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nearing my end

DouglasW

SF Supporter
#1
This will be a long post. Might need to split to multiple posts. I'm sharing because I have community here and people who care about me, but I do not have much hope that anything anyone may say will alter where I'm at. Actually I worry people might experience me arguing against helpful feedback, where the issue is, I have many years to understand better than I could ever explain why I've lost all hope. I want only to be understood.

My childhood was extremely difficult. As I know many people's were. My parents separated when I was 1, making me de facto an only child. I experienced a lot of emotional abuse from my mother, and my father was very distant, geographically and emotionally, he was not much involved in my life though I did know him until my late 20s.

My mother moved us so often that I went to 9 schools by time I finished high school. I was often bullied mercilessly as the new kid, especially in adolescence and teen years. I turned to drugs for relief.

After a suicide attempt at 18 I was studied in a hospital for 2 months, and subsequently told my IQ was off the charts, and as a result I would never have any peers, never make the sort of bonds that might help untangle horrible emotional wounds and stunted development, according to my heartless doctor. He advised permanent institutionalization to my parents.

I struggled through college, dropping out often, transffering schools, moved to where my dad lived to try to get to know him. Relationships were always unstable. I was tossed away by the love of my life and became terrified of women and to lesser extent men. Stopped trying to make friends, isolated, somehow managed eventually to get a degree, got work as a carpenter and later in software, where people with very poor social and emotional skills can be employable.

Having no real family and keeping my distance from my emotionally abusive mother, while my father got more and more distant until disowning me complely in my early 30s, I managed to marry a sociopathic woman on the autistic spectrum and found some slight stability inside an extremely toxic and emotionally barren marriage. It was, no joke, the most stable period of my entire life. I was able to build a career, become a manager, develop more friendships. But the marriage ate at me, we fought a lot, I could not get any sort of empathy, while working incredibly long hours to support us.

Then came the Boston bombings. I was right in the middle of the event. Called out some things publicly about the event and entered a world of trouble as a result. I cannot write more nor comment on this, other than to say, all the dysfunction and unresolved trauma in me suddenly flooded my entire system and I simply could not cope.

My father had died 2 years ealier -- I saw him on his deathbed for first time in many years -- and my wife soon left me. As soon as she did, my mother started showing dementia and I realized I was now without any family at all. It was the trauma that destroyed me. I lost my job at the time of the bombing, ostensibly over a fight about whether I could take a personal day right after the bombings.

I turned 40 right after the bombings, in 2013. This turning point, where I was suddenly unemployed, with no supports at all -- my circle of friend evaporated over about a year -- no family except my mother who could no longer track nor care about what was happening for me, and would die in 2016 -- fighting for 2 years to get on disability income.... I was so lost. My symptoms were severe and extreme, and I've written about them elsewhere. Also I was being doxxed and harassed regularly, given death threats, having my physical space violated. I could not regulate, could not function, was insanely hopeless and depressed and suicidal for a very long time.

Cutting to split his long entry into multiple posts...
 

DouglasW

SF Supporter
#2
I left the country in 2016, spent a while in London, then had to return to see my mother die, at which point I was also homeless. I ended up moving to Colorado at the end of that year, knowing no one, and also joined SF when I arrived. I was actively suicidal and had no idea how I could ever rebuild a life. I saw tht I would never likely have a family, and having grown up not really having a family either, was despairing of this cursed life.

In time, with community here and many therapists (and many unethical and illegal traumas from some of those therapists), I began to have enough grounding to offer support to others. I felt like I was going back to kindergarten in many ways, learning or relearning basic social skills, how to be in community. I suffered fight, flight, fawn behaviors extremely, was banned several times for my behavior, which every single time caught me completely by surprise. But over time I learned some, saw by own behavior better, valued when I could show up for others hurting or in crisis.

I had similar up and down experiences with IRL support groups of all sorts. Would make and lose friends, sometimes to bad blood, other times to their relapsing or suiciding. I was constantly being retraumatized by these losses. I got into sketchy relationships, with too young or too crazy women. Everything always collapsed and there would be so much blaming and shaming and scapegoating. I'd go back to wandering the desert alone -- the trails, literal desert. I had not and still have not been stable enough to hold a job since the bombings.

But I also saw the quality of connections I was making improving. Healthier (but still unstable and not that healthy) people. My showing up more, compartmentalizing my own story. I had fewer symptoms, no panic attacks, no nightmares. Less anger issues. I was learning from more skilled therapists how trauma can be healed, worked out somatically, EMDR, inner family systems, but even still, constantly starting over, new groups, new therapists, new friends.
 

DouglasW

SF Supporter
#3
And then came Andi.

Last summer, 2019, I was traveling and in Arizona I met this woman, at a gas station. She was frazzled and her car loaded with crap, and she told me she was being evicted. Asked if I wanted to help. I said yes.

I went the next day to her place and helped carry things to the storage unit while seeing pictures her kids had made, her house an explosion of a life collapsing, a marriage ended. She asked me 2 days later if I would come to her court date, but I did not get the message in time, headed back to Colorado.

Months later, around Thanksgiving, I got the news one morning that my closest friend had just died of an overdose. One hour after getting this news, Andi messaged me. Asked how I was, apologized for being selfish when I met her (I disagreed, said I understood she'd been in crisis).

We began talking and over many months I learned all about her life and she about mine. How her brother had died of suicide 3 years ago, and 2 weeks later she found out she was pregnant with her second son. How her second marriage had been toxic and escalated into extreme chaos. How she'd been diagnosed after all this as bipolar, experiencing mania and psychosis for first time in her life.

She was transfixed by my explanations of complex trauma, how it leads to all sorts of mental health issues, how yes everyone in your life can tell you you're simply crazy, but that healing is a real thing.

She was impressed that I talked about doing peer support and wanting to be a counselor. Impressed that I was in 12 step recovery groups and talked about how important this was. I met her older son and he and I bonded so fast, loved each other. I wrote to her parents and introduced myself, explained why I loved their daughter. We shared pics and texts and phonecalls every single day, both talked about wanting to build a future together, while also talking about, how do we keep proceeding slowly? How do we move forward without major life decisions? I talked to my supports and therapists about my relocating to Arizona and maintaining supports.

Then one day, Andi said: "I'm unlinking us. I wish you peace." There was no warning, no explanation. She blocked my phone number, dropped me on social media, and I had no means to contact her.

I was beyond heartbroken. I was confused, lost, unclear what had just happened. I ended up in a mental hospital within a few weeks, was so dysregulated.

When i eventually got hold of her, from the hospital, she told me she'd been so worried about me, wanted a future still, missed me. She also mentioned she had been "monitoring my activity on Zoom" since dumping me. I could never get her to explain how she was doing this, never mind, WHY throw someone off an emotional cliff then monitor them to see if they're still breathing...

We have had some communication since. SHe communicates very little, but I have learned:

1) something allegedly spooked her about whether I should be around her son. She has yet to explain what that thing was, and I wonder if she's making this up. She also keeps telling me he asks about me all the time, wants to talk to me.

2) She realized she's codependent and crazy and (I gather) should not be entering into yet another relationship with a man while fighting a custody battle, trying to figure out her own housing and income in a pandemic, so much instability.

3) She felt like she "jumped ship on someone who was supposed to be so much more in her life, without giving him a chance."

4) She misses me, her kid misses me, she dreams about me, thinks about me constantly, cannot find words to express how sorry she is for the "havoc she reaped". SHe cares about me and always will. She wishes to be friends, would like to see me, finds herself "ridiculous" for being pulled in a million directions, second guessing all her decisions.

ANd here's the thing. A member in chat told me, dude, you can't get all hung up on what some person thinks about you. Tells me, she's a narcissist, move on. Well, no. It's not even remotely about someone else's opinion about me. It's about, I had learned for YEARS how to be an island, resigned myself I would never have family, then I meet this woman who is intelligent, loving, has kids, I LOVE HER KID, she wants to build a life with me, AND, all the trauma and healing I've been through is incredibly important to her as she has much more recently hit catastrophic loss and is still trying to make sense of that loss as her whole family gaslights and blames her and says she's just crazy.

That's not about someone's opinion of me. It's about, I found a woman I'm deeply in love with and we both wanted to make a family together, and now that is either gone, or at best, a giant fucking mess.

AND it's about, whatever reason she found me inviable, it makes me realize, this may be as good as it ever gets. I've NEVER met someone I feel so wanting to support, proud of who she is, my equal in many ways, so logically it might take many more years wandering alone before finding that again. AND when I do, I can rest assured, there's something about me so inviable, so broken, that even when a woman loves me and wants a future, she may kick me to the curb realizing, I'm not good enough.

AND THAT is why I've become hopeless. About any future, not just with this woman. Whose drunk toxic mother, by the way, has told her she should never speak to me again, though Andi refuses to ever tell me what that assessment is based on.

And my despair is also about, I'm suddenly back to the old familiar, living alone, zero people in my life with any investment in me or closeness to me. No close friends. Dave is dead. Cheri disappeared on me last summer. Support group people have one by one burned bridges with me or vice versa, crazy manipulators to the very last one, all struggling to find their own stability. My sister said she doesn't want a relatinoship with me anymore, says I just make poor decisions and am in constant crisis, while I say she has refused any relationship for years, never answers any questions I ask about her kids and life.

My despair is about, I CANNOT LIVE LIKE THIS, and, it looks like it may be my only option to be abandoned, unloved, uncared for.

Ironically, many people like me. I have friends here, I make friends when I go out, to pubs or open mics or meetups. Hell I got a date from a crazy woman I met in the hospital (who happens also to be engaged). People respond to me. But for the life of me, since my life exploded in 2013, I cannot ever, ever, ever make any roots that last.

And I worry about Andi. I cannot stop thinking about her life, her kids, her family, her complex trauma, her not having any good guides to what and how she can recover. I long to give her a hug, to let her know, i would have spent a life time dealing with instability and chaos and healing together, helping her kids grow.

But she responds, when she does, with few words. Says she doesn't know. She misses me. Yes, she wants to be friends. That her life is "crazy". Then she disappears again.
 

DouglasW

SF Supporter
#4
Writing all this does highlight to me my own resilience and capacity to heal. And it spells out why I have some distant hope that this woman, and her son, may not be forever out of my life.

But when members keep throwing in my face, dude, just walk away, she's crazy, you don't need to care what other people think about you... YOU DO NOT GET IT. Stop fucking saying that shit to me.

Thank you anyone for reading.
 

Lux

local yahoo
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#5
Hey Doug,

As I said in chat, I knew I wouldn't be able to offer any advice, but I think it's just as important to let you know that I've read your story, I hear you, and I'm terrible sorry about what you're going through and I'm here if you want to talk.
 

BritishBloke

•✮• Best UK Tour Guide •✮•
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#6
Doug. You've had quite the life, I read all of that. While it's confusing and you hurt, honestly, RE; the situation with Andi, a bit of time to let things settle is going to go a long way. She's obviously feeling a whirlwind of emotions and it's unfortunate, though things won't feel like they're going to get better, they will.

We're here for you bud.
 
#7
I'm familiar with 'the desert', and sounds like you have been walking in a long time. You are right in the way of dealing with circumstances of life and 'learning how to live' is basically like trying to relearn how to do basic things again, like building positive relationships. That takes time, but I'm glad you see that and have seemed to have some success in practicing as well.

I'm probably not much help right now, but I feel ya and would say at least look at the positive, that you are a true 'road warrior' that must have a good amount of endurance, to have gone through so much for so long. You are not weak, at least maybe not as weak or 'lost' as you think you are. Umm, look for tomorrow because tomorrow's not today?:) Peace

Oh whoops, just read your third post(I was in the middle of this when you wrote that). Aah, women; Can't live with them, can't live without them lol(Please women of SF don't hate me. I realize there's many bad men too). All I can say in this department is that it sounds like you need to work on controlling your emotions a bit. Outside (bad)influence is confusing you, tiring you, making you jump from this hoop to that, and man that gets tiring over time. You need to try and not take disappointment or rejection too seriously. I used to have a major problemo with that, and although I'm still working on it, have much better responses now to how I deal. I basically have no expectations, and if that means I will never find someone who loves me like I love them, than so be it because I never got a fair choice/chance, and what the hell kind of deal is that? I often look at life and say, "Well, I'm not going to feel any shame/guilt anymore for you whipping 'carrots' in front of me that were just illusion, and never really there or my choice in the first place. I mean, if I had a clear good choice and blew it, than that would be different. But I for one am done with your rigged game, so suck it." Does that make any sense to you?

Going to your last post, maybe you can't 'cut the strings' right now, and that's ok. Maybe you should, and maybe you shouldn't, but those are lessons and choices you will have to make, in time. Wish you the best, and hope you find some water. peace again
 

Lane

SF Supporter
#8
Hi. I read your story and thank you for sharing it. I found your life story intriguing and humbling. Also, that you and Andi made that connection, it sounds very special.
 

DouglasW

SF Supporter
#9
@Lux @britishbloke @Sane Man @Lane Thank you so much for reading and all your words help. I do not hear advice I hear empathy and caring.

Sane Man, I do hear from you and others, including therapists on internet, the wisdom of cutting losses, perceiving illusions, seeing this woman could do a lot more harm if I let her. However, what's so complex about it for me is several things. 1) I do not see her as the perp and me as the victim, at all. Nor the other way around. I see human relationship, lots of trauma, lots of relationships with living and dead family all at play. 2) My love for her is mostly about appreciating who she is, what her struggle has been, what her values are that she holds onto despite all the crazy, including her own crazy. It's not about the imaginary carrots or whatever that analogy was. Not that she knows any of this, which is frustrating.

Lane, thank you for saying you appreciate my connection with Andi. She and I both have said, we would never go back in time and not meet.

I do see how much I need to allow time and space and I'm failing miserably as I email her 2-3 messages a day, all over the map. I've lost so many primary supports in same time period as losing her that I'm spinning in a vacuum. I think she is maybe experiencing the equal and opposite dynamic with all her family and exes.

But contrary to anyone telling me to move on, I want to know Andi. I know the story is not over. I am going on dates and I'm trying to lick my wounds, and I'm showing up to share at SF. But no one on earth is going to convince me I do not love and care about that woman, and that includes, I'm not throwing her under the bus of diagnosing or labeling as crazy. I do not see things that way. I see a lot of time and growth needed for her and I both to have ANY relationships, with anyone, never mind each other.
 

Blue Star

I am a distant relative of Nostradamus.
#10
Hey Doug,

So sorry about the challenges and issues you are going through. I've had the privilege of reading your amazing blog and reading more in-depth about who you are and what you have gone through. Thank you for being so open and allowing us a window into the deeper parts of you.

You are a unique person, Doug, and very resilient. I do not know you personally nor have I met you in person, but you really have overcome a lot. We have pmed each other more than a few times over the last couple of years, and I've learned a lot from you. You've inspired me to keep going. You've given me some of the best advice I've ever received. You've made me laugh lol. Most importantly, you have been a listening ear to me in some of my most desperate and weakest moments. For that, I am forever grateful.

I wish I could do for you what you have done for methat is, give some words of inspiration that can lift you out of the abyss. When you and I would have one of our 'chats' in pm, I felt like my problems went away...at least while I was talking to you. We'd talk about politics, metaphysics, spirituality, science, or pot *hysterical. Those talks made me a better person. Made me more knowledgeable. And, I thank you for that.

As far as Andi, you should do whatever your heart tells you. After all, it is your life—not anybody else's.

Um, I don't have much else to say, man. Have you written on your blog recently? I need to catch up on it.

Much love, Blue.

Blue
 

DouglasW

SF Supporter
#11
Hey @Blue Star these words help a lot, thanks for kind words and reminding me I have some value. I really appreciate, and glad to hear I've been helpful to you. Yeah, resilient. And yeah, it is my life, I'll mess it up how I want. I'm grateful Andi and I are still communicating and I'm not giving up. Maybe wise thing is to slow down and get some safer boundaries and less eggs in each others' baskets, while still pursuing the growing connection.

I just added chapter 3 finally to the Ascension and Madness in Sedona story, as well as several recent posts about trauma and being in a lot of pain. Check em out.
 

Bradamante

Silent dreamer
#12
Doug,
as Blue, I have had the pleasure to read your blog already, and I know you have gone through a lot in your life, but it's amazing how much resilient you have been. You have survived all those traumatic events that personally I am not sure how I would have handled them, you have not surrendered, you have risen up from the ashes and tried to reinvent yourself. I believe some people like you, based on whatever mysterious logic, have to go face many more challenges than others. Although, the pain and sufferings are horrible feelings, they have made you stronger and the person you are now. A person that despite the despair and desolation, still keeps fighting with his claws and teeth.
When I came to this site, you were one of the first persons to read and offer your advice, and I am grateful to you for that, I always appreciated your honesty and your open-mind. We don't know each other well, we have talked a few times even PM, but I can relate a lot on what you say, especially with Andrea now, I can relate to the situation and I am not going to tell you what's right or wrong, what you should or not, because it's impossible to be completely objective/rational on such type of topics. Instead, I can tell you that I am here to listen, to read, whenever you need. You will make it again, and again, and again, my friend. *hug
 

DouglasW

SF Supporter
#13
@Bradamante thank you. I'm so heartened that members of this community are offering so many words of support and valuing me for contributions when I wasn't in such distress as currently. And yeah I am being reminded how resilient I have been and having value in that too. Andi continues to not much get back to me, but cites she is at a loss for words and appreciating my communications with her. I'm praying to Gaia that there is rhyme and reason around all of it, a reason the people who come into our lives do, and that abandonment and failure is not the only outcome.

TBH I've had enough traumatic life lessons to last a lifetime, could use a bit more happy times. Not happily ever after, not Hollywood endings, just, to be stuck in the mud with the ones I love.
 

Bradamante

Silent dreamer
#14
@Bradamante thank you. I'm so heartened that members of this community are offering so many words of support and valuing me for contributions when I wasn't in such distress as currently. And yeah I am being reminded how resilient I have been and having value in that too. Andi continues to not much get back to me, but cites she is at a loss for words and appreciating my communications with her. I'm praying to Gaia that there is rhyme and reason around all of it, a reason the people who come into our lives do, and that abandonment and failure is not the only outcome.

TBH I've had enough traumatic life lessons to last a lifetime, could use a bit more happy times. Not happily ever after, not Hollywood endings, just, to be stuck in the mud with the ones I love.
Yes Doug, I wish you happy times of course. Don't stop hoping for those to come, they will for you too. *hug
 
#15
Sorry that you've gone through so much heartache Doug.

There's a phenomenon known as "rebound relationships", and I wonder if that came into play in your relationship with Andi.

There are also people who have complex dynamics in their relationships, where they both feel drawn to someone, and also feel the need to push away. That might be the case with Andi.

I could try to make some suggestions if you'd like, but I don't know if you want that.

Wishing you good things
 

Wispiwill

Well-Known Member
#16
Hi, sorry to hear about all the hardship you've gone through. I know there are no words that I can say that will help.

Regarding Andi - you've probably already thought about this but have you looked at Borderline Personality Disorder. I've been looking into it myself and one of the defining characteristics is that the people with it do a push/pull thing - where they have an intense relationship and then push you away - and then pull you back and so on. It's not that they don't care - it's that, in many ways, they care too much and there comes a point where they have to push you away because of how much it hurts them to be with you (if that makes sense). Is it possible it's something like that?

Just something to think about. I wish you well and hope that you can end up with the happy ever after (or at least some variant of it). Good luck.
 
#17
This will be a long post. Might need to split to multiple posts. I'm sharing because I have community here and people who care about me, but I do not have much hope that anything anyone may say will alter where I'm at. Actually I worry people might experience me arguing against helpful feedback, where the issue is, I have many years to understand better than I could ever explain why I've lost all hope. I want only to be understood.

My childhood was extremely difficult. As I know many people's were. My parents separated when I was 1, making me de facto an only child. I experienced a lot of emotional abuse from my mother, and my father was very distant, geographically and emotionally, he was not much involved in my life though I did know him until my late 20s.

My mother moved us so often that I went to 9 schools by time I finished high school. I was often bullied mercilessly as the new kid, especially in adolescence and teen years. I turned to drugs for relief.

After a suicide attempt at 18 I was studied in a hospital for 2 months, and subsequently told my IQ was off the charts, and as a result I would never have any peers, never make the sort of bonds that might help untangle horrible emotional wounds and stunted development, according to my heartless doctor. He advised permanent institutionalization to my parents.

I struggled through college, dropping out often, transffering schools, moved to where my dad lived to try to get to know him. Relationships were always unstable. I was tossed away by the love of my life and became terrified of women and to lesser extent men. Stopped trying to make friends, isolated, somehow managed eventually to get a degree, got work as a carpenter and later in software, where people with very poor social and emotional skills can be employable.

Having no real family and keeping my distance from my emotionally abusive mother, while my father got more and more distant until disowning me complely in my early 30s, I managed to marry a sociopathic woman on the autistic spectrum and found some slight stability inside an extremely toxic and emotionally barren marriage. It was, no joke, the most stable period of my entire life. I was able to build a career, become a manager, develop more friendships. But the marriage ate at me, we fought a lot, I could not get any sort of empathy, while working incredibly long hours to support us.

Then came the Boston bombings. I was right in the middle of the event. Called out some things publicly about the event and entered a world of trouble as a result. I cannot write more nor comment on this, other than to say, all the dysfunction and unresolved trauma in me suddenly flooded my entire system and I simply could not cope.

My father had died 2 years ealier -- I saw him on his deathbed for first time in many years -- and my wife soon left me. As soon as she did, my mother started showing dementia and I realized I was now without any family at all. It was the trauma that destroyed me. I lost my job at the time of the bombing, ostensibly over a fight about whether I could take a personal day right after the bombings.

I turned 40 right after the bombings, in 2013. This turning point, where I was suddenly unemployed, with no supports at all -- my circle of friend evaporated over about a year -- no family except my mother who could no longer track nor care about what was happening for me, and would die in 2016 -- fighting for 2 years to get on disability income.... I was so lost. My symptoms were severe and extreme, and I've written about them elsewhere. Also I was being doxxed and harassed regularly, given death threats, having my physical space violated. I could not regulate, could not function, was insanely hopeless and depressed and suicidal for a very long time.

Cutting to split his long entry into multiple posts...
Douglas....I can relate. Are you feeling any better?
 

DouglasW

SF Supporter
#18
Thank you all for your support and input. It has helped so much, to feel heard, to be reminded I have value to others here.

@may71 and @Wispiwill -- I don't think rebound was a factor with Andi, we'd both been out of relationships a couple of years and tending to ourselves. I do think borderline is at play. I stopped meeting more than the requisite 5 out of 9 criteria around 2005, but have seen borderline behaviors in myself now. It's always when the stakes are highest and in context of real loving relationships that these old wounds can resurface. And yeah her behavior has shades of borderline, NPD, and fight and flight CPTSD stuff. None of these are permanent, nor do they define her or me.

We are communicating again and there is some real love there. It's ongoing but I'm so happy neither she nor I walked away forever. I might get chance to hug her soon in her heading back West. Might not, but she says that would be wonderful.

Meanwhile I'm reorienting towards community, towards peer support (recieving and giving), and remembering my own identity as survivor of complex trauma, writer, artist, musician, and aspiring counselor. Stepdad would be heaven but as Winona said to Corey, it's good to want things...
 

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