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My body feels like a prison

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  • #368063
    S
    Participant

    Also last point – I kind of hate antidepressants – I feel so much more myself when I’m off them or on less of them – but life is harder, anxiety is stronger, disassociation is more strong but the joy of looking at a tree is also stronger. The pull away feeling in my stomach to not talk to toxic people is stronger. But “mental breakdown” is more likely. But staying on them feelings like a constant mental breakdown and not knowing how you’re feeling half the time. It’s really a hard decision. What do you think of that?

    I don’t want to blame my medication for my pain, but it’s been 9 years and I’m kinda like…. wanting to try something else.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by S.
    #368067
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sean:

    “being seen, accepted and loved makes my anxiety fade. it always has, it’s clicking”- Love does not eradicate fear, because there are real-and-present dangers in our lives (ex., the pandemic, climate change, political/ social aggression)-

    -but with love, we fear less; we are not paralyzed by fear, doing nothing.

    To live a life that makes sense, a meaningful, functional life, we have to love-and-be loved more, and fear less.

    More Love= Less Fear.

    “I wanna find those loving people”- distinguish between the appearance of love, and love. Sexual attraction does not equal love, a human touch may feel like love, but if the intention behind it is strictly sexual, with no regard to the emotions of the one being touched- it is not love.

    “I can’t live a life of solitude any longer but I’m scared to reach out”- reach out intelligently, selectively. Part of your fear of reaching out is valid: some people will hurt you (and some did, and still hurt you).

    “I think I should make plans to move out”- yes, but don’t put much pressure on yourself to move out. Be gentle with yourself, don’t rush, lead yourself gently.

    You asked me what I think about your use of antidepressants: I’d say do not get off them anytime soon. At the most, talk to your doctor about possibly changing the kind of antidepressant (there are different SSRI anti-depressants, some may work better for you than others), perhaps adjusting your total medication intake (in case you take other psychiatric medications as well), so that you can survive this winter without being hospitalized. Wait till the winter is over, and hopefully, the recent surge of Covid-19.

    Your anxiety, with or without antidepressants will continue for a long time. Key is to not be overwhelmed by it, to not lose your rational thinking, to not react impulsively to it, any which way. Key is to choose your actions (and inactions) thoughtfully, day by day. If you do that, every day will be a little progress from the day before.

    Build each day on the progress you made the day before, and over time, your progress will be tangible and dependable.

    anita

    #368100
    S
    Participant

    I agree with everything you said. I want to say… I’m grateful… this feels embarrassing but…

    I realize that every time I feel the urge to express who I am around people, be seen, have a social life, I get an intense fear. Then I feel the urge to dull it out with porn, overstimulate with music and news and.. Yet that just strengthens the fear. And it comes back into a crying session. This has been going on since I was in middle school and it seems impossible to break the cycle. I know it won’t be easy cause it’s ingrained as hell but it needs to be slowly broken. I set really high expectations of “todays the day everything will change and I’ll go out with like lipstick and just be so feminine and whatever”, then I get scared to meet that so I numb out. I put immense pressure on myself.

    I know I need to just express who I am, be seen, love myself and be loved but like… I’ve been doing this since I was 12.  Do I just bite the bullet and start expressing so I can figure out who the fuck I am? Also, overanalyzing is something I do to escape the fear… I don’t want to resist anymore but it seems impossible to overcome this but I KNOW deep down that it is NOT.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by S.
    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by S.
    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by S.
    #368107
    S
    Participant

    I have to admit – I was arrested in the home I live in now, down in my kitchen, as a 17 year old for breaking everything in my parents house, well not everything but over $5,000 worth of stuff. I was angry that they pressured me to be on medication. I just wanted my life before I turned 14 and went on meds that numbed me back. I wanted my soul back. But when I went off them, my anxiety was very extreme. I had not healed much being on them, just confused and suppressing everything. I feel angry even today when my Mom suggests that people need medication when I say “I feel like I don’t want to be on it. It numbs me.” I miss feeling alive, the pain was so so dense but so was fantasy and excitement. The pain become so dense and suppressed that I couldn’t function. But now not much is different.

    i think that it feels close to impossible to heal in this environment – I try and try to open up, wear makeup and go ouT, feeling so expressive of my gender and identity and then Someone gives me a dirty look, I shut down and put on black clothes again.

    my stomach is hurting with extreme stress, anger, fear. I can’t stop suppressing it. I will talk to my doctor next week for an appointment but the work is so emotional.

    I feel trapped. Like any progress I ever made or any love anyone ever gave me never happened.

    when I go on a lower dose of meds, I can feel how much I hate what I’m studying in school. When I’m on a higher dose, I’m Sort of able to force myself to pretend. I’m numb. When I go on a lower dose, I’m able to ignore the calls of my toxic friends. When I’m on a higher dose, I can’t seem to get rid of that urge to call them. And I still feel horrible, just numb. I need to do what I want in order to actually want to heal. Either way – I’m in an immense amount of pain caused by my situation and lack of love for myself and others that needs to be faced. I can’t do this anymore. I’m on the brink of screaming And crying as I type this.

    #368108
    S
    Participant

    My dad is emotionally unavailable. My mom is emotionally neurotic and distracts herself with everything she does.

    im alone in the suburbs with this fear of other people and their opinions, back to square one. I Never left square one, despite all the meds and therapy that never ever did anything for me. I feel paralyzed and ready to just leave earth sometimes. I need to take accountability for my life. I’m tired of blaming others.

    #368109
    S
    Participant

    I know I have the power to change this but tot rust myself feels impossible when I don’t believe in myself at all and never did. I feel like I want to listen to my brains thoughts of what to do next but I cannot cling to this old reality any longer. My heart is going to explode.

    #368110
    S
    Participant

    I can’t take another day of repeating the past. It’s not healed at all. I’m not healed. I’m aware but not healed at all. I can’t do this. I feel like I’m going to throw up from fear and stress. I’m doing this to myself. I can’t do this anymore.

    #368119
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sean:

    Because I lost my internet for most of today, I wasn’t able to read or reply to your recent posts. I will be able to do so in about 16 hours or so (which will be Friday morning, my time).

    anita

    #368142
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sean:

    You shared that when you “get an intense fear” (of expressing who you are around people/ have a social life), you “feel the urge to dull it out with porn, overstimulate with music and news”- what you do is distract yourself from the fear, giving yourself a break from the fear, for a little while. After each break, the fear returns, maybe stronger, because perhaps shame or guilt is added to it (?)

    “I set really high expectations of ‘today’s the day everything will change and I’ll go out with like lipstick and just be so feminine and whatever’, then I get scared.. so I  numb out. I put immense pressure on myself”-

    – putting immense pressure on yourself is bad for you. You need to be gentle with yourself. Notice: you want to express your femininity by putting on lipstick; express your femininity instead, for now, by being gentle with yourself. That masculine, aggressive voice in your head that pressures you- change it to a feminine, gentle and patient voice.

    “Do I just bite the bullet and start expressing so I can figure out who the f*** I am?”- express yourself gradually, starting with ways that are less visible, so that you are not likely to receive more social rejection and bullying than you already received. Like I suggested above, talk gently to yourself, that’s way more powerful of a feminine expression than putting on the visible lipstick, for now.

    You shared that you were put on medication since you were 14, and at 17 you broke $5,000 worth of stuff in your home because you were angry at your parents for pressuring you to be on medication.

    You wrote regarding the medication: “I had not healed much being on them”- psychiatric medications, such as anti-anxiety meds, they don’t heal. The can help healing only if being on them makes you relaxed enough to attend quality psychotherapy, where healing can happen.

    “I miss feeling alive”- anti-anxiety medications lower the fear, a very unpleasant emotional excitation, but they also lower the pleasant emotional excitation of joy, curiosity, feeling adventurous, etc.

    “I try and try to  open up, wear makeup and go  out, feeling so expressive of my gender and identity and then someone gives me a dirty look, I shut down and put on black clothes again”- like I wrote to you earlier (before I read this part), better that for now, express yourself in ways that are not likely to bring you more rejection and bullying, including dirty looks from people.

    There is more to you than gender, so express yourself in ways that are not gender related. Perhaps if you live elsewhere, in certain areas that are LGBTQ friendly, then wear feminine clothes and makeup, but for now.. there is plenty for you to express that needs to be expressed and that is safer to express. Again, femininity is more than clothes and makeup; express your femininity in other ways.

    “my stomach is hurting with extreme stress, anger, fear… I feel trapped. Like any progress I ever made or any love anyone ever gave me never happened”-

    – the trap is in expecting a good feeling, or an improved emotional experience to last and last forevermore. When you make progress, you will feel better, then worse, then somewhat better, then maybe even worse, then better, and on and on and on. Within the healing process, it takes months and years to make a dependable change in one’s emotional experience. After a long time, many months, you suddenly notice: hmm.. I no longer feel like I used to, the fear is not that intense anymore, the sadness is not that deep anymore.

    The key in the healing progress is to not give up when you feel badly, but instead, do something helpful while feeling badly. If you resist harmful impulses while you feel badly, you will learn to depend on yourself, to trust yourself and that will make you feel better.

    “I know I have the power to change this but ..don’t trust myself”- like I just wrote above, if you find out that you are capable to make good decisions for yourself while feeling badly, you will learn to trust yourself, and that, by itself, will make you feel much better, over time.

    “I’m not healed”- healing is possible for you. I have been engaged in my own emotional healing beginning in 2011, more than nine years ago, when I attended my first quality psychotherapy. But I was far from healed for many years. Now, I experienced lots of healing, and my emotional experience did significantly change, and in positive ways.

    Be patient, seek quality professional guidance, don’t give up when you feel badly, it’s part of the process.

    anita

     

    #368148
    S
    Participant

    I will reply to the rest of what you said when I’m not in a state of panic –

    but you don’t understand, if I don’t express myself and my gender dysphoria doesn’t get soothed, I cannot relax. I cannot be at peace. I’ve tried every type of expression.

    I started a higher dose of medication because I was scared to act out around my family that was visiting. and I’ve been feeling worse, because I know my good feelings and self connection is dulled. I felt an inner calling to be on the lower dose. I only continued the higher dose because my mom pressured it too. But I chose the decision out of fear, it was my choice. And that makes me feel angry and trapped that I pressured myself to do something because others say so.

     

    i feel I should go to the hospital now because of my stomach pain, I called my mom to seek reassurance, despite knowing the outcome internally, and she said “no don’t go, put a warm towel on your stomach” and then she hung up. I feel so frustrated. I want to break everything again. I can’t live this way anymore.

    my gut says to go to the hospital – but it’s like?? do I trust it? Is it anxiety? That’s my internal monologue says. and then my mom comes and invalidates it. Now I’m sitting on my porch contemplating suicide. I will not act on these sensations. But This is all so horrible. This is a repeat of my past childhood trauma over and over. And I am the one repeating it unconsciously.

     

    in conclusion, I get angry when I do things for other people’s expectations and not what my inner voice says. And then I get invalidated by my mother once again for looking for her reassurance for my inner voice. It makes me want to scream and cry. I just want to listen to myself. But I’ve been looking for others advice, listening to my ego and fear… that never helped much anyways.

     

    im afraid I will be dead soon because of how stressed I am and have been for 10 years. I’ve been suppressing it and I cannot do it any longer. I feel like i can’t stop.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by S.
    #368150
    S
    Participant

    I’m angry at my mom for invalidating my voice And giving me advice but I’m more angry at myself for not trusting myself and taking others advice before my own, taking my own advice deep down so I punish myself. I’ve been doing that since I was 3. Others feelings > mine. Others expectations of my clothes > mine. Others words and advice > my body’s advice. But That’s the only way I’ll be happy if I listen to my heart. I cannot heal living someone else’s life, it makes me lost.

    all the trauma journaling has brought up ALL the feelings – sorry for being such a mess. Thanks for listening. I need to trust myself

    #368153
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sean:

    What I understand from your recent post is that you feel intense anxiety, and an urge to soothe that anxiety by taking on the appearance and behavior of a female, which is the gender you identify with.

    I also understand that you get very angry at yourself when you “do things for other people’s expectations” instead of listening and respecting your inner voice;

    -angry at yourself for not trusting yourself and for taking others’ advice before your own,

    -angry at your mother for not giving your the reassurance you need from her, for invalidating your inner voice.

    You no longer want others’ feelings to be your own; you don’t want others’ expectations to be your own, or others’ advice to over-rule your inner voice.

    I think I understand what you need. Yes.

    I don’t want then to tell you how you should feel, how you should think, what you should do, self-determination is what you need, your life becoming.. your life to determine.. to revive, resurrect, and to respect.

    anita

    #368247
    S
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    I’ve been woken up with explosive levels of anger. I’ve spent all day suppressing it once again not knowing what to do with it. I feel like I am dying. I feel so helpless. I am feleing so out of control. I cried to my mom how much the things she did to me as a kid hurt me. She cried and we both cried and it was awful. I think journalling my feelings caused this. No, I think all the suppressing has led my body to a breaking point. I am so afraid of what to do next. I need to do seomthing differently. I cannot go on like this. My mom got mad also that I woke her up at 3am trying to get her to calm me out of a state of rage. She told me that, after i cried to her, how she was crying because she had to work and I woke her up.

    I am in a state of anger and intense anxiety right now. I think it’s from the changing the dose of my medicatiion from 100mg to 200mg so quickly too. I cannot do this anymore. I feel like I’m dying. Please help me. I’m repeating the same cycle. I cannot do this anymore. Please help me.

    It’s getting so so bad; my body is giving in from not listening to it every day. I need to do things differently. My mind is so flooded with adreanaline that I cannot breathe to even think of what to do differently. I want to express my feelings, suppressing them with internet and food for so many years is killing me. I watched porn several times today, ate many sugar-y muffins, ordered McDonalds and spent time on the internet again. It pushed it all down to explode again. I need to break out of this cycle. I don’t know why it’s coming all to the surface. I don’t want more medicaion . I want to be myself and live an autneti c life. I know I can make it through this. I am so scared I don’t have anyone who listens to me my mom just tlels me to stop complaining I cant do this anymore

    #368268
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sean:

    1. Medications: “I am in a state of anger and intense anxiety right now. I think it’s from the changing the dose of my medication from 100 mg to 200 mg so quickly…My mind is so flooded with adrenaline that I cannot breathe… I don’t want more medication”-

    – reads to me that you need less medication, not more medication. Like you suggested, the quick increase of your medication made things worse for you. The kinds of medications you take, plus the dosages, should be re-evaluated and adjusted by a competent psychiatrist.

    2. Your Feelings/ emotions vs your Behaviors:

    Feelings: “I feel like I am dying. I feel so helpless. I am feeling so  out of control… It’s getting so bad”-

    – this is how it feels, it does not mean that this is how it is. If you are reading my words right now, hours after you felt like you were dying, you can see that although you felt like you were dying, you didn’t really die.

    Even though you felt so out of control and helpless, you were in control enough and capable enough to make it alive to this moment.

    What we feel is not necessarily reality. Remind that to yourself every so often.. it feels this bad, but it really is not that bad.

    Behaviors: I woke her up at 3 am.. I watched porn several times today, ate many sugar-y muffins, ordered McDonalds and spent time on the internet again”-

    – give your feelings less credit and your behaviors- more credit. Endure your feelings and focus on your behaviors. Once you behave in ways that you are content with, in ways that make you proud of yourself- you will feel better.

    “I want to be myself and live an authentic life”- get your medications evaluated and adjusted, aimed at lessening your stress and distress. Endure your feelings, and instead of automatically reacting to them, choose your behaviors thoughtfully, so to make yourself feel that you are in control  of your behaviors.

    anita

    #368375
    S
    Participant

    Thanks for giving me practical tips Anita. I am calm now after soothing myself with a shower and yoga and putting my phone down for a while. Earlier I was in a state of rage and screaming though at my parents, dysregulated and overwhelmed by my pain body and life situation. I’ve done this for years but hadn’t done it for months. I could analyze why that is forever but I don’t even know if it matters. I believe it will make sense in time. I don’t know what to say but thank you. I wrote a bunch of sticky notes with self assuring messages on my wall; some of the things you said. I feel hopeless but my feelings aren’t facts, like you said. Reality is breaking my heart quite a bit. It always was. it’s forced me to slow down. So many breakdowns, like every 8 months…. but now I really wanna listen. And face the fear and trauma that caused it. And the internet use and avoidance that made me sick. And the food that made my stomach ache. I don’t wanna go on anymore.

    I got my physical health checked, I’m going tomorrow so hopefully the results come back okay. But if not, I know I can be okay. It’s hard to control your behaviour after living in fight or flight for so long but it’s not impossible. Baby steps….But .. not sure what baby step to take.

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