Newbie here

An area for new members to introduce themselves, as well as a place where all members can share concerns, questions or general posts.
Everyone is welcome here.

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Crow
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:22 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by Crow » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:24 pm

Hi heavenlydove,

People often tell me I am too conscientious and put others first way too much. Also, I have this overwhelming feeling when I reply to posts in forums that I may come across like I make things about me (when that isn't my intention at all, and maybe others don't even think that anyway), but maybe that's because this forum stuff is new to me.
I'm going to share some of my feelings and my situation in an attempt to respond to what you have said, and hopefully if anything you won't feel so alone and maybe even feel confident that you will pull through this difficult time.

I am yet to put 'my story' on this forum, but I have introduced myself on the open forum briefly.
Where I live with my family we are in a flat and the past year or so has been so noisy with neighbour noise above and below that life has been so hard. Unable to move and the injustice of verbally abusive and inconsiderate neighbours has got me so down. So many thoughts in my head of how I feel I have failed my family (which isn't really true) and how we can't escape it (brings back feelings of being a child unable to get away) and all the while I am being triggered by these things daily, my mind and emotions just cannot cope.
I want to talk to people about how I'm feeling and struggling, but I feel like I come across negative (my mum - abuser, was and is and it's draining), but I don't want to burden people either. A lot of that is in my head though. I also don't want people to think I can't cope, however I can't process information or make decisions anymore. I started a new job a week before lockdown and feel like a fraud following a great interview because I cannot retain information or process things anymore. My memory is terrible - yet it has always been brilliant. My wife and I also had a tragic situation eighteen months ago and I do believe that grief will add to the brain fog feelings because that certainly was the case for me. Perhaps you still grieve the loss of your father despite the complex relationship you had?
I've learned that people don't understand what we have been through if they haven't experienced it themselves, and so finding the right people to talk to is difficult.

Regarding what your aunt said, I struggle with that too. I'm a Christian too (only since 2014) and Christians tell me I shouldn't look back in the past. But I don't see it that I am looking to pitch up my tent and dwell there... I want to understand why I think and feel and react the way I do now. I want to heal. I get told that Jesus is my healing, and I get given verses out of context about looking back and forgiveness. I have found less compassion from those who you would think should show it. I struggle in that I know that my faith should be enough, and that healing is found in the Lord, but we are human and have feelings and complex pasts - we can't switch that off. I didn't ask for this... I didn't ask for how I am right now. No one understands like those I have spoken to on here.
But all the while I feel like a different person to who I was two years ago. I worry too like you that I will never be the same, that I won't be able to process things and make decisions. CBT has had limited effect, and counselling hasn't helped much because they don't understand child abuse (the counsellors I have spoken to anyway).
That zombie like feeling I have known all to well. I think when our minds, bodies and emotions suffer so much stress we shut down. The anxiety, depression, grief and confusion all takes its toll and our minds just get foggy. I am slowly getting there though. We are also moving soon finally and I hope that will give us rest and help ease the strain. (Just got to try and make some decisions about organising for the move now!)

Please know that you can talk to me or any of us in this community.
And regarding tarnishing your Dad's image... I get that... I struggle with that too with my mum, and she is still here.
I've talked for too long. I hope this helps you.
Keep talking as you need to. If you need anything just post :)

Crow
Last edited by Harmony on Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited trigger indicator from NT to MT for religious content
From pain comes a courage
The strength from injustice

Quote taken from The Rage To Overcome by Machine Head

heavenlydove
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Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by heavenlydove » Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:46 pm

Hi Crow,

Thanks so much for your posting. I have felt so alone in my struggles the last few months/years, I really felt there was no-one out there who could relate to what I was going through day to day. My brain fog and dissociation have been so bad all this time, I feel like such a failure in life, like nothing is going right for me despite my efforts. Everything is falling apart for me and so often feel I do not know how I am going to be able to get through life in this state.

It all started off so well. I was considered like Wonder woman when I began looking after both my disabled parents on my own some 8 years back. I worked so hard, everyone around me was so impressed with me, I seemed to be able to do the impossible. Friends from church used to call me "Santa Maria or Sainte Marie" for helping my parents so much, being at their beck and call all the time and because I looked like I had the patience of a saint. Actually that took a lot of effort from me considering my parents were so abusive towards me since childhood and were still behaving badly all these years on. My friends did not even have an inkling about the true state of my family life, which no doubt is common in families where abuse occurs. I have always hidden my background from others, unless I really trusted someone, and lately have only had a very limited number of people around who knew how abusive my life was at home and in my childhood. I tried so hard to do the best for my parents in their old age, so that they would finally think well of me and not see me as a major disappointment, but unfortunately that backfired on me as I got so badly burnt out over time. Once my dad died, I fell apart and started getting brain fog bad. I could not handle things anymore but had to continue caring for my disabled mum. I have just got worse and worse over the years. Like you, I tried some therapy - bereavement therapy but that got too much for me at some point and I had to give it up - I felt like I was going to flip out and end up in psychiatric.

I used to have such a great sense of humour, even around my parents which helped so much getting us through tough times -I could make even the most serious people crack up and used to be able to really make my family laugh even through all the shit. But now I cannot seem to be able to be funny at all - it's like that part of my brain has shut down completely, much like my intellectual part. I was always a kind, thoughtful, deep individual, who liked history, philosophy and other such interests. Now I cannot remember anything, cannot philosophize, cannot recall things I read about - its like my brain is completely empty. I am just pretending to be still on top of my game, but stcatch beyond the surface and I am a complete loser. I can totally relate to how you felt being a fraud at work. I feel I do that with people around me all the time now. I feel I am going to be found out any day soon. I feel so much anxiety now, even around my friends given my bad brain, I take serious medication before I meet them just to get through it all. I never used to do this before. I feel I deserve to be in psychiatric, but if I went there I would not only no longer be allowed to be a carer to my mum but also lose the Power of Attorney I have, and have no idea who would take it over. Its all rather a big mess. I am so envious of my dad's brilliant mind, when mine is now the opposite of his - like you my memory is totally gone and I cannot recall info which I read even a short while back. I think much of that was caused by my long term burnout situation but also as you mentioned because of bereavement. I absolutely adored my dad on a lot of levels even though he caused most of my abuse. I just could not fathom life without him and still miss many things about him even now. It had been so hard not having him to rely one for things as I used to, as he was so bright and knowledgeable on most subjects under the sun.

I feel most people have little sympathy or understanding of abuse issues unless they have directly gone through those things. The only people who have ever really been totally sympathetic to my situation were health professionals. Most ordinary people just seem to expect me to snap out of my situation, like my aunt does. Luckily most of my Christian friends are not like her - they do not seem to see Christianity and therapy as competing elements - many people have opened up about various issues during bible study or prayer sessions - it's amazing all the sorts of things you learn about people during those times, you would never guess the kinds of troubles people are going through.But as they all knew my mum and dad, I have not been able to open up about that side of my life, which is really a pity in a way, but just the way things are. I think you are right that this brain fog and lack of concentration etc. boils down to too many stresses on the brain over an extended period of time. I was so stressed these last few years, I really thought I would die caring for my parents. I never expected my father to get another stroke and die within three days as he did. I was always worried how I would juggle two disabled people getting ill at the same time, and how we would financially cope as in the UK care can cost £1500 a week per person where we live, so all the money they saved up would go in a heartbeat.Whilst that has not happened, the consequences have been bad on my mental health instead. I just hope this is not a permanent state of affairs, although I do not see my dissociative troubles going away anytime soon. It is very likely that I am going to stay a fuck up for quite a while I think as my abuse was so severe and continued for so many years. But I have no choice but to plod on and try to get through this and make the best of a bad situation - that's all I can do really. Maybe I'll be lucky and somehow things will turn for the better for me, I have to try to stay optimistic and just see how things go. Things linked to abuse are so complex, each person is on their own journey in a way, as each person's brain can react differently, but we all share the same frustrations on a certain level, similar pains and understandings, and most of all share compassion for others going through tough times. That is what our abuse experience has taught us - to be more empathetic to others who are suffering bad situations like we once did, or still are going through. Thanks for writing me, Crow. You have been so kind sharing your experience with me - I really have appreciated it.
Last edited by Harmony on Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited trigger indicator from NT to MT for religious content

coconuts
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Re: Newbie here

Post by coconuts » Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:16 pm

Heavenlydove,

I relate to a lot of what you said. 5 years ago i was superwoman. Mom to 8 kids. Smart, handled all the home finances, taxes, etc.. I homeschooled, looked like the perfect family, was the perfect mom and the perfect wife. I dont even remember who that woman is any more. As some point I broke. It was like my brain shattered and i could no longer function. For me I attempted suicide. I just felt so incapable of ever being what i was trying to be. I felt like the world would be better off without me. And my brain just stopped. My anxiety went thru the roof. I remember standing in the grocery store once staring at the apples near tears. I couldn't figure out which ones to buy. I have a big family so i always bought the cheapest ones but i was so confused by the numbers. I left. Since then my brain has never been quite the same. I found out exactly how severe my dissociation is. But after a few months of therapy and just rest i was able to build myself back up. Life made things harder but now im still mom to 8 kids. I wouldn't say im fabulous at it. But im okay. Im a quite shitty wife. But I went to work and I'm and amazing teacher. Quickly worked myself up to district level leadership. However in the last few years i have learned so much about how connected our bodies, and emotions, and brains are connected. Im still going thru therapy and will for a long time. But when something difficult happens i find my whole body just cant. For example a month or so ago I had an incident which immediately in my therapist office left me non functional. I couldnt even walk out of his office. My head hurt so bad and i was so dizzy. It was like the worst migrain Ive ever had and it came out of nowhere and lasted days. My t and i talked about it the next week, he said it was a prime example of the mind and body connection. We like to think of our mental well being as being separate from our bodies. But our minds are just as important as say our heart or our lungs. Im dealing with a major injury to mine and sometimes is very obvious and other times it isnt.

Mental health is so misunderstood. Its not something scientists can really see. Its the biggest mystery around. But there are some things they have proven even on a biological level. Like that certain chemicals or hormones are released when a child is abused and or neglected and those lead to impaired brain development. Likewise the same stressor hormones will impair our brains abilities to fully function even now. It sounds to me like you have been flooding your brain and body with these due to the stress of the last few years. And unless you can find ways to reat and bring healing I doubt it will get better.

It sounds like you have some tools you use, such as bible study, to self care. Have you looked into other things like yoga or meditation? Also ive found for me, i just do so much better when im on antidepressants. Therapy, forums like this, even group therapy are very healing for some.

Dont give up on you in taking care of your mom. You are important too. You deserve to be taken care of as well.

Coconuts
Last edited by Harmony on Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited trigger indicator from NT to MT due for language
Be the Light 🌟 in someone's night.

heavenlydove
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by heavenlydove » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:20 pm

Hi Coconuts,

It seems that like me you tried so hard to be the perfect woman, wife and mother to your family of 8. Can't imagine how you managed to look after 8 children. Most people have trouble managing two! (Some cannot cope with any!!) It must have been such a shock suddenly to lose your ability to look after them as before. We are all so dependent on our brains working, if they stop doing what they need to do, we can feel like everything is over for us and our life not worth living. It sounds from what you wrote that you suffered from burnout. That can come gradually or sometimes all of a sudden. Did your doctor diagnose you with dissociation, or what was your diagnosis? It is great that you finally managed to get yourself back together even if you are not quite well as you were before. It is super that you can be such a good teacher and have been such a success at it despite you not being back to normal in other ways.

One of my friends appears to have had a similar situation to you. She had a good career but then started struggling at work and at home and in the end she said she could not add up two and two together. She had to quit her job and now she is working as a nanny. Luckily her husband brings in enough money so they can continue living where they are living. But in my case, I think my burnout was more gradual. When I looked only after my dad, and my mum was still well, that was OK. But when I started having to look after both him and my mum, things got much harder for me. After year one of that I started not being quite as efficient, by year three I was really starting to struggle, by year 4 I was really feeling the burnout bad and worried how I would continue and by the final year of my dad being alive, i thought I would die. I was really on my last legs. Once he passed, my brain fog started and I haven't been the same since. Even just looking after my mum has been a slog. I haven't got a car or driving licence as I cannot judge distances well so I had to take my parents everywhere by bus - one was in a wheelchair and the other used a walker. They were going to different clubs nearly everyday as well as to doctor or hospital appointments. I had 3 hoists at home to manage my dad's disability. And mum and dad were so demanding in many ways, dad still shouting and banging things when at home - thus why I tried to take them out to so many times so they would not be at home so much. They behaved better when in the community than behind closed doors. I could not have coped without any anxiety medication. You are right that anti-depressants help - I cannot cope without them right now. The truth is that I probably should not be looking after my mum anymore, I should be resting completely but do not want her going into a home - could not afford it for starters and don't want her catching Coronavirus as other elderly have. I do not want carers coming home as I could catch COVID-19 too and I have bad immunity from my care work. My relationship with my mum has greatly improved since my dad passed and I am enjoying seeing her not so stressed than she was when married to him. She talks so nicely of me now, like she never did before - she is so grateful I am looking after her.

As far as coping goes, lockdown has been really hard for me, as I ended up pulling into myself a lot which is not good. At least we had a nice dog to entertain us a little during that time- he is such a sweetheart. Unfortunately, bible study and prayer groups have stopped so cannot do that at present and clubs are not reopening any time soon. I have so many things I should be sorting out but can't cope with. Anyone normal would not understand why I am not able to do them. They would judge me so incapable. I feel like such a failure and like all my efforts are going to waste. I used to feel a little envious of people who did not have to look after their parents in old age, but I know that many have also had it worse than me - like people who were stuck looking after parents with serious dementia. My mum only had a urine infection for a couple of weeks and lost her memory completely - it was a complete nightmare as she didn't know anything about herself. She was taking off her ulcer bandages, totally out of it. I had to do absolutely everything for her for nearly a month. She didn't even know how to eat or what eating was. Now my mum has early dementia, but it is progressing very slowly so I am not too worried about it. She understands I am struggling and making the effort not to be too trying (she used to be really quite difficult a person). She has changed a lot and I am happy about that. Luckily for me, both with my dad and mum, our relationship improved in the last years, even if things were never perfect. By the end my dad and me had the best relationship we could really have - he was still a pain in the backside often but there was a lot of love there nevertheless, which everyone saw who knew us. Things are improving with my mum which is great. I know that most of the effort has come from me - but my mum is really appreciating my efforts and relaxing at home for the first time, now she no longer has a difficult husband to deal with. I just wish I was not so destroyed by all this care work I had to do under very trying circumstances. It did not help I tried to be the best best all the time. That sort of attitude can bring on burnout - as one is trying too hard. Half hearted efforts are actually often better in these situations, so the care-work does not end up being the be all end all of one's life. It is as you say about finding a balance. My sense of self has gone out of the window these last 8 years. I worry what I will be like once my mum passes. I used to think things would pick up for me when my dad died but so far the opposite happened. I seem to be in a worse place than before - as you say, we cannot fool our brains and bodies - they know what they are capable of and what is simply too much of a strain. We like to dictate to our brain what it should be capable of handling but our brain has its own capacities. If we have suffered bad abuse, our brains are already trying hard to handle that sort of stress and then other stresses can overwhelm it. Things are stored in our subconscious brain so we may not even be aware of all the stresses which are still burdening us. You are right that my brain has been flooded with stress hormones which are now overwhelming me. I should look into yoga and meditation. Presently I am trying to rest more, mainly as I cannot manage things anyway. I would like therapy but I am very worried about it, as last time I really struggled with it so bad. I worry I would end up in psychiatric. Thanks for sharing you story so far. It is giving me more insight into things which can lead to the sort of problems we have been struggling with. At least here I am not feeling like a complete loser which is how I feel at the moment around a lot of people. I feel if they knew how little I am now managing, they would be very surprised and look down at me, as I usually still look like I have it all so together far more than I do. Everyone thinks I'm normal while I am falling apart at the seams. I worry I will soon be found out and then will be looked down upon even more than I was when I was younger and didn't have many friends. I worry I will end up a complete mental nutcase and will need others looking after me.

coconuts
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:34 am

Re: Newbie here

Post by coconuts » Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:34 am

Ahh the classic fallout from abusive past. The drive to be perfect to gain acceptance and affection.
My step mom cared for her parents til their end. Its was horrible to watch her go thru that. Her dad would yell and scream at her. He was abusive all her life. I dont know how she got thru it.
For me.. Ive struggled with depression my whole life. First diagnosed at 12. Got a PTSD and continued confirmed depression diagnoses in my early 20s. When I fell apart at 35 they just added anxiety to it. But my therapist kept saying i had bad dissociation. I brushed him off for years and told him to stop giving me more problems than i already had. Finally a bit more than a year ago some stuff happened and i started to accept he might be on to something. Now i know better and i have a DID diagnoses. Which in my mind makes me certifiably crazy. But my T insists not. He says its an amazing coping strategy and helped me survive. When im being all analytical i am quite amazed at the brains capacity to adapt and survive. That said, now when Im facing crap its obvious that ability has been messed with. Knowing about the DID is both a blessing and a curse. Denial is an amazing thing. Acceptance. Not so easy.

Keeping up with too much, burning out. Eventually everyone will see it all come crumbling down in an amazing pile. When i crumbled people were shocked. I was a mess. I wish i would have gotten help sooner. For me it destroyed my world. I like to say someone took my snow globe and shook it real hard. When the snow settled it was a mess.
Coconuts
Be the Light 🌟 in someone's night.

heavenlydove
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Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by heavenlydove » Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:02 pm

Hi Coconuts,

Yes, you are right that I have been trying to gain acceptance from my parents all these years. It has nearly destroyed me and who knows what the long term consequences of that will still be regarding my health long term. I always feel that I was so lucky to live in one of the best places in the world, and yet my life was tragic and damaged as if I had lived in a war zone. Because what I lived at home was like a war zone and I was tortured as if I had lived in a concentration camp. But because my torturers were my parents (dad in particular) and I had no other relatives to turn to to rescue me, I just had to live with them and put up with them. I sought their love and hoped that if I did everything right, they would finally not treat me so bad. In my life, other people always treated me so much better than them and yet I always found it hard to trust other people fully. I always felt unworthy of their friendship and affection on some level so could never fully relax around people. I suffered from bad depression and social anxiety for years. Whilst my social anxiety has lessened, my general anxiety is still going strong. After I started therapy I started to get dissociation like you. I have DID, not different personalities but sometimes I am in touch with different parts of myself so cannot recognize myself so well- like my personality is in flux. I have not been officially diagnosed with this, but its pretty obvious to me. I often worry people can see I am dissociated, but usually people can't. I can only tell a few people I have this sort of issue, only those who know I have been abused. Others would not understand if I told them about dissociation. They see me as totally normal. That is so far from the truth though. I feel I have always lived a lie - before it was me pretending I was normal when my life was anything but, now it is me pretending I am normal when my past keeps interfering with my present. I am worried all is going to crash around me and I will be completely wiped out by my problems. I need to do so many important things, but cannot get around to doing them. I feel totally helpless. I cannot tell people the mess I am in. I just cannot understand how my life is so messed up- I am suffering so much, it's like there is hardly any point in living. Only hope keeps me from giving up completely, even when I cannot see the end of these problems. I hope I can one day find more happiness than I have now and can regain a sense of normality that has evaded me for so long. I feel that you Coconut have such a good insight into this - I think I am likely to end up ruined like you in the short or medium run, if not more long term. But I just do not know what else to do right now but to plod on especially as Coronavirus is likely to revisit us again soon, so cannot see my mum going into a home under this scenario unless things fall apart more and I can no longer care for her ie. if her walking deteriorates and she ends up bed bound or something. I really hope this does not happen anytime soon.

Noname
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Posts: 2578
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by Noname » Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:50 am

Hi heavenlydove,

We haven't met yet, just want to say a few things. First of all, I'm glad that you've been getting support here. This place was a literal life saver for me when I first started working on healing and I'm so glad that it continues to be here for anyone who needs it.

Also, wanted to point out that in order to have DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), you have to have at least 2 distinct, separate personalities (or alters, or parts as they are called). Each part is their own person, and there will be amnesiac barriers between them, meaning when switching between parts, the parts not out front will often lose time. There's a lot more to it, just wanted to point that out. It sounds like what you're describing is feeling disconnected from yourself, but it's still you. While that is a type of dissociation (and not at all uncommon for survivors), it is different from DID. I hope that made sense and was helpful for you.

Last thing, and I'm trying to figure out how to word this... Struggling, even struggling greatly does not mean one is "ruined" or "broken". It simply means you're struggling. And especially when a person has been through some of the worst things that can happen to a person, it's a normal part of healing. I think we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect - maybe because that was what was expected of us growing up, or maybe because that's what WE expected of us. Either way, no one is perfect. Everyone has hard times. Everyone struggles sometimes. Some more than others, sure. But the negative self-talk of calling yourself ruined or broken or whatever just feeds the shame that we carry. This is something I've been trying to work on for a long time, and I think I've made some progress. It's baby steps. Getting out of the habit of negative self-talk is hard and I've found that it can become a viscous cycle. I engage in the negative self-talk, then I beat myself up for it because I know better, which leads to more negative self-talk.... I hope this has made sense, too.

Caring for others always has the potential to be draining. Caring for an elderly dementia patient is guaranteed to be draining. I hope that you are able to find little moments to do something for yourself (though I know they are probably very few and far between). Sending care and support to you.

heavenlydove
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Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by heavenlydove » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:43 pm

Hi noname,

Sorry if I wrongly assumed I have DID - it is just that I seem to have trouble knowing what my real self is at times - I think it may be I have some Identity confusion (is that not considered part of DID?) - like experience cut off parts of myself that I do not recognize as myself. It may be caused by dissociation but its like these can change quickly or more slowly - I am confused as to who I am fully. Before I never used to have that, but then I started getting it and I have had it in some ways for nearly 20 years. It is very debilitating as I cannot tell when changes might occur. I think parts of myself were cut off from me due to the fact I was not allowed to be a certain way/person by my parents. Maybe now my brain is slowly trying to incorporate these into my personality?? I am not sure. All I know is that I am all over the place fairly often in regards to myself.

Also, sorry about using words like ruined or broken - I did not mean to describe Coconut or anyone in that way, its just how I am feeling right now. Unlike Coconuts who seems to have quite a lot of control over her life and is doing remarkably well - looking after 8 kids and holding down a fine job, I have never been able to hold down a job properly like other people. I struggled so much with anxiety at work that I was just too paralyzed by that to be able to cope. Thus why I have a terrible CV/resume. That is why I looked after my disabled dad and parents instead all these years. Dad became severely disabled about two years after I finished University, so I looked after him from that time on. I have no idea how I would cope with things if my life was to fall apart and I had to get a job. My brother is no better at helping me since he has bad problems too. To date I have not being able to deal with much paperwork since my dad died (3 years ago) as I am incapable to handle it - my mind is totally blank as it never was before. I am just shattered from years of total burnout from my care work. I feel like everything is coming to a head and it is all going to implode and I do not know how I will solve the issues. I feel like if I do not handle things well now, I will be paying dearly for my mistakes in the future. Its rather complicated - my brain just is not functional at all and has not been for 3 years - I am just about hanging in there looking after my mum but that is about all I have been able to handle. I never thought I would end up in this situation and do not know who to turn to, to solve it. I am not trying to be negative about myself, its just that I know that right now I cannot cope with even the simplest of things, which makes me feel like a total failure. I feel like I should be in psychiatric right now, but then who would take over looking after my mum. I am only lucky that I am a very patient person with her, and that I am able to keep many of my worries to myself, so people cannot tell quite in what bad state I am in and thus are not calling for a replacement. Maybe I am being too negative, but as far as I can see, I think right now I am being pretty objective about myself. I am literally falling apart everyday, in bad dissociative state - that is just the reality of things and not able to deal with lots of important matters that need resolution. Just thought I would write that - i do get where you are coming from and usually I try not to be too negative, but one of the reasons why I have come here, is because everything is just going so wrong for me like never before. I always used to be able to rely on my dad to help with things but now I have no-one I can turn to, so am feeling very low on confidence. XX

coconuts
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:34 am

Re: Newbie here

Post by coconuts » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:45 pm

Heavenlydove,
The great thing about isurvive is that we dont have to be okay here. I love that I can cone here and openly fall apart. Because in the rest of the world I slip on my mask and live this facade of I'm okay, nothing is wrong ...really. When inside its utter chaos.
Identity confusion is a symptom of dissocistive disorders. There are a spectrum of these with DID being on the furthest end of the spectrum. Noname and I have DID meaning we have distinct separate personalities with their own names and such and with amnesia. When my other parts are out I usually have zero clue what is going on. Lots of amnesia. Strange things happening. Its usually quite covert. I had zero clue I had this until a bit more than a year ago. ( amnesia) No one other than my T and 2 close friends know i have this ( and isurvive) not even my husband and kids. My DID is what helps me appear normal and function in the world. In some of my personalities I have no trauma. Thats the point, part of my mind took on the trauma so other parts of my mind could function without it. We function as a system where the trauma holders carry the pain and the other parts get to make it look like everything is hunky dory in there. When i started falling apart it was because my trauma holders finally had enough, they needed help. Its like a sprung a leak in one of those amnesiac barriers and i could suddenly remember bits and peices of what happened and I couldnt deal with it.
However there are many other dissociative disorders. PTSD and Complex PTSD are along this spectrum as well. They cause lots of dissociative symptoms. Its very likely you are struggling with a dissociative problem if you feel like you are. Many people do.
I think most child abuse survivors struggle greatly with who we are. We were influenced in such ways that it made us struggle with full developing our identities. Who are we? Or are we even worthwhile when from our youngest days we were told we were not. The world says one thing, but years of conditioning have drilled very different messages into our minds. Or even a handful of traumatic events. Trauma has ways of reshaping everything. The world is filtered through it and we are left trying to sort out truth from this made up picture. Reminds me of this secret code games where you have the special colord filter to be able to read the words. But on the surface, at first glance it looks like something else entirely.
Have you looked into self help books, or online therapy options even. I know here in the US there is even organizations like better help and such that offer online video counseling or texting thru a subscription service. My history with mental health services is up and down. Ive had some really bad experiences and some really good ones. Most have been helpful to some degree. My current therapist has been able to take me leaps and bounds further than any other therapist. Then again I have a better diagnosis. For years Ive juat been under depression and PTSD and anxiety. Knowing i have a dissociative disorder allows better treatment. Im just saying there is a lot to be said for a good fit therapist. And there is no shame in getting help. Being a carer for an elderly parent is extremely difficult. To have been a carer for years it is understandable for years. Especially considering youve been asked to care for those who abused and enabled abuse of you. Having a history of mental health is sometimed good too. You can go in and say, "Look I've tried this, this, and this and they didnt work. I need to try something different." Ive also found over the years in therapy, even without a proper diagnosis, I often gleaned something out of it so each consecutive experience built upon the previous, adding more "tools" to my toolbox of resources. And I think I had to get to a place as well, where i realized no one else could fix me. Its something i have to do for myself. I wanted to go into therapy and dump all my trauma at my therapists feet and they would sweep it up and dispose of it and everything would be okay in the world. This just isnt the way it is. I have to put in so so much hard work. It sucks... lol. Ive also found help in self help books as well. They often have exercises and activities that you do to help challenge and change your ways of thinking.
And i often feel broken, shattered, forever ruined by the things Ive been thru. Ive also be told I am. Ive been deeply impacted by the things i went thru. My brain literally feels broken into pieces. However I see too that being broken isnt such a bad thing. And it doesnt make me any less human. Quite frankly every single person on this earth is walking around with some broken bits. Its part of being human to experience heartache, pain, disappointment, rejection, betrayal. I suppose its what we do with it that matters. Ive chosen to not spread that. To fight every day to make sure I dont. To try and be a better person from it. Not every person chooses that or knows how to choose that.

Coconuts
Be the Light 🌟 in someone's night.

Noname
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Re: Newbie here

Post by Noname » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:49 pm

Hi heavenlydove,

To be clear, I am not qualified to say whether you have DID or not. Getting that diagnosis is a long, hard road and I don't know you well enough to say, nor am I a licensed professional. Sorry I didn't make that more clear originally. I was just pointing out that what you were describing doesn't fit the diagnostic criteria. You may well have other symptoms that do. Yes, identity confusion can be part of DID, but to have DID you must have separate, district parts (alters). But, identity confusion and lack of sense of self can also go along with other forms of dissociation or other disorders as well (such as depersonalization or a whole host of other diagnoses). I'm not trying to invalidate your experiences or feelings at all. You know yourself better than anyone. But figuring out these diagnoses is better left to professionals. The trick is to find a professional who really knows about dissociation.

About the negative self-talk - I really did not mean for it to sound like I was trying to scold or shame you, and I really am so sorry if it came off that way. I completely understand that that's how you're feeling right now, and I've been there myself. Am kind of in that place right now, actually, and I know that I sometimes need a reminder to be kinder to myself. That was what I was trying to do for you, but I can see how my wording might have seemed otherwise. I really hope that I have not hurt your feelings. If I have I do apologize.

You have faced so much in your life, and I think the fact that you were able to care for your father and that you're still caring for your mother shows so much empathy on your part. I admire your strength in being able to do that for them, though I get that you might not see much strength in yourself right now. It's there, I see it. I hope someday you will be able to see it, too.

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