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I don't understand what is happening to my brain.

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SillyRTC

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Hi everyone.

I'm here to ask a question. I recently opened up to a friend (we've been friends for a few years at this point, but I've never opened up to anyone. Until now.) About an extremely traumatic experience. It included all of the major abuses (sexual, mental, physical, emotional, verbal) and has left me with panic attacks, likely ptsd and several other side effects.

This is the first time I've chosen to open up to someone. Meaning, they were not part of my life when it was happening. They did not see or experience any of it with me. Following the incidents, I swore to myself I'd never share with anyone again and just pushed everything aside in order to survive. For the last 5 years I've worked to control all emotions and have attained neutral emotions about 90%of the time. (I HATE feeling emotions.) I've been trying to forget it ever since. And now this friend is patiently picking at the knots and asking questions.. Which I never thought I'd be capable of or willing to answer. It leaves me feeling weird and exposed, vulnerable. It hurt a lot at first that I told them. Like actual heart ache. And yet it also felt better.

It's weird because now all of a sudden I feel a split in my personality. Like gollum and smeagol from the lord of the rings. Gollum wants to push this friend away and stop telling them things. It struggles to understand WHY I told them, when it's not worth telling and no one's burden than my own. They're also a war vet and have had it way worse than me, and I don't want to belittle their trauma either. The gollum side of me also gets angry with myself for sharing. Usually after sharing with them I spend the night lying awake, reliving memories from the dark times, berating myself for sharing and struggling to understand why they ask, care or keep talking to me when they should be disgusted and leave.

The Smeagol part of me feels so happy and free and ... Alleviated. Like I finally have a friend who can be trusted. And the weight of this burden is suddenly being lifted. There's emotions (which I still hate feeling and have forgotten how to feel or handle.) There that haven't been for a while and it's scary. But it's good. The Smeagol in me wants to keep sharing as long as they keep asking. But then I go back to fighting with Gollum.

So my question is this: does anyone have a guess as to why is there such a split in my personality now? Is Gollum like .. The fear that I've been living with trying to keep control? Should I keep talking to my friend? It's taken 4 years of knowing them to get to this point. I'm just so confused now.

I will say my panic attacks have changed and for the better. I think it's all positive but. Idk.
 
hORIzonFINK210

hORIzonFINK210

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yes my friend.. It's natural to view life that way. As long as you do not lose the inner self connection. We all have emptional needs. If we get off track, we must know it is natural to view this way. Is and will always be something to focus on. If we can rely on ourselves we can rely on. This feeling more natural. Look never allow stress to take its portion from your life...
 
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SillyRTC

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yes my friend.. It's natural to view life that way. As long as you do not lose the inner self connection. We all have emptional needs. If we get off track, we must know it is natural to view this way. Is and will always be something to focus on. If we can rely on ourselves we can rely on. This feeling more natural. Look never allow stress to take its portion from your life...
Natural to view life in what way? A smeagol/gollum way? The split is normal? Having feelings/emotions again is so... Bizarre. It's supposed to be that way but it feels foreign after years of carefully controlled reactions.
 
hORIzonFINK210

hORIzonFINK210

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Well put it this way, its normal to view your life that way regarding, your emotions. Never panic about it. Just be comfortable regarding your emotions. Try a new approach regarding that split.
Im sure that once you are comfortable about your inner connection.( "A more deep connection regarding yourself). You will see the light on the othersiode of the tunnel.
 
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SillyRTC

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Well put it this way, its normal to view your life that way regarding, your emotions. Never panic about it. Just be comfortable regarding your emotions. Try a new approach regarding that split.
Im sure that once you are comfortable about your inner connection.( "A more deep connection regarding yourself). You will see the light on the othersiode of the tunnel.
I will try. It's not easy or comfortable by any means though. And I still just.. Don't understand why they keep asking questions. I also don't understand why I keep answering them. But I'm so grateful to them for their friendship and I really hope not to mess it up.
 
Contramike

Contramike

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Hi everyone.

I'm here to ask a question. I recently opened up to a friend (we've been friends for a few years at this point, but I've never opened up to anyone. Until now.) About an extremely traumatic experience. It included all of the major abuses (sexual, mental, physical, emotional, verbal) and has left me with panic attacks, likely ptsd and several other side effects.

This is the first time I've chosen to open up to someone. Meaning, they were not part of my life when it was happening. They did not see or experience any of it with me. Following the incidents, I swore to myself I'd never share with anyone again and just pushed everything aside in order to survive. For the last 5 years I've worked to control all emotions and have attained neutral emotions about 90%of the time. (I HATE feeling emotions.) I've been trying to forget it ever since. And now this friend is patiently picking at the knots and asking questions.. Which I never thought I'd be capable of or willing to answer. It leaves me feeling weird and exposed, vulnerable. It hurt a lot at first that I told them. Like actual heart ache. And yet it also felt better.

It's weird because now all of a sudden I feel a split in my personality. Like gollum and smeagol from the lord of the rings. Gollum wants to push this friend away and stop telling them things. It struggles to understand WHY I told them, when it's not worth telling and no one's burden than my own. They're also a war vet and have had it way worse than me, and I don't want to belittle their trauma either. The gollum side of me also gets angry with myself for sharing. Usually after sharing with them I spend the night lying awake, reliving memories from the dark times, berating myself for sharing and struggling to understand why they ask, care or keep talking to me when they should be disgusted and leave.

The Smeagol part of me feels so happy and free and ... Alleviated. Like I finally have a friend who can be trusted. And the weight of this burden is suddenly being lifted. There's emotions (which I still hate feeling and have forgotten how to feel or handle.) There that haven't been for a while and it's scary. But it's good. The Smeagol in me wants to keep sharing as long as they keep asking. But then I go back to fighting with Gollum.

So my question is this: does anyone have a guess as to why is there such a split in my personality now? Is Gollum like .. The fear that I've been living with trying to keep control? Should I keep talking to my friend? It's taken 4 years of knowing them to get to this point. I'm just so confused now.

I will say my panic attacks have changed and for the better. I think it's all positive but. Idk.
Thank you for sharing your story! It takes a very tough person to break their silence like that. But I'm glad you did and were well received by your friend.

For anyone who has been bottling up their emotions for a long time and trying to stay emotionally neutral and then it all comes out for fast like that, it's going to feel awkward, at least. I think that you've unleashed all of these memories at once and they've been away from you for so long that you've forgotten how they make you feel. It must be emotionally overwhelming while you're feeling so very vulnerable. It's everything you've bottled up for so long just coming out at once.

It can be very relieving to get share all of those memories. That's the Smeagol part. The Gollum part is the part of you that had tried all of this time to keep everything to yourself. Right now, Gollum is failing to do the job it was designed to do (keep everything from everyone, including yourself, to protect yourself) and Smeagol is the emotional part of you that has been ignored for a very long time and feels that relief of getting it out there. I'm not great with LOTR lore, but I hope that makes some sense.

It can be hard to trust people with all of those emotions and experiences, which is why you created the Gollom part - for defense against what's happening now. It feels weird because it is failing. The story and emotions are coming out. But that's all Smeagol wants - to be heard and validated. Now he has that chance. You'll wrestle with these two for awhile, but, if your friend is patient and really wants to hear it, tell them. If you don't want to share something, for any reason, then don't. You're not comfortable enough with it to share, and that's normal.

Let Smeagol take the lead for a little while, but only as far as your comfortable. It'll take some time and it will feel like roller coaster at times, but if your friend a true friend and genuinely wants to here it and you trust them, it's OK to tell them.
 
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SillyRTC

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Thank you for sharing your story! It takes a very tough person to break their silence like that. But I'm glad you did and were well received by your friend.

For anyone who has been bottling up their emotions for a long time and trying to stay emotionally neutral and then it all comes out for fast like that, it's going to feel awkward, at least. I think that you've unleashed all of these memories at once and they've been away from you for so long that you've forgotten how they make you feel. It must be emotionally overwhelming while you're feeling so very vulnerable. It's everything you've bottled up for so long just coming out at once.

It can be very relieving to get share all of those memories. That's the Smeagol part. The Gollum part is the part of you that had tried all of this time to keep everything to yourself. Right now, Gollum is failing to do the job it was designed to do (keep everything from everyone, including yourself, to protect yourself) and Smeagol is the emotional part of you that has been ignored for a very long time and feels that relief of getting it out there. I'm not great with LOTR lore, but I hope that makes some sense.

It can be hard to trust people with all of those emotions and experiences, which is why you created the Gollom part - for defense against what's happening now. It feels weird because it is failing. The story and emotions are coming out. But that's all Smeagol wants - to be heard and validated. Now he has that chance. You'll wrestle with these two for awhile, but, if your friend is patient and really wants to hear it, tell them. If you don't want to share something, for any reason, then don't. You're not comfortable enough with it to share, and that's normal.

Let Smeagol take the lead for a little while, but only as far as your comfortable. It'll take some time and it will feel like roller coaster at times, but if your friend a true friend and genuinely wants to here it and you trust them, it's OK to tell them.

Thank you so so so much. Reading this was very eye opening and it makes so much sense. My friend sat me down the other day and asked a question that opened the door to some very dark memories I've tried so hard to avoid. And then.. They were there. It was amazing and touching and I have no idea how to reciprocate any of this for them. I don't deserve a friend like this. Idk where they came from. But they are really amazing. I've never had anyone able to reach through a panic attack before.. They did. And it was so memorable. Idk.

I have another question.. You may not know. But now all of a sudden I've started involuntarily twitching whenever I try to fall asleep at night. Usually it'll be something like 'relive this memory' *twitch* or 'I can't believe I told my friend this thing... *twitch*' and it's started making it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Do you think that could be more of Gollum failing and just not knowing how to process that?
 
Contramike

Contramike

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You will meet all kinds of people in life. Some that tell you they're your friends who will just kind of "go away" when the hear this stuff, and others that are truly your friends. These people are wonderful and very hard to come by. Most people go their entire lives never meeting a true, caring friend. It sounds like you found one! You do deserve to have them as friends. These people are loyal and will stick by you through anything, because you're you! They chose you because you're a good person. It's hard to meet good people now and they realize that they have met a good person and they want to be around you! It's a special thing when this happens and I'm very happy for you!

As far as the twitching...Is it a physical twitch after reliving those memories that's keeping you up or is it the memories themselves that are the twitch? Sometimes I get involuntary memories that kind of "poke" me awake. Kind of like the whole memory hits at once.

I think that as you start letting out these memories you're going to have little pokes here and there. That's just your mind processing all the memories that were buried so long ago. Sometimes you won't know how to process them, and it'll take some time to figure it out - consciously and subconsciously. Eventually you will get better at handling the memories that come out of nowhere. If it is really bothering you and you really are struggling to get some sleep, you might try seeing a therapist about it.

It's going to take some time to process and reprocess all of those difficult memories, but it sounds like you're on the right track. And it sounds like you have a great friend that really wants to help you. If they've stuck by you this far then I think they are one of those "unicorn" friends that are very hard to come by. They genuinely want to help you and are happy to do it. If you ever start telling them more than they want you to know, the will tell you. If they are asking about it, then that means they really want to help you. You'll eventually get comfortable with your boundaries around them and it will get easier to share these memories. Just remember that it is a lot for you to process and will take time.

Keep doing what you're doing. And keep us posted!
 
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SillyRTC

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You will meet all kinds of people in life. Some that tell you they're your friends who will just kind of "go away" when the hear this stuff, and others that are truly your friends. These people are wonderful and very hard to come by. Most people go their entire lives never meeting a true, caring friend. It sounds like you found one! You do deserve to have them as friends. These people are loyal and will stick by you through anything, because you're you! They chose you because you're a good person. It's hard to meet good people now and they realize that they have met a good person and they want to be around you! It's a special thing when this happens and I'm very happy for you!

As far as the twitching...Is it a physical twitch after reliving those memories that's keeping you up or is it the memories themselves that are the twitch? Sometimes I get involuntary memories that kind of "poke" me awake. Kind of like the whole memory hits at once.

I think that as you start letting out these memories you're going to have little pokes here and there. That's just your mind processing all the memories that were buried so long ago. Sometimes you won't know how to process them, and it'll take some time to figure it out - consciously and subconsciously. Eventually you will get better at handling the memories that come out of nowhere. If it is really bothering you and you really are struggling to get some sleep, you might try seeing a therapist about it.

It's going to take some time to process and reprocess all of those difficult memories, but it sounds like you're on the right track. And it sounds like you have a great friend that really wants to help you. If they've stuck by you this far then I think they are one of those "unicorn" friends that are very hard to come by. They genuinely want to help you and are happy to do it. If you ever start telling them more than they want you to know, the will tell you. If they are asking about it, then that means they really want to help you. You'll eventually get comfortable with your boundaries around them and it will get easier to share these memories. Just remember that it is a lot for you to process and will take time.

Keep doing what you're doing. And keep us posted!
I really hope I can keep them and not mess it up. I'm so afraid I'm gonna do something and chase them away.. Or hurt them accidentally. I just want to be as good for them as they are for me. If they do go away I'll understand. It will be very sad. But it's terrifying. They are amazing and they really do deserve the best. Even if it ends up not being me that's ok too.

The twitching is definitely physical. It's also in places I didn't know could twitch, and at first I couldn't figure it out. But then I would think about the fact that now someone knows this awful, horrible thing and ... Twitch. I can trigger them just by thinking about our conversations... Or about less positive things. Like I'll remember a thing that was done to me and ... Twitch.

How do you handle your pokes? Do you ignore them? Do you embrace them?

I don't think I can go to a therapist. It's taken 4 years to trust my friend enough and I couldn't afford to pay a therapist for 4 years in order to trust them too. How do you even approach a therapist?

Thank you so much for your input. I really appreciate the help and you word things really nicely. Thank you.
 
Contramike

Contramike

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You mentioned that your friend was in the military. I'm sure they're very familiar with PTSD and it's effects. If it hasn't effected them, it most likely affected some of their friends. I think they honestly want to help you. If they've been friends with you for 4 years then I think they're the kind of friends who really want to help. Most would just bail, but I think there's some genuine caring from them. Don't worry about screwing up your friendship. People like that generally are very understanding. If you've come close to crossing a boundary they will tell you.

I don't think my pokes are as prominent as yours are. Yours sound pretty intense. You might want to ask your GP and see if they know about something that could help you.

Therapists are expensive without insurance. I've been seeing therapists on and off my whole life. Most of the ones I've dealt with are angels who really helped me sort things out, get clarity and help me heal to the point where I can get back to feeling "normal."

If you want to look for a therapist and have insurance, go to the insurance company's website and check to see if there's one near you. You can (and I recommend doing this) Google the name of the therapist and some people will leave feedback. A more official review site is Healthgrades | Find a Doctor - Doctor Reviews - Online Doctor Appointments. When you find one that you think would work for you, just call them and make an appointment - just like a doctors office. After a couple of sessions, they'll get to know and be more able to help you.

Trust is hard to earn with anyone. After you get to know your therapist for a while, you will feel more comfortable sharing the "deep stuff" with them. That's when they can really start to help you.

I hope this helps! Keep my posted!
 
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SillyRTC

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You mentioned that your friend was in the military. I'm sure they're very familiar with PTSD and it's effects. If it hasn't effected them, it most likely affected some of their friends. I think they honestly want to help you. If they've been friends with you for 4 years then I think they're the kind of friends who really want to help. Most would just bail, but I think there's some genuine caring from them. Don't worry about screwing up your friendship. People like that generally are very understanding. If you've come close to crossing a boundary they will tell you.

I don't think my pokes are as prominent as yours are. Yours sound pretty intense. You might want to ask your GP and see if they know about something that could help you.

Therapists are expensive without insurance. I've been seeing therapists on and off my whole life. Most of the ones I've dealt with are angels who really helped me sort things out, get clarity and help me heal to the point where I can get back to feeling "normal."

If you want to look for a therapist and have insurance, go to the insurance company's website and check to see if there's one near you. You can (and I recommend doing this) Google the name of the therapist and some people will leave feedback. A more official review site is Healthgrades | Find a Doctor - Doctor Reviews - Online Doctor Appointments. When you find one that you think would work for you, just call them and make an appointment - just like a doctors office. After a couple of sessions, they'll get to know and be more able to help you.

Trust is hard to earn with anyone. After you get to know your therapist for a while, you will feel more comfortable sharing the "deep stuff" with them. That's when they can really start to help you.

I hope this helps! Keep my posted!
That is such a good point about them being military and familiar with PTSD... That's one of those things that's completely logical but I've been too caught up in these weird emotions to figure out. Thank you for pointing that out. I really hope I don't trigger anything for them. I just expect them to leave because people bail, like you said. That's really scary because if they go they're taking all this knowledge with them, and the door will close again. That's why I'm trying to be as good o them as possible and be their unicorn friend too.

I will see if I can get them under control. They are such a weird sensation and they are so prominent at night. It's really like my body is just.. It's like when you jerk awake from a bad dream. That kind of twitch, but, triggered by simply thinking about our conversations or the events I told them about. Not always as big a twitch as that jerking awake sensation, but the same every time.

I don't have insurance so will have to just make it work without. But I have saved all of that info because maybe things will change and I will be able to go. Thank you for writing this all up. It's very helpful!
 
Contramike

Contramike

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Happy to help!

Try to just be yourself and relax around them. I really hate the "just be yourself" line, but I think you can relax around your friends. They know you, but not the -=you=- that you present to them. They know you're a good person and know that nothing can change that. That's what they love in a friend!

I wouldn't put any energy in to trying to "be" that unicorn friend. A good person is very hard to find and they know that. They're the ones who feel fortunate to have you as a friend!

The twitches are something I thought I could relate to, but yours are very intense and seem to be triggered by telling your friends about your past. This is a long shot, but maybe the substance of the conversations your having that are triggering the twitches. You've been through a lot lately. You've let out these very intense feelings that you've been working so hard to keep bottled up for a long time. I think -and this is a reach- that the (thoughts of) conversations that trigger the twitches are conversations where you let out a lot of intense and personal memories. You might be triggered by what you're saying in those conversations. If it's a conversation where you let out deeply personal information, that twitch might be you reacting to that information you just let out. If you haven't had enough time to process the memories you're letting out then I could certainly understand reacting to them in a physical response like that. Perhaps once you've had some time to process the issues that are coming out the pokes might be less intense. Again, this is speculation, but it fits...I just don't know if it fits the right way.

Look at the big picture. You've been through a lot over many years...a lot of intense pain, confusion, anger and a lot more. Right now, all of those memories are being released at the same time and you're having to cope with them - all at once. That can effect so many aspects of your life. I think you're doing brilliantly.

If the twitches are keeping you from sleeping, I would get an appointment with your doctor and see what they have to say. Do you have a general practitioner? I know any kind of medical service is expensive when you don't have insurance.
 
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SillyRTC

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Happy to help!

Try to just be yourself and relax around them. I really hate the "just be yourself" line, but I think you can relax around your friends. They know you, but not the -=you=- that you present to them. They know you're a good person and know that nothing can change that. That's what they love in a friend!

I wouldn't put any energy in to trying to "be" that unicorn friend. A good person is very hard to find and they know that. They're the ones who feel fortunate to have you as a friend!

The twitches are something I thought I could relate to, but yours are very intense and seem to be triggered by telling your friends about your past. This is a long shot, but maybe the substance of the conversations your having that are triggering the twitches. You've been through a lot lately. You've let out these very intense feelings that you've been working so hard to keep bottled up for a long time. I think -and this is a reach- that the (thoughts of) conversations that trigger the twitches are conversations where you let out a lot of intense and personal memories. You might be triggered by what you're saying in those conversations. If it's a conversation where you let out deeply personal information, that twitch might be you reacting to that information you just let out. If you haven't had enough time to process the memories you're letting out then I could certainly understand reacting to them in a physical response like that. Perhaps once you've had some time to process the issues that are coming out the pokes might be less intense. Again, this is speculation, but it fits...I just don't know if it fits the right way.

Look at the big picture. You've been through a lot over many years...a lot of intense pain, confusion, anger and a lot more. Right now, all of those memories are being released at the same time and you're having to cope with them - all at once. That can effect so many aspects of your life. I think you're doing brilliantly.

If the twitches are keeping you from sleeping, I would get an appointment with your doctor and see what they have to say. Do you have a general practitioner? I know any kind of medical service is expensive when you don't have insurance.
I really hope you're right. They are such a good person too. I'll try to relax about it.

I read this this morning and have been thinking about it all day. What you're saying makes ***a lot*** of sense. In more than one of the conversations I've had with my friends, my guard has been so low that I've let something slip and then immediately realized that I said something that I've meant to keep to myself forever. Then I end up trying to understand the whys and hows of the whole thing. It's like this mix of horror and embarrassment because now someone else other than my aggressor and I knows about an instance. It's also scary because now this person can make a judgement... And then when they don't, it's confusion because I want them to be as angry at me as I am. And I don't understand why they won't put the blame on me or just up and leave. I'm thankful they haven't left yet but I just don't understand why they stay.

It is a lot. It's a very dark, scary past and I feel awful for putting this burden on anyone else. In the grand scheme I don't think any of the knowledge really affects their life as much as it feels like it does. But just them knowing.

I think it wasn't too much of a stretch because even just thinking about those conversations while typing this up has caused the twitching.. So how do you even accept that you trust someone? Or that they know? It's like Gollum is just more upset than ever because now they know and I've failed to protect myself and keep any of those promises I made not to talk about it. I kinda wish I had never told them. They'd be better off not knowing.

No, no general practitioner. Also too expensive. But I just nap during the day when I can. I wouldn't be able to explain any of this to a doctor anyway.
 
Contramike

Contramike

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Frikkin' editing on this forum...It deleted my response...but I think I fixed it...
 
Contramike

Contramike

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I really hope you're right. They are such a good person too. I'll try to relax about it.

I read this this morning and have been thinking about it all day. What you're saying makes ***a lot*** of sense. In more than one of the conversations I've had with my friends, my guard has been so low that I've let something slip and then immediately realized that I said something that I've meant to keep to myself forever. Then I end up trying to understand the whys and hows of the whole thing. It's like this mix of horror and embarrassment because now someone else other than my aggressor and I knows about an instance. It's also scary because now this person can make a judgement... And then when they don't, it's confusion because I want them to be as angry at me as I am. And I don't understand why they won't put the blame on me or just up and leave. I'm thankful they haven't left yet but I just don't understand why they stay.

It is a lot. It's a very dark, scary past and I feel awful for putting this burden on anyone else. In the grand scheme I don't think any of the knowledge really affects their life as much as it feels like it does. But just them knowing.

I think it wasn't too much of a stretch because even just thinking about those conversations while typing this up has caused the twitching.. So how do you even accept that you trust someone? Or that they know? It's like Gollum is just more upset than ever because now they know and I've failed to protect myself and keep any of those promises I made not to talk about it. I kinda wish I had never told them. They'd be better off not knowing.

No, no general practitioner. Also too expensive. But I just nap during the day when I can. I wouldn't be able to explain any of this to a doctor anyway.
OK, got it.


It think it's a mixture of things...

The anger at yourself might be the Gollum you created itself. The Gollum analogy is a good one for understanding your mental state, but analogies are just parallels we create in or mind to understand what's happening in life. Gollum represents the large amount of your time, personality, pain, anger, mental and emotional energy you put in to keeping your secrets safe. You really put a lot in to that. But now, maybe you are realizing that something you put so much work, effort and time in to doesn't work. Maybe you think you've "messed up" this whole thing, and the massive undertaking you put all that energy in to has been a waste. Telling yourself that you "totally messed this thing up" is resulting in anger towards yourself. Like you've let yourself down, or you broke the trust you had with yourself.

I don't know how many people out there have self esteem issues, but there are A LOT. Myself included. Maybe more have those issues than those who don't. I've always blamed myself for mistakes I've made that were a result of ignorance or inexperience. If I missed a rehearsal (in music) and came back the next day and, while I was gone, the director rehearsed one part of the music where no one played a note at a certain spot. Like, he really laid in to the band and spent an hour making sure no one played that note. Then I come in, having missed that rehearsal, knowing nothing about what happened while I was gone, and played the note. I was the only one. Everyone looked at me and I felt this wave of complete embarrassment as they stared me down. I shouldn't have played that note. What is wrong with me? I am so messed up. I really suck at this music thing. ----That was how I used to react. Now, if the same thing happened, I would give myself some slack, thinking, "How did I know we weren't supposed to play that note? I wasn't there and no one told me." It wasn't my fault, but I still blamed myself. A mistake born ignorance.

I'm kind of hearing that in your story. Please, tell me if I'm wrong. When you created Gollum, you did it to protect yourself. It didn't work, and maybe now your blaming yourself for that failure. That can lead to self hatred and, of coarse, self-esteem problems.

I'm only thinking about this because you do tend to keep getting angry with yourself.

The Gollum was a brilliant idea! It shielded you from emotional harm for a long time. It was creative. And with so many creative ideas, it ended up not working exactly how we thought they would. You didn't take a class on how to protect yourself from life-scarring experiences. There is no class or book or standard on how to do that, so you came up with your own idea. And it worked for a long time! You had no idea that the memories of those experiences would come back. You had no idea WHAT was going to happen. You STILL don't know what's going to happen...and neither does anyone else! Don't blame yourself for "not knowing" that something was going to happen when there was no way of knowing. Tell me if this makes any sense, because I'm just thinking about what happened to me in my life.

All that being said, how is Smeagol feeling?

Your friends don't seem like they're the type to judge harshly. They know you're going through a lot and I'm sure they don't blame you. You're going through this together and they know that, and they want to help you. They really do. It might be hard to see, but they enjoy helping you. When you tell them something about your past, they see it as trust. They see it as you trusted them to enough that you felt ok about them knowing. They really value that trust. That is why they are there. It's almost like a gift of friendship.

You've been through a lot of misplaced trust, I'm sure. I don't know what happened to you in those horrible instances but I'm guessing you trusted some people who betrayed that trust and hurt you. Many times. That might give a false impression of what trust really is. It isn't a bad thing all the time. I know it was to you many times. It's hard to trust that someone won't hurt you because it's happened SO MANY TIMES before. I don't think your friend is going to hurt you by betraying that trust. I can see why you would think that they would. They're not going to use the things you've opened up about to them against you. But it has to be SO HARD to accept that, given everything you've been through!

I'm glad you can at least catch up on sleep during the day. Nights can be rough for a lot of people.

I use a lot of YouTube "Therapy" to get to sleep most nights. There are a lot of self-hypnosis and guided meditation videos out there. I plug in a pair of headphones to my phone or laptop and juts lay there listening. I usually end up waking up with my headphones on the floor and the YouTube page open. Try this one. You don't really need to follow the instructions, but it helps some times. Let me know if it helps at all.

 
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