Author Topic: Pondering :)  (Read 225 times)

Twoapenny

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Pondering :)
« on: January 28, 2019, 10:53:18 AM »
I just wondered what your thoughts are on this:

When we moved, I did so as secretly and quietly as possible, as you know.  As yet, no-one seems to know we've moved - my step brother found out but he seems to have kept it to himself.  I had our mail redirected for a year so Christmas and birthday cards sent to our old address were forwarded on to us and I've been replying to things via a friend so any post that goes to Aunties or anyone else that might speak to my mum still has the postcode from the area we were living in.

I had originally thought to contact people shortly before the mail redirection runs out and tell them we were moving abroad/going traveling/insert reason here and that I'd contact them when we were settled and then just sort of vanish.  I thought vanishing without any reason might arouse suspicion (and post would start being returned to them once it isn't being redirected) so moving abroad or traveling sounded plausible.

I'm now toying with the idea of just telling people we've moved and giving them the new address instead.  It does mean mum possibly knowing where we've gone - but I'm finding the idea of her creating the sort of chaos she has in the past holding less power.  Son has settled in well at college, I'm getting on well with the staff, everything there is going great.  Our tenancy is reasonably secure (I don't like the house but we've no reason to move unless I find a nicer place), son's disability is well documented now via various benefit agencies and numerous reports and son is also able to speak for himself if needed.  I keep finding myself thinking that she really can't do the damage she did before.  I feel safer and better protected, plus the physical distance means she can't do drive bys like she used to.

It's not something I have to make a decision about at any time really and I'm sure I'll chop and change my mind a lot over the next few months but I'd be interested in your thoughts?  One part of me thinks stay in the shadows, keep hidden, make sure as few people as possible can find you.  Another part thinks, I've done nothing wrong, I shouldn't have to hide, getting on with my life openly and lovingly is the best "bollocks to you" that I can do.  What do you all think? xx

lighter

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2019, 01:13:07 PM »
Here's what I think, Tupp.

YOU'RE the one who's lived through the years of chaos, and sabotage.

You're the one who's fought it, overcome it, and is attempting to put it behind you.

You're the one who has to live with the consequences of being found, and subjected to future sabotage, so you're, of course, going to be the one who gages the true temperature of this thing, decides what power your mother might or might not have., bc you're who has the most information about important factors.  Based on the things you've listed, it appears you're very in tune with the possible routes of sabotage your mother would take.... so listen to your gut, make your choices, and know there's no perfect answers. 

Anything you choose with have possibility of trouble.  You're just putting together the best options, and culling through them.  None of them will be perfect.  Once you've done your best, you choose, and that's all you can do.  Once you're in the best position to release the fear, and engage something new, then you can try to stop worrying about it, bc you've done your best, IME. 

I don't think the old is done with you yet... it's working it way out, like a splinter, but working, IMO.  Not good or bad, just a process.   For what it's worth, I really believe you're nearing the end of this.... lesson, or whatever you think of it as.   

BTW, do you know why you were asked if the social worker could sit in on an upcoming meeting with the school?

I didn't understand why that came up at all.

Lighter

Twoapenny

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2019, 01:34:57 PM »
Thanks, Lighter - I was nodding all the way through reading that :)

I found myself thinking today about freedom and what it really means.  Is it being somewhere new, completely cutting ties with the past and trying to stay off the radar - or is it being out in the open, saying "here I am - living my life, loving it - what you do doesn't matter to me".  Like I say, it's just thoughts at the moment.  I don't have to make a decision - ever - if I don't want to.  But they're thoughts in my mind and I'm always interested in what you guys think :)

The social worker - mmm, I don't know.  The care plan my son has is made up of education, health and social care.  I've made it clear to all concerned that I'm done with the public sector, I want as few people as possible involved and I will make complaints endlessly.  In my experience wanting less to do with them leads to them trying to get their hooks in further - they hate people operating outside of the system.  A classic example is deciding to home educate after two years of banging head against a wall trying to get someone to do something so he could go to school.  The minute I announced I wanted them all out of the picture they were clamoring to get back in.  There's a quote in a book I read about narcissism, from a film, I forget which one now.  But in it the mum pokes the sleeping baby.  The baby wakes and starts to cry, the mum says, "oh, you are alright" - and then walks away and leaves it crying.  The public sector here is a bit like that - they endlessly refuse to help but when you walk away they run after you.  So it flicks my buttons.

So it might be that.  It might be that she thinks she can help and thinks sitting in on the meeting will be helpful to me.  It might be that she feels she wants to be there to learn more about son.  The point, for me, is that she asked the college lecturer rather than me if she could sit in.  This is what I detest about them - they just cut out the parents and carers and behave like they're all more important.  We're just the mugs that put in all the work for free.  So I've said no for now.  She may turn out to be an asset and a good person to have onboard, which would be great.  But at the moment nothing's been put in writing so I have no idea whether she's done an accurate assessment or made everything up so I'm keeping a wide berth.

Thank you for your thoughts :)  I will catch up on other threads soon :) xx

Hopalong

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2019, 07:52:44 PM »
Tupp, can you calmly explain to the college lecturer that you would like to be informed first, before decisions are made about others attending your meetings about your son? Just tell him you are going to decide shortly about the SW attending, but haven't decided yet. It's a privacy issue. (You DO have privacy rights to a parent-educator conference, don't you? Or does your son receiving benefits void them?)

I'm unsure if social worker has the RIGHT to just be there, and think this legality should be clarified before you decide. Yes she might be there to be helpful. And perhaps she CAN be. Then again, once burned twice shy...and you've been bureaucracy-burned--.  Have you met this individual social worker? If so, what is your take on her?

As to sharing your new address, I had this thought (no idea if it's apt). You sounded before you moved as though you wanted a break from a whole lot of draining, unhelpful, gossipy "village people" -- not just from your mother. Is loneliness the reason? Perhaps distance and time have made you nostalgic, or feeling less judgmental about those friends? I could understand that. Maybe in fact some of those contacts WOULD be comforting right now. And there's nothing wrong with that. I'd just be careful since you were so frustrated by them before. They're still who they are, unlikely to have changed. If they suddenly seem to miss you or be interested in a new (online) way, and are dying to visit the seaside....I dunno.

Winter and loneliness and fatigue make us all yearn for human connection and comfort. Myself, I hope you will find it also in 3-D, in the town you're in now. And truly build a new life, and a new framily. With real people. In person. Groups, activities, cuppas, conversations, and someone or three will click. Inevitable.

But while so tired Facebook may seem so much easier. It is unreal. It does not nourish in the way you deserve. Real humans in person can do that.

(Plus US here, of course...)  :)

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2019, 01:16:14 AM »
Tupp, can you calmly explain to the college lecturer that you would like to be informed first, before decisions are made about others attending your meetings about your son? Just tell him you are going to decide shortly about the SW attending, but haven't decided yet. It's a privacy issue. (You DO have privacy rights to a parent-educator conference, don't you? Or does your son receiving benefits void them?)

I'm unsure if social worker has the RIGHT to just be there, and think this legality should be clarified before you decide. Yes she might be there to be helpful. And perhaps she CAN be. Then again, once burned twice shy...and you've been bureaucracy-burned--.  Have you met this individual social worker? If so, what is your take on her?

As to sharing your new address, I had this thought (no idea if it's apt). You sounded before you moved as though you wanted a break from a whole lot of draining, unhelpful, gossipy "village people" -- not just from your mother. Is loneliness the reason? Perhaps distance and time have made you nostalgic, or feeling less judgmental about those friends? I could understand that. Maybe in fact some of those contacts WOULD be comforting right now. And there's nothing wrong with that. I'd just be careful since you were so frustrated by them before. They're still who they are, unlikely to have changed. If they suddenly seem to miss you or be interested in a new (online) way, and are dying to visit the seaside....I dunno.

Winter and loneliness and fatigue make us all yearn for human connection and comfort. Myself, I hope you will find it also in 3-D, in the town you're in now. And truly build a new life, and a new framily. With real people. In person. Groups, activities, cuppas, conversations, and someone or three will click. Inevitable.

But while so tired Facebook may seem so much easier. It is unreal. It does not nourish in the way you deserve. Real humans in person can do that.

(Plus US here, of course...)  :)

love
Hops

Thanks, Hops :)  College lecturer's a good egg, she came to tell me that SW had asked to attend, I told her no, she said that's fine and that was an end to it.  I don't have privacy rights, legally, because it's about son and son is considered old enough to make his own decisions now.  He's not intellectually capable, though, so in theory it then falls back to me to make decisions on his behalf - which college lecturers, social workers, doctors and anyone else can over-rule if they don't feel it's in son's best interests.  It's complicated and a nightmare to deal with, to be honest.  I have met SW; she seemed okay but there's nothing in writing yet and it's always the written assessments that cause the problems, as they rarely reflect the meetings that go on.  Funding is based on written reports, not verbal discussions, and funding itself isn't discussed during assessments.  Information is gathered and then compared to criteria, which is how they determine funding levels.  And what happens a lot is that information is omitted or misrepresented, which then means you get less or no funding, and then the paperwork battle begins.  So until I've seen what she writes up, what level of funding he's given, whether or not she follows procedure and whether or not she's genuinely working in his best interests or if she's doing what everyone else has done and is going for cheapest - I'll keep her at arms length.  Added to that, because of son's age, he's transitioning from child to adult services so she'll only be involved for a few months at most before the adult care social worker takes over.  So at the moment I see no reason for her to be there - college lecturer is happy with that (and is lovely; the staff there are all so sweet and kind).

I did (and do) want to stay away from the nosy, gossipy types, but there were also people who have been kind to me throughout my life and who are elderly now and I would have liked to stay in touch with them.  Both are parents of people I was friends with as a child.  One couple in particular used to regularly take me in when things were bad at home and in my adult life always invited myself and son for Christmas.  I miss them and would have liked to have stayed in touch.  I'd also have liked to stay in touch with my step-brother, who has learning difficulties.  I feel bad lying to him about where we are; I'd hate someone to take advantage of son's lack of intellect like that (which is basically what I'm doing) so I feel bad about that.  And there were a few other people who I wouldn't have called close friends, but I liked them and enjoyed catching up over a coffee from time to time and I'd have liked to have stayed in contact with them as well.

There are then about forty people that I'd be more than happy to never see or hear from again :)  Lol, but some of them have kids that I've known from babyhood and again, I miss not knowing what the kids are up to and how they're getting on.  Friends up there who do know where we are have bumped into people who know us and who've asked about us, and they've had to lie.  I don't feel good asking people to do that for me.  So it's a real see saw back and forth.  And no biggie - I can stay off grid if need be.  I just found myself wondering about it yesterday.  I am lonely here, much more than I thought I'd be, and weirdly I found I haven't been enjoying the company of friends here the way I did when I first moved down.  Not entirely sure what's going on there.  But anyway - it's just a pondering.  It can carry on ticking over in the back of my mind.  I do appreciate all your thoughts :) xx

Hopalong

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2019, 02:00:32 AM »
I think you're being very reasonable, in all directions.

As to friends...keep the nice ones in your new town. But when you're not exhausted and when you are ready, also look for new ones. New groups. New activities. New explorations.

Don't give up, Tupp. You're going through a blue patch and the amount you slept when you got the chance was a sign of how exhausted you've been--and just a start on the rest and restoration you've earned. Keep up that self-care every chance you get. Just focus on kindness to yourself and you'll come through.

love
Hops
PS - One day, when son is settled and mother is gone, you can return and greet all those you've missed. And in the meantime, you can always write a loving note to the elderly friends. Just don't include a return address.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 02:05:03 AM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2019, 03:00:09 AM »
Tupp:

I don't know that our idea of freedom is the important part of making lasting change.  I know I don't have what used to come easily. 

 I was thinking about our definitions of what freedom is.   For me, that's a couple steps away from where I am now.  Focusing on freedom, for me, has been a rabbit hole.  Chasing my tail.  Frustration and despair, followed by cycles of feeling better, feeling joy, getting dragged back down. I'm always glad to feel the sun on my face, again, but it's not like it was before.   

I'm thinking about the blocked pleasure reward centers.... about how THAT's the switch that unhooks our ability to move past trauma, and form meaningful connections, embrace joy, and accept we're worthy of better things. 

I know blocked pleasure/reward came up for me over and over during my brain integration balances.  I FEEL that in my bones.  It's something I'll have to give attention to... attend to it... work hard to put my finger on it, pull back from it, and choose something else until it's my new default setting.  It feels larger than myself right now.  I'm just sitting with it.  Not sure how to go about it, but sure it's something that needs attention.  I know this in my gut.

There's respite, and relief, and I understand things don't have to always FEEL this way.  It's a matter of identifying amygdala activation, calming myself down, and engaging my neocortex to choose something else.  It's also about relieving stress, in my brain and body, the points where the stress lives.... the amygdala acupuncture points are over the heart and down toward the naval.  One in particular is blocked pleasure and reward.   

I asked Hops if she felt she sometimes denies herself joy on another thread.  I asked the wrong question.  I was trying to ask if she identified with an inability to allow pleasure and reward into her life consistently.  I've identified that in my own life, and it's strange.  Like I can't turn toward  reward and pleasure at times... and I can put my finger on it when it's happening.  It's bc I'm turned toward the feeling I SHOULD BE DOING something else.  And there are things I should be doing, always, but this is something that lives in my skin and my bones from the last 15 years.  This is attached to those years. 

It reminds me of the saying...
"I went to europe to find myself, but I wasn't there."

Wherever we go, we take the trauma, living inside our bodies/meridian systems, with us. My oldest dd's T said that her clients move through therapy more quickly, and easily after they've been balanced, and  that makes sense to me. 

It's a matter of relieving stress in the body.  In the places where the stress is trapped, and blocked, and creating emotional and physical symptoms and pain.  We clamp down, and we get through, but we're creating new pathways, cementing them in place, and we don't realize it when it's happening, bc we're just getting by.   I had glimpses of this as it happened, but I didn't understand it.   

I don't think we "choose" freedom, or an idea of it... or at least some of us can't choose it all by our onesies.  I think we mine for stress, relieve it as we can, and work at replacing default settings at every level. 

Knowing better, understanding what we're doing, recognizing patterns is important, but it's not enough, IME.  I know I'm missing pieces in these things, but that's OK.  I'll keep plugging away at it till more comes into focus. 

In the immortal words of my youngest dd, when she was 5yo....
"I know it doesn't make sense, but it makes sense to me."

The journey continues.

Lighter




 

sKePTiKal

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2019, 06:41:02 AM »
Just thoughts (in no particular order):

When "family" isn't functional, to provide that sense of continuity or history in our lives... we substitute "friends" - some of whom, aren't truly friends; just people we can pretend with. It's human to want that history/continuity with people in groups.

The definition of "friend" tends to change over time and different needs. What I think of as my friends now, is very different than even 20 years ago. But I've never mistaken acquaintances for friends - and I've left many people fade away in my past as I've continued to move on and live my life. Sometimes I've reconnected with a handful of them online - but out of that group there is only one that also made the effort to truly connect in return. I still have one friend from my teenaged years that I sporadically see and talk to. But we have more of a "social friendship" than any real relationship these days.

Lighter's observation of pleasure/reward centers is timely and interesting. I'll be doing some of my own pondering there for a bit before I can say anything coherent about it but I too think it's a big piece of the puzzle to truly getting past trauma, as she pointed out.

As for giving away your location to the people who weren't important enough to you to tell beforehand, simply choose if they're any more important now that you have some space - weighed against the risk of your mother finding out. It doesn't mean you don't think of them fondly, or that you haven't benefited from their past engagement with you or that you disregard that engagement at all.

It just means you're putting your best interests first, going forward.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Twoapenny

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2019, 04:57:30 AM »
I'm really behind again!  Still playing catch up on threads :)

I will start by saying that I had another meeting with the social worker and again, she seemed alright and didn't seem to be trying to minimise my son's disability or claim his needs aren't real.  She's met with him at college (which I was happy for her to do and had agreed to in advance).  She's done an assessment and they're using a method that's currently being trialed by a few local authorities whereby they use a point scoring system to determine need and eligibility.  Personally I prefer that sort of method because it takes away people's personal opinions and prejudices, known or otherwise.  So you usually get a more accurate result because it's x number of points if you need feeding, a lower number if you can feed yourself but need help cooking, a lower number if you can cook but need help with knowing what's healthy and so on.  It's similar to the system they use for scoring disability benefits and son is on the highest rate for those so I do feel that we're more likely to get a realistic result from this (although I am still waiting to see is actually written in the final report before I start getting hopeful).

What was interesting though - and it ties in with my pondering about whether or not to throw myself into the light rather than hiding away - is that she did ask about my mum and what happened over the years and I was able to explain, calmly and politely, in a factual way, many of the false allegations that my mum has made and the effect they had on us.  I kept away from the small, more petty things and focused on the big ones that I have paperwork to back up.  She did seem to get it (I think you can tell someone's understanding of your situation from the sort of questions they ask you and I didn't feel like I was having to explain different types of abusive behaviour to her, she seemed to have that level of understanding in place and was asking more about specific events and how it had affected us).  She listened without interrupting, which is always helpful, and at the end she said that it sounded like son was at risk from grandmother and it might be useful to discuss whether safeguarding needed to be put into place to make sure she couldn't derail his progress in the future.

No more was said at that point; it was the end of the session and I wanted to digest the information at home, but if there is now a general acceptance that my mum is the one son needs to be protected from and steps are taken to ensure that happens it would help a lot with my fear and anxiety and just my day to day worry about what she might do next and what happens if she knows where we are.  So - nothing definite yet but it was the first time that my recounting of events did seem to be taken seriously so we'll see what happens.

Anyway - Skep, I was nodding all the way through reading that.  I have absolutely substituted friends for family, and been devastated when it's become clear that people I was very fond of and cared about a great deal haven't felt the same way about me.  Some of them were people I pretended with although I didn't know it at the time; I thought I was as important to them as they were to me.  It was hard realising that wasn't true (and still upsets me now, even years later).

And yes, friends changing and our needs changing over time is very true.  I haven't enjoyed my friends' company down here as much as I thought I would, and truth be told I feel lonelier now than I did before.  I'm not sure if it's part of the healing process or just part of slowing down a bit (as I have been lately), but I wasn't prepared for it and it has been a bit of a shock to the system.  I'm trying to sit back and see what happens rather than trying to attach anything in particular to it, but it does bother me.  And yes, weighing up the risks of staying in touch with people against my mum knowing where we are is the tricky bit to work out, although if social services do see this as a case of son needing to be protected from her that would take a bit weight off my mind. x

Lighter, yes, nodding at all of that as well.  What I've started to realise these last few weeks as I've focused on resting, sleeping, cutting down on artificial energy sources (caffeine and sugar in my case) and started trying just to get back to whoever that human inside Tup is now, is the huge amount of time and energy that goes in to coping with feeling unwell, or scared, or tired, or however else you feel.  And I wonder if there just isn't enough energy left over from coping to also enjoy something?  At the moment I am finding there are things or people or situations who don't make me feel more ill or stressed.  I don't feel like I'm enjoying those moments - but I'm grateful for it being something that doesn't add to my workload.  So perhaps yes, it won't be until the stress, exhaustion and fear are well managed and no longer an issue that there is a chance of life being something meaningful and joyful (at least some of the time).  And interestingly I think it's one of the reasons I don't find myself desiring new friends at the moment.  I feel like people have to be almost superhuman not to add to my stresses and my tiredness at the moment.  And of course, none of us are that.  I do feel, at the minute, that almost any kind of human contact means me having to cope and I'm finding that difficult (and avoiding it wherever possible).  But that will change over time, I hope. x

Hops, yes, again, to all of that.  Even I've been surprised at how exhausted I am.  I am trying to use the time son is at college to just go back to bed.  I didn't sleep as much this week as I did the week before, but I did find I had no energy or enthusiasm for doing anything and just wanted to be in bed, reading, with napping as an option should I feel like it.  And I think I'm going to keep that up - no pressure on myself and try to organise things that do need to be done over one day so that I can keep the others free, instead of finding I've got something to do every day and then not getting time to have a proper rest.  I think resting is top of the list of priorities at the moment (other than thinking "come on, Spring!  I'm sick of winter now") :) x

sKePTiKal

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2019, 12:23:57 PM »
Other people do require the use of energy to be around - even when they're lovely understanding people, I find. I've very seldom had the experience of being energized by other people.

Maybe it's my nature as an introvert; maybe it's a defensive coping mechanism that's a limitation in my life... eh, so what, either way? It's not a matter of right, wrong, trying to improve oneself... or even whether one cares about the issue at all. It's just BEING. Ain't nothin' wrong (IMO) with just being what you are at this moment in time.

Don't be afraid it's going to be permanent, if you just accept it for now.
Don't call a passing state of being, a problem.
Don't create a problem for your mind to worry over, when in two weeks time, you'll likely be feeling differently.

I swear, Holly and I do this to ourselves so often that I've even studied how the thought-process works and develops! It's the residual effect of having internalized abusive statements from others & how we felt then and judging ourselves with the same weights & measures!

When either of us catch ourselves or each other starting that process, the other one intervenes and disrupts it, before we're off onto that spiral. I think we have to practice just accepting ourselves longer than other people. Until it becomes second-nature.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2019, 07:04:44 PM »
I'm really behind again!  Still playing catch up on threads :)

I will start by saying that I had another meeting with the social worker and again, she seemed alright and didn't seem to be trying to minimise my son's disability or claim his needs aren't real.  She's met with him at college (which I was happy for her to do and had agreed to in advance).  She's done an assessment and they're using a method that's currently being trialed by a few local authorities whereby they use a point scoring system to determine need and eligibility.  Personally I prefer that sort of method because it takes away people's personal opinions and prejudices, known or otherwise.  So you usually get a more accurate result because it's x number of points if you need feeding, a lower number if you can feed yourself but need help cooking, a lower number if you can cook but need help with knowing what's healthy and so on.  It's similar to the system they use for scoring disability benefits and son is on the highest rate for those so I do feel that we're more likely to get a realistic result from this (although I am still waiting to see is actually written in the final report before I start getting hopeful).I'm glad you aren't being challenged, or obviously marginalized by this social worker, straight away or obviously.  I'll hang on to my hope, with you, until the report comes out.  It's less a gut punch if it goes awry, IME.  The point system sounds positive.

What was interesting though - and it ties in with my pondering about whether or not to throw myself into the light rather than hiding away - is that she did ask about my mum and what happened over the years and I was able to explain, calmly and politely, in a factual way, many of the false allegations that my mum has made and the effect they had on us.  I kept away from the small, more petty things and focused on the big ones that I have paperwork to back up.  She did seem to get it (I think you can tell someone's understanding of your situation from the sort of questions they ask you and I didn't feel like I was having to explain different types of abusive behaviour to her, she seemed to have that level of understanding in place and was asking more about specific events and how it had affected us).  She listened without interrupting, which is always helpful, and at the end she said that it sounded like son was at risk from grandmother and it might be useful to discuss whether safeguarding needed to be put into place to make sure she couldn't derail his progress in the future.Isn't it funny how deeply satisfying it is to TELL the story to someone who seems to get it.... in a way that flows, hits the high points, and rolls along without going down rabbit holes?  There's punishment for going down rabbit holes.  There's problems with discussing it with people who can't get it.  Maybe it takes some time and distance to be able to tell the story that way.... and maybe we've learned who to tell it to, and who not to.   The last thing...  mentioning safegaurds, that was amazing to read.  Truly, revelation.  I felt it in my spine, warmth, and validation on your behalf.  I don't know what it means, but it seems to bode well, IMO.

No more was said at that point; it was the end of the session and I wanted to digest the information at home, but if there is now a general acceptance that my mum is the one son needs to be protected from and steps are taken to ensure that happens it would help a lot with my fear and anxiety and just my day to day worry about what she might do next and what happens if she knows where we are.  So - nothing definite yet but it was the first time that my recounting of events did seem to be taken seriously so we'll see what happens.  That your mum could create problems with the agencies and paperwork your son depends on is..... impossible to make peace with.  I think it goes back to that human on human aggression that's impossible to build a tolerance to.

Anyway - Skep, I was nodding all the way through reading that.  I have absolutely substituted friends for family, and been devastated when it's become clear that people I was very fond of and cared about a great deal haven't felt the same way about me.  Some of them were people I pretended with although I didn't know it at the time; I thought I was as important to them as they were to me.  It was hard realising that wasn't true (and still upsets me now, even years later).

And yes, friends changing and our needs changing over time is very true.  I haven't enjoyed my friends' company down here as much as I thought I would, and truth be told I feel lonelier now than I did before.  I'm not sure if it's part of the healing process or just part of slowing down a bit (as I have been lately), but I wasn't prepared for it and it has been a bit of a shock to the system.  I'm trying to sit back and see what happens rather than trying to attach anything in particular to it, but it does bother me.  And yes, weighing up the risks of staying in touch with people against my mum knowing where we are is the tricky bit to work out, although if social services do see this as a case of son needing to be protected from her that would take a bit weight off my mind. x

Lighter, yes, nodding at all of that as well.  What I've started to realise these last few weeks as I've focused on resting, sleeping, cutting down on artificial energy sources (caffeine and sugar in my case) and started trying just to get back to whoever that human inside Tup is now, is the huge amount of time and energy that goes in to coping with feeling unwell, or scared, or tired, or however else you feel.  And I wonder if there just isn't enough energy left over from coping to also enjoy something?  At the moment I am finding there are things or people or situations who don't make me feel more ill or stressed.  I don't feel like I'm enjoying those moments - but I'm grateful for it being something that doesn't add to my workload.  So perhaps yes, it won't be until the stress, exhaustion and fear are well managed and no longer an issue that there is a chance of life being something meaningful and joyful (at least some of the time).  And interestingly I think it's one of the reasons I don't find myself desiring new friends at the moment.  I feel like people have to be almost superhuman not to add to my stresses and my tiredness at the moment.  And of course, none of us are that.  I do feel, at the minute, that almost any kind of human contact means me having to cope and I'm finding that difficult (and avoiding it wherever possible).  But that will change over time, I hope. x

Hops, yes, again, to all of that.  Even I've been surprised at how exhausted I am.  I am trying to use the time son is at college to just go back to bed.  I didn't sleep as much this week as I did the week before, but I did find I had no energy or enthusiasm for doing anything and just wanted to be in bed, reading, with napping as an option should I feel like it.  And I think I'm going to keep that up - no pressure on myself and try to organise things that do need to be done over one day so that I can keep the others free, instead of finding I've got something to do every day and then not getting time to have a proper rest.  I think resting is top of the list of priorities at the moment (other than thinking "come on, Spring!  I'm sick of winter now") :) x
I was reading an article last night about social engagement/eye contact triggering trauma patterns... here it is:
https://www.nicabm.com/trauma-how-to-work-with-trauma-without-triggering-fear/
The info on music makes sense also.
Lighter

Twoapenny

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2019, 01:00:12 AM »
That is an interesting article, Lighter, and I like the sound of his book as well; I will add that one to my list!  I have an ever growing stack of books to read; I seem to accumulate them much more quickly than I read them :) And yes, being able to tell your story without judgement is huge.  Often in the past I've felt that someone's made their mind up before they've heard anything.  I do think a lot of people dismiss family abuse (when everyone involved is an adult) as people just not getting along - which is very common in a lot of families but nowhere near as damaging as the deliberate abuse that many people go through.  So I'm not reading any more into it at the moment other than, "well, that bit went alright", but yes, I think it was possibly the first time I've been able to recount some of the things that happened in any setting other than therapy without feeling I'm not being believed or heard.

That's interesting that you find people take up your energy pretty constantly, Skep, do you find it's the physical exertion of being around people and having to engage with them or more the emotional side of listening, talking, having to be understanding and so on?  I find some people do energise me (or at least don't tire me out) but I find some people tend to use me as a sounding board for their problems and I find that exhausting - especially when it's the same problem for the fiftieth time.  I am trying to avoid one person in particular at the moment who tends to constantly be in a drama.  I don't want to lose her as a friend but I'm not sure I'm able to say what I need to say in a way that's kind and helpful at the moment so I'm keeping my distance a bit until that feels a bit easier.

sKePTiKal

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2019, 10:02:51 AM »
For me, it seems that when I try to express myself verbally, other people around me often attach additional emotions or judgements to simple statements. Things I don't intend at all. So, I've learned to be super-present, editing my word choice or censoring myself, on the fly in conversations.

I think I generally do a decent job of being sensitive to other people, their emotional state in the moment and needs they might not even be aware of. About like other observant people. All too often, though, the words I use are imbued with a PERCEPTION of meaning outside of what I was saying.

Trying to not evoke that misunderstanding is what takes so much energy on my part.

I don't seem to have the same issues when writing. Perhaps, because there is more time to compose my thoughts and observations, and present them more clearly.

Thanks for asking about, bringing it up Tupp. It's something I continually work on, but it also seems the older I get, the less I care if I'm understood clearly or not! That seems kind of taboo in society these days, so I find myself being more quiet than ever. In reality, what I say isn't any more important than anyone else, and they don't care what I think or see, so perhaps I care too much about being understood? Or so goes my logic about this quirk.

Perhaps it's an unrealistic expectation; perhaps the natural balance between people doesn't include that much understanding as long we're allowing each other to do our own things... and just HEAR them. Acknowledgement, may be all that's needed. Understanding is just "extra credit".
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2019, 03:15:55 PM »
Tupp:

i'm processing this, so it's a bit lengthy.  Apologies ahead; )

I think part of "getting over" old trauma is being free from it for an extended time.   Long enough that we're actually safe, so we can begin to FEEL safe again. 

Feeling safe, when we obviously aren't, means we get knocked down even harder when the next threat comes.  We learn that's a mistake, to feel safe when we aren't, so pathways get hardwired in a way that help us survive the worst attacks.   

What I'm trying to get at is..... I think you'd have gotten past your trauma, or been well on your way, further down the road certaily, had your safety in the world not been challenged and threatened consistently through the years. 

YOU WEREN'T safe.   

You've been challenged, again and again, of course you aren't going to feel safe enough to engage the world as though it's safe.  This seems so obvious now, but it didn't yesterday.   

It would be illogical for anyone, including yourself, to expect you'd suddenly FEEL safe, when your experience is screaming the opposite.  It makes me very sad to think about all the times you've tried to carry on, as though you're safe, when there are threats driving by, talking about you to who knows who, and sending flying monkeys into your safe space. :shock:  THAT's interpersonal terrorism!  There should be laws against it.  If strangers were doing this TO US, we'd have some way to fight it, and have done with.  That these bad actors are related to us gives them rights, and strips us of ours, IME.   

I think you've done an amazing job in a world that hasn't been safe in a very long while, if it was EVER safe at all.   

I think you'd be able to do the work, the next level work, that comes when you finally feel safe in your environment, and not threatened.  You haven't had that, and it's unfair, and wrong, and egregiously harmful to put that expectation on yourself.... and esp for others to make you feel it's "normal" and past due.  IMHO... that's wrong stinkin thinkin.  It leads to shame, and guilt, and those are never helpful, IME.

I've been thinking about bc of what you wrote about my putting a price on my mental health....
I need to get straight with what that number IS. 

We both need to get straight with current threat levels in our lives..... whatever they are, bc I think we're still reacting to old threat levels at their highest, bc that's our default set point.  That's where we had to live in order to survive the siege... siege after siege.... that was the place we ended up, without thinking about it.  It was survival. 

I don't think we need to be there now.   I admit, I don't know where we SHOULD be with that, but it's worth taking a long hard look, reassessing, and working toward a new set point for default settings.  Lord, more pressure, I know, but perhaps well worth the effort and time spent.

So, with that said, I want you to think about what it is you've accomplished... I promise you... many people wouldn't or couldn't have overcome what you've overcome, and continue to overcome every day of your life.  You're an Amazon Hero... not just a warrior.  A HERO GIANT.. and I'm here to tell you.... you deserve a medal, not more legal battles to fight.   

And, if you had to go to court over your son's benefits.... would it just be an issue of shuffling papers, getting what he needs, and continuing on?  I can tell you this.... ANY paperwork for me sends alarm bells ringing for me.... like I'm right back in court, fighting for my life..... right back in court, fighting for my children's safety..... and it's not a proper response.  Not any more.  I want to change that, bc it's harming me, and my ability to feel safe in this world.

I want so much for you to have choice, and to have choice myself. 

But where should the threat level be today? 
You can tick off the list...
Odds are, the bad actors:
won't seek me out in my little town, ever.....
won't contact social services bc son is 18yo, and that limits their ability to ____ in our lives....
won't contact friends in this area, undermine my connections or ability to be heard by agencies....
won't send flying monkeys into my safe zones ever again, bc I'll _________ to ensure they don't...
won't put son's father in contact with us again bc I'll _______ to ensure they can't.....
won't keep entering my present moments bc I'm _______ to stop that pattern....


Whatever you do, you have the absolute right to feel victorious.   NOT feeling victorious is a theft against you, IMO.  You deserve to live with less fear, if not zero fear.... whatever the correct threat level is... you deserve to pull it back, get used it, trust it, then begin feeling safe in your world to the extent you can.  It's not appropriate to expect you'll simply begin trusting, 100%, that you're safe, when your experience is that you aren't, IME. 

::sigh::

I'm not sure I believe all that entirely, but I want to.  For you, and for me.

I think we need to cut ourselves some slack, for sure.  Breath, Tupp.... breath out the shame and the guilt and unrealistic expectation any disappointment over not just getting on.  I think our strength, in this area, holds us back.  We don't break, we get harder and smaller, and we circle our wagons till we're cut off from outside by them.  It's understandable.  I see how it happens.
 It's so not fair, but it is what it is. 

I can get behind cutting ourselves some slack.  I believe small, realistic baby steps, toward feeling safe, orbits around BEING safe.... in established baby steps.   

How we address that, and overcome it.... I'm not sure, but I know understanding it, reassessing the threat levels have to be a part of that.  being dismissed, by ANYONE, is harmful, IME.  It doesn't help.  It harms.  It slows the process. It adds shame, and doubt, and we go backwards. 

Maybe we don't ever leave it behind.  Maybe we inch away from it, by small degrees, and then, when we aren't paying attention, bc we've begun feeling safe without noticing it..... we look back and see we've left it behind without thinking about it.

Don't you, for another second, feel despondent, or like a failure for not just putting the past down.   If that can happen, it ONLY happens as the threat recedes.... and that's the way it has to be.  We can't wish that away, or hope it's otherwise, when it is what it is.   

This kind of ongoing human on human conflict dismantles one's physical, and emotional health, IME.  I'm astonished at what you've accomplished.  You're a giant, and if you have the distance, the reprieve from threat that you deserve, I think you'll find a way to feel safe again, and feeling safe is part of figuring out the blocked pleasure/reward centers, honest, I do.

You're an Amazon Hero Warrior Princess, and you're so very strong, my dear.  Not all people/men can handle such strong beings.... but they're out there, and they're worth waiting for.  You've been growing so strong, carrying so much responsibility... you're amazing. 

When that man, who isn't intimidated by your kind of strength, comes along....  you'll both recognize it soon enough, I think. 

In the meantime, you're on your own team, an amazing resource, capable, and competent of accomplishing whatever you set your mind to.   I think you'll finally be able to stop looking over your shoulder, and start being present... really present in your life, when you feel safe.  Not before. 

Maybe, this new social worker will have some ideas about putting "safeguards" in place that you weren't aware of.  Maybe they'll be part of assessing threat, and your ability to defend yourself in a safer world?

(((Tupp)))  I know you're busy.  Don't feel you have to jump in and respond quickly.  I'll be waiting.

Lighter

 

Hopalong

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Re: Pondering :)
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2019, 11:45:36 AM »
((((Tupp)))),
I was SO happy to read about that SW's sensible, rational and respectful reaction to your narrative about what you've been through. I can't imagine how that ever would have happened except for YOU. It was the way you talked to her and your calm and rationality...somehow you kept a grip on your system fears, spoke to her like the total adult you are, and thus she was able to hear you.

Or perhaps this SW is just one of the rare bureaucrats who is still capable of listening. And she wants to do her job well. My heart soared when I read that she said, Sounds like we need to put in some safeguards.

And that's all you've been working toward all these years. Safety and guarding your son's well being. I hope this continues. I wonder if you getting to the point of "when he's 18 he's yours" decision has helped you detach more, as you have to do various interactions? (Don't forget we KNOW that has nothing to do with how much you love him, it's that you've accepted the reality of your limits, and thank god you have). You will be a BETTER Mum to him once you are visiting rather than responsible alone.

I also really like Lighter's message about evaluating present threat levels. That helped me too.

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."