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Author Topic: Starting over.  (Read 2381 times)

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Offline dpb

  • Member
  • Posts: 89
Starting over.
« on: July 21, 2012, 08:52:17 PM »
Beginning with my early childhood, I was never in a very stable environment.  I was with my mother who was unemployed, living with person-to-person until she would inevitably exhaust her time and welcome, forcing us to move literally a dozen times in the space of a few years.  Going as far as the other side of the country and back again.  As a result, I fell behind academically and socially.  When I finally moved back home with my father before middle school, I felt like I had a new start again - where few of the students would know me, where I could re-establish myself.  For whatever reason, I became an almost immediate target for bullies, and suffered terrible verbal and physical abuse from classmates on an almost daily basis.  This undoubtedly helped push me into isolation, hindering my social skills and developing anxiety.  I became even more shy and timid, knowing that if I tried to be more assertive and stand up for myself, the suffering would only worsen exponentially.  I kept things inside.  I had no real place to vent my frustrations and fears.  My rage grew, and my temper could only be described as explosive. 

I found my escape in computers, and more specifically, video games.  As a young boy with a bright imagination, it became easy to disengage from the painful reality I knew, and find solace in a place where I could not be judged or discriminated against solely because of who I was.  One of my favorite aspects of these virtual worlds was the seemingly unlimited possibilities one was afforded.  If you didn't like something, you could change it with the ease a mouse click.  If you died in the game, you just re-spawned.  If you deleted your character, you simply created a new one.  An easy, instantaneous change.  It acted as a logical separation between the mistakes, failings, and errors I had made, and gave me the chance to start over carrying none of the loss while maintaining all of its wisdom.  I felt an immediate appreciation and connection for this ability because it was linked so strongly to my own desires of a new beginning, and I wanted nothing more than that.  To be someone who was likable, who wasn't the subject of oppression and humiliation.  To have friends, or maybe even a girlfriend.  I wanted this because I knew things would never change so long as I was there.  Perception is reality, afterall.  My reputation would always precede me.  I had already been established as one of the "quiet kids", and it had been thorughly demonstrated that I could be picked on, laughed at, and pushed down.  Even if that somehow stopped, I knew people would never forget.  They would never stop treating me differently because of that.  Even at such a young age, I was quite conscious of these understandings. 

Fast forward 10 years, and I feel just as I did then.  I constantly tell myself I will make positive changes, that I will be the person I was before my life went to hell nearly a year and a half ago.  That I will be the person I want to be.  But I always fall to the same trappings.  Always defeated by the same problems.  The cycle repeats.  I've withdrawn and isolated myself ever since I broke up with my girlfriend a month ago, and I expect that to continue.  This week is my last week in the military after 3 1/2 years of service.  On one hand, I am quite excited knowing I will get back the many freedoms I have lost.  But I am tired of being alone.  Tired of hurting other people.  Tired of failing myself and not living up to my own expectations.  Tired of seemingly ruining every good thing that comes my way.  I understand the futility in wishing to change that which cannot be changed, but it doesn't stop me from thinking it and wanting it.  In some ways, I want to start over because I feel helpless to the mistakes I have already made.  Because I am aware of the negative impact it has had and how it has affected me.  That the damage is irreparable and beyond repair, always hindering me.  That the only way to move on from it is to end this state of existence; to stop being.  I do want to live.  But not in this body, not with this past and history.  I want to start over, and I am afraid I am incapable of doing so.  I will always be judged.  People will always know my shortcomings and mistakes.  I want to disappear.  I wish I could wipe the world's collected memory of me, and just start over.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 10:58:36 PM by dpb »
Date        CD4    %    VL
1/15/11    Diagnosed
3/1/11    525    18    168,518
5/12/11    558    16    331,791
5/16/11    Started Atripla
5/31/11    NA    NA    1,200
6/15/11    721    21    330
7/15/11    649    23    231
8/15/11    569    25    UD
11/17/11  752    26    UD
3/1/12    634    27    UD
7/2/12    594    26    UD
2/13       676    30    UD
9/13       662    31    UD

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,343
Re: Starting over.
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 10:03:23 PM »
Hi dpb,

I'm sorry you're feeling so low right now.

Can you get in to see your psychiatrist?

You've had a helluva year -- a little help wouldn't hurt.

Meanwhile, be gentle with yourself, will ya?


Em

« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 10:33:40 PM by emeraldize »

Offline dpb

  • Member
  • Posts: 89
Re: Starting over.
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 10:35:19 PM »
Hi dpb,

I'm sorry you're feeling so low right now. I have some simple questions for you. Have you ever had any counseling?

It can be very helpful. Would you consider it?

I sense the judging you're envisioning from others is more likely coming from you.
You learned a pattern in your childhood, a very stressful pattern. Moving, escape into videos, the resulting isolation, self-criticism, taunting and a single-parent household didn't make things any easier. It takes some work to break patterns, but you can do it.

Do you have access to someone who could see you professionally?

Meanwhile, be gentle with yourself, will ya?

Em

Yes, I've had counseling before.  It was helpful.  Unfortunately, the counselor I had been seeing for over a year was reassigned a few months ago.  I don't have the energy or desire to go over my entire history with someone else and redevelop that same comfort level and trust that is forged over such a long time. 

Sure, a lot of the judgement is self-imposed.  However, I've been rejected by a lot of people it seems lately, and that hasn't helped my esteem or sense of self-worth.  I've always been hard on myself, but I can't shake this feeling of wanting to disappear.  If I could rid the world of my memory, of all who have ever known me, I would do so.  I want nothing more than to hit the delete button on my life. 
Date        CD4    %    VL
1/15/11    Diagnosed
3/1/11    525    18    168,518
5/12/11    558    16    331,791
5/16/11    Started Atripla
5/31/11    NA    NA    1,200
6/15/11    721    21    330
7/15/11    649    23    231
8/15/11    569    25    UD
11/17/11  752    26    UD
3/1/12    634    27    UD
7/2/12    594    26    UD
2/13       676    30    UD
9/13       662    31    UD

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,343
Re: Starting over.
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 10:59:50 PM »
Hi

While you were writing to me, I was busy altering my previous post after I went back through some of your previous posts. I started while you were offline.

That's too bad that your trusted therapist was reassigned. Wouldn't it be worth it to try to establish yourself with someone new?

You know I've come to the point where I'd like to wipe a lot of crap off my life's blackboard---it's burdensome at times. If you're anxiety-prone, and  you wrote that you are, that continual revisitation to all the crummy things you've ever done is such an easy loop to fall into.

So use that video games expertise of yours...creatively. I'm not a gamer so whatever the lingo is, game over, delete, restart, use it---in your head. Every time you start ruminating, say stop, or hit the imaginary button and go to the next game--the one right in front of your eyes instead of the one in your head.

Try it. Go with what you know to help you to start breaking these cycles. Oh, and are you doing anything physical? Like walking or any exercise? That's helpful, too.

Em


Offline dpb

  • Member
  • Posts: 89
Re: Starting over.
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 11:50:03 PM »
Hi

While you were writing to me, I was busy altering my previous post after I went back through some of your previous posts. I started while you were offline.

That's too bad that your trusted therapist was reassigned. Wouldn't it be worth it to try to establish yourself with someone new?

You know I've come to the point where I'd like to wipe a lot of crap off my life's blackboard---it's burdensome at times. If you're anxiety-prone, and  you wrote that you are, that continual revisitation to all the crummy things you've ever done is such an easy loop to fall into.

So use that video games expertise of yours...creatively. I'm not a gamer so whatever the lingo is, game over, delete, restart, use it---in your head. Every time you start ruminating, say stop, or hit the imaginary button and go to the next game--the one right in front of your eyes instead of the one in your head.

Try it. Go with what you know to help you to start breaking these cycles. Oh, and are you doing anything physical? Like walking or any exercise? That's helpful, too.

Em



That's the problem.  In my life, I've hit the imaginary start button more times than I could count.  Moved numerous times, used New Years dates, birthdays, significant events, many things as a catalyst to change, to start over. 
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 12:47:09 AM by dpb »
Date        CD4    %    VL
1/15/11    Diagnosed
3/1/11    525    18    168,518
5/12/11    558    16    331,791
5/16/11    Started Atripla
5/31/11    NA    NA    1,200
6/15/11    721    21    330
7/15/11    649    23    231
8/15/11    569    25    UD
11/17/11  752    26    UD
3/1/12    634    27    UD
7/2/12    594    26    UD
2/13       676    30    UD
9/13       662    31    UD

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,343
Re: Starting over.
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2012, 12:52:22 AM »
That's the problem.  In my life, I've hit the imaginary start button more times than I could count.  Moved numerous times, used New Years dates, birthdays, significant events, many things as a catalyst to change, to start over.

Hi

The suggestion I was making was not to do anything big like moving, or setting a deadline, pinning hopes on a special date...simpler than that. The moment you move into revved up thinking, especially the negative stuff, say in your head or out loud if that's better for you -- reset. And then, move on. Get active. Em

Offline jackfrost

  • Member
  • Posts: 93
Re: Starting over.
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 01:26:57 AM »
Hi dpb, sorry to hear your having a rough time. I have been through my share of rough times. My child hood was a tumultuous one, my parent's fighting all the time, my dad threatening to kill himself. After my parent's split up I basically had to raise myself (I was 8) it was like everyone forgot about me, I still have that sense of abandonment to this day. Like you I kept trying to start over, start anew, get a new job, start working out, eating healthy, move, etc, in the end I would fall back to the same old traps. I would constantly suffer from anxiety and depression, I would eat lots of fast food and have lots of unprotected sex. I finally couldn't take it anymore and got referred to a psychiatric clinic. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I got a book about it from the library and when I was reading it, I was like holy shit this is me, this is what I do, this is how I behave. The clinic referred me to a group therapy problem. I have been in the group therapy for 10 weeks now. It is the hardest thing I have ever done but it is also the best thing I have ever done. I also thought I had accepted what happened to me as a child, but I haven't I never dealt with the feelings that went along with it. I never allowed myself to be angry or sad, I never expressed those feelings and because I never expressed those feelings, the feelings came out as angry outbursts, or over eating, or having lots of promiscuous sex. One of the things I have learned in group therapy is to concentrate on one thing at a time, not to overdo it. I would always get all gung ho - tackle everything at once, and it never worked out, it became too much and I would get burnt out and fall back into a depression. I hope you find the strength to go back to counseling and find a therapist you can trust.

Offline Buckmark

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  • Posts: 1,523
  • Would you like to tie me up with your ties, Ty?
    • Henry's Home Page
Re: Starting over.
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 10:32:54 AM »
dpb,

You display an amazing awareness of what has gone on in your life, and how it has affected you.  Give yourself some credit for that -- many people never even make it that far. 

It sucks that your counselor was reassigned, and that you will have to start again with someone new.  That's the situation I am in right now.   But you should also consider that a new counselor can give you a new perspective, and new insights.  So you may want to look at this as an opportunity (it sounds trite, I know, but it is often true).  Please consider this.  You don't have to go over your entire history again with a new therapist.  Just tell them what is bothering you now.  A good therapist will know when to ask the right questions about your history, so let them worry about that.

As for wanting to hit the delete button and start all over again, it's very understandable.  But it sounds like you are getting frustrated by repeatedly trying to start over.  So stop doing that.  Instead try to focus on accepting your past instead of trying to run away from it.  Only then you can start to move forward again. 

Everyone has past history, experiences and behaviors that are we are not proud of, did not enjoy, or were traumatic.  Certainly, the specifics of those are unique for all of us.  But all of our past -- both the good and the bad -- goes into making us who we are today.  You can't just wipe it out.  Before you can move forward you need to find a way to accept these things, and forgive yourself (and maybe others in your life) can you begin to move forward.  Among other things, that probably means allowing yourself to express your feelings about past events and people in your life.

I urge you to find another therapist and continue the work you have started.  You've done a lot already.  If you need to, print out this thread and bring it to your new therapist.  It will be an easy way to start the conversation with your therapist, without feeling like you have to recite your previous history.

Hang in there...

Henry

"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock, Musician, The Flatlanders

 


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