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    uh..."regular life" ?

    Well, after waaaay too much effort trying to figure out where in the heck to post this, I decided "milder issues" kinda fits. I'm really glad it wasn't in the "Bad Days" category, that was yesterday, lol. Has anyone else experienced being in a fairly healthy place to build a good life after years of dealing with the past fallout, but just too overwhelmed to do anything about it? What I really want is to build a career for myself that uses who I really am instead of the false self that was carved out by the cults, and I would like to make money eventually. I do really have trouble being patient with myself...

    I exercise, I eat right, I get enough sleep, but I just want to sit, and I don't even think it's from being depressed. I've been depressed before so I do know the difference. I'm open to ANY suggestions...like I tell my older children, as long as the suggestions are not immoral or illegal, lol. Anybody else been here, and what did you do about it?

    #2
    Hi Fasafabacapp I'm glad you are taking good care of yourself physically. Perhaps it would be a good thing to just start allowing yourself to do the things you enjoy. Like, if you have any particular interests, perhaps find ways to pursue them. I think the best way to build a career is by following your passions. Even if you can't find a job (or part-time job) in an area of interest, there may be ways to volunteer. Or perhaps look into taking classes in an area of interest. That may lead to opportunities that you were never even aware of. Not sure if that's helpful at all...

    What are your interests? Or, what things do you like to do for fun?

    I can relate to not knowing what to do or where to start. But every time I follow an interest or passion, doors seem to open.
    ♥ ♥ ♥
    The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
    Zeph 3:16

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you so much for responding, this website is really a gift. My interests lie primarily in design and creating with different mediums: textiles, wood, paint, etc. I'm currently working on getting familiar with Adobe Illustrator again after many years, and have greatly enjoyed the design options with that in the past. One thing I did not mention that is pretty crucial is I had a Spine Stimulator implanted last October. It was a great decision, but one thing I have had to learn to do is not overdo...anything. Many of the things I like to do can be pretty taxing physically. I have had to learn to do them in much smaller increments, and much more slowly.

      The real challenge seems to be how in the world to integrate all of the things I used to do (while very disassociated) in a fashion my body can now do them. I used to overwork terribly, IMO, the Lord has gone to great lengths to temper this out of my life, and as a result I have a freedom I've never known. It's been a real journey to even learn what in the world it was like to connect with who and what I was authentically, and to let my creativity flow out of that. That had never happened before.

      Comment


        #4
        Oh how cool. So you're an artist! That's a gift in itself. I've never heard of a spine stimulator. I'm so glad it's working for you. It's really good to know your limitations and not over-exert yourself. There are certainly many, many options for graphic art.

        (I cordially invite you to the hobbies/entertainment thread in the Lounge that I started just the other day. I'm sort of in the same boat as far as wanting to rekindle my artistic talents and bring a balance to my life so it's not just work-work-work!)

        Just curious...does your art work tend to be realistic or more abstract?
        ♥ ♥ ♥
        The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
        Zeph 3:16

        Comment


          #5
          i make lists every morning of what i have to accomplish, or what i want to do. sometimes i make myself finish the chores before i can do the fun stuff. without a list, i tend to just put everything off, somehow. don't know if that's akin to what you're talking about, but it's what came to mind. (((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) if ok. welcome to cs!

          Comment


            #6
            I agre e with cookie.... i make lists ... lf the fun stuff. I overwork all the time, so i write the down time into the to do list. Lol. I know how you mean that now that things have changed you dont know who you are authentically or where to start... i think the idea is to just start and if you dont really feel like it fits, do something else! No right or wrong here
            "We cannot hold a torch to another's path without brightening our own."

            Comment


              #7

              Thank you all so much for the suggestions and ideas. It is such a helpful way to process this and is helped me get unstuck. I don't think I've been clear enough in communicating, I'm trying to overcome my fear of sharing anything that could identify who I am, and realize it's ok, that this is a safe place, and my life is actually safe. There were just so many years it wasn't, and I was raising small children, it's a habit I'm trying to break out of.

              What I haven't communicated clearly is that I am really looking for breaking into a paying career eventually, in some type of graphic arts, not just a hobby interest. It's the process of doing this where I realize my impatience and frustration. Thankfully, I do have the liberty of time and freedom to be able to do this.

              One thing I've realized since posting here, I don't even think my biggest obstacle is inexperience, etc: for about the past twenty years, I was a stay-at-home-wife/mother who raised her children (now older teen-agers and one middle schooler). I basically totally lost myself. Because of the disassociation and lack of experience in any kind of healthy family, I had a very hard time knowing how to do it, or where I ended and they began. Somewhere, I believed if I could do it perfectly enough, my family would be perfect; I neglected to account for the fact we were all human I also married a man I am still married to who was extraordinarily passive/aggressive, who has since changed. Before he changed, I basically about worked myself to death caring for our home, children, and property. It was awful, I am glad that stage of life is over.

              What I'm actually finding the most difficult is to choose to use the time I have to do what I need for myself, versus over functioning for every family member and losing my life. Quite honestly, I believe the Lord just stopped the unhealthiness that was going on in our family when I had back surgeries, and a Spine Stimulator put in. They no longer could use me the way they had been, and the Lord used it to change all of us. I had to learn what it was like to let them do things for me, and I have seen some beautiful changes in my family members, and it helped tremendously in helping us all deal with the anger we had towards each other; them from me being a control freak, and me from them refusing to do a reasonable amount of work to help in daily living tasks etc.


              I found some absolutely great resources online to get proficient at Adobe Illustrator, and started that yesterday, and am excited about that. My biggest obstacle at this point is believing in myself. In answer to the question of whether I do more abstract or realistic art, I actually greatly enjoy and do both, and I really like blending both. One fantastic aspect of computer graphics is all the layering that can be done and options, especially in these styles. I also greatly enjoy impressionistic art.

              Also, re lists, chores etc.: since my propensity has been to do housework/yardwork/etc etc, what I'm really having to be careful is that I don't automatically default to that because it's easier. I probably need to really FOCUS on doing what i need to do to build a career/work, FIRST, because it's too easy for me to start on the other stuff out of years of habit. i read a book recently titled Atomic Habits, and have found it very helpful. I also do "Flylady", and have for years...it's probably what keeps us from getting shut down from the health department, lol. Srsly, Flylady has been helpful in dealing with my OCD tendencies, and learning to let the household/etc., be good enough, so I can spend energy on other things as well.

              Another factor is past head injuries and ADHD, both of which I have been treated for, and currently account for, it does make getting from point A to point B a challenge.

              Anyway, if you read all this, thanks-

              Comment


                #8
                Im still a die hard list person... what are the steps to getting the career you want... and then have that be list priority number one....its good to hear your family is more balanced than it was in the past. It sounds like increased balancing is step number one... its hard to let go of codepenent and controlling tendencies. Its good to recognize these and the need for more balance with your family members.
                "We cannot hold a torch to another's path without brightening our own."

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think it's phenomenal that your once passive-aggressive husband changed his ways--he sounds like a rare person, for being able to transform in that area! It sounds very encouraging also, that your family members have stepped up more since your surgery, and that the physical limitations have led to more balance in your life. I don't imagine these last changes have been comfortable, but I imagine the results are satisfying.

                  I hope you'll love Illustrator and that bit by bit more clarity will come about potential career paths. I wonder whether any volunteer possibilities might exist to help you get a foot in the door, toward the type of paid work you would eventually enjoy.
                  Catie

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I love the FlyLady website. I remember visiting that many years ago when I was struggling severely with depression. It really helped me to take little steps and just clean little areas at a time. Especially starting by just focusing on the kitchen sink and making it shine. It made me feel better and like I could accomplish something in the midst of my chaos!

                    I understand the need to protect your anonymity. I have an SRA background (as do several of us here at CS)...so I totally get it.

                    I used to be a freelance artist when I graduated college. I tried for a year, but it just didn't pay the bills for me. I realized I had to really be able to crank the work out in good volume in order to make a decent living, and I just couldn't do it. It's strange, sometimes I have the ability to paint & draw, and sometimes I don't. When I had my studio, there were many days that I just couldn't touch the paintings b/c I would just mess them up. It's like I had the ability of a 3rd grader on those days. Then, other days, it was like..."WOW"...I would be able to do some beautiful things.

                    I don't have the ability to control my art capability. If that makes any sense... It's more than just a writer's block kind of thing. It's difficult to make a living and pay rent when I can't complete a painting. Plus, for me, when it was a "job" I lost some of the joy because of the pressure to produce. Anyway, all that to say, I'm in a different profession now and am also working on my masters in a completely different subject area (theology). I miss creating art, so am trying to rekindle the skills.

                    I was curious about your work in terms of being realistic or abstract because I find that when I paint, it almost always ends up in abstraction, but when I draw, it's always realistic.
                    ♥ ♥ ♥
                    The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
                    Zeph 3:16

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I can totally relate to you!! Please go easy on yourself and strive for your goals!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        This website is like a warm fuzzy blankie, thank you thank you thank you to those of you that provide this . <<<add a heart smiley to that as well, (didn't see one).
                        Thanks for the comments and suggestions that were posted. It has been extraordinary how our family and myself have changed; my controlling behaviors being tempered out as well as my husband's passive-aggressive behaviors. I am glad to be on the other side of that, even though it's certainly not an exact science.

                        When I look back over where I was at when I first posted this thread, I can see progress, I just get so frustrated that it's not faster. Today, I'm struggling with anger that it just has had to be so hard, and even saying that I feel like I shouldn't be whining. It's just I'm in my 50's now, and it took decades to have a modicum of emotional health, and a mind that functions somewhat normally, something that other people are born with, and I feel like I need the strength of a twenty year old to do what I want to do. That, combined with current physical limitations have made for some very rough days. It makes me cry writing about it.

                        Knm 875, I so appreciate you saying what you did, it is especially timely reading it today. In so many ways, I am my own worst enemy. My biggest challenge is to learn to work in a way that is not driven and harmful. The way I was trained/programmed/raised, was to be successful in whatever I was told to do no matter the cost or aptitude. It's a good way to ruin a mind, body, and life, and so I obeyed no matter what. I got scholarships, awards, and a degree in something that quite frankly I had to force myself to do, and not something I could stand to do as a career, I just couldn't. And thank God, at some point, I was able to start dealing with emotional health, past SRA, etc. I am so grateful I don't live in that prison anymore.

                        It's just harder, and quite honestly, more rewarding than I ever thought to bring my creativity out, begin to trust it, begin to trust the Lord with helping me with it, and take it to the place where it's a part of me in life, and results in rewarding work. I was told growing up that what I created was "junk". The only way to get through those lies and to a place where I get to live authentically is to keep going. One thing I probably haven't been really clear about is I really don't have desires to make paintings or anything like that and make money, although I certainly admire people who do. I actually like to make things that are fairly easy to sell, utilitarian, and that I have purchased. I have a "commercial" streak that's a mile wide, a desire to be an entrepreneur and it's been there since I was a little kid. I'm also not real picky about which direction it takes or I go. It's just a matter of trying to focus, and put everything all together, especially given a past history of disassociation, to go through the grief and let go of unrealistic fantasies and demands I put on my mind and my body that were unhealthy. I do feel like I've finally made it through the worst of that.

                        Another aspect of this has been that for about the last year, I believe the Lord allowed and wanted me to learn how to create for the joy of doing it, not to be successful, not to make money, not to have a job, so I could finally reach down deep and find what it was that truly made me tick, and what it was like to learn to work with joy and honor relationships at the same time. So now, it is time to press on, and learn how to do it in a way that's healthy, that's my current challenge.
                        This winter, I felt like the Lord was leading me to pick up a project I had started about twenty years ago and finish it. It was a king-size quilt for our master bedroom. It was quite the journey. I had to learn what it was like to work in a non-disassociative state, with physical limits. For the first time in my life, I experienced such joy sewing and being present in the making of something. It was a slow process, but I learned so much, and it was the Lord's way of giving me something concrete to do, and that I already had a certain level of skill in, and produced something that I now see everyday (it's finished and on our bed), enjoy, and it gives me hope. It also was not instant, and helped me with delayed gratification and impulse control. Disassociation had made it very hard to move through time and make the connections that need to happen for continuity in so many areas of life. Finishing this large project just helped me in so many ways. I do thoroughly enjoy working with textiles (pillows, kitchen items, household goods) and am trying to develop skill in the IT aspect of this as the possibilities are incredible. I've created and printed some fabric before and loved that. There's also a group of women entrepreneurs that it looks like I'll be joining in September, and just talking with the leader helped me see the difference between talking about it and actually doing it, and what lies in between.


                        It's been extraordinarily helpful to be able to post here and process this. It's impossible to process this without addressing the past SRA/disassociative aspects of it because that was where I was "locked up", but it's not something that I normally include in conversations, so this is so helpful. Thanks again---

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The quilt sounds absolutely lovely. Wether you want a career-which sorry i thought your previous post said- or you dont and just want a hobby i think youre starting in the right place by just beginning... picking up old projects, experimenting with what you like or youre good at...its hard to change when youve lived one way for a long time. Being present is a skill thats hard to learn. I dont exactly master well... would loVe to see the quilt!
                          "We cannot hold a torch to another's path without brightening our own."

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Fasafabacapp, I'm so glad you like it here and find it helpful to write and process.

                            It's always heartening to become aware of progress, forward motion.

                            I, too, wish the healing journey were easier, more linear and moved a great deal quicker.

                            I'm glad you are countering your own perfectionistic tendencies! It sounds like you have done a good deal of emotional work.

                            The lady entrepreneurs group sounds like a real find and I hope you'll enjoy and benefit much from their companionship.

                            A king-sized handmade quilt sounds like a phenomenal and beautiful project. I hope you feel very fulfilled in completing it and can admire your own work greatly.

                            Catie

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hi fasafabacapp

                              It's just I'm in my 50's now, and it took decades to have a modicum of emotional health, and a mind that functions somewhat normally, something that other people are born with, and I feel like I need the strength of a twenty year old to do what I want to do. That, combined with current physical limitations have made for some very rough days. It makes me cry writing about it.
                              Wow i am so hearing you on that! Ugh I wish it were all so much easier, faster & had been able to start earlier - before i was physically ill. Sometimes i think it's necessary to grieve what has been lost as well as appreciating what we do have, and that includes getting angry, so please dont feel that you're "whining".

                              The quilt sounds amazing I look forward to hearing of it's progress

                              i'm glad that talking here is helping

                              Comment

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