These last few years have been full of changes, mostly the kind that don’t show on the outside. Unless you count losing a few pounds. Appreciating the mostly ample peace and quiet, living in solitude. Getting inside and working through as much of myself as possible. Sometimes the memories are there, sometimes there are only empty holes. I take what I can find and make the most of it. Trying to learn, trying to understand, and trying to make sense of it all. I’ve gone through so much therapy and counseling over the decades. It hasn’t done much more than keep me on my road and mostly shiny side up, at times that I’ve had a shiny side. Whether you are a Firefly & Serenity fan or not, that should make enough sense to you in any context.
Spending some time tonight listening to 60’s & 70’s music mix on a service I subscribe too, I felt inspired to do some writing, so here I am. I’m finally getting to a point where the memories and recollections are not all bad ones. Also, I’m finally understanding and letting it sink in that everything bad that ever happened was not my fault. Also, every memory that I manage to recall does not have to have bad feelings and experiences associated with it. It’s OK to recall something and also recall the feelings that went with the experience, lately some have been good feelings about good times. Living through a major depressive disorder with C-PTSD is not easy, so don’t make it I hear. I’ve been thinking of it as if the major depressive disorder were “the meat” with the C-PTSD as “the bun”, which makes a real shit sandwich for life. Lot’s of this group, I am a part of, seem to have issues with drugs, alcohol, and a variety of really nasty stuff. I’ve been fortunate to only have addictions to coffee and cigarettes.
I’ve also learned through retrospection, that these problems didn’t just pop-up one day. No single person or event, and no real beginning that I can pin down. I can follow roots of things backwards to my earliest memories, experiences, and events, of being an aware child. It’s been the road I’ve been on, the life, and many things and people along the way. Lucky me. Some people like to play the Blame Game. It’s not my fault, but I do not dismiss responsibility of it. It’s my Shit Sandwich to deal with, and blaming anyone or anything does nothing for me. It also does nothing positive for anyone else.
I’m going to share something that I found a while back that explains C-PTSD somewhat. Sorry that I can expressly credit my source, but hopefully it’s listed in the graphic below.
In a nutshell: Complex-PTSD develops from a prolonged exposure to a Hostile Environment. It’s not just one or a few events or people, rather a long sequence. A path. A road. A lifetime. etc…
Pretty much, one day, I put my Shit Sandwich in my pocket and headed on down the road.
I ended up on full Disability for some years, and crossed smoothly in to Social Security at full retirement age. The benefits did change, and neither did I. Still in the same mental swill. Guess I am at the point now where I don’t really give a crap about what anyone really thinks of this, me, or anything. If someone “gets it”, great. If not, that’s OK to. Still the same same for me either way. Other people have to deal with what they have to deal with themselves, I’m not here for the purpose of encouraging anyone to feel one way or the other. You walk your road, I’ll walk mine. There are not many people that I have much communication with, and really none that I have regular in person contact with except store clerks and a couple neighbors. That suits me and works for me, because simple is really better. Finding the point of lowest interaction and drama has been good medicine for me. That means disconnecting and avoiding, but if it works, it works.
Lately, I’ve been running across a lot of good, informative, and technically correct information, regarding Narcissists. Along the way, at times past, I knew that I was dealing with some of them. Becoming more educated on the subject now, I can say with accuracy that there have been more along the way that should have been recognized and included in that bunch. I don’t blame them for anything more than their parts in creating, maintaining, and bringing to life, what was a hostile environment for me during many periods of time, for their own gains and satisfaction. I wish that I had learned earlier, but I am grateful that I’ve learned and now know and understand. People see the PTSD and think “oh! scary guy!”. Nope. A few people along the way have had a hard time understanding my lack of anger, my lack of any need to get even, etc, towards any of these people. I guess I learned without realizing it that the best way to handle some people is to smile, nod, and walk away toward the nearest exit. Then don’t look back, don’t ever go back. It wasn’t you, it was them. Being caring and empathetic is not a bad thing, unless a Narcissist sinks the teeth in to your soul to suck the life out of you. Then it’s bad. Run.
It’s nice to sometimes randomly recall times when I was there for someone. Family, friend, or complete stranger, that was not a Narcissist, that I stopped to help in some way. To the Narcissists, I’ve been labelled with many disgusting things. Things that only serve their own cause and intentions though. I always tended to keep it secret when I would help someone out. I didn’t do any good acts to get the credit for it, instead if I got any credit later I’d play it down. Just be kind for the sake of being kind, not for the merit badge. Those of us who’ve been abandoned understand what “being alone” and needing someone to care really feels like. It’s a better feeling to have someone call you their Angel because your that one person in the whole world that helped them, rather than that other A word. You know that word, I know you do.
If you could have seen the things I’ve seen, heard the things I’ve heard, been the places I’ve gone, felt the things I’ve felt, done the things I’ve done, maybe you would get why I am who I am. And I’m just talking about childhood. It got way worse after those years… When you feel fear often enough, you eventually just start tuning it out and not feeling it. Same goes for feeling pain.
The most significant thing I’d like to share for now is this…
Learning to be your own best friend, to not be angry with yourself, that is a task. Too often people get angry with others because they are judging them. Usually it’s very unfair and one sided, not open minded, not insightful, not productive. Often, it’s been those that have expressed having the deepest love and understanding that ended up being the angriest and most hateful towards me. Mostly it’s because they have made one basic mistake. When you forgive, you forgive once and it’s done. You don’t give forgiveness, then take it back when it fits an agenda, then give it again at a time that serves said agenda. It’s been done to me with love, forgiveness, etc. A whole range of feelings. That’s what Narcissists do. It’s been done to me. Leave them behind to deal with themselves and each other. Bless them all.
Good luck and bast wishes to all.