Maybe integration isn’t always necessary

In the last few days I have reconsidered what I want my recovery to be – my reconsideration arises from interacting with someone who has expanded my view of recovery.

Until now I had just seen integration as my goal, without really questioning it, as it seemed the logical conclusion to some healing work that I had done, and had benefits for me. So I just kept incorporating that stage into other healing work without actually questioning its necessity.

Now I think about it more and see that its not directly my goal, but an extrapolation of my goal. My actual goal really is – and always has been – to not have flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and other things that sabotage my life. So I ask if I really need to integrate all the broken off parts of my mind – perhaps this mission would be so time consuming that I miss out on expressing with the subsequent productivity that I gain.

Maybe just rescuing them or somehow removing them from their prison is enough to stop their contribution to my life sabotage. As long as they don’t sabotage my life, isnt that enough? I can focus on that and then if I feel integration is necessary to consolidate particular life skills, or to complete the healing work in that instance, then I can proceed with that.

However, I have been here in the past, kind of. I had healed a little, and thought that maybe this was enough, and I could continue with my life. Yet I was still self sabotaging. Now I am more aware and can easily see that the arising of negative emotion and self-sabotaging thinking patterns are an indication I need more healing, and that I cant just overcome it with my willpower alone.

Reconsidering this has really helped me refine my recovery goal. Rather than studiously work through particular steps that have sometimes been really beneficial, I want my recovery to be based on desired outcomes, not procedures. I can decide to integrate if that is required to achieve the desired recovery outcome – and not, if it doesnt.

Bouncing ideas off others and receiving their insight and inspiration, has been so beneficial for me. It is much better to heal within a community of others – than to continue alone as I had been.

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My life as a House of Cards

Everything I build in my life collapses, as does a house of cards when a card is removed.

This is how my mind constructs things. It is a way to look at why I cant sustain anything in my life but live as if I am on the run for my life.

When I look back in my life, I see that there are times when I begin to build up some momentum, some direction. But it doesnt last. The smallest thing brings the whole lot crashing down.

Somehow in my mind, anxiety slowly builds up, negative beliefs gradually grow about whatever I have built up, whatever progress I have made in a particular direction. The negativity grows until there is only needed a small misfortune of challenge to what I have built up, that it is the “straw that breaks the camels back”, and the whole lot crashes down and I run away. That straw is like the card that is removed. That negativity and anxiety turns brick into cards.

Theres nothing weak or inadequate about what I have built up, but it is my negative subconscious, programmed by decades of abuse and mind control, that overwhelms anything I try to build up, and collapses it.

Perhaps the story of the 3 little pigs can be looked at in this way. Then it becomes an analogy for the mind, with its 3 distinct characteristics. The pigs learn to make a stronger and stronger house in their mind and the negativity represented by the wolf, can no longer blow it all down.

Strange moods arising

1989-11-21:

“Wow, man, what a weird day this was. I had my second last exam this afternoon and I was in such a silly mood. I wrote quite a few joking comments on the exam. By the end of it I just went overboard. I wrote things that I normally wouldnt dream of writing things like that in an exam, but I was in such a silly mood, a good mood. Hey man what’s happening? It must be another one of those good moods, I can feel it. This is the 3rd time in my life. Why were they all this year?
[…]
I dont understand what brings them on, although they appear to be coming after I’ve been really depressed for a while. I’m not complaining, theyre such a headrush its incredible. Its probably my hyperactivity, but why is it coming back, and why did it have such a long rest (almost all the way thru tech, high school & 1st year uni)?

This one started with the bird noises on “Of ambience and atmosphere” on 3PBS, starting at 11pm. How weird can things get. Having a high, triggered by bird noises in a Hawaiian jungle. This is getting pretty far out. I never cease to amaze myself with my strangeness. The high started this morning, I realize now, but it wasnt noticeable till the birdies started tweeting.
[…]
Another thing asking to be understood. My mood changes are getting more dramatic, but I’m having some good moods and the odd (in more ways than one) really hyperfantastic moods. I cant remember being like this before (which isnt saying much, my memory is shit ). I can only remember being horribly tedious and always being in a pretty average mood, no wild changes, some depressing moods, but no really good moods, just the odd good mood. Never anything fantastic. I must’ve had so much control over myself, and I didnt even realize. I don’t remember much about primary school. People always amaze me with their great memories of their childhood, and I always wondered why I never remembered anything. Here they are reeling off one of their fun childhood experiences, and going on about the good old days when things were simple & life was great. I realize now that I dont remember anything for a good reason. I wouldnt want to. I was a nut of a kid, and this really stuffed my childhood. I never really had any of those good times. The only ones I remember seem to be when I was alone.
I was good at having a good time by myself, cos I didnt get along with any of the normal destructive kids. I still am good at it, I always was, but now Im learning about it. Id always loved being with other people I liked, but I never really enjoyed myself around groups of people cos I was lost at how to do it.
[…]
I’m getting a much better idea of what goes on in this little head of mine. I reckon that learning about myself has let me release more of my feelings and let me enjoy my experiences more.
This year and these exams and studying and everything are as every other year, and they seem just as bad, but now they dont feel like theyre my whole life, only part.
I wonder if some memories will come back, or have they gone forever?”

1989-11-21:
“Ive spent my whole life learning to live alone. Its something I can handle well. Thats why Im different, why I think differently, I had no choice. It was the only way to live with the way I am. Until now Ive never really shared anything with anyone and its a big change for me, totally foreign. Im not in my own environment. Being in love with you has completely changed the set of circumstances Im used to, and I now have to learn to share my life with somebody else, something Ive never done before. I have to change my way of thinking, change the basis of my existence, my thinking, my attitude. I can only do this with your help. The only problem is that I dont know how, and it will take time, to find out, and it will take time to change, to seriously reprogram my brain. I dont even know if it can be done anymore.
I know if anything goes wrong, I’ll go back to my old ways without you, the ways I know well, that have got me this far in life, although not entirely successfully. I consider meeting you a wonderful piece of luck, something that can change my life and myself forever, enter me into new territory, but Im willing to follow where you lead.”

2018-02-05 additional information

I write about the time in my life where my moods began to fluctuate more, sometimes wildly. In hindsight, I know this was due to me starting to release the tight grip I had on my feelings. I was consciously aware of having had placed very tight control over my feelings, yet my awareness was that this was necessary because of who I was, not because of what happened to me. At that time I had no recollection of experiencing any systematic trauma or mind control.

In the passage, I mention reprogramming my thinking. I wasnt then consciously aware that I had survived trauma based mind control. I had no conscious awareness of being a survivor of malicious programming by people who had set me aside as a slave to their agenda.

Yet I am curious about my use of words. There was so much that was going on in my head that I never dared acknowledge and never recorded. It is possible that some subconscious awareness influenced my writing in my very small conscious world.

Self-diagnosing from radio shows

1989-07-09:

“On Saturday morning, for the first time in months, I listened to the Science Show on 3AR. It was on schizophrenia, and I gradually, as the show went on, came to the conclusion that I am schizophrenic. I listened to the interviews and the discussion and I’m pretty sure that I fit in the criteria that they set down. So now I have to work out what I should do about it.”

1989-11-09 Thursday:

“I know there’s something wrong with me, I have for a while, and schizophrenia is the only thing that comes near explaining how I am, and it does it well. I’m not absolutely sure, but pretty sure. I will have a look at other possibilities though, practise the scientific method. I already know that its a behavioral disorder.”

2018-02-05 additional information

At the time I wrote this, I was just beginning to analyze myself and my thinking. Then the radio show came along and talked about a lot of stuff that I identified with. Without much awareness of diagnoses and the similarities between different ‘disorders’ within the Autism Spectrum disorders, I latched onto this label as the first and only concept that came close to describing me. As I investigated a little further, it became less clear and I realized the fit was not as good as I first concluded. It was kind of disappointing, because I had to admit that I hadn’t found the answer I was seeking. That potential source of certainty and clarity was not able to be the answer, and way forward that I wanted. I had to return to ‘I dont know yet’.

Learning I could safely let out frustrations

1989-06-01 Thursday

“As I come to the end of this book, I near the end of my sanity. It is becoming easier to let out my frustrations violently. I get frustrated at all sorts of things, now, the littlest, most stupid things piss me off. Finishing the [] essay was a great relief, but every time I think of the other shit going down, I get so pissed off. I feel like smashing something. I haven’t got my licence to allow me to legally thrash out my frustrations. Its really fucked me up.”

2018-02-05 additional information

This was written at a time where I had begun to reduce my restrictions of my feelings a little. Not much, but I allowed myself to be more expressive, less ‘zomboid’, than I had been in the past. Rather than totally pushing down any anger that arose, I let out a little and occasionally smashed things that werent really important in the long run. At  this time, I realized that I could let out some anger and it didnt result in an uncontrollable cascade into extreme violence. This was pretty important.

The reference to the end of the book is about my journal book. In those times I rarely wrote and filling a book was a significant event.

The unknown fire vs. the predictable cliff

1989-03-31 Friday
I learned something pretty amazing today. Why I’m so depressed. There was two possibilities, first, that I just needed someone to love, second, the inability to comprehend how to satisfy my “dreams”. Well, it’s turned out that the second one is the cause of all my hassles. I can see that clearly now.

Sometimes I regret that I’m not a stupid idiot like all the rest, other times I’m just plain depressed, and annoyed that I can’t occupy my mind with anything else. Sex makes it very easy to occupy my mind with something else. I wonder if that’s the main reason for my enjoying it, rather than the physical sensation. I’ll think about that one, it’ll keep my mind off more depressing things.

I’m becoming pretty sure that I’m not sane. I certainly know that I dont think the same as other people. I have an original reason for being suicidal (& homicidal). I think I’ll be less homicidal from now on as I realize that it only has temporary therapeutic and calming effects. Then you’re really in the shit & suicide is your only alternative, because society doesnt understand. Like those Queen St killings. I don’t reckon that guy understood why he was feeling that way, and I dont think he really understood what was happening to him. I wonder if he knew he was going to kill himself afterward. Did he do that on purpose to make people look & did he hope that they would then find out and understand why it happened. High hopes. It’s possible, and he really had no way of knowing whether it would work or not. Well, I’ve got him to thank for knowing, for showing me that they wouldnt understand, they didnt even try, what a waste of death and effort. I have no way of ever finding out what he thought. I dont know if he wrote down his thoughts, like me. If anyone reads this thing, they might realize how wildly dangerous I am, but they wouldnt understand. If I was to kill myself in the next couple of days, I could guarantee that they’d think it was because of what happened between me and []. They’d be totally wrong, but that’s what they’d think. The only thing [] has done is helped me see that its all for a different reason that I thought. I’m not very sure, though, that reading this diary would help anyone understand what’s going on. I suspect that it just might be totally beyond them. How sad.

So now I’m sure about what I’m heading toward. My goals are clear, for the first time I’m sure about what I need to achieve, boy, it occupies my mind at least as much as the opposite sex, I just needed a little help to work out which was my real problem. I should have known it would be the more difficult, the most difficult alternative. I’m treading on completely new ground here, whichever way I go. I can only treat it as a challenge, and hope it keeps me occupied. I reckon if I can get through these next 3 months then I’m off to a really good start. All these court cases coming up. I should be able to live without a licence for a couple of months. If for some reason, I’m treated fairly, I wouldn’t even lose my licence or have it suspended. These court cases I think will be an important turning point. Whether or not I’ll have some faith left in the human race, or not. I’ll just have to keep convincing myself not to do anything horribly stupid. I’ll be damn hard if I have to. I imagine I’ll have a hell of a lot of trouble controlling myself, after this long holding everything in. I feel a hell of a lot better for all that now. Its really interesting to read back & look at the things that used to occupy my mind. Simple days. Its so easy being a dumb kid.

2018-02-04 additional information.

In the above diary entry, from 1989 when I was 21, I really vaguely talk about my decision to not go down a destructive path, because it really achieves nothing, and nobody understands. Rather I chose the other path, that is the opposite, and much more complicated. In fact I chose the path that I had no idea about. I simply chose to do the opposite of being destructive. But, actually, I had no idea at all about that path, or what it would require of me. It is hinted that a relationship helped me realize what I did and helped me make a decision to take the non-destructive unknown path. Yet I didnt explain how this happened. I cant recall what occurred in my mind, so the hint that the relationship helped change my perspective about life, is also clarifying for me now, all these years later.

I suppose I could say of my decision, I chose the unknown “trial by fire” over the escapist predictable cliff.

Untitled poem of struggle

1989-03-12, Melbourne, Australia.
UNTITLED POEM OF STRUGGLE

What a life is this,
kept safe by a motorbike?
When will I know bliss,
is the secret within my reach?

It hurts to understand how I feel,
to wonder if I’ll be driven to the edge.
It hurts to know I’m so close,
to know the danger within me.

To understand death is sad,
to understand murder is tragic.
To know of others like me,
but never to know or help them.

It is only through tragedy I hear
through murder, suicide and anger
Of those like me who could no longer
go on with the frustration tearing them apart.

How does one calm this energy
before it escapes and destroys?
In its desire to do no more than destroy
all that causes its release.

How do I find the answer to peace?
Is a motorbike enough to keep me alive?
Will I one day live without the fear of my ability to destroy?
Am I able to stop it if it happens?

The feeling of helplessness is strong.
To know that unpleasant things are
going to happen, over which I have little control.

How will I find the strength to hold back the frustration
when I am left with nothing?
The hardship approaches and I can do nothing to stop it.

To know that I may lose my licence scares me.
I fear that I may not be able to control my frustration.
The knowledge that I may harm others horrifies me.
I would rather just end my own life,
ensure that I am not a danger to others.

But there is this great desire
to revenge those that frustrate me.
I expect that I will not be able to prevent
myself from taking it out on whatever or
whoever causes me to snap.

I wish there was somebody out there
who could understand.
But I know of no-one, and I know
that most have no idea.

The alternatives are so close,
Life and death, murder and suicide.
One and the same.
Will I help or harm? I cannot know.
Day by day the struggle for control goes on.
Will it end? How can I win?