Absence & Desire - CDCB - Difficulty Wanting Things

Friday

Moderator
Absence & Desire

I’ve been playing with these 2 things since I was introduced to the phrase a year or so ago.

As I have a very difficult time WANTING anything.

A lot of that is tangled up with the Distortion formerly known as “Sense of impermanent future.” That one is easy for me to grok… as it’s like being asked what you want to do in 2 million years, in the hour before dinner, on March 3. Um. Dude? I’ll be dead. I won’t be wanting to do anything before dinner. Even if I manage to come up with an answer, or maybe even get super invested in making it funny, or serious, or well thought out, or whatever? I don’t actually want XYZ, because I don’t believe it’s a thing. Being alive in 2 million years. To want something? To desire it? First requires my belief. So it makes planning a wee bit difficult when that same disbelief is attached to 2pm, or 2 weeks from now, 2 months, 2 years. <<< During my good years? I planned right on up to years in advance, truly wanting & desiring -yet also able to adapt- those plans; as I was in University, raising children, saving to buy a house, etc. It’s part of what made them good years; but the ability to create long term goals (and shop for dinner!) also was made possible by them being good years. One of those cyclical things where the blood just keeps getting better, whilst the bad gets worse… and attempting to break the cycle of what I don’t want, and lean into the one I do.

But navel deep in bad years? It’s not just a ‘sense of impermanent future’… as that comes and goes.


There’re also the beliefs that :

Distortion - If I want it, I won’t get it. (So if I reeeeeally want it? I have to not want it.)

Belief - If I want it, it can be used as a weapon against me. (Don’t let anyone know I want it.)

😵‍💫

It’s a big ole work-in-progress for me, that I play around with a lot, in a lot of different ways, attempting to smooth it out.

Anyone relate?
 

PlainJane

Moderator
I relate hard! I never thought I would live this long, I call them bonus days. Happy bonus day.

Distortion - If I want it, I won’t get it. (So if I reeeeeally want it? I have to not want it.)

Belief - If I want it, it can be used as a weapon against me. (Don’t let anyone know I want it.)

It goes along the same lines as the whole no expectations, no disappointments thing. It's frustrating for some around me that think I would be healthier if I invested in my wants. I mean, they're right, but it's not like I can force myself actually to want something. I tried to explain this entire issue to them, but they couldn't see it. I can make something up like this:

Even if I manage to come up with an answer, or maybe even get super invested in making it funny, or serious, or well thought out, or whatever? I don’t actually want XYZ, because I don’t believe it’s a thing.

It's not real, though, and I would rather be honest and upfront about it.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Yes I relate but my sense of desire has shifted. It used to be dangerous for me to desire anything because my caregiver could mock or punish me for a desire at any moment. So I created an OCD counting system for choosing things. I never actually chose anything but appeared as if I did. I rigged the system. If someone complemented me on my choice I accepted that I had appeared successful. If someone mocked or punished my choice I accepted that I had *appeared* as a failure. I reduced my choices to minimal options buried under all these random things that didn’t matter! Food? Who cares? Clothes? Random articles of cloth. Where to go on vacation? A number game. Movies? Random numbers decide. It wasn’t because I’d be dead it was because life was meaningless.

Different perspective with similar outcome. Not choosing was a choice so I always chose something but with a number game. I still do that but way way less than I used to.

I agree that object impermanence plays a part. So for me, the therapy helped me believe that some people objectively stay. That’s a tenuous belief that depends on someone (T) being there, and that gives me hope that I can be there for myself.

Then there was the rebellion in me. I was so conditioned to be meek and feel worthless that having desires was a new experience. That’s starting to wear off sometimes now but I have enough experience doing it that I know the difference between having a desire and just pretending to.

So that’s how I relate. Let’s take a look at those distortions and play with them.

If I want it, I won’t get it.
This is fortune telling or being a psychic. Reality, “I want things and sometimes I don’t get them.”
If I want it, it can be used as a weapon against me.
This was what I fought against for so long. To avoid having a thing used as a weapon against me I refuted that I ever wanted something. However I didn’t realize that not everyone would use my desires as a weapon against me, only some people.
Therefore, “If I want it, it can be used as a weapon against me *by some people*. I am developing the discernment to determine if someone will use my desire as a weapon against me and I use my discernment as information about who I choose to spend my time around.”
 

intothelight

Sponsor
For a long, long time, I did not desire anything for myself as I figured I wouldn't be here as he would kill me or I would die at my own hand. The roller coaster of abuse and the impact on perception of life expectancy had me focusing on the needs and desires of everyone else, but myself. I could plan for others and spent a lot of time trying to figure out what would be needed for my children when I was gone.

The weird part was, my future was tangled up with "others" and as long as I focused on "others" I could be future forward. About the time I found the desire to live and acknowledge my own needs, wants and desires, the damn cancer changed that reality. So I still find myself planning for "others", but there are days I can see a bit of a future, but its not going out past few months at this point. Too many real near death experiences this year so the PTSD crazy thoughts and behaviors have resurfaced, but I'm a little better at countering them.

Hope some of this makes sense as it seems crazy to fight so hard to live, but at the same time having such serious doubts I end up preparing for death.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
your terminology is new to me, but, assuming the terms don't cover bigger meanings i am unaware of, methinks the principles resonate loudly with me. perhaps the meanest of my own roots is the number of times i've gotten what i wanted and ended up in a nightmare. then there are the times getting what i wanted attracted every toy stealer in the neighborhood.

it's far safer to not want anything, whatsoever.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
I can relate...... Sitting here thinking "Isn't that normal?????" I've been asked, in job interviews, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" Apparently the answer they're looking for isn't "Huh?" but I'm always caught off guard by that and have never been able to come up with an answer. At least not in the moment. I suppose this is why. I also relate to the idea (magical thinking BTW) that if the universe is aware that I want something then it won't happen. I actually caution my clients not to make any comments about their horse behaving well until after we're done with whatever we're doing. I'm only partly joking. If you notice they're being good things are likely to blow up, right?

On the other hand, isn't there some kind of Zen thing about not wanting stuff?
 
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