Psycho-Babble 2000 Thread 677313

Shown: posts 1 to 19 of 19. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Ahhhhh ... I get it ... so THAT's why I'm back....

Posted by finelinebob on August 16, 2006, at 23:44:44

It's always best to run somewhere safe and friendly when the monsters start coming out.

I must have had some nightmares last night, because I woke up this morning and immediately realized how close it is to September 11th. I mean, I expected I'd have some sort of reaction and I was already planning on taking a few sick days around it ... but it's still too far away for it to be so close.

The rage and the fragility and the alienation are all slowly creeping back into my life, but I can see signs of them in my journal, and I'm aware of them now. Particularly the rage -- negotiating NYC subway platforms and stairways are aggravating enough on their own; I don't need my PTSD helping out.

Thank god it's on a Monday, not a Tuesday, this year. I'd be so happy if it snowed ... I want it to be overcast and wet and windy and cold and miserable because all of that would be so much easier to tolerate than a cloudless, perfectly blue sky on a perfect late-summer day.

Once you get out of the canyons of Midtown and down in Chelsea, where the buildings aren't so tall, if you're standing on 6th Avenue and know where to look you can see this big hole in the sky. I remember being down in the Village, drinking beers and chatting with one of my best friends here in the City, sitting at a sidewalk table of one of the bars along 6th Ave. If you've never been in a big city at night and taken a look, then you don't know how starless it can be. Too much streetlight, too little starlight. But in that inky blackness there were these two beautiful silver towers that just jumped above everything in sight.

Great. Tonight's fortune from my cookie I got with the General Tso's I had delivered? "A dose of adversity is often as needful as a dose of medicine."

I beg to differ. I'll have a double dose of clonazepam instead, thankyouverymuch.

I'm very lucky. I've got a therapist with whom I must have shared three lifetimes worth of experiences in the last ten years. I've got one of the best PDocs in the City. I've got Babble, especially Babble-2000 (but I ain't got Noa ... where r u, baaaaaybee?). I've got the loveliest about-to-be-5-years-old German Shepherd named Leyna who knows my pains because she's lived through them with me and bears some of my wounds for me. I got a new guitar. I've got a wonderful job with a great company and the most understanding boss you could ever want -- he knows where I'm at because he had the guts and the integrity to say he could take it if I told him my truth, and he has the experience to understand ... don't know about him personally, but he has a brother who is bipolar. And he has the heart to care.

So yes, I have lots of support; far more beyond what I just listed. And yes, when you go on a Babble like this things intensify.

But somewhere in my head, a switch has been flipped. Or, maybe, a circuit breaker has been tripped. And I see the load getting heavier and more breakers tripping.

And I already don't see any reason why I would need any sleep until Sunday or so. Oh, I'm also lucky enough that in my job I have to work so hard my body just can't go along with my mind's preferred method of using one pain to distract me from another.

I think my mind might win the fight tonight, tho ... I see my T tomorrow -- this morning -- at 9:30am and I've got about 8.5 hours (make that 8 now) before I need to be on the subway, minus the time it will take me to walk Leyna when she needs it and make myself look and smell presentable for the rest of the day. And I still have work to do because a mail server that is the bane of my existence decided to act up today, taking up 7 hours of perfectly good normal business hours to diagnose and fix. No point in getting 3 hours or less of sleep ... I just can't wake up that fast once my body gets to take over.

Any Springsteen fans out there?

"The Rising" was an album of 15 songs, all about September 11th. There's one in particular that always jumps into my mind in times like these -- "Into the Fire" -- written from the point of view of a husband or wife who lost their partner as one of those firefighters or police officers who died that day doing their duty, trying to save lives. The verses are for that bereaved one, but the chorus is for us all:

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love bring us love

One day, maybe those words will finally hit home, become true for me and bring me some comfort, some solace.



But not today.

 

Okay, today...

Posted by finelinebob on August 19, 2006, at 15:33:32

In reply to Ahhhhh ... I get it ... so THAT's why I'm back...., posted by finelinebob on August 16, 2006, at 23:44:44

> May your strength give us strength
> May your faith give us faith
> May your hope give us hope
> May your love bring us love

I think I may have written in a different thread here in 2000 my experience with flashbacks down at "Ground Zero" and how I learned to fight them down and not be victimized by them.

From my post above, it looks like the Beast found another way to hit me with a sucker punch and definitely caught me off guard ... and it's taken a few days to recover from that blow.

But it's time to start hitting back. It's time to turn the hunter into the hunted and to stop being victimized by it. I moved back to NYC because it feels like "home" more than anything else in my life, and I'm not going to tolerate letting that trauma tresspass any longer.

There comes a time when you decide to stop running, to turn around and fight. Looks like, for this particular demon, that time is now.

 

Re: Okay, today... finelinebob

Posted by Kath on August 20, 2006, at 20:12:03

In reply to Okay, today..., posted by finelinebob on August 19, 2006, at 15:33:32

Good for you. It's good to hear the strength & the not-willing-to-be-a-victim type of talking.

hugs, Kath


> May your strength give us strength
> > May your faith give us faith
> > May your hope give us hope
> > May your love bring us love
>
> I think I may have written in a different thread here in 2000 my experience with flashbacks down at "Ground Zero" and how I learned to fight them down and not be victimized by them.
>
> From my post above, it looks like the Beast found another way to hit me with a sucker punch and definitely caught me off guard ... and it's taken a few days to recover from that blow.
>
> But it's time to start hitting back. It's time to turn the hunter into the hunted and to stop being victimized by it. I moved back to NYC because it feels like "home" more than anything else in my life, and I'm not going to tolerate letting that trauma tresspass any longer.
>
> There comes a time when you decide to stop running, to turn around and fight. Looks like, for this particular demon, that time is now.

 

Re: Okay, today...

Posted by Shar on August 23, 2006, at 1:03:20

In reply to Okay, today..., posted by finelinebob on August 19, 2006, at 15:33:32

FLB--
Amassing power, coming out of the corner we've been beaten into, facing the Beast...

It's what I've always wanted to do, and have never accomplished ('tho I know others who have, and won).

Many kudos to you for confronting whatever is there.

Shar

 

facing the Beast.... Shar

Posted by finelinebob on August 23, 2006, at 1:51:25

In reply to Re: Okay, today..., posted by Shar on August 23, 2006, at 1:03:20

It's still three weeks away. It's lulled me into a false, unconscious sense of security and hit back with flashbacks. It's crept into my dreams and -- it took a few days of subtle prodding -- made me think those three weeks were gone and it was all of a sudden in my face.

That's why I came back here. I came back several days before those nightmares woke me to that stark irreality.

I'm sure there are still avenues open to it to sucker-punch me yet again. But I'm past "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me". I'm back attending Quaker meeting (15th Street Monthly Meeting, First Days at 11am for any fellow New Yorkers) and finding great peace where I was once afraid of bringing my own distress into that community. Another meeting, the Downtown Manhattan Meeting, is having a memorial on Sept 7th (they meet on Thursday evenings since most attend other meetings as well) in Battery Park. I'll be there. And my boss knows I'll be calling in sick on the 11th so I'll be free to do what I need to do that day.

But after several years of abject pain I've found a PDoc and the right cocktail to fight that off, and I have 10 years of therapy including some very deep, very freeing, very empowering work over the last 5 years with my T ... yeah, I have the strength to stare down the Beast and reverse the chase. Not that it won't reverse again, but this is one I'm not going to lose.

I'll be back here I'm sure, pouring my heart out when it hurts too much. I hope it's not overwhelming -- I've been told here and elsewhere that I have some eloquence as a writer -- but I feel safer here than on the other boards. Maybe, when I update my site, I'll go onto Psych, tell some of my story and share my site's address. LOL -- I'm received Babblemail asking why I'm here because I seem so well-balanced.

But I'm falling asleep at my keyboard again and work will be beckoning too soon. Time to stop haunting these boards, looking for those bright yellow "new" tags. Doesn't Dr. B know how addictive they are?

 

Re: facing the Beast....

Posted by Noa on August 25, 2006, at 20:46:10

In reply to facing the Beast.... Shar, posted by finelinebob on August 23, 2006, at 1:51:25

Hey there.

Just had a yen to pop in and say hi. It's been a long time.

I'm glad to hear you're back in NYC, Bob!

One thought I have is would it be useful to examine your expectations for yourself as you 'face the beast'? I mean, there's the stress of the anniversary and then there might also be the additional stress of expecting something from yourself in terms of your readiness, and the implicit self-judgment that might sneak in there for not being where you might wish to be in trauma recovery. Can you reflect on what you might be expecting from yourself and whether you can take on an accepting attitude toward wherever you happen to be at this point in time?

Another thought is would it help to get the camera out and spend time that day (or before/after the day) taking photos of NY in recovery--NY still alive and kickin, etc.? I'm thinking the camera could be a healthy way of removing yourself as an observer, and getting you to focus on the images of the city as it is back to life again--the city as a tenacious survivor.

Hang in there.

Noa

 

NOA!!! =^)

Posted by finelinebob on August 26, 2006, at 0:25:57

In reply to Re: facing the Beast...., posted by Noa on August 25, 2006, at 20:46:10

It's so good to hear from you!

As for Beast Hunting -- I know I'll probably get tripped up and it'll double back on me. But I got back-up and I'm working form a position of strength ... and the Beast is essentially a coward

 

Re: NOA!!! =^)

Posted by Noa on August 26, 2006, at 13:10:37

In reply to NOA!!! =^), posted by finelinebob on August 26, 2006, at 0:25:57

Thanks!

I think I started healing and stopped being terrified of and on constant vigilance against my 'beast' when I stopped trying to make it disappear altogether and accepted that 'it' is part of me.

But our beasts are different--your beast is definitely trickier to deal with. But it sounds like you have developed the support contingencies you need.

Noa

 

Companions and Invaders Noa

Posted by finelinebob on August 26, 2006, at 17:42:28

In reply to Re: NOA!!! =^), posted by Noa on August 26, 2006, at 13:10:37

> I think I started healing and stopped being terrified of and on constant vigilance against my 'beast' when I stopped trying to make it disappear altogether and accepted that 'it' is part of me.
>
> But our beasts are different--your beast is definitely trickier to deal with. But it sounds like you have developed the support contingencies you need.

Well, that's the problem with the Beast. It ain't singular.

The Beast I was born with? I'm trying to get it to sit, stay, lie down, rollover, play dead. If you gotta live with it, might as well make it a companion -- contentious, for sure, but as tame as possible and see if you can find some value, joy, amusement, whatever with it. I decided I don't want to be normal, if being normal means giving up my Beast. I couldn't be the person I am today without it -- I'm not so sure I could have reached where I am from a purely "healthy" path.

This other Beast is an intruder and is definitely NOT welcome in my life. It will leave its clawmarks on my soul forever, but I **will** exterminate it. Whatever level of Hell it came from, I'm gone to send it back several levels deeper and see how it likes that medicine.

 

Re: NOA!!! =^)

Posted by shar on September 9, 2006, at 21:29:14

In reply to Re: NOA!!! =^), posted by Noa on August 26, 2006, at 13:10:37

So glad to hear (indirectly) from you.
xoxo
S

 

Re: NOA!!! =^)

Posted by Noa on September 10, 2006, at 22:59:45

In reply to Re: NOA!!! =^), posted by shar on September 9, 2006, at 21:29:14

Hi, Shar! Good to 'see' you, too. Hope you are well.

Thought I'd stop by on this eve of you know what to see how Bob is holding up.

Noa

 

Re: NOA!!! =^)

Posted by finelinebob on September 11, 2006, at 3:00:24

In reply to Re: NOA!!! =^), posted by Noa on September 10, 2006, at 22:59:45

> Hi, Shar! Good to 'see' you, too. Hope you are well.
>
> Thought I'd stop by on this eve of you know what to see how Bob is holding up.
>
> Noa

Staying up for now.

 

FLB

Posted by shar on September 13, 2006, at 0:17:31

In reply to Re: NOA!!! =^), posted by finelinebob on September 11, 2006, at 3:00:24

You still with us now?
Shar

 

Re: FLB shar

Posted by finelinebob on September 13, 2006, at 21:48:30

In reply to FLB, posted by shar on September 13, 2006, at 0:17:31

> You still with us now?
> Shar

Thanks for asking, Shar =^)

Yes, just very very busy -- huge move at work that put me a day behind in a job where you can't be a day behind, plus I decided to take on some freelance ... not the best timing.

The Intruder never showed. Disappointment, I was spoiling for a fight. Did take lots of pictures (100+ ... gotta love a 2Gig card even with a digital SLR).

Took most of the day to realize this because all the remembering and gestures of all types keeps your focus there, but by the time I got to Union Square, expecting I dunno what but some sort of gathering ... it looked like any summer night instead. What I realized was that people had moved on with their lives. The college kids who were such a big thing at the remembrance night 5 years ago are all gone ... graduated, maybe working, maybe off to grad school. Or slackers hanging out on the steps in the Square's main plaza.

Sometimes the hardest thing about the trauma of an event like 9/11 is to realize that you survived it.

Unless you're still living in that moment. If you can call that living.

 

Re: facing the Beast....Noa/FLB

Posted by Shar on September 16, 2006, at 17:19:27

In reply to Re: facing the Beast...., posted by Noa on August 25, 2006, at 20:46:10

Was re-reading these posts.

Man, Noa is good, ain't she? Whoa--wish I was that good!! I could almost imagine myself not suicidal!

Shar

 

Leaving it all behind Shar

Posted by finelinebob on September 16, 2006, at 22:22:29

In reply to Re: facing the Beast....Noa/FLB, posted by Shar on September 16, 2006, at 17:19:27

> Man, Noa is good, ain't she? Whoa--wish I was that good!! I could almost imagine myself not suicidal!
>
> Shar

Yeah, she is ALL that.


New York is all over the place. There are those most personally affected because of the loss of a loved one -- who know where they are? The ritual reading of names may help them, but it almost paralyzed me when I heard it Monday morning. Good thing I had the sense to leave my apartment (and my radio) behind.

Those responsible for "healing" that physical, geographic/civic wound? Too busy pointing fingers at each other. And the wound they are responsible for healing festers instead.

Seems there are people here who can't give their pain the respect it deserves. They saw it on TV or listened to it with colleagues at work, 50 blocks away or more ... why should they feel anything about it? They can't respect that the heart of the city they called home had just been cut out, and they can't respect that they all had to live through the aftermath -- posters of the missing/dead on streetsigns and lampposts everywhere in the city, memorials at every fire station and police station, the smell of the fires that burned on for several months dragged through the subway system by trains passing nearby.

"... you've got stuck in a moment and now you can't get out of it ..."

That song sorta jumped into my head the last day or so. As much as I hate "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" sorts of comments, that song line points to two different things: (1) getting stuck in a moment, and (2) getting out of it. There are still a lot of people who are stuck in that moment, and many either DO not or WILL not accept that they are. Even then, accepting that you ARE stuck in that moment is only the first step in getting out of it. But it's a big one.

Underneath everything was a sense of sorrow, a sense of anger (directed in several different directions, foreign and more often domestic) ... but it was still underneath. At the end of the day, the thing that struck me the most was that the city as a whole was getting on with its life. And starting to do so quite well.

I realized as well that very little of that day upset me. The ritual name reading started dragging me down, but I walked away from that. The conspiracy theorists and all their propaganda -- and I'm using that "conspiracy theorists" label loosely and broadly, right and left -- I just walked away from. And at the end of the day, I had to wonder if it wasn't time for me to start getting on with the rest of my life. Time to get out of the moment I was stuck in. The pit I thought I was in? It's gone. And I get the feeling I can walk away from it and leave it behind.




... the problem now (isn't there always one?) -- which direction to walk?
flb

 

Re: Leaving it all behind

Posted by Shar on September 17, 2006, at 5:44:50

In reply to Leaving it all behind Shar, posted by finelinebob on September 16, 2006, at 22:22:29

flb--
Can one leave something of that magnitude all behind? I think you made some excellent points, but it's like when someone you love dies, it's a process of keeping them with you while still going on. And, it takes time.

Or did I miss your point entirely?

The way to walk, I THINK, is forward.

S

 

Re: Leaving it all behind

Posted by finelinebob on October 1, 2006, at 15:33:17

In reply to Re: Leaving it all behind, posted by Shar on September 17, 2006, at 5:44:50

> Can one leave something of that magnitude all behind? I think you made some excellent points, but it's like when someone you love dies, it's a process of keeping them with you while still going on. And, it takes time.
>
> Or did I miss your point entirely?

No and yes.

Broadly speaking, there's no way you can ever leave something like that behind. 'nuff said for "no".

Narrowly speaking, the pit of despair that the trauma of the event created, that threatened to keep drawing me back into it? Yes, THAT I can walk away from, even tho it's left its scars. We'll see as I spend time down there, or when next year rolls around, but I feel the tether that bound me to 9/11/2001 and kept dragging me back there and then; yes, that is something I can leave behind me, where it belongs. Behind me in time, right now. Behind me in space -- as that area of the city heals and rebuilds, then ... and that has already started.


> The way to walk, I THINK, is forward.

But there's that old conundrum: When you're standing at the South Pole, no matter what you can only go North.

 

Here it comes again )) possible trigger

Posted by finelinebob on September 7, 2007, at 10:41:55

In reply to Re: Leaving it all behind, posted by finelinebob on October 1, 2006, at 15:33:17

... and after last year's basic no-show of the Invader Beast, I'm looking for it so I can stomp on it.

It caught me by surprise last January, when my mother died. PTSD so wrenching only my dog's life stood between me and nothingness. So I'm looking to catch it by surprise again this year.

Still having the last laugh from last year. 9/4/07 passed and I thought I missed it -- I was a week early, but I could still make it through the day without thinking about it.

Then there's Sadako's story of the origami cranes, the Japanese student teachers who came so far to teach us how to fold cranes and who gave us origami made by Japanese children. Each had a Kanji character and the English translation -- mine is "love" (still have it).

I hope a new group of young Japanese adults makes the trip this year ... I'll spend a lot more time with them than the gawkers and the conspiracy theorists and the official ceremonies.

"May your love bring us love"

Love's a good Beast-stomper...I'll catch all y'all up on the 12th. In case anyone was curious -- http://wtc.thefineline.org/ is still up.

flb


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