still going on

This is a place for old members to come and share how their healing journeys have progressed.
Its also a place for those members to reconnect and share their experiences.

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VAC
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:16 am

Re: still going on

Post by VAC » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:51 am

This is a significant day.

I have been surrounded by people who care about me personally and professionally.

I interacted with family, friends, and associates for several hours.

It triggered me.

I am ok.

I am sorry that some things I still don't understand get to me.

It has been 2 months since something like this hit me---that seems to be cycle.

It is getting better.
Last edited by Jonesy on Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT

nelson
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Re: still going on

Post by nelson » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:14 pm

I have been read and rereading. You are a very courageous man. N

VAC
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Re: still going on

Post by VAC » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:33 pm

Thanks Nelson, but I pretty much think my part in it was to keep breathing, put one foot in front of the other, and not scream in public.....I appreciate you and know you will make this journey. I have some amazing people in my life.

nelson
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Re: still going on

Post by nelson » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:55 am

You are helping me. All of you are helping me. The dark cloud is starting to lift a little bit. One day at a time. N

VAC
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Re: still going on

Post by VAC » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:36 am

One of the things I have resented the most about all this is remembering...even though I have healed/am healing, and recall made me make sense, sometimes I ponder if I would have been better off never knowing? I had made peace with the mess of me.....starting a few years before recall in 2003, I spent a miserable season like a worm on hot ashes, wanting to run away, big time.

Not very functional for a then near 50 guy with many responsibilities....

So, I then fixated on the "new" part of me that answered so many questions...really all the dots connected, much to my chagrin. The more I fixated the more I remembered. Then I didn't want to know anymore.

I don't know if it is a cohesive chain of thought to equate denial with pain.....so as I have emerged from this, I have had to change many things. I had been so rooted in history and a family tradition and with the later revelations that had to be forgotten. I was raised to be proud of my family, to stand, to know the tree from which we were hewn.

Just yesterday I ran into one of my dad's lifelong friends, a man near 90. I had to (willingly) embrace him and tell him I loved him and thanked him for being such a friend to our family. He told me he loved all of us and always would. I was not wrong. I did this not just out of habit, but it was real.

One of the things I have had to do to survive and to grasp some continuity of it all is to remember it all. I have remembered more. It was years before I had recall. My dad came to me and was insistent we move away from them and that he would help me get a nice place in the country. He had a stricken look and was not himself.....I remember getting a check in my heart and knowing something was wrong.

I told him we liked the family home next door to them and we would move later. He hung his head. I now realize he knew he couldn't leave my kids alone if he had such ready access.

Memory....

There were a lot of other little clues from them both for decades....God have mercy on my parents. He lived in such fear of me...I see it now. He knew I could have broken him in half. He lived wondering if I remembered and I knew nothing, except...

I loved to look him in the eyes and tell him I was crazy...

I remembered provoking him until he was nuts when I was little. He would spank me and I would mock him while he did. I would look him in the face and say,

"Hit me harder, Daddy, you can't make me cry....you better hit me harder."

I have remembered him bursting into tears and running from me---this happened more than once. I always knew that if he came into the room, or my mom for that matter, all I had to do was to stare at them and they would leave. Many times they told me I looked straight through people.

My point:

It is sort of like a sewer day....if you want to fish in a cesspool, all you have to do is to put your hand in and poke around a bit, and voila, you come of with something nasty.

Also:

In my present state of understanding about my own recovery, no one else's, I must be aggressive with my thoughts. I realized I had tucked away a good deal of my own lifetime. Not that I want to "go away" in my mind as I did for so long, but I am going to live, and it will be less difficult if my focus is on things I have no power to change, but do have some ability not to feed on and make the defining circumstances of "me".

So, I am not offended anymore (big step--really big step) when some one speaks kindly of my dad. He could not be a dad to me as he wanted to because of his own guilt, so I had to endure the tears of strangers who told me he was the only father they had ever known. I was quite the avenger for a season, and politely told one person to read the first couple of chapters of "Rip Van Winkle" and get back to me.

Another dynamic is that I have become impervious to the gossip of others in my small town....this does bother my wife, but she knows. The tricky part of this is that I must never mention anything remotely related to my family to the child my dad victimized. I do have future plans for the house I was raised in that will cause quite a stir, but remember "Forrest Gump".

So, for me I deal with what yuck floats to the surface, but want it cleaned away. I am thankful for the vignettes that have come that show me the humanity of a broken and disturbed man with PTSD and an organic heart defect that should have killed him at birth and was not detected until he was near death. He did not get enough juice to one side of his brain for his whole life. I had a love/hate relationship with my dad....he was just so cool.

I told him I would kill him once and he never hit me again. I always felt sorry for him. I always do. I have worked through my mess with him I think, just having a real hard time with my child......

.....you would have to understand how I am about my kids. He also did his best to turn my other child against me. Long story, but you go figure.

So I practice selective whatever you want to call it. I just refuse to nest there in my thoughts. I can talk to anyone about it, but part of the mystery of me is out of sight, out of mind. If you are not there, you just don't exist for me unless I choose it. That is probably some kind of cognitive dissonance, but I will cross that bridge if we ever come to it.

VAC
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Re: still going on

Post by VAC » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:49 am

....to wind this note up, I am not happy with taking medication, but it really works for me. I have had to change some things because of side effects, and still have some. I am going to work towards no meds or organic. I have always tried to be health conscious because of the years of heavy alcohol and drug abuse.....but I remember the first time I filched some downers as a kid and snuck drinks. I thought,

"I feel normal."

So, I am there, and reluctantly thankful for the medication. My wife has never asked much of me. She has begged me to continue with them. She loves me. She asked me if I regretted our time together...I told her no, but I deeply regretted what we and our children endured unecessarily and asked her to forgive me for not taking us away from here.

Such wild irony in what can represent security and love in one's mind...

She is on the same meds as me...we both sort of lost it together and are climbing out together.

In this I consider myself to be the richest of men...both my children are restored to me. We have talked quite a bit.

So...the rest of the journey is ahead. I am looking forward to new untainted ground. I will remember that I got better....

I read a book quite against my will that totally blew my doors a couple of years ago--my child, my fellow survivor put it in my hands and told me I had to read it (no one else could have done that):

"The Shack".

I did not want to--I looked at it on my shelf and then read it.

If the Hearafter is anything remotely akin to this, what will it be like to see them again?

Going forward here and glad.

nelson
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:12 am

Re: still going on

Post by nelson » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:23 pm

I have just got to the point about disclosing addiction. I do like that our journey somewhat reflect each other. Please I know we are very different people but You give great comfort being able to read between the lines and understand my rage. The visit with my sons was a great help. I am actually breathing. At least a little.

VAC
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:16 am

Re: still going on

Post by VAC » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:22 am

Nelson,

It was very hard for me to tell my children about my dad, but it was by necessity. I wept with them both, each on different, but timely occasions.

I suppose the fear of rejection keeps us from alot of things that should be said and done.

The fact that I did not have recall for so many years makes the whole life experience sort of fragmented and surreal. I tried like hell to convince myself it was implanted memories and talked to personal friends who were T's and it just all made sense.

I realized I was always bleeding mentally for as long as I remembered. I really got it when I was about 10 there was something toxic and not right about me, and that I was way too much for others to handle, so if I wanted friends, I had to create a me that was acceptable. I know that sounds creepy. It does to me. I was somewhat of a recluse and a high achiever---I held it together until I was about 14 and just let it go. That was the first time a dr. tried to institutionalize me.

I wish now that I had been, but all in all, it has worked out well enough. I would have literally destroyed a number of people I cared about had I known before. As it was, I thought I had wonderful parents, and I was a horrible son. I did my best to shield them from my life, as well as the rest of my family.

I am going to say something just to try and help you and whoever else reads this. I am still working through shame issues, even at my age. I was declared a public health menace at age 20---reps from the CDC contacted my folks looking for me. I then was required by law to go into a health department for a blood test every two weeks or be picked up by the police. I had them come to my apartment more than once. I had them call me out of a college class to the Dean's office. It got really old.

This was a part of my life for a few years until I "disappeared" off the streets. I nearly died a couple of times years later from the excess I dumped into. I am not proud of this at all, but it is reality.

In a word, I was young with a death wish. I could hold it together for a couple of months, and then would bing alcohol and drugs until I could not physically take anymore. I would crawl out of whatever hell-hole I was wallowing in physically spent and ill. It is amazing, but occasionally I still remember bad stuff I did while I was in one of those binges.

I spent years in counseling with a lot of soul-searching walking out of this insanity...I always knew there was something I was missing, but couldn't go there. Then 25 years after I came off the streets, I had recall....wow. I came so close to running, like forever and never stopping---I was driving up the Appalachians when I remembered and wanted to disappear.

My purpose in sharing this is not to elicit sympathy, but I want you to know I am sure there is nothing you have done in your struggle to dissolve yourself I did not tangle with. I was like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This week in my perusings I have realized there was an element of my past I have recovered from....I never allowed myself to mourn.

The last time I remember really weeping was when my best friend either took a swan dive out of a high rise or was pushed---the way we all lived, who knows. It was something I was incapable of.

I have begun to mourn, not self-destruct, for what was lost, destroyed, scarred. I am big on forgiveness. This is a major deal, a real obstacle dissolving.

Allow yourself to mourn. Get by yourself and weep like a baby if you can. Don't work it up. It will come. I rarely slept when I was young. Right after I came off the streets, I would suddenly, with no build up, begin to spontaneously weep uncontrollably, and then would fall asleep. This subsided with time.

Recently, this has been a cleansing, almost a willfull thing. It comes somewhere from very deep in me. I believe it is resolution and letting things go. I have wept for you and for me and for all of us on here while writing this.

I have not been to my folk's graves in a couple of years I think, and now am feeling the need to go there and tend the graves, for me, not for them. I no longer want to chisel curses on their tombs.

Always remember that you are on a journey. Later I will share a dream with you I had when I was 14--it will make sense to you.

Don't you give up, Nelson. I am pullling for you, my friend.

"The only fish of all the millions in the sea who knows what it feels like to get caught is the one with the hook in his mouth"

nelson
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:12 am

Re: still going on

Post by nelson » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:51 am

Thank You

VAC
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:16 am

Re: still going on

Post by VAC » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:30 am

This has been a quiet day....thinking time, good time. I have discovered good in people I disliked more times than I can remember, and it has taught me to go easy with pre-conceived ideas and notions about folks....

I have thought it is a glitch that I ever wound up on this site. In another worlds I would have never taken the time to come here. I seriously hurt my back shortly after it began to surface, and for once in my life, I was not able to "work it off". It was on such a frenzy I took my back out...I remember the week.

A friend and I moved two houses full of junk and furniture...

I did a couple of yards and dug out a flower bed---I thought my back burning was a good thing. I always ignored pain.

Then an emergency call from a family friend--we took in a stray over ten years before and gave it to her. It was the ugliest and the smartest dog I have ever seen. She taught it to count and say several things. Her dog died and she asked me to help bury it in the country.

Of course I said yes---I forgot we were in a hard drought and you could barely drive a nail in the dirt. I also had not bargained for a human size coffin....

Then I went home and worked in the yard some more.

That night I woke up and my wife had to push me out in the floor so I could crawl to the bathroom.

So I had time on my hands, a doctor who medicated me in lieu of surgery (my desire), and a computer. I was unable to run from me, and oh how I wanted to!

......just musing.

Because I always had to fight, I wonder how many of those fights, the angst, the wars, the conflict both external and internal were totally unecessary?

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