Pattern Recognition is about obtaining Control (Trigger Warning)

Recently, Michele Rosenthal asked how survivors of PTSD gained an increased sense of control over their lives. I don’t know about others, but I’ve always found pattern recognition – in particular in regards to people’s behaviour – helpful. But it’s a double-edged sword, too, because if you’re like me, you may obsess over it from thinking “the better I get at this, the more control I’ll have”. Eventually, you’ll get into a position of becoming almost clairvoyant or precognitive or something. And then – you have managed to rob life of the very thing that makes it worthwhile: The magic of discovery, of not exactly knowing what’s going to happen next and instead let it come towards you without any preconceived notions or expectations or any such thing.

Healthy people, those who were born and raised to establish self-confidence and confidence in their ability to deal with (almost) whatever comes their way, have that sense of trust in themselves. They just take chances and figure out what to do in the situation at hand. Ok, I realize I’m generalizing here, but by and large, I’ve seen that in other people. Whereas I would almost always try to plan ahead, figure out options beforehand and attempt to prepare myself as best as possible. While I’m not exactly saying that being prepared is a bad thing per se, overplanning or overpreparing quickly becomes a burden that adds even more stress on top of the stresses that the condition already places on us. And like I said at the top of this blog: It takes away a good deal of the fun of exploring.

The funny thing is: I haven’t even been like that for the past 25+ years. I never shied away from a good challenge, be it on the job, with friendships or even relationships. Until – they all tanked. Jobs for sure, friendships – most of them, relationships including my marriage – all of them. And now I feel like I’m all spent. But even that didn’t deter me. And then whatever small steps I would afford myself – they tanked again. I’m now at a point, where I feel that whatever I do, failure is sure to ensue. And then the stigma of the situation and the depression coming from that.

Frankly speaking, friends: I don’t think, I am built to do this any longer. I wouldn’t even know what for. Another relationship? Yes, I’d love to fall in love again, but what will happen is that it won’t last. Because I’m ill, damaged, wounded in ways that are so profound that a former girl friend left me for that. (as she couldn’t bear to see the suffering and seeing as she is an empath, she’d feel my suffering to a degree, where she wasn’t able to handle it any more).

I’m an outcast, mutilated in those areas, where all of life, all of human relationships – or even any relationship – happens. In some way, I’m almost not human for reasons of having been forced to compartmentalize my real feelings forever. This may sound overly and inappropriately dramatic. But it’s actually not. It’s just saying like it is (for me). I happened upon a movie recently, which followed the path of a traumatized veteran of war. Although the main character was a fictitious one, the writers of this seem to have done their homework as I felt eerily reminded of some strong – yet always repressed – feelings in myself. And just like in the movie – spoiler, sorry… – I don’t feel like I’ve ever gone anywhere in regards to making progress in my – so far largely self-directed – recovery. I know that I’d need the hand of a compassionate professional to actually go where the deeply rooted wounds reside. And for the past seven years, I’ve been doing everything within my power to get access to someone like that (I did have some help from a compassionate therapist, but I don’t feel as if we’ve ever gotten to the core of my problems – probably, because even in that scenario I still didn’t feel safe enough to reveal it all and bare myself naked in a manner of speaking). I’ve come some way, but nowhere near where I feel confident enough to get back into the game of life.

I think, I’ve burnt my last ember. I’m sorry. I sincerely hope, this won’t happen to you.

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