Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm obsessing...

One of my biggest problems is that I rather live in my fantasies than in reality. No need to deal with the nasty and complicated human relationships stuff. In real life someone always gets hurt, misunderstands, expects too much or different things, isn't ready to go along, have their own ideas, thoughts, wants, wishes, desires, needs... messy stuff.

So, in my real life I'm married to this lovely guy. Well, being a human being, he has his vices, weaknesses, problems and what-nots, but I'm okay with them. I'm not perfect either, and if he can live with my problems, the least I can do is to live with his, neh? Nevertheless, it's life, so it's not perfect and it's not pretty and it's not a fantasy where you are in control of everything that happens.

So - in my fantasies... I don't fantasize about my husband. He's part of my life, and as I have no wish to change that, I don't do that in my fantasies either, just as little as I change my parents or siblings or me... (Funny, actually... I suppose that means I'm pretty okay with who and what I am. I have never fantasized about being black, having blue eyes, looking different from what I do - it's all about things I could change if I worked a little, like being slender, fit and agile. I like that.) But I fantasize about a world different from the one I live in now, so I'm married to someone else. The idea of this "someone else" is based on a real life person. So far so good. Nothing wrong with any of this.

But - the problem arises, when I confuse the fantasy man with the real life person. And I do... so I'm at the verge of stalking some innocent, unsuspecting man out there because I happen to like him... or the little I know about him. Simply because "he" "told" me "he" is obsessed of me... (in the fantasy, that is. Not in the real life.)

And at the same time, not really. I wouldn't know what to do if the object of my fantasies actually appeared by my door and told me that he can't stop thinking about me and the smell of my hair (how he would know anything about that is beyond me, but - what ever.) or something, and that he just must have me or he'll die. I would probably glare at him and close the door to his face. Poor guy.

But... what if I was not married? I have been googling the objects of my fantasies, I have been violently jealous to their current girlfriend, spouse, SO, considering witchcraft, looking up their address and phone number... what would it take to take the next step and really become a female stalker?

Uh. Thank God I'm married! :-D

Someone said:
"This person represents to me the Unclaimed parts of myself that are deeply soulful, musical, whimsical, romantic. What I feel for him is just a PROJECTION of what my soul is telling me I really need for myself. So I will develop that part of myself, that this person has brought to my attention (that which I need to develop in MY OWN LIFE) and not have it met by someone, who would not be good for me in the long run. So I see him as somewhat of a Messenger... a message from the soul that there are parts of me yet unfulfilled that I need to do for myself. So I can thank him (and the Universe) for this valuable message."

So - what is that I need for myself? What is the projection?

My husband has ADHD and Aspergers. I love him being "deeply soulful, musical, whimsical, romantic", I love his intelligence, inspirational, innovative mind... I love his sanguine, vibrant boyishness. We have so much fun together. And he's loving and affectionate, and I love that. He does me small services, takes so well care of me when I need help, is compassionate and caring... I fell in love with my husband because he reminds me so much of my father, but... I am not blind to my dad's faults, and unfortunately my husbands shares them too. One thing I don't have much in my life is stability.
The other guy is steady, calm and kind... I feel the urge to just cling to him and suck the stability through all the pores of my skin... enjoy it as if it was sunlight.

I don't want to be responsible of putting in some stability to my life... I want someone else to do it. To know that I made the choice when I chose my husband makes me desperate... and I look at this other guy and wish someone had asked me to really think about all things like that, that someone had discussed with me about psychological patterns and how we choose to continue the dance we are familiar with even though it might not be good for us, and that I can choose something else, and I should really be experimenting more and not just follow my heart which is really a fickle thing... and I start thinking arranged marriages are really not a bad idea.

At the same time, this is just a marriage. I can divorce my husband. I can "get out" of this situation. I can go and start looking for a guy who is like this other guy... So what's stopping me?

Complex issue.
a) I'm used to this, and I don't like changes
b) I'm afraid that life wouldn't work as easily as it does in my fantasies - what says I'll ever find a rock of a guy who'll want me?
c) my husband is a good guy who has never done anything do deserve to be left just because he cannot fulfill all my needs. No-one could.
d) my sense of duty is really strong. I promised in front of God to love and honor my husband and stay with him till God us apart, and damn me if I'll ever going to break that promise.
e) the most important reason is that I love my husband and he loves me. Thinking of him still makes me smile sheepishly, I'm still proud of saying I'm his wife, and presenting him as my husband... I still run to him, think of him when ever something romantic happens, it's him I think first when I need to tell something to someone... He's my best friend and absolutely amazing... I could sing his praises to kingdom come... I would be idiot and insane to leave him, and I'm neither :-D

But, ah, the stability...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The effects of pain...

Now, I have fibromyalgia. It means that I'm in pain almost constantly, and some times more than others. Now is "more than" time.

I have been saying that this is "just pain", just my brain misinterpreting the signals, not a sign of that I'm losing the ability to use my hands or so. So, basically nothing to bother about.
Then I remembered the "side effects" of pain...

- I can't function when in pain.  This will cause all kinds of things, like stress for work undone, feeling of being worthless, useless, a burden, feelings of jealousy and envy towards people who still can function "normally", anger, helplessness, loss of control, the feeling of being vulnerable and exposed...  and this will cause enorm stress on relationships. People can feel distance from their friends, loved ones and relatives, deliberately isolate themselves, become hostile. Also, the balance changes. I am forced to take, accept, receive more than I can give, I'm forced into a dept of gratitude with no means to pay it back.

- of course pain will make me tired, AND it will make it harder for me to sleep... so I will be suffering from all the effects of sleep deprivation
"This chronic sleep deprivation results in daytime sleepiness, slow reflexes, poor concentration, and an increased risk of accidents. Sleep apnea can also lead to serious health problems over time, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain."

"...depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction and learning and memory problems..."

"...worsening of ADHD or symptoms similar to ADHD; hypertension"
(ADHD is a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination.)
- pain makes me tense - and having tense neck and shoulders give me headache... which makes me tense more.

- pain CAUSES anxiety/panic disorders and depression/affective disorders, which cause more pain... an evil circle...

- people with pain try to self-medicate - I use sugar and comfort food - so I get fatter the more pain I have, and I have more pain the fatter I am...

-also, people with pain gain weight because they are unable to adapt their lifestyle to the new existence with pain - they eat what they are used to eat but exercise less.

- "Conversion disorders"

Conversion disorder (formerly known as "hysteria") is a condition in which patients present with neurological symptoms such as numbness, blindness, paralysis, or fits without a neurological cause. The term "conversion" has its origins in Freud's doctrine that anxiety is "converted" into physical symptoms.

(Women considered to be suffering from hysteria exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and "a tendency to cause trouble")

- Somatization is currently defined as "a tendency to experience and communicate somatic distress in response to psychosocial stress and to seek medical help for it".

- schizophrenic / bipolar / DID  behavior
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that makes it difficult to:
- Tell the difference between real and unreal experiences
- Think logically
- Have normal emotional responses,
- Behave normally in social situations

Bipolar disorder is a condition in which people go back and forth between periods of a very good or irritable mood and depression. The "mood swings" between mania and depression can be very quick.

The manic phase may last from days to months. It can include the following symptoms:
- Easily distracted
- Little need for sleep
- Poor judgment
- Poor temper control
- Reckless behavior and lack of self control (Binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use; Poor judgment; Sex with many partners (promiscuity); Spending sprees)
- Very elevated mood (Excess activity (hyperactivity); Increased energy; Racing thoughts; Talking a lot; Very high self-esteem (false beliefs about self or abilities); Very involved in activities; Very upset (agitated or irritated))

The depressed phase includes the following symptoms:
- Daily low mood or sadness
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Eating problems (Loss of appetite and weight loss; Overeating and weight gain)
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Feeling worthless, hopeless, or guilty
- Loss of pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Loss of self-esteem
- Thoughts of death and suicide
- Trouble getting to sleep or sleeping too much
- Pulling away from friends or activities that were once enjoyed

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) (multiple personality disorder) describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment.

Symptoms can include:
- Multiple mannerisms, attitudes and beliefs which are not similar to each other
- Unexplainable headaches and other body pains
- Distortion or loss of subjective time ( a long time)
- Depersonalization (a feeling of watching oneself act, while having no control over a situation.)
- Derealization (an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems unreal. Other symptoms include feeling as though one's environment is lacking in spontaneity, emotional coloring and depth.)
- Severe memory loss
- Depression
- Flashbacks of abuse/trauma
- Sudden anger without a justified cause
- Frequent panic/anxiety attacks
- Unexplainable phobias

Patients may experience an extremely broad array of other symptoms such as pseudoseizures that may appear to resemble epilepsy, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, and eating disorders.
- sexual dysfunctions and problems... not only because of the pain itself, bad self-confidence and social problems. No-one told me "that vulvar vestibulitis/vulvodynia is clearly associated with fibromyalgia".

- changes in personality, mood, appearance, self-image and -worth
  - pain haze - "zombie shut down mode" - all the functions except the basic survival ones are shut down.
  - one becomes more aggressive, irritable, impatient, hostile
  - one becomes uninterested, unable to focus on anything but pain, sad, hopeless, apathic, unable to enjoy of anything, or find anything beautiful or fun, one becomes fearful and suspicious, even paranoid; introverted, isolated
  - one becomes tense, stressed, worried
  - one is not only defined by what one thinks of oneself, but what others think of one... so when I'm getting irritable, depressed and tired of pain, people start avoiding me because I'm irritable, depressed and tired, not fun to be with, and then I start defining me as irritable, depressed and tired, and focus on being all that...
"The researchers found that there was a decrease in gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of fibromyalgia patients."

The prefrontal cortex ... has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behaviors, personality expression, decision making and moderating correct social behavior. The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals. The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the prefrontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social "control" (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes).

The amygdalae ... perform a primary role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions...

The anterior cingulate cortex... ...appears to play a role in a wide variety of autonomic functions, such as regulating blood pressure and heart rate, as well as rational cognitive functions, such as reward anticipation, decision-making, empathy and emotion.
- pain makes you more sensitive to pain, not the other way around: the more pain you experience, the more pain you will experience...


I recognize myself in much of what Nikki Albert says in "Chronic Pain: Personality".

I'm finding it very hard to cope with having fibromyalgia, even though it becomes more and more obvious that I have it. (Yes, even after the diagnosis by an expert I have my doubts... I suppose I don't want it. I want to think it's all in my head, just a fragment of my imagination, just hypochondriac attention seeking or something. Not real.)