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#36509 - 07/11/03 09:20 AM Maybe I'm paranoid......
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Greetings to my MS family,

Can you spare a minute or two for me? Guess I'm looking for some reassurance/validation/hand holding or whatever......Anyway....

I've had this nagging feeling for a really long time--like since I was a kid--that there's something wrong in my world...you know, really wrong.....in MY world.

That there's something out of place,not right, missing, hidden. obscurely maleficent. There's this creepy faintly menacing, somewhat threatening aura to IT--- whatever IT is.

Sort of like a dark cloud appearing suddenly in a clear blue sky, passing in front of the sun....

I know and understand with help that some of this ongoing 'paranoia' with life can be attributed most rightly in the context of my unprocessed memories of sexual abuse, neglect and self destructive behaviors.

Those things would be enough to last any good neurotic like me a life time! ;\)

But I'm not being sexually abused now--not being sexual at all in fact except occasionally masturbating when I can allow that to happen.

After lots of help and much work, I now do an excellent job of paying attention to and taking care of my needs so I don't neglect my physical, mental, emotional or spiritual health.

Over the last 11 years or so I've dropped lots of my former very self destructive behaviors--the compulsive drinking, nicotine addiction, dangerous sexual behavior--
hell, I'm even giving up on my nightly ice cream!
Low fat yoghurt tastes similar but not quite the same......

So why the hell does this feeling keep coming up?

More to the point, besides not letting this creeping suspicion of incipient doom rule my world, you know not letting the obsessive thoughts take hold......

Do you all have any similar feelings and what specifically do you do to break this kind of slip back into the "old" way of perceiving myself and the world?


To keep this current, I should add that I've been having this type of 'feeling of impending loss/catastrophe/hurt' visiting the web site here at MS lately......

Is it my imagination, or just a fluke in the rhythm of life, that the boards are really very much less active than a month or so ago....?

I have this little nagging feeling that this good thing that has come into my life is going to be taken away from me.....this seems very unlikely in a rational way....yet that little fear casts it's shadow in my sunniest moments. Maybe that's just a part of life, who knows?
Maybe it's summer vacation time and people are out playing and not, as I would like to imagine, planning on ways to make sure Danny stays miserable? \:D \:o

I'm not going to let this ruin my summer fun...I had so much fun yesterday....see post on public board......to guard against my mind spinning out of control with this stuff I just wanted to put this out there for some feedback.

Any insights or input would be greatly appreciated!

Must add too that there is also a nice feeling of comfort to sit down here and see that my buddies are still here.......very good reality check for me......thank you all for being a really positive part of my real world today....the imaginary world spawned in my brain by the emotional patterns of sexual victimization are so fucking bankrupt I can hardly stand them.....yet they seem to not want to entirely go away.

Wonder why I insist on continuing to invite them to spoil my little parties?????

Glad you're reading this. Glad to feel a part of a larger whole.

Thanks to my brothers,


Your compadre,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#36510 - 07/11/03 12:03 PM Re: Maybe I'm paranoid......
BT Offline


Registered: 06/25/03
Posts: 388
Loc: Chicago IL
Danny,

Sorry to see you worry. But as any good neurotic knows depending on the day, week, month, or year, if the clouds cover the sun it must be gone and the ice is on the way, if the dog is'nt waiting for you to wake up no one likes you anymore, not even the dog, and of course if no one calls to say Hi that just confirms it.

I don't know either how to get rid of those feelings, but I keep telling my self over and over that intilectually I know they are not true, and that someday the feelings will catch up.

I try to realize the truth of how strong I actually am. We have gone through one of the most horrible experiences a Human Being can go through and we are still here. That alone means we have an incrediable strength and resiliance.

We just have to keep beliving the truth, despite what our feelings say. That's the best I have right now.

Hang in there, keep haveing fun, and as long as they still make ice cream (frozen yougert in your case) all will be ok:)

Brent

_________________________
"Everyone is entitled to their opinions and it is not my job to change their mind." Dali Lama

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#36511 - 07/11/03 01:50 PM Re: Maybe I'm paranoid......
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Danny,

Brent said all the best things, but that never stops me from writing. \:\)

The board is definitely slower right now. I though it was something I said. \:D

I'd bet some of it is vacations, since right around the 4th of July is a big vacation time in this country. Having the long weekend to kick off the vacation probably adds to that effect this year.

I'd also guess the slowdown is partially related to the big mess that finally wound down last week. Still we have losses; Andrew is gone now, godsrabbit seems less active, Victor doesn't seem to be around much. It'll probably be a while before we can tell how much the place is changed. And maybe they're among the vacationers.

I wrote to you in a PM about the sadness feeling like a part of my routine these days. It's almost the same way with the sense of impending doom. I'm still very good at identifying where things might go wrong. Too good at it, because I can conjure up the wildest Rube Goldberg-esque situations that lead to utter catastrophe. My wife says I "connect all these dots" and worry about something so unlikely, so far fetched, that it's not reasonable.

How do I get past that? Don't know yet. Sometimes I can catch myself and start to analyze the sequence that I've constructed to get to the disaster. Then I see just how remotely possible it really is. But other times I don't catch myself, and I worry a lot about stupid stuff. One thing that seems to help right now is the Al Anon slogan, "How important is it?"

Obligatory off topic banter --
OK, can a slogan be a question? Can you see the troops rallying around the guy asking "How important is it?"
-- End banter

Seriously, I find that I can detach from some irrational fear/belief/cognitive distortion or whatever by asking myself, "How important is it? What else could I be doing to accomplish my goal(s) more effectively?" It puts me back into some sort of "realist" mode or something.

What I want to do is find a better way, or a deliberate methodical way actually, to "catch myself" as a matter of course. It's a matter of being more concious, I suppose. I can change my behavior when I'm aware of it. You (I) can beat the dysfunctional behaviors/distortions/whatever, but, like so much in life, you (I) must be present to win.

And some things don't need to be thought through. Some things just need to be enjoyed.

Happy Friday,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#36512 - 07/12/03 03:28 AM Re: Maybe I'm paranoid......
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Good thread.

I don't know if this is what you're all taking about, but my therapist, the good Doctor, tried to get me to think about what it was I was thinking about just BEFORE the thoughts of doom or mayhem entered my head.
He told me that my negative thinking--sexual confusion, thoughts of suicide, whether or not I would molest as I had been molested, whether I would fail at this or that, was directly connected to putting myself down--AS I HAD BEEN TRAINED--put down by my father when I attempted to do anything.
It's been an incredible exercise to try to catch my self when I would have one of these many debilitating thoughts, to realize that I had just thought about accomplishing something positive, trying something positive, that these thoughts of damning behavior, weakness, negative self image, all of the crap could or would be used to, "keep me in my place." You know, the rotten son of bitch who doesn't deserve anything positive, anything life giving, or happiness of any kind.
You try it, what were you thinking just before these rotten things came into your head, pleasant thoughts of doing good?
So, is the answer to not think good thoughts--then you won't put yourself down with the bad ones?
No, maybe you're like me, thinking positively can have it's negative side, but why? Is it to keep you in your place--the shit pile?
Realizing that for me is to help myself understand that I've had to work hard to think about myself in any positive light.

Keep thinking about where this stuff comes from and why. How can it have anything to do with the positive in our lives--loving partners, children, meaningful work?
Is it just a way to keep myself from being who I want to be? And how long can I keep telling myself that I can't really do this or that, "because I was a really bad, little boy."

Peace, hope and encouragement, my brothers,

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#36513 - 07/12/03 09:06 AM Re: Maybe I'm paranoid......
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Danny & Brent, Joe, David:

A great thread you've started here Danny, with great replies.

It is sad and disheartening to see the board slow down. I've been a member since the fall of '02 and I've seen slow downs before. This current upheaval may be the worst I've seen but with the previous one's, the board has always come back, albeit in dribs & drabs (ummmm, I wonder what the original of that phrase is \:\) .

I really miss seeing Victor and many of the other regulars posting here. It could be vacation time or just people taking some needed time off from this place to heal from the wounding words said lately. I wish them all the best.

Danny, I can relate to the low-grade or periodic lighting strikes of fear and or impending doom in my life. It still happens to me and can take over if I let it. A brief bio on my fears:

Two years ago to the month, I went into a god aweful alcohol/drug rehab for chronic and severe alcoholism. It marked a turning point for me where I realized I had to stop drinking or I would die, which I'm not ready to do willingly. While in the rehab a shrink put me on Remeron (antidepressent), one that I hadn't tried before. To make a long story short, after a couple of months on the Remeron, I found I was experiencing a major reduction in my general fear and social phobia levels... and I do mean a big, big difference!

It's been an amazing experience since then. To look back and see how much fear and anxiety I had been living with since my early teens... I'll take some help living from wherever I can find it, even drugs if that's what it takes. I just hope it's not a lifetime deal, but it may be.

... end of bio ...

Now, the fear and anxiety can still byte me. Sometimes with no connection to things going on in my life. Sooooo, over and over I have to face down my fear and walk (slog through the thick mud) through it to do what I have to. It sucks, it feels like I'm facing huge, unknown impending doom the first time all over again. All I have is today and the choice to do it or not. More and more I can... how does one get to Carnegie Hall??? ... \:\)


As you all have pointed out in one way or another dealing with all this crap comes down to unresolved/unconscience trauma/neurorosis (or whatever) AND self-image or self-esteem. Beside the fear and anxiety, I (perhaps we) have to deal with learning how to like/love myself.

It's a long road ahead, I have much to do and learn about myself and life. For today, I choose life.

higher power, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I can't change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

(pardon my rewording)

peace my brothers. I so glad you've found MS and continue to share your ESH here. I hope you're finding some answers.

jer


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#36514 - 07/12/03 07:15 PM Re: Maybe I'm paranoid......
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
That fear, that something bad is about to happen, seems reasonalbe to me. For many years lots of bad things have happened and they still do.

I think it comes, for me, from feeling ambushed so often. I never know when someone is going to take a stab at me, or I am going to have some new medical problem, or someone does or says something that reminds me of how useless I am.

I know I am not useless, but there are always people working hard to say or do something that can only be interpreted that way.

I still get that feeling. But I have come to laugh at it and remind myself that there has been a lot of good things in my life, many happy days, and many important friendships.
I try to remember the good things and the happy days and then try to not let my fear that it is all going to come crashing down, not get a shoe in the door.

Maybe you men have not had that experience of feeling like you were ambushed. That is the best term I can use to explain how I feel. If you have had the same experience, it is obvious we will always be more alert than others, to the possibility that today can be the day when something really hurtful happens.

Maybe, I could try to change that thinking to; "maybe this is the day that something really good will happen." Not sure if it will really work but it is worth a try.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#36515 - 07/12/03 07:34 PM Re: Maybe I'm paranoid......
martin Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 229
Loc: The Good Earth
Yeah, great thread Danny and great replies.

I too have been dealing with a generalized sense of anxiety. I wonder if I don't get an immediate reply to an email if my friend has finally decided to stop putting up with my crap, and seen what a loser I am. I wonder if today isn't the inevitable day that my bosses finally fire me. And just when exactly am I going to wake up and find myself, totally bereft of any intelligence or talent that I though I had. Its coming I'm sure.

It's kind of funny, a bit, would be funnier if it wasn't so hurtful at times.

David, I think this is a good approach to it:

Quote:
Keep thinking about where this stuff comes from and why. How can it have anything to do with the positive in our lives--loving partners, children, meaningful work?
Is it just a way to keep myself from being who I want to be? And how long can I keep telling myself that I can't really do this or that, "because I was a really bad, little boy."
I mean what really is all that crappy thinking about or good for.

One thing I've been trying to do when some of those thoughts / feelings arise is just not give them the time of day. I mean if I can't get to the bottom of the why fors easily, what is the sense of letting those thoughts rum amok. None I think.

Easier said then done, I know, I find myself still starting to obsess on them. But the effort counts I think, when we give those thoughts free reign they become more powerful and persuasive. On the other hand if we can put them in there place and divert ourselves with activities that do matter, then those feelings will start to weaken and fade. After we have lives to live too.

Maybe one of the moderators endowed with some more specific knowledge can explain how anxiety takes such a hold. That would be interesting.

Yeah things do seem a lot slower, even in the short time I've been here, guess everyone is out enjoying the summer.

Enjoy yours to guys, great thread Danny and all, good idea.

Peace and happieness my brothers,

Aaron

_________________________
Its times like these we learn to live again,
Its times like these we give & give again,
Its times like these we learn to love again,
Its times like these time & time again.
-The Foo Fighters

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#36516 - 07/12/03 08:28 PM Re: Maybe I'm paranoid......
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Danny

Quote:
Do you all have any similar feelings and what specifically do you do to break this kind of slip back into the "old" way of perceiving myself and the world?
Do we fear "the bad things that we believe will inevitably fall upon us" ?

Or are we in fear of everything new and unknown ?

I think it's the second one.
We throw our old shit out and replace it with new and exciting stuff, personal insights, good behaviours, we begin to care for others, and all manner of new emotions and behaviours take hold.

And we haven't got a damn clue what to do with them, they scare the crap out of us - they do me anyway !
It's a rush of new experience, something those "normal" folk did as they were growing up, but we do it in a couple of years as adults.

It's no wonder we perceive our "new world" as a frightening place - it is !

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#36517 - 07/12/03 09:42 PM Re: Maybe I'm paranoid......
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Danny,

I am sorry about your sense of impending doom.

Could it be chemical?

I have been blest to not have those for years. I wish I could know what the right words were to soothe you right now.

I think this is definately the push you need to make a positive decision to head up to Mpls for the convention. Just think of all the good vibes you'll get while you're here.

Just think too, you won't have to just read about what a good time everyone had up here without good ol Danny. ;\)

I love ya brother; Hey I just had a thought, I am going to post the lyrics for another one of my favorite October Project Songs entitled,

"There's Something More Than This" . The Song is on the website.

Regarding the other, I think that everyone who lost their cool over the last couple of weeks tapped into something very deep, that is in great need of healing. Unfortunately, I don't believe that leaving MS is the answer, especially now since everyone came to the fore and there seems to be more of a climate of healing. Where else can these guys go to get better medicine?

Also, with mikechurch gone [on vacation, I hope], he was always trying to poke a stick into the fire, so to speak. I'll be glad when he gets back. And godsrabbit and leosha were kinda new. Maybe people come here and get validated then move on to their next mountain. But MS is still here.

I don't think there is a problem with MS. I mean it survived Rich's sabatical, and Ken and Don have been speaking in future tenses.

Danny, you've got a whole lotta love going out to you, surrounding you, imbueing you.

Feelings are not facts.

Fondly,

Ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#36518 - 07/13/03 11:56 AM Re: Maybe I'm paranoid......
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Something I can relate to because, if I'm honest with myself this says how I exist/live some of the time, from Danny's starting post:
Quote:
....the imaginary world spawned in my brain by the emotional patterns of sexual victimization are so fucking bankrupt I can hardly stand them.....yet they seem to not want to entirely go away.

Wonder why I insist on continuing to invite them to spoil my little parties?????

Glad you're reading this. Glad to feel a part of a larger whole.
Yeah, I can relate.

Joe wrote:
Quote:
Seriously, I find that I can detach from some irrational fear/belief/cognitive distortion or whatever by asking myself, "How important is it? What else could I be doing to accomplish my goal(s) more effectively?" It puts me back into some sort of "realist" mode or something.

What I want to do is find a better way, or a deliberate methodical way actually, to "catch myself" as a matter of course. It's a matter of being more concious, I suppose. I can change my behavior when I'm aware of it. You (I) can beat the dysfunctional behaviors/distortions/whatever, but, like so much in life, you (I) must be present to win.
Aaron wrote:
Quote:
One thing I've been trying to do when some of those thoughts / feelings arise is just not give them the time of day. I mean if I can't get to the bottom of the why fors easily, what is the sense of letting those thoughts rum amok. None I think.

Easier said then done, I know, I find myself still starting to obsess on them. But the effort counts I think, when we give those thoughts free reign they become more powerful and persuasive. On the other hand if we can put them in there place and divert ourselves with activities that do matter, then those feelings will start to weaken and fade. After we have lives to live too.
And then Dave:
Quote:
Or are we in fear of everything new and unknown ?
I think it's the second one. [the fear]
We throw our old shit out and replace it with new and exciting stuff, personal insights, good behaviours, we begin to care for others, and all manner of new emotions and behaviours take hold.
and Scotty(Blue):
Quote:
I suppose that if I were in your shoes I would relish the times that I felt "normal" and tell myself over and over again that this is good, healthy, and right. Periodically, I would also remind myself that I was a strong person and that I can handle whatever situation may come up because let's face it, just living day-to-day can be a real challenge. When the clouds come, I would just recognize them for what they are--clouds that sometimes appear on an otherwise beautiful day--that not all of our days are going to be filled with sunshine and chirping birds.
There is a lot of practical advice, common sense, and realistic steps I can follow (if I choose to) from these pearls I've quoted. I'm posting today to remind myself that I can change. This has a been a helpful, encouraging post with all of the replies.

My feelings are linked to my thoughts and vice versus. This means that I can, if I choose,
change or divert my thoughts which, in turn, can and has changed how I was feeling.

Doing this until it becomes habitual or at least not such a struggle is one of my recovery goals.

finding some answers with my fellow survivors, after all - who else can really begin to understand my pain,

jer


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