Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm an All American Reject - sliver of the ramifications

So far I've shared a very small glimpse into my earlier life.

I sometimes wonder if people believe me when I share some of these things. I wish I were making them up, for then maybe I'd feel I was a better person.

I don't think I'm evil or mean spirited, but I don't think I'm a good person.

I'm insecure even though I carry myself as if I had all the self confidence in the world. I often times think people who walk by and start to laugh... are laughing at me.

Every time I get a compliment, I wonder what motivates that person to compliment me. Surely they are secretly making fun of me... my hair really doesn't look cute cut like this.....? Does it?

I'm overly cynical and pessimistic. I figure hey... if I expect the worst and that's what happens... "I told you so" and if things work out positively? Then YAY - I was wrong.

I worry and suffer panic attacks more often than I think I should. I feel like a huge loser when I have a heart stopping, gut wrenching attack. They can be so bad that I feel like I will die. And I mean really, die. My heart beats so quickly that I feel almost light headed.. I have trouble breathing and I sweat profusely.

A few years ago, I had a very bad panic attack. I was near hysterics because I was convinced that if I went to sleep, I'd never wake up again. I didn't want to die.. I have kids to take care of and I didn't want to leave them. I was in tears, panicky and well.. it's very hard to try and describe what it is it feels like, unless you've had one of these hellish experiences.

I've been officially diagnosed (years ago) with chronic depression and PTSD. I've taken a variety of meds that never seem to work and in fact, the majority of them make me want to drive my car off a very high overpass. I don't know about you, but I figured I'd take my chances without them.

Really, I wish there was something I could take to take the edge off.

My brother and sister suffered the same sort of "style" of upbringing and each walked away with different yet ugly, baggage.

Me... I'm insecure, depressed 98.9% of the time, I have a short temper, I feel nervous and jumpy all the time, I can be secretive and sometimes, I'm not a very nice person..... my younger brother is an alcoholic and drug addict and has been since the tender age of 15 and my sister has had 3 failed marriages all before the age of 30. I know that differing factors play into who we are and we are, after all - responsible for the roads we all take in our lifetimes. Sometimes though, I can't help but wonder what would we all be like had things been just a bit - just a small fraction less violent (physically and emotionally.. but especially emotionally) then they were.

Hell, we can't go back and change a damn thing about it now, can we? I guess we're all pretty much screwed and as the saying goes, "It is what it is". Yay us.

Anyone ever heard of the band All American Rejects and their song, "Dirty Little Secret" (see video below)? Funny how the name of the band and the song title kind of jive with how I feel about myself and maybe others do as well.

Know what I get most sick of? Projecting this image that I'm so together. Like I know what the hell I'm doing. It's like I'm calm, cool and collected on the outside, but inside... I'm screaming. I feel sometimes, like running and never looking back.

Bad thing is... we can't run from our dirty little secret. Can we?


Tory said...

I can so relate to everything you've said on your blog. Because of an abusive mother and ex-husband, I also suffer from PTSD and depression, although I am finding that the meds I'm on do help. I have spent my entire life being what people expect me to be and I am just discovering who I actually am, now at age 49. It's very confusing at times, but we can't let our past steer our future. The big thing is forgiveness. Not for them, but for your sake. My siblings are in even worse shape than I am, and I hurt for them also.
Take care

Bee said...

Life is so fucked up! I swear it was as if I wrote this post, only your is better written!

I am the oldest, I shielded my siblings so they're life wouldn't be as wrecked s mine. They have issues but they can sleep at night.

One time I had an attack while my husband slept, I couldn't breathe and thought that was it. I had to calm down and bring myself back.

I loved this post, raw but excellent!

Mushy said...

Maybe reminding yourself that you are above it, have made something of yourself, and that will not pass any of the baggage on to your loved ones will take some of the edge off.

...and, just possibly, this blog, will taken even more off. are free!

Fran said...

I have always suffered of depression without knowing the secrets of my family, once I taked to a doctor about my nightmares when I was a kid, and she said "you have been raped when you was a baby".It was strange but I wasn't surprised, Then the cops, the Justice make their job, not so good, because the raper is always free, but for me things changed, I mean I'm not aggressive like in past, I have lost my regreat, because I made peace with my kid personality. I take prozac, yes but I have money problems, et cetera, but most of people of my family died because of alcohol, and I'm 36 y old.
Take Care of you, try to understand why you feel no secure.
I like you.

A-6Dude said...

I did not have the childhood you had. My parents were very strict but I don't recall dealing with much of what you had to endure. I got spankings and all but nothing like your situation.

Reading your blogs has been hard at times. Not because I had similar experiences to yours, but because I could have been very much like your father. Reading your blogs re-energizes my daily work to lose my anger and not have my kids live in the atmosphere you lived in as a child.

I started this journey six years ago. I have learned what my wounds are and how they got there. More importantly, I have learned that they can be healed and that the things I am doing to heal them is working for me...not overnight, but progress has been steady and the setbacks are way farther and farther in between. Your blog is now part of that journey.

For me, it was a decision to have a better spiritual life (note, I did not say religious, although I have very religious beliefs too). There is a book that helped me like no other has called "Wild at Heart" by John Eldredge. My wife got a lot from it too. She dealt with some of the emotional things you talk about from your childhood. I would encourage you to read it. I'm not sure how you do this but your father would benefit from it too.

The other thing that has helped was seeing a homeopathic doctor. She gave me a remedy that helped me stay more even tempered. I was a skeptic at first but the results were undeniable. I truly feel that the desire to change, the spiritual journey and the homeopathy have helped me better come to grips with things.

About two years ago I was on the verge of losing it over a ridiculous event (they all are!) and I somehow stopped myself, looked at my two older kids (9 and 6 at the time) and told them I was putting myself in a timeout. They were stunned into silence (which is what I wanted anyway ;-})

I can tell you that even two years before that I would not have maintained my composure. It's not second nature yet but I am getting better.

Thanks for sharing your pain with us. You really don't know how much you have helped me. I wish I could return the benefit.

Have faith! You'll get there!


and since I don't like to stay serious too long...if you need a good martini recipe, stop by my blog and find one. You don't even have to read the posts...I usually have one at the end of each one. I'll even create one for you if you wish.

The Blogger Exposed said...

And we can't run from our lives, unfortunately. My situation isn't quite like yours, although similar. Not even referring to my childhood, I've been so emotionally depleted by my emotionally neglectful husband and overly needy children over the last few years that I have nothing left. I have become a virtual time-bomb. Apparently I have learned to control my temper somewhat better than now than in my early 20's b/c I pretty much lost it a couple of days ago and didn't break everything in my path. I isolated it to smashing a phone into the wall and a sandwich splattered on the floor.

Not bad considering the emotional duress I've been under. Well, if you consider my history, it's not bad.

Unfortunately having a blow up doesn't improve anything either.

Thanks for your honesty!

The_Mrs said...

@tory - I can relate to you. I sometimes think I really don't know who I am. I've concentrated so hard on being what everyone else expects of me, that I don't know anything about myself. I hope to figure this out sometime before I die. Thanks for dropping by and sharing.

@bee - Thanks - I try to type these things so they make sense but I find myself almost jittery writing them.. so I normally have to do a bunch of edits because anyone else trying to read would be like, 'wtf'... haha I'm sorry you went through similar stuff. :( Too much of this sort of thing has happened and is still happening. I hope you come back to give some of your insight as well.

@mushy - Thanks so much. :) I work really hard to fight the negative thoughts.. sometimes it just gets to me I guess. My biggest fear is that I'll treat my children this poorly. I very rarely touch them in anger (regular spankings) because I don't think it really helps and I'm afraid of what I might do to them. God, that makes me sound horrible.. doesn't it.... I'm a big yeller. I yell a lot when they don't mind and even that, I'm trying so hard to change.. I just don't want them growing up and looking back and thinking how much they hated being kids.. that would put me 6ft under if I found out I'd caused my kids that sort of pain...

@fran - Oh honey.. I'm so sorry for what you went through. That is such a hard thing to accept and you've got a heart of gold my dear. Pure gold. I like you too, and I hope we continue to talk.. I love our small chats. :) XXOO

@a-6dude - Thanks so much for sharing and I will definitely check out that book. Anything that might help me make sense of it all, I'm interested in. See, I also have the fear that my kids will grow up like I did. And while like I stated above, I very rarely touch them in anger, I do yell a lot. I hate myself instantly afterwards and it's a daily struggle for me to find new ways of getting through the entire discipline process with both my children. Thanks so much for the offer of a martini.. I may take you up on that! ;) I hope you come back and share more of your insight.. I'm always looking for ways to learn new things.

Thanks everyone, and take care of yourselves. XXOO

The Blogger Exposed said...

I meant to add that, although I know there is a lot that you haven't shared, the things you have mentioned, in my opinion, do not keep you from being a good person. Being a victim of abuse, especially during childhood, instills the belief so firmly that it is hard to shake.

What is exactly is a good person, anyway? All each of us can do is be the best person we can be.

Untreatable said...

Another very good post. I don't handle compliments very well as I am always trying to find the angle "This person is being nice to me ... I wonder what they want". The med question is hard as there are so many different variables at play. For PTSD I have found anti psychotics work well as they seem to limit the flashbacks/nightmares plus keeps my brain from rushing along too quickly. I have been on a lot of antidepressants and various combinations that worked for a short time then I was at the starting line again. With the BPD diagnosis I am always trying to seperate the image that kept me safe and who I actually am but what can you do. Take care

The_Mrs said...

@BloggerExposed - Thanks so much for sharing a piece of you with me also. I apologize for seemingly not replying to you before in my initial reply... I believe I was muddling through my response when you actually posted. I'm a slow typo-er. I hope that you come back and we can share with each other and maybe make some sort of sense of our lives.

@Untreatable - How've you been? Thanks for coming over and leaving me a note. I'm with you on the 'what do they want' thought. Problem is, logic tells me they are just being nice. My reaction though is almost always that of suspicion and distrust. My husband gets so tired of me looking at everything as a 'dig' and I can't say that I blame him. I mean, it must be a real downer to hang out with me...

Karen ^..^ said...

I have had panic attacks at times, and they are very scary. Lately, I have forced myself to convince myself that it is low blood sugar, and will eat a small low calorie meal. Usually a granola bar or something. Just the distraction of doing something else and not focusing on the attack helps, and it also convinces your mind that you are doing something to make it go away. It WORKS!!! I calm down as soon as the food is eaten, and stop sweating and shaking about ten to fifteen minutes after that. You see, a hypoglycemic attack EXACTLY mimics a panic or anxiety attack.

I also do have low blood sugar, so it was very easy to convince myself of this.

I do not know how old you are, it seems to me you are quite a bit younger than me, but trust me, you are a good person. You dont even need to measure yourself against your monster of a father to know that. It isnt that you think you are a bad person, it is that you do not feel good about yourself. That doesnt make you a bad person, but it can make you suspect you are.

My secret to getting over a lot of it? (not all of it, naturally I am still very much a basket case)

I stopped giving so much of a shit about what EVERYONE thought about me. It is wonderfully freeing. Fuck 'em all, I say. If they did not live the life I did, and they want to judge me even though I struggle every day to be a good person and not hurt anyone? Fuck em. That's all. Make it your mantra. LOL.

Fuck em, fuck em, fuck em.

But keep the ones who encourage you and convince you that you are a worthy, whole, and decent person. Who deserves very much to be here and to be happy.

I think you are doing great.