The pain is killing me. Or so it feels. The pain of being alone with this. Of not being able to talk to anyone about the very real challenges that living in a reality which is different from most other people’s brings about. The stigma one is confronted with after only alluding to struggling with personal problems (whenever the opportunity presents itsself and where I have returned to a behaviour of just keeping things to myself on account of the foreseeable outcome of being singled out right away). The rejection. The denial that family – perpetraiting family… – lives in and holds on to like dear life. The utter, enormous devaluation as a person this entire behaviour means. It’s slowly killing me from inside, very, very slowly.
I have been stomaching another bout of major depression for more than a year now. Without medication or any way of self-medicating like I used to, e.g. by overindulging on alcohol. Can’t have alcohol any more due to my gout condition and very painful, debilitating and immobilizing inflammations throughout most of 2011 that had me on the verge of becoming a full nursing case. So I went cold turkey from one day to the next. I also moved a year ago to bring about some relief with noise from neighbouring appartments and a situation that would have inevitably resulted in physical fights sooner or later. I have reestablished a sort of daily routine I hung on to in order to keep some structure to my life and not slide into catatonia. But it typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour or two to get up after I hear the alarm clock (which I routinely set to a certain time, also in order to maintain some sort of structure to my days). I have been analyzing and reading and gone for walks, sometimes shooting photography when I do, I’ve repurposed this blog to reflect my journey (or to leave a long farewell letter in case I won’t make it), I’ve mildly resumed practicing the guitar, keyboard and recording tracks. But the bottomline is: I have accomplished nothing more than physical survival. Because inside I feel dead, eradicated, over and out, disappeared. There is no striving or lust or any such quality left in me. I barely even notice simply joys any more like I used to when moving here, like e.g. the scent of the fresh winter air or approaching spring and summer later that year, the beauty of a star-spangled sky, the calm of the still water down by one of the lakes in my immediate vicinity, the song of birds and generally all the sweet expressions and motions nature unfolds onto us. I have tried my best to mildly socialize here and there by going to see a musician friend’s concert once in a blue moon or by joining an open stage night here and there or sit in with a band downtown. In other words: I’ve tried my best to keep the honing of skills up as much as I was able to. But those small bouts of energy don’t last me too long and it gets particularly hard when I return from one such outing and find myself locked up in my room again, with noone to share anything with, noone to wait for me, noone to even notice, whether I’m here or gone, dead or alive. I am as completely disconnected as I could have never imagined, despite this blog and various social media I hang out on. The comprehensive disconnect is from simply not having enough in common with the real world any more. Their excitement is over different things than my own, if any. Their accomplishments don’t have anything to do with mine, where not having given in to the overwhelming longing for meaningful connection has remained unanswered since my divorce in 2003. Their arousals are over things and events I couldn’t possibly care any less about. Their world is far removed from mine and vice versa. Them and I literally live in different worlds and the overlap is miniscule. I have disappeared in the midst of life brimming with buzzing energy and verve. And my own lifelight has dimmed to mere physical survival in fairly complete seclusion.
I run into former neighbours here and there when running errands. I pride myself in better managing to come up with a pretty short and concise “socially hygienic” reply to the routined “How have you been?” formula. Just enough information to keep this short exchange of courtesies and formalities going for the socially accepted amount of time, ranging from anywhere between a few seconds to a minute. Yeah, I’d say “keep it under a minute” is a good guidepost to these little run-ins. I pride myself in not sounding like a zombie who’s just escaped their box from six-feet under. I pride myself in managing these interactions at all without becoming too long-winded, whiny or otherwise inconsiderate of the chipper mood most people wear like work clothes. I pride myself for still being here and having endured. But at some point I need this enduring to morph into something that feels worth having endured for. Something that makes it worthwhile to get up faster in the “mornings” (or whenever morning is for me). Something that has me feel like a human being instead of biological waste prematurely disposed of. In other words: At some point I need to feel like a human being again, who is part of something or belongs somewhere, something different from this renegade loonie who is one of the “useless eaters” as the 1% call the rest of us. For this is no life anyone should have to endure. I don’t wish this upon my worst enemy. It is perpetuated torture, day in, day out, with no visible silver lining for the time being. And none in sight, either.
I have resumed scouting hospitals and therapists again. I need help. I really do. I can’t get over this hump of a roadblock I’ve written about a few days ago (where I would have to specify that I may have erred in that it was not so much about fear of bullying, but rather appears like a generalized, internalized fear of rejection. Because rejection is the common thread that holds my life together from day one to now, be it perceived or real rejection, the former in earlier years to be followed by real, experienced rejection throughout my adult life and so far having climaxed in my divorce. The latter should have never happened, much like my early days on the planet, that were marked by the emotional equivalent of child abandonment.)
In reviewing and reassessing my roadblock blog, I also found that I may have largely resorted to maladaptive coping over the past few years by establishing a situation that removed the majority of known triggers and stressors. So in part my current seclusion is a product of my own choices. But only in part so, as I have also experienced getting abandoned by former friends for the very condition and comorbidities I have been suffering from for most, if not all of my life. I guess, the commonly known expression for this is “adding insult to injury”, where I’d have to say it’s even more insult to injury, as the former has already been happening throughout my rearing and growing up. My life is a curse – or so it feels. Whatever self-healing powers I managed and keep managing to muster, whatever crazy amounts of resilience I’ve been practicing and exercising over the past decades, they have been met with more aversion and adversity in the process. The more I managed to stand up for myself, the harder I found myself getting knocked back down. And there is no venting about it with regular people, as they most often – and even understandably so – come back with commonplace statements the likes of which include “it’s the same for me”, “we all have to deal with adversity”, “it’s hard for anyone” and so on and so forth. There is no conveying, how it is and has been extra hard for me and similarly affected individuals as there isn’t any common understanding for the challenges and plain suffering for people with c-ptsd and the entire scope of comorbidities or side-effects of the condition.
In this context: I happened across a news story the other day, reporting on the suicide of an ex Navy Seal. The article narrated the precursors to his self-determined demise following traumatization from several tours to Bagdhad and becoming incapable of resuming service in combat, thus eventually finding himself on the sidelines and hanging on to more glorious days of being an active combattant with the elite unit in the US Military Forces. Even without the headline “feeding the beast” along with a photo of this young man from the days prior to his tours, I could sense the seemingly inevitable with every line of the article. It seems that the experience of trauma knocks any victim out of the ballpark of that comfort zone non-affected people usually operate from. Trauma removes us so far from anything comparable to whatever we agree on as being the norm that the gap of differing realities becomes unbridgeable. Hence, there is no venting or “blowing a fuse” or anything along those lines with anyone, who is not a former victim of trauma themselves. I make it sound as if we could only live in the context of more or less permanent self-help groups or share flats with former trauma victims or something like this. Well, maybe that might be an idea. For it is becoming more and more evident to me that C-PTSD is a form of health challenge as limiting and often debilitating as a physical one – with the only unfortunate difference that such being challenged remains invisible to most other people and we can’t even count on anything along the lines of sympathy or such. It is a curse, really. And in all honesty, I’ve come to question the efficacy of a concept of self-help groups in general. I mean, how is a sorrow shared a sorrow halved? To me, it rather appears to be vice versa, e.g. a sorrow shared is a sorrow doubled. At least, that is what my experience is from many former attempts of sharing the condition with others. On the contrary: As long as you’re able to make sense and form coherent sentences, people will take you for considerate and strong and sure enough start loading their problems onto your shoulders. Wow! Thank you for nothing!
Anyhow. I better get on with making phone calls with hospitals. I really need help. I can’t do this on my own any longer. I’ve been trying so for six and a half years. I’m done.