• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Grief/ shame of what will never be

Heh... I just used to have a really well developed fight response and used it to stick up for myself...

I got retraumatised a few years ago in my 40s and it's really knocked the stuffing (and the fight) out of me this time... it's horrible.

But I still encourage anyone who's been through trauma, especially childhood trauma, to find their fight response and to stick up for themselves. It's a very worthwhile endeavour.

If you want some more inspiration, you might want to check out the body positivity movement. I'm not on Instagram, but I think that's where a lot of that inspirational body positivity stuff is to be found...
 
I find this incredibly shameful just to type, but, here goes anyway.
Well done for taking the jump...
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?
That does sound really hard... I haven't read your whole thread, so I'm sorry if this has been discussed (ignore if so) but have you dared to try to imagine the idea of a relationship being 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.
🤗

This sounds like the results of the effective work of your skewed and untruthful inner critic... I understand when thoughts and feelings get so skewed it's hard to look outside of them and feel outside of them... to believe that anything else could be different... i don't know you, but I know you have insight, compassion, intelligence, care and that's all from just a few message exchanges... maybe the way you feel about what you have to offer in a relationship has never had space to be imagined in any other way, other than through your inner critic lens... maybe when you feel ready to, the work is about creating space and opportunity to try to see it through new eyes... but I agree, its a big piece of work... but certainly not impossible...

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.
I think in a way this is what I was trying to get at above... maybe starting with even the thought that, when you're ready, you can create space in your head to just consider it... no strings attached... you're just considering...I don't really see how anything can be created, or how change can happen, if there's absolutely no thought about what that could look like first, or there's no vision about it... Baby steps...
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.
Someone once told me, in a similar situation, that I was being too controlling! And that actually, it wasn't my decision as to whether the other person thought i was good enough for them or not... it was theirs....
I always hoped one day I'd learn to be better and then maybe it would be possible... It kept the hope alive somehow.
Better than what? Maybe that idea of being good enough was never instilled in you.. and so this intangible standard of always needing to do and be better is stuck with you, making demands which aren't clear how you'd achieve it... demands which aren't possible to meet... just hanging there in the background...I bet if you sat to make a few bullet points of what you know you're good at in life, and you will know some of these deep down, you will be able to think up things without too much thought... doesn't have to be mind blowing... can be 'considerate of others' ...

I recognise some of this in myself... I've needed to step back at times to see that all my focus on what I should be working on/ changing only creates that illusion that being who I am now is the reality I should be dealing with... learning how to look at myself, my life, now why I'm here and have compassion for that, even love myself is so so hard... but it's actually, for me, where the focus needs to be... because I can't easily change who I am... so I have to work on acceptance for alot of it.. maybe just maybe that can lead to self compassion and self love... but it's a long work in progress...

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.
I have a number of thoughts and therefore questions come up about this when I read it. But I understand this is a very sensitive and delicate topic for you... so ignore my comments or skip to the next bit if you don't want to hear my thoughts..



I have no idea about your situation, but why is it impossible, as a wheelchair user for you not to have children? Do you mean biologically-speaking? Or that you're unable to take care of them in a wheelchair? I'm not saying this to discredit how difficult it is having kids with a physical disability at all... but I wondered, because I know people in wheelchairs who have had children... obviously support is required ...

Why do you feel you can't do relationships because you're in a wheelchair? I think plenty of wheelchair users are in Relationships... is it because of how you feel you'll be perceived in a wheelchair?

And if you aren't able to have children, do you feel there's no point in being in a relationship? The two don't necessarily have to go together...
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.
I'm so sorry... this sounds very painful and difficult..I can see how it must be triggering for you... sending 🤗🤍 ... be gentle with yourself...



I think my main thing about my reply is, maybe you could allow yourself to start imagining things a bit differently, a bit daringly... everyone has things to offer in life, that includes you... and you will have things to offer that other people value in you... first step is recognising that...
 
I am so sorry you are feeling that way. It's very painful. I wish I could sit with you and hold your hand (if wanted) while you screamed or cried or whatever you needed to do.

The feelings are real. The reality is right now you don't have anyone in your life. The truth for your future is yet to be written. Realistically, it's going to be hard for you to find someone but impossible? Who knows. I didn't think I would find anyone. I didn't even want to (maybe insiders did) because I didn't think a loving relationship between partners was a real thing. And yet, somehow at the age of 51 I found it. And I marvel regularly about that. I am learning disabled, transgender, have PTSD/DID, a body covered in scars, and a leg/back with nerve damage. Who could possible want me? And how could I possibly let someone be stuck taking care of me? Well, my husband (holy moly he's my husband now) does and we take care of each other. It took decades of therapy to get here. If I'd met my husband 20 years ago, I would have pushed him away for sure.

Someone once told me, in a similar situation, that I was being too controlling! And that actually, it wasn't my decision as to whether the other person thought i was good enough for them or not... it was theirs....

I have also been told this. A few times. And it kind of shocked and rattled me, but there is truth in this. I wouldn't want someone deciding that I couldn't like or love them.

I am not saying this will happen for you. And I think grieving is a reasonable response. You've been through so much and it's made your life so hard. Grieve for your past, grieve for you present, but *try* to give yourself the gift of not grieving for the future.
 
This sounds like the results of the effective work of your skewed and untruthful inner critic
I think writing about it and reading everyone's very lovely responses has sort of got me round to wondering this too. Ultimately, I am disgusted at myself for daring to want (which is big in itself, want/ need is always risky) to be loved. Repulsed, revolted, guilty, shamed, horrified. All of it. How dare I. How dare I even want to want that. Have I not seen my vileness, do I need to punish myself more to be reminded? Clearly I'm guessing there are many parts at play but it leaves me just sad and lost. My life evidence so far very much agrees with the above which sort of cements it all down further.

I am very much in denial about DID atm, I'm ignoring parts which probably isn't helping this situation...
Someone once told me, in a similar situation, that I was being too controlling!
Ha- I love that!
but why is it impossible, as a wheelchair user for you not to have children?
I am now biologically unable to, but equally physically too, my level of physical disability is significant and I wouldn't be able to care for little ones. This is more complicated because I have huge medical trauma, so any medication/ operation/ assesment that may help my overall condition I have avoided for over 6 years. I carry more shame (god, how much shame can one body contain?!) that I cannot even think about accessing anything that may help my quality of life physically because of said trauma.

And if you aren't able to have children, do you feel there's no point in being in a relationship?
No, not at all. But of course there is an age factor involved for children, so I guess as that clock ticks it makes me more desperate maybe, I don't know, where as relationships in general are less time pressured. I wish I had considered therapy in my 20s, when I was physically well, maybe this could have been very different 😕

Thank you for your care @beaneeboo , I hope today is giving you some breathing space amongst everything in your head 💜

And yet, somehow at the age of 51 I found it.

@Muttly , your lovely words made me well up, thank you. I absolutely love this, I'm so pleased for the pair of you to have that love and connection to one another. It gives me hope
 
I think writing about it and reading everyone's very lovely responses has sort of got me round to wondering this too.
this is good... getting on the curiosity train is a good thing to do, because it's developing a side of you which remains as the '3rd person's perspective... less attached to the feelings and more focused on being analytical... reading others' feedback can be so very powerful, I agree...

Ultimately, I am disgusted at myself for daring to want (which is big in itself, want/ need is always risky) to be loved. Repulsed, revolted, guilty, shamed, horrified. All of it. How dare I. How dare I even want to want that. Have I not seen my vileness, do I need to punish myself more to be reminded?
I think sometimes writing it out, like you have here, is good for identifying the language going on in our heads... there's something so subtle about these types of messages in our head sometimes, when the voices are at play, because they are so normalised, routine, usual... so sometimes, certainly not all the time, the impact can be one of nothingness, numbness and normality... but when you've written them down and you read them back on other occasions, sometimes I've found myself seeing it all in a different, more shocking and impactful light...because I can't relate to the emotions of the words when I'm out of that state...

that also helps me grow that curious 3rd person perspective ...

Clearly I'm guessing there are many parts at play but it leaves me just sad and lost.
🤗... I can really understand that..
My life evidence so far very much agrees with the above which sort of cements it all down further.
Okkkkiiiiyyy... going to gently challenge this one... this evidence you talk of is maybe evidence seen through the eyes of one part of yourself...we can often take what's happening in our lives and fit them to a narrative we feel is most fitting... the shame monster (can't remember which professional names it that) just keeps feeding itself unless things are actively put in place, by us, to stop it... I'll try to find the video which explains it... it's really helpful... but essentially, once it's really established, everything you do, think, feel begins to feed the shame monster...

I reckon if you got 3 different people to hear your life story, with all the events which have taken shape, none of them would conclude the reason life has gone the way it is is because of you being any of those things your inner critic says you are...
I am very much in denial about DID atm, I'm ignoring parts which probably isn't helping this situation...
That's ok... there's no time pressure with accepting diagnosis... I'm still 7 years into trying to accept mine and half the time I can't! However, what I've realised of late is that you can take the bits which make sense to you, and leave the bits which don't... and also see the diagnosis as maybe getting you access to the help you need - regardless of how your experience gets labelled ... me personally, my diagnosis has recently been a god send because I'm now accessing therapy i need...

As for ignoring parts, yep, I can say I totally relate! Don't think diagnosis has anything to do with it though... I'm just scared of communicating with myself...
I am now biologically unable to, but equally physically too, my level of physical disability is significant and I wouldn't be able to care for little ones. This is more complicated because I have huge medical trauma, so any medication/ operation/ assesment that may help my overall condition I have avoided for over 6 years.
I'm really sorry to hear this is your experience, and I'm sending lots of 💜 and support... sometimes life is so very shit to us and we don't deserve it at all... you don't deserve any of this...

I carry more shame (god, how much shame can one body contain?!) that I cannot even think about accessing anything that may help my quality of life physically because of said trauma.
Is this something maybe in time which can be tackled in T with T? I feel like if you could start working on shrinking this shame monster, your world could maybe open up a little bit more... 'Shut up Beaneeboo!! It's not exactly easy is it?!' Yep, I hear that, if that's what you're saying...
No, not at all. But of course there is an age factor involved for children, so I guess as that clock ticks it makes me more desperate maybe
yes this is a very real thing...I know it myself... and it exists on a visceral level ...
, I don't know, where as relationships in general are less time pressured.
This is a positive 😊
I wish I had considered therapy in my 20s, when I was physically well, maybe this could have been very different 😕
Please don't blame yourself... I know what it's like to look backwards and su what if, and I should have etc etc... but ultimately it's not something we'll ever know about... maybe you wouldn't have been ready and it could have made things worse... there are just so many possibilities...
Thank you for your care @beaneeboo , I hope today is giving you some breathing space amongst everything in your head 💜
😊

Go gently ✨
 
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,
Wisdom.
 
@Midnightmoon ...i just remembered I'd said in one of my earlier posts I would put up the video talking about shame which I found helpful and which i feel you may be interestedin too... just went back to search for it.. found the guy, he's called Tim Fletcher ... but he's done ALOT of videos on YouTube on the topic of shame, including a whole series... I find them really really validating personally and he explains things well and matter-of- fact...I think he's also experienced complex trauma...

Anyway, I couldn't find the exact video I'm thinking of (would have to watch ALOT of content to do that) but the one I *think* is the one, I'll post here... even if its not, it will still be good... and then you can just explore the work he's done on complex trauma- it's vast...

Hope you find it useful if of interest and if you have time

Ok sorry it won't let me paste the link but just put in 'Tim Fletcher, Shame As A Prison' that's the name of that video
 
Back
Top