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Monday, December 14, 2015

I suppose this old blog is nearing the end of its existence. That's probably as it should be. I've been emotionally attached to this place. It has been the recipient of my PTSD tantrums when my feelings have exceeded that which is socially acceptable. It's good to have a place where one can scream without harming anyone else. So my blog has served me well and allowed me a place to express those things I could not otherwise.

I closed up my blog a couple of months ago. I needed privacy for a little while. I understand that's silly, since this is not really a hub of activity. Still, closing the door was helpful for me.

Today I wish to write the thoughts that have finally made it into words during that time. The ideas are not necessarily connected - just random realizations and wonderings that have yet to find answers.

Love Language:
I've always believed my dominant one was Quality of Time. I've blogged about how I don't really believe in the love language philosophy because everyone needs all those things and the level of such need increases or decreases with circumstance and individuals. But there's definitely a credible foundation for the love language idea. So I played the game and decided that my dominant love language was Quality of Time. I need to be with someone, to talk and listen, and to know that I'm important enough to have him or her make time for me.

But it is also true that this is where I hide. I connect through Quality of Time because I am often unable to use the love language the speaks most profoundly to me. There are times when I cannot receive nor give it. My true dominant love language is touch. I think I've known this for a long time, but it's a tiny bit agonizing to know that I sabotage my ability to give and receive.

Actually, that's not true. I don't sabotage. I think the truth is that when you've been abused through the love language that speaks most loudly to you, you shut down that part. It hurts too much. And you reroute to a place that feels comfortable and acceptable, even if the impact is not as great. You learn to mistrust and fear the former love language. Each time it is given, you make up reasons why it can't be real, and you remind yourself that it is not to be trusted.

So touch has become something that causes me incredible distress. There have been times when I have allowed it - because the desire and need to receive does not go away, ever - only to be followed up with intense mental and emotional anguish. The cost rarely justifies the indulgence.

In spite of all that, I have put myself in situations where touch, on some level, must be given and received. I did that last weekend when I attended breakfast with a large number of friends. We hug. That's what friends do. So I did. I don't really have more to say about that. It takes awhile to sort through all the crap that crops up when I am hugged by that many people. Especially when I love each of them.

Then there is the added dimension of learning to trust a few people. They are the ones with whom I can have physical contact and sometimes it's okay (okay = I don't have PTSD symptoms caused by the touch for a couple of weeks following the contact). And then I almost feel normal. Almost. Because I know that with friends, touch becomes less frequent as familiarity increases. Except I don't want it to. I want it to continue. Feeling normal is amazing. So as time passes and touch decreases, I find myself understanding that their feelings of comfortable companionship are normal, and my feelings that I have become distasteful, annoying, or that talking with me is fine, but touching me is disgusting-- those feelings are probably not. That understanding only increases my anxiety about people and relationships, in general.

Being a Delightful Person
I'm fairly certain no one intends for me to retreat to the entertainer personality when they're with me. I also understand that they REALLY do not want to know what's going through my head when I'm socializing. I also do not believe that the person I become in that instance is artificial or fake. She's just surviving.

That makes it sound as if I dislike being with people which is untrue. It's just difficult for me to maintain what is authentically me in that circumstance. It's just safer to make sure whomever I'm with remains feeling that I'm happy to be with them and I want us both to enjoy our time together. Which is true. I am and I do. It's just complicated. Mostly because I don't trust people even though I want to. And when I look at all that, it's amazing that people who know me at all want to spend time with me, understanding that I'm stressed and confused and conflicted and I don't trust them.

But I love them. A lot.

Managing PTSD Requires Time, Courage, and Stamina
All things that I do not have right now, and have not had for awhile. Which means I've not been managing PTSD. Which means there's a lot going on inside me that makes my life feel nightmarish and frustrating. Which means my depression level has dipped into suicidal and stayed there longer than I ought to have allowed it. Which means I'm being stupid about this.

Sometimes that happens. Sometimes it's not really in my control. I know people who would tell me I always have a choice. In these moments, while I acknowledge that they are correct, I also acknowledge that they aren't living my life and they're stupid, too.

I Don't Do Passive Aggression
Unless I'm tired, feeling trapped, and losing the inherent ability I have to communicate like a sane person. I've been guilty of passive aggressive words and behaviors in the past month. I'm deeply ashamed of that. I'd like to say I don't usually do that, but I'm aware that I've done so before. It is, however, something I passionately avoid. I dislike (and usually ignore) it when people lash out at me with passive aggression. If I love you, I'll call you on it and suggest we find a more constructive way to talk about what's bothering you. If I don't love you, I'll probably walk away and pretend it didn't happen.

However, when I'm the culprit, I want to die a little bit. I know better. I understand that indulging in bad behavior to garner someone's attention usually backfires in very awful ways. I've been wondering why I do it all, and I've come up with the following reasons:
1. I'm tired and the thought of using the energy necessary to fill my needs makes me more exhausted.
2. I feel ignored when I try to fill whatever need is causing me distress.
3. I feel I have nothing more to lose - the relationship is waning or already gone.
4. I don't realize I've done it until after the fact.

That last one doesn't usually happen unless I'm overwhelmed to the point that I'm no longer thinking before acting. It's an occasional lapse, but one that has taken place more often lately, which makes me deeply uncomfortable. Regardless, when I realize that I'm speaking or acting passive aggressively, I feel like I'm not me. Then I don't want to talk with or be with anyone until I can control that ugly part. And I probably won't talk about it, even if asked. The thought that I might do it again makes me want to vomit. And I need to pull myself back together. That's best done in my own company. It's not a pretty sight.

This isn't part of the above topic.
Darrin is still unemployed. I was hopeful that I might get to rest a bit when the semester ended, but I can't yet. There are so many other complications going on, as well, that I often feel that I'm losing my mind. I'm not, though. And I'm dealing with the depression. Probably the suicidal feelings happen a few times during the day, but I think that will decrease at some point. I try not to be alone. I used to try to contact people to talk, but that's not a good idea. If I do that when I'm having a real need and the person is unavailable, I'm not always rational in my response to that. So I read, or go for a run. I'm looking forward to the time when those feelings will be, maybe, once a week. That will be a relief.

This week I will decorate for Christmas and do some baking. Thursday I have a lunch date with a friend. And today we have fresh snow and bright sunshine. It's beautiful.

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