Row, row, row your boat

Returning to the blog for a little ramble. It’s nice to be back into it. Taking a rest from blogging in the pub has been good because I feel some things have changed sufficiently for me not to feel bogged down in my struggles.

Been on call for jury service this week though I wasn’t needed in the end. It was rough going day after day being told that I’m still on call. Glad it’s over and glad I didn’t have to go in and attend.

Things have settled now to some extent but I’ve been feeling the usual pressure building up to get off my head drunk and lose the inhibitions.

The next thing to worry about is that I’ll be training a new colleague at work and it will be full training from scratch. It means I won’t have much time alone to work by myself at my own pace.

Work has been stressful recently as we’ve had to rush things in preparation for my jury absence which never happened in the end.

I’ve been taking the pressure off by succumbing to tiredness and lack and motivation to do the usual stuff to keep my mind busy. Spending more time just lazing watching new stuff online.

Still wrestling over the same issues but I think I’m seeing things more clearly and am less conflicted. It’s about time that I restart digging deeper and confronting the emotional pain I still hold.

Ive got a plan now at least. Might not work in any way but it’s a tactic at least. From watch have learned from mental health advice, I am going to have to begin to be my own shoulder to cry on.

I’m going to have to parent myself and offer the support and acceptance and validation and love that I can’t get from anyone else now.

And I need to get a consistent code of behaviour that I can get fully behind. A guide to direct me in my decision making. A system that governs me and is in line with my true values and my conscience.

Recent news that has become a hot topic for debate, with a lot of emotion behind it. Touching on the unwritten rules of public morality or more pertinently, a complete upending of reality in favour of dodgy, narcissistic ideology.

My heart goes out to those who speak the truth at huge personal cost in the face of foul abuse and it’s inspired in me a desire to walk the path of authenticity. To never again hide myself away from social judgement.

Because I’m more aware now of how intolerant and unaccepting people are towards those who say no. Those who rightly refuse to bow down to ideology and rightly defend themselves against increasingly predatory demands.

And to the painful thought that I became very selfish, very narcissistic, very demanding at my worst. I’ve made many excuses, used my autism as an excuse, demanded people understand that I had no choice because of my inability to deal with loss and change. I was never very good at not getting what I want. So most of the time I just don’t ask for anything.

And I’ve never been very good at dealing with criticism. And I absolutely cannot deal with the thought that someone might find me unlikable.

Its a been long, slow process to finally think differently. To begin believing that I’m actually better off being alone than try to desperately please someone who just doesn’t like me.

I guess I’ve had to face up to the fact that I had gone from someone deserved support as an innocent victim of a traumatic neurodivergence into someone who was just perpetuating a cycle of traumatic abuse.

Always much easier to see it in others than to see it in myself. Much harder to take responsibility and admit it.

It was all the trauma’s fault but I wanted other people to be traumatised with me instead of working to heal it and overcome it.

I find it easier to be told no, now I’ve started saying it myself. But of course I’ve been humbled by the experiences of others who face horrors worse than my own. Those who face the worst kind of abuse just for saying no.

It’s no secret that my recent experiences have left me feeling disconnected if not oppositional and adversarial to other people. Times like these I feel like it just might be the wise decision.

I am ultimately using this lonely time to rebuild myself and forge myself anew as someone who can finally stop pretending to be someone I’m not and be unafraid to be myself. It may be the case that I’ll never truly be able to do that around anyone I really care about and want to spend time with.

My own wellbeing should be more important than anyone else’s for the simple reason that I’m the one who has to live myself and I’m the one who is responsible for what I do.

Right now I don’t feel like putting myself out for anyone else. I’m not yet ready to do it for myself let alone anyone else.

We’re all in the same boat but some of us feel the crashing waves affect us more. I’ve taken the path of rowing my own boat in calmer waters but I’ve had to row it alone. To stretch the metaphor I’ve been rowing in the opposite direction to everyone else so it feels like I’m a hindrance while I’ve been going backwards.

But at least I can say that I’m rowing in the right direction and I should only choose to row with those who are aiming in the same direction.

That’s an issue I think a lot about. We’re all told that we should embrace what’s different and we shouldn’t judge those who are different by own standards.

I can sum up now why I struggle with people who are different. Because I don’t really feel like I’ve ever had enough people in my life who were rowing in the same direction.

I always have clinged on to anyone who I thought was similar to me and yet I always end up feeling abandoned to row alone, to face the currents of life without help and with only one rickety oar that might just break at any moment.

And well fuck it, at least I get to decide where I’m going now.

But to get back on track I need to overcome that source of pain that keeps me afraid to row because I can’t see any further than the choppy waters.

Stretching the metaphor to breaking point I need to learn how to actually enjoy rowing enough to get back in the boat.

It’s usually my fellow rowers who make the journey worth taking, who make the rough waters tolerable.

I’m a social creature by nature but I don’t know how to row the boat the way other people do it. Do you know what? I never wanted to be like anyone else. But I don’t know how to navigate life and the only thing I’ve learned is how to pretend I know just by copying what everyone else does.

And yet I can’t help but note that maybe no one else knows either. The real reason that we humans look for company because everyone needs a co-pilot at times.

Spend too much time listening to your co-pilot and all of a sudden people start to ask why they put any faith in you and start to look to the one who actually has an idea of where to turn.

Social life is all about letting people into your boat and them letting you into theirs. On the rare occasion that I got invited to someone else’s boat I always chose to set my own boat on fire and then cry over being thrown overboard.

To take the metaphor to its conclusion, it’s taken nearly 2 years to build myself a new boat and to gingerly test the waters again. I’d give nearly anything to have my co-pilot back but I like my own boat now and it needs more time and energy to maintain before I ever leave it again.

The obvious social advice is that I should be proud of my boat no matter what and that not everyone will like being in my boat and that’s fine.

To sum up, I’ve never really let onto my real boat. It sails the darker waters and goes only where I know.

Thanks for reading and excuse the heavy handed metaphor throughout but I felt it was working xx

Advertisement

Heartless

Been meaning to post, it’s been a small while.

Plenty to chew on as always. Various thoughts about where to go now.

Quick update on what I’ve been up to, well not much really. Just completed a playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been great to spend some quality play time. Helped to escape for a time into another world. Can forget I’m me for a bit and take a break from everything.

Plenty of time has been spent reflecting still, I guess it’s not a long term strategy to spend all my time alone, playing games and avoiding the real world. Motions are ongoing to get me back out in the real world again. Relaunched a facebook page which, for the moment, is just another place to vent myself and it’s just for me. Not yet ready to publish that stuff to anyone again.

Trying to rebuild myself and come back stronger. But for the time being I’m doing stuff just for me and getting back in touch with who I’ve always been and doing what I’ve always done.

Through it all I still need to figure things out. Always trying to do the right thing and do it better than anyone else. My experiences have really shone a light on how I go about things and it’s been a tough thing to take.

I’m becoming more and more convinced that I’ve lived my life under the shadow of childhood trauma of just not being seen, not being reflected in those around me. Not feeling like I was ever a part of society but an outside observer who just can’t connect with the real world.

Not feeling like my true self was ever validated, accepted, understood. I can see so much of myself in the YT videos of Crappy Childhood Fairy, who talks a lot about Complex PTSD. And my hamfisted pursuit of a meaningful connection of a relationship was always discoloured by the way I always hid away my true feelings. I’ve always avoided the things you have to do to have a real relationship. Chased the safer fantasy version instead. It was always much easier than being real.

And the truth is that for all I desperately want and crave for a relationship, I’ve never been able to deal with the real. Part of this is the way I’ve never really felt truly loved, wanted or accepted and just don’t believe other people see me as anything but a broken man who people like but don’t respect. Everyone’s got advice, everyone likes to help. And everyone sees me as someone who isn’t doing what he should be doing and needs to be guided and corrected.

And so yes, who was I when I tried to maintain a connection with someone? Someone who tried to people please with as much force as I could muster, someone who clung on for dear life, permanently afraid of being dropped like yesterdays trash. Someone who chased the merest crumbs of affection. Someone who pinned all of my hope, love, positivity, time and energy on an escapist fantasy of someone who just wasn’t available in that way. And yet there was a reality there, when that crashed down I lost everything that I had freely given away.

That’s what I’ve had to reckon with, that my heart is just not there for anything anymore. My heart is not in work, family, friends, not in anything I do. It was for a while in the video game but that’s not going to last and nor probably should it. When I stopped caring about others I stopped caring for myself. I do care for myself now but I’m not feeling any real care for anyone else and I’m not motivated to keep looking for what I wanted out of life.

It’s quite calming in a way, nothing really matters like it used to and I guess I’m a lot less anxious now. But that’s come at a price.

Is it ok to not be ok? It depends what ok means.

It wasn’t ok when I was extremely down at my worst and had thoughts of not going on.

Where I am now? It feels like it’s ok for me to be unhappy. I’m not in any sort of danger of hurting myself, not in such pain as to lose control of my mind. Yeah I’m miserable and probably still depressed but I think now that the depression is necessary for my brain to heal. The unhappiness is the natural and logical response to what’s happened in my life.

I’ve always done things in such a way as to protect myself from getting hurt because nobody taught me any other way. Nobody saw how vulnerable I always was and nobody taught me how to have self-esteem, how to be secure. Any attempt at punching through the numbing wall meant I had to open myself up far too much and expose myself to feelings I don’t know how to control.

I’ve always known how much of a loser I look and how unattractive it is to be so desperate. I made peace with it and tried to do my best anyway.

What’s been a real shock to my soul was how much of what I did could be seen as abusive. That I myself was probably quite emotionally unavailable. That I had begun to get passive aggressive and manipulative. That I was loyalty testing in the worst way possible, making it clear that I was passively threatening to withhold my friendship to get what I needed.

Those events have left me in severe doubt about whether I can discern what is good and bad anymore. And that’s something that is associated with trauma. I always did everything I could to be as good as possible but yet I felt like I had done the very worst thing to do in that situation.

No one’s perfect of course, we all make mistakes and we all do bad things. The most troubling aspect for me is that I rarely have much choice in the way I act. Don’t have the luxury of freedom to choose. Everything has to be done a certain way. Everything has to be the right thing, everything has to work. Everything has to be known in advance.

I can’t actually pinpoint anything that would have been the cause of childhood trauma, just one long story of having been pushed into a life I wasn’t prepared for, having to struggle at every turn against forces I can’t defend myself from. And I’ve never been able to ask for help without exposing myself further, without feeling overwhelmed by the deepest shame of being defective. I begin to see the picture of course, that every social interaction I had was reinforcing society’s judgement. Everyone’s words and actions screamed “you must be defective”.

Not doing what people expect of you? You must be defective.

Not communicating with people at school? You must be defective.

Not playing outside with other kids? You must be defective.

Not eating a balanced diet? You must be defective.

Not doing your chores? You must be defective.

Not got a job? Not doing anything useful? You must be defective.

Spending too much time alone? You must be defective.

Why are you angry? Why are you upset? Why are you depressed? Why are you so stressed?

You’re not allowed to be angry, upset, depressed, stressed. You must be defective. How can I help you?

Well you can start by acknowledging and validating me. And maybe you could try not treating me as a defective human being.

This is the basis of it being ok to be not ok. Because they way I’ve dealt with life is to repress and hide my true feelings out of fear of being abandoned. My connections to other people are extremely tenuous. I cling on and cling on until the inevitable abandonment comes and then those are shut away forever in the darkest corner of my memory, never to be trusted again.

It’s ok to not be ok, but trauma makes everything seem like it’s not ok. It’s not ok to stay like this forever, I’ll do what I can to heal from the trauma and start living a life I actually want to live. For now though I’m really doing the prep work in a slow, gentle manner. Taking my time, building the foundation.

As mentioned earlier, I’m working on how to be a good person because without that I don’t believe I’d ever make it through life. What is the good, right thing to do? I still a feel a lot of doubt about whether it was the right thing to walk away and close the door. On reflection it was the best thing to do, the right thing to do. For her and me both.

The ability to walk away is probably the most vital ingredient of self-respect. I’ve walked away many times and it never feels worthy of self-respect but then maybe I actually have more than I realise.

I’ve struggled to know what’s right because I’ve failed to put the pieces together, failed to see cause and effect when it comes to matters of the heart. Maybe because I’ve just never found any logic to it. Maybe I just find healthy relationships too boring and sabotage to make things meaningful.

I only know now that I would prefer to live totally alone than chase like a loser.

There’s more to me than what I’m doing now and I’m going to need to be more to really love myself enough to be social again. There’s more of the dreaded old work to be done. I think now the solution is that the work you do should only ever be for yourself and your own betterment. It’s absolutely not worth it to be chasing something or someone outside of yourself.

I dunno, maybe I’m saying that best things in life don’t need to be worked. Life should be a lot easier than it currently is.

Perhaps also that the people in your life shouldn’t make your life harder but should make it easier.

Still very angry that my life feels so much harder than everyone else, still feel the unfairness of it all. But then I think that maybe my life has the greatest potential for supreme triumph over adversity. The only thing missing now is the belief that I will always be better off than those who would reject or abandon me and I can smugly chide them as the real losers.

Sounds a little childish maybe, but I think it’s the way forward.

Thanks as always for reading

A little more prep talk

One more post for this weekend. Still finding it hard to motivate myself to control. Still doing the work of understanding how and why things happen. It feels like a curse but I find myself unable to move on anything until I can 100% guarantee things will out well for me.

To that end I’ve reevaluated my personality again. 6th or 7th time now. But the latest model is interesting. It feels deeper and besides it’s telling me something I didn’t want to hear. But in a way it might still be a comforting lie.

So I guess I’m now typing myself an ENFP with an INFJ shadow. It makes total sense because I am attracted to the INFJ type. They represent my ideal partner I think. Normally this expresses the idea that they represent the personality within me that I don’t like using so I would benefit from them doing the shadow work for me.

What can I say? I wanted to be an INFJ because they represent everything I look for in someone else. But because they are so different and they represent the part of myself I don’t like, I have difficulty with what’s different.

So what I did in effect was to try to become more like an INFJ to fit in and belong with another INFJ. And for that reason I became someone else, someone who wasn’t really me at all. This is exactly what happens when someone loses themselves trying to seek a relationship.

And in a way I stepped into an alternate persona because I was so lonely and had to rely on myself to provide the company I needed.

And so my crush who I had thought was likely an ISTJ (like my own dark superego), she may well be the INFJ I was looking for. It explains why she still represents the dream partner for me.

To cope with the pain I began to see her as the hateful figure. I began to hate the qualities I saw in her which were similar to mine and consequently I began to hate myself more because of it. I was falling in love with my own shadow while falling into hate of my true ego.

I think im becoming less scared of finding the truth now I’ve started to be more compassionate but I’m still very afraid of putting myself back out there. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to keep my identity stable if I look for the happy life.

I’m slowly accepting the fact that I’m crap at talking because I tend not to be very authentic. My mind is too damn flexible. It’s useful to be flexible and the world needs people like me but I don’t want to do all the talking. I want to keep some things secret and private.

Sometimes I just don’t want to talk at all.

I’m slowly accepting that I am the shyest, quietist extrovert, that I need people around me but I get too overwhelmed by being around people. I’m having to consider the notion that I never will be mentally healthy enough to pursue a happy, healthy life.

I may end up lonely and miserable for the rest of my life or I may keep going further down self destructive paths to keep myself occupied.

My latest brainstorm has been curtesey of a CS Joseph YouTube vid. One truth I’ve been running away from is that I’m not actually very smart. I’m not naturally talented and have to work to get good at something.

Impostor syndrome is real with me because I think I’ve self-hated on this so much that I’ve taken pride in being smart. My brain just knows I’m not talented, waiting patiently for me to get found out.

The truth is that I don’t want to do the work. Don’t want to have to. And I must if I am to turn things around. What if it doesn’t get the results I want? What if its a waste of time and energy? I’ve wasted so much of my life already.

To finally solve my mental health, I’ve worked to learn. I’ve studied. Committed to the long game. Not gonna settle until it’s done and dusted. Though this hasn’t felt much like work. The real work is still to come.

When I actually believe in something I will become a workaholic, always sacrificing balance. Not looking at how my actions affect other people.

And so the work that I have done, I want it to be reflected in others. I want so desperately for people to see who I am, want I have to work with, what work I am doing now, and I want people to show compassion and above all respect for how much work I have to do and how hard it is for me to do it.

That I only have so much to give and that I don’t have any choice but to run away and hide when things get too tough to handle, which is a lot.

That I spend every hour I can trying to figure out how to be less scared of life and that maybe I actually do need things from other people to help me feel safe.

Maybe I’ll stop bitching about how hard life is when it actually makes things a little easier. Because if who I am, I will always make life harder for myself until I figure out how to get the best out of it.

I should use my extroverted intuition to see life’s opportunities. The problem is that I don’t see a path that takes me anywhere I want to go. But I should continue to rebrand myself and find the identity that really brings success.

For now I’m continuing to wallow in filth, not wanting to do the work of organising my personal space. It’ll come when I start to feel better. My wounded inner child still needs some attention and he just wants to play.

I’ve finally started playing Cyberpunk 2077. It has plenty of faults but it’s still my type of game and there’s been some really cool stuff. It’s rekindled my creative imagination a little and I have to be honest, it feels good just to dip into the futuristic fantasy world again.

We all need that space to play without having to worry about anything. To take a break from dealing with the world’s challenges.

In games like this, you can escape yourself in the virtual world and become someone else. A badass power fantasy that is invulnerable.

I can forget about all the real world problems and achieve things in the virtual, making liberal use of the save game function whenever virtual death occurs.

So to sum up, im getting closer to figuring out who i am but the work to do is how to be myself around others, how to be secure enough to hold onto myself without having to defend myself by hiding away.

How to find people who get me and like me for who I am? How to go out and find somewhere to be myself and get some happiness? How to not be afraid of the outside world.

Hopefully I can be empathetic and be able to connect with people but always to make sure that I be honest authentic when it comes to expressing myself. People can be so difficult to understand, it’s very easy me for me to just say that people aren’t worth the effort but they are.

They say that the healthy way to do it is to say that if people don’t like you it’s their problem and you shouldn’t take it personally. Move on to  somewhere else. Treat them as a stepping stone.

It not how I look at life. Maybe it should be but it’s not me. I had to move on but it was never what I wanted and I guess I’ve learned that I should have just been honest and said that I wasn’t happy instead of holding on and having my happiness taken away.

But then I understand better now that everyone has their faults and I need to embrace imperfection and always see an opportunity for growth.

F’king hell maybe that’s the secret that has eluded me for so long. Every fault, mistake, hurtful action, is an opportunity to grow. It is a potential for something better, wonderful even.

We all have so much potential, the question is how to unlock it. Yes I’m probably a little scared of how much potential we have.

I’m a great believer in the idea that we all are aiming towards becoming more than our selfish selves. To fulfill life’s potential by shedding the selfish existence and producing something that goes beyond selfish desire and brings something to the greater communal humanity.

We all know the poisonous influence of those who only live for themselves and take everything they can from others. If they have truly chosen the selfish path then they are not deserving of anything.

Those who have given in to fear can’t be helped. This is why I fight so hard to overcome what I can. And here’s the truth about how my social anxiety works. It speaks to real fear that I can’t be helped. That I will keep giving in. That I gave in yesterday and I will again today.

It killed me to see my favourite person give up on me but she did. People like me can be helped but we often need people to stand with us, to see we’re struggling, to acknowledge that we want to grow but have lost our way.

At the end of the day we have got to do it ourselves, to have that desire and drive. People will stick with you if you don’t give up, but they will ditch you in a heartbeat if you do.

My words speak of never giving in but my actions don’t. People aren’t mindreaders (well maybe some of us are) so they will judge you by your actions.

Compassion is everything and my experience has taught me that people can only show compassion to those who demonstrate their struggles visibly and openly. And who show their kindness when they can.

Thanks for reading. My hearts goes out to you

Jamie x

Self-compassion

It’s a been long hard journey hasn’t it? Trying to figure out who I am and who I’m supposed to be. Mercilessly chasing the answers to the question if how to be mentally healthy.

Finally reached a point where I’m just comforting and consoling myself. Going through the pain was tough but I had myself to show compassion and it makes confronting the pain somewhat easier.

Not feeling hopeless or sorry for myself but actually being the one to give myself the hug of compassion that I needed. Is it going to be ok. I don’t know yet but it start.

Compassion has done something for me. Understanding and empathy that I’ve just not gotten from anyone else. It’s made me feel justified in being angry and has helped make me more willing to stand up for myself.

I’ve been so hard on myself and everyone else because I had the compassion and understanding beaten out of me by the poisonous influence of those who have always treated me as someone who needed to be helped instead of hugged.

So I’m a vulnerable autistic adult who was taught to always do the right thing but never taught that it’s ok to do the wrong thing or that sometimes I need to defend myself by doing something others might find hurtful.

To this day I’m still facing pressure to be more considerate to others even when I’m clearly struggling to look after myself. Yes I need people around me to feel happy but I get overwhelmed and need time alone to recover and calm down.

Thanks to my autistic social anxiety I have no choice but to consider others at the expense of myself. Every time I’m in the company of someone else I’m always on eggshells, placing myself in their heads, trying to please them, or not pissing them off, or not scaring them away, or not boring them, or not worrying them, or not doing something embarrassing, trying not to be too distant or too clingy, not to look like an idiot, or come across as too knowing.

Where’s the real me in all of this mess? It ain’t where it should be, in the drivers seat of my mind.

I think self-compassion is the first step towards healthy boundaries and hence self-respect. I’m a natural born lover and I make decisions with my heart, not my head. My anxiety has always robbed me of the most important parts of myself.

And I need now to accept that it is what it is and hopefully I’ll learn how to live in a way where I can defend myself and feel like things are going to be ok.

But I need people around me to understand that I need time and space to do things in my own way and I need them to know and accept that my life is extremely difficult to live. That in itself would make my life so much better.

I’ll take responsibility for the crappy things I’ve done but I did my best under the circumstances of my situation. The way others see me and treat me is massive in terms of how I see myself.

I’ve been running away from the truth for so long because it is so painful to admit. I’m not the person people think I am and I’m not the person I tell myself I am.

I want to paradoxically apologise for always apologising. Time to stop blaming myself for every fault and say it’s ok. People worry about me because I always take things too far and go to very dark places. And when they do I absorb it like a sponge and start to worry about myself even more.

That’s when I really have to escape from reality.

Of course I’m still grieving. I’m grieving the loss of the life I could have had. I’m grieving every little thing, big and small, that could have been. I felt and still feel powerless against the force of my own sensitivity.

To put it simply I simply need compassion, more than most other people. I guess I’m probably capable of giving myself enough at the end of the day. I can’t really rely on others for it so I’m going to have to do it myself.

I only want to live by my own rules. Doing so may well hurt others and I will always try avoid hurting others. But it’s my life at the end of the day.

I’ve only got so much compassion to give and I want to be selective about who gets it. I’m giving it all to me at the moment and will continue to do so while I continue to grieve.

We all know this is a thing, some of us just aren’t allowed to cry in front of other people. To look weak or vulnerable, to be hurting in public. It is because of my deep desire to see people happy that I won’t allow myself to let go and cry.

All I want to do tonight is cry. I’ve tried a little this week but it’s just scratched the surface. Let the zealous mission of mental health take a break and be sad. Be ok to be sad. Yes I don’t want to be sad but I still need to because I haven’t fully expressed it.

And here’s the thing that still hurts. My autism is not a social ill that needs to be fixed. My issues shouldn’t make people worry. My need for solitude and relaxation is not a license for people to think I’m not doing anything useful.

Being different does not mean I need to be taken to see a professional counsellor. My struggles do not mean I need to be helped. I don’t need or want people to worry about me when I’m grieving in my own way. No matter how long it takes me to overcome.

Like every human being I need the same thing. Attention, company, respect, friendship, something to do, distractions from the emptiness of existence.

The correlation of autism and poor mental health should be understood as the result of being treated like you are broken and not being treated in a way that respects you are different.

Hey guess what, ever had a meltdown in public? Ever felt horrifically uncomfortable being asked to do something? Were you treated with compassion? Did anyone understand and acknowledge you were suffering?

What possible reason would any human being have to hate themselves and stop caring? Because we are all dependent others to shape who we are.

Kindest Regards and have a big hug from me

Jamie x

Got some stuff to work through tonight. Been feeling low for quite some time and don’t really know where to turn.

I’ve some progress with regards to knowing that I need to lay some ghosts to rest. Some deeply held pain keeps me stuck and I need to work it back into focus. I don’t think I can just get out of my system.

But yes my self-esteem is still shattered by the way things happened. Particularly the way it felt like all my friends one day woke up and told themselves that I was a threat to them and they could just drop me from their lives as if I was just a piece of trash stuck to their shoe.

I understand that I had a lot of negativity and it was probably for the best. And I’ve got my own way of looking at the world and my own expectations. I did feel betrayed and humiliated by those who dropped me when I had put so much of myself into friendship.

I only ever demanded loyalty when I was feeling abandoned and I’d stopped feeling that life was worth living.

And yet of course people are who they are and I couldn’t control the feelings and intentions of others.

And thus I needed some form of assurance and predictability in order to overcome my anxiety. I have to understand the minds and wills of others otherwise I will do what I ended up doing which was to hollow myself out and be left with nothing but hurt.

So to learn the lesson of the last two years. I know that I need to find some way around my anxiety and take back some control of myself.

It’s difficult now to admit that I can’t surround myself with people like them anymore. I don’t feel like I can ever be comfortable around someone if they have any fears at all.

I am and always have been inspired only by the most fearless individuals and yet everyone has these deep insecurities. Ultimately I will find myself at the mercy of anyone who has anxieties. I will wish to help them so dearly and they will never like how deeply I will look into their soul.

At this horrible time where everything is doom and gloom people look to solidarity and support and no one seems to ever be able to help me when I need it.

It saddens to me say but I don’t feel like I can look my old autistic friends in the eye and say I care about them anymore. I was never cut out to be friends unless I felt cared about and I always people to put their words into action.

I don’t really want to share my autism anymore because it feels distinctly like I’m hollowing myself out again for others benefit. Ever since I got diagnosed I’ve been paddling further and further into the chaotic flow of how my brain works.

It’s gotten me nowhere. I just want to forget about everything and let myself go.

The lesson I’ve been struggling so painfully with is that it’s ok to stop caring about someone if they’re not willing and able. And if someone stops caring about me I shouldn’t take it personally and I should have realised that I wasn’t willing to learn the lesson that came my way.

It might help me to deal with social anxiety if I knew that most people aren’t really worth investing in. I’ve no desire to be normal to fit in and I never really cared about anyone who doesn’t see things with the same intensity.

What do I want to do with my time that feels like is of sufficient worth. That maybe doesn’t cause me any anxiety, that feels safe to engage in but can satisfy my mind?

That isn’t tainted with the present depression? That is new and exciting and fulfilling?

Doing things that I had previously felt would make me look bad in the eyes of others. Realising now that I don’t care for the judgements of those who have already shown me they’re not on my side.

Finding out who out of anyone is on my side can only be done by breaking the chains of inhibition and showing my true self.

I’ve noticed of course that I am drawn to and attracted to people who are different because they have strengths where I have weakness. I’ve come to hate those weaknesses in myself and now I’ve come to hate those qualities in others.

Therein lies the key to the mystery. I’ve always hated and feared and repressed my own dark side and nowadays I see it everywhere. It’s ok to have a dark side but everyone seems to hide theirs.

I can begin to control it by engaging it and recognising that I need not be afraid of it because I’m no longer invested in protecting those who seek to avoid the dark side of the human mind.

The truth that I’ve always understand but never been able to apply is that I need to be secure enough to be myself before I can be secure in any sort of relationship so I can appreciate and love what is different.

I want to be unafraid of being provocative and bold. Challenging people around me to be more interesting. I want to fully regain my perchance for subversion.

I don’t want to waste any more of my life analysing what went wrong. I don’t want to spend another minute thinking other people are better than me and that I should defer to their way.

Turning 40 next weekend. I’m conserving my energy until my week off work when I can really begin to activate. My birthday is the least important thing going on in my life and yet everyone seems to think I should make a big deal out if it.

Being able to communicate who I really am will help people to understand just how neurodiverse I really am and I hope I can inspire something in people, even if it’s only to confirm or deny whether anyone thinks I’m a good person or not.

Everyone who knows me says I’m a lovely person but I’ve had to put that mask on. People are just very cautious around me now that I’ve sporadically let my demons out. No one knows who I really am because I’ve locked so much darkness inside.

It’s not my nature to go out deliberately hurting people but it’s not to make people feel good either. The mission is to not to become someone else but to stop being afraid of becoming who I always should have been.

I’m not someone who learns lessons easily. Learn by doing. But some things I just can’t feel comfortable doing. The same stubbornness that has kept me miserable is the same that has kept me going and will keep me on the path to self-betterment and self-empowerment.

Embracing new ideas feels like surrender but I feel a demonic energy behind them and I like dancing with demons.

Much of what I’ve written recently has just been words. Time for action. It’s going to take all of my willpower but I won’t give up.

Thanks for reading. Warm regards.

More honesty I guess to motivate

Some thoughts to share tonight, some progress has been made towards being able to move on and finally put the old hurt to bed.

It comes with being able to look myself in the mirror and say this is who I am and this isn’t where I want to be. But beginning to understand that I was looking for someone to fill the void and, the slightly creepy expression, “complete me”.

Yet I was always just following my heart and I always did what I thought was the right thing to do. And I shouldn’t have compromised who I was to fit in.

I was immature in terms of how I approached trying to get what I wanted and I couldn’t see the long term implications. How the relationship I was seeking was just the cheap and lazy solution to all of my problems.

I understand now that I was deluding myself into something to avoid dealing with all my deep issues. I’ve come to understand that we were too different and we saw the world differently and we dreamed of different worlds.

I was the one who was dependent and so I was the one who abandoned my own needs and put myself last to the point of martyrdom. I was the one who had to hide my true self like a chameleon to make our friendship work.

I’m no longer ashamed of anything I did with the exception of the things I did in desperation where I had totally lost track of who I was.

I get told regularly by people who see the world differently that it’s wrong for me to try to change people. I never forced anyone to change, everything about me is that I see so much potential for growth.

That is the story of lives that our lives are constantly changing and we grow as we experience more of what life has to offer.

What I always dreamed of was to inspire people to be better. To push people around me to question who they are and what they do.

I don’t feel like there’s anything I’ve ever done that has actually inspired anyone else. Really the story of my life has been as a lowly springboard, for someone to jump on so they could leap higher.

It inevitably hurts when others go through a growth period, that it’s never with me, more like in spite of me.

To turn to what I really need to talk about, and it’s the important issue of how I see autism in myself and others. More pertinently how I interpret the meaning of it.

I should be honest and say that it will always be a disability to me and it will always be a harm that should be a sore point. It represents so much loss of potential. That I could have been so much more.

I consider my autism to be something that damages my competency as a human being. While this is a very touchy subject, I can be very touchy about being criticised for being incompetent. It’s not something anyone wants to hear.

It’s not the criticism that hurts, it’s the lack of understanding that hurts.

I had a talk with an old friend from the hub and she shares the view that we should never look at autism as a negative judgement. We’re not bad, were just different.

We’re not disabled, we live in a world that doesn’t play to our strengths but our weaknesses.

The truth is that I find it very invalidating to be told there’s nothing wrong with me. I’ve always sensed the black hole that exists in my conscious and my recent experiences have really felt like actual brain damage.

I’ve looked at the way others behave and I think to myself that the part of my brain that would have given me the ability to behave the same way must have been ripped away in a catastrophic event.

For others, the path towards being mentally healthy means accepting and loving who you are. But I see so much further within myself to see who I could be if only I didn’t have this autism.

I don’t wish to hurt anyone by saying this and I still want this blog to be helpful to anyone who is autistic. For me though, I’m here to support those who are disabled. If you’re not disabled then you sure as hell don’t need my help.

This is the thing about being naturally introverted. We really on ourselves to make decisions so we need to be independent. It’s a matter of pride in saying I don’t need help.

Also we can avoid situations where we may be expected to reciprocate helping others when they don’t see or respect our own hidden disabilities.

No one is perfect as the saying goes. It’s a useful defense to trot out when facing judgement. I judge myself and others to a higher standard and that is part of who I am.

What has helped me come to terms with things is that I can recognise better that people shouldn’t be judged by their weaknesses but I’m no longer invested in people who aren’t willing to improve themselves.

Self-acceptance is good but it shouldn’t be taken as license to say that I shouldn’t be challenged on anything. That I can’t be so much more than who I am now. That I can’t learn ways of compensating to overcome weakness.

There’s a cultural divide between those who don’t want personal change and those who do. Some who see outside agents of change as hostile malevolent manipulators. Some of us see the necessity of outside agents in learning about the world.

I think for the first time in my life, I can appreciate how people see the world differently and that I’m not to blame for every personal conflict. People just have their own way of dealing with things and the truth is that few people will ever be on the same page.

I always had a vision of a better world and what truly broke me was how everyone around me took the world in the opposite direction. They can do whatever they feel is best but I’m not going to follow them. What actually saved me was the fact that I didn’t follow them.

I lost hope because I had sacrificed so much only to be discarded. Now do I see how important it is to believe in myself and I understand how important it is to not care about how others judge me.

I never really listened to anyone who said I was a good person, no, reality is the ultimate arbiter and the reality was that I couldn’t live up to my true values and judgements.

This is my gift, what I have best to offer the world. A vision of the world where we live up to our potential and we give of ourselves to improve someone else’s lot in life.

We seek connections to each other because we have so much to offer each other. We understand the world can be godawful to face alone but we can find strength in numbers.

The more I look at how the world treats autism, the more I see a selfish predator, seeking to keep us in our bubbles to make sure we don’t stand up for ourselves. People see our naive, vulnerable nature and seek to ensure we don’t grow into healthy adults.

Because I see the future in which we merely accept everything and question nothing. When we are encouraged to look only at who we are now and persuaded that we must be happy with our implicit identity.

There is a reason why we psychologically develop demons within us, they are the force that says no. They are what we unleash when someone has wronged us. That includes when we have wronged ourselves.

The thing I need people to understand is that I need learn how to help myself before I help others. I’m being selfish now because I need to reconnect with myself and reengage my heart and soul.

I need to meet my own demands before I even think about meeting the demands of others. But that is what is expected of me. To keep churning out that nice guy image.

When I needed to care about myself, that is when I stopped caring about others. I’ll care about you again, when I actually start to care about myself and not look into the abyss of martyrdom.

I know how everyone seems to be struggling at the moment and everyone seems to be retreating into selfishness. I can see but I just can’t care.

Not until I’ve regained my ego and relearned to trust myself. There is a purpose to everything I do and I want to feel the deep euphoria of actually hitting that sweet bullseye of overcoming some deep adversity.

You know what it feels like to achieve something you never thought possible? This is the deep unlocking of your truest potential.

This is the Godlike feeling that exists within every flawed human being. What can I say except that it feels good beyond words.

Why wouldn’t anyone want to feel like this? There’s a natural anxiety about it but this is why it’s so good to face anxiety head on and fuck it off.

This is how I think I can ultimately inspire anyone who shares this painful anxiety. You don’t have to live in a predefined box that limits your potential and admits defeat.

But I can’t really inspire anyone until I’ve actually lived it and done it for myself. Oh how I wish to break free.

Thanks for reading. If you’re going to fight, fight to win. Kindest Regards.

Jamie xx

Getting back

There’s no denying or escaping the fact that I’m feeling increasingly lonely at the moment. I’ve no desire to spend the rest of my life alone. This isolating was with the aim to be more secure around people by being more comfortable alone.

The place I’m in now is not a good place to be alone. I do need someone to talk to and offer a distraction.

So tonight I’m back out for drinks. It’s a been while but probably not that long really.

I’ve been through something taxing today and I probably should be resting but I committed myself to getting fairly drunk and felt like staying open to some company.

Had a first at work. The first time I’d had to report a breach due to a policy being incorrectly administered.

It was nerve wracking because it’s the sort of thing I don’t like dealing with and to be honest after 3 years I was worried there might be questions asked as to why I haven’t done one before.

But yeah I asked for and got help and it’s something I know I can deal with now.

We’re a regulated industry and our breaches must be reported within 72 hrs. There was no putting off until Monday.

That didn’t happen until mid afternoon so I took my extra half hour dinner break and popped in to my local autism hub.

I was hoping to be a bit more social again and it was nice to see an old friend who I haven’t seen for ages. We had a quick catch up and I’m pleased to see she’s doing well.

I got to ask how the others are doing which put my mind to rest a little.

I mentioned that I’ve been spending too much time alone as I learn to be myself. It got me thinking again about how the real me is so difficult to find.

The real me is someone who is friendly but at the same time I’m doing it because I need other people around me to feel human. Without company, what exists deep inside doesn’t really feel very human.

It is totally part of who I really am that I don’t feel safe alone because if I have to isolate to protect myself I’m already trapped in a place where I don’t feel safe.

I am such a different person when I’m around people who make me feel good. The 2 sides of me don’t recognise each other.

That’s the reason I have pursued the Jungian ideal of integrating my 2 selves. To become a balanced person.

During the bad times I had unfriended my old friend which i immediately regretted and fully expected she wouldn’t want to talk to me. But she did.

It made me think that she was so casual that she didn’t even notice I had disappeared which kind of sucked in a way but I was ultimately really glad that she was still friendly.

I’m going to continue pursuing building bridges to being friends again with the old group but I also want to just keep going to new places and begin to meet new people.

Perhaps now I’m becoming more like my old friends by staying open while not really doing anything to cement friendships into demanding relationships.

I still want to pursue relationships of course because I find it easier to trust people when I know they’ll stand by me and stick with me.

It’ll help to spend time around people again but at some point I’ll want more and become unhappy again. But better to be unhappy than to repeat the experiences of the last 18 months.

And so the burgeoning creative inside me really wants to start writing something. To create a world that I can lose myself in and hopefully provide me some alternative to the loneliness.

It’s a big deal and I’m still so hesitant to give it a proper go. I can tell myself that it will be some thing worthwhile that I can be proud of. Maybe it can be what I dedicate my life to instead of seeking out the company of real people.

One fear is that it will make the isolation worse and I’ll ultimately get lost in the dark forest again. But it might be the sort of thing I need to give myself the belief that I’ll be ok.

At this time I can reveal that I finally deleted my Facebook and it’s too late to reclaim it now. I’m already plotting how to relaunch myself by creating a brand new account but only in order that I might have better control over how much I share of myself.

I’m returning to some good advice, to take things one at a time and make slow but steady progress. Trying to rebuild myself but it has to be done right. And it needs good foundations.

I think that I need to apply myself in such a way that I can win one small victory at a time while making sure that I get as much rest and healing as possible.

It’s truly a great feeling when you finally deal with something big but there’s an energy cost and things don’t sink in until you’ve rested and recovered. Feel that weight lifted from your shoulders.

Getting in touch with a better self-image now. I’ve been trying to hold onto the various schema that exists inside myself.

The demons who are covered in spikes to hurt people who get too close. The harsh taskmaster who demands I do better. The child who always want to play and won’t listen to anyone else.

There was even a brief dalliance with the archetype of cool. The unbeatable aloofness of the smirking figure who is above everything but whose eyes smoulder with the fire of warm charisma.

I know I’ve needed this tonight. To take a break from worrying and engage with the part of myself that is free to imagine something better.

So it feeling I’m getting my humanity back again. It feels like connecting with other people helped me connect with my better self again. That was probably always the case.

It’s no accident that all of my friends were autistic and it’s no surprise that I seek to keep them in my life and spend all of my time with them. It’s no surprise that I reacted so badly to losing that connection nor why I feel so bad for the way I reacted.

But tonight is a night for allowing myself to feel good again simply because I’ve reconnected with a part of myself that I love and have shut off the voice that tells me I need to be someone else to feel that love.

The pub is quiet but not too quiet and they’re playing some good music. I can sit by myself and blog or I can join some people I know.

What would the archetype of cool do? He’d do whatever the fuck he wanted.

Thanks as always for reading

Kindest Regards to those who do xx

Pathological Demand Avoidance

Having some tough times this week but feeling a bit better today. My research into autism and trauma has taken round to the subject of this blog post.

This is definitely something that affects me to a degree and I’m thinking about what it means.

Identifying myself as avoidant and have done for a while, certainly there is a struggle with meeting demands. Tying in to social anxiety very much, it’s about being put in a position where you don’t feel confident or comfortable. Taken to it’s furthest degree, perhaps not even feeling safe.

It harks back to what I’ve said before about not being in control. You might ask yourself “how does this benefit me to meet a demand?”, particular if it’s from someone else and it’s to benefit someone else.

There is an inherent good in doing unselfish acts to benefit someone else but at what cost to yourself?

I can and do demand things of myself and for myself. Probably too much at times. There’s also a lot of stuff I don’t demand of myself where I perhaps should.

It all comes under the same umbrella as pressure, expectations and such. I think the real crux of the issue is whether the person who makes demands of you actually understands you and if you trust them.

We all had the ultimate test forced on us back in March 2020. The demands were utterly unhuman but no one understood just how abhorrent it is to demand people quarantine themselves and treat themselves and each other as lepers.

And I sure as hell didn’t trust anyone who insisted they were trying to protect me from something I don’t believe in at the expense of everything that makes life worth living.

The trauma of the last 2 and a half years remains stubborn and hard to get over because I just lost trust in everyone and don’t feel like it’s worth trying to restart my life.

We in the UK haven’t had covid restrictions for quite a while now but the world just seems a total void empty of humanity. The memory remains but it feels somewhat like it is in the past now but the world was changed not for the better.

Got the house to myself for a few days again but this time I didn’t feel any sort of anticipation towards it. I am struggling by myself again and probably need to get out once more.

Yesterday after work was a dark time, ruminating over all the darkness. Reliving the pain of the past as I try to find the words to make amends. It hit me like a brick that I can’t move on until I’ve made peace with those I cared about and loved the most. Those who I stopped caring about when I was so deeply lost in the darkness and miss them dearly now I feel like I’ve lost them forever.

I can’t make peace until I can finally say that I’m free of all the deep fears I’ve developed over that time and exorcised a few demons. I know that I want to have friends again and I don’t want to live the rest of my life on my own, yet I also know that I need time alone away from the world to recover from the demands of life.

Yesterday I needed badly to shut myself off to rest and heal. I’m experimenting with Night Nurse and having took a couple to help me sleep early, I feel a lot better today because of it.

Also I came across another youtube vid helping to heal from trauma. The motto is “Be Kind, Rewind” which some may have heard before. The practise is to reverse the process of processing traumatic memories. Traumatic memories are the ones that leap into your conscious mind and take control of you as if you’re literally reliving the past.

Processing them properly so they stay in the past is what it’s all about. The idea is that memories are stored in the hippocampus rather than the amygdala, the fear centre of the brain.

It seems like an easy concept to grasp but it’s strange to think about in practise. Whether you’re actively travelling further back in time past the traumatic event to a happier place, or whether you just choose to look at the past in a backward way, I don’t know. It seems like zipping up a bag to close it rather than unzipping it open.

What I’m talking about it is trying to put the past behind me and close it off but I still wish things could back to they were before the trauma. Back to a time when we did what we wanted to without any fear or pressure of demand.

I think I know myself so much better than I used to and can defend myself better and I’m slowly learning the value of being kind to myself which will make me kinder to others again.

It’s got to be damn impossible for me not to have learned any lessons from all the pain I’ve experienced. Though truth is I like to push myself when it comes to something I really want, I’m not ever going to want to throw myself way over the limit again.

Feeling calm and safe is an oasis in a desert of pain but I’ll get bored of being calm and safe. Not going to give up looking for happiness and excitement.

They say that PDA is a form of control for those of us struggle to control ourselves. The burnouts and meltdowns are a reminder of what happens when we do lose control. Also I heard another motto. “Depressed => Deep Rest”. It’s hard for others to understand how often and how much we are harmed by the world and need time to heal.

I should have given myself more time to heal instead of aggressively pursuing something to escape the pain.

What I can say now is that I lost interest in everything and found joy in nothing for so long, all because I was constantly on a knife-edge, always seeking some sort of fix. My brain was crying out for a break and I just couldn’t listen. The blackness of trauma was spilling over everything I did because of the pressure I put myself under to keep fighting.

My obsessive, overthinking nature has seldom served me well and I think I’ll get mentally healthy when I can reign it in. It feels like I’ve had to stop caring and stop worrying to be able to deal with things. There are only a few people I care about enough to put myself out for and I always would do anything for them, only because I want, and in some cases need them to be happy.

The most hurtful time was when I felt my friends didn’t care about me enough to try to keep me in their lives yet, at that time I was becoming more demanding of them so I can’t blame them for giving up on me. In the end I didn’t have much choice but stop caring about them and shut myself away.

Ultimately I need them to understand that it’s taken so much time for me to come to terms with who I was and to build myself up again. I want to be friends again but I need them to be able to trust me and be comfortable around me and I can’t demand it from them. And I can’t be friends again if they don’t understand why I couldn’t stay friends at the time because I was so badly hurt.

It’s completely up to them if want to be friends again but I’m not going to pour my heart and soul into winning them back. No matter how badly I might want them back.

So here’s another reason why I don’t want to meet new people and make new friends. I’m just unwilling to care about anyone else, don’t think I have it in me anymore. It’s just too much to care about someone when they’ve got others in their lives who they care about more.

Caring is demanding. Except when it isn’t.

You can show you care for someone by doing things for them, if you understand someone so that you just do things without them needing to demand it. Is this really the key to it? I think it might just be.

Everything is a demand when no one understands.

Thanks for reading as ever

Kindest regards

Jamie

Trauma and Low Self-Esteem revisited

Some more on this topic that I’ve been chewing over recently. But first a brief mention that I am hoping to get a position where I don’t need to talk about autism and mental health. It’s probably a large part of why I find it hard to escape the issues. It doesn’t really do much good to constantly obsess over all my faults. But then it’s the only thing that I care about enough to get my teeth into.

With that being said there’s slow but definite progress being made and I look forward to the day when I can say that I’m happy and fine and everything’s great.

Watched another YT vid about trauma and this one really clicked with me. It’s not good to think you know everything and close yourself off to learning but it is a great feeling to be vindicated.

From a psychotherapist point of view, understanding how to treat someone with trauma. Not just that but any sort of painful experience. Words alone don’t matter. They can’t do anything. They can’t heal someone who has been harmed.

I’ve had negligible self-esteem pretty much my entire adult life, probably starting somewhere in childhood. Naturally the question arises as to what causes low self-esteem. The answer I suspect lies in trauma. How can any rational human being think so low of themselves and how can they be their own worst enemy. How can anyone hate themselves so much that they’re willing to hurt themselves.

There is danger in the world and people get hurt, sometimes badly, sometimes consistently. Trauma has always been the deep feeling of terror over the fact that I was powerless to protect myself and that I had no control over myself.

It’s important to note that the harmful beliefs we hold due to unhealed trauma correspond to an internal truth. These truths become self-fulfilling prophecies but they begin with a kernel of absolute truth. I was vulnerable and there was nothing I could do protect myself. I was at the mercy of something or someone else. No one is around to protect me or help me.

I don’t feel safe here and may never will.

And yet to go through life I will inevitably face a situation where I have to put myself at risk of getting hurt again. I can’t go through that again. I already know I will fail because I can’t even face up to the prospect of even trying. That big old wound just never heals.

The meat of the argument of how you can actually treat trauma is simply that the antidote is exactly the reverse of the traumatic events. To those who have suffered abuse at the hands of malicious evil, the antidote is true kindness. To those who have lost, the antidote is to gain. To those who are abandoned, the antidote is to be welcomed.

To those who have been betrayed, the antidote is loyalty. To those who have been rejected, the antidote is to be accepted.

Those of us who have hidden disabilities know how important it is to have our disabilities understood and acknowledged because those who don’t understand us truly aren’t talking to the real us. They are talking to some idea or false persona of someone that isn’t really there.

Words don’t mean a thing to someone who holds onto strong self-beliefs because they are inevitably bound up in real past experiences.

Someone who truly thinks they are unlovable will simply not believe the words “I love you”

But the antidote is still love. It’s very much show not tell. It has to be real and it has to be lived and it has to be unwavering. It has to be praxis not slogans. It’s all about trust, the type of trust that comes from consistent behaviour over time.

I do think that my own traumas are a long, consistent series of vulnerabilities that form a large, interconnected complex. Not that I’m really looking to diagnose myself with C-PTSD or anything, just trying to pin down where I can help myself.

There are obvious difficulties in growing up with undiagnosed autism. I was brought up in a world that didn’t recognise or make any concessions for my special needs, and instead insisted there was something wrong with me when I was struggling to fit in.

It’s clear as daylight to me now that much of who I am and everything I do is to overcome or avoid the feelings associated with trauma, why did it take so long for me to even understand?

Well that’s because I couldn’t see or accept my own hidden disabilities, felt like I had to be perfect. Had to hide my truest self away lest I be exposed as the loser I’ve always been.

Vicious circles all the way down.

If I’m really going to learn how to believe in myself I need a real reason for doing so. Being honest with myself has done so much work towards this, I feel like I’m ready, prepared to begin the next leg of the journey.

There’s only 2 things holding me back now, 2 things that hold the old wounds open.

Under the cover of repressing painful memories, that darkest part of yourself feels like it’s being controlled. But of course it’s not. When the trigger comes it leaves you in a state you have no control of whatsoever.

I would say at this point that trauma represents all of the horror of internalised experience that cannot be controlled, only repressed. It can’t be bargained or negotiated with, can’t be tamed, can’t be persuaded. Only when we begin to understand it and respect it can we begin to control it.

And so the real antidote to trauma is control. You have to know yourself to effectively take charge of yourself. Know what is truly good for you and bad for you. Know which voice in your head is truly yours and is taking your lived experience into account. Know what you want and who is on your side.

It seems that once you believe in yourself, trusting yourself will follow. But trust takes time and has to be earned. I always used to believe that deep down inside, underneath the mask, that I was a bad person. All the hurtful stuff was directed inwards to stop me from hurting others but I did so much harm to myself, it’s no wonder I didn’t trust myself.

The sad fact was that I was afraid of the darkness inside. I’ve been more scared of myself than anyone else.

Ultimately the trauma was simply too much for me to ever face up to. But I eventually found myself in a situation where I had no choice but to face up to it. And I’m so glad that I did now.

The heart and the head are in union once more.

Thanks for reading

Kind Regards

Alexithymia

Thinking about this topic today. Something I can work on.

The trigger for this was that I’ve currently got the house to myself for 3 or 4 days. When I first learnt this I got a feeling of positivity. I was genuinely looking forward to it, having some good quality alone time.

2 days into it and what have I been doing? Not a lot really, not much at all.

So what have I been looking for all along to make me feel good? What can I do to feel good when I’m alone? I know how good I felt when I was with close friends, people I trusted and felt comfortable to be around.

How does happiness work?

I start from a point where I’m unhappy as standard. By default. I’m at my happiest when I’m getting outside of my own head. Overanalysing everything is not much fun.

So it’s for this reason I think that I never really embrace and appreciate the feelings and emotions of the moment. My happiness is tied to a projection into the future whereby I’m either living a life I like or I’m not.

What really drove me was a sense of hope and optimism with a degree of expectation, that life would continue to go well and give me what I craved. Fulfilling my psychological needs for security and freedom. And when I say crave of course, the addiction to these feelings is a measure of how strongly I feel them.

I associate these feelings with a black and white definition of good and bad and hence why they are so strongly positive and negative emotions. I don’t feel like I’ve ever struggled to identify the different emotions but I think that I have misunderstood the nature of them and how what they really mean.

And of course I’ve never got the hang of how to deal with them in a healthy manner.

I tend to think of them now as the spectrum between love and hate. These are the pure feelings of the moment and sometimes I can just let myself feel them. But only when I’m in a calm place whereby I can switch my mind off.

Love is a feeling that represents the force of attraction, hate represents the force of repulsion. Love is addictive and is harder to appreciate and to express. Hate is easier to express but less tolerable to feel.

And so what were the emotions that guide the motions?

I think in my case that confidence causes love and fear causes hate. And yet I’m not really in control of the confidence or the fear. Precisely because I’m not in control of my own future. More than ever, the world is becoming gradually evermore insecure.

The complexity of my emotions stem from the fact that they’re not governed by the moment, but the implications and the hypothetical consequences to be derived.

What should have been joyful memories of a wonderful past full of hope now become a bitter stain on the present without a hopeful future.

Anxiety is really the expression of doubt and uncertainty feeding back into the fear response.

What of sadness and grief? They emerge after loss, but I think they represent something much deeper. These are emotions that I hate feeling because I hate the fact I’ve lost. Moreover, the feeling is of profound hopelessness that I can never regain what I’ve lost. That I’m doomed to have lost forever.

Thinking about this now, I see a deeper connection between emotions and the fundamental insecurities I have about life in general. I can see the real reasons why I can’t get over some things, why I can’t forgive and forget, why I usually break contact, why I can’t deal with conflicts.

The best thing to do now is to spend more time learning to be in the moment and not to saddle myself with the full force of expectations that every moment will determine my fate forever.

Easier said than done though. I asked myself what is the best way to make the most of being home alone. Is it to seek maximal pleasure at all times? Of course not.

I still don’t know what I can do by myself that will make me happy but I set out to prove to myself that I’ll have more freedom and safety. That I’ll be more confident and less restrained, less inhibited.

What I actually want to do with my temporary free time and space is to do things that build my confidence and give myself a platform to feel love again. To do so in a way that doesn’t put too much pressure on myself.

Last night I ended up falling into the same addictive trap by staying up all night watching youtube vids. Needless to say that I felt like crap today and struggled badly with work.

Tomorrow will be a day for doing better things hopefully. Find a good balance between activity and rest. I like to be creative but I’ve been having nagging doubts recently that my artwork and music aren’t really providing what I need to be confident. I’m doing it for myself but ultimately I’d want to share it with the world and I don’t yet feel it’s good enough.

I need so much time, space and energy to create something in a way that truly feels worthwhile. I want to be more balanced in my approach which would mean I can’t pursue things so single-mindedly. But then again, I’ve learned that I have to take things one step at a time so it’s just more natural to me to work on something until I’m happy with it, then move on to something else.

Organisational skills I really lack and this is something I should work on. Taking control of my life means actually managing my life. Being the boss, making decisions. There’s little worse than having a crap boss who doesn’t know what he’s doing. So why do I tolerate the crap job I do running my own life?

If I’m ever going to achieve the dream of being independent, I’d better make sure I can do it well.

Thanks as always for reading

Fond Regards,

Jamie