view, and a few other people have made comments, but ... I don't want to believe that's true. Maybe we few people are wrong. Maybe in a way I'm still a kid who wants his mother to be good. Maybe I'm so calloused and my perspective is skewed from my history with her, that I'm not seeing her clearly today. I don't know.

Whatever it is, I have a semi-LC relationship with my mother, but it is so fake, and I don't like it. Basically, she just talks at me over the phone for an hour every once and a while. I barely say anything, and she doesn't seem to hear me or care anyway. I'm afraid to lose that, because it feels like anything is better than nothing (I know this isn't true logically, but emotionally accepting it is an awful lot harder). I still feel very childish sometimes, like I still need a mother. I've been wanting to confront her about this for a couple of years now, but of course confrontation is ridiculously difficult, so much more so because I don't feel very confident about so much of this.

I had a therapist once who told me "Well, you're all grown up now, we can't just find you a new mother and do it all over again". I think this is a massive failure on her part. Yes, it is true, but it shouldn't have been all she had to say. I think she should have continued "but we can help you learn new ways to feel connected and loved, and we can help you utilize those so you feel better". At least I hope that's how it works, that's what I'm going to try to do.

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Jazzy

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2021, 02:47:46 AM »
There's a few things I want to work through still, but I'm having trouble doing that right now. I've been laying in bed late at night, still awake and thinking, but by the time I get to the website in the evening, it's a very different mood.

It's also difficult interacting with others, even here. It's a pattern. I start out with high hopes and expectations, but not too much later that gets taken over by doubts and fears. I still have work to do with myself to break out of this.

One thing I realized is that I'm not very good at identifying my feelings sometimes. There are also times I don't seem to feel much, but yet have a strong reaction internally. I'm pretty confused by this. Am I so desensitized, been through so much, that I don't even feel any more and my mind just reacts? Is it some sort of mental block? Am I actually feeling something but can't remember? I'm not really sure what's going on, but I don't like it.

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notalone

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2021, 02:49:47 PM »
Jazzy, I'm wondering if a feeling chart would help you to identify your feelings. If it is of interest to you, you can google "feeling chart" and there are different options. One is a wheel with categories and colors. There are also charts for kids that might be useful if having 30+ feelings to choose from is too much.

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Jazzy

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2021, 02:11:25 AM »
Thank you, Notalone! I like the feelings wheel. It does seem like a lot at first glance, but with the way it is all broken down, it is really not too much at all. I saved a copy of it so that I can refer to it when I need.

--

I called my mother today, and told her that she had hurt me recently, unintentionally, but it served as an example of how she thinks/feels of herself, and not others. Of course, she apologized like she was supposed to, but then went back to talking about herself again, as always. When I pointed this out as an example of the underlying problem, she tried to "explain" (obfuscate), by talking about something from the past.

In her version of the past, of course, she is just the best person, and the greatest mother. When I pointed out a glaring problem with her story, she tried to claim an exception, so I told her even that was wrong. I don't remember her doing this great thing once, but even if she did a few times, it does not even come close to making up for the rest of my childhood in which she did the opposite.

It's so difficult to deal with her, basically living in this fantasy world, where she just remembers things how she wants them to be, not how they actually are. This is just the latest example. I guess it is how she copes, but denying reality like that is disrespectful and dismissive of what I have been through, and the damage it has done to me.

I was angry with her, which I think is justified with how she was acting. I believe I handled it well though. I apologized for speaking angrily to her, told her it would be best to talk later, and ended the conversation. Although I was upset, it has been manageable. I'm not really sure how, but it is nice. This also makes me wonder just how well I have my anger under control though. I thought I was doing well, but perhaps not so well. I suspect it has a big impact on me socially, and I want to explore that more later. I made a note of it to do so.

Right now, I'm just trying to appreciate myself on some major victories. Not only did I speak about what was bothering me, it was to my mother, and I initiated it all. When things went badly, I didn't get stuck in the conversation, and I didn't get overwhelmed and distraught by destructive feelings for a long period of time.

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rainydiary

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2021, 03:48:59 AM »
Jazzy, Thank you for sharing about your conversation.  I am celebrating on my end that you faced this conversation and did what felt right to you. 

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notalone

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2021, 12:58:12 AM »
Right now, I'm just trying to appreciate myself on some major victories. Not only did I speak about what was bothering me, it was to my mother, and I initiated it all. When things went badly, I didn't get stuck in the conversation, and I didn't get overwhelmed and distraught by destructive feelings for a long period of time.
:applause:                 :applause:

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Jazzy

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2021, 01:02:05 AM »
Thank you Rainydiary. It is touching that you would celebrate with me, or at least on behalf of me. :)  :cheer: :cheer:
Thank you Notalone! :)

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Well, today did not go as planned. I was hoping to spend time working on some of the things on my mental health list. Unfortunately, I woke up extremely late, and haven't really been able to do so. I had two alarms set, and neither one of them woke me. I confirmed that they're turned on, but they don't seem to have "rang"? I'm not sure what exactly happened with that.

I've been feeling disconnected today. I did get an e-mail that was rather difficult to read, which I just added to my list of things to deal with later. I haven't spoken to anyone, or responded to any messages, or anything like that today. I'm hoping that I just need some time after that conversation yesterday, and it's not the beginning of another depressive episode. Anyway, it's not a problem right now, so I'm trying not to worry about it.

I'm going to go fold some laundry, because I haven't been keeping up with that, and after completing it, it will give me a good thing to focus on that will help me feel accomplished.

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Jazzy

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2021, 12:34:27 AM »
Earlier today, I was thinking more about my anger (and reviewing situations in the past which I should have handled differently), but I haven't sat down and written anything out about it yet.

Just before logging in here, I replied to an e-mail from someone from my past, about the loss of my friend, which was really emotional for me. So, I really need to calm my mind and come back to this later. :)

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Jazzy

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2021, 11:25:10 PM »
TW: Gun violence

--

So, I'm feeling really disconnected since I sat down here today. I looked at the feelings wheel, but I didn't find a good word on there. I believe the best word to describe it is dissociation (I guess that's an observation and not an emotion). At this point, I have no idea why I'm (re)acting this way.

I do want to get something down about my anger though, because I've been thinking a lot about it, and I've been wanting to write for days. I'm going to try to be "brief" and not write an entire book on it.

I thought I was doing a really good job and had pretty much gotten over all of my anger issues, but after I got angry at M the other day, I'm no longer sure that's true. I think it is more accurate that I've suppressed most of it (which is not healthy), and I've isolated myself so much that there are very few opportunities for it to arise in the first place (really not healthy).

Of course preventative anger management is best (so that it never really becomes too much of a problem), and I need to learn more about that, but sometimes you have to deal with it in the moment. I think why it is so complicated and difficult for me is that it isn't just anger, but also fear, which my anger feeds off of, and just keeps escalating.

I think a big part of the problem is that I don't believe there is anything at all that I can do when I get angry. When I get angry like that, it is almost always because I feel attacked in some way, and there seems no escaping the threat. No doubt, a big part of this is because when I was a child, there literally was nothing I could do. I wasn't allowed to act, speak, or even move, and if I dared try, the consequences would be worse and worse. The best result would be if I "froze", even though I have a natural "fight" response, and that belief/feeling is still very much dominant in me today. I think, that in time, if I can learn to leave the situation when I get angry, I will begin to understand that this is a way I can protect myself, which will hopefully reduce the buildup of anger in future events.

Another thing that compounds this which I realized for the first time last night, is that in the country I live in, we are not allowed to have a "fight" response. I remember taking a law class back when I was in high school for various reasons, and being completely appalled at some of the legal cases I read. Absolute heroes were jailed for years, just for protecting themselves and others they cared about. It truly shook and disturbed me in a way that very few other things have.

Add on to this that we have a bunch of armed thugs with god complexes running around that can show up, or be summoned at any time. People call them police officers, and act like they're the good guys. I really don't understand why. They've threatened, harassed and abused me plenty of times, and never helped once. It makes me wish "the bad guys" were in control of society, because at least everyone isn't delusional about who they really are. I don't want to go on about this too much, but I've learned it best to keep my head down and stay as far away from them (police) as possible, which is hard to do when I'm angry... and I literally can't just walk away from them to calm down.  So, I don't know what to do about that.  :disappear: It would be a lot easier if the rules were clearly defined, but in reality, the rules are "the guys with the guns (police) are 'right'" - full stop. I think its something you can only truly appreciate when you've had a gun in your face.

I really wish I could end this post on a positive note, I've been making it a point to do that lately... I really don't have one right now though.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 11:27:17 PM by Jazzy »

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Jazzy

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2021, 12:19:09 AM »
Okay, so I want to follow this up with a bit more positivity.

First of all, even though I need to keep working at it, my anger has gotten better. Speaking with M, I didn't keep escalating and have my anger get out of control, but ended the conversation, which is much better than how it used to be. Immediately after, I took some time for myself to relax and feel better, and my anger didn't even last that long... maybe an hour or so, instead of days or longer.

Also, ending my post by acknowledging that I have been trying, and mostly succeeding to end on a positive note, is a positive thing itself, and much better than ending on the preceding paragraph.

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rainydiary

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2021, 02:44:00 AM »
Jazzy, I appreciate you sharing about anger as well as considering positives.  I personally feel a ton of pressure to gloss over or reframe feelings like anger before I am ready.  I think we need those things in our life.  But, I also understand that sometimes these things can take us over and leave us in a place we donít want to be.  I support you on your journey to where it is important for you to be. 

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Jazzy

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2021, 12:01:15 AM »
Thank you Rainydiary. I feel encouraged and respected by your support and appreciation. You make a good point. Like our other emotions, it is important to express anger in a healthy way, when appropriate. I'm sorry to hear you feel pressured. I would like to encourage you to deal with your feelings in the way that you think best. At the same time, of course you are free to update what you think is the best way to deal with them as time goes on.

--

A little while (maybe a week) ago, my ex-wife e-mailed me to express her condolences on the loss of my friend. It has since evolved in to an exchange about what happened between us in the past. There is a lot of different emotions involved in this for me. Right now, I'm just trying to address all of the points she has made in a way that is respectful toward both of us. It is taking a lot of time and effort to do so. I've spent a couple of hours on it already, and I'm no where near finished this reply. So, I want to focus on getting that done, and I will explore all of these emotions afterwards.

Overall though, I'm doing well, for me. The emotions surrounding losing my friend have lessened, and I am able to go through the day "mostly normally" again. At night, I'm still bothered by those alarms from a few nights ago, and sleeping with the bathroom light on so it is not so dark, but that will pass soon enough too.

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Jazzy

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Re: Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2021, 12:25:41 AM »
The other day when I was out buying some groceries, I walked past a young girl and (presumably) her father. In the very short amount of time I was within earshot of them, I heard him tell her to be quiet and stop talking, twice. I felt badly hearing that. I thought about all the times my M wouldn't let me speak. It reminded me of all the damage it's caused in my life, and how I am still struggling to speak up for myself. I really hope that girl has a better life than I did.

I felt hurt on behalf of that girl, and I wanted to get angry. Immediately, I realized that getting angry wouldn't help. I can't make someone a better person by "attacking" them. Then, I thought that I should at least say something, and speak up for the girl. So many times I wish that another adult had interfered and helped me when I was a child. I've daydreamed about someone coming to my rescue, but no one ever did.

I didn't end up saying anything, for a number of reasons. One of them being that I have this belief that it is wrong to interfere with someone's parenting. I'm not sure where that belief came from, and I'm not sure if I want to keep it.  It's something that I need to work out with myself. If anyone would like to share their stance on the matter, and their reasoning for it, I'll take it in to my considerations.