View Full Version : DDNOS, or, I'm a 9 year old.


Trooper Keith
05-19-11, 03:13 PM
I'm not actually a nine year old.

Sort of.

I'm not sure what I'm hoping to accomplish by posting this. I have mixed feelings on the whole idea. But I'm reaching out for support. I guess.

I have dissociative disorder NOS. My primary means of ego defense, my "last resort," my nuclear option, has always been to dissociate. If I'm stressed and I can't intellectualize the stressor, I get an impulse to act out, to lash out violently and smash things and break things. But I don't. Instead, I shut down completely. I stare into space while I retreat deep back into my brain where nothing can touch me or hurt me or harm me. Back in the deep part of the brain where everything is always okay, and there's nothingness - just thought itself. And eventually, the emotions dissipate and I hazily return to reality and re-orient myself to what is going on.

This is pretty normal for me, and while I've gotten better about not doing it as much as I used to, I'm still prone to it. But this isn't the symptom I want to whine about today.

I had something of a traumatic childhood. For as long as I've known, I've been prone to either acting out or dissociating. Formerly the former, and then as I grew up, I became better at shutting down before breaking or hitting things. I didn't have it as bad as some, but I'm told I had it rough.

Sometimes, like right now, I revert into an alternate ego-state. I don't have dissociative identity disorder, but my ego shifts perspectives, almost. I feel like I'm 9 again. All the assorted feelings I had back then are at the surface. Unlike some dissociatives, I still have my knowledge and I still am aware that I'm actually 25 and not 9, that I'm not a lonely little boy, but an adult with friends and family. I have insight into what's going on, and I have some of the coping skills I have now, as a 25 year old.

My therapist calls it a co-consciousness. I'm still here, me, 25 year old Keith, but at the same time, I'm 9 again. And I'm stuck here. I don't know when I'll get back to "normal." I don't know exactly what caused this to set on, or how long it will last.

All I know is I have way more work to do than a nine year old can be expected to do, and I am having a hard time coping. I'm scared. I know I'm safe, but I am very overwhelmed.

I don't know what I mean to accomplish with this post. I don't feel like it's a "real" problem. I'm embarrassed. I feel like this is all in my head. And, in a way, it is. And I don't like that. But I'm reaching out, which I wouldn't have done as a 9 year old, and that's good.

I just need to not be alone with this. I don't know what response I want. I just need validated.

sarek
05-19-11, 03:40 PM
I wish I could say something that would help you, but if answers were that easy to get you would have found them yourself. So the best I can do, I think, is read what you are telling us.

And yes, of course its in your head. But the same is true for all of us. It is the very reason we have this forum here to talk about all those things that no one can see from the outside but that are still very very real to us.

peripatetic
05-19-11, 03:49 PM
i know you're going through a tough time and i'm impressed that you have the courage to post this and to reach out, and set any embarassment aside to get the support that you need. that you dissociate, that you're overwhelmed, the reasons for your dissociating, the stress you feel, the confusion, frustration, anger...ALL of those are very real and i know the turbulence they cause in your life is real.

keith, you've been such a great friend and offered invaluable support in times i've known...and even times i've not even realized...that i needed it. you're a fighter and you'll get through this...and you have my complete support and any and all validation i can give. if nothing else, know that your struggles don't go unnoticed. i hear you...i recognize...and as much as you need, i'm here, there, wherever:)

Fortune
05-19-11, 04:34 PM
I don't know what I mean to accomplish with this post. I don't feel like it's a "real" problem. I'm embarrassed. I feel like this is all in my head. And, in a way, it is. And I don't like that. But I'm reaching out, which I wouldn't have done as a 9 year old, and that's good.

I just need to not be alone with this. I don't know what response I want. I just need validated.

I picked this bit out because I think it's the most pernicious part of dealing with these things. And it absolutely is a real problem, and "in your head" makes it no less valid or important. If it's affecting your state of mind so that you cannot fully cope with your current responsibilities and needs, then it is not only real, it is serious.

What you describe sounds pretty real to me.

Trooper Keith
05-19-11, 05:21 PM
I think I've figured out what it is that I need. I don't know though. I'm not sure if it would be helpful or hurtful.

I think I need to be treated like a nine year old, or something. Treated like I should've been when I was nine, but wasn't. But I don't know what that entails, because I was never treated that way.

I mean, in a way right now I'm nine. But I'm being treated as an adult. Which makes sense, because technically I am an adult. I don't know if treating me like a kid would be reinforcing a delusion, or if it would be providing catharsis and treating a nine year old as a nine year old, which only makes sense.

I'm just in a bind. I'm not a kid, I'm a 25 year old man, but I am a kid, I'm a 9 year old boy, and I'm being expected to do 25 year old man ****. And I'm doing my best but I just need acknowledged, or . . .

I don't even ****ing know. Whatever. Gonna try to work more on papers, or call to block off hotel rooms for the wedding or something.

insight needed
05-19-11, 05:32 PM
KMiller, are you about to get married? I'm only asking because of your comment about blocking off hotel rooms. If you are about to get married, it seems very possible that some part of you (the 9-year old part) is terrified. I'll not offer any further thoughts on that because maybe you are not the one getting married...

Blueranne
05-19-11, 05:40 PM
I wonder if I need to remove all of my "thanks" now... :cool:

BR549
05-19-11, 05:57 PM
I'm really sorry you're going through this right now. I also think it's hard to come forward and share something like this. It's takes a lot of courage to just open up like you have.

When you talk about feeling like your 9, I'm reminded of a recent therapy session I had. My therapist and I talked about feelings and why I still felt like a child-----I won't get into details. My therapist said something I will never forget. She said that there was a little girl inside of me that was never allowed to be a little girl. Never allowed to be the girl she was supposed to be. That I had to embrace that little girl and heal her before I could let go of her and move forward.

What you are feeling and go through is very real. We may not have answers here, but we'll always listen and support you.

Trooper Keith
05-19-11, 05:57 PM
KMiller, are you about to get married? I'm only asking because of your comment about blocking off hotel rooms. If you are about to get married, it seems very possible that some part of you (the 9-year old part) is terrified. I'll not offer any further thoughts on that because maybe you are not the one getting married...

I am about to get married, yes. And yes, I'd wager that 9 year old Keith is rather scared, not so much about getting married but about all the effort that goes into it.

I wonder if I need to remove all of my "thanks" now... :cool:


Not sure what you mean.

Blueranne
05-19-11, 05:59 PM
Not sure what you mean.

Nevermind... We're good!

peripatetic
05-19-11, 06:00 PM
I wonder if I need to remove all of my "thanks" now... :cool:

uh...what are you talking about:confused:

EDIT: superfluous post given blueranne's above; please disregard.

Blueranne
05-19-11, 06:02 PM
uh...what are you talking about:confused:

something dumb... no worries

Edit: ditto the superfluous thing

Trooper Keith
05-20-11, 09:24 AM
When you talk about feeling like your 9, I'm reminded of a recent therapy session I had. My therapist and I talked about feelings and why I still felt like a child-----I won't get into details. My therapist said something I will never forget. She said that there was a little girl inside of me that was never allowed to be a little girl. Never allowed to be the girl she was supposed to be. That I had to embrace that little girl and heal her before I could let go of her and move forward.

This is a fairly common problem that therapists see a lot of. A lot of us weren't allowed to be children. Things happened and we had to be adults. Or, in my case, we had to cope however we could, and we did that by dissociation.

I don't remember my childhood. None of it. It's gone. I spent most of it in a dissociative state and can't access those memories. What I do remember was not pleasant, and took work to "get to" (not in the sense of "recovered memories" or whatever, but in that I have it there and it was in my head causing neurosis, just being denied).

My therapist tells me that dissociation is easily treated because it's such a powerful defense that the original person remains crystallized inside the dissociative shell, and once that shell is breeched the pre-trauma individual is still there. Just a random tidbit.

I appreciate the validation I've received here. I'm in a complicated headspace, because I seem to have the functional maturity level of said 9 year old but the knowledge and psychological reasoning ability of my 25 year old self. I'm thankful for that, because I have these papers I have to write, which require those things.

Thanks guys. I'll keep posting in this thread because it serves as a baseline for me to orchestrate my thoughts on the matter.

Song of Mercy
05-20-11, 09:43 AM
Sometimes I talk to myself. I used to hide in my closet as a girl, and I was so afraid, and I could hear my mother crying. Thats real. There have been times when those memories and feelings have been so strong...sometimes I talk to little me...I tell little me that that is over and that I can let go of those feelings, and I picture grown up me taking little me's hand and helping her out of the closet. I hug her, I tell her that I want her to help grown up me, I tell her I need her, we leave the house together.

Trooper Keith
05-20-11, 09:55 AM
That's good, Song of Mercy. A therapist once recommended I go to myself as a child, whatever I could remember - because I used to despise myself as a child - and forgive myself.

He was a CB therapist, though, and didn't recognize the risk involved. It threw me into a dissociative episode and I felt like myself as a child for a few hours afterwards.

This is like that, just it's been 3 or 4 days now.

ginniebean
05-20-11, 12:36 PM
I think I've figured out what it is that I need. I don't know though. I'm not sure if it would be helpful or hurtful.

I think I need to be treated like a nine year old, or something. Treated like I should've been when I was nine, but wasn't. But I don't know what that entails, because I was never treated that way.


Keith I just want you to know I care very much and I may not always know the right things to say.

I think you've said something very insightful here. You might be dealing with some developmental milestone that needs to be dealt with one way or another.

I have raised two boys and at one time they were both nine so here are some good ideas.

Here's some things from my memories.

1.) Nine year olds need lots of hugs and cuddles.

2) Nine year olds need encouragement.

3) Nine year olds need cozy boundaries so the world doesn't get too chaotic.

4) Nine year olds need someone who smiles when they are silly but frowns when it gets too silly. (i.e. making underarm farting noises for over 3 minutes is a frown)

5.) Nine year olds need time to play out of the range of the adults. This is an age of curiousity and shenanigans.

6.) Nine year olds need to run around and use up a lot of energy.

7) Nine year olds love to bounce and jump.

8) Nine year olds like popsicles and fudgicles.

10) Nine year old boys think bodily functions are funny as hell.

11) Nine year olds still like bed time stories.

One thing that you can see here is that 9 is something of a transition point in a child's life one minute they are your cuddly little cutie pie and then the next they are doing something disgusting or gross, next curious about how the world works, then racing real real fast faster than all the other boys right mom?, then crying cause they got hurt etc...

One things for certain 9 year olds are truly wonderful. :)

Hope that might have helped a bit.





I mean, in a way right now I'm nine. But I'm being treated as an adult. Which makes sense, because technically I am an adult. I don't know if treating me like a kid would be reinforcing a delusion, or if it would be providing catharsis and treating a nine year old as a nine year old, which only makes sense.

I'm just in a bind. I'm not a kid, I'm a 25 year old man, but I am a kid, I'm a 9 year old boy, and I'm being expected to do 25 year old man ****. And I'm doing my best but I just need acknowledged, or . . .

I don't even ****ing know. Whatever. Gonna try to work more on papers, or call to block off hotel rooms for the wedding or something.


One thing about this, often we under-report just how much we struggle, the desire to be competent and seen as competent competes with our need to say "enough'. You're truly amazing for 25, you have a brilliant mind and you're accomplishing so much in spite of multiple issues. You don't often give yourself a break, you tend to nose it to the grind stone and I don't think I've ever heard you cut yourself slack. It's probably super hard for you to do but probably you have set your priorities such that maybe you've squeezed out something important that you need. I wouldn't begin to know what that might be.

((((((((silly internet hugs))))))))

Song of Mercy
05-20-11, 01:52 PM
You might be dealing with some developmental milestone that needs to be dealt with one way or another.


I was thinking about this but could not quite grasp the thought and wrangle it into words.

Andi
05-21-11, 11:23 PM
Keith, have you also been diagnosed with anxiety?

Personally I dissociate or feel paranoid when I'm anxious and then experience word vomit. I wonder if you have anxiety and if treating would help minimize the symptoms?

Trooper Keith
05-21-11, 11:30 PM
I've been diagnosed at various times through my career with GAD, OCD, and most recently, Anxiety d/o NOS. Dissociation and anxiety go hand in hand - dissociation is an ego defense, and one of the ego's roles is to defend against anxiety both internally and externally derived.

What's frustrating is that I've been pretty solid about not dissociating for a few months now.

Andi
05-21-11, 11:51 PM
:eek: Are you saying I'm egotistical?? :p

Change can be a difficult thing to manage and perhaps the key is to allow yourself this hiccup? Often the more I stress about my response, the worse my symptoms become. Part of dealing I just have to disconnect and let it run its course. Co-morbid conditions are a bear to manage. As if bipolar isn't enough...

Trooper Keith
05-30-11, 11:55 PM
When I was a child my parents made me wear a leash on my wrist whenever we'd go out anyplace where there might be a crowd. I had a tendency to stop when they were still walking, or to wander if they were stopped and not attending to me. The leash was a pretty simple device, one end had a loop for them to put around their wrist, and the other had a cinching loop that could be tightened but not loosened unless you pulled it tighter yet. It really hurt to take it off because it had to be pulled tighter than it already was. I never was able to take it off of myself.

I don't remember how old I was when I stopped having to wear it, or when I had to start; most of my childhood is a terrible haze, though, so that I remember it means I must have been pretty old. Not like, 15, but conceivably up to age, well, 9 or 10. Heh.

Sometimes I wish someone would lead me around on a leash again. It's strangely comfortable, for all the restriction.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Ho6yNYhRnZg/TeRrMncqnjI/AAAAAAAAAOY/aAaH6nR2Pmo/Kid3Leash.png

Trooper Keith
05-31-11, 12:31 AM
I spent a large part of my childhood standing with my nose in the corner. Supposedly I learned lessons from this.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bRcPRCRY-yc/TeRu1JAeKDI/AAAAAAAAAOg/QH9hr4jnOaE/Kid4CornerDark.png

At least corners are safer, though not normally with your back turned.

Trooper Keith
05-31-11, 12:37 AM
Here I am, looking at the floor and grinding my toe in the ground.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-m7RIgwOyBbI/TeRyk1FFMUI/AAAAAAAAAOw/j7gtZJ7byxk/Kid2Shoes2.png

I'm frustrated, I'm sad, I'm annoyed, I'm resentful. I want everything to go away.

I just want to be alone.

But please don't leave me.

Lunacie
05-31-11, 09:43 AM
I've seen those horror-striken responses to putting wrist leashes on children, but I think they have to be better than constantly yelling at your child for wandering off and scaring you.

I really would rather follow someone else than be the leader, constantly having to turn around and check to make sure no one has gotten lost or left behind. Using a leash would work well either way for me.

Trooper Keith
05-31-11, 10:23 AM
I'm not exactly horror stricken by the leash. I sometimes wish I'd had leashes when I worked with children, some of whom had ADHD. I understand the rationale. I don't know why that image came to mind for me last night.

K-Funk
05-31-11, 10:38 AM
hmmm.....sometimes when I'm having pretty bad anxiety I feel like things aren't real, as if they are "surreal" and I've been sort of plucked from reality. is this what you mean?

Keith, have you also been diagnosed with anxiety?

Personally I dissociate or feel paranoid when I'm anxious and then experience word vomit. I wonder if you have anxiety and if treating would help minimize the symptoms?

Lunacie
05-31-11, 10:54 AM
hmmm.....sometimes when I'm having pretty bad anxiety I feel like things aren't real, as if they are "surreal" and I've been sort of plucked from reality. is this what you mean?

I've felt this way as well, either I've got less overall stress in my life now or the fish oil is helping me cope better. It's been a while since I've felt that surreal/dissaciated-from-reality feeling.

Blueranne
05-31-11, 11:05 AM
KMiller, my son is 9 years old. I love him very much. He is the oldest out of my five kids and is the most difficult to parent. Today I am going to give him extra hugs and love while I think about this thread of yours.

... While this is off topic, one way I've been able to overcome the trauma of my childhood is by giving my kids the love and attention I never got. This is actually harder than it sounds. A parent can read all of the parenting books and take all of the parenting classes available but the natural parenting technique seems to be how they were raised. It has been difficult for me to stretch beyond my past but it is an amazing feeling to finally feel that parent-child love, even though this time around I am the parent.

Hugs to you too KMiller!

Blue

Trooper Keith
06-01-11, 01:02 AM
When you're 9 you don't have much choice where you're going. It doesn't matter whether you want to go there or not. Even if you don't want to go, or don't think you can, someone will take you there.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4HpBrB5VJ0I/TeXHZ_KabJI/AAAAAAAAAQA/dfLjZkoSP70/Kid5Snatched.jpg

One way or another.

Trooper Keith
06-01-11, 04:17 PM
And sometimes you want to go somewhere but you can't. This can be very upsetting.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-6C_ZC7b6p6w/TeaeFcaecII/AAAAAAAAAQQ/FbJ0LslMROE/Kid6Held.jpg

But nothing's quite as comforting as being held, amirite?

insight needed
06-01-11, 06:59 PM
Keith, those drawing are powerful. Keep drawing. I would guess that you are getting out some feelings that may be otherwise hard to express. I know that they have an emotional impact on me--and I wasn't the one who was there.

At the risk of sounding overly simplistic, is it possible that your present dissociation is related to your impending marriage, and what you see as the need to finally "grow up"? Marriage is, after all, a grown-up activity.

Are you really, really ready to be married? It seems like 9 year old Keith may not be ready to be married. I know, the invitations have been sent, the dress is bought, flowers ordered etc. etc. but maybe there is a reason that you are in this dissociative state as you are drawing closer to your wedding day. Have you let 25 year old Keith ask himself the question, "Am I really ready to do this?"

Trooper Keith
06-01-11, 07:22 PM
It's an interesting question. My fiancee and I have been living together for four years now, so not much will change when the marriage happens. I don't see myself as nervous or afraid over it. However, I am demonstrating resistance towards it in the form of not doing things I need to be doing and so on. I'm doing that with my car and such too, though, so I don't know that it's the wedding itself or just that the wedding is another in a long line of stressors.

I draw because I have images in my head that I need to get out. I'll probably redo parts of the most recent one because I don't like the heads on the other people, but in the heat of the moment I didn't care enough to correct it.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I think the wedding factors but is not the root cause. I'm hopefully talking to my therapist next Tuesday. He normally delivers insight that my self-analysis can't find.

insight needed
06-01-11, 07:33 PM
Keith, I think one of the great things about your drawings is that they seem very spontaneous. Don't try to "fix" too much.

I hope that your therapist does have some insight to share with you. Do you share your drawing with him?

Trooper Keith
06-01-11, 08:29 PM
I do. A lot of our post-traumatic stress work was done by my drawing something, staring into space for a while, then discussing it. Basically "working through" the dissociation from that particular event. He's seen most of my work, which many people have not seen any of.

Trooper Keith
06-02-11, 11:15 PM
How many hours passed sitting at a table doing nothing, when I could've been having fun? How many hours did I stare away in a daze because it was too much to do? Too much to ask. Too many requirements.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-nsRczqK_Cs0/TehReQ_YzXI/AAAAAAAAAQw/nDuow6pGMCc/Kid8Homework.jpg

I don't think I can handle it all. I never really could.

Trooper Keith
06-02-11, 11:36 PM
And this. . .

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-724ofv9keA0/TehWAcNb_xI/AAAAAAAAARM/dZGVvlwJq3Y/Kid9ActingOut.png

. . . is all I ever feel like doing. But I can't. I can't act out. It's all I want to do. So instead, I burn, I burn deep inside, like a star; and I retreat deep into my bunker, far away from everything, deep in my shell where there's nothing but thought.

But I can't let myself act out.

Trooper Keith
06-03-11, 10:42 AM
I just want to **** things up. I want to vent. I want to break things. I want most of all to cry.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-b4X2TWSirWQ/TejqhdmqP_I/AAAAAAAAAR0/FD2_EKn653U/Kid10Kicking1.jpg

But instead I tuck away into my little dissociative shield.

Deep down inside the shield where nothing can get me, and nothing exists but thoughts.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Q4hcSZDUnUI/Tejyi2aNCCI/AAAAAAAAASI/b4RuDumZQQM/Kid11Shield.jpg

Blueranne
06-03-11, 10:46 AM
Man, sometimes I cant even get far enough away from my thoughts. Sleep is my best friend!

mctavish23
06-03-11, 07:10 PM
When you get a chance, please check out the work of Charles L. Whitfield,M.D.

He has an excellent book entitled "A Gift to Myself," that deals with the subject

of "Age Regression ( as an artifact of SHAME)."

He is writing about Chemical Dependency/Alcoholism Recovery issues, and is IMO,

excellent & easy to read.

Basically, what he specifically means by "Age Regression" is anything that triggers

the feeling of being back as a kid in a stressful,hurtful,and ultimately shame based

scenario.

He goes on to describe that as feeling like you're "walking on eggshells" around some-

one or something.

That's over simplified, but please check it out.

There's also an excellent book by a husband & wife team, whose names I foget.

However, the book is entitled "Letting Go of Shame," and it too is easy to read

and very well done.

Thanks for the openess and input.

Good Luck.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Trooper Keith
06-03-11, 10:51 PM
Sometimes, when I'm overloaded and can't dissociate it all completely, and frustrated, I grab my hair.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-drfeV3AS3IY/TemdSpB5clI/AAAAAAAAASY/gMWnk6dLKGc/Kid12Hair.jpg

I don't pull it out, or anything. It's not self-destructive. I just grab it out of aggravation.

I also rub my head when I think, but I don't know that that's related.

Trooper Keith
06-06-11, 01:06 PM
There's always someplace to go. Sometimes you go (somewhat) willingly.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Q0mVy4tTyBs/Te0HHrhJ-8I/AAAAAAAAAS4/hU2FMPynuW8/Kid13Walking.jpg

Other times, though, the bigger man wins.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-UQg207bII7M/Te0HHFmS-LI/AAAAAAAAAS0/cP_Z5br6am8/Kid14Dragged.jpg

Trooper Keith
06-06-11, 10:57 PM
I talk to my therapist tomorrow morning. I'm scared.

Trooper Keith
06-08-11, 12:38 AM
Burning.

Blueranne
06-08-11, 12:45 AM
I talk to my therapist tomorrow morning. I'm scared.

Update?

Trooper Keith
06-08-11, 08:54 AM
Update?

Because he's in my home city and I'm not, we've been doing sessions over the phone. Since it's not safe to hypnotize someone over the phone, and since I'm so damn good at dissociation that I hypnotize almost accidentally whenever topics are brought up, we could only gloss over things. He suspects that the problem is related to this time of year, which may have been especially traumatic for me as a child (I don't know for sure, I can't remember). We suspect this because there's really no particular stressor that should be causing this.

If I go back to Wheeling in the near future, I'll schedule a marathon with him during which we can try to address the issue.

Blueranne
06-08-11, 11:11 AM
When are you getting married again? I know you said this was not the cause but, maybe its a combination of things.

Trooper Keith
06-08-11, 11:32 AM
20 August. He and I came to the conclusion that really I'm not stressed right now by much, everything is in order. Naturally any stress will contribute though.

Blueranne
06-08-11, 11:42 AM
Keep the drawings coming. I know your giving us the images that your associating with but, they make me wonder about your teen years or whenever your rebellious stage was (is)... Do you have any drawings of that?

Trooper Keith
06-08-11, 12:29 PM
I don't. I can only draw what I remember, and I don't remember my teenage years. I don't remember my rebellious years. I was rebellious and contrary as a child, perhaps even to the degree of opposition-defiance, but I don't recall anything that I can draw with that, because I don't remember those years.

I don't even have clear memory of these events. Just snapshots that come to me every now and then when I'm edging into that ego-state.

Trooper Keith
06-12-11, 07:32 PM
On a rare occasion, someone might reach out to me. It happened the other day. It felt good, someone trying to make contact, even though I was trying my best to get away.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-KLgKUi4xcYA/TfQendxGZbI/AAAAAAAAAUc/cMoMqYPlMRs/Kid16Sulking.jpg

I still got away, but it was a good thing to know someone cared enough to try. I had a meltdown at work because of a lot of circumstances, and went to the back of the pharmacy and zoned out. The pharmacist came back to check on me. It was a strange mix of feelings.


Most of the time, though, I just want to curl up into a ball and disappear.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-7HuaLyitlmE/TfVLy6dAEjI/AAAAAAAAAUs/OyN00IVWWFc/Kid17Ball.jpg

Trooper Keith
06-12-11, 08:44 PM
I remember being backed into a corner, but I'm not sure what's putting me there.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-yRGmk2pK2fk/TfVdKecRWtI/AAAAAAAAAU8/C5IUhQBR7Lk/Kid18Cornered.jpg

Sandy4957
06-12-11, 09:17 PM
Weddings stress out the most emotionally healthy of people. I've catered a lot of them, and it never fails to amaze me how totally normal-seeming people become basket cases around them. Here are a few of the reasons that occur to me, and I'll just put them here because they are less obvious than the "afraid to commit" ones:

You will be the center of attention. You may not like that.

You will be expected to express your deepest feelings in front of others. Again, scary.

You are throwing a very large party and want your guests to have fun.

You have someone that you care about who is stressed about this event.

You are spending a lot of money, perhaps money that you don't have saved up.

There are a ton of ways in which the wedding "industry" exploits people. You're experiencing pressure to buy things or do things that may seem unnecessary to you, and part of the reason that you're having those pressures is because the things are expected of you, but they're really all about the players making money. You can have your friend take photos instead of a photographer. You can just have someone bake a cake instead of buying one. You can have a great time in a church basement.

Which brings to mind: you may have pressures to follow certain religious practices that either don't resonate with you, or (worse) that remind you of traumatic events in your past.

You have an overwhelming number of decisions to make.

It's all about you, and yet it's not even a little bit about YOU.

These are all ample reason to retreat, it seems to me. It doesn't mean that you're not ready, or that you're regressing. It's just an especially difficult time for anyone. I've seen 50 y.o. couples on their second marriages become basket cases with wedding planning.

So don't beat yourself up too much.

And I do this to some degree, too. It's not quite the same. Between freeze and aggression, I probably have equal parts, now. At 25, I probably had a lot more of both. Things are less problematic now. But you are not alone, and it doesn't mean that things will never get better and stay better. I had a pretty traumatic childhood and I was AOK (no therapists, no drugs, basically happy, etc.) for 18 years, from about 22 y.o. to 40 or so. Then things happened with work that knocked me out of my equilibrium and I was in trouble for a few years. Now things are settling in again.

It can get better.

FWIW, I find being married very comforting. It's not like I got to "comfort" my child self, or whatever, but the stability is nice.

Trooper Keith
06-12-11, 09:40 PM
ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff f

Trooper Keith
06-12-11, 11:17 PM
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rfOhUQMapnk/TfWA17BK4OI/AAAAAAAAAVY/P9IrmSG0udM/Kid20TalkedAbout.jpg

I was always talked about.

Never talked to.

Trooper Keith
06-16-11, 10:33 AM
I'm pretty angry right now. Just putting that out there.

CaptainCadet
06-16-11, 07:11 PM
This is a very touching thread...those images...I don't really know if there is anything I could possibly say to express how much of an impact it's had on me. Thanks for having the courage to put this out there.

I hope things go wonderfully for you, I wish I had something more concrete to offer though.

Trooper Keith
06-16-11, 08:25 PM
It's okay. I'm currently zoning out and not worrying about some wedding problems. I'm about to draw something.

I received today my membership package into the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, so that's pretty exciting. Whatever.

Trooper Keith
06-16-11, 08:54 PM
One of the advantages of teaching at an elite private school is that there's always a tie to grab onto.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ixDQWixDL1o/TfqlsN5wbVI/AAAAAAAAAWA/K-jsmBjINBk/Kid21Choked.jpg

Trooper Keith
06-18-11, 12:16 AM
Always looking on, wondering what fun everyone else is having. If only. . . what? I don't know.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-SqOnIfYiKb4/TfwmWNNo7BI/AAAAAAAAAWc/9I6pa4cWp-8/Kid22Recess.jpg