December 11, 2016 at 8:03 am #122433
Wow, great to hear that I’m not alone.
OK, I’ll try to make this short. I’m a college graduate, good looking (so I’ve been told), have a ton of friends and don’t burn bridges.
I was president of my fraternity and have always had high expectations for myself. I found the love of my life back in 2004, married her and she left me one year later. She was looking for security and I hated my job.
I’ve had about 25 in my adult life. I don’t like being told what to do, sitting in a fattening pin (cubicle), and hate sales. I have gone to lots of different therapist and they can’t put their finger on it. I went on several medications for my anxiety with work and depression and I still hate work. I’m 44 and thinking that if I can’t hold down a job, how am I ever going to get married, travel, go out to dinner and all things I love. I have many hobbies, interests and passions, but can’t do them with no money coming in. I live in my mothers guest house, so I don’t have rent. I found something I love, it’s a mixture of feng shui, interior design, and believe it or therapy (people just open up to me). There really isn’t a name for what I do, so I call it Lifestyle Curating. The issue is, people won’t hire me if they don’t know exactly what I do. And since i’ve quitted every job I’ve ever had, I’m not confident enough to just go for it 100%. I am a happy person with lots of friends, but not being able to hold down a job has made me very depressed through the years. I feel empty inside and not like a man because I’m “choosing” not to take care of myself by getting a job. I would rather live on the streets then get a job I hate. All of my friends are very successful with families and I don’t even have gas money to drive to their houses to visit them. I love women and would love to be in a great relationship, but a quality woman would not to be with someone who can’t hold down a job, (and I don’t blame them).
I feel like I’m living everyone else’s world since I don’t have the courage to get a job.
I don’t think I’m bi-polar, but I have been diagnosed with ADD and Depression. The depression to me is obvious…I’m not able to hold down a job, and that makes me depressed. I am at a point in my life where I don’t feel like living because there is no point to it. My family is totally supportive (except for my dad and stepmom, they just thing I should get a job), and I’m watching my life wither away.
I feel like there is some block (which no therapist has figured out), so I’m tackling with either accepting that I’ll have a very very life, or just wanting to die, (not that I’ll hurt myself, but wish I got cancer so I could relax and not put this pressure on myself).
Yes, I am aware that getting cancer is not the answer, but I am really tired. Really really tired.
And thank you very much for reading this and replying…I greatly appreciate it!December 11, 2016 at 8:04 am #122434
I meant to say that I’ve had about 25 jobs in my adult life to clarify a typo…:)December 11, 2016 at 11:46 am #122448
Will you tell me about your childhood: how was it like? Were there experiences there of great distress, being trapped, figuratively?
anitaDecember 11, 2016 at 1:54 pm #122460
Aren’t you a smart woman Anita..:)
Yes, my childhood was stressful. My mother had to raise us three children and work. She was always yelling (that’s just the way she is), and the yelling was horrible. I moved into my fathers house when I was 11 and he lived two blocks away. I begged my mother to stop yelling at me, but she didn’t. In therapy, we talked about how my pain brought on from the yelling possibly, has created a form of punishment to my mother for raising me with yelling, when I begged her to stop.
My mother and I have talked about this, but this rebelling against work still persists.
It’s almost like I have PTSD…December 11, 2016 at 6:21 pm #122474
As a matter of fact, there is a proposed diagnosis, maybe approved recently, I don’t know, called “Complex PTSD” and your repeatedly yelling mother qualified you for this diagnosis.
Her yelling scared you. When a person gets scared, there is a rush, a readiness to run (the Flight response). When you are a child and the threat is your own mother, you don’t run away. Instead parts of you run away- your attention runs away from you (ADD), and later, in your work life, when you experience distress, you run, again and again. Cubicle, Sales, being told what to do- these things cause you distress and you run.
No wonder you are attracted to feng shui, which has Taoism in it, going with the flow, calm and harmony.
There are practices to increase the ability to endure distress before running; these are within the “emotional regulation” skills taught in competent psychotherapy.
If you do land a job that will move you closer to your Lifestyle Curating goal, you’ll need to see to it that the location is not a cubicle, that you don’t do sales and that no one tells you what to do on a regular basis (maybe a once a month evaluation, let’s say)- and while you see to it that the job is least distressing, you can employ emotional regulation skills so to manage the (lesser) stress.
anitaDecember 12, 2016 at 7:03 pm #122553
Wow, complex PTSD…I never heard of that, so I’ll do some research on it. It’s interesting, all the therapists I’ve see through out my adult life never came to that conclusion. I will say though, It sounds pretty spot on. Even though my mother yells, I’m pretty close with her. She says that the only thing wrong with me is my issue with work. Unfortunately, without work, I’m not able to do a lot of things I love to do, (not to mention having a relationship with a woman).
I’m so curious as to how/why I play this is out in my work life? What is my benefit?
I’ll also look up emotional regulation. I unfortunately don’t have health insurance (but I do have medi-cal), so I’ll see if if there are any good therapists in Los Angeles that practice emotional regulation. Anita, I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent trying to see what’s wrong with me. I spend at least an hour a day, meditating, journaling, writing everything I’m grateful for, and doing activities that make me feel good. It’s a true battle that I face on a day to day basis.
I really hope that this is the cause of my self sabotage (complex PTSD). And I really hope it doesn’t take me years to work on it. But I haven’t given up yet, so what’s a couple more years of therapy…:)
Thank you very much for your help Anita. And if there is anything that you could add, please don’t hesitate!December 12, 2016 at 7:36 pm #122565
The one and only one competent, empathetic, hard working, dedicated, generous therapist I have ever seen was in Ventura, California. I lived in Los Angeles half of my life or so.
I am not surprised your therapists didn’t come up with CPTSD- like I wrote, I don’t even know if it an official diagnosis. If you google Pete Walker, in his website, he is big o CPTSD. You may find his articles there interesting.
You mentioned self sabotage as a motivation in your work life, sabotaging yourself? I think it may be you running away. I was stuck with a mother myself and I’ve been running away for decades after. I stopped running only recently. I ran away from places, people and things, kept running.
Will be off the computer after answering a few other posts and be back in twelve hours or so. Post more, if you’d like. I will reply with a fresh brain I hope to have in the morning.
anitaDecember 12, 2016 at 7:45 pm #122566
Thank you so much for your responses. Intuitively, this feels like the right diagnosis, (but I’m not a doctor).
I was just looking at a book (as you sent this to me) by Pete Walker. I’ll check out his website. I was just on http://www.outofthestorm.com
and it seems to have some good info on CPTSD.
Curiously, you wouldn’t happen to have the name of the Therapist in Ventura would you?
I’ll do a little research now and see if I could find them.
And yes, I have self sabotaged myself in regards to my work life. And interestingly enough, I haven’t been in a serious relationship with a woman in 10 years. My ex wife just got up and left and went back to Austria, never really knowing why she left. That was also very traumatizing!!!
Funny, I was putting together a patio heater for my mother today and she was yelling something to me while I was outside. I realized in that moment how horrible it made me feel.
Thank you again Anita!!!!!December 12, 2016 at 8:00 pm #122568
Pete Walker wrote that psychiatrists are not likely to approve of CPTSD because if they did, this very diagnosis will eliminate most existing ones. Basically this diagnosis is about parents damaging their children and I do agree, most damage individuals suffer, most often, is not from war or natural disasters but from our parents.
My therapist, if I tell you and you call him and tell him who recommended him, he will know “anita” since it is my true name…and then he will know I post here. I don’t know if I want him reading my post.. his first session is free, but after that it was when I was there, three years ago, it was $125 or so, per session. Medical will not cover it, so that doesn’t sound to me affordable to you…is it?
If you read Pete Walker’s articles by tomorrow or so, share with me what you think of them, how these apply to you, will you?
anitaDecember 19, 2016 at 12:19 pm #123035
Hi Anita (and anyone who is reading this)…:)
I’ve been super super sick with the flu and had to house/dog sit for my best friend in Manhatten Beach for the past three nights.
It was so quiet and peaceful, I really enjoyed it.
I’m now home and feel such frustration and anger towards my mother (who is constantly yelling) and a deep feeling of sarrow about her.
While having a conversation with her about my self diagnoses of CPTSD, she just said, “oh yeah, my therapist told me I have that as well”.
I can totally see why she has it, her father was incredibly abusive towards her and all women. But she has never gotten any help for it.
I’m trying really hard not to be mad at her right now (because of my past and now current state of not being able to hold down a job).
I know that is not productive and me telling her this will only make her feel guilty and I don’t think she’ll change.
I can’t even afford to purchase Pete Walkers book right now. And I don’t have medical insurance, so I don’t see how I’m going to get help. And knowing that this is a long process to heal, makes me feel depressed, angry, and at a loss…I really don’t know how to get out of this situation other then see if they have the book at the library and read article online about PTSD. I have never given up on myself, (which is why I am so mentally tired), but not having any money to leave my mothers guest house, purchase a book that could help me, and the means to take care of myself financially so I can move out, is really bumming me out.
Any thoughts about this?
And anyone who is reading this, I’m more then happy to hear your thoughts.
Thank you!December 19, 2016 at 2:04 pm #123038
A few years ago, I read Pete Walker’s articles online (FREE) and enjoyed them very much. I purchased one of his books and did not like it, still have the book and I don’t even remember the title. So the free articles on line meant a lot to me, and the purchased book- nothing at all.
My therapist happened to be competent, empathetic and hard working, generous with all he knew and with his time and efforts. But many therapists, even those charging as much and more, are not like him.
So read Walker’s articles, I assume they are still there.
Your mother yelling- this is more Trauma on top of the Post Trauma of your CPTSD. How can you heal from the past trauma if more is added on top of it, if the abuse is ongoing?
At the least, tell her to stop yelling right away, no matter what- STOP yelling!
There are free support groups in LA, “SHARE” in Culver City is such a place- used to be a great place in the early 90s but it slowed down a whole lot, hardly any meetings and people don’t show up- this is how it has been for a while (I left LA in 2010 to Ventura, so I don’t know how it’s been there since). You can check it out.
I had a dog sitting position myself, in Manhattan Beach, my one and only dog sitting position, lifetime.
Don’t give up, don’t throw in the towel. Post here anytime.
December 19, 2016 at 3:53 pm #123044
- This reply was modified 4 months ago by anita.
You are such a great help, thank you!
I’ll look up his articles and find out about share.
and I have no problem having a talk with her about her yelling…:)December 19, 2016 at 6:40 pm #123058
Let me know what you think of the articles and (I am curious) is SHARE still going on?
Plus, regarding your mother, there is no excuse for her to not stop yelling, she should have stopped yelling decades ago (after the first time that she screamed, when she saw in your little boy eyes that you were scared). Let her know how it affected you and how it still affects you. Let me know how she responds, will you?
anitaDecember 19, 2016 at 8:27 pm #123067
I will get to the articles and finding out about Share tomorrow. I’ve had a terrible flu bug that is taking me down for the fourth day now.
I had a talk with my mother already….I explained to her that if she wants to help me now, please don’t yell at me (or my nieces and nephews when I’m around). I have to take baby steps with my versus her to stop yelling at everyone.
She said she would do her best. I told her that I use to tell her as a child, “please don’t yell at me, it’s hurting my heart, you just can’t see the pain it’s causing”. She doesn’t remember me saying it as a child, but does remember me saying it last week.
I know that she gets defensive and guilty about these things when I bring them up. I told her I don’t care about what she did when I was a child, I just need to heal. I’ve told her in the past (as part of my own healing process) what she did in the past in detail and how it affected me. i know this sounds wild, but she doesn’t remember a lot from when I was a child. She doesn’t understand completely how much the yelling hurts me still…I don’t know if she is denial, doesn’t want to face it, or what, but my complete honesty doesn’t seem to get through, because she still yells.
My dad is the total opposite of my mom, he’s a total chiller. Loved by everyone. Except, he doesn’t know how to handle emotions…He never asks how I’m doing and when I open up to him, he just says “hang in there”.
thank you for the follow up and I’ll let you know about Share and the articles tomorrow. 🙂December 20, 2016 at 10:28 am #123106
I hope the flu bug exits you as soon as possible. I remembered after I wrote you last, that SHARE (the name of the place is all capitals, a non-profit organization, funded by LA county) provided at the time this service where you call their number (get it on line) and volunteers have information on LA county help resources regarding mental health. They have a list of support groups all over the county, I think, and other resources. Call and ask, and do let me know.
As well as the articles on line.
Regarding your mother, she doesn’t remember what is inconvenient for her to remember. You mentioned she feeling guilty- but not enough to stop yelling- still at you and currently at children (nieces and nephews)?
“She said she would do her best”- her best is not good enough when it doesn’t consider the best of children.
Maybe she feels uncomfortable about being confronted about her yelling, not guilty. If she felt guilty, that pain about harming others, I would think she would stop the harming. If I was you, I would talk to the parents of the nephews and nieces and encourage them to not expose their children to your mother’s yelling.