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Please Help. I am desperate for understanding.

J

JackRinghandd

New member
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
1
This is my story. I am hoping someone can provide me with some clarity, understanding, meaning, diagnosis, and/or hope.

(Before the summer started, I was abroad in Amsterdam. When I got there, my girlfriend and I (of 3 years) broke up. However, I made new friends and also wanted a new life. Therefore, I became a male escort (for fiscal and artistic reasons). Genius right? There were wonderful nights full of intimacy, adrenaline, and adventure, and there were 2 terrible nights in which I feel I experienced rape despite the consent beforehand. During these nights, I felt incredibly trapped and was overcome with an incredible sense of rage during; however, I turned it inward and just imagined myself murdering the men over and over again, because it was my only way to make tolerable what I was feeling inside. This would happen again with a brief stint in porn I engaged in when I got back; again, I was trapped and internalized the immense amount of feeling my body was producing. However, I was (and hopefully still am somewhere inside) a great writer, and I turned my exploits into stories, and because they never seemed to bother me the days following the events, I assumed I had gotten past them. I also smoked pot throughout the day, and everyday during this time, and I wonder sometimes if that helped keep these events under the surface. I also had an oh so wonderful experience with molestation when I was a child, and I often ask myself whether or not I have been replaying this experience).

February-May: In School, Happy, smoking every day still, in love with a new girl who had visited me abroad, writing furiously.

June: I graduate from college. I stop smoking because I can no longer afford it without a job. I finish my last semester of my senior year well, obtaining honors in my English degree, and while I wasn’t entirely sure of my future, I had many pathways I could follow (IT, T.E.F.L, Journalism, the life of a published author if I finished my piece). However, all of this changed the first few weeks after school ended. I began to wake up at 5am each morning with my fists clenching the sheets, sweating, and filled with a panic I had never felt the likes of which before. I assumed it was post-graduation stress, and would write cover letter after cover letter to as many jobs as I could until the feelings subsided (which they somewhat did, but never entirely). These panic attacks only got worse. I saw a G.P, and he prescribed me Celexa and anti-anxiety meds. The celexa made my emotions mute, the anti-anxiety meds numbed my symptoms but never made the horrendous feelings actually go away. My psychiatrist discouraged me from seeing a trauma therapist, (despite telling her about my past) and so I assumed all of this was just anxiety and depression I had been self medicating with marijuana and exercise everyday, for a number of years. I stop taking the medication. Everything gets worse. Marijuana also no longer helps me, as it makes me feel terrified and dissociated (exaggerating my current internal state, where it used to make me feel euphoric, creative, and “not alone”). I began to feel like I am losing access to mind, and gradually I lose the ability to feel, think, and imagine. And then, my mind is just “gone”.

July: One morning I wake up, and I think I am dreaming. I look at all my books on the wall, and I feel an immense pleasure in thinking about all of the stories they hold. I am present in my mind, and absolutely everything is okay. But I soon realize I am awake, that “this” is my reality, and I undergo a severe episode of panic. And then my mind is snatched away from me. All of a sudden I can’t access my thoughts, my emotions, my personality, everything that makes me “me” is gone again. I want to cry, but I can’t. All I can do is tremble and fret. I make myself exercise and write and talk to my brother, and I assure myself if I can take care of my depression, I will be okay.

I no longer wake up each morning in anxiety; instead, I wake up exhausted, terribly depressed. I have lost the thing most important to me: my sense of connection to the world, and I have no idea what to do to get it back. I research the hell out of everything, and decided I either have complex PTSD (because of the dissociation) (despite the lack of nightmares or agitation), Bipolar II, Major Depression, a depersonalization disorder, and/or all of the above. I see another psychiatrist. She prescribes Wellbutrin, and this is the only anti-depressant I can handle the side effects of (I am extremely sensitive to medication, and the world it seems). It helps minimally however. I feel myself becoming slower and stupider; I have an immensely difficult time stringing together sentences, finding connections in everyday life, talking to strangers, and cannot think of anything besides my current state.

I come across EMDR therapy, and make an appointment as soon as possible.
My first session of EMDR is the happiest day in my life I can think of. Afterwards, the sense of disconnection I have been experiencing for so long vanishes. Poof. I cry with tears of joy all the way home. I am able to recall memories, feel feelings from recent events I thought I was just a cloud in, and realize I have been “here” the whole time, but just completely unable to feel it. I spend time by myself for the first time in weeks (as I am constantly afraid of being alone), I make cookies by scratch, and I thank God/the World/ The Universe over and over again for my healing. I call my friends and family; they are so happy I am feeling like myself again, and I go to bed with biggest sense of relief I have ever felt.

I wake up, and I feel refreshed for the first time, again, in weeks. However, I have been going back to bed for a very long time; I have been living in a bubble, for a very long time. I am very scared, despite finally feeling normal, and I try to force myself back to sleep. I feel a resistance in my brain; it does not want to go back to sleep, and it is terribly difficult to try and do so. I push against this however, because I am afraid, and I want one morning of dreams before I have to finally wake up, and deal with the real world for the first time in what now feels like years. When I do wake up, after fighting myself to sleep for two hours, I am in the fog again: not as much, but that connection I have lost. This is the day I now regret the most in my life. Everything I ever wanted was given to me, and I wish more than anything in the entire world to feel this way again. This is all I wish for.
I go to more EMDR sessions, under the assumption it will work again if it worked once. However, whether it is my anxiety I now bring into it (as no matter how I try I cannot stop thinking, did it happen again? Did it switch again?), or whether my subconscious is now prepared for the healing which I now for a fact, can happen, I never again experience this breakthrough. I do not let myself become discouraged, but after 7-8 more sessions, I have begun to lose faith.

August: I see a new psychiatrist. She is also unable to diagnose me. I try Zoloft (which gives me panic attacks in the morning), Abilify (which makes me feel further dissociated), and Adderall (which makes me realize I haven’t lost my abilities to think quickly or feel, which is great, but after a few days the depressive crashes inherent in taking Adderall everyday are too much for me to handle). None of the SSRI’s or stimulants make me “manic” or “hypomanic” as well, ruling out that day after my EMDR session, an “episode”.

I do yoga every day, I run every other day, I lift weights, I talk with friends and family, I force myself to socialize, go outside, listen to music, etc. But this disconnection has never again gone away (except in my dreams: during which I do seem able to talk and think clearly), and it is worse than depression, terror, or sickness I have ever felt. I cannot “feel” myself, and it is slowly killing me.
September: I try microdosing with shrooms (0.1-0.2 g), as I have always loved psychedelics in my past (I also have a history with MDMA, which I never abused per se but wonder sometimes if it has affected my serotonin levels negatively). During this “trip” (if you could even call it that), I experience immense anxiety. I have to write, film myself talking, or take photos incessantly, to feel okay. I begin to wonder if I have always been dealing with traumas (from my childhood), as this need to make art is not new to me, it has just never been so extreme. This lasts for a few hours, and I begin to realize why I am dissociated from myself. I don’t think my waking mind could handle the amount of stress and anxiety that is actually going on in my subconscious, and is protecting me. But no matter how safe I make myself, I cannot convince it to release its protective grasp.

October: I read Peter Levine’s Waking the Tiger, and I feel it makes sense out of everything I am feeling. I recognize I was never able to discharge the energy associated with my traumas, and they are now wreaking havoc on my mind. I am seeing a Somatic Experiencing therapist tomorrow, but I am scared, as from what I’ve read concerning Somatic Experiencing it deals with points of anxiety on your body. I do not have any of these specific points, because I am so numb to everything, and when I am afraid, it is my entire body, which is clenched. I do believe in this therapy, but I am scared, because if it doesn’t work, I do not know what I will do.

I download the app Sleep Cycle. It shows me that I am sleeping 1 hour a night, dipping into deep REM sleep, and the rest of my “sleeping” night, my chart shows that mind is actually awake. I take Benadryl, and start to feel somewhat rested in the morning (and my sleep cycle begins to finally resemble something normal). This is fantastic, but it doesn’t really change my day.

Can anybody make any sense out of all of this? Or has anybody heard of anything like this happening to anyone? I read about periods of dissociation happened to sufferers of PTSD, but never anything so constant. I read about EMDR being extremely helpful, but never that it cured everything in one session, and then never worked again. I have also not been able to find any anecdote where a person was able to push himself or herself back into a dissociated state. Should I try doing different types of EMDR? Should I go skydiving to give myself better connotations of near death experiences?

I have talked to a priest, I have asked for forgiveness hundreds of times, I am considering doing a soul retrieval with a shaman, and I think about killing myself on a daily basis (and honestly probably already would have had I not had that day post my EMDR session, as that proved this feeling I was feeling (or the absence of) was not something I was making up, and could go away. I feel I could handle absolutely anything if I could get through this: any depression, pain, or terror. But it is the dissociation and disconnection I cannot stand, and it is tearing me apart. I love this world, and I feel it is pushing me out.

If anyone has any advice, any narrative to put through this which makes sense out of things, my gratitude to you would be ineffable. If I ever get through this, which I know I can because I did once, I would love to dedicate my life to helping trauma victims. I cannot think of a more beautiful art than raising the dead, back to life.

Other Thoughts:
Do ayahuasca / DMT: Allow my brain to die a “chemical death”. Maybe this will release the dissociation, as I feel all of this came about because of how close to death I came. I am terrified to try LSD because of how the tiniest amount of mushrooms made me feel. I am also afraid of MDMA, as I imagine I would love it, but that it would deplete my already depleted “happy levels” and I am not sure how well I would handle that comedown.

Go to a trauma center that does EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, EFT, Neuro-feedback and commit myself for as long as I can / afford to? My family will probably be able to help me with this, but it’s also hard because I feel far too ashamed to tell them what these “traumas” are.

This is the only thing I can write about / think of. I don’t care about anything or anybody, and it makes my heart break to feel this way. I used to love the world with a fervor I had never seen in others before, and I long for the days in which I felt dedicated to making the world, and not just my own, a more beautiful place. I can’t feel love, for those I love, and I never thought such a hell could be created in this world.

My own thoughts? I have a complex case of PTSD, symptoms of which were brought on by my anxiety of graduating from school. This has in turn worsened my depression (though again, it is the absence of feeling rather than any feelings of sadness, which make me suicidal). My brain is too stupid and too smart to allow EMDR to help again, and I could be like this forever, if I cannot figure out soon how to re-connect.

I am slowly losing the resolve to reach out and help myself each day; it has been a little over four months, but it feels like an eternity. I used to be full of beauty, wit, and charm; now, I look constantly worried, have an absence of energy (which people do respond to, negatively), and am generally only tolerated by close friends and family, who knew how different I used to be.

Please help me. Anything you can suggest. You would be helping to save a life, and I can promise you, I will never abuse it again. But more than that, I will learn from my mistakes, and make sure I can positively influence as many people as I can (in my lifetime and after).

My very best
Lucy
 
Unique1

Unique1

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
8,765
Location
UK
Hi jackringhandd.


:welcome: to the forum.
Sorry to hear of your struggles.
Sorry if it sounds unhelpful but would leave any diagnosis to the medical professionals, we wouldn't be able to diagnose here.
From what I was able to read, (my concentration isn't so good right now)it sounds like you have sought out help, do keep seeking help and keep hope ,things can improve for sure.

Hoping the forum proves useful to you.
Wish you well.

Unique1 x
 
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