Accepting limitations

Having trouble turning thoughts into actions. More of my thoughts are good ones, on the positive side, like something healthy useful or productive, but the thoughts seem to remain thoughts most of the time and I’m not sure why. I  don’t feel like I am consciously choosing or not choosing to do something, and yet I sit here most of the day, day after day.

I quit my job 6 months ago now. It feels like yesterday. How have I watched TV for 6 months. I’ve barely even blogged, just a few posts and comments here and there. Like my brain checked out. I don’t even remember the TV, its just on so I don’t sit and stare at nothing, which I actually don’t mind because my mind is so busy inside.

Its like I’m in a worm hole and traveling in time at a different rate than the rest of the world. Everyone speaks and walks too quickly. I can’t keep up. Thank God my kids are so smart because I don’t understand their assignments. I help supervise and make sure they work on it, but I can’t follow the directions, its too complicated and I can’t remember step 1 by the time we got to step 2. I put due dates on the calendar and remind them, that’s all I can do with my new brain.

I’ve accepted that this may be permanent. I cried. I screamed. I kicked things. I’m calm now. Sometimes I still let a little tear escape when I try to do something simple and the confusion makes me equal to my second grader. Because I remember teaching calculus and geometry. I remember being brilliant. But I’m not right now. I’m slow and dull.

Part of this odd confusion and slowness seems to rob motivation or whatever the mechanism is for making the body actually get up. I live in my head and its frighteningly difficult to get out. I barely notice my surroundings or my body. I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel numb. I feel calm and content, so its hard to call this depression. I think its more a function of the confusion from the migraines at this point, and the isolation habits from the depression.

I’ve been alone so long. I am taking steps to fix that though. I completed the intensive DBT group therapy and now they are recommending a 12 week cognitive processing group therapy for me. That should start in a few weeks. I am still on the waiting list for an individual trauma based therapist so I can do this group while I wait.

I have some concerns though. I am concerned to start something so intense around the holidays that always are so difficult to handle anyways. I’m barely talking to Hubby or anyone, I feel exiled from all family except my SIL. She’s been an angel. Hubby and I have terrible habits of communication that we react badly to one another, and whenever I tell him I am scared, he escalates and raises his voice and makes me feel worse. We keep talking but have found no solutions to this yet, other than he isn’t a safe person for me most of the time when c-ptsd is all stirred up. Which is exactly what this group will do. Its going to dig deep and stir it all up. The counselor said its going to be terrible and midway through everyone nearly breaks down as they explore hidden emotions and try to get in touch with the trauma and process it. Eek.

I’m not sure I can do that on my own, with no one here to comfort me when I get scared. But if I don’t do this now, I have to wait 12 weeks to join the next group, and what, is my life on hold until then? I think now is the time, while I’m not working, to do this once and for all. I just need to trust myself that I can handle this, and that I will listen to me, and not AF’s voice, and not the suicidal thoughts that are bound to flood in when the shit hits the fan.

I joined a NAMI support group, I actually go there in person twice a month. I do have them. I do have my SIL.I also joined a different online forum and I have some new friends there I chat with, so I have them too. And of course I have my wordpress friends. So maybe I can do, and maybe this is the next step to getting AF’s voice OUT of my head.

But I’m afraid. I am so afraid to turn around and face it and hear it full volume, its been muted for so long. I get dizzy, nauseous, and sometimes black out during these exercises it is so powerful and frightening. This counselor says I have a bit of hell trapped in my brain and it blocking me from enjoying my life. That I can’t feel things like love and happiness until I get this block out. I blocked it to stop feeling the pain and fear, she said. I still don’t know if I believe her, but I am willing to try this if it has any chance of removing or even reducing the amount of suicidal thoughts I have daily. Its so hard to build a meaningful life when your brain just keeps saying you should be dead.

I asked them all about going on antidepressants and I talked to doctors, psychiatrists and my neurologists and we all agreed that they arent good for my brain. The only times I ever actually attempted suicide were when I was on antidepressants. No I think the root of the suicidal thinking is not chemical, its AF’s voice constantly feeding me negativity and filth and hatred. When I can practice more compassionate self-talk it really makes a difference.

  • You can make healthy choices for yourself
  • You are strong
  • You can make it through this
  • You are having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation (you are not a freak)

16 thoughts on “Accepting limitations

  1. Wow – this post so resonates with me! Please know I feel your pain and think you are so insightful to realize these things about yourself. I too used to be so smart and capable of so many things. Now? I am afraid of everything. When faced with pressure or deadlines now, my anxiety takes over and my brain goes blank – that’s the best way I know how to describe it. It’s a terrible feeling! HUGS to you my dear!

    • Thanks so much for the support and kindness, I need it right now. Sorry that you understand, it sure isn’t easy when you don’t feel like you’re enough and that anxiety takes over. Hugs right back

  2. “practice more compassionate self-talk it really makes a difference.”
    Yes, it makes all the difference and continues to be my daily work. What ought to have been ingrained in childhood, I have to work on.

    • Yes I think of all the kindness and encouragement I pour so easily on my kiddos and that I not only had none, I had quite the opposite. I get it. I need an extra heaping of compassion to even that out. We all need to remember and keep working on this, it comes so easily to us to show compassion to others. Thanks

  3. Skip the holidays this year. Your job is taking care of you, learning to be healthy. A huge task. Sitting, doing nothing for someone with PTSD isn’t someone doing it without PTSD. The PTSD person is processing. You are more than able to do this. You lived through the actual events, and now you’re finally processing those memories. I hate that the body responds like it isn’t a memory. I’m learning that’s when the grounding techniques come in handy, reminding me I’m safe in the moment no matter what my memories say. You are a kind person, be kind to you. Keeping you in prayer.

    • ha, this actually made me laugh out loud. wouldn’t that we wonderful? just skip them. just say no. I think I get your message though, forget that nonsense and focus on getting me better. I’m going to keep trying. I’ve gotten better with the new mindfulness and grounding techniques from group, I do feel safer like I can handle more maybe. But alas I am not kind to me, its a daily battle for my own worth. My first reactions to me are terrible. I’m learning to use compassion afterwards now, which is huge, so I’m starting to believe change is possible maybe and then that glimmer of hope fizzles. Such a tough spot I’m in. Its more curiousity that keeps me going. Thank you for the support, means so much.

      • Yes, learning to be kind to self is horribly difficult. It takes lots and lots of practice, which implies lots of failures. However, a bit of good news: You ARE doing better, even if it doesn’t feel like it. You ARE taking steps you never bothered to take before. Go you!

  4. Thank you for writing this. I was thinking of you today. Sometimes I’m amazed at how brave you are. My trauma has been much less than yours. And you get up every day and keep going. You push to find the answers and do the work of healing, whatever it is and however hard it is. You give me hope. So many of your feelings are so familiar to me and I’m hoping that I can get past this too. Sending you strength and peace. I do hope you find your way through this.

    • Thank you for your kind words so nice to hear I am helping someone with all of this, seems like pointless ramblings so often to clear my hurting jumbled head. PLease don’t ever feel the need to compare traumas, hurt is hurt and generates similar feelings and coping tactics in our brains. I nearly gave up again a few months ago, hitting rock bottom. But yes I have scraped myself back up and slowly finding a new path on wobbly feet. ((hugs))

  5. Mind storms….rage to screaming point then somewhere the connection comes that it is passed….hoping you experience the ‘it is passed’ part. You can do this. I also took a year off of holidays. It helped. Gave me time to focus on what I needed to do. Hugs, baby steps will get you through.

  6. Feeling some rage and some fear is perfectly normal, try that as part of your compassion toward yourself. Remembering that you are not what was done to you, this is another part of the compassion you have to show. Shutting down the voices in your head that are not your own, while difficult is something you should try to do, name them and tell them to simply f*ck off, it can be difficult but it can also be done.

    I wish you had better support systems at home right now. I am glad you are reaching out. I am also glad you are writing. I keep journals, even now I write in them daily. Sometimes terrible things, sometimes not so terrible things but what is in my head lands in my journals. It helps.

    • I’m telling myself its ok to feel fear and rage and sadness or whatever else I need to feel, but I seem to be partially cut off from these feelings, according to my new trauma counselors. I think I allow some of it in and then an emergency kill switch takes over and shuts it all down. Thats what this next class is supposed to do for me, help me process and reconnect and regulate those big emotions. I’m terried of that voice in my head but I’m more than ready to tell it to f*ck off already. I thought I did, but I guess I just buried it. Holy geez this is complicated. I used to write more, but my brain really shut down these past few months. I think I might be coming back a bit, so maybe the journaling will work again. I hope so, this next class is supposed to be writing intensive with weekly homework.

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