Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Future

Ahhh, the future. Untold possibilities for happiness and joy, or I pray not, more pain, struggling and suffering.  When I first decided my illness wasn't going to take me without a fight I was unprepared for the challenges ahead. Especially Kim leaving me. Knock me over with a feather... I was really stunned. Of course, that's mostly in the past. We still don't have a property settlement to get the damn divorce finalized. I'm going to fight all out legally if this isn't resolved by the end of the year. I'm ready to throw that anchor overboard.....way....way more than ready. For God's sake I've already had two failed relationships since she left. lol Confirmation she was right to leave right? lol

I am starting to understand a little about the road in front of me. Women at this age are much, much different than younger women. They have scars emotional, spiritual, and physical. As a teen if a girl felt chemistry with me it was a whole different beast than today. It was like there were no fears or boundaries then. All they knew was a nice cute boy liked them and they seemed so excited to be with me whenever I wanted to.  They would bend over backwards and cancel anything to be with me. Now days it's like, "no my butt itches and I don't feel like taking a shower and if I scratch my hand will stink and then I'll have to get up and wash my hands which sounds so demanding right now ya know?"  I'm like, "Oh I get it that makes perfect sense to me. Okay, we'll catch up later, maybe tomorrow"  (my thoughts, I'll see you maybe when I go through my whole fucken roster of other options and the only option left is to die or see you).

I'm not going to list the lying bullshit excuses I've heard. I know bullshit when I hear it but I most typically just play dumb. Why go through the drama of some silly game right? I did actually come down hard on a woman who I really, really liked because I didn't feel she was being considerate of my feelings. It blew up.... just like most fucked up relationships do. So I thought, well God's trying to tell me this is the wrong woman. So I experienced a couple difficult days. Then she texted me that she made a mistake. I'm not going into details except to say her absolutely perfect attempt to make amends blew my mind. Her grasp of the complexity of the situation and her genuine personal response touched my heart. So much so that I'm going to try to create a permanent life partner relationship with her.

One other point that really blew my mind, she said I was kind throughout the entire disagreement. 😳 Wow, I'm getting better for sure. Though I'm grateful to God for my challenges and opportunities to learn and grow, for now God please allow me to heal a bit more first. Perhaps the reason I'm currently so isolated and alone is God knows I'm not yet well enough to spend too much time around others without being an asshole.

I have no desire or intention to return to counseling. I'm beginning to get strong enough to see light at the end of the tunnel. I'm almost strong enough for the next chapter. I'll be making a comeback before you know it. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 2, 2019

The "Oh Shit" Moment

Dating at any age is difficult for sure. Online dating is a whole new beast.  I'm finding interesting complications and unexpected twists. Of course I'm still not recovered 100% and at times, when I'm upset, I'm not sure my thinking is clear so I just freeze. Look at this post as a confused old man processing and trying to figure out my own shit. Probably what I have to say here is 50/50 valid and the rest my own bull shit I haven't figured out yet.  I'm not trying to bullshit. That's for sure. But you know sometimes when we're bullshitting ourselves we don't know it because...well...we're bullshitting ourselves. I guess I'm writing this perhaps to help myself make sense of some of this nonsense.

Everyone enters into the universe of online dating with their own personal view of the world. Each with their own long and painful history of hurt, and the resulting fears of being hurt again. At my age there's a very, very long history of hurts and resulting fears. A boat load.  I call them "my buttons" and "her buttons". When one of these buttons gets hit..we have the BAM PUNCH IN THE GUT "oh shit" moment. It's the first warning sign....lights flashing.....tension....FEAR!!!

I have a couple of major deal breaker buttons. I know I have them. I know why I have them. I know where they came from. And I know they're deal breakers. So much so that I (most likely) will no longer put significant effort to negotiate sustaining the relationship. I simply lose respect for the woman if she pushes one of these buttons.  I've learned these buttons being pushed are most likely early warning signals from God...."wrong woman dumbass".

On the other hand, perhaps that perception is PTSD thinking.... too guarded.... too cautious. Who the fuck knows? I sure as hell don't know for certain...ever.

I do know this, if I'm trying to have a relationship with a woman then I'm "all in" UNTIL one of my deal breaker circuit breakers gets flipped. When one of these buttons gets hit and trips my circuit breaker I'm INSTANTLY on high alert "fight or flight"... This is where I am today from getting my feelings hurt two days ago. Don't worry about me though because by the time you read this I've probably gotten myself balanced, positive, and living in the moment again. I'm not afraid of what I'm going through at this moment (though painful) nor am I afraid of never finding "the one".  Simply writing this blog entry is helping me process and feel better. For example, I've already once again realized the woman I got infatuated with was not "the perfect woman for me" who I thought she was. She was POTENTIALLY the perfect woman for me. Then suddenly within an afternoon she pushed EVERY BUTTON, not just one. Seriously? Yeah, well I'm certain she held no malicious intent... at least I don't think so. Just different values I suppose. Nevertheless, let me get past this, wah, wah, grieving for a woman that only existed in my imagination so far...... "the perfect woman for me". Because there's frankly no damn sense in wasting much energy grieving the loss of the woman I haven't even met yet...duh.  On to the buttons.

Button One: This is the fastest way to end a relationship with me.  I must feel I am important, that being with me is the most important thing in the world. I must see effort to bend over backwards to be with me. I'm not stupid. I know you have kids and grandkids and other obligations and duties. But if I FEEL like I'm not high enough on the priority list....I feel hurt. This category can get very complex, or not, depending on your point of view. Let me provide a couple examples.  I believe the first meeting should be at somewhere like Starbucks.  A couple of times women insisted on scheduling an initial meeting for over a week ahead of time.  Then an hour before the meeting I receive a text that she was invited to come and play with her grand kids, or whatever lame ass excuse or reason. Personally, I can't seem to not build up hope and anticipation of meeting a potential partner. It's special and significant to me and disrespects my feelings to cancel at the last minute when there's no emergency. So I now only schedule coffee meetings for "today or tomorrow".  I'm no longer willing to block out time on my calendar two weeks in advance until after I meet the woman.

Another variation of this is not being willing to accommodate my express needs for companionship but expecting me to not seek companionship elsewhere.  If you want me to date and spend time with ONLY YOU and no other woman then you be willing to accommodate my minimum needs. If I am in a committed relationship then I expect to spend Friday evening, Saturday evening, and Sunday afternoon and evening with my partner, not isolated and alone.  This to me this is traditional "couple time".  I once again, understand things come up. In that case there should be negotiation and compromise. In the end, if you want to be a priority to me then you must reciprocate.  My perfect woman won't compromise couple time except under extremely extenuating circumstances.

So from now on, without commitment to accommodate my basic companionship I define them... I will not promise to date only one woman. Why should I agree to feel like crap? A compromise is you get what you need and I get what I need, not you get what you want and my needs don't matter.

Button Two: I must feel secure.  Break up with me the commitment is over. I won't promise not to date others until you regain my trust so I can feel secure you won't abandon me the next time you get upset.  Why prolong the misery? If you're willing to exploit my abandonment issues as a power strategy in a conflict, then you're operating with a belief that it's okay to hurt me. Is it?

Button Three:  I must feel respected and especially never specifically excluded. I must feel you respect yourself as well. I won't submit to emotional blackmail and I can't respect a woman who does. My friends and family would NEVER exclude my partner. If you have friends or family that wish to exclude me, to me, it's disrespectful and cruel. If you give in to something like that and exclude me, refer to button one above. I expect you to do what I would do and tell them you're a package deal.

Button Four: Basic courtesy. Give some thought to your words. For example, you can say, "do you always wear that hat?" which I find to be a degrading put down. You could say, "I like you better without the hat, would you mind not wearing it?" Now I have a chance to please you and I feel good instead of feeling degraded. Which way do you feel better?

Just recently I was out with a woman and she said, "Do you ever trim your mustache?"
My gut response is fuck you rude critical bitch. What kind of way to talk to me is that? Wouldn't it be better to simply say, "Would you be willing to trim your mustache please?"

Tough couple days. Rant completed.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New learning

This week I have learned more about my condition. One thing I learned is that my brain needs to learn to allow my body to move. Apparently I have habit level chronic pain because with my mind in fight or flight mode, my brain is trying to protect me...essentially a semi-paralyzed reaction which I must over ride in order to complete a movement. So for example, trying to do a focused movement with my left first my brain won't let my arm move, it's like it's stuck in place. Very weird. So just like I had to re learn to walk, I have to relearn everything.

Essentially I need to reset my sympathetic nervous system. So my brain needs to learn I'm safe, it's safe for every part of my body to move, etc.

Ultimately I have learned, the CURE to my CONDITION is CALM. I must create an extremely calm lifestyle in order to reach my potential now.

I think I'm also going to look into training to provide Biofeedback services to help people. I'm going to move more in the direction of Yoga and getting involved in that community. I also have in the back of my mind to put together a small comedy routine to try out on amateur comedy mic nights.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

What it's all about

Recently I've had the opportunity to meet, or at least dialogue with widows who were married and loyal to their husbands throughout terrible struggles like cancer. It triggered for me to ponder and realize that I've never felt that kind of love from anyone in my whole life except my daughter. Never from a life partner. It's a willingness to self sacrifice if needed to really be there for someone and have their back. It's like an affirmation, life can be tough sometimes, but no matter what you're not alone.

I know what it feels like to try to provide that, "having your back". Whether I was ever worth a crap at doing so is entirely debatable for sure.

Now I wonder if it's possible for a woman to open her heart that much again after such vicarious suffering. When I feel chemistry with a woman I almost instantaneously also sense their panic and fear. If not in the moment, then within a short time for sure. So they run. They don't feel safe. So they run from the opportunity to love because they buy into (and empower) fear. I feel sad for lost potential, momentarily. I say momentarily because I know the universe is simply preventing me from once again attaching myself with another woman who's incapable of selfless love.

As I'm just ready to turn 65 I feel this may be my last chance to try to have that kind of loving partnership. So I really want to try to apply all the lessons I've learned in my life about how to not do it, right?

I had an interesting conversation with my therapist at the VA on Friday. She told me of three stages of PTSD recovery. First is establishing safety, second is processing what happened, and third is reconnecting and reconstructing life. She pointed out stage three is where I am presently.

It made perfect sense given everything I've been doing; yoga classes, art classes, rescuing a dog, diligently looking for a new girlfriend. The biggest for me is to find a new girlfriend. I really like having someone to do things together. I really hate always being alone and isolated. I remember the saying from one of the twelve step programs, "an addict alone is in bad company".

Simply having a girlfriend helps me stay out of crappy and depressing thinking. I'm always trying to think up ways to play and have fun. Life is a thousand times more fun with a playmate, to me.

Alas there are so many obstacles and hurdles to finding a girlfriend. Not the least of which, is they have to want me. Lol. I'm not a normal person in Indianapolis culture. I'm much to extreme in my appearance, I have been told, and I'm extremely open and honest. I figure if I put myself out there you can accept or reject the "real" me at least. I'm just trying my best to integrate my words and behavior to always line up with my values. And when I fail, do what I can to make amends. Bottom line, I'm not everyone's cup of tea by a long shot. I'm not sure if I should change anything about me or not. I consistently evaluate my choices. It's challenging to keep my self confidence high. Every rejection I seem to need to evaluate if I was inappropriate or did it have nothing to do with me?

Learn and move on. One step in front of another. Last man standing wins, right? Peace.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Time Passes

Today I finished another PTSD program at the Vet Center called Cognitive Processing Therapy. This was the second class I completed to get my "high alert" thinking back to a calmer state. PTSD therapy requires teaching the mind and the body to calm down again. So for my body I went through Biofeedback training which basically helped me relearn what "calm" feels like and how to control my breathing. Now I'm doing two other classes working on my body. One is called iRest, Integrative Restoration. They call it sleep yoga. It feels like being hypnotized. I'm also doing a chair yoga class. Medical Marijuana has been a blessing for calming my mind and my body. So has massage therapy. It was an incredibly difficult time to go through but I made it without using opiates or heavy duty benzodiazepines. I have been able to limit use of over the counter Excedrin to probably less than once a week. In my class I learned that when I couldn't walk and was collapsing, it was actually pain. Like if you hurt your foot and can't walk on it. Apparently the pain was enough that my brain shut it off and disconnected from it. I didn't feel pain, I felt weak. I don't really know how to explain this. Apparently however I had enough pain to make me weak to the point of collapse. I do feel pain now. It even hurts to sit on hard surfaces. I think my ability to maintain minimal decent boundaries and limits is returning, thank God. I was having such a struggle and I'm not even certain if this blog post will need to later be deleted. :) My home is almost completely furnished and is full of plants. It looks beautiful.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

August 2019

I'm all moved into my new home. It's probably one of the favorite places I've ever lived. If it were located in California it'd be about perfect. I'm walking most of the time without a cane. This will be updated later, my appointment arrived.....

Thursday, June 13, 2019

June 2019

I remember a couple years back sitting alone in my living room with my wife basically unconscious in the bedroom just reflecting about where I am and how I got there. And I was questioning my life choices that brought me to that moment. I wasn't sure if my wife was going to survive but I was sure of one thing, I wasn't happy. I decided to blow up my life essentially. Time to get back to basics I guess. I had no idea what was in store or how I was in for the fight of my life to survive.

Well my wife survived but our marriage didn't. I'm still bitter for sure as I invested myself so completely into my marriage and she turned out in the end to be so disappointing. 

I've set about rediscovering myself and doing the work to create this final stage of life based upon the lessons I've learned in how to be happy. So I thought I'd share a little about my life now and where I hope to go from here.

My first agenda has been to get myself physically strong again. Progress is good here. I'm at a healthy weight and still losing. All my labs look great now. One physician told me everything looks much improved from a year ago and it's likely that most of my physical ailments will be alleviated soon, as my body is now taking care of itself since I'm close to a normal body weight. Walking at the mall and other activities with my girlfriend are building my strength more. Very soon I'm going to add sessions on my recumbent machine. Early in my illness I bought a massage chair to help and I've been getting massage therapy weekly. My sleeping has just recently gotten close to normal and I can now usually sleep whatever hours I want.

Recovering mentally has been coming along nicely as well. My psychiatrist at the VA and my therapist at the Veterans Center have helped significantly. The routines and rituals I put into practice to help sleep have contributed greatly. My somatic symptoms have begun to diminish significantly. Especially as I can often now walk and without assistance such as a cane. I still have lots of shaking and twitching, sometimes quite powerful. i was spending lots of time with a new girlfriend and it was remarkable how much this built up my spirit. Unfortunately it didn't work out.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

March 2019

My condition has improved a lot. I now walk without a cane. I'm doing lots of mall walking to build my core strength.  I can choose to sleep or not sleep just about any hours I choose. I finally found a new home. It is a condo on the far south side of Indy. I'm very excited to get settled in as soon as it is refurbished a little. At a minimum I'm going to have it painted and install new flooring. Probably just do the whole thing at once and get it done.

My days are currently very boring. I don't have so many physician appointments anymore as my medical condition has improved so much. All my labs are pretty normal now. Losing nearly 100 pounds has improved my health significantly. For my Conversion Disorder I'm actively receiving services at the Veterans Center. I attend a weekly class and see a therapist every other week. I also get a therapeutic massage weekly. Though it may be shocking to some, I can tell you that I think medical cannabis has been a life saver to me.  I swear I'd go really bonkers without it to help calm anxiety and stop ruminating bad thoughts.  I do really, really struggle a lot with feeling lonely and isolated. But this seems to be common among the vets in my class. It really sucks though. So I go to coffee shops a lot, just to get out of the house and not be alone. I really hope I'll be able to be calmer home alone after I get moved.  I'm so grateful for my daughter Carrie. She's really been there for me in a way no one else ever has.

Last summer I bought a pick up truck because I was planning to get a travel trailer. Well I haven't bought a travel trailer but I am starting to be acclimated to driving the truck. After years of driving a Honda it was quite a change. So I've ran into things a couple times parking my truck. I think I'm done running into things so I got the damages repaired. I'm really enjoying driving the truck so I'm going to keep it for awhile even if I never get a trailer.  I'd like to do some traveling. But I'm really not into traveling alone, at least I'm not feeling that right now. I sure would like to find a new girlfriend.