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#419429 - 12/18/12 03:01 AM Family weekend and triggers...
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
So I spent this weekend visiting my girlfriend's parents. It was wonderful, and horrible, and exhausting.

The wonderful part was experiencing how a real family operates. Seeing people who love each other, sitting around a table sharing a meal while laughing and joking and sharing good memories. The whole "remember the time..." and then laughing about it because even if it was something that seemed bad then, it all turned out ok. And caring about each other... I just sat there and drank it all in, it was so wonderful. Yes, there were moments that I was sad because it was so foreign to me and it made it so clear what I had missed out on, but overall I was able to enjoy it.

The next day, I forced to admit my history of drug abuse. It was either that, or flat-out lie, and I had promised both my girlfriend and myself that there would be no more lies. They took it as well as can be expected but no parent wants to hear that their daughter's new boyfriend used to be a junkie. I also mentioned simply that my childhood "sucked". So I'm not only a junkie, I'm also a junkie from a questionably background. Anyway.

Since it was meant to be an early Christmas celebration, they did a traditional Christmas roast on Sunday afternoon. Complete with Turkey and roast potatoes and brandy pudding afterwards. That that is where things went horribly wrong.

They know I don't do any kind of booze, so very thoughtfully, they just gave me some ice-cream. All well. I appreciate the thought. What they didn't know, is that the smell of Brandy has always been, and still is one of my biggest triggers. It smells like my father's breath when he came to our room at night... It makes me physically ill. So when she unveiled the pudding and the smell filled the room, I was instantly nauseous. I tried really hard to keep it together, sitting there, trying not to vomit into my ice-cream. Trying to smile. Trying to keep up with the conversation, while THAT SMELL was all around me. In the end, they had to notice. Apparently I was as white as a sheet, so my girlfriend's mom asked me if I felt ok. I was too scared to speak, so I just nodded. Then the brother sitting next to me wanted a second helping, and they passed him the pudding - basically slapping it down right under my nose. I managed to mumble "excuse me", but then I had to get away.

Once away from the smell, the nausea faded, but I was still severely triggered. I lay down on the bed and cried into the pillow. My girlfriend had followed me to check if I was ok, but I just told her to leave me alone, go back and give my apologies to her family. I ended up falling asleep after a while, and felt better when I woke up again. I still had to face them again. I managed to get away with just telling them that the brandy smell brought back some rather bad memories and leave it at that. My girlfriends brother said that he once drank too much of something - I can remember what - and he got violently ill from it, and now he can't stand the smell of liquorice (apparently whatever he drank tastes like liquirice). I think they all just assumed that I once got that ill from drinking too much brandy. I didn't have the energy or the will-power to set them straight.

So now they think I'm a screwed up junkie and a drunk and they're basically waiting for the day that I will break their daughter's heart.

Nice.

Merry fucking Christmas, all...


Edited by crazy gecko (12/18/12 03:04 AM)
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

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#419430 - 12/18/12 03:12 AM Re: Family weekend and triggers... [Re: crazy gecko]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3379
Loc: somewhere in Africa
sorry, gecko -

that sounds really painful. but if she loves you - that will go a long way towards convincing them to accept you. and they sound like lovely people who will hopefully not be too quick to judge. as usual - we are harshest on ourselves. give them a chance to give you a chance.

lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#419431 - 12/18/12 03:58 AM Re: Family weekend and triggers... [Re: crazy gecko]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3603
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Gecko,
sorry to hear about triggering situation when you least expected to happen frown
But please don't be hard on yourself, it is not true that you are screwed up junkie and a drunk no matter what your girlfriend's parents could think. Your girlfriend is awesome, she is great your support and if she loves you her parents would accept you. Plus you don't know what exactly think her parents, it could be that they are very supportive, I would always be if I've seen that someone is trying to avoid alcohol or whatever after difficulties with it. Seeing someone living normal life, raising children and staying sober after problems with drugs or alcohol in past is very uplifting and encouraging for me. I can just say wow and be inspired when seeing such positive example.
I hope you are aware how much you have accomplished in your life. Don't fall to negative feelings and fears of other "normals" because of such situations, you are who you are, you are not hiding anything, you survived terrible difficult fight to get where you are currently and no one could take results of such battle from you.
So please Gecko, give self couple supportive words and hug, you deserve it. You are inspiration for some of us here and here is my warmest hug for such strong fighter
(((Gecko))) wink



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#419436 - 12/18/12 07:16 AM Re: Family weekend and triggers... [Re: crazy gecko]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
Thanks for the support, guys.

I guess it was just such a crazy experience... the weekend started off so well. Even telling them about the drugs went better than I expected. And then... BAM.

I wish I was stronger. I wish such small things couldn't destroy me like that. It feels so stupid to have something that happened so long ago have such an effect on me. How much longer until I get to live without PTSD and triggers again?
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

Top
#419446 - 12/18/12 08:47 AM Re: Family weekend and triggers... [Re: crazy gecko]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Hey that is not a small thing. Our Primitive brain is there to protect us. You got a strong danger signal (the alcohol smell) and your primitive brain kicked in. It did it's job. Unfortunately it can overpower the Intellectual part of the brain.

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#419448 - 12/18/12 09:10 AM . [Re: crazy gecko]
Life's A Dream Offline


Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island
.


Edited by Life's A Dream (01/12/13 09:27 PM)

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#419455 - 12/18/12 10:13 AM Re: Family weekend and triggers... [Re: crazy gecko]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 598
Loc: VA
gecko:

Booze-breath has always been a trigger for me--even before the flashbacks started. Nowadays, if it becomes obvious that I'm having a problem because of it, I just tell everyone why. The truth probably isn't as bad as whatever they're imagining.

Peace,and let your GF handle her family!

John

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#419580 - 12/19/12 06:05 PM Re: Family weekend and triggers... [Re: crazy gecko]
Farmer Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Gecko

I know what it is like trying to make a good first impression with the in-laws (well your sort of in-laws). I know how disappointed you must feel about the weekend and I assume feeling like you let your girlfriend down by not being the 'perfect guy'. Your girlfriend loves you a lot!!! That speaks volumes for your character. You have a lot to offer their daughter and over time they will see you for the great guy you really are.

Here is to a better second impression!!!

I made a great first impression with my inlaws....then spent the next 14 years hiding the truth from them.

I commend you on your bravery to walk in the way of truth!!! No more lies! When they fully accept you - you can have confidence that it is the real deal!!!

Lee
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More than meets the eye!

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#419620 - 12/20/12 01:04 AM Re: Family weekend and triggers... [Re: crazy gecko]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
Thanks everyone smile

I spoke to my girlfriend about this, and we agreed that the only way I can get them to understand, is to tell them at least something. I can't even imagine making a full disclosure - not now, possibly never - but I'll have to tell them something. I really don't want them to think that I just did drugs for kicks, and because I'm an irresponsible loser. I need them to know that it was the only way I could cope. Then they would also be able to understand that I won't relapse and hurt their daughter, because I have healthier methods to cope now - I don't need the drugs any more.

Now we just need to figure out how and when. I don't see myself just calling them up and going Hi Mr/Mrs ---. I'm just calling to say I was abused as a child, and I needed the drugs to cope with my shitty life...


Edited by crazy gecko (12/20/12 01:04 AM)
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

Top


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