Emptiness/development of myself

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annbelievesinwhales

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Emptiness/development of myself
« on: July 28, 2015, 11:18:15 AM »
 I was watching a documentary on Alzheimer's and one woman said it's normal to have a lot of thoughts going on in your head, but with Alzheimer's she just has nothing- emptiness, no thoughts.

One thing I realized is in the past I used to be overwhelmed by inner critic thoughts or worry or self hate and anything else crappy.  Now, in my recovery, for the most part my head is empty much of the time unless i'm actually concentrating on something. Sometimes an automatic thought/ feeling/ behavior will pop up in triggering situations, but otherwise empty.

So what's going on? Is that where all my values, beliefs, goals, interests, curiosity, opinions, feelings, etc. are supposed to be rolling around in my head? Where my personality and self would be if I wasn't brought up always looking outward trying to please people or trying to protect myself?? I'm not sure. I wish I was fulfilled and brimming with life affirming thoughts. Not sure how to get there.

I feel empty and sad at the knowledge that i never developed a good sense of self/ my own personality with the whole gamut of what that entails, but it's also really exciting and freeing that i can now consciously choose who i want to be or finally acknowledge who i am. If cptsd causes a ton of developmental arrests, I guess i'm about to go through my teen years!

this may also explain why i have little desire to reach out and interact with others. I feel i have very little of me to share. I was treated like an object by others and then myself, but now i understand pple are supposed to have full rich lives and experiences. for me i feel like an empty shell who has faked being normal.

I don't know if any of this makes sense but I'm putting it out there.

Also just because it feels exciting for me to list I'm gonna write this. I can develop my own values, beliefs, goals, interests, curiosity, opinions, feelings, stories, facts, info, expressions, hobbies, work, relationships, the things I care about, likes, dislikes, what's important to me, my wants, needs, risks, adventures. I can be a full human being. I think i probably have many of these already, but since I've denied myself for so long i probably haven't acknowledged them and allowed them to rise to the surface for fear of being smacked back down or offensive. Self discovery/development is gonna be fun!
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 11:19:51 AM by annbelievesinwhales »

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Emptiness/development of myself
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2015, 11:43:47 AM »
Hi Ann,

I don't know if any of this makes sense but I'm putting it out there.

Oh yes it does!
I can't say I quite share this experience with you, but I am a bit envious  :wave: .
I can empathize with feeling empty as not being much fun though  :-(


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If cptsd causes a ton of developmental arrests, I guess i'm about to go through my teen years!
This reminds me of what my very friendly and compassionate accountant said to me a year ago: "I guess it's time you start puberty, Uncle." That made me chuckle. Don't know how to quite do that though at 50  ;D . Quite some people will not be very impressed with me [/understatement] .

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Also just because it feels exciting for me to list I'm gonna write this. I can develop my own values, beliefs, goals, interests, curiosity, opinions, feelings, stories, facts, info, expressions, hobbies, work, relationships, the things I care about, likes, dislikes, what's important to me, my wants, needs, risks, adventures. [] Self discovery/development is gonna be fun!

Awesome list  :thumbup:
I highlighted those that I think will most easily fill the void/emptiness you describe.
You seem to have room to spare, and ready to take some in.
And looking back to your introduction from last may, you've come a long way!

Congrats!

 :hug:

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annbelievesinwhales

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Re: Emptiness/development of myself
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 12:07:02 PM »
Dutch Uncle,

Thanks for responding! Actually that earlier post was only from this May. Mindfulness practice and quieting my mind has really ramped up my recovery. Now that the critic is so quiet and I feel empty I'm like what else is there??? Lol. I'll definitely have a fun time figuring myself out. Does this mean I have to goth through a goth phase? lol

Ann

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Emptiness/development of myself
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 12:11:55 PM »
Does this mean I have to go through a goth phase?

Yes, I think that is inevitable  :righton:

(and yes, all this in 'just' two months, I noticed: :woohoo:. Congrats again  :yourock: )
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 12:13:31 PM by Dutch Uncle »

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woodsgnome

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Re: Emptiness/development of myself
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 05:28:24 PM »
I think you've hit on something often overlooked, amidst all the pain and anxiety that cycles back and forth with cptsd. And that's an acknowledgment that yes, there's a lot of desperation and of course grief in letting go. We aren't used to freedom. But then on the other hand, the act of letting go some of the mind's leftover cobwebs freshens up the atmosphere. It's like coming into some new territory for the very first time.

At first it's scary, perhaps...I know for me it generates quite a bit of disbelief that there can be a road for me, my talents, interests, etc. That I'm even alright and that there is a place for me. That I can wander free and just be. Sounds wonderful, and then...plonk! I trip over my own giddiness at seeing a world so foreign to the one from where I started. My big hope when the setbacks come is to find the way again and know it's still worth aiming for. Easier said than done.

I love what you said about seeing through to the hope:

 "I feel empty and sad at the knowledge that i never developed a good sense of self/ my own personality with the whole gamut of what that entails, but it's also really exciting and freeing that i can now consciously choose who i want to be or finally acknowledge who i am. If cptsd causes a ton of developmental arrests, I guess i'm about to go through my teen years!"  :thumbup:

I was also reminded of something Walker points out in his discussion of the 4f's and how there's actually good traits to them, if we seek to develop them. For instance, I know I'm a freeze type, whom he describes as "aware, mindful, poised/ready, peaceful, and possessing presence." On my best days, yep. Then again, I easily fall off the wagon into lonely isolation, high dissociation around people, and a ready retreat where I can hole up for days.

Finally, following our trail into the fresh landscape, perhaps we can find what Henry David Thoreau discovered: "I did not wish to live what was not life."
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 05:46:56 PM by woodsgnome »