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Calling out from the pit of despair

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by yb44, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey folks,

    The last couple of years have seen some major changes in my life and in my health. Two and half years ago my younger daughter was in a car accident. She was airlifted to a specialist trauma hospital. She sustained a severe traumatic brain injury and was in hospital/rehab for over three months. She's made amazing progress, even went back to work after nine months, but she has definite impairments that affect her and will continue to have an impact on her life.

    Just over a year later, my husband told me he wanted a divorce. Although I knew there were problems in the marriage, I was devastated. I was still reeling from my daughter's accident and then this. I was in a very bad way and put on anti-depressants. My back pain and sciatic returned, no surprises there. I was prescribed Gabapentin for the second time. I had managed to wean off it a few years back after a particularly bad episode. But this time was different. I had all but given up and would say to myself every day, "I wish I was dead. I hope I get cancer and die."

    The divorce discussions commenced and it transpired that I was in deep trouble due to some complex tax issues and had to take drastic actions. This made everything even worse.

    Last spring I found a temporary part-time job so I could get out of the house a few days a week. We were still living under the same roof but separately. It was hell. I couldn't cope with the fatigue and brain fog caused by the Gabapentin so tapered off that completely. Work was therapeutic but I hated returning to the marital home at the end of the working day. Our daughter was there so I stayed around for her until I couldn't take it any more.

    I moved out two months ago. Another big change. Due to the divorce and needing to 'maximise my income' I asked my employer for more money/more hours. I was turned down for both. I was doing perfectly fine at work - it was just a financial decision. I applied for and was offered a full time job with better pay elsewhere. I could really live without another change but I felt I had no choice. I start on Monday.

    Meanwhile my back issues have flared up - again, no surprises. I'm trying to carry on. Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours crawling around the floor putting a flat pack desk together. I felt the effects this morning. I know this is all about everything above, the way I have been speaking to myself, etc. I feel like I am going through the motions, but would rather just sit quietly and let my life slip past. I've had to buy all new furniture, appliances and small items for the home. It's as if I am putting this place together for the benefit of someone else, not me.

    My daughter is still living with her father and is having difficulties at work. She's going to jump before she's pushed, resigning this week. She's suffering major anxiety but I feel pretty powerless to do anything meaningful for her.

    I was reading one of Steve O's comments to someone yesterday where he was discussing how one is not always ready to heal it helps to consider why. Well, I've come to the conclusion that I don't feel worthy. I've been rejected so many times in my life. Even when I have made the decision to leave a place, a job etc, I still feel abandoned. I'm overwhelmed with these abandonment issues.

    Where do I go from here? I don't know, but it won't be to another therapist, TMS or otherwise. Been there, done that, helped put a plaster over the wounds but it always falls off again. Healing has to start and end with me but..... There's always a but.
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    You have the perfect TMS cocktail for pain--my deepest sympathies for all your Jobian travails. At this juncture, I suggest you thank your TMS pains for what the Good Doctor said they were for : a PROTECTOR and not a punisher for when we are overwhelmed by life's vicissitudes--a psychological defense mechanism. Hopefully others will chime in with support. When the pain gets to be too much, take a time out and put your feet up, and try to relax for a bit. As a true TMS perfectionist/goodist, you are trooping through, and doing all you need and have to do. Most others don't have your stamina or psychological fortitude, take credit--maybe as a reward a glass of wine or a quart of ice cream--edit: maybe two glasses of wine.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
    yb44 and Ellen like this.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    " felt the effects this morning."

    Not to kick you while your down, but assembling a desk isn't something you 'feel the next morning' unless you expect to...so On your TMS work, you're still buying into the structural mythology.

    Otherwise, you are just having a human experience. I was in a similar place about 5 weeks ago (Minus the pain... I had a Gnarly chest infection which was occupying my attention).. Abandoned, financial issues, responsibilties I didn't want, rage that was just barely in check. I ALMOST actually MISSED my TMS to distract me. I thought my head would explode
    All of that stuff is just stuff. You just have had a lot in a short period. Everybody I know well has had these challenges and it's good you are reaching out for support. That's what we are all here for, right? To help each other
    I am sure you have helped others in the past and you're just having a temporary perspective lapse. I have never met a TMSer who has not had a minor relapse from time to time

    Any pain with abandonment issues (everybody has them) will usually get triggered by Holidays. I don't think you have to 'go' anywhere... but sometimes we do need to talk to someone to get perspective. I am not talking about a for money therapist....friends? Family? Someone you can trust.

    I always remember E. T. s quote: "I am broke!" Is drama and useless. "I have 50 cents in my bank account" is the truth and empowering. No matter where you are, if you can digest a little truth it will always stop the sliding.

    hang in there
    readytoheal and yb44 like this.
  4. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Yb44 you have really had a number of major stressful life events in a short period of time and I guess that you are feeling emotionally drained right now and weary of putting one foot in front of the other to carry on. You say that you feel like sitting quietly and letting life slip past. Actually I think that doing that or at least slowing life right down is probably exactly what you need to do now for a while.You need to soothe your poor sensitized self as best you can and regain a little energy for the effort ahead.
    I don't know how you usually confront TMS pain if it rears its head but you could at least try to grab a pen and paper and write it out of yourself. Pour out that toxic cocktail of rage, hurt, despair worry and sadness onto the paper until you cannot find another word to say then rip it up and throw it away.
    Treat yourself with compassion and kindness. Only do the things you really have to do. Keep telling yourself that your body is healthy, strong and normal and you have temporary TMS.
    Life has given you a kicking but you are still standing and that is an achievement in itself. I am massively better after a two week flare up which I thought might never end. I didn't change anything in my life, I just took control of my mind as much as possible and kept repeating positive affirmations to the point of exhaustion. I also wrote down a list of all the reasons I knew the pain was TMSand kept telling my brain it was not fooling me.
    I wish I could offer you more help but sometimes just knowing people out there are thinking of you and feeling compassion for you is a very powerful healing force. I hope this helps.
    karinabrown, yb44 and Ellen like this.
  5. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Dear yb
    You have been through hell. So many major losses and subsequent changes in your life. I am sorry you have had to endure all of this.
    Yet, here you are, ready to tackle the new problems, with a new agenda and an unknown future ahead. You have done good things for yourself, e.g.,
    1) secured a new, better paying job that can help sustain you;
    2) found a place to live that can keep/give you some solace that you need;
    3) recognize that you can not help your daughter, until you can help yourself, and in that recognizing that your needs can now come first... this is ok;
    4) knowing your own felt sense of unworthiness and abandonment, and how dealing with both of these feelings can help you. This is your work. This will ease your pain, emotional and physical.
    You are worth this life. You can get through this.
    Stay in touch with us.
    readytoheal, yb44 and Ellen like this.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Beautiful girl,

    Maybe you don't need to do anything to heal. Maybe you need nothing more than some space, and a quieter, simpler life for a time.

    Unless you've been through such travails, it is hard for someone to really grasp how demolishing experiences like yours can be. I have struggled to explain the gravity to people and found simply stating 'It's like a hand grenade goes off in your life' goes someway to hitting the mark. The devastation is complete and irreparable. There is no room for silly self-help notions, fairweather friends or redundant advice. The life you had is gone.

    Wouldn't it be welcome to simply feel physically up to the challenge? But here it is...goddam TMS. How could it not charge in on it's trusty steed? But for you the time for talking is past. You know this shit a million times over, the drill is but a boring routine.

    And so I feel it is time for the biggest act of kindness and self-compassion you have ever had to muster. It is time for you to come home to yourself.

    These feelings of abandonment are just shadows triggered by the successive traumas of the last two years. You say:

    "I feel like I am going through the motions, but would rather just sit quietly and let my life slip past. I've had to buy all new furniture, appliances and small items for the home. It's as if I am putting this place together for the benefit of someone else, not me."

    There is a Lost Child inside all of us. This may sound strange but I wonder if you are doing this for the abandoned child inside of you? Are you finally ready to welcome her home? To make her feel safe and loved? Take her little hand and together you will do just fine.

    And for our part, your friends here extend their hands and hearts and hope that you will stay close and in touch. The responses in this thread are so typically lovely of the good people here. Each contains gems of wisdom.

    You will endure this just as you have endured all else. You are strong and resilient and within that strength you are compassionate enough to know that this is a new start. While you may not feel excited about this now, time will eventually yield the boons of perspective and you will look back upon this period with a soft smile and an affection for the woman who rose like a Phoenix from the ashes.

    With my Love and blessings in abundance,

    Plum x
  7. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    As the others also highlighted: you have a lot on your plate. Many things happened in very short time. And to digest all this takes time. I had a divorce about 10 years ago. The divorce was not problematic as such, the time before was. And then the struggle to be alone, to find a place to live, to find out about the finances. And then the feeling of abandonment that will come after some time. First then, when I started to feel miserable, alone, full of self pity I started to have pain again. But you will come over it. It simply takes time. That you have TMS right now is not very surprising ...
    Why are you taking Gabapentin? Wouldn’t be a normal pain killer that you only take when the pain peaks be better?

    You have been very good in supporting yourself, finding a better job, a place to live. You will also support yourself mentally and emotionally. It was a great relief for me to hear that others also suffered, but that they arrive at some point at the other side of the tunnel.
    You might also think of how to spend Christmas ... my advice: spent Christmas in a way that is good for yourself.
    Wish all the best!
    yb44 and Lainey like this.
  8. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. I was in need of someone else's perspective and there are, indeed, gems of wisdom in each.

    Baseball, you mentioned talking to family and friends. All I get from them is, "Ah, you'll be alright. You'll get over it. You'll be fine." Statements like these shut me down. The other week I made some negative comment about my life to my elder daughter. She snapped at me and said she wouldn't pander to this sort of behaviour. It took me about 12 hours to muster the courage to respond. I said that I wasn't asking her to do anything apart from have some compassion. I had been feeling especially low having just received my Decree Nisi and I had shown it to her. It may have had no impact on her, but for me a different story.

    Tom - wine doesn't appeal at the moment but the quart of ice cream sounds tasty. Actually, I've been overindulging on sweet stuff - comfort eating. I need to take better care of myself in that way. I had lost quite a bit of weight on the 'divorce diet' and don't wish to put it all back on. Dropping two dress sizes was a silver lining amongst all these clouds.

    Solange, you are right in needing to take control of your mind. I'm attempting to change the record by sending positive messages to my brain now.

    Lainey, I know I can't be of much practical help to my younger daughter but I can be there for her on the end of a phone, meeting up with her occasionally, sending texts, funny links and YouTube videos that make us both laugh. I had thought twice about taking this new job (charity/care sector). I was doubting my ability to help others if I was unable to help myself.

    Time2be - ironic you should make that comment about the holidays because I had been deciding whether or not to tell my daughters that I was going away to a friend's but secretly staying home and doing whatever I wanted to do. We'll see. I no longer take Gabapentin. That was at the beginning of the year when I had given up on myself and several years ago when, according to a TMS doctor, there was something physically wrong with my back. Despite his TMS credentials, I decided not to accept what he had to say and tapered off the drugs.

    Finally, Plum - making the house a home for the abandoned child within - very perceptive. I hope she approves of my taste! I am going to make curtains for most of the windows. Some of the fabrics I'm considering are fun and quirky, the kind of patterns that delight someone young at heart. I even have a playroom here, a spare room for my sewing machines and related bits (my toys). I think you are right on the mark.
    plum and Time2be like this.
  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I know what you mean, I got food poisoning from fish taco Tuesday a little while back, and lost 11 pounds in one week. I've kept it off and trying to figure out how to bottle it and sell it on late night TV.
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    You sound brighter and I am much relieved by that. The playroom sounds fantastic!

    Very early days I know, but I do hope the new job is going well.

    Here's to your new life and doing whatever the hell you want to do.

    Plum x
  11. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member


    What fighters are we tms persons : what a fighter you are.
    Even after all the shit life threw at you : here you are fighting and looking for some better way..
    I understand your numbness and hopelessness and maybe : letting life just past by : ‘ for now is a good thing.
    Not to dive deeper in depression : but to give yourself some space and time.
    We’ tms people forget sometimes that grieving is normal and takes some space and time. We want to keep control and get scared when it overwhelmes us. It may seen impossible that life can ever get better.
    You had some good advises here to try somewhow find a bit of rest and some piece of mind
    To make room for some new and better phases in life. You can and you will
    Wish you all the best
    yb44 likes this.

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