short intro

This blog is about my journey so far... recovery from the years spent focusing only on individual details instead of the big picture. My new selves of the past are explained by this new big picture- and is quite strange to lose the layers of change I thought I had obtained. Further down the path of frustration and exhaustiong.... reaching out for that true self trapped behind stone of complex PTSD

Friday, June 25, 2010

Resilience is not 100% failsafe

Last year I wrote the following in my regular blog, but kept it private (entry under same title). It serves as a great introduction for this post.

About 1 year ago I had gone through a bit of what I'd call a relapse of a severe attraction to suicide. I'd glorified it in my mind in the past, but I never committed myself to a plan the way I did last June. I even got through the rationalization that I would not be hurting or disappointing anyone. With my mother dead and my father a complete stranger who has essentially disowned me, no friends or social links outside of working relationships, and a twisted idea that my wife did not and really could not care properly about me, I was completely prepared to exit, wake up, face the mighty unknown.

I'd classify what I went through as a delusion. There was no catalytic event per se. My life was going fairly well, but I had no concept of how much it was about to improve over the next year. On the other hand, it was a very harsh lesson in how much I've largely ignored the damage ive sustained from past loss and unresolved conflicts. I chose an identity completely disconnected from anything of my upbringing. My speculation is that that state of things was the most likely catalyst for what happened to me. I've been trying to work backwards since then and examine the old me to resolve in my mind some of what I'd been ignoring.

I've come to understand it as a possible episode of something called depersonalization disorder. All of a sudden, I found myself totally "disconnected" from my physical existence. The actual episode of disconnection was short in duration, however it spawned the delusion in my mind that I needed to "wake up" from life.

Those thoughts and feelings are just one dark fragment of who I am. They are not representative of my identity in total, not influencing to the choices I make. The only influence that has developed is a kind of resilience; the will to persevere over seemingly titanic challenges has cultivated to a great strength through survival of past troubles.

Each person goes through uniquely variant challenges in life- I have a hard time with the concept of empathy- "I know what you're going through" is a meaningless phrase to me. My wife is the opposite end of the spectrum, endlessly feeling, intensely capable of perceiving & interpretting human emotion. This year, in the creation of my art, is the first time i have felt properly able to express myself and release some of the negative energy, repair some damage, and feel stronger as a human being.

Viewed from the big picture perspective I've recently gained, this event appears to have been a "depression attack", resulting in a fixation on death and particularly my own death. I recall spending every waking minute in Special Interest fashion focusing on planning the method, making list of the materials or possible options, and reading forums and blogs about methodology. Here are two entries I wrote in a separate blog I also kept completely private.

Waking Up - 6/6/2008
it finally makes sense.

I am supposed to wake up.

I am an alien in this world. every day I go to work, and I act and pretend. I then go home, and act some more. at first I thought this was because no one really cares about who I am, not even those who claim to love me. but then I realized the answer is simple. I have no identity. I don't need them, and I don't need anything.

I am trapped inside this dream world. for the longest time I thought achieving lucidity was the end goal. however, I feel I have reached that point, because of this: I realize now what I have to do. its like I've always wondered how to wake up. but never realized that I WANT to do so. I can clearly see now that this is the solution. or more precisely the next step, if you will. the defining moment of this existence for me. death. I am going to face the great unknown. there is nothing left for me here in this alien world. I do not belong here any more.

I do not fear death - 6/10/2008
here is the deal. I am void. I know I am supposed to feel emotion, but I don't. occasionally, I may get a chemical feeling such as adrenaline or fatigue. that pretty much sums it up. i feel very calculating. i am supposed to have something called love. but I can not feel it. I am supposed to "care" but I don't. this dream world which i am trapped in holds less and less gravity on me as time goes on. it is very much like when i realized the spiritual feelings i was supposed to have (according to my religious upbringing) did not exist, but for everything.
It is difficult for me to repost these or think about what it felt like during that time, but I feel it is absolutely necessary to do so.. to revisit that self and understand it in this way.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Accepting my father for the first time

Today (father's day) I fully dropped the idea I have held on to for so long that it was the religion that was the root cause of what was wrong throughout my childhood/adolescence. I can see how I blamed it on principle, just as part of my nature, on the areas that I did see it affect me, lost in smaller details. Never before have I seen the big picture.

I fully see now that it was the combination of my personality/needs/traits, the overall circumstances of having lost my parent (at age 9), and his overall inability to do social/emotional involvement. I feel "sad" in a calculated way... like he's just lost and I want to figure out how to help him. I told him I accept him and I wanted to be forgiven for rejecting him for the past years.

I ponder how incredibly different life could have been for me and him had she not died... she would have provided an emotional adhesive that we both desperately needed.

When he or I say "I love you" that's calculated. Love is something we *do*, not something we feel. We are loyal and willing to contribute whatever we can.. we just have an emotional "cup" where most people have a bucket or industrial-size mixing vat. We have on/off switches for anger/joy where most people have a dynamically sliding scale of emotion they can sense/repair in others and that they feel in response to events/consequences and can communicate dynamically with non-verbal communication.

The HFA/asperger's explains EVERYTHING. Ethics and ultimately his choice to be religious is simply tied to who he is. Spectrum individuals tend to build a rigid morality and a sense of self based on the abstraction of that morality. This is exactly me, but I simply chose a solitary morality where I couldn't handle the social complexity of religion. I've abstracted myself to the absolute limit of abstraction. I see how I went down this path as a direct result of my relative walking alone. So I chose different ethics. In addition, I was unable to feel any of the "spiritual" impact that most religious people live by. I disengaged naturally from the idea of religion since I never experienced those emotions.

There's no good way to compare what different individuals view as ethical.. at the most abstract level the individual's choice of what to believe in about mortality and other complex issues like chastity is best worked out as what really fits comfortably for themselves.

I can't condemn him any longer for those abstract beliefs that I realize are at the core of who he is. There will always be the "political battle" between those of different ethics because they are fighting for what they feel are the rights of everyone. I think that freethought/freedom in generally has a tenacity to prevail and enhance the overall unity of the human race over time. Even with LDS thought itself, progress has been evident in equality and freedom. I think some aspects of it are still troubled in this category and this is the main reason I felt it was a bit harmful to me growing up.

I believe that my death will result in my no longer being aware I was ever alive, total destruction of the self. I simply feel that's the most feasible outcome... Any other is far too fantastical for me to grasp. The fact of our existence as it is is a cosmic inevitability and is equally fantastic to me. My father believes he will go to an afterlife where he can be with his true love again. I think I hated him for this belief for the past 8 years or so. I feel a calculated shame about this, now... But I'm not sure how I could have avoided this attitude, as I felt so betrayed when I initially began to reject religious thought at about age 18, when my self-lucidity really began to form.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Couple thoughts about adulthood and adaptation

The reason why diagnosis on adults has been more nebulous is that a lot of the traits are merely well-adapted to by adulthood. so only the truest experts have been able to determine how to approach adult diagnosis.

Beyond just looking at controllable encounters to intellectually develop a controllable response, how does one approach things in the "core" of one's personality that aren't actionable? How would I approach vicariously feeling what someone else is feeling so I can detect when it would be a good idea to use emotion-repairing strategies or when it would be over-reacting? A big part of the issue is not sensing the signals that most people would intuitively (without conscious deliberation), which throws you off in any unfamiliar scenario.

The symptoms I've grown out of are both explained by increased self-awareness
1. Picky eating - I still am considered picky by most. The difference is that I perceive I only feel like eating certain things at any given time. I've only just recently noticed how I do this, sort of auditioning food in my thoughts. I make sure to eat those things that I feel like eating instead of trying to force myself to eat something I won't be able to. I have a set of preferred foods I stick to, making shifts from time to time (as my tolerance tends to break down. Suddenly one day I just cannot eat what I have been recently).
2. Impulsiveness - This I view as a natural part of my adolescence. I've noticed the older I've gotten that I always get lost on focused details. My lack of big picture perspective throughout childhood explained most of my out-of-control behaviors. As I now see a longer view of my own personality, I've become more baseline, in control of the actions I choose, and more often finding myself the opposite of restless-- but come across very calculating, even intimidating to some. I've become such that I simply avoid action when I can.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I've noticed in our current socially organized society, authority figures are hardly ever able to be held accountable... there's no protection for the common person subject to these various authorities. This is many times worse for someone who doesn't know how to navigate social situations.

Example: my drivers licence was suspended without my knowledge after I'd conceded to pay a no-insurance fine that I couldn't resolve with my insurance company who had screwed up the policy. Apparently in my state they also suspend your licence if that happens, requiring you to have your insurance carrier send them some ridiculous form certifying you are personally insured, that costs you a fee to them and to the drivers licence department of the state to get re-instated. So despite being insured even prior to the fine, I had to pay a fine and ended up being cited for driving on suspended licence one night when I was stopped for a headlight having gone out.

As a result I went in and pleaded not guilty to driving on suspended licence. They then began to subject me to an endlessly bureaucratic sequence where I'd be required to come back and have other hearings and a trial. I did not know how to navigate this scenario, so I never went back for these additional hearings as the entire proceeding seemed to be absurd and unwinnable, from my perspective as the wrongly accused. In my mind, this entire extension beyond my conceding to the fine was a cruel and unusual punishment, as without the permission to drive, it was essentially a prohibition against my entire livelihood as a person without any social connections to obtain carpooling or other means of travel to be employed. This state would rather I be unemployed and unable to contribute to society than accept my payment of the fine I was issued as full restitution for the supposed offense? How does this completely disabling penalty fit the actual original offense? They might as well just have thrown me into jail upon being stopped without my proof of insurance.

To date this remains unresolved for me. They have a "warrant" which gives them the right to arrest me and also deny me any tax refund that I'm owed, instead keeping it as "bail". However no one ever seems to take up the warrant and come take me to jail. I'm content with taking no further action, as I am not going to give these idiotic bureaucrats a valid reason to stop me out on the road, and anyway I don't drive like a maniac like every other inhabitant of this zealously insane state. The only way I can see it coming to a further negative outcome is if someone crashes into me, resulting in police involvement and likely discover of the circumstances.

  • Ultimately I've come to the feeling that the current laws exist mostly just as a source of income to the state, and aren't interested in being reasonable or fair. Most people just pay and comply, and it goes on and on like that. The state gets to choose what and when to enforce, and doesn't really care most times about speeding but can of course choose to stop someone on speeding when they feel like it to extract a fee from them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

About the failure of labels

Essentially, any label, be it "professionally diagnosed" / "Self-diagnosed" / "undiagnosed" is just a simplification... none of them are adequate in the exploration of the human traits.

Diagnosis is just what the outside uses to describe what they feel to be "clinically significant".

If they feel someone is "different enough" then a diagnosis is made.
It's just a tool that bureaucratic society needs to properly "control" the situation of people being different. I think of it like the "minority" label. It's just pointless, except in the scope of how society chooses to deal with differences.

Any reasonable person who is actually searching for real self improvement would be able to seek it by becoming acquainted with the FACTS published by known experts, as well as the experiences of others, and would be able to leverage their own reason to avoid using traits/labels as excuses for stupid behavior. Instead of making excuses for exclusion or self-stagnation they would be able to learn and grow wiser about themselves.

I think the label self-diagnosed is particularly stupid, as stupid really as the idea of clinically diagnosed. If you have traits, you have traits. No one can tell you who you are but your own self.

Not all of us who have these traits had the opportunity to have good support while growing up. I'd imagine most coming here now who are undiagnosed but recognize the essential traits are seeking to learn from the community who have had that type of perspective, the kind of self-lucidity required to really learn effective strategies. We're just barely gaining that level of lucidity. It's likely we were misdiagnosed and harshly misunderstood throughout life to this point.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Repost 6/15/09 - An intro, of sorts, to my childhood years

On my left wrist, topside, I have 3 scars. They run roughly perpendicular.

I was around 10. That night I simply decided I would cut myself with my boyscout pocket knife I had recently acquired. It was late. My stepbrother was gone, I think from having snuck out the bedroom window. The light was on. Perhaps I had been awakened, or wasn't even asleep before he got up to sneak out.

I had not pre-meditated this or witnessed any example of such an action in others at that point in my life. The largest scar is from is the first cut.

I remember opening the blade, and setting it in position, then pushing down as hard as I could till I was feeling the sting along with the hard pressure to my bone.

I remember how the blood started to seep out.

It was at first very slow. I believe this must have been when I made the other 2 smaller cuts above and below this first. I do not have any recollection of those moments.

I think I started to panic when the blood from the first had finally become significant. I wiped it with a towel, but the blood reappeared twice as much and twice as fast. It would not stop so I was forced to report to my step-parent for help. That part is a very vague recollection. I believe I was met with anger and hostility as my wounds were tended. No comfort whatsoever.

The "me" of that time, a passive participant in my own identity at that point, had no idea why I was doing it, really.

Back then, I had no way to understand what was happening.
Back then, I took this action, with no idea who I was at that moment or who I was to become.
Back then, I had no way to understand the pain inside me, much less even begin to be capable of communicating it, even to my own self.

It was almost like reverse time travel.... I noticed the scars a few days ago and it hit me pretty hard.

Now, I understand it completely.
Now, I see the result, I see who I am.
Now I see how my identity truly began with this event.

I never recognized a tangible origin before this realization. It felt like my childhood was nothing but a nightmare I'd woken up from all of a sudden... A meaningless series of painful occurrences. As meaningless at least as my sudden liberation was in the face of the massive damage I'd sustained from the combined loss, neglect, abuse, and brainwashing that made up my 18 initial years of mortal existence.

This realization has allowed me to recognize the fact that I DID in some way realize the wrongness of everything that had happened to me. It allows me to forgive that child self for any perceived failure or fault in the despairs I faced. I can now properly place the blame squarely where it belongs, on my negligently selfish and delusionally corrupt father.

Final remarks:
What prompted this writing is that I've been going through a micro-relapse of related depression that I am fighting with. I recalled that last year I had another micro-relapse and some suicidal ideations. After writing this, another thought occurred to me... What if I had made the cuts vertically on the inside of the wrist, and just bled out? I think that me wanted to die. I was simply too mentally immature to understand that desire or plan it in any way. What if I had?