I Am Confused

Saturday, December 5, 2009 - 2:20 PM   I started feeling badly last night, and things have not gotten much better today. After going to bed, I began getting some strange sensations throughout my body including very hot feelings in my head, hands, and arms. In addition to the heat, there were stinging like feelings in the same locations. My mouth became dry, and all of a sudden, I became exceedingly hungry for no apparent reason.   My first immediate reaction was to believe that I was having a heart attack or stroke. I broke out into a sweat and I could feel my heart beating faster. After nearly half an hour of this, I finally realized that I had these symptoms before, although it had been many years since they were this extreme. I was having a very bad anxiety attack.   As the minutes seemed to drag by, I began feeling somewhat better. The anxiety lessened, and the symptoms I had experienced slowly disappeared. To say that I had been scared to death would have been the understatement of the century.   After getting up this morning, I began getting my life back in order and onto a strict regimen, which I used to have. The first thing I did was to begin taking my medications. I made certain that the first one I took was a pill for anxiety. I will be taking two more of them this afternoon and evening, followed by 2 mg at bedtime. I do not want to have a repeat of last night.   The holidays are not good for me because of the deaths of my parents during them. (I told about this in another journal entry.) A friend here suggested that I honor their deaths in some way, and then move forward with my life. It just is not that easy for me.   A torrent of memories about my parents flashed before my eyes today. For one of the few times in my life since their deaths, I found myself crying over their loss, particularly that of my mother. I find that to be extremely surprising considering the fact that I suffered through almost every imaginable kind of abuse from her.   I had a kind of love/hate relationship with my mother because of her abuse. Crying when that occurred is understandable to me, but not now that she is no longer living. It does not make sense to me. To have this happen during a time when I am filled with feelings of anger, sadness, loneliness, gloom, and despair is almost beyond belief. It is unthinkable.   I am confused.



As I was posting this, I was hit by another strong panic attack. I became exceedingly dizzy with hot flashes going through my face. I quickly took some lorazepam, which I hope will help. I am nervous and jittery. Nothing makes sense.

\"A friend here suggested that I honor their deaths in some way, and then move forward with my life.\"

Not quite accurate. There is a \'forever\' feeling implied that I didn\'t mean. Just for that moment. Honor your feelings, then move on. Each day each moment to its own. No one expects you to forget everything immediately or forever. Only to try and not let it own you.

The longer you keep squishing things down, the harder they try to get out. You started letting a little light into that dark room, and they like it, and want out.

\"Crying when that occurred is understandable to me, but not now that she is no longer living. It does not make sense to me.\"

Because it\'s something normal you should have been allowed to do. IT\'S NOT YOUR FAULT THAT YOU WEREN\'T. (Firm, not yelling.)

Crying after the fact is normal Jim. Make sure you let Dr. Martin know how you\'ve been feeling.

You don\'t have to figure it out either Jim. Not right now. I know this is trite and overused but that\'s because it\'s true. Just let it FLOW. It doesn\'t keep you safe, or in charge, or anything good keeping it bottled up.

It just makes you sick.

More Hugs and Mojo

Hi Jim I hope you\'re doing better now. Please take all of your meds on time. This will help you. Many people get depressed during holiday time.I think it\'s remembering all of the Holidays in the past and how many of the people who used to be in our lives are now gone. I think you and I as disabled people become more attached to our parents then others. We are like their dependant children forever somehow. I know for me I never married or had children of my own so the loss of my parents is still VERY HARD for me. Many BIG HUGS-Stephanie

Jim, there could be thousands of reasons for your panic attack. I think that trying to figure out WHY is what is making you confused. I can give you several reasons that might help:

You have suffered MAJOR abuse in your lifetime. That alone will cause mega anxiety.
As you mentioned, your parents passed away near Christmas.
The snow storms are also a problem for you. I imagine they must cause some level of fear in you.
You\'ve been bring up the past in efforts to release the grasp it has on you. In my own case, the only way out from under the stifling depression is to experience some of the pain.

I\'ve only ever had one panic attack. It was when I had gone off my meds and my brother was coming into town. I never put the three together until much later. It was terrifying. I really wish I could offer more comfort than some words in your journal. I\'d love to come watch a movie with you and just hang out.

Please take it easy, friend. Do whatever you can to make this time easier for yourself and try as hard as you can to not take on any responsibility for these feelings. If you could imagine that you are cleansing and old, infected wound and taking steps to heal I think it might help.

CRY and CRY and CRY. Throw something. Howl like a dog. Release some of the fear and pain that NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOURS.

And...take the meds. They will hopefully keep the panic attacks at bay. Meds do that for me.

Your friend,

I just had a thought about closure. Do you think you seek closure from the death of your parents?

I was listening to a radio show and a woman was talking about closure. She was seeking closure from the death of her niece. She finally realized that closure doesn\'t ever happen. You just learn to cope with the loss.

I also think the fact that you feel sadness for the death of your mother even though you suffered abuse at her hands is simply that you are a healthy, compassionate, and well adjusted person which is simply remarkable considering what you have been through. I don\'t think anyone really grasps how strong you are. Do you grasp how strong you are?

Something else has been nagging me... It\'s not quite the perfect reaction, but I hope what you\'re getting isn\'t anaphylactic shock..... An allergy to a medicine.

Some of what you describe happens to me if I take anything with aspirin, tylenol or penicillin. My husband gets it from seafood/iodine.

Maybe just make sure that this isn\'t happening to you after you take a med.

I was pumped full of penicillin in my youth, I can\'t go near the stuff now. So don\'t assume that some med you\'re taking isn\'t turning on you.

\"I hope what you\'re getting isn\'t anaphylactic shock..... An allergy to a medicine.\"

That possibility has been running through my mind lately. When I go see my primary care physician Friday, I intend on having a list of all my medications with me and have my doctor go through them just to make sure that there are not any bad interactions among them. I don\'t need anything like that to make my life more complicated than it is already.

\"I think you and I as disabled people become more attached to our parents then others. We are like their dependant children forever somehow.\"

I agree with you 100% on this. Even though we can do some things for ourselves, they seem to feel that we need to be dependent upon them.

\"I don\'t think anyone really grasps how strong you are. Do you grasp how strong you are?\"

Sam, I don\'t really feel that I\'m all that strong. However, you are the second person who seems to think that I am. My sister keeps telling me this almost every month. The two of you must see something that I keep missing.

\"And...take the meds. They will hopefully keep the panic attacks at bay. Meds do that for me.\"

Although I am now taking my meds, even doing that creates a certain amount of anxiety within me. I do not know what is happening, but I am now afraid of doing almost anything. I am afraid and anxious almost all the time.

Is this fear and anxiety different than you\'ve experienced before? Does it almost feel hallucinatory?

I had hallucinations during the emergency stage of healing. I was afraid to tell anyone because I was scared they would take my son away from me. I imagined a man stalking me and also that someone was trying to kill me. Considering the nature of a couple of people who abused me these hallucinations weren\'t so off-base. I have no doubt they are capable of murder.

if it is the emergency stage of healing, know that it will pass. It\'s really scary but it does go away.

\"Is this fear and anxiety different than you\'ve experienced before? Does it almost feel hallucinatory?\"

The fear and anxiety is somewhat different than I had before, but it is not hallucinatory. With the fear and anxiety I have now, it seems to have the side effect of making me fearful to even go from one room to another. It also makes me feel as though I cannot move my arms and hands. It is difficult for me to function when this occurs.

First...wow...do you ever have good friends and then some !
You are a lucky man.
Your life is a blessing to all you know you, by the way.

\"Is this fear and anxiety different than you\'ve experienced before? Does it almost feel hallucinatory?\"

HA ! You bet your ass it does ! The feeling that you can not move your arms or your legs is like a trick our mind plays on us. Anxiety attacks can come in many different sizes and shapes. Also, remember that when we bury feelings, we bury them ALIVE. I heard people say that. But, I never really understood it until some of the feelings I experienced during these sexual abuse attacks came to the surface as I went from event to event during my therapy. That completely panicked me because I was confused and did not know what was going on. Actually, finally experiencing repressed and suppressed feelings terrified me. I felt like I was turning into stone because the terror held me so rigidly, while at the same time, I raged with overwhelming panic and anxiety.

Some of this anxiety can be exactly what you were feeling during the attacks. What about moving your arms and legs ? Where you able to do that during the attacks. There can be many odd links back to the initial abuse. We can sense disconnected feelings that we experienced during the abuse.
There may be body memories. Smells and sounds can trigger anxiety and confusion.

You are also too darned close to the forest to see the trees.
You are incredibly strong...amazingly strong.
You are also pretty freaken awesome.
Just because you don\'t see it does not mean it does not exist.
There is a quote from a movie called \" What Dreams May Come. \"
It is something like this. \" Some things are true whether you believe them or not. \" I like that statement.

Yep, I sure do.
The abuse you suffered was horrid...whether you believe it or not.
No matter how civilized and gracious you are in your journals....those bastards really messed up your life. Then they dragged you along with them for the ride, too.
( Apparently I curse when I am very tired and when I see a nice man not being as kind to himself as he could be. )
Working on the abuse you suffered will feel like you are riding the rapids at times. I have some additional formerly repressed memories coming to the surface myself.
Boy...what a mess I was/am during this phase of recovery.
Recovery is very messy, you know.
The thing about it is that your are in uncharted areas of you life.
You have not dealt with the abuse you suffered in such depth as you are doing currently. This is all new to you. ( and you have been resisting it for a long time. )

Everyone is right. Being confused, having contradictory feelings...having major anxiety attacks, it all comes with the package...initially.
This work does get a little easier in the fact that you get sort of sense of what is going on in a way. You will have the corners of it, just like when someone puts together a puzzle.
Eventually you will be able to view the entire picture.
Right now, everything is all jumbled out in front of you.
It is completely unnerving.
Be assured that everything you are experiencing is pretty much exactly how dealing with sexual abuse evolves.
That love/hate thing will really mess with your mind if you think about it too much.
You loved her. You hated her. You hated what she did.
She deserves to be hated. I am not sure about love...
The way she treated you was not love.
You were conned into believing that it was.
So hate the hell out of her.
Feel the feelings.
Rage the rage.
Then let it and all of them go.
Eventually instead of love/hate you will feel a sense of understanding and acceptance.
They tell me the next step is forgiveness.
Sometimes I think I have forgiven my mother.
Rage and resentment will pop up again.
My father and all the rest of them...and apparently there were a lot of them....I do not think I have entirely embraced the fact that they did this to me.
I stand outside of it with my toes tipping right into the edge of it.
Working on sexual abuse is zany and crazy and nutzo and confusing and horribly hard and empowering and freeing and filled with the wondrous self discovery of the life that you were supposed to have in the first place.
I was just going to curse again.
Aren\'t you proud of my self control.
What a silly goose I am.

Ride the rapids, go with the flow.
This is how it is right now.
Don\'t fight it.
Remember \" to analyze is to paralyze. \"
We can intellectualize something to the point of fracturing piece after piece while trying to make sense out of something that is twisted and horridly horrific.
Feel the feelings. Think about it, of course.
But let it go from time to time.

You are doing a great job, by the way.
I am so proud of you. Great job...terrific.
Remember...ride the rapids then go with the flow.
You will find your way back home.
Everything will be alright and so will you, my friend.

Good God, the woman disappears for a couple of weeks, then she can\'t stop
\" talking \" when she gets back in town.