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Posts posted by Sophy

  1. Thank you @Epictetus and @20YearsandCounting  🙂

    I've spent the evening reading up on trauma therapy for survivors of torture and feel like I've got a better handle on it, for where we are currently at.

    I already had some basic knowledge about it, but I guess I'm going to have to deepen that, step by step on this journey.

    And I guess there will always be moments where events progress faster than my knowledge and where I will feel momentarily out of my depth, until I can close my knowledge gap.

    I need to make sure I keep a good balance between his healing and recovery journey and mine.

    So far, it's worked really well.

    I don't feel like it's a one way street... it doesn't feel like I'm "helping" him and he's needing my help.

    It really feels like we support each other.

    I just need to make sure we keep that kind of balance, on the days where I feel overwhelmed.

    And that entails finding resources for myself as a supporter.

    So yeah, accountability thing... to make sure I stay on top of this.

  2. So I dunno if this is the right place for this, but I need a space to gather my thoughts about this.

    I have PTSD. My depression is PTSD-related.

    A couple of years ago, I met someone in a PTSD support group.

    We became good friends and then became more than friends.

    We've been together for 6 months now.

    I already knew that his trauma was particularly bad.

    All trauma is bad, but there is trauma that is undescribably bad.

    He's a survivor of torture.

    As we've been together, he's told me more about the details that I didn't know before.

    I was aware that surviving torture is more intense, more awful than surviving normal trauma.

    (It feels nuts to call it "normal trauma" - as if there is such a thing.)

    (But having learned more about torture these past months, I don't know how else to word it.)

    (Torture goes way beyond many other types of trauma.)

    So yeah... I'm a supporter to someone who survived torture now.

    And I'm still learning to adjust to this new role.

    I need to research therapy for torture survivors.

    I need to work out where I can get support and advice, as a supporter.

    I need to work out how I can be strong, patient, calm, loving in the face of the effects of the torture.

    I need to be strong for him.

    I also need to do self-care.

    I need to try and find local or online support places, and need to reach out to them.

    I'm kind of posting this as an accountability thing.

    To remind myself to take this seriously.... the self-care aspect... the needing support as a supporter.

    I don't want to eventually burn out because I'm overwhelmed.

    And I don't want things to catch me unaware, so that I don't react in the wrong way.






  3. On 8/14/2019 at 3:22 PM, gandolfication said:


    It's a s***** situation.

    Among other things, I'm contemplating blowing the whole thing up by reporting the whole thing to the bar myself and suing.

    What he did, and what I can prove, is so much worse than anything I've done or that he could prove or even alleges really.

    It would be a long painful road.

    And at the same time, I'm seriously considering leaving this world, so who cares.

    I'm just not sure I have the stamina or wear with all or desire to keep going.  And I think I have very easy free immediately and always available means and access right across the street does it happens.

    So I'm a mess.

    And I'm isolating pretty well.

    Okay, but this solves none of your problems.

    An approach that could solve problems:

    Apply for unemployment.

    IF he does constest it, THEN threaten to sue with a copy of what he wrote, so he backs down and stops contesting your unemployment claim.

    THAT is the order/ method to pick.

    And it gives you unemployment benefits, easing your financial situation.

    Really, THIS is the option that he handed you on a platter.


  4. Yikes, that sucks. I guess at least the $10,000 loan is gone... I guess that's a weight off your mind at least.

    Does your wife know about these two things? The loan and that it's been swapped for unemployment benefits?

  5. On 8/7/2019 at 11:35 PM, gandolfication said:


     I Iad some really heavy bad stuff happen today.  Haven't talked to my wife about it; not sure if or when I will.  Talked to my 1 friend from DC.

    Feels like I've run out of options.


    On 8/8/2019 at 7:46 PM, gandolfication said:


    I am hopefully very close to resolving my first immediate legal problem, from 3x-employer, to be followed immediately by not having any income from giving up the unemployment.
    What a scab of a person he is.

    What's going on? 😞

  6. On 8/5/2019 at 2:06 AM, gandolfication said:

    So for me, and probably in part because I'm not much of a visual artist (I don't draw or paint), when I'm watching a movie even, I will fairly quickly revert to translating (some might say attempting to 'reduce') the concepts and emotions to words.  Others, presumably, even when reading a great book or listening to a great speech, begin almost automatically to imagine visual images (I do not).

    Me too.

    How you doing today? (((hug)))

  7. Eh, thanks JD... I was a bit worried it sounds like a nagging parent... a bit too tough on the tough love thing... But eh... when suicide is an option, I'd rather throw tough love at it than stand by and not know what to do...

    I WhatsApp-ed Rob earlier (bout an hour ago) after I read your post and he replied, so he's a) alive and b) he's in a fit state to work a cell phone.

    Hope that info helps... Cos yeah, I was kinda worrying too.

  8. Oops, the internet posted my post again... Which is silly... But since it contained the question "how are you coping?" I guess that's a perrenial question worth repeating constantly.

    I agree with JD that it is just as likely to have been office politics as anything else.

    In my experience, whether you fit into a team often matters more than the quality of your work.

    It's been really hard for me to learn that those soft skills (fitting into a team) are actually more important than the hard skills (doing good quality work).

    My instinct is that that is back to front, but hey, what do I know?

    Was it you that quoted the Zig Ziglar quote "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."  ?

    I think that's pretty true in jobs/ companies...

    People don't hire you to do the job *you* want to do... They hire you to help them achive what *they* want to achieve.

    I dunno... it's hard.

    I don't have any insightful advice to give.

    I've struggled with jobs/ companies/ bosses so much throughout my life... My saving grace has been not having kids... Cos then I could just massively downsize my needs at anytime... I've come close to living out of my car or a tent a few times in my life... Which ended up feeling strangely liberating, actually... But obviously only an option if there aren't kids depending on you. I think the maths of life changes fundamentally when you have kids... When you're single, it's algebra... When you have kids, it's calculus. There's simply no comparison.

    I still think that what you need to do re work is "think outside the box". It seems that your only two options are law (which may be unworkable) and sales (which is toxic).

    But that can't be right. Literally can't be right. Just from a logic point of view.

    There are so many people who are plumbers, supermarket managers, mechanics, nurses, who are somehow making enough money to at least survive and feed their kids.

    IMO you must be stuck inside some kind of "thought box" and you need to think outside of it.

    Maybe you'll have to get rid of you car(s). There are plenty of people that have to get by without a car.

    Maybe you have to accept some super boring 9-5 job, but can do a Master's Degree in Teaching on the side, so that you can become a high school teacher in a few years.

    Maybe you'll have to move somewhere rural where the rents are even cheaper.

    Maybe you have to buy a caravan and put it in your mum's or dad's garden and live in that for a while and just use unemployment benefits to buy food.

    I dunno... I know depression makes everything narrow down to these incredibly tight tunnels and avenues with "no other options"... but that's part of the illness.

    Learning to think radically outside the box is a good (and IMO necessary) part of getting unstuck and breaking free from depression's claws.

    Last weekend, my neighbour's house got hit by lightning and burned to the ground. They're currently camping out in their shed and are grateful to have electricity and running water in there.

    This week, one of my best friends got diagnosed with cancer in an advanced stage, and she already had PTSD and depression to deal with, and a 12 year old kid, so cancer and chemo's the last thing she needs on her plate.

    It's hard, for everyone.

    And for some effing ridiculous reason, all of society pretends that it's not hard. Pretends that *their* lives are like some glossy magazine advert.

    But it's not like that. Everyone hates their job, everyone's marriage is on the rocks, everyone's struggling to make mortgage payments, everyone's messing up their health, everyone sleeps poorly at night... it's the nature of the beast.

    Yeah, sometimes it's sheer overwhelming, trying to cope with that... Sometimes we reach the limits of what we can cope with. Sometimes it feels like it's "just too much".

    But real life is really, really f*cking hard... It just is... For everyone.

    Sometimes I think our upbringing really sucked... We were taught that if we were good at school and went to university, then "everything would be fine" and we would live "happily ever after".

    We were never taught to cope with adversity AT ALL.

    They didn't even f*cking tell us how to spell adversity.

    Adversity is something you saw on TV... It happened to poor people in poor countries, far far away.

    It's like our parents created this sanitised version of our lives in which we would work hard and only experience successes.

    And then, when we experienced adversity and failure, we had no idea what to do.

    That just "wasn't meant to happen" in our lives.

    Well guess what? Our parents F*CKING LIED.

    They wanted the best for us, so they convinced themselves and they convinced us that that was what would happen.

    They didn't give a f*cking shit about reality or that we would end up having to DEAL WITH REALITY.

    They preferred their myth and they brainwashed us with it.

    And now we're faced with reality, with zero reality-coping-skills and it f*cking hurts and we don't have a clue how to truly deal with adversity, how to overcome it, how to grow from it, how to move beyond it.

    Don't let your parent's programming be the box that you are stuck in and that makes you feel like ending your life is the only other option.

    This failure stuff... this messy stuff... this stressful stuff... this is real life. It doesn't get any realer than this.

    It's hard for our generation to deal with the shame associated with failing at the myth that our parents set up for us.

    But it is a myth.

    And we have to outgrow it, like a snake shedding an old skin, that's become too tight and useless.

    You're an able-bodied, smart, educated guy who is of sound mind (well, mostly, haha) living in a first world country.

    There *are* options.

    Go and find a factory job. Research which factories pay best and get a job there and then find a cheap appartment in the vicinity of the factory for you and your family.

    Research factories in all of the states, so that you maximise your chances.

    See if your wife can get a full time job at the same factory and then work alternating shifts, so there's always one of you to look after the kids.

    Get bikes so you can bike to the factory, instead of needing to finance a car.

    Yah, I know that stuff sucks, but it's real life.

    The stuff our parents taught us is NOT real life and it was bound to fail.

    It was bound to f*ck up, with the first real major obstacle that we hit.

  9. 26 minutes ago, gandolfication said:

    Thank you, yah, I think that's about right.

    My natural predilection is to now think and focus on why the f*#k I can't get it done faster now, and more perfectly...which I've been ruminating on a bit.  And then I have to pause for a moment, accept, let the judgment pass or at least subside a little, and remember, no, this is goooooooooddddd...  Don't question it.

    Yeah... Well in six months from now, you'll be celebrating reaching the stage 2 milestone... And you'll say "Wow, I can finally do things at a speed that feels appropriate now"

    The only way to get there is to go *through* the process, unfortunately.

    And the process is blood, sweat and tears, a lot of the time.

    But there are good days too.

    And it feels like a lot of up and down... often you can't "feel" the progress at all.

    But it is happening... And at some point, you just reach the next level of the computer game.

    Cos you collected enough points and tools and skills.

    And you will be sooooooooooo deservedly proud of yourself for having put in the huge slog that it took to get there.

  10. This is so great to read ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Remember how I said about 6 months ago that eventually you'd get into the "meta level" stuff of being good at your profession...?

    That you would start seeing the forest, not just the trees?

    That stuff would start falling into place...

    And some stuff would start happening automatically...

    So that each-and-every task would no longer seem like a big, confusing riddle to solve?

    Seeing you write the above makes me think that yessssssssss... welcome to the first stage of that! 🙂

    It's like you've run the first leg of a marathon... Gotten into the flow of it... And now you can have a rest at the top of the mountain... And see how far you've come...

    Of course, work will still be hard work... And of course there will be new and different challenges too.

    But that basic sense of proficiency... That sense of feeling competent cos your brain "gets" what you are doing...

    That's such a relief and such a game changer.

    And, umm, yeah... No wonder you felt hopelessly overwhelmed as a rookie 🙂

    And yeah, I get how that can be horrifically unsettling and make you question yourself and life and everything.

    So how wonderful that some pieces of the puzzle are now falling into place and you can feel differently and better not only about the work you are doing now, but also look back with a compassionate and forgiving gaze on your struggles back then.

    Very happy for you!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂



  11. Yah... it's like saying that if I drive a car, then it's a known risk that there may be other drivers who are DUI and therefore if they crash into my car, then it doesn't matter, cos I was already aware that some people do DUI, even if they're not supposed to.

  12. Yah. Perfectionism should be a listed disorder in the DSM, I reckon.

    People totally understimate how bad it is and how it can totally ruin your life. It can be like a cancer, that eats away at everything.

    Perfect is the enemy of good and all that.

  13. Finished reading your posts now and they have made my day. Made my week, my month. Love it. Well done. Keep seeking and stay on this path. You're doing good work. Everything worth finding takes a ridiculous amount of searching. Keep looking for the poetry. Life is poetry, not prose. The contradictions are painful but also beautiful, meaningful, exhilarating, amazing, deep, universal, timeless, liberating, soothing, healing, mind blowing.


    Anyway, excuse my rambling... It's 6 am and I only got 3 hours of sleep last night... I'm pure stream of consciousness crap today... 😄

  14. Oof... I love, love, love Leonard Cohen...

    Making me smile and sniffle on the bus on the way to work. Life and the universe are worthwhile for those moments... Leonard is divine and blessed. His words and songs are like religion, mass, communion to me.

    This is the stuff that matters.

    This is the stuff that makes life worthwhile.

  15. Just started reading your posts and love them.

    Just want to note 2 things before I forget them...

    1) Saying that "all is vain" can be depressing but doesn't have to be. Said and thought and felt in the right manner, it's  a gentle truth, a deeply liberating one, one that entails elements of farce and slapstick, in the best possible way... Like the archetype/ tarot card "the fool"... My favourite archetype/ card.


    Which leads me to

    2) You have the soul and heart and mind of an artist. They always think and feel deeper and wider than "normies" do. They transcend normal daily life and in fact, they don't really fit into its constraints... it wears them down.

    A huge, core part of my healing was identifying as an artist and writer, first and foremost. Yes, I choose to have a day job cos of food and rent and bills. But that has nothing to do with my identity. And... I stopped hanging out with normies... I made sure all my friends are artists and writers and philosophers and musicians... people who don't fit the mold, people who break the mold, as a reminder and validation that for as long as I live on this silly, cute, lumpy, vain, sometimes painful planet... I will never fit the mold, I will always have an artist's gaze, I will always be drawn to the meta level, to the flipside, to the underdog, to the unusual, to the exceptional, to the inspirational.

    Living that life isn't easy. Plenty of artists succumb to depression and madness. Look at dear old Vincent. 

    But if you have an artist's soul and *don't* live an artist's spiritual life, then life is pure hell and feels like numb, meaningless torture.

  16. Thanks @LonelyHiker and @iWantRope and @JD4010 and @uncertain1 and @MargotMontage and everyone else for your thougths (((hug)))

    Thanks for not being like "it's only a breakup, get over it".

    So, I have PTSD and am grateful to just have depressive episodes, not constant depression, so I know I can get out of this episode again, thankfully. And I've started a big self-care thing now... Just going to force myself to cut back on work, cut back on other tasks, get more sleep, eat some fruit/ veg each day, take vitamins, do guided meditations, take more breaks, do anything that feels good/ soothing, do therapy, just totally invest in myself for a few months... I've been overworking myself and combined with the breakup, that's just ended in feeling burned out. So I'm going to invest in myself like crazy... And I know that'll make this episode pass eventually.

    I was talking to my T the other week, saying that I'm so grateful to have PTSD-with-some-depression and not major depression. With PTSD you have such a clear nemesis to fight... and that energy is what carries you through to healing and overcoming your condition... It's so much easier to beat than major depression, where often you're just in a fog... How do you fight a fog?

    And my T agreed... he said my anger about the trauma had been the huge driving force of me getting better and healing... And that the patients he worries about are his major depression patients, who can't find/ channel their anger to fight the stuff that's making them unwell.

    So my heart goes out to everyone who's in the fog and doesn't know how to fight a fog.

    I feel almost bad to know that my anger and determination and my core belief that I am worth it and that I deserve a decent life... are tools that will help me overcome this latest depressive episode... I feel sort of bad to have a tool that I dunno how to help others here use.

    I mainly hang out on a PTSD forum these days, cos there, everyone's like me... driven by the anger about the trauma and fighting like crazy to overcome PTSD and pouring huge amounts of energy into it and making amazing progress. It's so inspirational to see people, some of who have gone through undescribable trauma like torture, or torture as children, things that you'd think would k*ll the human spirit for sure, come out determined to fight for the good in life and the good in humanity. Determined to fight for the well-being of all trauma victims in the world and that includes themselves.

    Ugh. I dunno whether to even post this. I feel bad about even writing it.

    I dunno what I'm even trying to say... That I wish you could feel the power of having a genuine nemesis (like trauma) and to feel that fire burning inside you that you deserve to be okay and that you'll do whatever it takes to make sure you have the emotional well-being that makes life okay.

    Ugh... which is just a long-handed, crappy way of saying that I will be okay... I will make it out of this stupid depressive episode again... I know the tools, I know the self-care I need to do, I know the soul-searching I have to do... And I just wanted to say that I know it's different/ harder with major depression... It's so much harder to do that then... I realise that PTSD with depressive episodes is a different kettle of fish and easier to deal with.

    Anyway, excuse my ramble and sorry if it offends anyone... I dunno how to word it properly so it's helpful and doesn't sound dumb.


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