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Alone in my Head
#1
This is my first post. I'm no longer young, still single and friends have either moved away - or died; when you get to a certain age, that happens! I have one living relative - my brother whose own disordered life is such that he seeks my reassurance! I was brought up to believe a man sorts his own problems (God knows I've tried) and admitting to loneliness and depression is still not easy but that is what I am - alone and with no-one with whom to release the pressures and anguish of the daily struggle. For a long time I tried to distract my self with work, studying and interests but now I'm ageing and not in the best of health and it just gets harder!

Alone in my head? Where did it all start? Watching my father die in front of me as a child, mother being very ill with grief, losing our home, being dislocated to the other side of the country to live with relatives and going to a school where the brutality would have made Dickens think one was exaggerating. Unrelieved PTSD I guess as sympathy and understanding there was absolutely none! So I went "into my head" if you like to protect myself; a world of imagination and mental interests - studying, art, reading, making things etc - all solo.

I guess I never really learned the social skills you need to be "normal" - Oh I tried and did my fair share of excess but always it seemed that I stood apart, behind a pane of glass and not able to actually partake. Oh I tried, and I faked it but ended up with some sort of breakdown and hooked on the latest wonder drug diazepam, that they assured me then was not addictive.
Afterwards - and now? Well I go on, trying to be interested in life and find interesting things to do; keeping mostly to myself save for acquaintances I've made in my hobbies. Oh but it gets harder and I'm beginning to dread the future.
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#2
I'm no longer young either; I feel like I'm damaged by past troubles; my social life is unsatisfactory, to say the least and I dread the future too.
We have a few things in common, Ulysses. But maybe we can make a better future.
Welcome aboard.
What we think we become.
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#3
(08-05-2018, 10:47 AM)Ulysses68 Wrote: This is my first post. I'm no longer young, still single and friends have either moved away - or died; when you get to a certain age, that happens! I have one living relative - my brother whose own disordered life is such that he seeks my reassurance! I was brought up to believe a man sorts his own problems (God knows I've tried) and admitting to loneliness and depression is still not easy but that is what I am - alone and with no-one with whom to release the pressures and anguish of the daily struggle. For a long time I tried to distract my self with work, studying and interests but now I'm ageing and not in the best of health and it just gets harder!

Alone in my head? Where did it all start? Watching my father die in front of me as a child, mother being very ill with grief, losing our home, being dislocated to the other side of the country to live with relatives and going to a school where the brutality would have made Dickens think one was exaggerating. Unrelieved PTSD I guess as sympathy and understanding there was absolutely none! So I went "into my head" if you like to protect myself; a world of imagination and mental interests - studying, art, reading, making things etc - all solo.

I guess I never really learned the social skills you need to be "normal" - Oh I tried and did my fair share of excess but always it seemed that I stood apart, behind a pane of glass and not able to actually partake. Oh I tried, and I faked it but ended up with some sort of breakdown and hooked on the latest wonder drug diazepam, that they assured me then was not addictive.
Afterwards - and now? Well I go on, trying to be interested in life and find interesting things to do; keeping mostly to myself save for acquaintances I've made in my hobbies. Oh but it gets harder and I'm beginning to dread the future.

I'm new here. I joined just a few days ago. Your story and mine have some striking similarities. I got a bit choked up reading your post.

Pane of glass - that's a great way to describe it. You can see everyone and they can see you but you can't touch anyone, and they can't touch you.

Out of curiosity, are you still on the Diazepam?
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#4
Glad I've found this forum so even if there aren't any magic solutions, we can still talk and that really helps. I've long wanted to shift some stuff off my "hard drive" but couldn't talk to anyone who'd listen - I guess one has to have experience to understand.

The "pane of glass!" To stop myself coming apart I learned to "stand back and watch," and imagine it wasn't really happening or was just playing like a video recording and couldn't hurt me any more. But of course I was damaged and couldn't shift the pane of glass later. I could watch all those around me forming relationships, having families and getting on at work but I couldn't join them. Because of my experiences I just could not open up and trust, be carefree and let go as many seemed to be able to. I had, and still have, the feeling that if I were ever to trust or rely on anything, anyone, or even put my whole weight against a wall, it would collapse. As you might imagine, not many relationships lasted long with someone who might go off into his head with the "thousand yard stare" of a soldier suffering from combat fatigue.

When I cracked up in my late twenties, they gave me the "liquid cosh" pills - as many as I wanted, denying (as we now know) that these were addictive. If you've ever been there you'll know it isn't long before you need more to stop the symptoms (especially the nightmares) coming back and if you ever try to reduce your dose you want to kill yourself! In the end I threw my pills away and sat in a corner for weeks and went mad. I got off the diazepam but it was ten years before the flashbacks ceased; ten years when everyone else was settling down and starting families etc and me hanging on by my fingertips and faking coping. I'm damaged and haven't been "right" since.  These days I take Seroxat (paroxetine) in small doses which I can control  It's a good "don't care" pill that lifts your mood but I'm very wary of high doses or overuse.

So back to the "pane of glass!" All I ever wanted was to be "normal" and have a wife, two kids and a dog, just like you can see through the glass but no, and you can never break into established friendship or family groups, you are always the outsider, an acquaintance and..tolerated but not included. And so here I am, still watching. What can I do? not a lot probably and time is getting on so maybe accept that this is how it is for me and somehow cope. Having this forum is a great help; just being able to tell someone!
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#5
(08-06-2018, 04:25 AM)Ulysses68 Wrote: I had, and still have, the feeling that if I were ever to trust or rely on anything, anyone, or even put my whole weight against a wall, it would collapse.
Everyone you trust will probably lie to you sooner or later. Everyone you rely on will probably let you down sooner or later. IMO these things are true and your instincts aren't wrong. Perhaps others here will disagree. Either way it sounds to me like you've given up human contact, meaningful contact, in exchange for protection from those risks. Perhaps your childhood experience makes you feel like the stakes are far higher than than they really are, and you have more to lose than you really do.
You say you've never talked about this? So no counselling or therapy?
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#6
Counselling? Therapy? Yes, I've seen shrinks of several sorts but not really anyone who has been effective. With funding as it is, there just aren't the people and certainly not the time. And then the quality of the operatives and what they are offering. The last couple of folk I've seen were young and newly qualified and went through their list of asking you to keep records of your thoughts and play cognitive behavioral therapy games. No good talking to them about my perception or feelings; they couldn't understand because they hadn't (yet) had enough knocks from fate to have experienced the damage you can take. 
I need to talk to someone who understands because it's happened to them - or just someone who can listen without judgement. I'm not sure there are any answers save that just being able to discuss sympathetically and know that others at least understand would be a solace.
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#7
Well add me to the list of people who relate. I'm late middle ages, long since divorced and have spent nearly all my life feeling like the outsider looking in. I still hold out hope... for something, what I don't know, but hope still. I'd like to encourage you. I cannot reach out and change your life, it feels quite helpless in that respect, but I guess I can say that you are not alone. They say the only thing that makes the atrocities experienced during wartime bearable, is the military family you develop with those that go through it with you. Hopefully, we will all find some form of family here.
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#8
Me too. Living through a pane of glass is exactly how I've felt my whole life. I don't really know what it is that's wrong with me, but I have always been incapable of relating to other humans. I'm not young any more either, and while in some ways I am finding life easier as I get older, the problems I have with other people are as bad as ever.
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#9
I wouldn't want this thread to be too depressing but rather a place where we can swap ideas of how to cope. I've told you my tale of how I've been messed up early and damaged and its very helpful to know one is not alone and others can relate. Of course one of the key features of depression is the constant replaying of negative emotions almost like an addiction and the only way we might escape is to recognise this and try to combat it; not easy by any means because it becomes automatic.

I've lived nearly seven decades now and I think I've realised that there isn't frankly a great deal I can do about anything really. I wouldn't say I'm resigned because I always keep trying and pushing but realising there's no magic answer is actually liberating in some ways because when you stop struggling and wanting and expecting life to be rewarding you can perhaps concentrate on what you actually have; which might not be all bad. For example - there are indeed many things I wish I had and haven't - and yes it hurts - but what I do have that others haven't is ...freedom.... to do exactly what I wish (or don't) whenever I want. 
As for the negative thoughts, well nothing pisses off a demon more than being challenged. I get black moods and dark depressions - especially in winter - but I know it won't last and I can alleviate it with medication and so I wait it out. Once I would have dwelt on the negative and kept on feeding the demon but, as it says in one of my songs ; "Turn and face into the wind and spit in the eye of fate!"
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