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    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

Introducing me and my non-paying roommates

T

ThePayingRoomate

Active member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
41
Being new here and after reading through some posts already, I figure I should toss out my story so folks who see any of my replies or posts can see where I'm coming from. Within minutes of registering I found a post that I could instantly relate to and posted a reply describing my related experiences... and realizing after posting it I've never been so honest and frank with anyone beyond my shrinks in talking about it. I had a moment of feeling free from the cage of "mental illness." And it didn't cost me a dime!

I hope I can join this little community and help others get that same feeling as well as find folks that I can talk to as peers on issues that normally just scare the bejezus out of most folks.

A roommate just yelled to get on with the introduction already. So here it goes:

Prior to September 11th I was your typical engineering student. Looking forward to big money and big debt after graduation in a challenging field of computer electronics (mainly chip design). After that day I got a patriotic bug that convinced me to put that on hold and do something more meaningful for my country in a time of need... and also help with keeping the college debt lower, win-win. I enlisted in the Navy, just as my dad had done before me and was set to help win the "War on Terror!" That idea got crushed, along with my head during a training accident several months later with an immediate seizure and drowning to go with it.

After being revived my world was never the same. My brain apparently, if you believe the paid professionals, went into some dramatic over-protective state to deal with the events that occurred and also began misfiring in areas dealing with how I perceived the world around me. In their terms it came down to a list of acronyms... ASD (Acute Stress Disorder... a precursor to PTSD), PCS (Post Concussion Syndrome or Postconcussive disorder depending on if you're a shrink or a medical doc), and PCSD (Partial-Complex Seizure Disorder).

In layman's terms I ended up panicking around all sorts of things that reminded me of the accident, suffering debilitating headaches, dizziness, and such, as well as meeting new "friends" of sorts that kept popping up to talk to me, about me, or generally screw around with me.

Those new "friends" have since been dubbed "the roommates" after years of coping with my new situation while waiting for years for my VA disability claim to go through to get treatment. Calling them "roommates" was my way of getting around sounding like a psycho when discussing my problems with friends in public, and the label just sort of stuck and I began using it even when I didn't even have to hide the exact nature of my conversations.

Long story short (I know, too late, right?) when the headaches aren't so bad, the roommates are less chatty... when the headaches get worse they can manifest in more dramatic fashion, including visually.

For years I tried to work, first in normal jobs, then later as a my own boss doing computer repair where I could set my schedule as best I could around my medical problems... but always with limited success. I hid my problems, as best I could, from almost everyone... and the ones who did know, I still kept in the dark about the magnitude of what I was dealing with, both out of embarrassment and to avoid further job loss or social isolation.

My VA claim finally was approved years later and I am finally receiving treatment and compensation for my injuries, which helps a great deal. I've developed a lot of my own coping mechanisms by now, though I've also probably developed a lot of bad habits in avoidance that I'm still trying to deal with as well (probably most profoundly with the PTSD than anything else).

I was actually referred to this site by my VA psychologist and therapist and who I continue to see and value for pushing me when I need to be pushed and understanding when I need someone to simply understand. She's a true diamond in the rough when it comes to shrinks based on my personal experience and the experiences I've heard of others, and on that note I feel truly blessed (which coming from a heathen like me, is saying something).

Another roommate is growling about shutting up already. Apparently I'm too long winded for the voices in my head. I normally try to ignore them as much as humanly possible, but as many of you are probably fully aware, that's easier said than done.

You can only imagine the comment that statement evoked. Ha!

Anyhoo... that's my story, and I thought I should share. Thanks for listening, and I look forward to our future discussions.

- The Paying Roomate
 
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happiness12

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
11
hi paying roomates do you have squatters rights ?
thankyou for your posts have enjoyed reading them im sorry about your accident i hope things are getting better for you. i would like to know how to be assertive with the medical proffesion and try and ask for help that you need but they wont deliver is it worth just asking for them to discharge you and try and get help outside from others or try and stand up to people who cause you more hurt confussion pain,or tey this last time for help
happiness12
 
parker

parker

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
278
Location
Oregon
Man talk about getting kicked when down:(

I love your attitude though, welcome aboard:)

parker
 
T

ThePayingRoomate

Active member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
41
Happiness... sadly the federal laws on undocumented squatters are so full of loopholes that deporting them back to their dimension of origin is nearly impossible. On a serious note though, dealing with medical professionals is probably one of the toughest challenges I faced. I have a litany of complex problems and they can easily outmaneuver me through sheer expertise in spite of my frequent reservations. I've improved on my assertiveness, but I think that task will be a constant battle of weighing when my concerns outweigh situations where they may have some legitimate insight worth deferring to.

Parker... I appreciate the welcome. I'm glad my shrink referred me to this place. Even when I was essentially yapping to myself last night it felt great to vent a lot of the things I'd normally never feel comfortable discussing with even close friends/family. Already reading through the experiences of others I've been surprised at how many I've shared, never knowing how common some of them were, and always beating myself up for feeling so dern weird. It was a small step towards feeling a lot less alone and freakish in the world. Thanks to all for sharing.
 
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terri

Guest
Nice to meet you Guys and Love to everyone else.

Just back from a break in Europe.

Interesting posts.

Good to get things out of the system and into the open. Stops the brain from going around in ever decreasing circles. Best therapy ever,

Have a good day

Terri
 
R

RatViper

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
46
Greetings!

Back at last from wherever the hell I've been. Ever since I found out this website and forums existed have wanted deep down to be part of things. This hasn't always been possible though as I'm sure you all can understand.....

Hi payingroommate, I've read your well constructed interesting post and I think I know where you're coming from. If I'm right I did something similar to you - many, many years ago I gave my original voice the name 'Sheboo' in an attempt to drum down what he was constantly saying to me and ordering me to do. Since then, and I'm not certain about what happened as of yet, he either fragmented into lots of voices whilst maybe still retaining his overall personality or maybe just more voices came into being. The 2nd voice that came next I dubbed 'Sheboo-Ra', and I've had many more since then that I also gave names too until it all got extremely confusing and distressing doing so because as I discovered, there's most likely a multitude of them and they often mask themselves, impersonate each other, back each other up, argue with each other etc etc. I'm not certain what to make of it all, but I tell you all this - I feel renewed hope, and unlike the last periods I've felt hope it isn't because I'm in a state of mania this time. I feel pretty damn stable right now and my voices are dull and subdued at the moment, certainly in comparison to how they've been in the past. I hope that is the past now but only time will tell on that. In terms of diagnosis of my 'conditions' I've been given a fare few, the main ones being OCD, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Schizo-affective Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. In my opinion I certainly am obsessional, have voices and what-not, go through periods of mania, depression, mixed state mania/depression and other experiences. Having said this, I feel like at long last I'm really getting a handle on what's going on and feeling pretty damn funky right now :)

I hope my post comes of interest to you and anyone else who reads it and I take my proverbial hat off to you all :)

I'll leave things there for now, bye and take care everyone.

P.S. Yo Terri, how's it going?
 
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ThePayingRoomate

Active member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
41
Good to get things out of the system and into the open. Stops the brain from going around in ever decreasing circles. Best therapy ever,
Nice to meet you too, btw. I absolutely agree with this statement. It's generally been impossible for me to share in any great detail, even with my doctors, though. My first experience with the VA after getting my claim approved and enrolled in their health care system was merely wanting to make sure the chest pains I was having after a panic attack weren't serious... and upon hearing about my conditions they said they wanted to keep me overnight for observation. By the time I realized they were leading me to a lock-down ward, it was too late... they had an armed guard and a thuggish nurse ready to drag me if necessary.

I didn't realize I was heading to lock down until I joked about the cop... "was it something you did?" and the nurse told me they "always have a police escort for patients going to lock down." Whoa! But no sooner did I start to protest that wasn't what me and the doctor discussed that the cop put the hand on a gun or tazer and I realized I was screwed. They didn't care that my girlfriend at the time confirmed that it was a mistake the next day (she was shocked and pissed when she came to pick me back up in the morning). I had to stay in that hell hole full of my PTSD triggers for 48 hours.

Knowing I'm just a quick perp walk from any of my appointments back to that hell, I barely share any details with my doctors, even the one doctor I trust over there I keep anything too "crazy" in humorous tones and a great deal of generic complaints without expressing any significant concerns beyond my honest complaints of limitations (socially and otherwise).

But if I don't go the government could easily cut off my benefits, and since it's impossible for me to hold down a job these days, it wouldn't be long before I'd end up homeless again, having to find couches to crash on or sleeping in worse places. My social security claim is still pending from 2005 so I don't have much of a backup plan for such things yet.

Catch-22 of sorts. The best therapy ever is so scary to me that it is rare for me ever to do it. Even my previous on-line and anonymous attempts haven't been all that successful since I get worried I'll be ID'd and dragged off to a loony bin.

Very frustrating, but I'm still kickin' regardless. One thing I learned about myself through all of this is that boneheaded bureaucracies can beat me down, but they can't keep me there... I'm too friggin stubborn. :cool:
 
T

ThePayingRoomate

Active member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
41
RatViper... also nice to meet you as well. Definitely see some parallels to my situation in your description:

...until it all got extremely confusing and distressing doing so because as I discovered, there's most likely a multitude of them and they often mask themselves, impersonate each other, back each other up, argue with each other etc etc. I'm not certain what to make of it all, but I tell you all this - I feel renewed hope, and unlike the last periods I've felt hope it isn't because I'm in a state of mania this time. I feel pretty damn stable right now and my voices are dull and subdued at the moment, certainly in comparison to how they've been in the past.
I seem to go back and forth between these extremes of distressing and overwhelming voices and sometimes even visuals when the headaches get bad... usually preceded by losing my grip on reality, or lack of orientation I guess in shrink-speak. On better days the dull and subdued interference opens up opportunities and rays of hope to get out of the house, or if it holds up even get a semester or mini-mester of a class or two.

Part of how I keep my spirits up are the little accomplishments I make in between the longer periods of dysfunction/wheel-spinning... and trying not to hold myself to some unrealistic time-line for such goals, no matter how frustrating the snail pace may be. I've restarted my education path in another direction, and after many years I'm just two courses (one just being a lab) away from a second associates degree in that new field. It's a huge first big accomplishment that seemed so far away... even when it was just three classes left and I had to withdraw due to my issues getting in the way.

One step closer. Makes me think of that "What About Bob" movie... baby steps, baby steps to the elevator, door closes... screams... :eek: baby steps out of the elevator... :D
 
T

terri

Guest
Paying Roomate

"After that day I got a patriotic bug that convinced me to put that on hold and do something more meaningful for my country in a time of need... and also help with keeping the college debt lower, win-win. I enlisted in the Navy"

I am interested in the above statement because my father did similar in 1939, aged 15. His father had been to collect gas masks for the family, was on a London Bus, tripped, fell off the bus, broke his femur, had a major infection, died, at a really young age.

Rage for my father at the injustice. Off he went to fight the war, just 15, lied about his age, false documents, those in charge not too careful about checking, dad missed out on a sub which sank because of maleria, second ship sank, he survived, third ship, loss of nearly 1,000 souls, he survived through guts and determination. Dived off the top deck.

Me, almost drowned at 11 pushing twelve, took under water by currents, unable to breath, panic, distress, knowing I would die, pounded over and over again against the breakwaters, pulled down, pushed up, sea too strong to fight.

No head injury: a girl with skin rubbed raw through the barnacles and a strenth other worldly which pulled me up, shifted be back, gave me the strength of a man, pulling me backwards, backwards onto the beach.

Childhood lost. No. Bad dreams, huge waves pounding down around me during my sleep. PTSD. It didn't exist in my day, either for dad, or for myself.

Problems, of course he had problems. He was a young man who endured so much.

Problems, of course I had problems. I was a young girl forever anxious about the seas and terribly afraid of water. Got myself off to the swimming pool and overcame my fears.

What on earth happened. You were drowning. How did that occur? A terrible accident, a head injury, voice hearing afterwards: not treated lightly by anyone here, but what was it that happened which caused so many awful terrible debilitating problems and put the stop on your life and all your ambitions?

I am forever the nosy one. Of course, do not answer, if the questions cause you pain, embarrassment or you simply do not want to say.

You know we are all anonymous here, that is, until we gain trust amongst ourselves and then we know how to keep our mouths shut and our contacts private.

Hope you do not mind me being so blunt.

Terri
 
C

calfellows

Guest
Hi Terri,

Hope you are well. Back from the holiday yet?

Not much here, been fighting that spider bite and now a breakout of my wheat and lactose allergies. Vitamins, cranberries, and cortizone have been the full extent of my life for the past week or two. That article on vitamin b6, b3, and zinc, I bought these last night and I'm feeling much better today, energetic. Not much clarity yet, still railroaded, but it's worth a try for sure.

Thank you so much for your prayers and candles for me and my family. Means a lot to me. Jeremy dropped out of medical school, and right now he's still stumbling around, needs another good lecture and some encouragement, second wind.

Your own family situation, it's hard to always walk in the truth of it, safe and sound. What I mean is that family defies logic and will try to justify their wreckless regard. No consideration for us whatsoever, comtempt/malice instead; yet they demand respect/consideration from us. Catch my drift? They literally cannot hide their contempt fo us, you can always see it in their eyes. A general rule of thumb is to always study and learn to know a person's conscience, their guiding light, core personality. Who and what lives? Huge flying reptiles, dragons. Hateful birds.

There is no truth, no justice, no divine inner "comfortor/conscience"; almighty; holy spirit; at this time; made obvious simply because we do not and cannot learn and walk in the truth of it. That's a sign, and would be definitely be a sign, raise some ears.

Love and Light,
Cal
 
C

calfellows

Guest
.
Well, please at least just tell me what you(s) might think of this?

Paste:
"Untitled Theory...
My voices were in conversation a few days ago, and suddenly there was this major revelation. Intellectual "Big Bang", "Evolution", and "Relativity material", cosmology. how the world began. A voice suddenly appeared/manifested and made the statement (theory) that there can be no physical matter without consciousness, that matter without consciousness is illogical, impossible, that it had to have all began with consciousness. What? Well, none could resist, no gainsay at all, all astonished/intrigued, every single one. They made some such statement, basically that this is truly a very intelligent deduction, notable theory or revelation. Nobel, they went on and on about it."

Love & Light,
Cal
 
R

RatViper

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
46
Hi ThePayingRoomate,

I like what you said regarding taking time over accomplishing things but accomplishing them never the less. I have great trouble with doing tasks and that. I tend to feel like I have to complete them there and then, and get very agitated about it. I also feel like I have a million and one things to do and everything is high priority. I also don't feel satisfaction when I've completed something. I definitely need to work on trying to be calm and not rushing myself, glad you said what you said :)

Good work on doing the degree dude! That is achieving indeed.

I'll have to see this 'What about Bob' movie some day, never heard of it.
 
T

ThePayingRoomate

Active member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
41
What on earth happened. You were drowning. How did that occur? A terrible accident, a head injury, voice hearing afterwards: not treated lightly by anyone here, but what was it that happened which caused so many awful terrible debilitating problems and put the stop on your life and all your ambitions?

I am forever the nosy one. Of course, do not answer, if the questions cause you pain, embarrassment or you simply do not want to say.

You know we are all anonymous here, that is, until we gain trust amongst ourselves and then we know how to keep our mouths shut and our contacts private.

Hope you do not mind me being so blunt.

Terri
I don't mind bluntness, so no worries. Details of the accident are hard for me to discuss as even thinking about them triggers problems, and while there is some embarrassment involved in some of the less relevant details, it is more of an issue with the former. For such a pivotal moment in my life there are a lot of gaps too. While some memories can often be clear as day, and others a literally "re-living" of parts, there's a lot of details that I also simply do not know.

PTSD is an odd duck that isn't easily explained why one person may develop it, when another in the same (or at least nearly same) situation does not... likewise with severity. For some it can be extremely debilitating, while for others it can be hardly told apart from any normal reaction to trauma that may haunt us later, but doesn't have the full spectrum of symptoms that seem to go overboard in trying to ensure we stay the hell away from that awful stuff... so overboard that it begins to interfere with leading a productive life to varying degrees.

I don't think anyone knows with any certainty why people react so differently to trauma... and whether that difference in reaction is due to some biological propensity for the brain to go overboard as a defense mechanism... or if most brains have that possible reaction, but certain things must go wrong in how it is processing the information for it to happen. I certainly haven't been able to make heads or tails out of it from all I've read on it so far.

One unique aspect of my situation is how my various issues seem to compound one another, can fuel one another, or outright throw gas on another that may be flaming up at the time.

The PTSD can cause all sorts of anxiety related issues that increase my blood pressure and make my headaches worse with the Post Concussion Syndrome... which in turn seems to affect my partial complex seizure disorder with the false stimuli by ungrounding me from reality and the voices and other related issues can get more overwhelming... which in turn can make the intrusive images, flashbacks, etc of the PTSD worse and/or downright nightmarish... which creates a downward spiral towards an extremely painful mental breakdown as they keep building off of one another.

Being treated at the VA hospital I meet people and hear about cases where people have endured far more horrific things than I could ever fully comprehend... yet often my systems are more severe, and can be triggered by things that are not, or at least should not, be scary by any stretch of the imagination. Yet these otherwise innocuous triggers can easily have me reliving the most horrible pain I've ever felt... choke me with most chilling fear I ever experienced... or less dramatically cause me to go on an emotional rollercoaster when my numbed/dull emotional state suddenly explodes from whatever walls they were being bottled up in.

It's an embarrassing condition to be in, especially when I'm regularly in a waiting room with true heroes who seem to have it far more together after dealing with far worse. I wish I knew why it was my brain reacted the way it did... perhaps the head injury and resultant seizures intensified whatever factors led to that response? I don't know. It's one possibility that I think may have some merit, though would probably be impossible to verify either way. Heard about some cases with PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury) from IED explosions that seemed to show a greater risk, but no studies confirming that as far as I've heard about yet.

Hopefully that helps explain my situation a little better, and my understanding of why these things may vary so much.
 
T

terri

Guest
Good morning Paying Roomate

Hope this finds you in good spirits.

Thank you so much for your explanation. How very kind of you to go into so much depth at what expense to you, I do not know. Simply hope that the telling brought about some kind of healing.

Heroes. So many out there. To keep on going, study, getting it all out, writing it down, fighting for every breath, every movement, every thought, hero indeed.

Thank you once again for sharing.

Terri

Ratviper, I've not seen the film 'What About Bob' either. Where do we find it?
 
T

terri

Guest
Hello Cal

Thanks so much for your really good advice. Family hey, on one hand you could kill them, and on the other, love them to death. That is until a certain family member goes too far, and let's face it, he's not flesh and blood. Enough about that otherwise I will start a 'rant'.

So glad you are on the mend at last and that the b's and zinc are helping. Zincs also good for the bones, and the b's for lifting low mood.

Worry: not helped, I know, by the sprogs. How little they know, and yet they think know it all. To throw away a brilliant future, no wonder we get down on our knees and pray. How we just know, he will regret, should he not get his act together. J, forever in my thoughts, prayers, and candles here ready to light.

S did similar. Degree in place, away he went to an English Comprehensive School for teacher training, 3 months before his certificate, he wanted to ditch it. Too much stress. Well, hell, the kids in school these days around here, give the adults a heck of a lot of grief. Anyhow, lots of begging and pleading by mother, and he stuck it out. Not a teacher in a Comprehensive though, far too stressful, but uses his training and talents for older students. No probs.

Nobel. Interesting Cal. You might not believe this, but I had voices saying exactly the same things to me. Now I am going back a while, once again, right back to the visions of the Big Bang. You may remember me writing about that once, and how I was pulled back through the Universe.

The voices told me I would be getting the, wait for it pal, Nobel Peace Prize. Heck, whatever next. I found myself reading the David Bodanis book E=MC2 to try to find some understanding. Completely over my head. Conciousness without matter. Maybe King Tut is on his way back only to find his body has been shifted. What will he do? Be snuffed out of all consciousness. Jesting apart, are our voices in communication, interesting that they are talking the same topic!! When you gonna get your Nobel? Lol

No consciousness without matter.

Hugs

Terri x
 
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