The power of will

So Ive never really been one to make new years resolutions persay. I have issues with failing at things and those are always something people inevitably fail at. That being said there were things I decided I would do this year. More of a change of perspective than a resolution. I want to stop even noticing the negatives and focus on the positives in all things. Only the positives. I feel like just a small thing like that might change my outlook on life a lot.

Granted Im not really the most negative person as it is but still, every little bit helps.

I watched this social media thing, I cant remember what platform, that talked about becoming your thoughts basically. The premise with that was that if you thought you were beautiful and dressed as such and told yourself that you were beautiful daily not only would you believe it but others would follow suit. Like if you believe something hard enough you make it happen.

We all know about the self fulfilling prophecy of negative thoughts. What if positives had the same kind of power. What if you could will goodness into your life and the lives of others just by focusing on it?

Seems worth a try at least. I cant tell yet if it’s working but I’ll keep you posted!

Flotsam and Jetsam

Like all these blogs lately Im up writing this at 2am. I cant sleep. Every time Im alone in the dark my brain runs wild and I cant slow it down let alone shut it off. I sleep a lot on my couch with the tv on. That seems to help.

This blog is going to be all over the map. My head is all over the map and Im spilling it here in case something useful falls out.
You have been warned.

I feel better. Mostly. I just bawled my eyes out but not really out of sadness but sort of relief, if that makes sense. I found a beacon in the dark in the form of a friend who reached out to me when I was crashing but I was too far gone to process her attempt. Im processing it now and it’s making me cry and throwing my blood pressure off enough that my ears are now ringing. If that means anything. Im literally going to use this blog to document everything. Maybe something will mean something to someone someday.
Maybe it will help me, or someone else, someday.
Maybe it will just turn into documentation of a complete mental breakdown and a hell of a suicide note. Time will tell.

She’s the only one who reached out at all. The only person who noticed and even tried to help. I really am truly alone.

Ive spent the last couple days trying to compare BPD to trauma responses. As far as I can tell they’re the same. Even the brain alterations are the same (atrophied amygdala etc). I wish I could get a brain scan. I want to know if all this is just me going crazy or if there’s a reason for it. Not that knowing a reason will help any. While on that train of reading my brain swung the other way again, trying to convince myself that all the crap I went through wasnt even that bad. Realistically it wasnt. People have come out better from far worse situations.
They’ve also come out worse so there’s that.
So much for NARM. Now Im hoping it’s a brain issues so I can point and say “see! that’s why! it’s not because Im crazy or have no self control! My brain is broken!” Ive got to admit though, it would be a bit weird to be suddenly broken now, halfway through my life, so Im probably just crazy and have no self control.

Ive always been a bit of a chameleon, I think foster care trains kids to survive that way, but Im noticing how much I do it now and it bothers me. Public me and private me arent even the same person anymore. Public me is baffling. I feel like I watch this well put together, happy, outgoing woman interact happily with all these people and have no idea how it’s even happening. At home I fall apart all over again. I put on a really good show and I dont know how I do it.
Im glad I do though. I’d rather people thought I was that person rather than the mess I really am. I wish I could figure out how to throw away the mess, or bury it, and only be that person. She’s so much more put together than I am. People like her and want to be around her. Private me is alone. Always. Alone and sad and fighting the downward spiral that leads to dark places I dont want to be.

Unless one of the guys in my life happens to want to get laid then my phone goes off. Otherwise it’s dead silent. Always. I talk to the dog a lot. I dont imagine that helps with the “Im not crazy honest!” stance. At least he doesnt answer me. Yet.

So ya, the “only a walking talking vagina” is a thing still. It’s not awesome and it’s not helping my current thought process at all. Himself desperately wants me to drive out to Sundre and see him. It’s just so he can get laid, I know that. Not only does he want a hole in the mattress to poke he expects me to deliver it. Lovely. He wont come here, apparently Im not worth the drive, and, so far, Im refusing to go to him but I dont know how long I’ll hold out. At least empty sex is something. Although at this point I feel like I should at least be getting paid.
But that opens a whole other door of self worth issues that I dont even have the capacity to tackle right now.

I cant seem to riddle out how I made it to age 46 before I completely lost control. Is it a menopause thing? Have I just been out of therapy long enough for it to stop working? Does it stop working, is that a thing? My whole life Ive managed to control myself. If I ever thought I was losing it I could talk myself down, rationalize out of it. Or at least identify where it went wrong after so I didnt make the same mistake again. Rarely has it gotten so out of control aside, I suppose, from when I was cutting but that was years ago. I seem to skip the cutting part now and go straight to just wanting out and wanting it to end. It’s no longer a downward spiral but more of a plummet off a cliff. There’s still enough sanity in this brain of mine somewhere that I cling to that edge with my finger tips. I know what’s waiting for me at the bottom and I dont want to go there. I still know that’s not what I want or how I want to feel. Im still fighting.

I think I need to stop trying to date. I think that’s a huge part of the problem although I cant point out specifically why. When I got so bad I was cutting I was also trying to date, and failing. I stopped in the intervening years and my mental health was fine (ish). Now that Ive started trying again Im crashing and the only common denominator is men (and me).
Maybe I should try women? Or just get more pets. That seems the less complicated of the two options. I dont know why attempting to date would throw me off so badly. I dont think Im particularly codependent and my two attempts this year both ended the same. I never really even invested in the second guy so why the hell would that throw me off.
If that is it then it pisses me off that what amounts to a stunt penis can screw up my life so badly; that Im allowing it to screw up my life so badly. What the fuck? Im stronger than that. Im better than that. Arent I?

On the friend front nothing has changed. Im still ostracized although I havent tried to contact anyone again either. A bunch of unanswered messages is enough for me to get the hint. I wont force the issue. I still cant get into Halloween even though the party is in 2 weeks. I still havent decorated. I still half want to cancel and half want to see if anyone will even show up. I know work people will but they only know the fun me, I just have to make sure she shows up that night and not the miserable incarnation. I guess I’ll find out in a couple weeks.

Butterfly

It feels like a lot has changed since my last post even though it’s only been a few days. The fact that Im talking to the dragon went public and the fallout from that was even more extreme than I expected. I crashed pretty hard as that social circle was torn apart again and sides were chosen and people I thought were solid flaked out like bad dandruff. All totally unnecessarily and like a rehash of some bad high school sitcom. Then I stepped back and realized none of that even matters. None of these half ass friends matter. None of this drama and part time life matter.

This isn’t my end game.

I had a bit of a breakdown on the dragon recently, as an extended manifestation the self worth nose dive from of losing a pile of friends suddenly, lamenting the waste of an IQ that could have accomplished so much. Maybe it could have even changed the world but instead is popping tops off beer and serving food to random strangers. His response stopped me dead in my tracks: “You are changing the world. You changed the world the day you called out of nowhere and stopped me from killing that bitch. I was on my way to kill her, I was on the road, and you stopped it so you never know. You are changing the world”

Whoa.
Wait a second…

Maybe it’s the little kindnesses that really do change things even if we don’t realize it’s happening. Those small butterfly wing flaps that turn into hurricane winds and change the world. He derailed my whole pity party internal dialogue. Days later Im still processing the scope of what he said.

I am changing the world. One small kindness at a time. And the best part? I dont even have to do anything unusual. This is just who I am.

And I can change things just being me.

Fight, Flight or Freeze

According to all the literature there are three basic responses to trauma, all of which remain responses until they’re trained out of you. If you believe in the NARM and think you can retrain yourself. If you follow the Dr’s that subscribe to the brain damage models I suppose you’re screwed.

I choose to believe I can overcome anything. I just need to learn to recognize my own triggers and responses and find the tools to help me do it.

**Excerpt from “Healing Developmental Trauma” By Laurence Heller PhD and Aline LaPierre PsyD. Published 2012. Page 116-117*

The Fight-Flight-Freeze Response

Essentially, the goal of the fight-freeze-flight response is to prepare us to defend ourselves in a situation of threat or to run away if we cannot defend ourselves. The fight-flight response is mediated by high arousal in the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system as it prepares the body for self protection and survival. The freeze response is mediated by the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. There are two aspects to the freeze response:(1) freeze as a highly charged but immobile defensive maneuver and protection reaction, which is used by all animals, including humans, to avoid being noticed by a predator and (2) freeze as a collapsed fallback position when fight-flight is not possible.
A common metaphor used to explain fight-flight is to compare the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system to the gas pedal and the parasympathetic to the brakes, In trauma, the sympathetic branch is fully engaged (that is, our foot is pressing the gas pedal to the floor) to mobilize massive amounts of fight-flight survival energy. At the same time, the parasympathetic branch is applying the brakes in an attempt to modulate the dangerously high sympathetic arousal. In essence, both the gas pedal and the brakes are simultaneously pressed to the floor. The result is high tonus in both branches of the autonomic nervous system: the engine is turning at high speed but the brakes are fully engaged leaving the car at a standstill. This standstill involving high tonus in both branches of the autonomic nervous system is a particular type of freeze response called tonic immobility. The state of tonic immobility should not be confused with the collapse response, which is a type of freeze in which the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system is dominant.**

Ive always considered myself a fighter but Im not. Not really. Not according to all these multitudes of psych texts. Im not even fully a runner, or a freezer. Whenever things get too hard, too emotional or too scary I shut down completely. But first I get mad about it. Or mad at myself for being so out of control emotionally. And then I either try to run or fall apart and shut down. Im not talking about a bad day at work, Im talking about extreme events. At least to me they’re extreme.

That being said apparently Im pretty much hardwired to think most situations are extreme. I dont really have a scale. It’s bloody awful or it’s nothing at all. There’s no real middle ground.

I tried to role play a rape once with my Dom while I was in training. All he did was grab me and throw me down and I totally shut off. No reaction, no noise, just a silent, limp body. I didnt even know I’d done it until he told me. I wish I’d processed it when it happened but I was embarrassed that I’d failed at the task he’d set me to do. I dont like to fail. I dont know how to over come that reaction if I dont even know Im doing it. I feel like a fainting goat, just easy prey for anyone. I wish I thought that was as funny as it sounds.

I dont know why Ive been thinking about that a lot recently.

My ability to tuck tail and run is legendary and well documented but I think Ive almost got a handle on that response.

I feel like my fight always shows up late to the party. After I needed the muscle when there’s nothing left but pools of blood and pieces on the ground Fight saunters in and tells me how I should have handled it and what I should definitely do next time.

I feel like Flight is the only one that’s never let me down. And that’s saying something. Everyone lets me down. Everyone. Ironically it’s also the only one I can half ass control. Funny how that works.

Chasing dragons, burning knights.

It’s weird how some people just gravitate towards each other. And others repulse like magnets no matter how hard you try and force it.

Of the two guys I’ve tried to date this year. One was my typical bad boy choice, the dragon we’ll say, the other was the proverbial knight in shining armor. Both bailed in a pretty similar way. Both stung. Being me I was probably much more attached than I should have been. Throw a starving orphan a crust of bread and it’ll follow you anywhere. Not gonna lie, being that orphan is a little exhausting.

I thought I was more attached to the Knight. Apparently I wasn’t. Never shed a tear for that guy and have hardly thought of him since he disappeared without a word. Oddly I didn’t even fight for the closure I usually need so badly, I just kinda let it go. No fight, no fuss. It didn’t even matter. He went back to his ex I heard. More power to him.

Almost immediately, within weeks, I’m back at the dragons house, just hanging out, friends. He needed someone to talk to and I missed that secure, safe feeling I always had with him. And we are just friends. I don’t think it will go farther. I was pretty hurt the last time and I don’t think I’m quite that self destructive to put myself through that again but I guess we’ll see.

In any event I’m not writing for that anyway. The whole thing has got me wondering how I actually process things and what I actually need from someone, if anything, and what I’m willing to give of myself, if anything. Really I’m trying to sort out what the hell is going on in this mess of a head of mine. And how to fix it, if needed. That’s pretty much been the theme of this entire blog. It’s easier to muddle through when I have to write it down. And it’s cathartic. I don’t have people I tell my deepest, darkest secrets.

But I do write them down for all the world to see. Go figure.

Anyway, apparently steady employment, maturity and just generally being a mostly together, super sweet guy doesn’t do it for me. Not when it’s tempered with a lot of drinking and that never, EVER-knowing-where-I-stand feeling.

But if you’re a borderline criminal with anger management issues, a heavy player streak, and a bit of a mess I’m all in, as long as I know where I stand and you’re willing to pretty much constantly reassure me. Constantly.

Being abandoned repeatedly as a child sure took a toll on my adult psyche. Like holy hell I can’t even catch myself and talk myself out of that one like I can most of the rest of my neurosis. I can’t even start trying to train myself out of it. I still run into the same problem over and over. The dragon, for all his flaws, doesn’t lie to me, and constantly tries to make me feel ok even though, right now, that’s not even his problem, he still tries.

The knight forgot I even existed unless he was drunk. Fortunately that was pretty much all the time. And when I asked for reassurance I was met with annoyance that I would even bother to ask.

Realistically I shouldn’t need that constant reassurance. Nor should I crave it so much it over-rules a whole pile of red flags. But I do. I don’t even begin to engage or open up until I feel even a modicum of safety. No one gets all of me except the people who probably shouldn’t.

And so the cycle becomes self fulfilling.

See, I can riddle it out.

Be damned if I have the faintest idea how to fix it though.

Calculated Risks

So Ive been obsessing, as I tend to do, trying to figure out exactly what Im doing wrong in terms of this whole dating thing. That’s twice in a single year Ive tried and failed miserably in the attempt to form any sort of connection with someone. The common denominator is me so I assume that’s where the problem lies and I haven’t the foggiest idea exactly where it’s all going wrong so haven’t any idea how to begin to fix it.

And it’s driving me a little bit crazy.

Guy number one: did all the right things, said all the right things, tried really hard to quell my anxiety, made me feel so wanted and pretty and like he was really in it then, pretty frikking abruptly, went back to his ex. Tried to make me his side chick but I wasnt willing to play that game. My dog hated him anyway.

Guy number 2: seemed pretty cool, got frustrated with my anxiety and quickly turned into only wanting to interact with me when he was drunk. When I pointed that out he basically said “whatever” and I havent talked to him since. I think the indifference bothers me more than anything. I tried really hard to believe the words that never quite matched the actions. I dont think I ever totally let my guard down. He never seemed fully in it but the dog loved him so there’s that. Ive heard he went back to his ex too.

Maybe Im just the girl that makes you realize your ex isnt all that bad? Which means Im something awful.

Definitely possible. I certainly have abandonment issues, anxiety issues, and trouble connecting to anything human. At least Ive dealt with the intimacy problems I just despise being a sex object. But then I went and called in the almighty Himself already just to have a back up. I still have needs and if that itch doesnt get scratched I eventually get murderous. So apparently you can be my sex object but I can’t be yours.

So here I am, at midnight on tuesday night, trying to puzzle out exactly where it all went sideways. Wondering if I shouldnt just settle for side chick with guy number 1 and hating that Im even considering it. Really angry that guy number 2 could just drop me like I was nothing, without so much as a goodbye. Like I wasnt even worth the effort once I refused to show up just so he could get off.

Comes back to the whole only being a sex object thing Ive literally been fighting my whole life. I am so much more than just a vagina. I just dont know why no one else can see it.

I really need to work on my screening process. Seeing a synopsis in writing neither one of these guys should have gotten past a hello and they both did. Two bad choices that have since left me doubting my own worth yet again and that reinforced all my own doubts and insecurities.

It really feels like I’m just digging my self deeper into that pit of worthlessness every time I try rather than getting it together and creating a better life.

At what point do I just give up completely?