Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Anchor

     Today I found I have an anchor that keeps me in the state of depression that I am in, it's called flashbacks. Images and vivid thoughts of the past that keep me haunted by the trauma I suffered at the hands of others and things that I have done to others.

     On Sunday I did what I set out to do, and that was to attend church, to get out of the house and try and start fighting my fears. It was a major step for me and while I was proud of myself and what I did, I sat there having flashbacks where I never thought I would. I fought them and stayed, I did not leave nor did I allow myself to seep into the depths of depression however they were and are very vivid. I can remember going to confession over my past because my parents made me feel that it was my fault and I needed to confess my sins. I could remember the priest asking me to give details on what I had done and having to explain to him everything. I think this is why as an adult and church I am afraid to go to confession or I feel uncomfortable around priests. No, I was never abused by one as so many boys have been so that is not my fear.

     I do have a fear for my children and them going to youth groups involving the church, although I don't want to hold them back in their own faith. It was a youth minister who abused me when I was about 16 years old who used my past to work his way into my mind. I guess this is one of the major reasons I don't like to discuss my past, other then what is on the surface. It goes back to the last post where I discussed finding someone for support and allowing them in to see just what had happened to me. While they may not want to abuse me, I have fears of being taken advantage of in someway. Being venerable on so many levels really makes living such a chore and a job. One of the hardest jobs I have ever done in my life, which is one reason I don't understand how I made it to age 48 except I am afraid of death. I do believe in God however I question life after death because of everything I have been through I can't imagine being able to go there. I guess in someways I still carry some blame as to some of the things that happened.

      Tonight I sit here, almost in a panic and very depressed over things that I did that lead up to me being here where I am. Some say it's because of my past, some say it's just who I am and some say i was in someway always like this. Either way, It does not help knowing this and the other things in my life that happened even had taken place. And while I turned to people for help and was either ignored or given poor guidance the choices I made were, like I was told, my choices and I need to live with them. Well here comes the problem, how does one live with the choices they made when the choices they made were dictated by events in your life and fully understanding boundaries was  just not something that was taught to me as a child. When my whole family carried on the way they did and I lived my life thinking that everything was okay when in fact it was not. How does one accept life as it was all while trying like hell to change it especially when everyone around you carries blame and anger towards you for it. How does one get over the pain when the pain you caused others, they can't get over?

     I just don't know how to deal with the feelings anymore and the depression that I carry. I would love to know that everything is going to be okay, however I don't and can't feel that way. I can't see the path I am on anymore because it is clouded with so many random thoughts and images that I am drawn back by the anchor that holds me there. I don't know how to break the chains that bind me to my past and I can't break free from the guilt I carry from so many unclear images that I see. Example my parents, I loved them however they did nothing to protect me. In the end my mother had the last laugh as she gave everything to my niece yet I did everything in my power to do for them. I never cry for her, I never go to the cemetery to visit my parents and I carry hatred in my heart, yet I am confused because I loved them. Things like this I fight with everyday and most times the fights are to overwhelming to handle. And right now, as I try and stay grounded I have no one to call for that support I so could use right now.

     I feel so bad that I should seek medical attention however I am trying a part time driving job to see if I can get past my agoraphobia and tomorrow I have two pick ups. I am not fully sure if doing this is a good idea or not, not only because of the major panic I have for doing it but because of nights like tonight where I feel I need help because of thoughts running through my head just might hinder the whole job thing. I just don't know anymore what to do, I just don't know.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Where did I go wrong?

     They say that everyone who suffers from depression needs a safe spot in their surroundings or someplace in their mind where they can go to get away from the feelings and thoughts that occur. Counselors and therapist will try and help you create or build that spot with you when discuss grounding, or keeping in touch with reality. But what happens when that safe spot no longer works or makes you feel safe, but rather becomes part of the main source of the pain. What happens when the happy memories are tarnished by bad thoughts.

     Some of my fondest memories are not that of being a child but rather then being a young adult. The safe spot, where support and good thoughts meant to bring one out of depression only now are complicated with fears and rejection. I understand the reasons behind the change, however to try and recreate a new safe spot after all this time becomes more of a job rather then a work of art in my mind. When I was down, drifting or disassociating my main support had a way of pulling me back into the real world with ever so soft yet controlling words I needed to hear and made me safe.

     I destroyed that source of comfort with the demons inside by allowing them to take control of my own life. What I don't understand is why I could not see it or stop it by on my own, in essence the very part of me that was and is me. Could I not understand what was going on was destroying everything I was including my world around me. I became so wrapped up in my own suffering that the people I loved started to hate me because of the effects of the destruction was so far out of control that I became lost, and now years later as I pray I could rebuild I know there is no chance as the pain I caused is so deep that the scars will never heal.

     One side effect of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is called Agoraphobia, where a person becomes so afraid of open places that they become prisoners to their homes. As for me, I need to medicate in order to go out shopping, if I have planned meetings or doctor appointments. They tell you that the best way to overcome this fear is to step out little by little and meet people, but how does one do this when it's that what keeps them in. Face your fears is a comment that is stated most often when that question is asked, but when someone suffers from PTSD facing your fears becomes a fear within itself. And how does one face that fear when it is the very thing that keeps you locked away? Getting involved in groups is another way to break free from these chains, but again the fear of going out takes over.

     The support system I had in place was my one true support for well over thirty years, my now ex-wife. She knew everything about me and what had happened. She saw it, she lived it with me at times and she understood just by the changes in facial expressions when and how I was feeling. She could see the signs coming, sometimes before I even realized that something was going on. She could tell what part of me was forward, she learned to speak to me and she helped greatly by keeping me focused on things at hand. The problem now, besides trying to understand the full scope of it all is how can I or someone who suffers find that right support person. Where does one even go, and the greatest fear of it all is telling your story all over again not knowing just when or how the best way to approach the topic would be.

     As for me, the amount of trauma that I have dealt with over many years on many different levels would only most likely create flashbacks, nightmares and most of all more depression. I have always been afraid to talk to people about my past in anyway because the fear that they would reject me in some form or another. What if I was able to find that someone who was willing to listen but then something comes out where I trigger them into their own past, everyone has a past. How do I teach them to understand me, all of me and how I became the person I am today. Is there enough time left in my life to get to know someone with the patience to understand all while building a relationship? My doctors answer to that was there is no need to tell them right away, but is that fair to the person either?

     Tomorrow I am going to attend church for the first time in over two years, with the help of medication of course. I am going to try and face that fear head on but I have it in the back of my mind that if I cannot stay that it will be okay to leave and return home. I am already nervous about going and I still have seven hours till morning. Problem is, if I take any medications to calm my nerves it will cause me to sleep and the chances of waking up will dwindle and I may end up missing it all together.

     I hate my past, I hate who I have become in the wake of all of it. I hate what I have done and live with regret every single day of my life. I write in this blog, I have no idea who if anyone reads it, but even this form of getting my thoughts and feelings out I can never fully express correctly how I feel. Most days the depression is so deep that I can't write and others I can't express what is going on in my head. I wish I could turn back the hands of time, but no one has that power. The only thing I wish now is that the family I love would understand that I never meant to hurt them and that they would only one day forgive me. I know they will never forget, just as I have not been able to forget but that is just a new chapter in my life to what is killing me ever so slowly.