Tag Archives: psych!

Going Down for the 3rd Time

I can’t do this.

No matter how much stuff I get rid of, there’s more. No matter how many books I get rid of (and I’ve been doing that for 13 years now, ‘eh?) there are still more.

It will never end.

I have (literally) gotten rid of 1,000s of items. And I’ve done it for years. I’m still drowning in stuff.

See? I can’t do this. It will never end.

The old storage unit still has stuff in it. I don’t have anywhere to put it. I don’t know what to do, donate boxes to Salvation Army tomorrow I guess. I have a bookcase in the old unit which came from S.A., I can donate it back. The library is taking books again. But that’s one piece of furniture, there’s at least 3. One of which has to come home (no room for it either). There’s about 25 boxes of books, maybe more still in the old unit. I have given away books every-single-day for the past 3 weeks. EVERY day. As few as 3 and as many as 3 boxes at once.

drowning

This isn’t quite as bad as figuring out I couldn’t beat the PTSD (or whatever it was, before I •knew* what it was) by just being stubborn and being willing to work at it, for 42 years to diagnosis, 50+ for most of the rest of it. So, the last piece, the very last piece is this stupid, neverending purge o’ crap, which believe it or not hurts on occasion, and is terrifying on occasion too. I do better and worse and I’ve kept going. I have been determined that I’d win — at least this battle.

But I think the abuser won instead? Can I just blow my brains out? (No gun.) You can bury me under a pile of books and papers and put on the headstone: she never actually accomplished anything and couldn’t finish anything, except her life. I really have no desire to commit suicide, but if suicide is the absence of pain, yes, that I DO want! How squishy does your brain have to be from beating it into the wall before you just give up?

Maybe the abuser was right after all? There just is something “not right” about me. I can’t do things.

Or maybe I’m just discouraged? I wonder why! And I suppose that tomorrow will be different. One of my largest life lessons was that I learned to “skate” when things are bad. Just let it go and don’t do anything permanent or dramatic: don’t break up a relationship, don’t hurt yourself, don’t drink & drive. Just find an emotional rabbit hole (for me that’s a book) and jump in, and hope you keep falling — at least until tomorrow. And tomorrow? Tomorrow you may find your life is completely different?

It usually is.

Let’s see, tomorrow starts in three hours. Can’t be here soon enough!

J

Note: Tomorrow, having come, isn’t perfect, but I’m not as overwhelmed as I was yesterday. Of course I didn’t sleep well, which never helps, but it is what it is.

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No Answers

There’s an article in past Sunday’s Globe magazine about hoarding/hoarders and related. Not surprisingly, and as usual, I fit and don’t. Yes, my home is to all appearances that of a hoarder. Yes, I had childhood traumas which cause me to treat stuff the way I do. No, I don’t think my stuff is valuable necessarily nor do I have a problem getting rid of things. My problem isn’t acquiring/keeping the things, but the mess.

If you look for info re PTSD I don’t fit there either: I’m not exmilitary, etc.

The several other types of trauma I went through I have mostly healed from. Too much sometimes I think.

I’m too short, too old, the wrong sex/background, too healthy, and don’t have the same issues as many people in groups I belong to. I don’t mind being unique, sometimes, but it would be nice to really belong to some larger group, not just have 45% of the things they do, and not the other 55%.

I’ve said this before, yes. But the sympathy, empathy, programs, etc. just don’t fit me.

There are days it’s damned lonely. The “obvious” thing would be to become an activist or advocate — and I have no interest in either. I am perfectly willing to advocate for people I know, even if just online, but unwilling to try and stand up for anonymous groups of people. I try and help those I can, as much as I can. But I’m careful about who/how much because I know I have a tendency to want to do too much for too many.

That’s the reason I didn’t become a therapist. My boundaries aren’t good enough. My self-interest isn’t strong enough. I know if faced with hurting souls I cared about I’d bankrupt myself emotionally to try and help. In the long run that helps no one: not me or them.

The memoir was my alternate method — but I’m too chicken to finish it.

I suppose if there was a group for cowards? Now that I’d fit!

Not a happy Monday.

The living room is coming together. The black & white rug is in process again. Other work has happened here. And I feel like a total, complete bozo because this is so slow and I just don’t think I can go faster. It’s ridiculous but it’s my life.

Can’t Always Be Right

I articulated something the other day, one of those things I say and just knew I’d nailed it. This: “You cannot always be right and maintain a relationship.”

I was talking to someone and realized I’d just said something I’ve felt and said by going around the park many times before, but never articulated it so concisely.

right wrong

I had a friend (deceased now, alas) whose spouse did a world-class stupid thing. The friend said to me afterwards, “I realized I could have a really GOOD fight, or a marriage, but not both.” They opted to keep the marriage, which lasted a bit longer.

Someone else, a few years back, asked me how you forgave a spouse what they considered to be just short of adultery in severity. My answer, “You decide the relationship is more important,” which only sort of worked for this person, as they’re someone who has to be “right.”

The other couple I know where someone has to be “right,” both people involved are passive aggressive. Sounds like hell to me, but it isn’t my marriage, thank Gawd.

All of that went into the mix which resulted in this truth.

If you always insist on your own way, the other person will eventually get tired of it (unless they can’t for whatever reason) they’ll leave. It’s Gone with the Wind too, right?

Relationships are a continual negotiation, if you insist on “winning,” eventually you lose. You have to be willing to lose, just like you have to be willing to give some ground in a financial or legal negotiation.

I know a book dealer who was disliked by almost everyone in the biz in this state. The reason? He always wanted a bigger discount than the industry standard (20%) but when you were buying books from him, he always had a reason he couldn’t give you a discount at all. It only took a few transactions with him before you decided that you didn’t want his business or to look at his stock — for that reason.

You have to be willing to listen and give up something to get something. It’s the only way relationships work.

Bullying/abuse starts when there’s no willingness to give up anything, you have to always be right or in the power seat. At the extreme, you can get me to do what you want with a weapon pointing at me, but you can’t (unlike Chuck Colson’s adage) really change my mind. You can shut me up and mandate my behavior, but my heart will not be in it. When I can, I’ll revert to what I was before. True change only happens with negotiation, give and get, between people, groups, institutions, and within myself too.

The only way I can really live with the PTSD and the pain it causes is to acknowledge it, accept it, and give it some ground by paying attention to it. I mentioned to someone online that I do something I realize is dumb as a “safety” measure, because it really doesn’t make me safer, but it appeases my PTSD anxiety. In return, I sleep more.

I had to stop trying to get it to go away, stop being there, or change it. None of that worked. I have PTSD. It’s there; it’s going to stay there, and it is what it is. If I start there — now what? I do things like my “safety” measure because it keeps the PTSD quiet. I have to negotiate with myself. Waiting for the other shoe to drop, that is, giving it time to, was another way I acknowledged it.

It has taken me a long, long time to pull together all these strands to see their similarities.