Robin Williams . . . A Sad Turn of Events

It seems everywhere I look these days, more and more people are talking about Robin Williams death.  Survivors with PTSD seem to be universally triggered by this event, myself included.  

Why?  The stigma of suicide?  The stigma of depression?  The stigma of mental illness?  The reality that many of us have been at that point in the darkness where it seemed like a good idea at one point or another in our own journeys toward recovery?  The fear that the disease will claim us too?  The empathy we feel for the man behind the laughter?  The sadness that someone who had everything to live for – chose not to?  All of the above?

I know for me, it is probably a combination of it all.  My own journey has been rocked quite a bit the last few months on all fronts – to the point that I finally threw in the towel and asked my doctor for something for the immense level of anxiety I have been dealing with.  I started taking Pristiq 2 weeks ago . . . and honestly, I feel God Awful.  I really didn’t feel depressed beforehand, more just a lot of anxiety and PTSD issues hounding me into my new relationship + of course all the struggles of being a single working mother.  Now I feel full blown depressed!  And really, nothing has changed for the worse in my life.  There is no reason to all of a sudden be horribly depressed.  I’m really hoping this is a temporary side effect of the medication that will pass in a couple weeks as it gets into my system, but OMG I haven’t felt this bad since the initial devalue and discard period!  

So much has happened . . . and I’m too blah to write about it all today.

Quick update – still with Mitch.  That has been one hell of a roller coaster!  Right at the moment things are finally leveling out and going pretty well between us.  BUT . . . the stress that it took to get here has taken a toll on my emotional health.  I think I figured out the difficulty, he is disordered.  But not in the same way.  I suspect he is a highly functioning aspergers.  This comes with good parts and bad parts.  The good – unlikely to really cheat and lie.  The bad – non social, and don’t always take other peoples feelings into account, and has to have things their way.

Feels like I’m grappling between depression and anxiety these days.  I finally caved and agreed to try Pristiq.  It has good reviews for helping PTSD sufferers. Hasn’t really kicked in yet.  Watching the news about Robin Williams hasn’t helped my mood.  Tough times.  And no, no one “did” this too me.  It is simply my body has dealt with everything for so long that it just broke a little.  Hopefully this new medication will help get me back on track.

For those of you wanting an update on the B/S/P/N situation specifically . . .

Well, I am truly one of the LUCKY ones – in the sense that I do not have to have any real dealings with the B/S/P/N. After our initial court decision, he did call to speak to Lil Miss on the phone for his 10 minutes twice, and he has not bothered to continue. That was back in May 2013, so it has been a year since he has contacted her or I. He has not sent gifts. He did pay child support briefly by force (as in the state garnished his unemployment for me) – and yes of course he was yet again unemployed. The child support stopped in December when he ran out of unemployment. We have not seen a dime of child support since Christmas. His family has been in contact a couple times – ALWAYS in strange ways. His parents last sent her a birthday present, but somehow they didn’t mail it correctly because they do not have my real address, only my sisters, and I ended up having to pick it up at the post office and PAY for it. Only these people could manage to be so idiotic!

The biggest news I have on him is through contact with his ex-wife as we are both trying to figure out how to get child support. She contacted me around Valentines Day asking for my help as she said he was “spinning out of control” and she wanted to limit his access to her daughter as well. And he is still with the equally crazy woman too. She didn’t have my court case as his family tried to keep what was going on from her – so I sent her all the paperwork I had from our case and told her good luck! Of course, she was appalled at most of the stuff in there – shocker, he is really good at hiding things! I didn’t get a straight answer on what “spinning out of control” meant for him, but that definitely made me nervous as I don’t want it spinning anywhere near me! So I watched the court sites for a few weeks . . . and sure enough, something hit! This time it is on the crazy girlfriend – she got arrested for domestic violence on HIM! Not really surprising as she has 3 prior charges of DV that I brought to my court case – and really, he probably deserved it, but still useful information for his ex wife. So I sent her the paperwork. And all was quiet for a while . . . and then the crazy girlfriend sent me a message through Classmates.com . . .

“So I now have proof that between you, C, and J have been spreading too much time talking about me. Lol why? Never mind. I want you to know that today I got your phone number and address. The courts will be serving you papers for slander. Your friend J too. C isn’t because I feel sorry for him. Fat lonely sleeping with old hookers. Oh you can tell Tina I won’t be having her served, I mean she probably doesn’t understand what you got her involved with. Thank you for leaving bird crumbs and talking to a woman that has tried to take her own life and is teaching her daughter how to be a liar. Sad excuses of parents. Take care.”

C is her ex that I talked to while preparing my court case as he filed a restraining order on her for . . . domestic violence, haven’t spoken to him in years now. J is the ex wife who has been mentally unstable at times – married to the B/S/P/N, who can blame her! And the crazy girlfriend is the one who has attempted suicide a multitude of times. And lets face it, if ANYONE is teaching their daughter to lie – look no farther than the B/S/P/N who is the ultimate master at lying!

In any case, I saw this as a threat as I have kept my personal information from the court to avoid the crazies from coming after me. I immediately sent a cease and desist request to his attorney explaining that if anything untoward showed up in my mailbox the police would be called and her clients arrested. Not playing with the crazies! And then told her to explain to the girlfriend that slander does not include sharing public court records. Needless to say, I haven’t heard anymore after that!

I have talked to J a little since then – apparently the B/S/P/N has a job FINALLY as a night shift cook at a Denny’s. Oh how the mighty have fallen – but hey, any job is better than no job! Haven’t received any child support from it yet, but maybe someday . . .

Dealing with PTSD in a new relationship . . .

OK, I did the Melanie Tonia Evans therapy and felt pretty good. I’ve done EMDR. I’ve done cognitive therapy. I’ve done support groups. I’ve read everything I can on the topic. And I felt fairly healed and ready for love again . . . and yet, I was wrong.

Mitch and I are nearing our 6 month anniversary, if we make it that far. And I am just plain triggered all over. It started with a strange episode with him and his adult daughter playing dodgeball where they ended up yelling at each other and causing a scene disrupting the game and basically embarrassing me and the 13 year old. That began the trigger process for me – and then the hits kept coming. The daughter has been a bit of a source of contention in general – as for an adult, she is always in the middle of things. It’s like she has no life of her own so she wants to play with the boyfriend all the time and almost turns it into a competition between us. For a normal person, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But for someone who went through hell with the B/S/P/Ns family, it is trigger haven. And he knows it bugs me, so his idea was just not to tell me when they met up or talked . . . wrong plan! The B/S/P/Ns family always met up with him when I wasn’t around – mainly to keep me from finding out certain truths they were helping him cover. This situation is becoming unbearable for me – and I am lashing out at him instead of dealing with it. Mostly because I don’t know how to deal with it. I know I am probably being unreasonable to a certain extent – I totally get that. I just don’t know how to resolve this issue in my head. My mind says “what if” he’s lying to me about _________ when they are having their secret whatevers (fill in the blank with whatever horrifying situation my mind can dream up). And I am so scared of falling for another person that might be disordered in my head that now I want to push him away and just plain run.

Any advice on how to manage triggers from the past in a new relationship – without killing the new relationship? HELP!

And here is an exerpt of exactly how I am feeling lately from: http://www.heal-post-traumatic-stress.com/PTSDcopingwithemotions.html

The emotions of PTSD usually work like this:

You were screwed over – big time. What happened to you should not happen to anyone, ever. But it did happen – and it happened to you! You did not deserve that and you feel angry.

You were hurt, and no one helped you, and you feel sad.

It might happen again and that makes you fearful.

Now you are worried and anxious that it will happen again.

You try to warn people. But no one understands how awful it was. They don’t understand why you aren’t better yet, and trying to explain it is so frustrating!

You resent how easy life is for other people – they haven’t been hurt like you have.

And you’re jealous of those people who take so much for granted.

You’ve been taught that resentment and jealousy are bad, so you feel guilty for feeling that way. And that brings you smack up in the face of that other guilt – the one with a capital G that you are trying desperately to hide from. Your trauma isn’t just about what was done to you. It is about what you have done.

If it went on long enough, you probably did something you are ashamed of. You would never have done such a thing under normal circumstances. But the circumstances weren’t normal. You did not have good choices, so you made lousy choices. Now you are ashamed, embarrassed, and feeling Guilt.

Then, along come the judges: people who weren’t there and couldn’t possibly know what it was like, but they are judging you, looking down on you. They don’t have a clue what it is like to be where you were, but they are happy to tell you what a failure you are – and that makes you angry, again.

Fear of Abandonment . . .

It’s been awhile. Things have been relatively smooth for quite a while really. But – I am dating someone, and again I am struggling with the side effects of C-PTSD. This time, it’s a different trigger though. I have fallen for the man I’ve been seeing about 5 months now. And while that seems like it should be a good thing, I am finding myself struggling even more. Mostly with the fear of abandonment. Normal relationships have times of togetherness and times apart. I know this. However, I cannot handle the times apart right now. It is like an instant trigger to the past with the B/S/P/N where I wonder what he is doing, saying, thinking to the point where I cannot enjoy my life. I KNOW he isn’t doing anything wrong when we are apart. It isn’t him. It’s me! How do you stop the constant fear of abandonment after going through everything I have already gone through? Right now, I feel like I’m pushing him away to at least get it over with so I’m not blindsided by it later. I have fallen in love with him. And it TERRIFIES me! What if he turns out to be a B/S/P/N? What if he leaves? What if he’s lying? What if he’s cheating? What if he just stops loving me? It never f^%$ing stops – that voice in my head. There has got to be some way to deal with this issue productively, I just don’t know what it is 😦 And right now, I’m hoping it’s not too late. Because even I know, I’m freaking out over stupid things that normal people should be able to deal with just fine. UGH . . . will this ever really go away?

2013 Resolutions in review . . . How did I do???

FINDING MY PATH!!!!

OK, maybe I didn’t find it. But I came a long way in BECOMING MY PATH. I’m not “lost” – I just need to step into who I am and be authentic! Did I meet all my goals, NO. But I did an OK job at working at them. I didn’t get to 140 lbs – but I stayed consistent with my workouts for the most part (not my diet) and did a lot of fun 5k’s – with actually friends! Did I resolve PTSD – no. But I found a therapist and still go to talk it out on a regular basis. Do I do Self Care all the time? No, there are still some days I don’t want to get out of bed. But I did spoil myself with as many things as I could – new workouts, clothes, experiences, necklaces, bookcase for my room, etc. Did I take care of myself and the kids needs – as much as possible. I got a mammogram and health tests done. The 12 year old and I saw the dentist. Lil Miss is in Speech Therapy and Daycare now. The 20 year old is in college. I am working on improving my financial situation slowly but surely. Did I make some friends here – YES! Not the way I planned, but it still happened lol. Was I creative enough? Not really. But I got the frames to do the project I had in mind for Christmas. Sometimes things go slower than we would like. And in addition to all these things I tried to accomplish. I ALSO accomplished more: I traveled to Baltimore, New Orleans, and Atlanta for the first time ever. I dated again – mostly not the right people lol. But I attempted it anyway. I paid off some bills. I volunteered my time. I tried to inspire myself and others to be better people. So – I say 2013 was still a pretty good year. Looking forward to next year!

•Reach and Maintain Weight at 140 lbs (exercise/nutrition) (Did not reach weight goal)

◦Take a Dance Class (did not do)
◦Take a Yoga Class (Accomplished!)
◦Run 2 – 5K’s (ran 2 5K’s, 1 6K, and 1 mile Glow Run too – Accomplished!)
◦Get back to Trail Running! (When the weather is good – I did this, Accomplished!)
◦Regular workout schedule including yoga (17 active days a month minimum) (Not exactly – I did what I could when I could, but didn’t hit this every monthy)
◦Join Weight Watchers (I need accountability to maintain – I am all over the scale without it by emotionally eating/starving when stressed) (I did this for awhile and then quit)

•Focus on PTSD Recovery

◦PTSD Therapy – EMDR (I did do this and still see a therapist twice a month)
◦Read/Complete 2 PTSD and/or Recovery Books/Programs (I have done a lot of work on me – all over the place)
◦Complete 10 Quantum Freedom Healings (did not get to 10 – but did some)
◦Meditate – once a week (not always)
◦Practice identifying, feeling and controlling emotions (anger, fear, frustration)
◦Rejoin a Support Group, if needed (DV, CODA or PTSD)

•Make Self Care a Daily Priority ◦15 minutes a day to spend on me for self-care (could be a workout, yoga, meditation, listening to MP3 therapy, bubble bath, date with self to anywhere, or whatever – but 15 minutes without kids to just be ME)

◦Purchase One “Self Care” Item every paycheck (makeup, workout video, massage, pedicure, waxing, haircut, new clothes, etc . . .) (I have to say I have spoiled myself more this year than ANY other year in my life!)
◦Show my own self-love by taking care of my appearance (sometimes)
◦Get medical/dental health taken care of for all of us (somewhat)
◦CPE done timely / work life in good order (needs some work)
◦Get my financial house in order – pay off bills, more $$, live within my means (working on this still)
◦Move into actual HOUSE – if financially possible (still a goal – for hopefully March this year)
◦Help kids reach their goals/needs (19 year old in college, 12 year old in sports w/good grades, Lil Miss in Speech Therapy & socialized more) (20 year old is in college now, Lil Miss is in Speech Therapy and Daycare to socialize, need to work on 12 year old)

•Make at least 2 good friends here in VA ◦Join some sort of club to meet people (I did make some great friends through work though!!!)

◦Do some “crop nights” to meet other women who Scrapbook (did not do this)
◦Become active in community (school, volunteer, business associations) (did some of this)
◦Find a Church to join (if that feels right to me at some point) (still not right for me)

•Allow myself time to be creative and grow ◦Make a vision board for my room

◦Photo Home Decor Project (Not yet – but I finally bought the frames for Christmas!)
◦SCRAPBOOK once a month (got my new cutter!) (didn’t happen lol)
◦Learn something new (take a class) (Still on the to do list)
◦Say YES to new opportunities to grow! (Said yes to as much as I could!)

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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