This may not end well

I had an appointment with an organization this late morning, which may be best described as some kind of lobbying institution for all those, who – like me – have arrived at the lower end of the social totem pole. Disabled, unemployed, living on welfare, mentally or physically challenged or otherwise dealing with circumstances that put them in the “loser” category of society – from a materialist point of view. My plan was to discuss options of seeing some benefits through, I have been denied since needing to depend on welfare some three years ago. I’m going to have to become a member with them for 6,- per month, which is going to be paid for by welfare and then they can try to see to my case.

I also mentioned my impossible situation with outpatient therapy: My health insurance precludes it from the current “package” (and I can’t afford a more comfortable one with greater benefits nor would it be paid for) and I can’t go back to the public health care system given my situation and the fact that I had been self employed before my becoming disabled in 2007. Technically speaking, with whatever productivity is left in me – and until a short while ago, I’d have been fairly positive about that – I could make a limited amount of extra money on top of the benefits I receive. However: From whatever I make, they keep two thirds. And for other reasons I can’t go beyond 450,- per month for now (for now as in: Until I reach a dependable, stable level of productivity which requires me to have some serious therapy first). So whatever I’d make, I’d get to keep roughly 100,- – that is, if I find work. And the list of jobs I think I might be capable for is a very limited one. My point being: I can’t make enough to pay for outpatient treatment myself. 100,- or 120,- doesn’t even buy me two sessions per month – way too few to call it therapy. It’d be more like dating a shrink or something…

So this gentleman at this organization mentioned another part of the law to me, which I had previously never heard of. And he made it sound as if there was an angle, which I could come from and try to operate on my behalf of finding funding for outpatient treatment. I was almost ecstatic from hearing this! And as soon as I got back, I put my behind in front of the computer, quickly researched what he had mentioned and called my case manager right away. It took them a while to find out, what I asked them to check on and when they called me back after like 20 mins., the answer was “no”, this particular section of the law would not apply in my case. Devastating!

I have been trying to get proper help with my condition for the past six years now. First, I had to keep pushing for an accurate diagnosis (that never happened until 2013). But even before that and when being confronted with allusions of me suffering fom (C-) PTSD, I had made quite the effort in educating myself and finding out, what exactly I had to work on and what I had to look for. And then when I became certain that the effects of PTSD where the root of my problems, I had been doing whatever I could to get access to a medical professional being a trauma expert. That was an oddyssee in itsself! Either, the hospitals my health insurance recommended weren’t fit to treat trauma patients or they wouldn’t accept me because of the limitations of my health insurance plan. In one case, they even flat out denied me access and said they wouldn’t treat me based on my history!

I’m exhausted. I’m tired. I’m hurt. I am tired of getting doors slammed shut in my face one time after another. This all triggers all the lingering trauma of feeling unwanted, cast aside, disregarded from pretty much the get-go on this planet. I think, I have become embittered. Why fight so hard only to be given a place on this crazy globe inhabited with and goverened by even crazier beings?

As a last resort, I filled out and filed an application for a special fund, who was set up for victims of sexual violence. I’m not sure, whether my two incidents from early childhood will make me eligible for this fund. And the wait is seven to nine months, they told me…

This may not end well. I feel cursed, I’m ashamed of myself, I feel like a burden to myself and everyone. Actually, I’ve been feeling pretty much nothing else for the largest part of my life. And I’m tired of feeling guilty just for being here.

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8 thoughts on “This may not end well

  1. Dear One, Is there not a single (non professional) person you can talk to face to face or through Skype about your devastating feelings of hopelessness, shame, worthlessness, rage, and so forth? If that is the case, then my heart aches for you even more. These feelings must be incredibly intense for you, especially now—because of all the bureaucratic bullshit and heartlessness that you have been exposed to so recently—and I’m guessing that your emotions, pain level, and physiological responses are replicating the intensity of those extreme early traumas which were based on your very limited perceptions at the time and the impossibility to escape the trauma. I’m saying: you are in a crisis state, or approaching that quickly, whereby without someone to talk with, your normal responses to these extreme emotions and responses might escalate. I know it’s totally inadequate for the long run, but just for this near, short-term period of time, might it help you to talk with someone at a crisis hotline? If you are anything like me, all your perceptions are being overwhelmed right now by your normal responses to EXTREME TRAUMA, and those perceptions, physiological responses, maybe even your physical senses are telling you that you are in a hopeless, inescapable, horrible, terrifying situation RIGHT NOW. There’s no adequate way (on your own) for your brain and/or mind to sort out the re-creating and re-experiencing of your past extreme traumas from the less extreme level of danger/threat you are facing currently. It FEELS the same, you are probably EXPERIENCING it the same (as originally) but this intensity is the NORMAL physiological survival processes/responses trying to protect you now—as if the extreme trauma from the past is happening NOW. Without someone to reassure you that your body is doing its best to keep you safe but you require something that you did not have during the original traumas to help compensate and move toward restored equilibrium—that is, you need a SOCIAL connection with another caring human being ASAP to help you and your body slowly start to feel a bit safer now—no, not absolutely safe and secure, of course, but also not immersed within the midst of all that chaotic, overwhelming helplessness, worthlessness, doom, dread, and so forth. Human contact—HUMAN connection is required. It does not have to be a professional therapist. Can you hear my concern and my caring for you? I know from my own experiences just how intense and overwhelming it may feel right now, not because you are delusional!, but because you have been through HELLISH conditions in your past and this current set of experiences very likely FEEL almost identical…even though there are some REAL differences that you may not be able to identify or perceive by yourself at this time.Yes, much of the world is horrifying and not at all appealing to contemplate living in. But there are pockets of resistance and compassion and love. You are part of those saving-grace aspects of life on earth. You, my friend. Except right now it isn’t possible for you to recognize your true worth and your amazing role here. We all take turns being needy and vulnerable while others witness our pain, validate our feelings and give whatever support we can. You’ve been trying and struggling so HARD for such a long time, and even more and HARDER so recently! Of course it is understandable that you cannot—at this time, on your own—envision any future that “ends well” for you. How could you? How can you possibly picture any kind of hopeful future based on what you are experiencing and have experienced? Alone, I don’t think that’s possible—it’s certainly not possible for ME to do alone.

    None of us can do this great work alone. We simply cannot do all this living alone…this scary and often overwhelming process of survival and struggle. We all need mutual support. We all need to give sometimes and to receive sometimes. And the struggle to find and to help build that mutual support requires enormous courage and an insane amount of daring. Please forgive me for this grandstanding, perhaps, but goddamn it, you and I are EXPERTS in this extreme survival process—we (and others like us) can join together in our common struggle and we CAN work together to create better solutions, little by little. BUT RIGHT NOW, today, you are the one in need. You need a human being beside you to help and encourage you. If I’m the closest thing you’ve got for support IN THIS MINUTE, well, that probably sucks, but please try nevertheless to envision me taking your hand and gently sharing with you all these things—and anything else I might help you with today— until your body and mind can slowly relax and begin to believe, if only just a little bit, in the power of our shared struggle.

    • Ruby – I’m at loss for words. You totally get it, you DO FEEL me! And from your words I can tell without a shred of doubt that you’ve been there yourself, too, yes. And I do feel your caring, too. I want to thank you for that! And simply saying “thank you” can’t even get near the gratitude I feel for your “grandstanding” 🙂 I actually did feel a slight portion of temporary relief when reading your words. And you’re so right: We have become EXPERTS in survival like barely any other person, who luckily didn’t have to go through our experiences and will most likely never understand what you and I and similarly affected individuals are up against…. (If only they knew how lucky they are… they got no idea…)

      As far as a person, a real human, a social connection sharing in this with me, I can only think of one friend, but she lives about 2 hours away by car and I can’t go there based on the monetary situation, nor would I feel comfortable asking her to come here, as she is a single mom and as she herself is struggling in similar ways (I know, she’d do it, as she has saved me from going insane once before – but I’d feel guilty actually leaning on her at this time). Maybe I’ll manage to overcome my feelings of guilt and shame this one time and accept her invitation, though (this might require some repair on my car first, which I wouldn’t know how to pay for…).

      I’m starting to evaluate, whether I have connections powerful enough that might help me to make my situation into a political issue – by going on hunger strike and involving the media. However, in this country, far more horrible cases like mine have been going on since the infamous “Agenda 2010” brought about by the Schroeder administration and people on the down low have been finding themselves subject to arbitrary sanctioning of already meager “benefits”, leaving them without medical care, food, and other necessities. In other words: Social injustice has reached a level which in many cases is comparable to what’s been “standard procedure” in the U.S. for quite some time (like e.g. the situation with many returning veterans of war, who are left hanging high and dry in many cases, thus ending up homeless, becoming drug addicts from a need to self-medicate and oftentimes committing suicide for not being able to take it any longer … – in some ways, I’d be as bold as to say “I feel them”… perpetually retriggered trauma is TORTURE – nothing less than that!!!). Forgive me, if this comes across as being un-PC or culturally insensitive, particularly and ironically so as the U.S. under the Obama administration have introduced a system of (almost free) public health care for the first time in recent U.S. history (while at the same time our once EXCELLENT social system has deteriorated substantially and is deteriorating even more as we type…). My point being: I’m very doubtful that I’d be able to generate much awareness, even IF I managed to identify and work those connections to get my case – exemplary for thousands of others – on the political/social radar…. The social “glue” in this country, which was noticeable for decades after WW II and which I’d say marked the overall atmosphere in this country while growing up, has lessened a lot and being selfish, uncaring and growing cold have taken the place instead….

      I really don’t know what to do any more. But I agree with you that these recent experiences seem to have established a full replay of the initially overwhelming experiences and I also firmly agree with you on the notion that the physical manifestations are completely NORMAL – and from a viewpoint of evolution even NECESSARY – response to an IMPOSSIBLE situation…

      You know…- and this might sound self-absorbed or narcissistic: If I look at the talents bestowed on me and if I do so almost from a third person’s view, I have a hard time thinking about doing away with all that and destroying my body prematurely. In fact and along the lines of what you’re saying, much of my resolve for holding on in the past six years has come from that place: From a sense and place of responsibility for my talents and a wish to see them thrive – not only to my own advantage, but those of others and for them to benefit from whatever I might bring to the table. In fact, I think, I’ve been operating and navigating life from this angle pretty much forever. I seem to have digressed from this angle with this blog, which initally was meant to become a better resource for (self-) help and turned into a whine-o-rama of sorts – I’m sorry about that! On the other hand, it probably turned into this, because I sadly had to find that the system is so UNCOOPERATIVE in letting me get back up on my feet – and this latter aspect, I never saw coming and I’m still in shock to find that this seems to be the case and the currently established reality for not only me, but many other people in a similar situation.

      I’m always better when being given a chance to TAKE ACTION! Sadly, I seem to have exhausted whatever room for action was or wasn’t left….

      Regardless of my gloomy assessment – let me say that if you lived closer, I would have loved to hug you for your wonderful, caring and insightful words. You really, really get it! Thanks!

  2. Wow. Yes. I do identify with what you’re saying.

    Some of my worst experiences with trauma responses, personally, have been those occasions of immediate threat and/or crisis (or perceived immediate threat and/or crisis) when all of my body’s physiological and psychological responses are straining and surging with endocrinological and neurochemical extremes (cascades of hormonal and neurotransmitter signalling, for instance) as if demanding that my body (including my large motor muscles, etc) must do the following—-TAKE SOME ACTION TO ESCAPE FROM THIS THREAT RIGHT NOW!!!! And yet, in reality, there is no useful action I can physically or mentally perform at this moment which will provide me with any reduced sense of threat or any increased sense of security. Thus, my body’s physiological responses (demands) are in stark conflict with my actual options to take action. For there is no place to run away (flee) to feel safer. There is no person or thing I can fight against to protect myself from this overwhelming sense of imminent threat and/or growing and impending doom. There is no person to rescue me. No one has my back. I am alone and feel helpless. My natural reaction is to cry out for help. Yet no help arrives. Can the world be this unjust and horrifying? Can the world be so powerless to help me? No! It is I that am powerless, and therefore it is I who must be horrifyingly worthless—undeserving of being helped.

    Then, at last my mind (in desperation to take ACTION—and to reject my absolute powerlessness over my terrifying fate) concludes—seemingly quite rationally—that I have only one action I CAN TAKE TO ESCAPE from these feelings of threat, helplessness, powerlessness, and terror. That action is self destruction. That seems (logically, even) to be my only means of having any control or power over this impending doom. Self destruction (when self medication no longer “works” or it is not accessible) appears to be the best—or maybe the ONLY—“choice.” The only way to escape these feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, terror… The only means to NOT feel helpless and powerless and terrified…

    This, friend, is where I return again and again. It is not “insanity”, in one sense. as in: something WRONG inside ME.

    But in another sense, of course, in a social sense, it is insane. Because in human life every single human being is helpless and powerless sometimes—every human being NEEDS assistance from his/her fellow human beings. We are all complex, interdependent, social, beings—not isolated self-sustaining organisms or parasites. Our need for mutual help is inevitable and normal. Your blog is not some “whining” pathetic show—you have been VOICING your pain and SHARING your feelings of desperation, fear, isolation, and so forth. That is simply human. That is how humans have always responded to these particular human experiences—when they have not become mute with shame.

    When we start believing that our helplessness and powerlessness is abnormal or wrong or bad—or when we become terrified of our helplessness and feel unworthy, that is when the system of domination has triumphed, has taken over and ultimately destroys our humanity. We see it all around us. Almost everyone denies that they, as individuals, will sooner or later face helplessness and powerlessness. Almost all are pressured and brainwashed by dominant discourses to behave and believe in falsely arrogant ways—as if THEY are somehow immune to the same helplessness and powerlessness they see (and often morally judge as weak or lazy, etc) in so many others.

    I have had to keep learning and practicing to let go of my false belief that my situation is somehow unique and particularly unjust WHEN COMPARED WITH that of so many others. That false belief is a victim mindset that strengthens forces of domination and convinces me that I am more damaged and more harmed than almost everyone else. Of course my traumas and tortured early conditions (and traumas in adulthood that resulted from criminal actions of others) have been horribly unfair and extremely unjust—and there should have been, and SHOULD now exist, social structures in place to provide more assistance to me and to others who have suffered similarly. If I focus on those “should be” conditions, though, I remain paralyzed because those “should be” safety nets are not going to materialize. Ever. Not without a social revolution…which, in my neck of the woods, is more than unlikely—or more likely to go in direction of more fascism. (BTW, this notion of so-called “free” or low cost or “universal” health care for U.S. citizens, for instance, is a media fantasy propagated by dominant, capitalist interests. It doesn’t exist now and is highly unlikely to come to pass in my lifetime, except in theory and/or in delusional narratives of dominant media sources.)

    If I am to survive, therefore, I will (I have to) continue to move toward a different mindset, whereby I come to believe that I am no different from most who end up in prison, or who end up homeless, or become severely addicted, or prostitute themselves, etc, I’m no different from vast MILLIONS of others, in other words. In my country, the majority whose ancestors were slaves, and the majority of “first peoples” (or native Americans), and the majority of those generations living in poverty (as did their parents before them) have ALWAYS known this same powerlessness and helplessness and (often) hopelessness with which I too am so familiar. Social injustices and forces of domination always find (create) scapegoats and victims. In this regard, to repeat, I am not unique or especially victimized more harshly than millions of others. We are everywhere, hiding in plain sight. But we are splintered from each other in this “fragmented world of the social”, and we cannot see the severity of each other’s struggles or even begin to join together in solidarity when we all keep emphasizing our differences and focusing on the particular unfairness suffered by our *own unique* kinds of suffering, social injustice and extreme traumas.

    So, that is my own diatribe, maybe, but it’s also my own way of making meaning and sense from this insane, uncivilized world. Like you, I choose to believe (or at least I keep trying to believe) I just might have something to contribute, something valuable to offer, however small and insignificant in the big scheme. I REALLY don’t want to to *off myself* because the goddamn forces of domination have finally convinced me that I’m not worth fighting (tooth and nail) for my life, or because I’m convinced that my helplessness and powerlessness are somehow shameful, rather than human.

    Instead, at least today, I hope to keep struggling to survive, and to find ways or to help create more sources of mutual aid—in spite of, and in the face of, a whole fucking world overrun with mass insanity and social injustice. My own suffering is very real and very daunting and often almost too overwhelming to even simply endure. Still, my suffering is also a small drop within a huge wave of suffering. Speaking only for myself, my survival depends upon remembering that whole wave of which I am a part.

    Thanks for listening and letting me share. Tomorrow, god knows, I might be on the floor again clutching myself, sobbing, and holding on for dear life.

    • “Tomorrow, god knows, I might be on the floor again clutching myself, sobbing, and holding on for dear life.” That’s, what makes this so brutal – it’s an infinite struggle only to be struggled with, not to be won.

      • Thanks for being so gracious about my inappropriately long and intense rant. Honestly, I feel scared for you and I’m not very graceful when I feel so powerless to help someone who is so obviously decent and caring while facing injustices left and right and who has been so persistent and eloquent about advocacy and about seeking help.It’s upsetting to not know how to best help myself—let alone wishing I could offer assistance to another who suffers in such similar ways. (((hugs)))

  3. I didn’t feel your very appropriate longer reply to be a rant at all – it’s an expression of human and normal feelings. The degree and intensity at which those overrun – or rather: overwhelm – us may be due to the fact that many current events trigger old, stored, unprocessed feelings of helplessness and feeling powerless as you accurately said yourself. Thus, even minor events may trigger a magnified response in us, because – in my experience – the body doesn’t “know time” as a concept in itsself. “Time heals all wounds” is the biggest B.S. myth to me that I’ve ever come across. Time does NOTHING to heal anything, when it comes to real, severe, literally “mind-blowing” trauma! Time does NOT EXIST with trauma – anything that happened then, which wasn’t “processed” or integrated in one or the other way, is still PRESENT as if NO TIME had passed at all! I don’t think, many therapists understand this too well…

    Anyway… I appreciate your concern for me and I wish I could reciprocate that in an appropriate way. And frankly speaking, yes, there are many times, when I feel like giving up, as the system seems to tell me that society doesn’t have any use for me any longer. That’s how it feels and that’s how the framework of legislation seems to work. Of course, I have an idea as to why that is, but that is not a comforting idea: It’s about the monetary “value” of a “human asset”, and once we get to a point where we can’t be exploited to the max any more, the best the system has to offer is to spend as little money as possible on “us”, thus completely reducing a person to a “human tool”, only factoring productivity in. I guess, that’s how capitalism works…

    I may have found an organization who MIGHT find one or the other angle I have not thought of, yet. Or at the very least, they might take over some of the insane battle with the system that I’ve been fighting largely on my own. Wish me luck! And thank you so much for your kind words of support! They meant a lot. I hope, you’re holding up yourself as well. If we all could just pass hugs around, life – and the battle of enduring – would feel a little easier to bear, wouldn’t it? ❤

  4. Good luck! Best wishes! Fingers crossed. And: (((hugs)))

    Thank you again for understanding. Also, by the way, your response is one of the best summaries-plus-critical-social-analysis I have seen on this topic.

    • … as far as the social analysis, I guess I’m repeating myself from another post: I think, I do get a feel of what veterans must feel like when returning home and finding out that they had been USED to fight for OTHER people’s interests… as if “shell shock” wasn’t enough to deal with already… (and what do they get for fighting for “their” country? A kick in the butt, denial of dire needed medication and a (rare) minute of “sorry” from their peers… god, it makes me insanely mad to only think about that…)

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