Newest Members
Stormchaser, johnnyc717, bluebook, Roscoe, SJC
12314 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
blueturtle (46), David C (40), DavidC (40), Derdlecar (61), Hector (54)
Who's Online
1 registered (1 invisible), 22 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12314 Members
74 Forums
63359 Topics
443052 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Topic Options
#377651 - 12/02/11 12:55 AM Self-Care and "the shoulds"
Airmid Offline


Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 95
Loc: South
First, thank you all simply for existing. It means more than words.

I'm wondering what others are doing to care for themselves. (Please see my intro for the brief version of how I got here.)

I'm sober over ten years, see an individual T, am in a group for my own CSA, journal at least every other day and take time to do things I like (making sweets, crafting, writing, goofing off, people watching). Yet I feel there's more. Hubs is really early in his own recovery and getting his bearings, and I struggle with finding that balance between talking too much (in the "oh no, she's bringing it up again" sense) and closing off without realizing it.

Keeping my own PTSD and issues separate from his is essential, as is a huge amount of compassion and patience, yet I feel there's something missing within me. Things are improving (except sex, but from reading here I see it's par for the course in men who are withdrawn or overwhelmed). I've been improving in not initiating and letting him approach me as his trust increases, but these "shoulds" hang over my head.

There's no gauge, you know? It's as if everything I was taught growing up (beyond my own abuse and the head-in-sand family i have) might just be wrong. I used to embrace that idea; now I see I want more solace thann that. I kind of want...a guarantee, and there aren't any in life, much less with survivors, because recovery's a state of flux.

I do what I can to not continue enabling his anger, rage, placing me in a motherly position through emotional rebellion, and still manage the household. And things are improving! But I don't feel "ealy 40's." I feel 60. I don't 'want' to live like I have, feeling constrained, and I've stopped. And now one particular Al-Anon phrase I've heard is happening as it applies to CSA/hubs: "people will say 'change back!'" And he has acted as if he wants that. I just keep on being direct (not brutal), make sure love is my motive and carry on. Things are improving, so that's good.

I think it's time to look at my 'shoulds' about many parts of life and see where those don't apply to me, don't need to apply and can be thrown out. Example: "I 'should' do more at home. I do my part. I expect accountability and for my family to clean up their individual messes and keep commitments of time and chores. Yet the mess I grew up in taught me that to 'expect' is wrong. I hear it a lot in AA, too, and I think "are you nuts? How can you gauge growth and have boundaries with super-low or no expectations? You'll end up with scraps of emotion!" Maybe it's caregiver burnout (we have a bunch of special needs or exceptional/gifted kids in addition to therapies and being sober...exhaustion is the new normal at my house.)

So what do you all do to stay balanced and keep the 'shoulds' at bay or dispose of them? I like solution.

*edited for clarity



Edited by Airmid (12/02/11 12:59 AM)

Top
#377863 - 12/03/11 04:28 AM Re: Self-Care and "the shoulds" [Re: Airmid]
stripeysocks Offline


Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 43
Loc: US
Well for me I find that treating my body helps PTSD symptoms, i.e. going for a hike or a swim. PTSD is a very bodily issue and finding gentle ways to reset my body helps me a lot mentally/emotionally. I've read in several places that being in nature is really healing for women with trauma. I'm not sure why, but it works for me.

I don't know if that answers your question but it's my version of self-care.


Top
#377896 - 12/03/11 09:52 AM Re: Self-Care and "the shoulds" [Re: stripeysocks]
Airmid Offline


Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 95
Loc: South
It does!

If it weren't rainy here, I'd load up the kids and go walking.

I'm feeling like he's non-verbally asking me to carry his trauma in addition to my own lately: he's exhausted, withdrawn, and my gut says things aren't right. In so many areas and with anyone but myself, my gut's totally trustworthy. today, with me? Nope.

I think I'll go work out and then see if I can scramble a commission piece (fiber arts). Since his spiraling down began in January, I've nearly stopped all work and haven't sought out one new commission. Actually, it was before that. Handling the house, being given his emotions to handle...my work has pretty much stopped. I wasn't bringing in big bucks before, but things were looking up more than they are now.


Top
#377912 - 12/03/11 10:37 AM Re: Self-Care and "the shoulds" [Re: Airmid]
stripeysocks Offline


Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 43
Loc: US
I want to very gently suggest that you do something bodily for yourself that is also kind of a treat and not just geared towards something (i.e. working out is awesome for stress relief, but also maybe has too much work connotation). It doesn't have to be today and I don't have children, but I have worked with them so I know that adds a challenge. Give yourself permission to have a little treat that is just about you, not the future or anything else.

Here are some ideas: Maybe paint your toenails, run out in the rain for one second and dance around (I have done this; I know silly), savor something with your eyes closed or breathe in something deeply like a scented tea. These little moments of bodily indulgence are hard for those of us who have gone through trauma, but they do work. I guess this is on my mind specifically because I just talked to another childhood survivor that I'm friends with and she found it hard just to paint her nails.

*hugs*


Top
#377916 - 12/03/11 10:40 AM Re: Self-Care and "the shoulds" [Re: stripeysocks]
Airmid Offline


Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 95
Loc: South
Ooo! I like that! (I choose to forget to do those things, too. Fear, worry and self-pity are much less foreign to me than good fun things.)

Home-grown pedicure and pumpkin roll baking it is, then!


Top
#377919 - 12/03/11 10:49 AM Re: Self-Care and "the shoulds" [Re: Airmid]
stripeysocks Offline


Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 43
Loc: US
Yay!!! That sounds wonderful!!! I feel inspired to paint my toenails now. If only I had some pumpkin...oatmeal will do!!


Top


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.