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#1037 - 10/01/05 06:41 AM Drowning...
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
I got off work this morning at 7:00AM, and when I got home I tried to go to sleep, but I couldn't. I was so nervous and anxious that it kept me awake. I got out of bed about 11:00AM and stayed up to meet a friend of mine, who took me out to dinner for my birthday.

We ended up in the Castro District in San Francisco. I took BART to the city, and the entire way over there I felt the anxiety growing, and began to have physical reactions, such as a tightness in my chest, mild difficulty breathing, nervousness, and so on.

I met him in the first SF Station and we changed onto the MUNI light-rail. Our "train" had two cars, and all we sardines lacked was the oil. It was so crowded in that car that we were jammed together. My anxiety continued to worsen as what is normally mild claustrophobia decided to flex its muscles. We got off the train about five minutes later.

As we were exiting the station, we walked right into the middle of a demonstration against the governator for vetoing the equal marriage bill. The anxiety was still going strong until we were a full block away and the crowds had thinned, and then it lessened enough so that the tightness in my chest went away, but the breathing difficulty and nerves remained.

We sat down in the restaurant and ordered our food and drinks. By the time the food got there it was 6:00PM, my 24-hour point. We talked for a little bit, and he gave me two CDs, one for meditation and another that has some significance to him that I will learn later.

When we were towards the end of dinner, my body started vibrating. I felt like I was on the verge of jumping out of my skin; of leaping out of my seat to do... something. I mentioned it to my friend, who promptly paid the check, and we walked down Castro Street, browsing some of the stores here and there.

As we walked, we would see couples of every orientation walking down the street holding hands or arm-in-arm, and it somehow seemed strange, but in a "right" sort of way- as if that is the way it is supposed to be. At the same time, it made me uncomfortable. The stigma is still there, and that makes me so angry I can't even start.

At the end of the evening, as we boarded the MUNI train to get back to the BART station, my friend invited me over to his place. I would ordinarily have no problems accepting his invitation, but this time, the anxiety kicked in at full throttle and it freaked me out. Why? Because ever since I started dealing with what happened to me as a kid, all the boundaries I had set were nullified or shifted. I don't know where they are any more, so I feel anxious and unsafe with the person who knows me better than anyone else alive except my wife.

How can I explain this to those closest to me, that I am so uncertain of myself now that I'm afraid to step outside of my normal work/eat/sleep routine? How can I make them understand that I feel like I'm ten years old in a strange world and I don't know who to turn to or where to go? How can I move past all of this shit when it seems like there is more and more every day, and I'm drowning in it?

How do I heal all these wounds before they bleed me dry?


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#1038 - 10/01/05 07:19 AM Re: Drowning...
aardvark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 38
Loc: new york
Dewey,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I think that your starting in the right place setting bounderies for yourself. kept the bounderies as far from your being uncomfortable as you can. its ok to have them, they keep you safe. sorry you're having so many nerves. they will go away with time.

-aardvark

_________________________
"You cant always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need."

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#1039 - 10/01/05 08:14 AM Re: Drowning...
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Dewey,

It looks like you have chosen a good place to start - asking yourself honestly how you feel about all this, and then listening! Clearly it would have been a bad idea to go to your friend's house, and you opted for the safe choice. There is no schedule and no program for dealing with all this; you have to find your own pace.

I think anyone in your situation would be anxious and fearful about any activity that isn't absolutely routine. I guess it's a matter of trust. At the age of ten you took it for granted that your boundaries would be respected no questions asked, and that trust was violated in an incredibly cruel way.

If you are a newly recovering survivor, yes, it's a strange world - I like that phrase. I know it's not much comfort at the moment, but I think an early stage on the path of recovery is the one where you find that every day you are discovering how incredibly complicated it all is: it seems like no matter where you turn there just seems to be more and more coming at you. But that is part of discovering where you are and how you really feel, so it's very important.

The main message here bro is that you are not failing at anything.

Actually that's not true. The main message here is Happy Birthday! Going out to celebrate with a good friend was a great idea.

Take care,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#1040 - 10/01/05 08:21 AM Re: Drowning...
Syris Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 14
Happy Birthday, man.

You can only hope to control the bleeding, it'll likely never fully stop. Your anxiety sounded pretty intense, sometimes when I'm in a crowd or uncomfortable with someone(even people I know really well) I just try to breathe and keep breathing at a steady pace and try to remember that sometimes the way I think is distorted and maybe the whole world isn't trying to get me and my friend isn't going to hurt me or make fun of me. Stepping outside your comfort zone can be nerve racking, I know. Maybe only venturing outside your comfort zone in small steps would be a good idea.

_________________________
"Years ago there was lose of control.Constant horrific nightmares,life turned into a deadly maze.The haunting sounds play on.No more bruised feelings.Can it shine through this? Will it ever shine? The pictures in the gold room."

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#1041 - 10/01/05 08:47 PM Re: Drowning...
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Dewey,

Can I just point out that you wrote this at the 32 hour mark? Maybe this will be easier to put in perspective when you've gotten some rest?

I don't mean to minimize the anxiety, nervousness, and your questions and concerns, but couldn't it all seem worse because you were up so long and nervous and anxious to begin with?

I agree about the boundaries and protections (walls ?) shifting or disappearing as we start to deal with all this.

In fact, I think that Recovery itself is one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with. I never had a 'real' flashback or a panic attack until I started. I also found that I had to "re-negotiate" and re-align many of my inter-personal relationships, as well as my overall world view.

To tell the truth, I would have called my friend and cancelled. I'm not saying that's the best thing. And I'm not saying that going out was the best thing either, but it's certainly more than I would have done, and I think it shows a great deal of strength and character.

You're not drowning Dewey, you were anxious and tired, and you treaded water for a long day in some choppy seas. Good job.

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#1042 - 10/01/05 09:41 PM Re: Drowning...
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
Quote:
Originally posted by Don-NY:
Can I just point out that you wrote this at the 32 hour mark? Maybe this will be easier to put in perspective when you've gotten some rest?
Hi Don,

I had thought about how much of the anxiety might be due to sleep deprivation, but now (after an admittedly rough night of sleep) I think that the anxiety is more from being in a unfamiliar situation.

The bad part is everything is unfamiliar outside of my normal routine, and even within my normal routine are people who are causing even more stress and anxiety. It seems to be snowballing, and I'm desperately looking for some way to stop it before I'm pulled under the avalanche.

As far as strength goes, it's more like I don't know any better than to just keep pushing ahead, trying not to let anything keep me from doing what I want to do (at least in my head).

Does desensitization therapy work on anxiety?


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#1043 - 10/01/05 09:57 PM Re: Drowning...
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Dewey - Happy Birthday -

You are ok - I think maybe it is somehow told to you - you cannot have needs?

I go into chat sometimes - i need to and want to go in - but also I have things to manage like filing and also

I have to deal with telephone calls and errands -

I know it is rude of me to not commit to everyone for a long time -

but sometimes because I am alone I need to pop in -

to know that people I know are around -


I can understand anxiety and that urge to move -

I run every day but I still got a lot -

today more than ever-

I am sorry this is a hard one -

Maybe the anxiety and pressure are made worse from the birthday event?

is it that -

Sometimes that day I just want to end - and if I am tired - ugg - I am such a bitch to be around -

seems like you were a perfect gentleman

plus dealing with so many conflicting things -

give yourself a big hand!

fatigue seems to make that all worse for me-

M

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#1044 - 10/01/05 10:31 PM Re: Drowning...
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Ok Dewey, but you did say up front that you didn't sleep because of anxiety and nerves, so it was there already.

So maybe it was anxiety over going out, or the birthday itself, or something else entirely, but...

I come back to the idea, well, just stay in familiar territory for a while, or only when anxiety is already high, but don't deny the strength that keeps you pushing ahead and carrying on.

Easy advice, but why not? Stay in your own routine until it feels safe again, you say there's some stuff right there you need to work on, so focus on that. Then later, build on that success and start expanding your routine so it easily includes other things and ways to deal with unfamiliar situations.

I don't know about desensitization for anxiety. Maybe that works for specific issues, but if it's unfocused, generalized anxiety, I would consider two things.

First choice would be to seriously analyze it and find the reasons. Be brutally honest with myself and figure out where it's coming from, so then I can figure out how to deal with it.

For me, unfocused anxiety is all about "something" that I'm refusing to even think about, and the strain from keeping it pushed down.

I end up worrying that if I do this, or don't do that, then I might be reminded of this thing I don't want to deal with. Because that thing is going to be so uncomfortable to deal with, and OH Shit, I'm thinking about that thing again, and it's a vicious circle looping around again.

Anyway, that's true for me. I hope someone can give you better information about dealing with anxiety. There is of course, medication, but I would always consider that a last resort, unless the daily routine became too difficult, and you needed that help for the short term.

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#1045 - 10/01/05 10:48 PM Re: Drowning...
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
The anxiety comes from several sources:

Dealing with the SA
Rediscovering and re-establishing boundaries
My marriage ending and everything surrounding the impending divorce
Still living in the same house and sleeping in the same bed with my wife, albeit on excellent terms
My Mother-in-Law's presence in the house
My wife gone from the house each evening to pursue her recovery
Not enough time to pursue my own recovery
No place or space to call "Mine"
Trying to figure out what being 'Gay' means for me

Okay, so I should have said my anxiety comes from many sources.


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#1046 - 10/01/05 10:56 PM Re: Drowning...
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
wow - that is a lot

day to day -

that is a lot i hear you -

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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