Categories
off topic open thread

Open Thread for Personal Stuff: April 2016 Dogs Enjoying Couch Edition

Dogs making full use of a couch
Dogs making full use of a couch

An open thread for personal stuff. As always with these threads, no MRAs, trolls, jerkfaces, etc.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

137 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

@Petal – I, too, am a dust magnet. Luckily nobody in my house has any allergies so I’m free to ignore it as long as I like. I do eventually get around to it, but I’d say it’s only every other month-ish.

GeekySciFiGirl
GeekySciFiGirl
5 years ago

Does anyone know of good resources in dealing with the trauma around sexual harassment? I had an incident about six years ago at an AA meeting that still affects me. I just don’t know where to turn for ideas on working through it.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
5 years ago

I am a devotee of the Quentin Crisp axiom of housekeeping: “After the first two years, the dust doesn’t get any thicker”

PoM

I don’t think there’s a particularly high incidence of madness amongst the people on this board. We’re just less afraid to talk about it. Mental illness is more prevalent than most believe.

Yes.

EJ on the memeday thread, yes!!!! That is exactly how one should see taxes, how decent good people see them, and it’s why countries/the world deserve fair tax regimes so that the ultra-rich can’t leech off the infrastructure/educated workforce/healthy workforce/laura norder/social stability they enjoy and profit from but don’t want to pay back.

dlouwe
dlouwe
5 years ago

This might sound obvious, but safety seals on food are no joke. I’ve spent almost the entire last week recovering from a gnarly bout of food poisoning – from a carton of soup with a twist-off spout, which was missing the safety seal. I’ve had slightly-off food give me some indigestion and nausea before, but this was on a whole other level. A full day laid out on the couch with a ~102F fever, barely able to do anything but make hourly trips to the washroom, and then a good 4-5 days for my body to fully recover from that ordeal.

I tend to be pretty lackadaisical with, well, most things, but I’ve definitely learned my lesson that “Eh, it’s probably okay?” is not a suitable philosophy for potentially spoiled shelved foods.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
5 years ago

@GeekySciFiGirl
I’m afraid I don’t know, having been fortunate enough not to endure sexual assault, but know that you have my support.

To get something unrelated off my chest: I’m so tired of older folk using their age as some sort of trump card if we debate about something. “I’ve lived longer than you so I know more.” It happens so much. Just because I’m young doesn’t mean I’m wrong! How do I deal with this? So far all I do is tell myself that they’re only saying it because they’ve run out of actual argument. There’s nothing I can really combat it with though without an entirely new conflict starting, a more personal one as well. 😐

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

@eli

Your words have helped me so much these last couple of weeks, so thank you.

Not sure what I said, but I’m glad it was helpful. 😀

Luzbelitx
5 years ago

Ok, first thing first: ALL TEH HUGZ for everyone struggling with depressions/mental illness or have loved one going through serious illnesses.

comment image

As for myself, there’s too much going on for me to handle but somehow I’m pulling myself together.

– My daughter’s father is suing for visitation. He actually sees our child regularly, but he wants to force a 50 – 50 schedule on me so he doesn’t have to pay child support. Bottom line: asshole. So far I’ve avoided being notified twice -not on purpose, but still- which buys me some time while I think how I’ll handle this.

– I, on turn, are suing because he’s not actually following our court agreement regarding child support. It’s annoying and frustrating but I have good chances of getting at least some of the money- yay.

– My grandparent’s house, where I’ve been living for the past 2 years, has been sold. I’m racing against time to find a new home. It’s likely I’ll team up with a girl I met recently who also needs to find a house soon. That actually gives me a chance of actually living on my own instead of going back to my parents (where my former room was turned into my father’s office).

– I got eye surgery! 100% covered by my employer-provided health insurance, so yay registered worker privilege! Goodbye myopia and astigmatism! The operation itself was painless and very very short (no longer than 15 minutes, and the laser part is less than 1 minute), the first few days were very very painful, but I made it through and it’s awesome! I still have to wear sunglasses at all times for a few more weeks.

– I resumed my studies! After 10 years I got back to the university, this time I enterd the University of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo so I’m very excited and thrilled and also very proud. I’m hoping to get a degree in journalism and be able to leave my current job, which has great benefits and a decent salary but no future and is dead-boring.

So I’m just dealing with life one day at a time while trying very hard not to lose it. So far it’s been more or less like this:

http://33.media.tumblr.com/73ef71e83be6e6cf304c2ddcc22304b8/tumblr_inline_nyk4sbsPVB1sm1i1x_500.gif

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
5 years ago

@GeekySciFiGirl

I just wanted to acknowledge that I read your comment, even though I can’t actually help on this topic. :/ Hope someone else has info that will help you.

Hambeast, Social Justice Legbeard
Hambeast, Social Justice Legbeard
5 years ago

I also want to echo the well-wishes to everyone dealing with jerk-brains! You deserve care and you deserve to feel good and I hope that happens soonest!

I am excited because I’m on the verge of having a closet in my master bedroom again! It’s been weeks because I have to depend on husbeast to do the heavy lifting* and he only has part of the weekend and after work hours free to do this. We only need a few more parts and then it’s fill-the-new-closet party time!!

*But I put together the shelf and drawer units all by myself *preens*

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

@GeekySciFiGirl – I too would like to acknowledge your post, although I do not have any experience in that area. I would think that at the very least you might be able to call your state/county/city’s domestic violence agency to find a referral to a counselor? Sexual assault is a form of violence, and in any case I’d think they would know what sorts of resources are available.

I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.

Verily Baroque
Verily Baroque
5 years ago

I had washed some raw wool at the beginning of this month at a friend’s place and left it there to dry (she was/is fine with this and the fact that I still haven’t picked it up – oops).

Makes for an interesting situation when you call your friend out of the blue and ask her if you can use her bathroom to wash some wool and her response is to laugh and be all “Yeah, that’s a good one”. I of course denied I was joking, she told me she wasn’t falling for it this time either – and it took around ten minutes of confusion before I realized it was the April Fools’ Day and she realized that I really was on my way to her place with 2 kg of dirty wool.

I think the fact that she let me in pretty much proves that she is one of the best people in the world.

Then today, she sent me a text message starting with “EMERGENCY”. I of course dropped everything and opened the message.

…Only to find out that the blackbird couple living somewhere near her yard seems to have rotten luck in finding materials to build a nest from and she is taking pity on them.

This pity manifests itself in her intending to levy a tax on my wool and to donate the spoils to the blackbirds. How the hell do you negotiate an acceptable tax rate when the currency is wool???

Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
5 years ago

My dad, who’s been retired for about a year and a half, has been hovering over my mom and I for the past few weeks-constantly needing to be in the same room as us, trying to hear all our conversations and asking us what we said if he can’t, asking if we’re OK seemingly every two seconds, offering unsolicited advice (and usually doing it in the most condescending way possible), etc.
Mom and I think this would be a lot better if he got a part-time job, but I’m waiting to hear back about my own job interview I had at a local library branch a few weeks ago (my interviewer, the library manager, has an incredibly busy schedule and has promised to get back to me but doesn’t yet know when she can) and he refuses to even look for work until he knows whether I have the job and what my schedule would be.
We’re extremely frustrated, but due to his hot temper (which I inherited-/sarcastic yay) and our desire not to hurt his feelings/make him mad and start an argument, all we can do is leave the room to vent about him, and lately that seems to be happening every other night. Does anyone here have any suggestions on how we can tell him we need more space without making him mad?

Hambeast, Social Justice Legbeard
Hambeast, Social Justice Legbeard
5 years ago

Verily Baroque – I think if the birds get all the wool they can use, it still won’t amount to very much. From the birds’ POV, “tax” wise, it’ll be like the government giving a human family all of the insulation for their new house for free!

How cool would it be if that were a real thing for human-house insulation?

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

@GeekySciFiGirl

<3

I am not an expert but I can give you some ideas of things you could try?

First, most cities have an abuse help hotline. Usually in the front of the yellow pages among the emergency services. Don't worry too much if you don't find one that's exactly what you are looking for – the person on the other end of the phone generally has a big list of other numbers that may be of more help, and they actually do want to help you.

Another thing you might try? Planned Parenthood. They provide all sorts of services, and even if they don’t do what you need there they will almost certainly know someone that does. If you want to go somewhere instead of just talking on a phone, that’s a good first port-of-call.

If you have a personal doctor, and can see them (and trust them)? Doctors also often have that sort of information at their fingertips.

I know that making a phone call like that can be hugely stressful. It’s hard to pick up the phone and dial – it’s easier to pick up the phone and stare at the keys, and agonize over what you’re going to say. It’s easier still to glare at the phone from across the room, or twist on the bed at night. It’s a tough thing to do, but there’s no other way. Just try to remember – the person on the other end of the phone isn’t judging you. Often they’ve been in similar circumstances, and that’s why they’re motivated to help.

We all have “up” and “down” states that vary from person to person, usually based on serotonin and melatonin levels amongst other things. You will know yours by the “productive” time of your day – when you’re most able to get out there and do things. I’d suggest that you schedule your phone call for that time of day. And try to avoid conflict during that day! The adrenaline spike can activate the “fight or flight” reaction, which will make it much harder to go through with it.

And of course, I’m pretty sure we will all try to be as supportive as we can here. I hope that you can put that part of your life to peace, so that it stops bothering you <3.

Verily Baroque
Verily Baroque
5 years ago

@Hambeast

I agree that whatever the end amount will be, it won’t be too much to spare, since 2kg of wool is a lot.

We are currently approaching “one handful” and are now starting to negotiate the quality. I would prefer it to be of the lumpier wool (I messed up while washing it) while she wants the higher quality wool which will be easier for the birds to pick it into smaller tresses.

I honestly would have already asked her to leave several handfuls of wool at the yard if I didn’t enjoy discussing this with my friend so much. 🙂

IAmMarauder
IAmMarauder
5 years ago

I want to echo the hugs/good thoughts/best wishes for people here.

I also want to thank the others here for the things they have said in this thread, now if only I can convince my brain that those things apply to me as well (despite myself telling others these things – a case of inability to take my own advice).

I am another struggling with depression (well, depressive phase of bipolar) and life at the moment, so can appreciate how it feels. My biggest is still a struggle to lay down the foundations for moving forward; I can gather the tools, materials, and motivation however I just can’t seem to get started on things (and the more I force myself to get started the more frustrated I get when it doesn’t happen).

Thankfully I am having a good mood moment so am getting a few things done (such as learning Android app development), but it would be nice if I could get started on some things that would actually bring me an income 🙁

As a finisher: Thanks also for being an awesome community that has taught me so much!

dlouwe
dlouwe
5 years ago

@sunnysombrera

Just because I’m young doesn’t mean I’m wrong! How do I deal with this? So far all I do is tell myself that they’re only saying it because they’ve run out of actual argument.

It’s possible that they are out of argument, or are simply convinced enough of their right-ness that they don’t feel it’s worth it to engage further, and are using their age as an appeal to authority. Either way, it’s not really a valid way to prove a point.

It’s tough to say without knowing more about the context of the argument, but one way to try to get around this is by asking questions that can expose flaws in their thinking. Even if it’s just asking “Hey, maybe I don’t understand this, could you break it down for me?” or something similar – it can help switch them over into a frame of mind to where they’re thinking about it, rather than relying on their preconception. It also puts you in a better position to interject and ask more questions if something doesn’t make sense. (There’s also the chance that they’re just the sort of person who doesn’t admit being wrong about anything ever, in which case there’s pretty much nothing to be done at all, sadly.)

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

A friend of my older son was having domestic abuse issues at home, and called my son to ask for help. I was able to get him information about a local women’s crisis drop in center, where she could get a referral. The fact that, in crisis, she reached out to him tells me something about the kind of friend he is.

This, despite the disabling schizophrenia and depressive symptoms.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

My day is not going so well. My wife had a panic attack on the way to work and we needed to return home. She has BPD and a couple of related things and it’s often challenging figure out what is going on. I hope to do some writing tonight.

@Viscaria
I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble with depression. Have you been diagnosed? I’m still trying to recover from what you are describing, anhedonia. When I got hit with it, it was like someone snipped a bunch of connections that I had with things that I used to enjoy. I used to be an avid video gamer, not any more. Fortunately you can build new attachments, and the old ones get cut off less easily if it’s more important things that life requires (I’m starting to think that’s how it works, brain wants you to get serious because life has problems).

ADHD is not something that gets cured, but some things can improve symptoms relative to the population at large. It’s more a matter of understanding how your perception, attention and memory is shaped relative to other people. The meds can help, but there are some things that just have to be accommodated. I also had complications with the adderall, in my case it turned up the Tourette’s Syndrome. It’s possible that the anxiety will fade because amphetamines basically make a portion of your nervous system easier to stimulate and some of it can be gotten used to as your body sets new baselines. But you may also do better on other drugs. There are two main divisions in ADHD drugs: Adderall is in the class that improves attention related symptions, the other class has to do with cognitive symptoms (working memory issues). I go to a support group to talk shop on the fixes that people come up with, maybe there is one in your area? These things are benefits when you know how your mind works and you organize your life and activity the right way (particularly in high pressure jobs). It is challenging though, and I’m still working on it too.

It’s possible that it’s not ADHD. There are three things in the AD(H)D cluster (hyperactive, inattentive and combined types) and a fourth phenomena that they are thinking of adding to the group (“sluggish cognitive tempo”). But other things can also affect attention, perception and memory so it’s still a good idea to stay open minded, for example an inattentive subtype is treatable by ambian because it’s a depression related inattentiveness.
Lazy is a common label placed on people with ADHD.

@GeekySciFiGirl
I’m seconding Scildfreja. It sounds like you are experiencing symptoms related to an experience and there will be resources near your location somewhere. If google can’t easily show results a place like PP will likely know who will know. I would also suggest talking to someone from an organization like RAINN. What you experienced is a social factor that makes what they deal with more common and they will take you seriously.

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@Nikki
My dad couldn’t handle retirement at first because he didn’t know what to do with himself. He went back to work part-time and in the meantime found some hobbies to pick up. Maybe all your dad needs is a hobby or a group to join that meets regularly.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@GeekySciFiGirl

I don’t have personal experience with any of these resources. But this is what I see that might help you. I did an Internet search for sexual harassment group and found this:

http://sexual-harassment.supportgroups.com/

http://www.feminist.org/911/harass_ln.html

https://rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/sexual-harassment

National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE(4673)

It sounds as though your harassment was strictly verbal. But I think that these resources would deal with verbal harassment. I called domestic violence hotlines and got a lot of help–but my boyfriend didn’t hit me. That doesn’t mean he didn’t abuse me! With the help of those hotlines, I left him.

All best wishes!

@sunnysombrera

To get something unrelated off my chest: I’m so tired of older folk using their age as some sort of trump card if we debate about something.

This makes me mad too. It always has and it still does–although at my age, people don’t pull that stuff. It’s a power trip and it’s meant to shut you up. Just because a person’s had more years of experience doesn’t mean that they understand their own experience very well.

You have to do what’s right for you. You might want to say that to older people who are being jerks.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ sunnysombrera

You could maybe try this?

Ask them whether they are saying that they should be deferred to just because they are older, or whether they are claiming they have more experience?

If the former then you can point out that they haven’t provided a substantive argument. If the latter ask how their experience is more relevant than yours. If you’re discussing say, ageism in the workplace, then they do have a point. But if it’s something more general then query why age gives them an advantage.

If the subject is one where you both have equal access to the same information, and can both equally assess it, then you can point out that their age makes no difference.

If their argument is along the lines of “well I’ve seen this scenario so many times in the past, so I think I know what will actually happen” then again you may have to defer.

But the key thing is to separate out age per se versus experience, and then check whether they really do have any more real experience than you.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

@Brony, thanks for chiming in, and I hope that your wife is recovering. Panic attacks are utterly terrible. I was having a bout of them last week; this week seems better.

Talk to me about Ambian, if you can! How does it change your thinking? I often feel horribly unmotivated and inattentive, easily distracted. All in pretty much the way you describe. Do you have any experiences with it?

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Scildfreja
I wish I could talk to you about ambian. My ADHD is not likely of that type, but I have never tried it. If you want I can look up the primary literature on how ambian may relate to ADHD. what makes you think it might help you? If you have any follow up questions after this comment feel free to ask them.

I was diagnosed as a kid, thought I got rid of it as I went from constantly failing to always being on the honor roll, and it resurfaced as a problem in graduate school. The depression likely set in during graduate school (about seven years ago) as I started having problems related to the ADHD and not beign able to reorganize my life around it. I take 20mg of adderall twice a day, and it does help because I’m really miserable without it. But I want to take something for cognitive symptoms, like maybe guanfacine since I don’t think that will complicate the TS.

If I had to place money on it I think that my ADHD is related to the fact that I have centuries of military people on both sides of my family tree.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
5 years ago

When I was a young woman, so many older men told me I was just progressive because I was young. I’d grow out of it. Blah, blah, blah. Shows what they know. I’ve only gotten more progressive and more sure of that progressivism the older and more knowledgeable I get.

Age and experience are often worth a lot. Plenty of the advice older people give younger people is valuable and correct. But nobody should ever presume to know someone’s mind better than they do.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

@Brony, thank you, but I’ve got subscriptions to ResearchGate and all the big journals, so I will look on my own. Was just wondering if you had anything to say about the actual experience! I really need to talk to the doctor about the depression and inattention thing, but… well. The stigma against mental disorders is incredibly large in my family and in this part of the world, and I’m not really in a brain-space to push against that right now. Maybe when dad’s done with his radiotherapy. Thank you again!

#”I’m Older’n You!”

Eh. People are lazy thinkers. Once they decide that they qualify for the “old person” bracket, they get the “respect your elders” upgrade package, which they can use to end arguments in their favour. It goes right alongside the ad hom, tu quoque, and all the other fallacies. One more tool in the brain’s stupid, stupid tool box.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Scildfreja
If there is anything I can do to help you figure your situation out feel free to ask. I’m fortunate in that the TS contributes an element of “not giving a fuck” about society at large when a group within it is having trouble. Perfectly natural trouble that is explained by our life experiences no matter what society wants to pretend.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

Thanks Brony 🙂 Your posts here are balm enough, but I’ll let you know if there’s anything more.

How’s the adderall? I have a friend who was on it and absolutely hated it – said it flattened his emotions out, and was just too crushing to continue with.

(He just stopped trying to find a drug that worked, which is sad, but he seems to be learning how to cope with it on his own, for the most part. So that’s nice. Still!)

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
5 years ago

What people mean when they claim authority because of their age is, in my experience, “I have lived and seen things”. I.e. it’s just another way of saying “anecdotal evidence”.

proudfootz
proudfootz
5 years ago

Depression is tricksy!

I don’t think I recognized it in me until I noticed the pattern of my ‘feeling bad’ didn’t seem to be connected to events that were happening in my life. Optimism and pessimism seemed to be on their own cycle.

I do relate to the idea of not wanting to be a burden on others. That is one reason why I live as I do – away from my family and friends. It also has an effect on how I relate to them. I have to consciously remember not to complain too much, and when I do couch it in humorous terms.

The thing that was a turning point for me was realizing it was depression and seeking help with that. Almost as soon as I named the problem it became more manageable. I have been on and off mood regulating drugs, but can’t afford them on a continual basis.

The local healthcare system had some resources which helped. For a time I was part of a therapy group lead by someone who in my estimation was a very good counselor. When she left the area the group broke up. But it was a good thing for me to learn that my experience with the effects of childhood sexual abuse was not uncommon.

It’s one thing to appreciate that on an intellectual level, and quite another to listen to others who shared the same experience.

Lucky for me there were free services available for me, and lucky that I had insurance that helped with individual counseling. That said, not all counselors are equal. I’ve also had counselors whose agenda was less helpful to me. Like Momma said – you have to shop around!

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

us:

Paradoxical Intention - Resident Cheeseburger Slut

Today was a pretty good day. I showered, made a new RedBubble product, and I also saw a commercial for Amazon Japan and was immediately punched in my feelings.

How dare you, Amazon Japan, try to find the best way to make me feel such strong emotions in thirty seconds.

dreemr
dreemr
5 years ago

@proudfootz

not all counselors are equal. I’ve also had counselors whose agenda was less helpful to me. Like Momma said – you have to shop around!

This to me has always been one of the worst things about depression/anxiety/other mental disorders and illnesses. The time when you need therapeutic counseling the most is exactly at the time you are usually too debilitated to find it.

Knowing that my son may have inherited some of my mental issues and those that run in my family (not to mention some possibly undiagnosed depression on his father’s side), rather than wait until he had a crisis, I found him a therapist just to get to know and to talk to about things. He has some trouble with anxiety and she has been very helpful in teaching him ways to cope with it. He only sees her a few times a year, but he trusts her, so if he needs her at some point, he has a relationship with her.

He started seeing her in 4th grade, and would brag to his friends on the days he left early that he was “going to see my therapist” LOL

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

ohmigosh, now I *know* that Amazon is evil.

guy
guy
5 years ago

This month I learned that it is not a good idea to put off renewing one’s antidepressant prescription for five days after running out while trying to write a personal essay for a foreign language class. And by “discovered” I mean “knew better yet for some reason did it anyway”. It went as well as it had any right to.

Also, my prescriptions are caught in some perfect storm of controlled substance laws, pharmacy policy, incompetence, and insurance general unhelpfulness. With the end result that I can only get thirty days worth of meds from the most conveniently located pharmacy, and I can’t get refills through them because they aren’t covered by the student health plan I don’t have! But I guess no one told the pharmacy that, and apparently they also neglected to tell the insurance company (who I am entirely certain I am not paying) because someone is covering my meds and I don’t think I ever got the necessary paperwork to have the pharmacy use the insurance policy I do have. So I brought in a 30-day with refills prescription and they proceeded to tell me that the school insurance provider wouldn’t cover it with refills and I’d have to pay out of pocket, then gave me a 30-day no refills bottle. And just to make this whole nonsense dance thoroughly ludicrous, it turns out that apparently doctors can just give three thirty-day prescriptions labelled “do not fill before [date]” rather than one thirty-day prescription with two refills and that pharmacy accepts them. Which is even weirder with my ADHD meds on account of them being a Schedule 2 controlled substance and the prescription drug most likely to be abused by college students. I keep feeling like this ought to trigger some automated alert flagging me as a possible drug dealer.

Somehow the worst part is that my antidepressant is actually pretty cheap and the fixed copay to use the phantom insurance is a third of the out-of-pocket price. I could play phone tag with insurance companies trying to figure it out or alternatively I could do literally anything else.

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

@Brony,

I’m sorry about your day. I hope your wife is feeling better now.

I was diagnosed with depression years ago, and with anxiety a while after. It’s only my most recent therapist, who I very much like, who suggested that perhaps it’s not depression that’s made me fail all my classes and prevents me from keeping a clean house or doing the things that I want to do. Instead, I feel crappy because everything’s always a disaster. I buy it. There’s other symptoms, too.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Viscaria
There are good days and bad days. This was a bad one, but she has had a rougher life than me so I mostly try to help her try to find old connections when this happens.

If there is a string of problems that makes depression and anxiety understandable. I think the same thing happened to me, but my mind likes to pretend that I have only been depressed since I was a substitute teacher in Texas about four years ago. My brain still does not like to act like things started going wrong in graduate school.

But I hope that you don’t feel that ADHD is all bad. Society just does not know what to do with us. We don’t store information and perceive things like the human stereotype, and we are 5% of the population. Things are disasters for reasons. I hope you have success with your therapist in understanding why.

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

Does anyone here have any experience with OCD, particularly of the so-called ‘pure o’ type?

Don’t know for sure if this is what’s going on, but my partner has been battling obsessive thoughts for about 8-9 months now. How he describes it is that a part of his brain is convinced I am cheating on him, and he just has to uncover the evidence. This is causing him major shame, fear, anxiety and occasional panic attacks. He knows I’m not, but part of his brain is 100% sure of this and can’t let it go, and he can’t control the thoughts coming in – something like the way I am using my phone will trigger a tidal wave.

He has an assessment next week. In the meantime we’re both tired and sad and trying to talk it all through as best we can. I hate seeing him in such pain; at the same time it’s difficult knowing that part of his brain is seeing me as a villain. We’ve been together 20 years in Sept, which is also when we’re getting (officially) married (this started before we decided to get married – I proposed, and his brain tried to convince him this was me attempting to throw him off my trail). I feel helpless.

Skiriki
Skiriki
5 years ago

Tracy, I don’t know, check if you can find some help under “intrusive thought” here and from the sources, branch further in internet research?

GenJones
GenJones
5 years ago

@Tracy

I’ve suffered from schizoaffective bipolar and had to deal with a lot of compulsive tics when I was younger and my manic-depressive swings were more severe. I had trichotillomania and dermatillomania, I couldn’t cope with certain sensations like the feeling of sweat between my toes or my fingers making contact with each other without completely wigging out, had lots of self imposed rituals. I would get some paranoid ideas like that when my mania peaked and I started hallucinating voices and shit.

My only advice besides avoiding his triggers would be to find his safe place, a situation where his tics don’t intrude and he can clear his head, and try to expand serenity from there, if that makes any sense. For me, it was the bathtub where I could float without any distracting sensations, but my triggers were obviously of a totally different nature. I wouldn’t suggest pushing anything else without the guidance of a professional.

All the best to you, you crazy kids <3

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

…and hangover. If I crossed any lines anywhere I definitely want to know about it.

@Tracy
I’m not diagnosed, but when one has trouble sleeping because they can’t get their social simulation software under control sometimes OCD is a reasonable thing to appeal to. Physical tics, obsessions and compulsions are actually different manifestations of the same brain systems in different areas. It turns out that these categories tend to blur in people with tourette’s like me.

Skiriki’s link is probably correct barring anything a specialist points out and GenJones offers a good example of how it can play out and I’ll be repeating a lot of what they said. Brains have a kind of “clock” that pulses filtered information at our perception. Some of these filtered categories are things like contamination awareness, social information, body status and other things that let us maintain situational awareness. There is individual diversity in how sensitive we are to these different filters and we can become more or less sensitive through experience and habit. Predispositions can also change the balance.

Sometimes we get hyper-sensitive to categories of things and then the background *tick-tick-tick* shoves it’s way in because we have somehow become more sensitive to that filter through habit (we can think our way to a sensitivity) or experience (getting sick or a social experience, either personal experience or seeing it happen to someone else) and sometimes a drug or other exposure can affect these systems . It’s a perceptual habit that we end up reinforcing and breaking the habit can involve:

Note: individual differences count here too and some people can do individual things and some can’t. Judgement is harmful to healing too because sensations have to be learned and understood on their own terms before they can be altered.

1) Understanding our triggers. These are things that tip our perception into that particular filter and then it becomes hard not to think of it because the *tick-tick-tick* gets tied to our center of attention.
2) Installing controls. Sometimes the solution is engaging in an alternate habit when one feels the urge to do the harmful one. We can’t really delete information, but we can overwrite it.
3) Changing our sensitivity. One can become less sensitive to the urges and over time they become less intense as we place less importance on them. They become information essentially.
4) Medication. This is “training wheels” ideally and makes the change possible. Medication rarely does anything on it’s own.

There are even benefits to having an OCD. One is essentially better at sensing these parts of consciousness and perception and when one gets control of them they are tools that are valuable for observation.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Also regular use of things like alcohol can make OCD worse. I’m an occasional drinker because of that.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Oh yeah.
5) Selective stimulation. Sometimes you can disrupt a repeating nervous system phenomena by stimulating yourself with something specific (like someone scaring you when you have hiccups) or something general for longer that acts like “white noise”.

When I get a little too into an internet fight I have trouble shutting my social simulation off and my brain likes to keep analyzing things from lots of angles and that becomes an intrusive thought when I try to sleep. So reading something that is not stimulating in that fashion can get it to disengage.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

Y’all, this is the best cornbread you’ll ever spend no time at all making:

http://www.cooks.com/recipe/eo9bl08b/cornbread.html

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
5 years ago

Nikki, Your dad seems to be suffering from lack of structure and lack of purpose in his life-without-job. Even if he doesn’t get a part-time job, he needs to get out of the house more – for any reason. You and your mother can perhaps work out some reasons why you _need_ him to escort you to shops or appointments or outings.

He might be more settled if the calendar on the fridge has him lined up in advance with two or three settled arrangements each week. Look around for things like fairs and exhibitions or markets and other activities that cost nothing to enter and are not restrictive (in the way that going to the movies ties you to your seat). If you really want to get him out of this don’t-know-what-to-do-with-myself spiral, see if you can’t drum up some interest in golf or other sport or helping out with a local drama or school literacy support group or a community garden or a “men’s shed” or anything else that is out of the house regularly. My 91 year old mother has a rule for living successfully – despite being constantly riddled with anxiety – “get up, get dressed, get going.” You can’t nag him into this, but you can change the apparent pointlessness of his lack of routine by giving him some structure and anticipation.

GOOD NEWS!
Daughter number two gets married next week. Last night I discovered the reason why the happy couple had been so keen for us to meet up with them face to face when telling us about their plans a couple of months ago. The soon to be son-in-law is changing his surname to daughter’s name!

Husband might be (marginally) disappointed that daughter chooses to walk down the “aisle” alone for her wedding – no father to pass the parcel to husband, no attendants because it’s just her choosing to marry – but literally gaining a son will be an unexpected boon. S-i-l’s employer has got in the way of all our planned get-togethers by calling him in for lunch service at the restaurant at very short notice, so we’re telling him early on Friday so that even if s-i-l is called in for lunch we can still get it done a few days before the ceremony. (Husband’s a bit deaf sometimes so we can’t rely on him hearing it right first time in the midst of the excitement of the event itself.)

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

The soon to be son-in-law is changing his surname to daughter’s name!

http://persephonemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/malificent-misandry.gif

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

Congrats, @mildlymagnificent! That is pretty magnificent!

@brony, I gotta say, you are pretty magnificent too. Those are great summaries. I haven’t looked too deeply into those mechanisms, that helps a lot.

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

One of the best lessons my father ever taught me was not to define myself by what I did for a living – or, as he’d put it, real life is what happens when you’re not at work. When he retired, he flourished like a green bay tree by a river. I have followed his example as best I can.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 years ago

Cerberus is back in Sadly, No !

In addition to be the better writer of the various authors of Sadly, No!, I was a bit worried about her wellbeing ; also, despite/especially because I still can’t say trans people make sense to me, the point of view of one is helpful to try to improve and to be at least aware of what are their revendications and why they are important to them.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Robert

One of the best lessons my father ever taught me was not to define myself by what I did for a living

Theres a saying “There are no judges, just men who judge…” that encapsulates that idea.

Weirdly, that motto was the inspiration for the Sam & Ralph cartoons. The ones where the wolf and the sheepdog kick the shit out of each other, but then clock off and have lunch together.

(Sam once clocked on for Ralph when he was running late)