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#423046 - 01/23/13 08:29 PM Frightened of the Future?
Still Around Offline


Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
While I'm still new to this community, there's something that's been on my mind a lot as of late that I feel many of you may have experience with. What it comes down to, now that I'm starting to work though this, is that I'm terrified of the future. It's to the point this week after a particularly bad triggering event where I'm practically not functioning.

Maybe it's because for the first time in my life I feel the future is uncertain; that I'm not destined for a predetermined path. Whatever the reason, I'm simply terrified; terrified that I won't get past this, that I may never be the functioning, thriving, happy person I hope and, really, deserve, one day to become

Now I know I have to be patient with myself, to take things a day at a time. I just can't help but feel overwhelmed by the enormity of what's happened, and what has yet to happen. Do any of you guys ever deal with these sort of thoughts? If so, how do you cope and keep yourselves going and do what you need to do to get by?

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#423053 - 01/23/13 09:28 PM Re: Frightened of the Future? [Re: Still Around]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3703
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i think most of us deal with a lot of fear. whether it is fear of re-victimiztion, fear of re-living the emotional trauma of the past, fear of trusting others, fear of our survivorhood being exposed, fear of jugment, condemnation and rejection, fear of intimacy, or whatever. i've experienced all of the above. i don't know if i've ever feared the future, pe se. but i have had a generalized fear that nothing would ever change and i'd be stuck in "hell" forever. maybe that is similar.

yes - it did diminish over time, as i read others' stories, learned more about what has worked for some, tried out different tactics for processing and grounding and dealing with specific triggers. engaging in dialog on these forums has been a big part of that process. i can say that i am "out of the woods" at this stage - though i still see an occasional "tree" or wander into a smaller "grove" from time to time. the fear is no longer all-pervasive, but does return with less intensity now and then.

one specific thing that has helped is reminding myself of where i am and what the date and time is. i am not in danger at this time and in this place. the worst is behind me and i survived. now i "just" have to deal with memories and feelings and thoughts - none of whic are tangible - so they can't physically or literally affect me unless i let them. etc...

you can do this, man. hang in there. and we are here for back-up.
Lee
_________________________
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself... And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." - Paulo Coelho


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#423077 - 01/24/13 01:50 AM Re: Frightened of the Future? [Re: Still Around]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
I have often felt fear of the future. As you say - fear that it will never get better, fear that I will live the rest of my life in pain and loneliness, a big, dark, generic fear of the unknown, simply because I don't know what to expect... It comes to me every time I fall into a new hole that I don't know how to get out of.

Right now, I don't know if I'll ever be able to look at myself in the mirror without revulsion, and that scares me. I'm afraid that I may have to live my life feeling like I do now...
_________________________
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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#423097 - 01/24/13 08:11 AM Re: Frightened of the Future? [Re: Still Around]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1601
Loc: New England
The future can't really be any scarier than the past was......we survived that, we can survive anything.
_________________________
I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

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#423224 - 01/25/13 05:26 PM Re: Frightened of the Future? [Re: Still Around]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2039
Loc: durham, north england
hello stillaround.

for myself, the real killer was missplaced nostalgia. remembering the period before I crashed almost fondly, thinking something went wrong and the huge mire I'd wandered into was where I was going to stop, indeed I found personally that one of the worst things about experiencing depression was (rather like during my abuse), how I physically lost the ability to have a coherent sense of time, either because of fuguing, or just because I felt so completely worthless I could never imagine any changes.

What however helped me was realizing that while the one event in 2007 which began my crash made me! realize what the problem was, there had never been a point in my life since the abuse where there wasn't consequences.

"oh yes, I was scared of crowds, oh yes, i had panic attacks at s/xual humour, oh yes, i'd never had a relationship, ---- but I was fine! ----- after all the abuse happened back when i was a teenager, a long time ago"

Realizing however that no, I had not been fine, and no, this current morass I was in was rather me recognizing and finally dealing with things that had gone on in the background for years, than me suddenly ending up at the bottom of a deep dark hole helped a lot, since it helped m remember that time was a continuous process, and that though my perception of it changed it wasn't any strict change.

unfortunately, this took a lot of slogging through the metaphorical muck and persistance, and as Lee said I'm not exactly out of the woods yet, ---- albeit right now I'm pprobably wandering the outskirt's of the woods with a box of matches, a nice warm easily putup tent and my trusty swiss army knife laugh.

However, things do! change, and if you keep slogging forward you'll find that for yourself.

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#423303 - 01/26/13 04:28 PM Re: Frightened of the Future? [Re: Still Around]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
I think SA you provided much of your own answer, "...to be patient with myself, to take things a day at a time." Easier said than done, right? Variation: one foot in yesterday, one foot in tomorrow, piss all over today.

Well, sometimes I can't help pissing. I just have days like that sometimes.

If any reassurance, I was diagnosed with PTSD last year...on top of the already long term clinical depression. In researching, I really glommed on what they called a foreshortened sense of the future. Nailed it. And as a 20-year HIV survivor, doubly so.

Lee (traveler) put it well when he said we're there to back you up. When I've had one of my "pissing" days these guys have really helped me.

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#423339 - 01/27/13 08:47 AM Re: Frightened of the Future? [Re: traveler]
Still Around Offline


Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: traveler
i think most of us deal with a lot of fear. whether it is fear of re-victimiztion, fear of re-living the emotional trauma of the past, fear of trusting others, fear of our survivorhood being exposed, fear of jugment, condemnation and rejection, fear of intimacy, or whatever. i've experienced all of the above. i don't know if i've ever feared the future, pe se. but i have had a generalized fear that nothing would ever change and i'd be stuck in "hell" forever. maybe that is similar.
Lee


Originally Posted By: dark empathy
hello stillaround.
"oh yes, I was scared of crowds, oh yes, i had panic attacks at s/xual humour, oh yes, i'd never had a relationship, ---- but I was fine! ----- after all the abuse happened back when i was a teenager, a long time ago"

Realizing however that no, I had not been fine, and no, this current morass I was in was rather me recognizing and finally dealing with things that had gone on in the background for years, than me suddenly ending up at the bottom of a deep dark hole helped a lot, since it helped m remember that time was a continuous process, and that though my perception of it changed it wasn't any strict change.


I could have written that myself. It really isn't fear of the future per se, just that things will continue on as they have been, and I will end up miserable and alone. I know now that is my choice. And you're right---I have to keep on slogging. Jesus, though, it is a mess some days. Yesterday was so bad I ended up disconnecting myself mentally with a sort of out-of-body experience, and I'm back (refreshed, at least) after 12 hours. I know that I can't keep living like this, though, and it scares and infuriates me that I had to dissociate like that instead of working through things.

Thank you all for being there for backup, as you've said. It's going to a lot of time, but at least it's time that I have.


Edited by Still Around (01/27/13 08:49 AM)

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#423377 - 01/27/13 03:57 PM Re: Frightened of the Future? [Re: Still Around]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
You WILL learn to get through this- and how to take care of yourself so those triggers become easier to deal with and you don't re-ignite old hurts and despair as often.

This is a game of offense and defense. Learn to stay away from the things that don't serve you and embrace the things that build your life, relationships, and future.


Edited by Mountainous Buck (01/27/13 03:58 PM)
_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#423399 - 01/27/13 08:00 PM Re: Frightened of the Future? [Re: Still Around]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
I posted this elsewhere in the forums. I recently reconnected with a cousin after probably 40 years and who's been in recovery for many 24 hours. It was my dad who pointed him in that direction.

fwiw, he shared this gem with me this afternoon:
Life isn't about filling the holes. It's about living with them.

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