What will my life be now?

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    Dear Nichole:

    I am thinking about you today, re-read our communication August 2018-> February 2019, all before the pandemic, before anyone heard of Covid-19, and yet, there was so much pain then, pain that you expressed.  You were back from Florida at the time, Aug 2019, back to a tiny apartment in Chicago, then Jan 1 2019 you moved to your aunt’s  basement.. then all the moving and struggling and finally back to Florida and more struggling, then Covid-19, the cherry on top, so to speak. And here we are, now, and you are considering reconnecting with your aunt in Chicago, with whom you spoke last in April this year. Maybe you already contacted her.

    Here is the thought I had today: psychiatric medications- seems like you always had a resistance to those, had them prescribed to you but didn’t commit to taking any, not for long, if at all. Personally, I was anti psych drugs, but I learned that sometimes, for some people, they are the right thing to do. If your turmoil is like you shared, having been going on for so many years with ups and downs, instability and confusion, and the psychotherapy/ PTSD therapies that you tried- didn’t help with the instability, intense anxiety, ups and downs and confusion-  it may be that you really do need to get serious about a mood stabilizer, such as Risperdal (Risperidone)  or Seroquel, something to take the edge off the ups and downs.

    Maybe you should give psych medications a new consideration and a new attitude.



    Dear Nichole:

    There has been no posts for me to answer in the last two days, few today, so I spent my tiny buddha time studying your threads. I didn’t think you would mind the extra attention, and I think that maybe, if you will be reading the following calmly, over time, maybe it will be of help to you.

    1. A summary of your story, as I understand it, with quotes from what you shared since August 2018, and my interpretations of the quotes are in parentheses: you grew up poor with a neglectful mother who was addicted to drugs, a father who was also addicted to drugs and who was mostly out of your life, and two brothers older than you. The older brother sexually abused you occasionally starting when you were five, all the way to 13. Your mother was focused on drugs being her priority over you, and later, she focused on a man/ a love interest, who had priority over you. You wrote about your mother: “I loved her so much. She was my best friend and enemy” (Every time she became your enemy, she betrayed your trust in her).

    Your home of origin was not a peaceful, attentive home; it was a home of neglect, abuse, frequent arguments and invalidation: your emotions and needs were neglected and dismissed. As a result, you developed “severe PTSD from childhood.. a terrible temper…. hard to control my impulsivity sometimes”, and you were often “so confused”, feeling unstable and experiencing draining “ups and downs… deep depression”.

    In 2015, you were 26 years old, living in a tiny apartment in Chicago with your mother, the younger brother of the two brothers, and his daughter (your niece). At that point, you were in a 1.5 year long online/phone relationship with a 100% blind man who lived in Florida. At 26, you moved out for the first time, driving all the way to Florida to meet the man whom you referred to as the man of your dreams, having “planned marriage and children”.

    You got a job in Florida, a job that you continued to do, working from home, ever since. Currently working part time and on unemployment because of Covid.

    You lived three years with this man, being his driver, caretaker and lover, living a higher lifestyle than you were used to because his family was wealthy. But those were not peaceful three years; often there were arguments, abuse and strife. You wrote:  “In the 3 years living with him I was verbally abusive when we argued, which was often.. an emotional wreck during our time together.. I put so much pressure on him”. “He started telling people I was mentally unstable and I was”.

    At the end of the three years, you found out that he communicated online while living with you (and before, I am guessing, as he met you online..?) with multiple women, “saying he wanted to be with them and have kids and a future with them”. Your reaction: “I completely freaked out.. was very verbally abusive.. and even physical”, gathered all your belongings into your car and drove back to Chicago.

    Back in the tiny apartment in Chicago, August 2018, your mother was not there: she was very sick in a hospital, in a rehab facility and last, in a nursing home. You lived with your younger brother, niece and your father who was back in the home. You quickly wanted to go back to the guy in Florida, “calling and texting like an emotional mess”, stalking him on Facebook, asking him “why we couldn’t make it  work even though I left”, and you “continued bashing him” while pleading with him to get back together.

    In September 2018 your mother passed away, and you felt very guilty for not saving her, for not having been by her side every day in the hospital when she was sick, and for yelling at her the day she died in a nursing home.

    While living in the tiny apartment, paying for expenses there, you wanted to move out, but (1) you were concerned that your younger brother will suffer financially if you stop paying expenses there, (2) you were saving money, hoping to buy a condo in Florida and move back there. You didn’t want to waste your money renting an apartment, (3) you figured that moving to your aunt’s basement, paying lesser rent there, will give you the opportunity to save for that condo in Florida.

    In January 2019, you moved out of the tiny apartment to your aunt’s basement, and you felt “lonely, insecure and afraid”. You soon regretted moving to your aunt’s house, saying that she was driving you crazy,  that she was “completely codependent”,  and “a little passive-aggressive and controlling”. By the end of the first month of living with your aunt, you thought about renting an Airbnb for a couple of days so to get away from her. During the remaining stay in your aunt’s basement, you spent a lot of money on Airbnb,  getting away from her, which cut into your savings for that condo in Florida.

    In February 2, 2018, you wrote: “I have yet to feel comfortable anywhere since being back (in Chicago)”.

    You eventually moved out of your aunt, cut contact with her and with everyone else in your family, and lived in a room for rent, and later to an apartment.. but you felt worse than before. Eventually, in January 2020, you put all your belongings in your car, and drove back to Florida.. where you “lived in 5 places.. clashed with many people”, experiencing more turmoil, more depression, more strife.

    In April 2020, you desperately called your aunt, told her about the sexual abuse you suffered from the older brother as a child and teenager. Her response: “she was very compassionate. She validated my feelings, offered to help me with anything I needed. Offered to buy me a plane ticket”, but you declined. She then called you a few days later, and at  one point during that conversation, she asked you why did you stop “contact with everyone if (older brother) was (your) reason of being afraid”. You felt shame and suspected that she meant to shame you when asking that question. Your reaction: “I.. blocked her again.. I’ve literally blocked so many people after an interaction like this”.

    Eight months later, December 8, 2020, still in Florida, you wrote: “I hardly function these days. I have tried many times connecting in Churches and groups and it never works.. because I am bringing my unprocessed trauma along with me.. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. I am so alone, so isolated… I keep trying here alone in Florida.. I am scared of people.. My ptsd has been triggered by so many people since leaving my family. I have found that 90% of the people I have met are just as abusive as my family.. I do  still feel like that little girl begging for love”.

    2. My input, using quotes from what you shared: you articulated it accurately: you brought your unprocessed trauma with you everywhere you went, so far. You feel like you don’t belong anywhere because you did not feel like you belonged in your original home, a home of of neglect, abuse and invalidation.  As a child, you felt “so alone, so isolated” and you felt the same way ever since. As a child you were scared, and you continued to feel “scared of people” ever since. Everywhere you go, you see abusive people because you grew up with abusive people.

    You “still feel like that little girl begging for love” because that little girl is still you, still begging for love. But this little girl is also very angry, understandably, for begging for so long and not received that desperately needed love and validation.

    It is the combination of desperately needing love and intense anger at not receiving it that is dominating your inner and outer experience in life.

    Not all people you meet and interact with in real-life are abusive: you interpret their words and actions as abusive even when they are not abusive, and you can’t tell the difference.  Examples: (1) while you lived with your aunt in 2019, she “came home 3 different times.. and caught me crying and came by me and literally acted as if she care and then asks me if I lost my job? Of all things. I think she wants me to lose my job”- she probably was really concerned about you and wanted to know the reason for your crying.  (2) when in April 2020, your aunt asked you why you cut contact with everyone in your family if you were afraid only of your older brother, you assumed that she was invalidating and shaming you and you blocked her, but she was probably curious and trying to understand you better. (If you asked her why she asked that question, instead of blocking her, there would have been a chance for you to consider a different motivation on her part).

    When I asked you for an example of your aunt being “so passive aggressive and manipulative”, you answered: “It is hard to say how she does it, it is never a direct comment with her, she just makes these indirect comments aiming to make me feel bad”- more likely is that you interpreted what she said incorrectly, as aiming to make you feel bad. She said something-> you felt bad-> you assumed she meant to make you feel bad.

    As a child you tried to be useful to your family members, trying to be valued and loved by them, but nothing you did to help them/ please them- was ever good enough to get you the love you needed- so you felt used, and you got very angry from time to time. Fast forward, in Aug 2018, you wrote regarding your sister in law: “She hardly says thank you and nothing is ever good enough… Last time I went to visit, I exploded on her… She really doesn’t act like she cares about me at all. But yet calls and asks for things”. In December 2018, you wrote: “I have been pleasing people in hopes that they would love me… I have always helped my family, took care of my mom”. In summary: the theme of you feeling unloved, invalidated and used repeats itself, as well as the theme of reaching out to others/ doing good things for others and then exploding angrily/ blocking the same people- being an angry people-pleaser.

    As a child, you lived with people who were unwell, selfish, out for themselves, corrupt, aggressive, invalidating, cruel and toxic. You were betrayed by your family members . Fast forward, you experience being used, abused, manipulated and betrayed wherever you go, including when abuse and betrayal are not happening. Dec 2018 & Feb 2019: “I have been mainly abused and manipulated my whole life by my parents, my brother.. I have been used and abused my entire life by multiple people… all along I see I’ve had toxic manipulative people in my life.. everyone is so corrupt. Everyone is selfish and out for themselves…passive aggressive and cruel to me.. the betrayal never ends.. everywhere I look and turn is another realization and another betrayal”. March 2019: “95 percent of people just want to use people”. May 2019: “everyone I once trusted is cruel… people are so mean and cruel.. Everywhere I go I seem to be getting the same passive aggressive response”.

    As a child, you tried hard to be loved and to feel happy, and every time you felt a bit happy, something happened that brought you down, so you figured that the people you grew up with noticed that you were beginning to feel happy, were displeased by you feeling happy,  and proceeded to purposefully bring you down. Fast forward, May 2019: “my entire family has turned on me and wanted to bring me down when I was finding happiness”, “the more happy I am the more someone wants to bring me down”.

    December 2019: “I am in CBT therapy but I don’t feel understood so am looking else where. Not being validated is very difficult”. February 2020: “I’m attending therapy my therapist suggested an intensive program. My head tells me this is ridiculous”. In April 2020, you wrote: “My body hurts from anxiety. and this virus is only making it worse. This covid is getting scary. In June, you asked: “Why do I continue having the same bad experiences. Why do so many people hurt me. I feel like I have a sign on my forehead that says treat me bad.. the cruel cruel world”, and in November you wrote: ‘My boss is triggering me daily. He is a special kind of cruel.. I feel attacked, abused and misunderstood.. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. I am so alone, so isolated”- like so many of us, Nichole, you keep reliving your childhood emotional and social experience.

    The theme continues: every one is out to hurt you, everyone is cruel to you: “I have found that 90% of the people I have met are just as abusive as my family (Dec 8, 2020).

    The World Health Organization, in its ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and related health problems)  defines a disorder called Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) of two subtypes, one of which is the impulsive type (F60.30): “At least three of the following must be present, one of which must be (2): 1. marked tendency to act unexpectedly and without consideration of the consequences, 2. marked tendency to engage in quarrelsome behavior and to have conflicts with others, especially when impulsive acts are thwarted or criticized. 3. liability to outbursts of anger or violence, with inability to control the resulting behavioral explosions; 4. difficulty in maintaining any course of action that offers no immediate reward;5. unstable and capricious (impulsive, whimsical) mood.”

    priority group. com website (no spaces) on the disorder reads: “Living with emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) brings many complications. If left untreated, it can seem like you’ve lost all control of your thoughts, feelings and ability to manage your responsibilities. The emotional highs and lows can be difficult and you may often feel isolated, finding it difficult to connect with people. If you are struggling to cope with these symptoms, we can help you to manage their impact on your life… (EUPD) usually causes you to experience intense and fluctuating emotions, which can last for anywhere between a few hours and several days at a time. These emotions can range from extreme happiness, euphoria and self-belief, to crushing feelings of sadness and worthlessness… Signs and symptoms of EUPD: .. Impulsivity, Mood swings, An overwhelming fear of abandonment, Extreme anxiety and irritability, Anger, Paranoia and being suspicious of other people, Feeling empty, hopeless and worthless… Dissociation (feeling as though you have lost touch with reality”. The website lists different types of therapies and treatments for the disorder.

    In the American DSM-5, this disorder is known as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD. Wikipedia on BPD reads: “The often intense emotions people with BPD experience can make it difficult for them to concentrate. They may also tend to dissociate, which can be thought of as an intense form of ‘zoning out’.. Evidence suggests that BPD and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be related… Most researchers agree that a history of childhood trauma can be a contributing factor.. There is a strong correlation between child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, and development of BPD. Many individuals with BPD report a history of abuse and neglect as young children.. They also report a high incidence of incest… Caregivers were also reported to have failed to provide needed protection and t have neglected their child’s physical care. Parents of both sexes were typically reported to have withdrawn from the child emotionally and to have treated the child inconsistently… BPD emerges from the combination of an emotionally vulnerable child, and an invalidating environment.. Invalidating environments may include contexts where their emotions and needs are neglected, ridiculed, dismissed, or discouraged, or may include contexts of trauma and abuse”.

    My final note on this post: if you could get a professional health practitioner, a psychiatrist or a psychotherapist, to see you and evaluate you for EUPD or its equivalent BPD, it may be a starting point in your healing process. This personality disorder is treatable. I know it is so because I was diagnosed with BPD in 2011. I know the torture and turmoil of the emotional experience. I healed enough to no longer fit the diagnosis.

    More: as a child you were abused and you were not responsible for the abuse you suffered; as an adult you sometimes abuse others, but you hold the abused responsible for it. March 2019, regarding the blind man: “He started telling people I was mentally unstable and I was but because he was driving me to it.. he chose to pick at me and wanted a reaction from me, yes to explode”- It is common for a person who explodes at another to claim: you drove me to it! you wanted a reaction from me!

    You wrote in May 2019: “I talked about people, judged people, and expected so much from people and probably shamed them. All unintentionally“- this is you not taking responsibility as an adult for shaming people. Similar to you not taking responsibility for angrily exploding and abusing the blind guy.

    May 2019: “I was shamed..!! I know I have shamed them by holding them accountable for their behavior but I did not deserve these accusations… it is so unfair!!!”- you hold others accountable for their actions, but you are not willing to be held accountable for your own actions, not seeing that as an adult you sometimes d abuse others: “why do I deserve this? I have been so good to people” (May 31, 2020).

    Back to my recommendation: see a health professional so to be evaluated and receive the treatment that is appropriate and specific to you.

    I will post again in about 16 hours with final thoughts at this point (unless you let me know that you prefer that I don’t).


    • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.

    Dear Nichole:

    This will be my second post in a three posts study. The third, tomorrow- will be the third post of the three. This second post is about your attitudes and experience with psychiatric medications:

    For many long months, you described extensively and repeatedly your very troubling experience with ongoing acute anxiety, depression, confusion and severe insomnia. At different times I suggested that you see a doctor so to consider psychiatric medications (in addition to suggesting to you psychotherapy, daily exercise, guided meditations, yoga, etc.).

    This is what you wrote (“/” often means moving from what you shared on one particular day to what you shared on a different day, in the same month):

    February 2019, Chicago: “I have appointment on Thursday to see a General Practitioner. I’m hoping she can help guide me on which way to go with medication. I am very scared of (medication)/ I went to the Doctor and was prescribed Zoloft. I have yet to start it because I am nervous to be on medication.. nervous to start… It seems to be very complicated when deciding to go on meds. And that is what I am worried about. I don’t want to be on so many and then have to deal with weaning off of them. It seems sometimes more complicated than being depressed in the first place. Or maybe I am just seeing the negative end of it/ I am going to much consideration before taking anything because it makes me nervous. They prescribed me the smallest dosage at 25 MG of Zoloft”.

    May: “I am so down today. More than ever I think.. I might start the Zoloft I was given/ I tried the over the counter but that didn’t work. I actually came to the ER because it was going on 6 days no sleep and I was scared. Prescribed me Xanax and said to start Zoloft.. I think I’m going to start. But I’m scared.

    June: “I have been depressed today. Did not ask the Zoloft, chickened out but thinking about it tonight/ I didn’t sleep at all! That’s with taking Zoloft and Xanax.. No sleep, not even with Xanax? What can I do?.. I am taking sertraline, the generic of Zoloft. And yes Xanax. The bottle says at bedtime I took that two days ago and slept. Last night no sleep, high anxiety and stress and tremors!/ I asked the pharmacist and he told me both at night. I have not just taken Xanax. I was going to do that last night but decided on both/ maybe I’ll do mornings or maybe I’ll just stop? And take Xanax for sleep. I don’t need those side affects/ I’m hoping sleep tonight when I take only Xanax/ I don’t think I’m taking Zoloft anymore/ I am choosing to stop and bought some super b complex stress vitamins.. I got 4 hours of sleep with Xanax/ Was prescribed Ambien and did nothing for me!/ I am actually feeling good today. I slept all night! Took 2 Benadryl. Woke up with less anxiety and more motivation.

    July: “I am not okay! I have been having severe anxiety attacks! I nearing a deep depression, I can’t it anymore.. Scared to take meds again.. I can’t do this with this extreme anxiety creeping through my body! It’s in my neck and back and throat and chest. But most painfully my head. I feel like I’m being electrocuted!/ Went to the doctor am on 10mg Ambien for sleep 1 mg of Xanax 3 times daily 50 mg Zoloft in the morning.. I felt more depressed, worthless, and doubtful than ever today. Not sure if it is any of the meds but my self wasn’t me today/ 2 days on Zoloft and I can’t get out of bed.. My body jolting. My head zapping/ I am complying with my meds.. I didn’t get any sleep.. The Xanax does not seem to be doing anything. Neither does Ambien/ I went to psychiatrist and got more sleeping pills. Still no sleep. Anxiety has taken over nothing really works.. I’m debilitated.

    November: “I have had horrible times with my anxiety and attacks.. dissociated and depersonalized. I did go to a psychiatrist and am on 3 meds. Not sleeping.

    December 2019, Chicago: “I don’t feel the meds doing anything. My anxiety is at a max resulting in numbness.

    June 2020, Florida: “Regarding medication and a psychiatrist, no I currently am not on anything. I decided to get off a while ago because I felt it was making me more but honestly I feel like the screaming girl is going to keep screaming until I give her something familiar.. I’ve tried 4 medications. Found a psychiatrist here and it didn’t work. I’m not sure how to find a good one. I was recommended this Dr. who asked me in a session which medication I’d like to try. It was not reassuring. It’s tiring when I have had so many bad experiences after the next. Nothing good getting thrown in between.

    December 2020, Florida: “I am not sure if I  would get the vaccine. I am usually skeptical about what I put in my body. Especially now in 2020. I know the situation is demanding but I still have to consider… Considering meds again. I have a prescription just reluctant to take them.”

    Third post tomorrow.



    Dear Nichole:

    This post will be a quote from Wikipedia‘s entry on Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study). The concept of ACEs is very relevant to your life experience (and to mine). I will not elaborate on the relevance in this post, but will do so tomorrow (change of my plan: there will be four posts total):

    “The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) is a research study conducted by .. Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention… The study has demonstrated an association of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) with health and social problems across the lifespan… the ACE study found that

    (1) Adverse childhood experiences are common. For example, 28% of study participants reported physical abuse and 21% reported sexual abuse. Many also reported experiencing divorce or parental separation, or having a parent with a mental and/or substance use disorder.

    (2) Adverse childhood experiences often occur together. Almost 40% of the original sample reported two or more ACEs and 12.5% experienced four or more. Because ACEs occur in clusters, many subsequent studies have examined the cumulative effects of ACEs rather than the individual effects of each.

    (c).. a person’s cumulative ACEs score has a strong, graded relationship to numerous health, social and behavioral problems throughout their lifespan.. many problems related to ACEs tend to comorbid, or co-occurring… The number of ACEs was strongly associated with adulthood high-risk health behaviors such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, promiscuity, and severe obesity, and correlated with ill-health including depression, heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and shortened lifespan…

    “Compared to an ACE score of zero, having four adverse childhood experiences was associated with seven-fold (700%) increase in alcoholism, a doubling risk of being diagnosed with cancer, and a four-fold increase in emphysema; an ACE score above six was associated with a 30-fold (3000%) increase in attempted suicide.

    “The ACE study’s results suggest that maltreatment and household dysfunction in childhood contribute to health problems decades later. These include chronic diseases- such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes- that are the most common causes of death and disability in the United States… The study was initially published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine…

    “Cognitive and neuroscience researchers have examined possible mechanisms that might explain the negative consequences of adverse childhood experiences on adult health. Adverse childhood experiences can alter the structural development of neural networks and  the biochemistry of neuroendocrine systems and may have long-term effects on the body, including speeding up the processes of diseases and aging and compromising immune systems… the wear and tear on the body and brain that result from being ‘stressed out’.”



    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by anita.

    Dear Nichole:

    www. who/ int/ violence injury prevention/ adverse childhood experiences, a website by the World Health Organization, reads: “It has been shown that considerable and prolonged stress in childhood has life-long consequences for a person’s health and well-being. It can disrupt early brain development and compromise functioning of the nervous and immune systems. In addition because of behaviours adopted by some people who have faced ACEs, such stress can lead to serious problems such as alcoholism, depression, eating disorders, unsafe sex, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases.

    “The ACE International Questionnaire (ACE-IQ) is intended to measure ACEs in all countries, and the association between them and risk behaviours in later life. ACE-IQ is designed for administration to people aged 18 years and older…”

    I looked at the questionnaire. I will copy a few the questions. Each of the questions is referring to an ACE in childhood (emotional neglect, alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, parental separation/ divorce, verbal/ emotional abuse, physical/ emotional abuse, sexual/emotional abuse, and more):

    2.1  Did your parents/ guardians understand your problems and worries?

    3.2 Were your parents/ guardians too drunk or intoxicated by drugs to take care of you?

    4.1 Did you live with a household member who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or misused street or prescription drugs?

    4.2 Did you live with a household member who was depressed, mentally ill or suicidal?

    4.4 Were your parents ever separated or divorced?

    4.6 Did you see or hear a parent or household member in your home being yelled at, screamed at, sworn at, insulted or humiliated?

    4.7 Did you see or hear a parent or household member in your home being slapped, kicked, punched or beaten up?

    5.1 Did a parent, guardian or other household member yell, scream or swear at you, insult or humiliate you?

    5.2 Did a parent, guardian or other household member threaten to, or actually, abandon you or throw you out of the house?

    5.3 Did a parent, guardian or other household member spank, slap, kick, punch or beat you up?

    5.5 Did someone touch or fondle you in a sexual way when you did not want them to?

    5.6 Did someone make you touch their body in a sexual way when you did not want them to?

    There are more questions regarding being bullied by peers and suffering from street violence and war, etc.

    In the www. cdc. gov/ violence prevention/ ace study. pdf website I found many more questions under the “Female Health History”, including:

    17. With how many different partners have you ever had sexual intercourse? # of partners?

    20c: Do you smoke cigarettes now?      24a: What is the most you have ever weighted?

    25a: How old were you when you had your first drink of alcohol other than a few sips?

    30a: Have you ever used street drugs?,  and many more questions.

    My concluding thoughts and closing of my four study posts:

    You suffered from multiple ACEs (emotional neglect, parental separation, parental drug abuse, sexual abuse, and more). I suffered from multiple ACEs as well, and our individual combinations of ACEs resulted in prolonged and acute stress that damaged our brains and bodies during childhood and onward.

    At this point, it is most important for you (and I), to keep our stress level as low as possible, on an ongoing basis. I would say that this the first priority. Regular exercise, a yoga routine, a daily routine overall, mindfulness exercises and guided meditations- are all excellent ways of minimizing stress level, as well as attending quality psychotherapy if available.

    Sometimes psychiatric medications are needed. I understand your reluctance, as it may be related to your two parents have been abusing drugs. But.. sometimes these are needed. But not in the way you used psych medications: taking this or that here and there, on an impulse, then stopping- not following the doctor’s instructions for long. Psychiatric medications are not supposed to be taken willy-nilly:  you have to take them as prescribed for a long period of time while being under a doctor’s care.

    True, psychiatric medications have side effects and some, if not all, are addictive in one way or another- but think of all the side effects of (non-medicated) acute stress: dangerous behaviors, chronic illnesses and early death.

    Psychiatric medications when prescribed by a responsible psychiatrist and when taken persistently according to instructions- can reduce your stress level significantly and in so doing, increase your chances of being safe and healthy. While taking these medications, you can work on establish your daily routine, attend psychotherapy if available, learn new skills to lower your stress level- and when you are skillful enough- then you can lower the psychiatric medications according to a responsible doctor’s instructions.



    Merry Christmas, Nichole!



    Merry Christmas Anita!!

    I have yet to fully read through your last few observations. They became a little triggering. As you stated being calm and reading would work best but that just has not been my narrative lately. Anything but calm. Including my tire blowing out last night on my way home from Church and having to call someone I had met months ago at Church. Fortunately she was so very kind. Picked me up and took me home no questions asked. Offered me to sleep over so I wasn’t alone and brung me some water. So very stressful but also was nice to have human contact. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Of course now we have plans to stay in touch and start walking together possibly. And of course my fear alarm is going off like a riot. Should I trust her? This is scary! This is different! Asking for what I need and having it be met is foreign and the only time I can think of someone doing that is when they in exchange wanted to abuse me. So how do I prevent that from happening again? I am the least common denominator! Change is so hard but staying the same is harder! So many many thoughts and questions consuming  my brain. These were all rhetorical by the way. Just venting my current.


    I hope you enjoy your holidays and hopefully your neighbors roosters I believe? did not wake you up this Christmas morning.


    Dear Nichole:

    I am touched and impressed that you remember my complaint regarding the rooster! I saw the neighbors’ chickens recently, but didn’t notice the rooster, nor did I hear it for the longest time, so glad about this and hope it continues.

    I am also glad that you stopped reading my recent posts when you felt a little triggered- don’t read them for as long as this is the case. If you want me to summarize those recent posts and present them to you in a shorter, milder form- let me know and I will do so.

    Regarding the woman you met in church, the one you called after your tire blew out, and who was very kind to you, you asked: “Should I trust her?”- yes, trust her for having had no ulterior motives other than to help you when she picked you up, but do trust that she is imperfect, that sometimes she gets annoyed.. just like you and me. You have to allow for human imperfections instead of rushing to see a human imperfection as evidence of abuse and betrayal.

    Again, Merry Christmas, Nichole!



    Hi Anita,


    Sorry for the delay in response. Hiding away from the world has been a norm for me. I do remember the rooster and glad he has stopped causing trouble.

    I did put my trust in the girl who helped me with the tire. The relationship hasn’t gone far though. And that is ok. She was helpful and I am grateful. I do my control issues likely play a role in my relationships not going far. Unconsciously I tend to try and control my experiences in various ways so I am accepted and don’t get hurt and to appear to “be ok”. I have this strong guard up with everything recently. It is so stressful. Riddled in fear most days still. I am starting to recall what you told me over a year ago. Be prepared to be uncomfortable for a while. Or something of that nature. I have been this way my entire life and so changing this stress response and patterns will take time. I guess I am just hoping for a bit more relief than I have had.


    Here is my latest dilemma causing me to go into overdrive. I was on unemployment for the past 3 months. I started my job hunt and landed a remote position. This is what I wanted. I also interviewed for an office coordinator position making 7 dollars more. I know I am more than competent for the position, however, I am the furthest thing from feeling confident. I feel like a worthless human being lately so it’s hard to trust myself enough to function.


    I had accepted the job with the remote company last week. Today the owner of the local business called me and offered position. I took it. They both start Monday. I do not know how to juggle this decision. My heart is telling me to go for more money as I definitely need to get caught up but I was thrilled to find a remote position. The position is new and being creative and thought I could really express myself. There is a lot of structure there with direct planning and projects daily which I love because not really any guessing on what is happening. Also, the local business is a screen company. It is unique to the trade and I would be in charge with most all administration. It seems like a lot of work. They both do. Which is fine but I am nervous because of course I have memories and flashbacks to the old job with my old boss. Demeaning and cruel at times. Discarded me and acted like I did not exist in the end. I do know I played a role in this as well. But how can I trust I wont create this in my life again when I am in such distress and fear still.


    You told me and I lived by it for a long time. Don’t judge my day on how i felt but more on how I functioned. I always carry that with me because it is true. I feel hopeless most days, sometimes so overwhelmed and lost. But my bills are paid. I am showered. My clothes are cleaned. I am fed. I am attending Church tomorrow God Willing. I will go on a walk today. So I keep wondering why my feelings wont align. But then I think back to all the unfelt feelings. And the disconnect from the people who were my tribe. I am alone beside some really kind virtual friends and pen pals like you and Tiny Buddha and my facebook people and a therapist and a group I belong to. But I guess this is my new beginning. I guess my fear is trying to hold me back from moving on.


    Dear Nichole:

    I am so happy to read from you today, your post made my day!

    Regarding your dilemma, the remote position: “This is what I wanted.. I was thrilled to find a remote position.. being creative.. I could really express myself. There is a lot of structure there.. which I love because not really any guessing on what is happening”.

    The local position: “7 dollars more”.

    My recommendation: take the remote position. The point that the local position means more money reminds me that you made decisions in the past based on spending less money on rent, but those decisions cost you a whole lot more money than what you saved. Therefore, I say: take the job that is better suited to you, the job that is likely to promote your mental health, instead of straining and challenging it. Having a job with structure and not having to guess is a huge benefit for anyone suffering from anxiety.

    “I function.. my bills are paid. I am showered. My clothes are cleaned. I am fed. I am attending Church… I will go on a walk today. So I keep wondering why my feelings won’t align.. But I guess this is my new beginning“-

    – when you go to church tomorrow, before the sermon, open to the first page of the bible, Genesis, it starts with “In the beginning..” (In Hebrew, in-the-beginning is one word and it sounds like this: be-re-sheet)

    Give yourself A Beginning tomorrow, Sunday morning, say Be-re-sheet, and open yourself to a new beginning. Imagine that it is possible for you (and it is!) to feel good, and to feel good for a whole hour and a whole day.



    Hi Anita,


    I am glad I can make your day!

    I am glad to be in touch.

    As always you are so right, I usually take the easier road or more appealing only to learn it was too good to be true and problems arise. But this decision is different in the sense that I need more money, I would barely make it alone on the pay from remote. I could make it but just about and as for the other position I would be comfortable and be able to start paying for professional help again, which I need desperately. I am confused on this one. It is causing me to shut down and not want to do either. Beautiful about new beginning. I didn’t read this before Church. I will check Genesis tonight or tomorrow. I am scared to begin again. But I do know it is possible. For now I am lost. I still often think to calling family. Because although functioning some days I feel like have moments of psychoses. It gets scary.


    Dear Nichole:

    Yes, you did make my day! I’ll be back to you Mon morning, in about 10 hours from now.



    Dear Nichole:

    It is difficult and it is also scary for many people to make a choice between two options when both options have pluses and minuses, knowing that when you choose one, you will be stuck with it for a while, and may regret is.

    If the remote location job didn’t pay (including benefits) enough for you to pay your bills, to be able to house and feed yourself, etc., the basic needs, it would definitely be a No (except if it was very part time and made it possible for you to have a second job).

    If the remote job offered a significantly lower pay than comparable jobs in the area/ similar areas, than it is probably a No because you don’t want to be taken advantaged of and feel being taken advantage of every day you go to work.

    * I wonder if you can ask the remote location employer for a higher pay, explaining to them what you explained to me, that you will “barely make it alone on the pay from remote”?

    * Since you attend church now, and if that church gives you comfort, will the remote location mean that you will no longer be able to attend that church, and will there be a comparable or better church available for you in the remote location?

    If you want, you can list the pros and cons of both job for me (1, 2, 3..), elaborate on each, and I will give you more of my feedback.

    You wrote: “Although functioning some days I feel like I have moments of psychoses. It gets scary”_ first, congratulations for functioning well for so long regardless of how you feel. Second, regarding the moments of psychosis, are you referring to the moments of intense fear (panic) replaced by moments of dissociation (numbing).. and then back to panic at a later time?



    Hi Anita,


    Ok, your right it is a fearful place to be. I decided on more money. I already started to feel taken advantage of within the other company first couple of days. It was kind of a low pay and I thought I deserved more when I am literally at my witts end exhausting my energy to work. Am I thrilled with the other job? I dont know yet. It seems to be up in flames personnel wise but i do not want to complain. I am trying to look at work only as a means to make my livelihood versus a place for emotions. But boy that is hard when my emotions are haywire.


    I am having a little trouble accepting life as it is. I want things to be easier. The little girl throwing a tantrum for her family as you painted a picture for me before. But little Nichole has to grow up.


    Yes you Asked about what I meant about Psychoses. Yes intense fear and anxiety followed by numb/dissociation. And once in a great relief. Sometimes it makes me feel crazy.


    Dear Nichole:

    Your most recent post is not long, yet I need more time than I have now to reply to it. I will be back to you in about 13 hours from now.


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