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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:04 AM

I'm sorry, it WAS my fault, and I can't accept being told otherwise.

I'm kind of sick of the "it's not your fault" attitude about "what happened". It is most certainly NOT helpful to me.

I got that in "therapy Thursday". And, while I hate to disagree with someone I have trusted for so many years, I do disagree with my therapist about this one. I was also told the same thing by the psychiatrist last month. And, I disagree.

Absolution is fine in some circumstances. Not in this one, not for me at least.

There is only ONE big monkey on my back these days, and it's "Shame". Or, maybe more accurately, two, "Guilt" over being in a position to allow my self to act in a way that left me ashamed of my own behavior. Shame and Guilt. A powerful combination.

How does it possibly help me to go through life with an attitude of "oh well, it's beyond your control, therefore, you can just get away with whatever, and no one will call you on it, because you know, it's not your fault, you have a mental illness" ???

Fine, mental illness, check, I get that part. But that isn't an excuse to be allowed to coast through life fucking up one thing after another without consequence.

I am going to have to live with this for years before I can even "let go". That's how I am, anything "big" in life that has ever gone wrong has always haunted me for years. Maybe that is indicative of PTSD? I don't know. Whatever.

Maybe the ass who told me I should have to wear a scarlet letter was right. Maybe I should, because I would deserve everything I got from people if that were the case.

Please Don't Extrapolate this beyond me, I'm NOT trying to make any kind of broader statement about anyone other than myself. I don't think that way about anyone else, it would be beyond reprehensible. But I feel this way about myself, because, I guess, I was weak, and I let things spiral out of control far beyond where they should have. And that is totally my fault.

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Reply I'm sorry, it WAS my fault, and I can't accept being told otherwise. (Original post)
Denninmi Jan 2013 OP
Scuba Jan 2013 #1
In_The_Wind Jan 2013 #2
Festivito Jan 2013 #3
Denninmi Jan 2013 #5
Tobin S. Jan 2013 #4
Denninmi Jan 2013 #7
Tobin S. Jan 2013 #10
Denninmi Jan 2013 #11
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #13
Denninmi Jan 2013 #14
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #16
Denninmi Jan 2013 #20
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #21
Denninmi Jan 2013 #15
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #17
Denninmi Jan 2013 #18
Tobin S. Jan 2013 #22
undergroundpanther Jan 2013 #31
libodem Jan 2013 #6
Denninmi Jan 2013 #8
libodem Jan 2013 #9
libodem Jan 2013 #12
Denninmi Jan 2013 #19
Denninmi Jan 2013 #23
Denninmi Jan 2013 #24
Tobin S. Jan 2013 #25
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #26
Denninmi Jan 2013 #27
Downwinder Jan 2013 #28
Denninmi Jan 2013 #29
Downwinder Jan 2013 #30
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #32
Denninmi Jan 2013 #33
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #34

Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:14 AM

1. Shame ... remorse ... eventually you'll get to 'self-forgiving'. All part of healing. Good luck.

 

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:04 AM

2. I have a gift I'd like to pass on to you.

[IMG][/IMG]
I cried the day this gift was given to me.
I've cried many times since then.
I've become stronger by forgiving myself for not being willing to forgive others.


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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:30 AM

3. You snuck in the word totally right at the end.

You seem to expressing that you are partially at fault in whatever this is, and that you are partially not at fault for some of it. Then you invoke totally, I think, in order to keep yourself from seeing which parts are yours and from seeing how big your part is, or, maybe hiding from how big the part you cannot control is. It's hard, it's painful, but, not that much of a pain.

BTW, I might be totally wrong about this.

Off to breakfast for me.

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Response to Festivito (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:35 PM

5. That's interesting,

Good take on it, gives me a lot to think about.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:20 AM

4. I'd be willing to bet that whatever this is about

it's bothering you more than it would most other people.

But I will say this, so much of being mentally ill is about dealing with the consequences of the things you did while in the throes of your illness. You cannot control having to deal with that most of the time. What you can control is the way you feel about what happened. That's where therapy comes in.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:48 PM

7. Tobin, it's about this.

I end every thought with some variation of "for a guy who spent three weeks in the psych ward".

"Hey, I just ran a half mile. Not bad for a guy who just spent three weeks in the psych ward."

"Boy, I screwed that up and the client is going to be pissed. Well, what do they expect from a guy who spent three weeks in the psych ward."

"Ah, you just woke up, it' s a new day, but don't forget, you spent three weeks in the psych ward."

I just want the internal dialogue to be "Hey, I just ran a half mile. Not bad." Or, "ah, you just woke up, it's a new day."

I want it to be like it was, when I didn't have to end each thought with an unpleasant memory of what I did, or diminish each accomplishment with self-degradation.

I'm not proud of what happened, and it makes me very ashamed.

Out of prison, but still on parole. The parole officer is an ass, and I'm afraid I'm him. Beating myself up because I can't drop it and move on.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:09 PM

10. And I was right.

There is nothing shameful about having to visit a psych ward. You weren't even in lock down. This has more to do with your own attitudes and biases toward the mentally ill. You can't stand thinking of yourself as one of "them." I've seen this theme in your writing here since you were diagnosed despite your attempts to make everyone else "okay" with the mentally ill. Maybe even because of that as well.

Maybe you're somewhat of a perfectionist. I don't know. The way you were talking in your OP it was more of an event on the magnitude of sexually assaulting someone or abusing your kid. But it's more along the lines that you were prejudiced against black people and then found out that you have a black ancestor, to use an analogy. You just can't come to terms with it.

Here's what you have to take to heart, Dennis:

1. Being mentally ill is not your fault.
2. No one has to know that you have a mental illness.
3. You can recover fully from a mental illness, but to do that you must first be willing to handle the idea that you are mentally ill.

I'm sorry I got a little rough there, Dennis. You just pushed one of my buttons.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:56 PM

11. I'm not really sure how to respond to that.

Well, "you're right" is one thing to say, because you are. And I'm sorry if I offended you, or anyone.

I'm kind is straddling two worlds, one here on DU where it's ok, where everything is understood because everyone has been through it, and the things which can be forgiven are forgiven.

And there is the other world "out there" where no one is willing to even try to understand, and they would push us under the bus in a heartbeat and enjoy doing it.

Honestly, I need to pick one and go with it. This whole double life/in the closet thing is wearing in my nerves.

Frankly, I like, love, and respect all of you here more than I do "them", "they" can be pretty cruel and brutal. No one here has ever been hard on my unless I deserved it or needed it.

And I guess that needs to be my choice, because it is what happened, it brought me to where I am now, which is actually about a million times better than where I was.

So, if I have to pick, it would be you - us. Because I am one of us. And we're a pretty effing awesome group of people, actually.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #11)


Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:10 PM

14. Actually, this is exactly the kind of analysis I need.

You are VERY good at this, you know.

So, I'll try to dig deeper into this.

You wrote:

What you wrote about "the guy who spent time" makes me think about 'self' and some sort of valuable quality of self that's been lost or changed.

So, what do I perceive I lost or was changed by this experience?

invincibility is one word that comes to mind. I was always in denial about a lot of things in terms of health, ignored things because "it won't happen to me". That is one aspect. I was always, in my mind, going to be the "strong one" the firewall, so to speak, protecting family and home, even if the neither knew nor appreciated it. And that all goes right back to my role as "protector" of my mother, I got older and intentionally antagonized him so he would go off on me and not on her. And I thought I would always be strong enough to be that firewall against whatever. But I wasn't, I realized I couldn't take care of myself, let alone anyone else.


Control - another word, I always felt I could control myself. I have had unacceptable thoughts over the years, who doesn't - what would happen if I .... Ran that red light, or grabbed that item in the store and slipped out without paying, or walked up that obnoxious loudmouth and told him to shut up.. I think (hope) thoughts like that are normal, the immediate follow-up reaction is, yeah, I'll get a ticket or cause an accident, I'll get arrested for shoplifting, I'll get my lights punched out, so don't do it. But that impulse control mechanism quit working for a while, which was weird, and I did drive like a total ass, and I did run those red lights, and it was very disconcerting when I realized this. Then the pendulum swung the other way, and I became fearful of everything.

I guess I could list minor points ad nauseum, but the big thing is exactly what Tobin said:

There is nothing shameful about having to visit a psych ward. You weren't even in lock down. This has more to do with your own attitudes and biases toward the mentally ill. You can't stand thinking of yourself as one of "them." I've seen this theme in your writing here since you were diagnosed despite your attempts to make everyone else "okay" with the mentally ill.

Tobin is right. I still carry the innate prejudice I got from somewhere. And I really have to ask myself what that is REALLY all about? Because I would like to think I am NOT like that. And God knows, I have gotten to know a lot of people with MH issues, and I thought highly of them, especially the ones like our little group here, who are the winners in all of this, the ones who didn't get sucked into the abyss but fought back in small and big ways. And those are the very people I am trying to emulate. Instead, I think I have pissed a few if you off, and, well, sorry doesn't seem adequate, I am at a loss for deeper words.

So, if I'm not just another garden variety bigot, why does it bother me to have been in a day program? Well, the obvious, which is part of it, is lying by omission to people in my life. Like at work, it was this big "medical mystery" that I just glossed over by saying it was " too painful to talk about". Of course, the reality was I was afraid that they wouldn't want to work with me anymore. Other people didn't even know that, just that "something is going on". At the time, I was afraid if they found out, they would reject me because of the MH diagnosis. Now, I wonder more if it wouldn't be because I covered it up. I guess it's like Clinton, what was more hurtful to Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, the act of infidelity, or the lies he told? Hard to say.

My therapist keeps believing that everything relates back to my father in some way. And, some if it does, overtly. Like the whole gym thing - it's the entire testosterone laden experience of feeling like "one of the guys" that I never got from him AND wasn't allowed to get from anyone else. It was hard growing up with a worthless to less than worthless male role model while simultaneously being explicitly forbidden from participating in any of the "normal" male activities, sports, scouting, outdoorsmanship, having normal peer friendships, later dating, not something I was even free to do until college, where I did it pretty poorly overall. In fact, it was very hard. And I always used to tell myself it didn't matter and it didn't hurt, but it did matter and it still hurts.

But deeper, she keeps telling me I'm afraid I am "like him" and I just don't see it, or feel it, or at least not very much. He really was a monster, I know I keep saying it, but I am one of the "good guys" I do my best to look out for others and help if it's within my ability, even if it's something as simple as holding a door for someone or just saying hello to a passing stranger with a smile.


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Response to Denninmi (Reply #14)


Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:28 PM

20. I'll try to clarify.

No, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to, or possibly even be allowed to, continue to take care of my mother after this diagnosis and hospital. Frankly, I was concerned that family might think I was "dangerous" if they found out I was in a psych program.

The driving thing, that was in July, what I call my "month of rage" - as my therapist has said recently, manic behavior although not necessarily mania, since she is the one pushing the PTSD theory. I have an appointment with the psychiatrist Monday, I'll get her take in this.

I'm not really sure at this point what I really lost, versus what is just in my mind, as per my post below - we were cross-posting in real time, so it got confused.

As for the last one, I guess you are asking what being "the guy in the day program" measures about me, or at least says about me. Honestly, this morning, my succinct answer would have been " loser" but now, in light of some of my comments, I'm not sure, it brought me to where I am now, and I really like where I am as of right now, so I guess I need to rethink that one.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:56 PM

21. Understanding the timeline helps me better understand

These things did happen in some proximity with the day-clinic experience, and that proximity makes it possible to discuss all the things you mentioned way up in this thread relative to before and after the events of last summer.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:02 PM

15. Part 2 here.

is that about 'I wish I hadn't done _____ , my life is different and it's my fault--I've shamed my self.'

or,

is that a statement that things have changed and in the process 'I lost something; now I am not the same self. This changed self doesn't feel good. I would wish I could get that thing back because without it I'm needy.'


Well, I can honestly say, without it being some kind of value judgment, that i wish i hadn't gone to the psych ward for the simple reason no one wants to get any kind of illness, mental or physical. I could make the same statement with the same feelings behind it if I had spent three weeks in the cardiac ward or oncology.

Taking it a level deeper, of course I am still worried about what the reaction would be if my firewall doesn't hold, both because of an underlying mental health diagnosis and because I covered it up, as I said before.

But the other half of it isn't true for me at all. I feel about as good about myself right now EXCEPT for the base issue of this entire thread, shame, as I think I ever have. I have changed tremendously in the past few months for the better all around, because I had an enormous wake up call about what is really important in life, which is living a good life in a way that enriches yourself and those around you.

So no, I'm definitely not the same man I was six months ago, but it is remarkably positive change. And, six months from now, it will be even better. I am doing amazing things that make me so proud of myself, and I am not stopping. One example, I had an appt this morning at the gym with the dietician, we talked about what I had done in three months, and where I should take this. And she said something that kind of floored me, because it was something I would have never even had on my radar screen six months ago OR even thought possible. But, she suggested next summer, July through September, I enroll in their three month triathlon training program, which involves trainers and coaches working one and one and in small groups on everything from basics, such as basic swimming and running, to more advanced stuff. Me, triathlons? Hell yes. Amazing.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #15)


Response to Denninmi (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:14 PM

18. So, why am I "ashamed" if I am doing amazing things in my life?

Good question. The best answer that comes to mind is that this is a logical paradox, both cannot be simultaneously true. Therefore, the false one needs to go.

So, it's like, pick which reality I want, the one where I feel bad about myself and wallow in low self-esteem and just generally live like a loser

Or

The reality where I am doing things I never thought I could do. Like biking 40 miles in one morning, or hanging out at a gym "with the guys" or going out at six in the morning and running on my street even if I feel like I'm going to die doing it, and then turning around and doing it again the next day.

I don't think this is a very difficult choice at all.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:06 PM

22. That's right, Dennis.

I wouldn't think it would be a difficult choice, but you are struggling with it just the same so there is probably more to it than any of us are seeing here.

My apologies for my post above. I guess I was just feeling impatient. I'll let it stand in the interest of integrity and the fact that it led to a pretty good sub-thread. But I probably should not have posted with that kind of attitude in this group. That post is an example of a reason why I'll never be a host in this group.

You're right. One of the two realities that you described above is false. In reality you're not a loser...but you feel like a loser. This is probably a long-standing issue. That would be my guess anyway.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:04 PM

31. Mine ends with A catguy who spent over 15 years in a mental hospital

And still goes to a PRP,(psychosocial rehab program) 3 times a fucking week.

sigh.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:43 PM

6. Piping up

Chiming in here. I read a pretty good book last year. I think you might like it. It's called: 'Healing the Shame that Binds You.'. By John Bradshaw. Shame is a powerful motivater. Most of us will do Anything to avoid feeling it.

Be good to your self. Love your neighbour as yourself and all that. You gotta be okay with you. We love ya! You love you too.

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Response to libodem (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:49 PM

8. If that's the title, it sounds like exactly what I need.

Amazon here I come.

As always, thanks.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:52 PM

9. If you get it

I'll review mine and we can talk about it.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:23 PM

12. I have a little AlAnon daily read

Todays reminder says: Condemning ourselves for mistakes we have made is just as bad as condemning others for theirs. We are not really equipped to make judgements, not even of ourselves.
Thomas A Kemphis said: "All perfection in this life is attended by some imperfection and all our farseeing is not without obscurity."

"Today I pray for the wisdom to build a better tomorrow on the mistakes and experiences of yesterday."

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Response to libodem (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:15 PM

19. Thanks.

Pretty applicable to my situation.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:58 PM

23. Since my attitude needs some adjustment at times,

And I may have offended some of my friends here, I offer this thread as sort of a statement of views and an apology:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022139329

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:04 PM

24. And now, I'm running away from all of this ....

... But only to do my half mile jog and a couple of miles walking around the block.

Later, and I really do love all of you.


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Response to Denninmi (Reply #24)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:16 PM

25. You're cool, Dennis. :)

That's a great thread in GD. One of the best I've seen in that forum in a while.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:11 AM

26. Real fear that mental illness will genuinely exclude you from aspects of existence?

 

Certainly. If you have raged and feared and been incapacitated by either or both or even something more, being aware of it and naming it is going a long way to own it and move forward into something better. Not knowing and suffering the results, would be mortifying and depressing. You have to take care of yourself and you are doing so through knowing yourself and what may occur due to the involved dynamics. This reduces the chance of the same issues flying out of control in the future (or your sensing an increase and choosing to deal with it effectively before it might manifest as trouble) and this results in a greater capacity to engage in life and living.

You are working upon functionality. If this is being dealt a bad hand of cards, learning to work with them is very important and you appear to be refusing to give up, which is great. The 12-Step programs taught me to suit up and show up regardless, and that was a new thing for me considering how deeply life has and can devastate. It's a bumpy ride fraught with mistakes, but through effort, adjustment to those issues resulting in a better experience.

People are scared of The Other, as we may have learned at some point. However, the more you prove that you can show up, the more they may work with you. Or not. The concept of "the right audience" is important.

Peace be with you always.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:59 AM

27. I think I did the right thing here.

It does feel like a weight off my back today.

I only "thought about it" once, when I was picking out a cauliflower in the produce dept. this morning.

And it was immediately followed by "No one here knows, so who cares?"

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:35 PM

28. Should I feel ashamed or guilty for having MS?

I might feel guilt for bad cognitive decisions I have made under it's influence, but it is not something I asked for nor sought after. I cannot reverse those decisions so I must learn from them. I have to learn to control my mind and body. Each step must be choreographed. I have to keep walking so I can keep walking.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:04 PM

29. No, of course not.

Sorry.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:45 PM

30. Nor should you. It is not something like chicken pox

where you can say "I'm partially to blame. I should have stayed away." You had no choice in your illness, it is not something which is contagious. There might be a genetic vector but I am not aware of having a choice of which family to be born into.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:14 AM

32. Would you hold a friend to as high a standard as you hold yourself? n/t

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:55 AM

33. No, of course not.

That would be a cruel thing to do. Unfortunately, I have always been hard on myself like that.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #33)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:25 PM

34. I do the same thing

and I have to remember to give myself a break sometimes.

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