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Grief/ shame of what will never be

Midnightmoon

MyPTSD Pro
I find this incredibly shameful just to type, but, here goes anyway.

I had a discussion with my OT the other day about the physical barriers to intimacy as a wheelchair user. She was asking in a round about way if it had any impact on relationships and did I need to explore it practically on what was about. I declined, declared myself fine and we moved on.

Turns out, I'm not fine! It's never been fine but how an earth do you even tolerate the idea that a relationship is never an option for you?

I've never had a relationship, a date, not a kiss even for god sake. I'm in my 30s, have always longed for children, and yet had this knowing that I would never be good enough to have a partner, I had to do better, if I loved someone why would I give them me.

Through my 20s this persisted, everyone moves on and relationships turn serious. I meanwhile am still firmly so so sure that I can't saddle anyone with me, so I don't even allow myself to consider it. Someone did attempt to get closer via work and completely unexpected, I pushed them away saying I couldn't let them settle for someone like me. I always hoped one day I'd learn to be better and then maybe it would be possible... It kept the hope alive somehow.

And now, post accident. Children are not possible, if I couldn't do a relationship with a working body there is no way I can do one wheelchair dependant. I couldn't offer anything to anyone like this, why would I even consider allowing anyone close, to burden with this.

But this grief of never knowing a date or romantic love or whatever just keeps spiraling. I see people my age with children and families and I cry. I'm in no fit state for either, but it feels like the future has been snatched away too.
 
how an earth do you even tolerate the idea that a relationship is never an option for you?
Who made that rule?
children and families and I cry. I'm in no fit state for either
Families with children are one kind of relationship. You may not feel ready for that but a relationship with one person is not the same as that.
I couldn't do a relationship with a working body there is no way I can do one wheelchair dependant. I couldn't offer anything to anyone like this, why would I even consider allowing anyone close, to burden with this
There are lots of reasons people can convince themselves they have nothing to offer anyone or that they would be a burden. There isn’t anything especially significant about a wheelchair versus other excuses. If you see yourself as being less than others then you will find someone to reinforce that or someone you can project that onto. Either way will bring you into a codependent state. You will end up feeling worse than you do as a lonely single person if you get locked into codependency. How can you stop seeing yourself as a burden? How can you allow yourself to have needs and take up space? What do you like to do already that brings you joy?
 
I think it's hard when my very set core belief of being vile get tangled into then the want of love, coupled with the horror of then giving someone I loved something vile?! Cue head spin mess that just leaves some more shame.

I am housebound without carer 1-1, fully dependent on the state financially and, well, I'm not a catch for anyone, they'd become a carer, who wants that as a prospect? It may sound a bit blunt but it's realistic.

I guess what I'm grieving is the idea of a missed chance...if only I could have been better earlier on in life maybe I would have had the experience and then maybe I wouldn't have such grief now, or maybe more. God knows.

Thank you both for being so kind 💜
 
I guess what I'm grieving is the idea of a missed chance...if only I could have
in my personal recovery from child sex trafficking, i have found myself grieving lost ideas far more often than i have had to grieve lost realities. having been raised as a public toilet, i didn't and often still don't feel good enough for anything better than swallowing the world's shit. who wants to cast their lot with a public toilet? i didn't have many realities worth grieving.

you tell me. . . am i good enough for better?
now tell yourself what you just told me.
how 'bout we work on healing our self-esteem together?
 
grieving lost ideas far more often than i have had to grieve lost realities
I think that's the crux of it.

I held hope that there was an alternative out there growing up etc and now I am said grown up I feel like screaming it's not fair, I didn't hang on so long for this to be my reality! I watched relationships on TV and other kids families etc so I knew it existed, I only had to be 'better' and then it would magically happen was all the logic 6 year old me needed. You grow up, you are loved, you can love, job done.

I have parts at play that don't help matters (pending DID dx) I don't understand me, I really don't anticipate anyone else to understand me. So me as me longs for companionship and connection and a building of a shared life, but some are so so anti relationship it might have been virtually impossible anyway. I didn't know what was going on in my internal world wasn't 'normal' so I thought everyone just sort of got themselves out of it in the end. Griefs an arse of a process
 
I feel like screaming it's not fair
may i scream along? NFF - NO f*ckING FAIR. . . HOW CAN THESE INJUSTICES BE ALLOWED TO EXIST! ! !
the channeling helps. set the truth free.
I didn't hang on so long for this to be my reality!
i thank the cosmos that i can alter my own reality. with gentle and loving acceptance of who and what i am in this very minute, i can begin crafting a new tomorrow. at least. . . that's my prayer and i'm sticking to it.
Griefs an arse of a process
amen, i say unto thee, amen.
alas, repressing grief is even more of an arse.
go bravely where your hear t takes you. channel as needed.
 
I am housebound without carer 1-1, fully dependent on the state financially and, well, I'm not a catch for anyone, they'd become a carer, who wants that as a prospect? It may sound a bit blunt but it's realistic.
I would say this sounds like a mental prison of your own making...? I "get" the logic but do you realise that if you apply that standard to everyone else who falls into that category too, then you're ruling out genuine human connection for a huge number of people.

Thankfully, that's not how it actually works. People connect because they choose to. Because they choose to overcome their fears and insecurities.

We all have only one life and we're all imperfect. Very imperfect. And the people with the shiny veneers are often just as imperfect, only they hide all that imperfection beneath the shiny veneer.

If you buy into the fallacy that the shiny people are good and worthwhile and the imperfect people are bad and not worthwhile, you've already lost...

My brother also has C-PTSD from childhood trauma and he never had a gf, went on a date, nothing until his 30s. Now he's happily married. I don't know my sister-in-law cos I'm no-contact with most of my family, but she sounds nice enough. She's very overweight and my brother has gained quite a bit of weight too (ours is a family of skinny people).

I didn't have a bf or date until I was 18 and I was petrified of it in many ways at the time (undiagnosed, raging PTSD) but I dived in cos I figured it'd just get more awkward and tense and nerve-wracking if I left it longer and longer... I made sure I chose guys who were decent human beings and muddled my way through.

I'm currently not married, so who knows whose approach was "better" - mine or my brothers? It is what it is.

I think my main concern with waiting so long would be that love creates so many huge expectations anyway.... and I think by waiting longer, they just get huger and huger and huger... No one's gonna fulfill all your expectations ever anyway, just as you won't fulfill all their expectations... But the sooner you jump in, imo, the quicker your expectations get knocked down to more reasonable levels and you realise that having someone who's basically a decent person, who laughs at your jokes and who doesn't fart loudly in your presence... is actually a pretty huge win... Being *in* relationships makes you realise that most of your ideas about relationships are a buch of useless codswallop and that what truly matters... is what truly matters... And at the end of the day, someone's health status is not what matters... You can hook up with the healthiest person there is and bam six months later they get cancer or have an accident or have a heart attack or get depression or whatever...
 
Oh, and I never had children, but my 2nd to last ex had two children, so while we were together, I was suddenly a step-mum, which was lovely. These things never turn out the way you think... Some people have children, but lose them early to illness or accident... Some people have children but grow estranged from them... That shiny happy perfect family image... that's just how it is in TV advertisements...
 
nothing until his 30s. Now he's happily married.
How wonderful that he managed to move all the way through that fear to marriage, amazing!
Because they choose to overcome their fears and insecurities.
Humm, I get where you are coming from, but it feels a bit like saying just snap out of it. I wish I could 'choose', I can't seem to make it that easy. I haven't got to this age with nil experience willingly; but, I think as @arfie so brilliantly put, if you grow up believing you are nothing, learning to be secure enough in yourself to be able to consider you might be worthy of love is so huge.

And at the end of the day, someone's health status is not what matters... You can hook up with the healthiest person there is and bam six months later they get cancer or have an accident or have a heart attack or get depression or whatever...
Yes, completely. But equally being disabled from the off creates a barrier, being able bodied is a privilege that I guess I took for granted, until my legs decided to give up the ghost. I really understand disability discrimination now and it's not pretty. Even with the healthiest attachment and the securest sense of self ever, ableism doesn't take a day off.
 
just snap out of it
I've got a long trauma history myself, so I realise it's not as easy as "snap out of it"... But on another level, that's exactly what it's about, imo... These things are often mental prisons that we build inside our own minds... and stepping outside of the prison is as huge and as simple as you make it.
ableism doesn't take a day off
Again, not making light of this, I struggle with disabilities too - yes, other people do have prejudices, but they don't affect us nearly as much as our OWN negative beliefs do.

I was just listening to an audiobook that explained it like this: If someone said to you "You are a purple elephant" or "You are a pink penguin" then it probably wouldn't bother you... you'd just think they were literally weird or funny or whatever.

But... if they say to you "You're ugly" or "You suck" or "You're a failure" then it affects you because INSIDE of you, you have a narrative running in the background about how those things are true.

So it's when someone else's rudeness or prejudice or whatever CONFIRMS a negative belief you have about yourself... that's where the trouble starts.

I've met quite a few people in the course of my life who were by "all objective standards" unattractive. A 2 or 3 out of 10 on those horrible rating scales.

But they didn't care. They lived life as if they were absolutely beautiful and the amazing thing is that that MAKES them beautiful.

Yes there are things that limit us in life... but there are so many of those - whether it's being born poor or having a stutter or being overweight or having freckles or glasses or crooked teeth or a million other things that kids tease kids about in school and that become ingrained inside of us as things that make us "inferior" and "worth less" ...

The big, huge difference is whether YOU buy into that INTERNALLY and live according to those shitty rules - or whether you don't.

I'm not saying it's "easy" but at the end of the day it can be that simple.
 
I've got a long trauma history myself, so I realise it's not as easy as "snap out of it"... But on another level, that's exactly what it's about, imo... These things are often mental prisons that we build inside our own minds... and stepping outside of the prison is as huge and as simple as you make it.

Again, not making light of this, I struggle with disabilities too - yes, other people do have prejudices, but they don't affect us nearly as much as our OWN negative beliefs do.

I was just listening to an audiobook that explained it like this: If someone said to you "You are a purple elephant" or "You are a pink penguin" then it probably wouldn't bother you... you'd just think they were literally weird or funny or whatever.

But... if they say to you "You're ugly" or "You suck" or "You're a failure" then it affects you because INSIDE of you, you have a narrative running in the background about how those things are true.

So it's when someone else's rudeness or prejudice or whatever CONFIRMS a negative belief you have about yourself... that's where the trouble starts.

I've met quite a few people in the course of my life who were by "all objective standards" unattractive. A 2 or 3 out of 10 on those horrible rating scales.

But they didn't care. They lived life as if they were absolutely beautiful and the amazing thing is that that MAKES them beautiful.

Yes there are things that limit us in life... but there are so many of those - whether it's being born poor or having a stutter or being overweight or having freckles or glasses or crooked teeth or a million other things that kids tease kids about in school and that become ingrained inside of us as things that make us "inferior" and "worth less" ...

The big, huge difference is whether YOU buy into that INTERNALLY and live according to those shitty rules - or whether you don't.

I'm not saying it's "easy" but at the end of the day it can be that simple.
I really admire your tenacity, it's pretty damn awesome to be a PTSD'er and be able to swim though this stuff with so much grit.
 
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