Recovery notes again

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jamesG.1

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Recovery notes again
« on: June 15, 2021, 05:57:16 AM »
Going to keep posting these updates because I think there is so little out there on the final recovery process I'd best do a bit myself.

I am undoubtably well advanced in recovery now. I can look back at even 6 months ago and see a huge gain, despite occasional sharp dips. Each dip seems to make me stronger so I can only assume that you have to conduct mopping up operations, identifying and then engaging each obstruction to your future as you go. These can be very tough tho. The in-out nature of recovery is in some ways worse than the full on stage because you taste freedom and have to then go back in the cage with the animals.  Steve McQueen in the GReat Escape springs to mind.

But each rebound, once I've identified causes and triggers and rationlised my way out of the ditch, makes me stronger. Metaphors abound. Burning off the stubble, sailing towards the splashes (naval warfare) what doesn't kill you makes you stronger etc etc. All work I think. It's like making something in wood, you sand it smooth, then run your hand over it for abrasions and often, you pick up a splinter.

Most of these splinters have been relational, seeing as it's C-PTSD. I've felt both nurtured and threatened by my partner, mourning my old life before the asteroid hit or waiting to feel safe enough to get back to my old activities. I've had huge issues feeling safe enough to turn my back and lose myself in things. I think, KNOW, this was because trying to appease 4 very separate horsemen of my personal apocalypse meant that I'd put one fire out, turn to address another or to let off steam and when I'd turn back, it would be on fire, rinse and repeat. It conditions you to feel that rest will be punished, so you don't... EVER. The way that relational abuse homes in on the scapegoat's repair time is insidious. "it's ok for you," "I wish I had time for walking/fishing/sleeping/to be sick". The same people did what they wanted 24/7 but I was so far gone trying to keep things balanced I just didn't stop to point it out, I just played for time I couldn't afford and burned myself out.

Learning that you have the right... THE RIGHT.. to react to your personal needs and to maintain your energy is pivotal in recovery. Not just energy. Affections, interests, beliefs, hope, dreams... anything that makes you human. They are not up for debate, they are yours to embrace and secure. But it's taken so much time and energy to pull all these things apart and as time advances I'm seeing it all a lot clearer.

The people who hurt me so grievously were fantastically flawed. Two are dead, one through nature, the other through stubbornness. The other two are so mad as to defy classification and all were emotionally incompetent. All saw my failing confidence and energy as a chance to build their own mismanaged attitudes and my ill health barely impacted upon them. That's the truth. It wasn't me.

Saying it wasn't me isn't new, but I feel it deep now. I know it in my knower.

I also know that any mistakes or misjudgemnts I made were human. I was forced into scenarios that no one should have to endure and for a long, long time. Who is equipped for that? Yes, I made mistakes, and yes, they were probably a gift to my protagonists, but hey. And these mistakes were not even that big a deal, I left my alcoholic ex after building a relationship with a female friend in the USA, I burned through my savings laying on my back looking at the ceiling in a flat I couldn't afford as the PTSD raged, I hung on far too long with work that seemed to cost me more than I made... I think that's about it actually. It all feels worse than it is because the people I was dealing with were so keen to exploit mistakes that I lived in terror of dropping the ball in front of them. Two of them were borderline stalking in the way they monitored my online presence so I just went silent, further cutting me off when I should have been expanding outwards.

I see all this now and I've analysed it to death. The thing is that you recover when you accept. You recover when you humanise your own responses and you recover when you admit that the world around you is not very pretty. Human nature is often very dark. For all our optimistic media and feel good memes, people are ruthless, negligent, lazy and malicious. It all hurts a lot more when you expect more. Lowering your expectations is crucial. It isn't a defeat, but no one ever one a war underestimating an enemy. Relationships you don't choose are often a war. Relationships you do choose can become wars. It doesn't rule out happiness and love, but it does lead you to make knew relationships containing balance.

It isn't right for one person to sacrifice themselves for anyone, even children. Too much sacrifice encouraged more. Narcscism will suck dry all the goodwill it is offered, psychosis will play with a kind heart until there is nothing left, negligence will watch an innocent fade from view without a second thought. These people do exist, and they always will. What counts is how YOU live for yourself. You are none of the above, you know that, but you have to lose the bewilderment and hurt and realise that those emotions are not air raid sirens that will attract justice or change. In 90% of cases, the abusers in our stories will slip through the net, or bounce the barricade. We can't rest our future happiness on closure, because it almost certainly can't happen. Much of the abuse we suffer isn't criminal (yet) and much of it is so nuanced, targetted and prolonged that really only the victim can see it. That doesn't make it any less potent, most KGB interogators would feel very familiar with the emotional tactics we have experienced, from false hopes of deliverence to sleep deprivation and never ending negative reinforcement.

No wonder its so hard to square away, no wonder it's impossible to explain to others and no wonder they get away with it.

So if there is no closure what do you do?

Well you don't care. Simple enough but impossible eh? Well yes and no. The thing is you have to ask why you DO care and identify what has set up that dialogue. Traditions, duty, shame, guilt... they are glue that keep you in place. Yes, a shared child or a financial bond can seem impossible to escape and often are, but the damage isn't done by literal connections, it's mostly done in YOUR head. You do the worst things for them. Making that decision to switch that off and rise above it is massive. If that person has literally gone , then it's a huge advantage, but it isn't impossible otherwise. You can at least diminish the self abuse by asking why it is there in the first place.

Who's voice is speaking your doubts? Who's voice is screaming your inferiority?

It made a huge difference to me, and still does. I found Stoicism vital in this, especially Derren Brown's book "happy". His section on hurt and anger is probably the single most important thing I've read on emotional pain.

Finally I just want to say that going no contact is hugely important. Abusive people will never change, how can they? Why would they? Narcissists and psychotics have no reverse gear, no reflection, no guilt. They will pour all the pain you will take upon you no matter how small a threat you make yourself. You have to go. It will never end.

But yeah, huge changes. I think less, relax more and my obsessional responses are fading. It's not a return to anything, it is all new. I'm ending a period of shock and mourning and planning a new life. I think I got off very lightly. By rights I shouldn't be here. How I didn't lose every wheel and overturn I can't say, but here I am.

I know it can seem impossibly dark, but hang on in there and have faith in yourself. Be good to yourself and take action to get out of harm's way and to safety.



« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 06:28:57 AM by jamesG.1 »

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BeeKeeper

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Re: Recovery notes again
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2021, 01:55:59 PM »
dear jamesG.1,

I am thrilled to read your recovery note! Granted a week late, but still, so many great nuggets. I just ended a Zoom meeting with my medication T who is so real, authentic and wonderful. I tried in vain to explain my afternoon events, in which I retreated from life, engagement, etc. and she suggested possibly it was simply...REST. (gasp!) I later admitted, I've never rested and that it was so strange and disorienting, I felt guilty and ashamed. Then I read this:

Quote
It conditions you to feel that rest will be punished, so you don't... EVER.

Yes, yes and more yes. Thanks for shining a light into the darkness, and for taking the time to share your life so eloquently. I love the military metaphors, and thinking about Steve McQueen.  :thumbup:

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jamesG.1

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Re: Recovery notes again
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2021, 06:04:11 AM »
Glad that helped Beekeeper.

Took me a long time to feel able to articulate how much my protagonists had burned me out and conditioned me to keep burning out. Nonsensical protestant work ethic, offloading responsibility, guilt tripping... just madness.

You are not on this planet to buckle for other people incapable of carrying their own responsibilities. You have an absolute right to live your life according to your own nature.

What strikes me so much since I escaped them is that I am the only one that has thrived in any sense at all. And that is WHILE going through C-PTSD.

Besides that... resting IS A JOB. Even in WW1, the soldiers had time off. Find what does it for you and take that time... guilt free. It's yours already, you don't have to fight for it.

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Libby183

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Re: Recovery notes again
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2021, 08:23:56 AM »
Hi James G.

That was such an intelligent, sensitive and helpful update on your progress.

I don't know your story but I can still sense how far you have come in your recovery.

I am going to re read this post because it helps me see so much of what I have been dealing with over the past two years. Giving everything, but it never being enough. I, too, whilst still busy, can rest so much better now. And, at least, the business is so much more for me now. I was exhausted and wanted to die, every day of my life. Not suicidal at all, just didn't want to be here. I rarely feel like that now. I think that is evidence of healing.

Thank you again for the insight into your healing. So encouraging.

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jamesG.1

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Re: Recovery notes again
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2021, 09:09:33 AM »
Glad to hear that Libby183, it's not too much to ask is it?

It does sound like you are healing. It's an odd road back though, with lots of relapses, but they are mostly when you meet triggers head-on and put them to bed. Welcome it all, it will pay off, you can be sure of that.

Be good to yourself, that is an order!