Tag Archives: PTSD/abuse issues

Getting Back on Track?

I have wandered fairly far afield in the past 2-3 months. That is, I’ve nearly stopped posting the weekly “to do” list, stopped thinking about or working on my larger, long-term goals, except in a spotty fashion.

I haven’t done a concerted purge for the tally in the past few days, either.

The house is staying cleaner, which is great, but for more than a month I’ve been doing whatever was in front of me, instead of trying to make the work I do count towards my bigger, long-term goals.

I know why: I’ve been fighting off exhaustion and depression. Rather than simply ignoring it and trying to push it away, a couple of days ago I finally sent an “I need help!” email to my nearest friends. I got what I needed, that is, a reminder that I’m not alone, there are people in my corner. In the recent past, except for real crisis, I haven’t asked for help much (or at least that’s my perception). I had a good therapist, and that’s what I used her for, I leaned on her, and our session recharged my batteries about 2x a month, and usually, that was enough.

She retired in June. The idea of establishing a new relationship with someone else after 15 years with the same person was just exhausting. Also, the people she recommended did not appeal to me at all for various reasons. Maybe in person that would be different, but the short bio forms, much of it a sales pitch, just left me cold. This means I haven’t gotten a new therapist.

Unknown to me, my energy started to fade. When I finally realized what was going on last week, I saw that it was like a slow drain of my energy and enthusiasm. I think of myself as a self-starter, but I need energy shots or something from others. Didn’t realize that those energy shots were a lot of what I was getting from my therapy. It was my 2 hours a month to be as whiney and selfish as I wanted. For someone with PTSD, or at least for me, it was a time/place to talk about all the ways/places/times that others pushed those buttons and how I should or did deal with them.

Because my flashback is a 3 year old’s grief, I have as I say, ” a grieving 3 year old, caught in the amber of my psyche.” Accordingly  my PTSD reactions to things are almost always inappropriate! Having a safe place to start there and then see/figure the more reasoned response was a blessing I’ve now lost. That created another drain, as I’ve been monitoring myself and my behavior in ways I hadn’t had to for a long time.

All of this and a few other things created a situation where I’ve been fighting off depression and exhaustion. I’m glad I finally realized what was going on and asked for help. I’m not sure what a long-term fix is, as I really don’t think I can do this every six months for the rest of my life, any more than I think I can afford a therapist 2x a month forever either, even assuming I had one.

I need to find new answers.

In the meantime, I need to get back on track: purging, culling, cleaning, and moving towards a time/space where I can do whatever’s next, even if it’s just dying.


Not a Win, Not a Loss

Yesterday was a day which previously would have sent me into days if not a week or more of depression. I really embarrassed myself in public. I was tired and the PTSD which always makes me clumsy had a field day because of it. Also because of lack of sleep I was more sensitive to the negativity created by what I did. Big time suck.

Except for texting a friend I don’t talk to often enough, I didn’t go there. It wasn’t anything illegal, just not a shiny adult moment for me.

Today I’m grateful that although I was up until 4 a.m. running away from/avoiding the litany of

“Failure! Bozo! Idiot!”

which came from the Abuser’s tape, I managed to wait it out/put it off and finally just go to sleep.

Not an ideal solution, but better by a huge margin than depression and hours of self-recrimination and the PTSD which is woven in and around all of that. No tears. My heart raced a little, but that was it.

I’ll take it! I’d rather not have the tape at all, but I don’t seem to have that choice. This is the best I can do right now and it’s worlds better than what I could do before.

If this is settling? I’ll take it!

Progress, Plans & PTSD

Had a major breakthrough re: the organization of the cleaning plan this  morning. A way to sort things has been niggling at the back of my mind for some time, and I’ve tried to work it out and tried and tried — and knew what I did was wrong, but couldn’t see how.

Came up with the answer this morning. After I finally saw what it was, it was so obvious I’m surprised it took me so long! That makes my major accomplishment as of 9:15 a.m. something no one will see until I get the house clean and the plan thing written up, etc. That will be some time yet.

My helper and I discussed having him work on the memoir yesterday and came to the conclusion that there just isn’t an easy way for him to do the work. We also discussed the 5 writing projects I want to finish writing before I die: the memoir, the cleaning plan, the kitchen book, and the two unfinished short stories. I have a few magazine articles and other small pieces, but those 5 are the long-term projects.

The house has to be cleaned first. The stuff gets in my way and makes the other projects more complicated.

The asst. boxes were shoved into a corner for the chimney inspection in the living room. My helper and I started working on the boxes of books in the bedroom yesterday. Progress exists — but it’s too slow, as usual!

I am making myself go slowly:

  1. My shrink has retired, so I need to manage my stress. I have no back up to lean on emotionally if things get bad, so the answer to that is to not let them get bad to start with.
  2. I don’t want the PTSD flashback, the anxiety, etc. that going full bore has always brought with it.
  3. I don’t yet know if the breakthrough I had is enough to keep the flashback, anxiety, etc. from surfacing.
  4. Many of my ideas for decorating the house need money. That of course is in limited supply. (I think this is always true, for everyone.)

Because things were shoved to one side in the living room, I’m about to start the sanding on the wall behind the wood stove. More progress on that front! There is the end of the wall the wood stove sits on and one other small piece which has no wall board on it to do prep for. Then prime, sand, prime — and then PAINT! Seems like this has taken a long time, which it does, when you work on something in fits & starts. But progress counts.

Something new, we got some new flooring yesterday at the Habitat ReStore. Not sure exactly where it will be used, but we have started the discussion. The pantry could use a new floor as could the laundry room. The sun room, the new entry (if we do it) and/or the new kitchen are all possibilities. We don’t have enough floor to do all that. So we’ll see what happens.

The most pressing is the laundry room. It has laminate in it. It’s cheap and we’d opened the packages. Found out the problems with all of that. Cheap laminate doesn’t fit tightly after it’s opened. Cheap laminate, if there’s any problems at all, doesn’t fit. So, the laundry room floor looks better than the badly painted plywood beneath it (the way  it was when we bought the house), but it isn’t anything like what we want, that is, well done and looking good. It’s much better than it was, but that’s the best that can be said for it.

Re: the stress, PTSD, etc. associated with the cleaning? So far, I’m good. With luck it will stay that way!


Ratwheels Forever

Okay, okay all ready! Yes, I am READY to move on with my life.

But, but I’m weighed down by previous work obligations and all the stuff. I’d get a dumpster and have a “pitch it” party, but you might as well make a big target on my back , point and say,


This is what it feels like to be trapped in an Isben play, I guess.


I got here.

I don’t hurt.

I didn’t flashback with a major revelation.

I’ve waited for those two things to occur together for 58 or so years. And I’m bogged down with all the strings, ties, stuff: emotional and physical trash that I accumulated to deal with  the undiagnosed PTSD and abuse issues for most of a 1/2 century.

The mechanisms and stuff helped. It kept me safe. Now I’m not afraid to see what it could be like to live in a neat house, but I’m afraid of going too fast — because that’s always brought the issues up before, and I don’t know if it still will — but it always has, for 50+ years.

Will someone please just find the F’n switch for this stupid ratwheel I’m on and shut the stupid thing OFF already???

Bet: it won’t happen that way. I have to clean up my own mess. I have to keep fighting. I have to push on and on and on. Which, considering that I stayed alive at birth, as a preemie, when they expected me to die, means if you’re me, I’ve been fighting since my first breath. They expected me to die at the first suicide attempt, when I was 16, didn’t. I almost did the 2nd time I tried at 19, but I  didn’t. Had the motorcycle accident which could have left me brain dead or just dead, didn’t. On and on.

I’m alive. I don’t hurt. That took 58-9 years. Now what?

Well, “now what ” is that I have to deal with more backwash, more stuff, more things and mechanisms I had created so I could cope.

Part of me wants to PARTY! CELEBRATE!!! Find a new direction and go thataway!

But I have several 1,000 books to get rid of, first. I have a new way to live to learn, first. I have to learn new skills because the new me is more aware of my shortcomings than my old self (I was too busy hurting.)



And yes, I’m sick of this. I’m running out of energy and I can’t do anything but deal with the vestiges of my past, even though I’ve spent all this time/energy learning to cope with it.


This pity party stops here.

How I ‘ll fix this I have no idea, but I’ll find a way. I have to believe that or I will go mad. I’m just tired.





I joined and then quit, within 24 hours . . . .

Joined a site for abuse victims. To do this, you have to call and be interviewed. Fine, I get that, did it.

Today the password I thought I’d set up didn’t work and I asked the woman who sponsors the site to remove me from her membership, without ever going to the site and actually seeing for myself what was there.

Why? Because the woman who interviewed me was so off putting. . . nearly . . . abusive. It was largely me – me – ME! I wrote the books, I invented the terms, people are stealing my intellectual property, I do good-good-good!, yada yada. I got off the phone feeling like I’d just been through a long telemarketers’ spiel. I get  being an entrepreneur, I did that for how long? I’ve been in retail for about 30 years now. But she was selling me a product which should have sold itself. Not telling me about books 1-5 (book 6 coming out this year!) and her experiences on TV and how she’s the real expert and, and . . . .

Dad was an expert, world renown. If you read the book they gave him of letters from his 40 years of students at Caltech, it’s obvious he was. His students became CEOs, Generals, Admirals, Senior Engineers, Consulting Engineers, etc.  You can’t train people at that level unless you know what you’re doing, and the letters were positive.

I’ll never forget what happened the day he got that book. We were at the post office, and he didn’t know it was coming, it was supposed to be given to him at his retirement dinner, but the binder goofed and mailed it to dad. He opened it and started flipping through it and lifted filled eyes to me, nearly crying, “They liked what I did!”

I think I said something like, “Dad, they wouldn’t have kept you at Caltech for 40 years if you weren’t any good!”

He said, “But the students liked it.”

Real experts don’t have to give you a sales job, their competence and expertise speak for them. The lady with the website and books probably went through hell. I know writing books is a lot of work. I give her kudos for doing the work, but I don’t want to associate with her, no matter how wonderful her work may be. I may or may not borrow the books to read if available through the state library system, or buy them used, but otherwise, I think I’ll stay a long ways away!

Behind, again, or Ahead, but Who Knew?

I listened today to a radio show about childhood traumas and how they can make you more resilient. Well, yes, I knew that already, thanks.

Most of the story and the folks they talked to posited the idea that a traumatized kid had some support network, albeit a nontraditional one: a friend, a grandma, a teacher, church, or whatever.

Me? My “support network” was a shifting network of people, stuff, and a LARGE dose of stubborn.

Since I only heard part of the show I thought I’d look for it to see if there was more info I could use. Can’t find the show. But in googling around trying to find it, a found a plethora of “help” out there. People think trauma is real, are doing something about it, and there’s resources. Wonderful. Almost none of it fits where I am; I’ve recovered too much. I was abused/traumatized too long ago.

Ain’t that just my luck? I mean here I had this thing decades before all these “experts” they know so much more than they did and almost none of it can help me.

I wasn’t depressed when I started the search, but — I mean after fighting something for 50 years there’s a huge amount of help which wasn’t there before, and next to nothing in what I’ve found is useful!

I wish that I wasn’t always on the wrong end of the curve, behind it or ahead of it? It seems I’m usually left behind or just bowled over/drowned out by the mob.

I’ve been looking for ideas

about how to unclutter here. Not much help out there. Oh there’s an abundance of ideas about if you haven’t used something in a year to pitch it, but not much that fits my situation.

I’m not afraid to toss stuff, I’m afraid of neat & tidy. And afraid isn’t the right word really. I get stressed in neat & tidy, well, that’s closer anyway.

All these people assume a few things, some of them dead wrong. You never read books on your bookshelf. (Well why keep them if you don’t?) Except for reference and some nostalgia, I agree, but I DO read the books on my shelf.

That you only keep notebooks because they contain your old school or meeting notes. Well, no. I use notebooks to file recipes, receipts, garden plans, story ideas, yada yada.

Maybe I’m running full tilt into old ladydom. I don’t have all my music, lit, and do all my writing on a computer or smart phone. I still use, read and store ideas, etc on PAPER, not surprisingly for a second generation bookseller (mother) and book collector’s (dad) kid. I’m a paper freak. I’m also of an age, I admit it. I don’t have a smart phone, will probably have to get one and resent it, but there it is. I really don’t want to carry a computer around with me all day.

Anyway, back to my original point, there doesn’t seem to be much advice out there that suits me. I found one post on pinterest that fit, out of dozens. I have a whole folder full of these “tips” and I read them and delete them, mostly.

It’s very frustrating; I’d really like some help. But most of these folks assume that 1)I’m adverse to purging things (not true) 2)that I have not recently culled my clothes (not true), medicine cabinet (not true), pantry (not true), games (not true) etc. I purge categories of stuff fairly often, and regularly. I tossed an entire box of cassette tapes tonight. So my problem isn’t getting rid of stuff.

  1. I have WAY too much stuff
  2. I have BAD habits
  3. I get anxious/stressed/my PTSD acts up when it’s tidy!

Neat & tidy feels nice, but unsafe. And there’s no pinterest posts, or very few, that I can use from where I actually am as above and with the addition that I have no problem culling things!

The world needs a pinterest post on decluttering when you have anxiety issues. I may write such a thing, at some point, but I have to get past mine before I’ll go dispensing advice!